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I just watched Moana, and out of it’s short list of animation riggers, a name caught my eye: Kate Kirby-OConnell. One of the hardest jobs on an animation project is to take a 3D Character Model and Rig it, meaning give it a bone structure you can embed inside its flesh and use to animate every aspect of that character. Yes, that bone structure does exactly the same thing as the bones in a human body, giving it a structure for the action to take place on. Emotions and actions being obvious expressions of that process, props and costumes less so but still tied tightly to the rigging. Think about it; if the character moves, but the characters clothing or coffee cup doesn’t, just how believable would that be? Kate created a number of examples of her skill set while in school, as every animator does, and the first one amounts to her Demo Reel, showing off what she can do. I think the others show both that plus her inspiration or perhaps motivation. I loved Moana and the earlier Disney works Kate was involved with, it is nice to learn something about the creators of world-class animations like this.

Kate Kirby-O'Connell Rigging Reel – Summer 2013 from Kate Kirby-OConnell on Vimeo.

Project Faces from Kate Kirby-OConnell on Vimeo.

Jack of All Shapes from Kate Kirby-OConnell on Vimeo.

Building T.rex from Kate Kirby-OConnell on Vimeo.