Knuckles : Paramount+

We’re excited to finally be able to show everybody what we’ve been working on for the last year. Knuckles is a 6 part series that follows Knuckles (Idris Elba) on a hilarious journey of self-discovery, now available to stream on Paramount+

Knuckles : Character Rigging

Red9 were delighted to be brought onto the project early in pre-production to take on all of the rigging requirements, both body and facial. Knuckle’s and his friends, Sonic and Tails, are particularly expressive characters and as you can imagine it’s taken some intense development and discovery to be able to push the characters to the extremes required, but hopefully the results speak for themselves.

(image courtesy of Paramount)

The benefit of bringing Red9 to the production is simple, we provided a set of master character rigs that Paramount were then able to distribute to all VFX vendors involved in the project. Usually each vendor would take care of their own rigging requirements so we’re not only removing the duplication of work, but also maintaining the characters identity and abilities across all shots.

Our Red9 ProPack pipeline toolset was also a big part of the project, not only did the VFX vendors all use our animation rigs in Maya, but they also benefited from consistent pipeline tools to maintain and expand the rigs abilities.

Autodesk Maya has been pushed incredibly hard on this show and all without the need for custom proprietary plugins. What the animators saw whilst animating is the actual on screen mesh. The final high res hero rigs we had running in Maya in real-time thanks to a complex layered stack of deformers.

It’s been an absolute blast and we have to extend huge thanks to Paramount and particularly Ged Wright and the in-house VFX team for their confidence in taking us along for the journey, it’s been an absolute blast!

Red9 ProPack : Update April24

This year has been a particularly busy one with production of a major TV series for Paramount+ completed, due for release on the 27th April, and many new games clients coming to us for services, as well as supporting old friends. Out of this has come some serious development for our ProPack toolsets and we’re delighted to finally showcase just some of these updates. The latest build just went live on the servers so go grab yourself a copy.

New Trails tool

This first new tool is Motion Trails, designed initially to add speed trails behind characters for the series but expnded to be a much more generic anim trails tool for Maya.

Exposure of IKFK Seup

Our IKFK setup also just got exposed so you can all benefit from rock solid ikfk matching within your own rigs.

Wrapping of SoftMods

SoftMods is another VFX based tool which wraps Maya’s own internal softMod deformer in a way that makes sense, and exposes it to less experienced riggers and animators

Anim Layer merge support

Next is a simple wrap over our own animation format, using it’s sampling code to speed up the merging of animation layers by 5 fold

Treadmill updated for Root manipulation

Treadmil gets an update to allow it to be used to manipulate a rigs root controller in any world space whilst maintaining current animation.

On top of the above we’ve also expanded support within our exporter for a “selective” style of FBX output, initially tailored for SyncSketch integration. Our Animation Redirector has also had some updates and now properly tracks your initial reference node 1-1, no more moving the motion path root into place frame by frame, it’s all done for you. The Browser also gets updates with a much improved Maya reference replacement system to allow you to re-point references in files on mass.

Finally there’s a huge new tool which is still in beta, our Ripple animation tool designed to easily produce simple dynamics within chains of controls. Demos for this to follow after we’ve completed our testing and feedback process.

We’re approaching 10 years of business and things have never been so exciting, or busy so a huge thanks to all of our clients!

Dead Island 2: Latest Project

Congratulations to all our friends at Dambuster Studios for some epic work on Dead Island 2. I’m sure you are all aware that the official trailer’s were revealed at Gamescom this week and look fabulous.

Red9 were brought in on a consultancy basis a few years back to help setup the facial rig systems for the lead characters so it’s lovely to see the work finally in the public domain. Looking forward to getting our hands on a copy next year.