I downloaded a free tiger rig from CGSpectrum made by Morgan Loomis. I found it very easy and fun to work with! My one criticism is that it’s missing the front wrists so I had to improvise by rotating the paws in more and compensate by flexing the toes a bit more.
Research and Notes
My main point of reference for getting the key poses in was from The Animator’s Survival Kit. After that I studied a few videos of tigers.
This is James Kasapi‘s Lion walk cycle. Although it’s not real footage nor a tutorial, it’s a fantastic piece of work and he shows it from all angles and it helped me understand certain movements I couldn’t really grasp from watching videos:
For the head movement I used the first few seconds of this vid:
I studied the ear movements from this (0:35):
A few eye blinks in this one:
The hardest part was definitely the foot roll and it didn’t help that the ankle joints were absent. I had the most fun with the head and face! Here is my first draft:
The front legs still aren’t right because when they are at their furthest point back they don’t extend enough. I couldn’t get the right balance between the front leg stretching and the back leg extending without the feet going into each other.
I asked an experienced animator Marion Strunck for some critique and she gave me some great feedback which I took on board and instantly saw an improvement!
Here’s my final animation:
It’s not perfect but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!