Victor's toon rigging allows you to distort pretty much EVERYTHING.


Demo: Victor’s New Rig, by Juan Pablo

9 January, 2015 |  23 Comments | by Elysia Brenner

Project Gooseberry’s Argentinian rigger Juan Pablo Bouza, or JP for short, has created a new rig for Cosmos Laundromat owner Victor. AND he has created a 37-minute demo showing off how it’s made and what it can do. (Spoiler Alert: It can do a LOT!)


Playing with the Rig: Your Cheat Sheet

Watched the video above and looking for a quick reference to how JP did what he did? Here for your cheat sheet to getting this rig working and playing with it yourself. (You’ll find the .blend file on the Blender Cloud.)


Setting Up & General Controls
  • Activate the necessary add-ons (0:11)
  • Link to the different groups you have created for your character(0:27)
  • Get to know your BlenRig Controls panel (2:14)
  • You will likely want to switch between IK or FK mode as needed (4:01) — note that the IK controllers will change or disappear when you switch to FK mode, and the elements of the rig will move differently (5:30), but the IK-FK layer will give you access to both sets of controllers if necessary (9:07)
    [Watch this excellent 2-minute video by Blender user Murphy Randle to understand the difference between IK and FK modes.]
  • You can also invert the controls for the section of the body you are working with, which inverts the hierarchy of how the elements you are playing with move together — that is, what moves what (6:38)
  • Most of the body articulations includes realistic joints; check them out (and what that means in terms of movement) at 9:25
  • You can see the properties of each of the different body parts in the properties bones near the Master Controller (14:54)
The Torso, Head, & Neck
  • In the torso, or center of the body, you can set your pivot point and scale the arc of the curvature it creates (3:40)
  • Move the Master Torso Pivot Point to pivot Victor from a point other than his torso (17:16)
  • There are also secondary controllers for the torso in IK mode (4:56)
  • Turn off the Hinge property of the neck to move the head with the neck in FK mode; in IK, you need to move the head separately when the Hinge property is turned off (8:29); however, when you turn the Hinge property off for the hand in IK mode, the hand will follow the arm. (13:02)
Arms, Legs, Hands, & Feet
  • Use the Overall Hand Controller to move the entire hand at once (e.g., flexing or clenching all fingers), or the Hand Spread Controller to spread and contract all the fingers at once (10:18)
  • Activate the Fingers layer to control each joint of the fingers separately; this defaults to FK, but you can also set this to IK mode (11:04)
  • Feel free to scale any controllers to change the size and shape of body elements, and in the Body Extras layer you’ll find controllers for the upper and forearm (12:37)
  • Move the arm using the hand IK controller, and rotate the hand using the FK controller; the Palm-Bend IK controller will let you isolate wrist movements (13:16)
  • There is also a hinge for the arm, meaning you can move the torso while keeping the hand in place; the Hand IK Pivot Point controller will let you rotate the hand at the wrist; in FK, JP recommends disabling the hinge for the hand (13:49)
  • The Leg controls are similar to the arms; the foot can roll fully from flat to tippy toe, and there are additional Toe and overall Foot controllers (15:16)
  • There are also controls to rotate the thigh and the shoulder and pivot the foot from the sole of the shoe (16:50)
Victor's toon rigging allows you to distort  pretty much EVERYTHING.

Victor’s toon rigging allows you to distort pretty much EVERYTHING.

Toon Controls & Distortions
  • By moving, rotating, or scaling the Toon controllers, you can deform the limbs, joints, neck, face, and even the head (17:35)
  • You can also deform the head (including the ears) using the Head Stretch and related controllers in the Facial Layer; unlike the Toon controllers, which use a lattice mechanism, the Facial Layer controllers use a more controlled bone mechanism (27:55)
  • In the Toon tab you can also activate Stretchy IK to deform the torso and limbs that way (19:39)
  • Under the Muscle Systems tab there is a slider called Deformation Extras that, when turned on, dynamically smooths your movements, which is very helpful when making extreme expressions as it smooths out awkward creases and allows you to see how the expressions will look after rendering (31:45)
Face Controllers
  • The face has a comprehensive, bone-based rig for extra flexibility, with some corrective shape keys; controllers let you manipulate the eyebrows, eyelids, mouth, nose, and cheeks; plus the eyelids and lips have automatic collision detection (26:04) and the face in general moves organically (the nose with the mouth, etc., 31:34)
  • You can use the Look controller to move the eyes (and the eyelids with them) without moving anything else; when you move the head, the eyes will stay in the same position relative to it, or you can lock eye movement to another part of the body or an external object under the Miscellaneous tab (20:00)
  • Using the controllers for the eyes themselves, you can move the eyes together or independently, or even displace and scale the eyes using the yellow controller (21:35)
  • The mouth controls allow you to easily create vowel sounds for speaking as well as smiles and frowns, and can also be completely deformed, including the teeth (in the Toon tab) (29:45)
  • There are also controls inside the mouth that let you move and distort the teeth as a whole or individually as well as the tongue (36:22)
  • In profile, you can purse Victor’s lips or pull them back against his teeth to create more facial expressions (32:53)
  • You can also make Victor puff out his cheeks and move and rotate his mouth (and the mouth and lips will work, or talk, wherever you place them) (33:19)
  • There is a Breathing controller that inflates and deflates Victor’s chest; and you can also use lattice deformation to inflate his booty (23:47)
  • Under Facial Extras you can control the lips, nose, and face in even more detail and override lip and eyelid collision detection (34:01)
  • The Facial Extras II layer shows you each point of articulation in the face in an overlay, allowing you to move the rig vertex by vertex for the most extreme level of control (35:49)
Additional Controllers
  • The jacket is also rigged, from the sleeves (14:40) to the collar, base, and lapels (24:13)
  • In the Extras layer you’ll find another pivot point (default position: shoulders), Floor controllers (handy when Victor is walking over irregular terrain), and an Accessory controller for when Victor is holding something or interacting with an external object (22:11)
  • Finally, there are also controllers for Victor’s hair (using a lattice modifier) (37:11)

