Rig: Book Rig

Wow, rigging a book turned out to be waaay harder than what I initially tought, by far the most challenging rig I’ve done to date. The most logical approach to rigging a book would probably be some sort of procedural setup where you have one box on each side, each box textured to represent a bulk of pages, thus being able to control all of the pages on each side just by deforming these two boxes. I thought it would be cooler to have control over every single page though 😛

Rig Demo:

What made this rig challenging is that each page has to deform differently, the first page will for example have a sharp bend if turned in one direction, but in the other direction it has to gradually increase the bend-area to compensate for the width of the other pages. Even though you get the basic page turning to work, you will still have to deal with the fact that each page is different when applying any other deformation to the pages. I’m calculating the factor of each page based on where it is in the stack, this data is used as a factor for all of the deformation on each page to “normalize” them.

Another challenge is that when you have so many pages, you have figure out a way to make it animation friendly. You have to be able to control a lot of pages at the same time, but you can’t define macros for a specific set of pages as the animator may want to have pagebreaks within a specified set of pages. It’s hard to figure out a way to let the animator control all of the pages at the same time, while still having the possibility to have pagebreaks anywhere (without running into a world of cycle errors). I’m using different techniques similar to the ones in the procedural ribbon to get this to work.

As usual, everything’s done with native Maya nodes.

Note: I was searching a lot for different book rigs before starting this project, without much luck. But a user named ignasi in the comment section mentioned a tutorial by David Moore which could be worth checking out. It’s a totally different setup, but it’s really cool 🙂

24,114 total views, 4 views today


  1. Andika says:

    hi can you show another tutorial link, because the link for david moore doesn’t exist

  2. Vivek says:

    Sir please send a book script

  3. ByMak says:

    Fantastic…! Can you share the Maya file? or where can we buy? thank you.

  4. Ignasi says:

    Hey Jorn,
    Great stuff man. Any chances of sharing the rig or a walk-through at least?
    We are starting a short film involving an “alive book’ and im not convinced with the solutions I’ve found so far…

    • Jorn says:

      Hey, thank you 🙂 I gotta have something unique in my portfolio in this field, so I don’t plan on giving it away at the moment. Also, a walkthrough would seriously be a total nightmare as it’s extremely complex, and doing it without scripts would take hours. Sorry man. Anyway, there’s a lot of cheating you can do with books, what specifically does the book need to do? The reason mine is so complex is that every single page is rigged, and that isn’t something you typically need for a book rig in most cases.

      • ignasi says:

        Yeah there are cheats we can do, like the stuff David More does in his book rig/tutorial,
        but I’m not convinced about having the paper stack in one single object, deformed by lattices…
        The page flipping is not realistic enough for our needs.
        I really love your approach of having individual pages rigged, it gives a nice realistic feeling to it.
        I will try to apply your ribbon technique and see if I can come up with a good enough single page rig. Scripting the rest should not be a big issue, I guess…
        Thanks anyway!

        • Jorn says:

          David More’s approach is really cool, but sure, it depends your requirements. Another thing that might work is to have chunks of paper that is rigged individually. The ribbon technique isn’t actually used on the pages, it is used as a way of controlling the pages, similar to the way the volume preservation is done in the procedural ribbon 🙂 Good luck man!

          • Cory says:

            David Moore? What tutorial are you speaking of of his? Does he have a website? This process eludes me. Everyone makes a book rig but never shows how it’s done at all. Can you talk more about what you did to the pages to get them to deform together and line up properly?

            • Jorn says:

              Sorry about that, sorry for not replying until now, aaand sorry for not having a tutorial for you. I’ve updated the post with a link to his tutorial though 🙂

  5. Arnold says:

    Really nice work .. How much for the book?

  6. Chris says:

    Really impressive! You just raised the bar for book rigs, that’s for sure!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seo reseller