Pope Stephen is a humorous villain who ludicrously puts a dead pope’s corpse on trial; the most ludicrous thing about the story is that it really happened in 897 AD. I modeled and rigged Pope Stephen for Sandy Chiang’s thesis film, The Cadaver Synod.

Sandy asked for a super squashy-stretchy character, and made the solemn rule of no dynamics allowed. It was fun for me to rig Pope Stephen’s non-dynamic robe for Sandy at the same time as I rigged Alicia’s nCloth dress for Ashley. Both presented similar problems but required greatly different approaches.

Robe: A global rig follows the leg joints. A local rig is made of a NURBS surface, shaped like a skirt, and rigged like Aaron Holly’s Ribbon Spine. The global/local rig setup is described in Jason Osipa’s Stop Staring.
Stephen’s skirt follows his legs, but has lots of little tweak controllers, which adjust the skirt in a way that is quite stretchy and flexible, like a ribbon made of rubber.

Squoosh Controls: bend the face into new sculptural shapes, inspired by Jason Osipa’s Squoosh rig in Stop Staring.

Lattices: one control scales the eyebrows, eyelids, and eyeballs, and another leaves the eyeballs out, imitating AnimSchool’s Malcolm shamelessly. Also imitating Malcolm are eyelid reshaping blendshape controls.

Lips and Eyebrows: blendshapes imitating Malcolm’s shape set. Additionally, tweak controls, following Jason Osipa’s Stop Staring.

Eyelids: completely joint-based, following Kirian Richie’s The Art of Rigging. One large controller
moves together the skin-following, eyeball, and eyelid joints. Smaller controls adjust the lids and eyeball individually.

Legs: IK/FK switch, and bendy. Foot control has roll, toe-lift, side, and lean attributes. It also has an alternative pivot point at the toe. IK knees have an aim control.

Arms: IK/FK switch, stretchy, and bendy. IK elbow has an aim-control. Clavicle controls.

Hands: An IK handle controls the entire finger, and FK controllers bend each knuckle joint.

Spine: Aaron Holly’s Ribbon Spine

Head-and-Neck: Jason Schliefer’s Animation Friendly Rigging IK head setup. Space switching
between shoulder, neck, and world-space.

Hat: IK spline curve, with FK controllers.