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Info is the companion website for the book 'Digital Creature Rigging: The Art & Science of CG Creature Setup in 3ds Max'. Right here is where you can find the latest book information as well as access resources used in the book.


Digital Creature Rigging: The Art & Science of CG Creature Setup in 3ds Max is the production level guide to creating believable creatures with Autodesk 3ds Max.

Diving deeply into both the artistic and technical aspects of creature setup, you will be given an inside-look at the creation of production-ready rigging techniques for film, TV and video games, as well as ways to share assets between these mediums.

From concept to completion, we take our creature 'Belraus' through the entire production-pipeline. By examining this entire process we look at the strategies and techniques needed for creating all kinds of different creatures for any type of project.

Chapter List


Welcome to the world of digital creature rigging. Chapter 01 introduces you to the tips, tricks and tutorials that are ahead throughout the rest of the book’s chapters. We also cover some basic advice and guidance on various rigging methods as well as discussing the qualities of a good rig and a good rigger. Oh, and we also take a look at the best piece of advice, ever!


Here we cover the foundations of the art and science that is creature rigging, or indeed CG setup in general. We cover some principles for rigging and take a look over the tools and workflows that are needed for creature rigging in 3ds Max.


Research and development is often forgotten and overlooked when in a hectic production environment. During this section we dive into the theoretical side of rigging and are introduced to our creature, “Belraus”. Anatomy, geometry and layers are just a few of the topics covered in this section.


The “Base Rig” forms the foundations for the more complex rigs that are attached later. This stage of the creature rigging process relies heavily on joints and bones, basic skinning and the exporting and saving of our creatures to make them ready for the rest of the production.


This is where we meet the “Animation Rig” for the first time. We focus on creating the interactive setups for the creature, so that the animator has a simple and intuitive interface for which to create realistic animations.


The “Face Rig” for our creature covers the tricks, tips and techniques needed to allow our creature to show thoughts, feeling and expressions. Dr. Paul Eckman’s research into human facial expressions and his Facial Action Coding Systems (FACS) is called upon to help up out and apply the Action Units (AU) theory to our character and creature face rigs.


We cover flesh-surface deformations in Chapter 07. Expanding on our base skinning from the Base Rig, we extend the believability of the creature’s skin by using more advanced techniques.


Completion of the creature rig is covered in this chapter. We look at more advanced techniques such as dynamics, cloth, hair and fur. We also take a quick look into lighting and rendering to help enhance our general production pipeline knowledge.


With the creature rig complete we look into streamlining and automation of the rigging pipeline by utilizing MAXScript as a means to simplify and extend our workflows and toolsets.


The final chapter of the book takes a few moments to conclude what we have created during this book. We also take a quick look at some additional workflow enhancements and get some insight into the modelling and texturing of this creature.