TEXAS HOLD'EM EXCAVATOR
Smart heavy-duty machine auto-rigger in Maya.
Short film made in Unreal Engine 4
Texan Hold 'em Excavator is a collaborative effort that highlights both my digital content development abilities and project management skills.
The excavator model is rebuilt inside Maya, with texture created by Substance Designer. The auto rigger is written in Python as a tool built for Maya. The smoke effects are created and rendered in Houdini. UE4 was used to generate this video by exporting the final animations.
My contribution to the project includes model rebuild, UI design, controller and partial function coding, icon design, story plots, prototyping, Unreal scene building, lighting, camera sequences, video rendering & editing.
Project Manager | Developer | Designer
British Columbia Institute of Technology
HEAVY-DUTY MACHINE AUTO RIGGER
In film production, the process of rigging heavy-duty machines, such as cranes, vehicles, or large props, is essential for achieving realistic and dynamic visual effects. Traditional manual rigging methods can be time-consuming, labor-intensive, and prone to human error, leading to inefficiencies and potential safety risks. The aim of this tool is to develop an advanced auto-rigging solution that streamlines the process, improves efficiency, and ensures precise and reliable rigging for heavy-duty machines in film production.
Time-Consuming Process: The current manual rigging process for heavy-duty machines in film production often requires extensive manual adjustments, resulting in a significant investment of time and labor.
Human Error and Safety Risks: Manual rigging can be prone to human error, which may lead to safety hazards on set. Ensuring the accuracy and reliability of rigging is crucial to avoid accidents and potential damage to equipment or personnel.
Complexity and Customization: Heavy-duty machines used in film production vary greatly in size, shape, and functionality. Developing an auto rigging solution capable of accommodating this wide range of machines while maintaining flexibility and customization poses a considerable challenge.
Precision and Realism: Achieving realistic motion and dynamic effects in film production requires precise and accurate rigging. Ensuring the auto rigging system can replicate the intricacies of manual rigging techniques is essential for maintaining the desired level of realism in visual effects.
The objective is to design and develop an advanced heavy-duty machine auto-rigging solution that addresses the challenges faced in film production, enhancing efficiency, and precision. By automating the rigging process, this solution aims to optimize productivity and elevate the quality of visual effects in film production.
1. Root Controller with COG
2. Auxiliary Controllers for Slewer, Door, and Steering
3. Hook Control
3. Track Control
USER INTERFACE TEMPLATE
Before diving into the coding process, I first integrate the must-have features and come up with a user interface template using Adobe XD.
There are two modes for users to select: template and manual. The template tab allows the user to rig the model from scratch by following each step the tool indicates. The manual tab allows users to customize their process and rig only part of the model.
The HDMAR tool breaks the machine structure into four high-level categories: master, body, hook, and track. Each section is color coded to easily differentiate the controls. The tool uses icons to better indicate where the control will locate. Users can also change the name of their module as well as the color of the control. Video tutorial links are built into the tool.
FINAL USER INTERFACE
TEXAS HOLD'EM EXCAVATOR SHORT FILM
Texas Hold'em Excavator is a short film made in Unreal Engine 4 that aims to showcase the functionality of the Heavy Duty Machine Auto Rigger.
The plots are carefully designed to showcase all capable movements of the rigged excavator model. The excavators will move and turn the upper body to showcase the control of the "Master" and "Body". The excavator will hold the poker using the "Hook" and the "Track" will roll through chips.