Human Hand Study

December 2008
Technical study and development project
London, United Kingdom

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In a production environment, it is important to have a rigging pipeline that provides high quality output, and enables easy corrections and finalling. On projects involving multiple characters, it is also important to provide easy portability between characters. Designing a system with these requirements in mind can be a huge benefit in productions, where time is always valuable resource.

This is an overview of such a system, demonstrated on realistic human hand. The system consists of several components, and I named it The Tracker System.


Tracker System is a pose based deformation system. It consists of deformation joints parented to animation joints, set of pose readers which read rotations of animation joints, and trackers which define behavior of deformation joints based on poses.

Deformation joints are assigned to low resolution cage geometry, which is a simplified version of final model. It is designed to have one deformation joint for each vertex, for easier weighting process and to make deformation of final model smoother. This way weighting process is very short and routine. Also, it is important to place low res cage vertices strategically, since deformation of final model depends on their positions.


High resolution version of the reel can be downloaded here:

768x576 DivX (72.6 MB)

768x576 QuickTime (64 MB)

Link towards reel’s thread on CGSociety: