The Al Rig is a personnal project I finished in June 2014. As an animator I wanted to experiment with very cartoon animation and deformation but I could not find a rig that could meet my expectations. Inspired by recent CG cartoony films and the old hand drawn cartoons I decided to build a rig that could do the type of deformation I was looking for and let my self go crazy but yet alow for subtle acting.
The result is a robust and flexible rig that let the animator experiment with cartoon crazyness. And with all the scripts that comes with it, animating gets a bit less painful (just a little bit). It includes the classical IK/FK switching, parent switching, but also an unusual rotate order switching which alows the animator to change the rotate order of any controler of the rig at any given moment. For a more in-depth exploration of all the tools, take a look at the Rotate Order Swtich and Swap Character videos.
In addition, every controler on the rig (except secondary and facial) also have a second controler parented right behind them called gimbal controler wihch gives animators a solution in case of a gimbal lock on the first controler. It can also be used for other purpose such as introducing cheking without modifying curves on the original animation, making it much easier to adjust without risking to loose your original animation. Or any other purpose you can find.
As a result of such possible deformation, special attention was put to the controler's shapes to make sure they don't get easily lost into the character's geometry when sqhashing and stretching.
Character Design : Caroline HIRBEC
Model & Rig : Quentin RICARD