How to make a flexible ribbon rig

Ribbon rigs are fairly common in 3d art production rigs these days. They have a similar behaviour to using a spline IK setup, but can be easier to set up and have additional layering benefits. In the following tutorial, I will demonstrate how to set up a simple ribbon rig to simulate jiggle and bend, and then we’ll take it a little further with some advanced techniques.

We’ll be looking at setting up a basic node setup and how to use layers of controls to get the desired results – being able to maintain close control over your rig is important. Then we’ll develop the ribbon rig technique and look at advanced options and bonus options to take the jiggle simulation a step further. Everything that you’ll learn here will be the groundwork for your own projects, and from here you can keep experimenting with the techniques.

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Josh Carey is the head of rigging at Reel FX Studios and co-founder of the online rigging school, His recent work includes rigging for Looney Tunes 3D Shorts.