Choosing a Character Model

I’ve chosen the ‘Mery’ character model to rig for this module.

When searching for models a lot were available but many were unsuitable for rigging because they were either too high poly or required signing up through a website. In addition it needed to be compatible with Maya 2011. There aren’t loads of character models free to use but there a good number or already rigged characters available. When I included those possibilities (I’d just remove the rig and use the model) then I had a bit more to choose from.

These are a couple of character models I considered before choosing the Mery model. I also considered re-rigging the MikeAndTina or Sam rigs that I’ve mentioned earlier.

I chose the Mery model for a number of reasons. I decided I wanted to rig a character to be used in animation. This is mainly down to my preference as someone who likes to use rigs specifically for animated scenes. The original Mery rig was also designed for animation so therefore the character model is suitably high poly to work for animation. The character model is also appropriately modelled to be rigged in the first place with edge loops being where they need to be such as in elbows, knees and anything else that is designed to bend or rotate.

The model itself is well built and looks great as a character to animate with. My fondness for the original rig and its design influenced this decision.

The face is sufficiently detailed and contains all the necessary edge loops to be able to have facial controls, again this was a given due to the model’s official pre-existing rig.

The model is split up into several meshes, one for the skin, and individual meshes for the hair. Clothes are also separate and even individual parts of the shoe for example are separated. This is one problem I do foresee being a potential problem in the skinning process later on where vertices are assigned to which part of the body is moving. The shoes’ mesh is quite complex.

As the original Mery rig was designed for Maya 2013 and up, the mesh had to be extracted from the file and saved out. As the original rig is very advanced the mesh was tightly locked up and uneditable at first glance. I’d like to thank Lynn Parker (tutor) for helping save the mesh out as an OBJ and FBX file for me to use.

Note that the Mery rig was created by José Manuel García Alvarez and Antonio Méndez Lora (meryproject.com) and that the use and deconstruction of this rig are for educational purposes.

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