Note: This is an initial rig and is not yet final! Next step: animator Hjalti will provide his feedback and JP will update the rig accordingly. So, there will be changes before the rig is final!

23 Responses

  1. What a fantastic piece of machinery JP!, you should definitelly create the next Cookie Flex Rig or similar!, amazingly well done, and also i love that the character is so appealing!!

  2. theois says:

    Awesome rig and I can’t wait to play with it but I can’t find the BlendRig UI Addon. Any chance you could post the link?

  3. BernAr says:


  4. Braeden says:

    That rig looks super detailed, while being really flexible. Great stuff, I am getting more and more excited about this pilot!

  5. ameen says:

    I will not believe this one :O

  6. Juan Romero says:

    Incredible rig!! I hope some day rigging will become simpler for peole like me, who prefer not to spend many hours making one.
    By the way, Am I the only one ho thinks this character is horrible?

  7. Warren says:

    I can’t wait until this is completed as an auto-rigging addon.Rigify is great but its not terribly flexible.Also it would be awesome to have a quadruped rig included.

  8. Dustin says:

    I can’t find the Rigging: Blenrig 5 GUI please upload the add on i have subscribed to cloud

  9. rio says:

    How can I get this add-on? Comes with the protect?

  10. Dustin says:

    i have a question it may be a dumb one idk but what is the pupose for the Rigging; Blenrig 5 GUI?

  11. Søren Madsen says:

    Very impressive rig!
    I started out thinking “another biped rig… what can possibly be new here?”
    and ended with my mind blown :-)

    I too want to know where i can find the blenrig GUI add-on?
    The blenrig is easy to find but not the blenrig GUI add-on.

  12. Dustin says:

    Ok I have watched the video again and now know the purpose of the addon. Please let me know when the Rigging:Blenrig 5 add on is available for download. I’m a cloud members.

  13. Michael says:

    Hi superb rig,
    I was just wondering is it possible to do most of the things rigged on this character to a Blender 2.44 character as well or is the old program simply not sophisticated enough?

  14. Juan Pablo Bouza says:

    Hi guys! Thanks for the comments and sorry for the late reply!
    The addon for the GUI should now be in the /pro/utils directory on Gooseberry’s Cloud repo.

  15. Dustin says:

    hi i was wondering when the final rig will be available.

    • Everything is always immediately available on Blender Cloud – all supporters (who donated & subscribed) have access to that.

      We’ll publish rigs and files here too when things are more final. I hope you understand our supporters make our work possible… consider to join!

      • Gavin Ball says:

        This is rig is so inspiring I’m going to sign up today.

        By the way, I’d love to do some design work on future Blender projects if you’re up for that. I’ve been a Blender user since I saw Big Buck Bunny in 2008. Not sure what the standard protocol for applying is, but I’d like to throw my hat in the ring so to speak.


  16. JP, you have out-done yourself! This rig is amazing. Really great work.

    I’m especially impressed by your work on the foot rig and facial rig.

    • Juan Pablo Bouza says:

      Hey Nathan buddy! Long time no see!

      Thanks! I’m glad you like it!

  17. For few past years I thought that Only Nathan is a Master of Rigs. Now I understood that there are two Masters! :) Gosh, how did you manage to find out HOW to make such an awesome crazy unbelivelable pretty outstanding things!?!

  18. Kevin says:

    That rig is amazing. The bone setup for the face is just unbelievable. Very nice to be able to switch and mix the various styles of animation (toon and “real”). This will be very fun to play with. And I think this character design is great and can’t wait to see what the animators come up with. They certainly have to tools to make this a very expressive character.

  19. Luciano says:

    hey JP, is blenrig 5 available anywhere?, id love to use its autorigging capabilities for a project im working!

Comments are closed.