Know the rigs you need
I cannot stress enough the importance of rigging. Get it right and you’ll be rewarded every single day of animating. Here is where I break the rules and ignore many traditional workflows. In fact, nowadays because of the many automated rigging tools you often see nightmare rigs with thousands of controls and attributes, fingers and arms filled with lines and curves you need ages to learn how to use before you’re even able to animate a simple finger movement.
I like the approach that rigs should work for me, not the other way around, therefore I automate as many processes as possible, for example a control that has the character to smile causes the mouth to bend upwards, eyelashes slightly open, eyebrows rise, cheeks rise, and the head squeeze. When the body moves, the scarf automatically follows, eliminating the need to animate it individually or to use nCloth simulations. When animating I want to click as few buttons as possible and get it done as fast as possible.
Most importantly, I never want to see attributes on the channel box. I want to animate characters “sculpting” them directly on the viewport. If a character stretches his tongue, it should be done on the viewport by grabbing and pulling it, not by wasting time finding it through a list of 20 attributes in the channel box.
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