Today we’d like to introduce you to one of our newest characters: Blip! Blip is part of our exclusive “Crew” animation rigs which includes character rigs like Aia and Jules. Available only to Animation Mentor students and alumni, we can’t wait how they will bring this little guy to life. Don’t let his simplicity deceive you, with characters like BB-8 from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Wall-E, you can get a lot of personality and character development from this rig. Learn more about this little guy, including his personality quirks, our design process, and the rigging considerations that were part of his creation. Let’s take a closer look!
– The Animation Mentor Crew
Blip is a member of “The Crew”, a group of explorers traveling the universe in search of new life forms. Blip is an excitable and curious robot. He’s brave when he needs to be, but really prefers to have a friend around. He’s been traveling with Aia and Jules for years now and is a vital part of the team!
Designing a Character for Animation
It was important when designing the characters for the Crew to keep them clean, simple, and appealing. We strove for unique character designs while also not getting too specific. It’s key that all character designs work for a wide range of animation possibilities and situations.
Aia and Jules were the core members of the Crew with full facial animation capabilities. Blip is part of the supporting cast of characters, including Dozer, Hatch, and a yet unannounced character. We wanted to explore new body types with each of these additional characters to give students a wide range of animation opportunities.
In Blip’s case, his design allows students to try out mechanized transformations, quadruped movements, as well as flight opportunities. Plus he’s just so darn cute.
Rigging a Character for Animators
We knew that elements of Blip’s design could be challenging for students, so we kept the rig setup as simple as possible, while still robust. For example it could have been complicated to retract the legs into the body, so we built a simple attribute for each leg to do just that.
Another challenge with the design was that Blip was a hard surface character, but we didn’t want to limit students to only a realistic style of animation. To that end we built in squash and stretch attributes so students can really push the stylistic look when desired.
We look forward to seeing the animations our students and alumni create with this character. We can just see his personality waiting to be unleashed and invite our tribe to give him a try!
Want one of our free rigs?
Animation Mentor offers a dynamic free body mechanics rig, Stewart. Professionally made, this flexible and intuitive rig can help push your animation where it needs be! Perfect for improving you body mechanics 🙂