We loved this quirky spot when we first saw it so we tracked down the guy responsible for the character rigging – Renato Polimeno – and picked his brain on his skills and inspiration.
3D World: What’s your job title and where do you work? RP: I´m a freelance Character Rigger/Technical Artist and also a remote Technical Consultant for Studio Nitro, a motion graphics/3D studio focused on advertising. There are lots of examples of my work on my site.
3D World: What first inspired you to become a 3D artist? RP: I guess I had a little bit of good luck. During my teenage years I worked in a video shop and took several computer courses on subjects like hardware, networks and maintenance. Then after reading an article about 3ds Max 5 classes I decided to take a chance and I am glad I did! I got really interested in 3D and suddenly knew what I wanted to do for a living.
3D World: Where do you draw your inspiration from? RP: I get inspiration from everywhere: reels, movies, articles, artists, blogs, commercials, TV series, cartoons, magazines, social networks, art, meetings, life…! Sometimes I just sketch a few ideas as experiments and save them to turn into projects later.
Watch the cool short below and you can also check out Renato’s rigging demo too.
3D World: What 3D tools and techniques do you use on a day-to-day basis? RP:3ds Max, Maya, Softimage, Python and Eclipse IDE.
3D World: What’s your favourite 3D package? RP: Maya. Simply because it makes my rigger/scripter life much more enjoyable.
3D World: Your website shows rigging work, but what is the most enjoyable project you have worked on so far in your career and why? RP: Two years ago I had the chance to work on a Brazilian film called The Two Deaths of Quincas Wateryell. It was adapted from a novel by Jorge Amado. Being part of the team as Technical Director was extremely challenging. We had to create digital high seas and believable rainstorms on probably 40 scenes and, because we were two teams using different software programs alongside each other, I had to implement a batch tool for the 3DS Max artist to easily import files form Softimage in just one click.
In the end the film was nominated for a Brazilian Academy Award which was a great accolade for us all!
3D World: What’s your favourite film and why? RP: The Walking Dead! I love the make-up art.. I would love to participate as a walker one day.
3D World: What’s your favourite commercial and why? RP: I think the Justin Long Apple Mac x PC commercials are great!
3D World: What’s your favourite animation and why? RP: Pixar´s Monsters Inc for sure. I believe it will go down in history as a classic.
3D World: What advice can you give for aspiring 3D artists looking to break into the industry? RP: Scott Squires once said: “Be aware of the current industry, make sure you understand the principles, determine the specific area you wish to focus on, don’t go into crazy debt to get a visual effects education since there are a number of avenues, create the best work and reel you can.” I would like to add these extra tips too:
Learn about the history of animation
Read any podcasts, webinars and lectures you can get your hands on
Conclude all their personal projects
Always ask for feedback and constructive criticism
Try and meet as many artists and visit as many studios as you can
Browse as many interesting sites online as you can!
3D World: Please could you share a technical ‘secret’ or top tip with us on how you work? RP: I´ve received lots of questions recently about a system that I´ve created inside 3DS Max called ‘Inteligent FK’ and I´d like show how to achieve that:
Set up a basic hierarchy by parenting your desired objects
Select them and go to Main Menu > Animation > Bone Tools > Object Properties Rollout
Turn ON Bone checkbox
Turn OFF Freeze Length
Turn ON the Auto-Align
Turn ON Correct Negative Stretch
Set Stretch option to None
And finally the Axis option: it is really important and relies on the hierarchy flow, take a look at your Local Space (XYZ axis) and set it accordingly to the pivot alignment
DONE! Now your objects behave as customised bones and you can not only rotate freely to get standard FKs but also translate child to affects parent´s rotation.
Any questions about it feel free to tweet me @renatopolimeno using the hashtag #InteligentFK
3D World: What’s next for you? RP: Finally I´m gonna make my dream come true by flying over to Siggraph next year babe! Hope we all can catch up there!