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A Practical Approach to Developing Forward-Facing Rigs, Tools and Pipelines


Michael Malinowski (Senior Technical Animator, Creative Assembly)

Location: Room 2006, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 21

Time: 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference - Get your pass now!

Topic: Visual Arts, Programming

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Intermediate

As the scale of productions escalate, it becomes increasingly risky to make foundation level changes to tools or assets mid-production, often leading designers to wait years before making drastic but beneficial alterations. In this session, Creative Assembly will present their approach to building and utilizing a version-centric plugin architecture throughout a variety of their animation, rigging and pipeline tools, allowing for a more experimental and forward facing development approach. This is demonstrated through overviews and technical demonstrations of a scalable asset system, a rigging-on-demand framework as well as a mechanism to completely abstract tool code from the rigs, or rig metadata, they operate on. All of which come together to produce a pipeline which actively promotes experimentation and progression.


You will learn how to identify areas which are most prone to code complexity over time as well as techniques which can be used to mitigate those complexities occurring. You'll see practical examples of the benefits these approaches give, and how they can be implemented mid-production.

Intended Audience

This is aimed at Technical Artists/Animators and Content Creators with a technical enthusiasm. There will be a strong focus on code architecture, thus a good understanding of python is recommended. However, the talk is heavily supported with practical and visual usage examples for those with little or no coding knowledge.