BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS
Marty Hon discusses her journey and the benefits of expanding your skillset
Can you tell us about your journey to becoming a rigger?
I always knew that I wanted to work on movies. I started out as a CG generalist at a commercial studio. While working on all aspects of CG, I began to focus on rigging, and I took on a project to build a small asset management tool using Python and Pyqt for the studio. After I left work, I was always working on side projects and watching tutorials to advance my rigging skills. My first job on a movie was running facial transfer for Colossus in Deadpool for Digital Domain, and I have been working here happily for nearly five years now.
What advice would you give to those looking to have a career as a rigger?
Understanding the whole process of VFX, and how other departments function, is vital when you have to troubleshoot. Learning a scripting language is a must, and Python has become the universal language for most studios nowadays. But being a rigger means you need to be both technical and artistic, so don’t forget to brush up on the artistic side. A good understanding of anatomy, body deformation and mechanics are just as important as knowing how to script.
What qualities, skills and abilities are essential to being a rigger?
Communicating well, and being able to interpret the needs of animators is key. Technology changes all the time, and software is constantly being updated. Each project has different needs, workflow and preferences, so it is vital to adapt and learn quickly.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
As a rigger, I am not only using the technical side of my brain to script, but also my creative skill as an artist. This is the best of both worlds for me. It’s constantly solving one puzzle after another, and challenging my brain. Every time I find a solution, it’s a very satisfying win.