3D World

BROADEN YOUR HORI­ZONS

Marty Hon dis­cusses her jour­ney and the ben­e­fits of ex­pand­ing your skillset

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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.

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