McLaren and Framestore marked the F1 giant's 50th anniversary in 2013 with the return of the award-winning Tooned. The eight-part celebratory special retells the history of McLaren's cars and the champions who drove them, along with tales of wild excess, intense competition, young prodigious talent and glorious victory. Drawing on the brand's rich heritage, the series will give McLaren's historic drivers, including Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Mika Häkkinen, the Tooned treatment.
Working as a Technical Director for Framestore I was lucky enough to work on and make large numbers of the rigs for the series Tooned, which aired on Sky Sports weekly. These 3-minute episodes aired during the Grand Prix and gained a massive following in the sports industry. This was my first large scale rigging job and indoctrination by fire, but I loved every minute of the high pace quick turn around that I have come to know as the norm.
These five main characters, Prof M, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez and the mechanic were rigged by the Framestore Lead Technical Director at the time, Amar Chundvadra and then Nick Hughes of Rigstore came in to do the rest.
Kimi and Sisu
Characters rigged by Nick Hughes with multiple character clothing switches. With the amount of characters that were being added into the Tooned script, it was becoming quickly apparent that we needed to re-use as many models as possible. Here 3 characters were made from one rig and the clothing options were set as switches to select the required character. The weighting was projected from character to character to get the best results and they all looked great!
tooned game Rigs
Based on the scripts that were made for Framestore in 2013, I have re-written the scripts that created game avatars from my rigs. Originally these scripts were written for Framestore to take our current animation rigs and create game avatars. These scripts built the game avatars, which were used in the Unity game engine, but sadly the game was never used by McLaren. The main characters had all their joint setups and blendshape targets included with the avatar. These avatars were amazing to be able to control and run around in real-time in augmented reality!
I can currently offer this service free of charge with any maya animation rig, these rigs can then be placed into any game engine by a games artist.
This facial rig was mostly blendshape driven. All joints and blendshape were passed with the avatar.
This is one of the twenty game rigs made for the Tooned series.
Here are the facial blendshapes that were passed with the game rig.