Numbers: Countdown to Apocalypse

Sep 24 2012 Published by under Character Rigging

I love bad monster movies, including the new ones that the SyFy Channel pumps out. A friend and I basically wrote a movie with the intent of having a bunch of stupid CGI monsters kill us.

The plot is that a group of scientists working for the army’s “Arithmetic Division” create a portal into a dimension where the concept of value originated. However, the excitement is cut short when monsters in the shape of numbers emerge from it and threaten the earth!

The whole thing is just a bunch of math puns and gratuitous violence. I can detail the plot more in another post, since I really think it’s pretty great. For now you’ll just have to settle for seeing the models I made of the monsters. They’re all rigged up and ready for action. It’s just getting actors to film the actual movie that’s holding the project back at this point.

One is a bird creature. Looks like it came out of Carnival or Mardi Gras or something. If I had the budget, I would definitely have it crash one of those festivals. All it can do is peck things. It has a really weird anus at the bottom of it. I felt bad leaving it without one.

Two is a sand worm. The mouth is rigged up so that it kind of bounces around, like it’s poorly attached. There’s also a big hole in the back of the jaw and the tongue nonsensically comes from the top. I don’t think I’d attempt to animate this guy eating anything, because I’m not sure it would be possible. He’s also pretty much anchored in that post. I don’t want him flattening out and losing the shape of his number.

Three is just a very slovenly monster. I picture him just strolling into a?restaurant?casually and eating all the food and people. He has two rigged tongues.

Four is probably the most difficult shape to make into a monster. I settled for this crab thing because he can unhook his hands to become either of the two ways people draw the number. This guy’s gimmick is that he holds a person in his left hand and then stabs through it with his right. Yup. He stabs through his own hand. What a dumb monster.

Five is a pivot monster. His hands and legs are actually identical. If he wants to change directions, he just tilts over and uses his ass as his new front side.

Six is too adorable to really hang with the others. It basically just floats with its exhaust vents and then tries to eat things with it’s little mouth. You can’t see it here, but it has two eyelids. A normal set and a clear, horizontally-closing set, like reptiles have.

Seven just kind of eats people whole. It can close its mouth, but it looks really stupid when it does.

Eight is made of a bunch of snakes and a little suction cup spider who holds them together. They kill people by twisting together around the target until they get decapitated. It’s a kind of complicated rig, since the snakes have individual rigs, as well as a rig for when they’re grouped together. It’s easier to show with a video.

Nine can’t close its “mouth.” As a result, I came up with the dumbest eating method ever devised. The bottom of the mouth has a row of sharp teeth. The top has three pads that extend and press on whatever is in the mouth, like a meat tenderizer in a factory. The monster simply places the victim in it’s mouth and pounds it down on the teeth until its crushed enough to swallow. At that point, the tongue grabs it and deposits it in the throat. Talk about complicated. ?I also made the gut a little bit clear. Maybe at some point in the movie we would want to show someone’s hand floating in there or something. Here’s a video of the rig, although it doesn’t show the eating process, you might get the idea.


If anyone wants to help me get this movie going, I’d love the help.

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Wheel Monster

Sep 24 2012 Published by under Character Rigging

I made this in a weekend. I just wanted to make a stupid and inefficient monster. The set is left over from a project I never finished.

I also tried to experiment with some object dynamics by making him hit the cart and having the soda cans fall off. Unfortunately I only had 1 gig of ram at the time so it was kind of a pain to calculate all those can dynamics.

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Dino Tankbots

Sep 24 2012 Published by under Character Rigging

The Dino Tankbot was kind of an inside joke that spiraled out of control. The story is that he’s a cybernetic baseball playing dinosaur from the future, where all baseball is played by robotic dinosaurs. Dino Tankbot is a model that has tank?treads?for legs, and he’s absolutely terrible. He’s ?stupid, can’t follow orders, and thinks about comfort foods instead of the game. The coach of the team (Coach Barris), is?constantly?frustrated by his terrible team of Tankbots. He spends most of his time in the dugout drinking and trying to forget that the team’s owners have insisted that he keep the Tankbots on the team.

Using Maya, I rigged up a 3D model of Tankbot when I was experimenting with what I can do. He has a ton of features and would probably be pretty fun to animate.


In addition, to make Coach Barris even more frustrated, the other baseball teams are built of Dinosaur Cyborgs who are actually good at baseball. These guys are rigged up with controls more specific to playing the game, such as extending gloves, robotic batting arms, and automatic catcher masks.


I’m not going to go into details about how I rigged them up, but if you know anything about rigging you can probably tell what kinds of methods I was using. I would probably do it a little differently if I made these now.

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