Modeling + Rigging my OC, Niya

Twitter thread with a bunch of WIP shots

I decided to bring my OC Niya to life by modeling and rigging her! This was partly for fun and partly to identify pain-points in my personal 3D pipeline. I’ll dump my process and thought process here.

Niya is a sultry-and-sweet demon girl. Though she can leap between magical and hellish dimensions, she chooses to spend her time on Earth for hedonistic purposes. She is the partner of another (currently-unnamed) OC of mine, a private investigator, who begrudgingly keeps Niya around for assistance on working cold cases. I’ve been working on their story for maybe… 2 years now!

Progress shots of modeling the head. I ran into an issue where my meshes would become non-manifold and would not fix from a regular Clean Up procedure (instead, a clump of vertices would split from each other), so I made a script to merge all of the split vertices together.

Progress shots of modeling the body. Fun fact: the base for the figure originally started as fanart of Phos from Land of the Lustrous!

Finally, I finished the model with her demon wings and tail! I didn’t want to overcomplicate the model by trying to figure out how to show her tail through her clothes, so I just had it…. appear out of nowhere…

Spent a bit over a week working on her rig. It’s a pretty standard biped character rig, though I experimented a bit with her facial rig.

Some early testing of curve-based facial rigging.
I also tried out Blendshapes for blinking and various facial expressions.

Some features from the rig (different methods of deforming the face for expressions, flexible ribbon rig for the tail). I made a post about the rigging process here! (It’s on a separate site because I’ve been working on a technical art-only blog to use as a portfolio)

I had a lot of fun making this rig, even though Maya crashed on me a few times and made me super paranoid…

like… REALLY paranoid

I’m planning my next project right now, which will be much less model-intensive and more rig-intensive, thankfully! Right now, I have a dynamic cartoony tail rig, squash+stretch limbs, and a thing I’m tentatively calling a “remote facial control” rig. (there’s probably already a name for what I’m trying to make, I just haven’t found it yet?) I’ll try and document that process as well.

Thanks for looking!

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