Animator Uses Particles for Overlapping Action in Characters

Award winning animator, Richard Lico demonstrates an interesting concept in animation production — Creating overlapping actions on a character, using a dynamics simulation.

Richard shows off the concept in action, showing how it can make an animator’s life easier between core poses and converting those poses into splines or tweens.

The idea is to use a dynamic particle simulation to get the motion based off a component in the character’s rig. You can then track that particle’s motion and bake it back into the character’s motion.

This will offer an easy way to get secondary motion and overlapping action in any part of the character, as you are animating. Richard has created a Maya Shelf button for the script that he uses in productions at Polyarc. Essentially a single click will run through and create magic.

The proprietary script Richard created is loosely based on a workflow described by my colleague Jacob Hinds, who in turn sparked the idea from this video.