GDC is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of GDC sessions by time, pass type, topic, and format. With GDC Session Scheduler, you can build your schedule in advance and access it during the show via export or with the GDC Mobile App, once live.

If you've registered for GDC, you can use the same login credentials for your Session Scheduler account. Adding a session to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat. Sessions do fill up, so please arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend.

Technical Artist Summit: Freeform Animation Rigging: Evolving the Animation Pipeline

Dave Hunt (Lead Technical Artist, Unity Technologies)

Location: Room 210, South Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 17

Time: 5:30pm - 6:30pm

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

Topic: Visual Arts

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: Intermediate

Control rigs provide Animators efficient ways of authoring motion for animated skeletons. However, when the control rigs are animated in-game productions it becomes difficult to make changes to their structure and functionality while preserving animation.

There is a new approach gaining popularity in the animation industry that circumvents these limitations called Freeform Animation. We will describe the theory behind how this works in general terms that could be applied to any platform for animation authoring using your own custom tools development.

We will share how Unity has implemented Freeform Animation in the Animation Rigging package. These tools enable Animators to non-destructively preserve motion content while completely changing the structure of the control rig without the help of a rigging specialist. This helps to reduce counter-animation and alleviate the bottleneck of conventional control rigs. Animators are empowered to have a much faster iteration loop and greater degrees of control and customization.


Attendees will understand how to implement modular control rig systems that enable Animators to modify rig structure on the fly while preserving animation content. Attendees will also be introduced to how this system works in the Animation Rigging package for Unity.

Intended Audience

This session is intended for Technical Artists and Animators who work with rigging and tools development in game productions. It will help to have production experience with concepts related to real-time animation, control rigs, runtime rigging and animation authoring.