Blend 2017 Tips and Tricks

Using RubberHose as a Skeleton Rig

Hello, my name is Kyle. I’m a designer and animator from Phoenix, AZ.

Sander invited me to share something that changed my workflow forever so I’m going to talk about this guy. More specifically, I want to talk about RubberHose. RubberHose is awesome and I’d like to share a specific use that I’ve found extremely valuable.

I call it a Skeleton Rig.

A Skeleton Rig is a simple RubberHose system that I use as reference for pre-existing artwork. Instead of using tools like DuIK, PuppetTools, or puppet pins themselves to animate the artwork, I parent my artwork to the Skeleton Rig.

Skeleton Rigs allow for artwork to have realistic movement, constraints, and proportions. The artwork doesn’t even need to be complete. For example, using a Skeleton Rig I can provide a shoulder for an arm to pivot from or legs for feet to move on.

Usually I’ll move my Skeleton Rig above the artwork and set the entire rig as Guide Layers.

A great new feature in RubberHose 2 is something called Bend Bias . It’s an “experimental” feature that you’ll need to activate in the settings but it is very useful in Skeleton Rigs. Bend Bias will move the bend location of a RubberHose system off-center. Something like an elbow or knee. This feature is perfect for rigs that require foreshortening.

I’ve used Skeleton Rigs in many projects and now I hope you will to. If you haven any questions, please find me here at Blend or on Twitter! If you’d like to check out other scripts just as valuable as RubberHose, please check out my project AE Workspaces on both Twitter and Tumblr.

Thank you.