If becoming a technical artist is something that you desire, then this may well be of interest to you. The team at Riot Games wants you to be sure you know who is doing what with League of Legends, and so they made an interesting post about the design process behind the game.
Today’s lesson is on being a Technical Artist, as in an artist on very refined things, such as prepping a model for animation. This is known as Rigging.
Rigging is widely regarded as one of the hardest parts of 3D animation work. As the rig is how you move the character around, and if it’s not perfectly tuned to the character model, you’ll get wacky animations, the character skin won’t stay in tact, or some other very horrifying thing. And for League of Legends, that’s a no-go.
Since there are so many characters in LOL, a lot of rigs have to be customized or added on to match the characters and what they should be doing when they’re doing an animation. For example, the video above is about champion Little Devil Temo, who had to have an extra rig made for his tail. Which the team at Riot Games note was no small feat to make, they eventually used what they called a “jiggle rig” to make the tail seem very natural, and give it a a believable animation.
They also gave Little Devil Teemo a brand new face, and that too had to be rigged to show off animations among other things. Since this one was vastly different from the standard face of Teemo, they had to code it and use certain modeling techniques so that it would only be “called upon” when the animation needed it. Again, no small feat.
So the next time you play League of Legends, and you see your champions attack, walk, laugh, or anything, just remember, there was someone at Riot Games who worked very hard to make that characters come to life.