When a 3D modeler finishes building a character, it’s a static 3D mesh, almost like a marble sculpture. Before a 3D character model can be handed over to the team of animators, it must be bound to a system of joints and control handles so that the animators can pose the model.
This process is typically completed by artists known as character technical directors (TDs), or riggers. Character TDs work closely with animators to make sure any specific technical issues are accounted for, but their primary duty is to take a static 3D mesh and make it ready for animation.
This process called rigging, and SuperMegaPixel employs some of the best TDs in the business!
A character rig can range from simple and elegant to staggeringly complex. A basic setup for simple posing can be built in a few hours, while a fully articulated rig for a feature film might require days or weeks before the character is ready for Pixar-level animation.