ccRig: A Rig for Softimage Back from the Dead

Having the limbs producing nice curvatures at any stretch value while being configurable and robust? Those were my goals for a rig prototype that I wanted to get done. It was back in 2006. It had a good run and it’s now live again. Sort of.

The Apogee

One of my very first gig as a character TD was a pitch for The Stupid Invaders, a cartoony movie. The characters had thin arms that could be highly stretchable and bendable. The rigs were working mostly great and my job back then was to fix any eventual issue happening on a per shot basis.

That’s when I thought that I should challenge myself with a prototype of my own. It had to be able to stretch limbs without any limit and still always produce nice curvatures that are easy to control. And of course, it had to be robust—no more popping. Ever.

A couple of years later, in 2008, I’ve been showcasing this rig in my first rigging showreel. We could already see stretching and bending of limbs in every showreel, but I knew there was something different to this approach.

I decided to share my researches for educational purposes and released the rig for free at the same time than my showreel.

I didn’t except such a response from the community. Overwhelmed would be an understatement. Coming out from the unknown and having my work showcased on the front pages of various community websites was just unthinkable.

It helped me to gain a bit in confidence but that’s also when I understood that “success” had a price. I had to pay for the 930 GB of extra bandwith that I’ve been using for the previous 2 weeks. That was an excess of 4750% of the quota that my web host was providing.

Back on Track

In November last year, with the release of my brand new website, I thought that it was about time to flush out all the old resources and start over from scrach. Who could be using this rig anyways? I mean... that rig was created with Softimage|XSI 6.5, you know!

Turns out I was wrong. The traffic logs were consistently showing requests to the old ccRig resource page that now leads to a 404 error. Maybe some naive animators thinking they’ll find the rig of their life in there. They too couldn’t be more wrong. But that’s not my problem—you want it, you got it. You can now download it and do your things.

I’ll repeat it though. This rig was only built for educational purposes. Not that I will prevent you from doing any showreel, commercial work or whatsoever with it—no, the truth is that it is simply not suited for proper animation work.

From an animation point of view, its spine is terrible to the point of being broken and it lacks any facial rig. Now, if you’re of the stubborn/masochist type, or if you simply like challenges, I’d still love to see what you can manage to do with it.

From a more technical aspect, the rig itself is highly outdated in the way it is being layed out and won’t serve as a good reference.

I still believe that there’s some value to the logic behind the stretchy/curvy system of the limbs though, which is why I put it back online—for the rigging beginners out there to selectively learn some bits from that logic. And only that. Nothing else for your own sake. Don’t come complain to me afterwards if you get fired because you’re rigging like in the 60’s.


ccRig v0.11

Note that the rig is provided as it was back then. I don’t even know if it opens in the latest versions of Softimage. Thanks to Eric Thivierge, the rig apparently survived to the Autodesk era and made it through to the final version of Softimage! I can be proud of my weed.