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Game Asset: Robot Rig Demo

- A Deep Dive into Drivers and Scripting for Animation Rigging


To the left you'll see the final Eevee render and to the right you'll see my custom rig showcase. 

The initial goal of this project was to model, rig, and animate a character asset for a video game project, which I accomplished, but I wanted to see how much I could automate with this rig, utilizing blender's particles, and custom scripted drivers.  The particle effects and facial expressions will have to be redone in the game engine but I just wanted to play around with drivers in blender and see what I could control with the rig. 







Naturally, I began with a basic blockout of the model I wanted to make.  I proceeded to add detail while keeping in mind the polycount since this was to be used as a game asset, and then proceeded to texture paint it and refine the procedural materials. I usually go back and forth between adding detail and creating some basic procedural materials to get a better feel for what the end product might look like. One often informs the other. 

The Design Inspiration

The game that this robot will be featured in centers around the mechanic of hiring modular robots that the player can add, and swap out, various attachments to, in order to achieve specific tasks in the game. Thus the rifle-like rails on the top and bottom of the model, as attachment points.

The game is going for a more 80s retro-sci-fi aesthetic, but one that appeals to all ages, hence the expressive CRT face felt perfect. 

What's left to do with the model? - I'd like to optimize it more for a game environment. Currently the polycount isn't too high but I'd like to create some normal maps to simulate some of the geometry that's currently hard-modeled into the mesh. I didn't do that initially for sake of time and prototyping. I will also definitely spend some more time refining the textures and materials.  This robot is still very much in a "first-pass" stage and will likely see some changes and improvements over the course of the game's development. In addition to all that I still want to add more detail in the thruster mechanisms and the flaps surrounding them. Right now the left and right flaps ('wings') are really just floating which is fine for a video game but if I ever have some extra time I'd like to go back in and add that detail. 

The Rig

[breakdown coming soon]

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