Rigging a Robot!
For one of my major collaboration projects I was responsible for rigging, animating and test importing the Robot game character into the Unreal Game Engine. Once I had received the model from the artist, the rigging could commence.
Here is the IK (inverse kinematics) rig. As a rig this is more used to create the Robot’s animations as it requires ‘travelling’ along a different axis. As such it required a reverse foot setup to control the feet and create the ‘heel’ and ‘toe’ peel. This rig also requires an IK handle chain setup that connects the upper hips to the thighs, thigh to ankle and ankle to toe. This makes the Robot’s centre of gravity control move side to side, up and down, the feet to move in and out and up and down, creating a knee bend and for the feet to have a toe and heel peel. These are primarily the only difference between the two rigs.
I made two similar rigs versions of the Robot to complete all my animations on time. One to ‘move’ forward, backwards and step etc (IK) and one to be able to ‘fold’ (FK). This FK (forward kinematics) rig is the folding one. I needed to use this rig for my transformation and squat-move animations. For the Game, the Robot had to be able to fold in on itself to travel along a pipe on the game platform. The picture shows one of the legs being folded. Rig structure wise the only things that are different are the leg joints, with the FK rig having an extra foot bone added to control the wheel spin in the foot. I also took out the IK reverse foot setup as the joints would not be needed.