Today in class the teacher was still painfully covering extremely basic modeling techniques on making Bender. I am a bit ahead of the curve since I started in 3d around 6-7 years ago (I should probably waive though more classes). Anyway, I took the time in class to hastily rig my model and mess with animating him to my own enjoyment and experimentation. At first I did a short lip-sync talk shot just to see if my vocal blend shapes I tossed out quickly had any use. After the talking portion I wanted more, the greatest excuse for useless video content is the Harlem Shake so I knew my opportunity. I tossed a Wav of the song into Maya, made basic movement and looped as much as possible, shazam instant awful dance animation that I didn’t have to worry about polish or rig breaks.
The rig is very sloppy and simple yet I suppose if the animator is determined they can accomplish just about anything bender does using it. If I actually sat down and made a proper setup I would redo my legs and feet for sure, it is tricky since he doesn’t have normal joints like an organic creature. I used a joint for each gap between cylinders in the arms/legs and a simple IK handle for all 4 just sticky on for the feet IK handles.
The eyes have a simple target constraint and the mouth is a single set of 4 blend shapes found by clicking the mouth geometry. I was playing with adding more blend shapes to control expression in the eyes for various emotions and blinking.
download the rig here