“Ex Machina: Rigging Beneath The Surface” by Ardington

  • ©Mark Ardington



Entry Number: 41


    Ex Machina: Rigging Beneath The Surface



    One of the biggest visual effects challenges of independent sci-fi thriller Ex Machina was the development of a fast and flexible rigging solution for central android character Ava. It needed to be able to withstand a large degree of on-set costume-fitting variance, and facilitate the precise tracking and CG replacement of multiple body-sections, under the full scrutiny of being able to see right ‘under the skin’ to her internal structure and mechanisms. Our approach combines multiple levels of base-humanoid and custom rig modules with a series of multi-layered skin-clusters, utilising a mixture of joint and geometry-based skin-influences. The result is a very organised and adaptable rigging solution that gives tracking artists both a broad and fine level of control over each body-section, with minimal sacrifice of speed. This work builds on our knowledge and experiences from tracking the ‘Synth’ police robots on the recent remake of Total Recall (2012).


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