I am Kasper Larsson the CEO of Manoanim. When I first joined the industry I would often times hear from my animator friends complaining when they had bought a badly designed old rig from some animation or asset forum, and now the character was looking dreadful in half its poses, or it would be crashing their scenes constantly. These rigs had no standards as they were on the edge of starting the market. I figured that with my years of experience as a Rigging TD at MPC Film, a Character Modeller/Rigging TD at MPC Commercials, Creature Developer at ILM and Generalist TD at The Third Floor I had gathered enough understanding for building, pipeline, character designs, models and rigs. I sat down and started to consider what My plan of attack could be.
The goals and dreams The overall outline of what the company was suppose to be doing got defined and were looking something like the following five points.
1. Supply solid, steady rigs for animators who wishes to take their career reel further
2. High quality, fast and intuitive were among the keywords for the rig it self
3. Appealing designs, not just a model but a real character you felt had a soul
4. Make characters that would fit styles such as Disney and Pixar without copying traits.
5. Have a customer service available when the rigs will break so animations do not get lost
I also went a head and figured out some key points on where I wanted Manoanim to stand out when compared to the others in the market. Some key aspects were sure from the beginning some got detailed later as I went along.
1. Free prop rigs on every newsletter to give the animators something extra.
2. The customer service should be outstanding if i was going to take money
3. Choice of full rig or just face. Done to make a teaser to show quality
4. The company would 100% focus on making creature rigs and nothing else.
Building he foundation. I started by writing certain parts of the pipeline, such as getting a couple of modules in place from the beginning. Arms, legs, spines for both bipeds and quadrupeds were scripted over a couple of week nights. I then started to design the first character which became the orc face. Marion Strunck helped me a lot in the design phase. A few discussions back and forth plus a fair bit of paint overs later I had a model ready to be rigged.
I had my great friend a Mette Tange together with Marion and Christoffer Andersen test animating and throwing me feedback on the first couple of versions, you can see their contributions on the character's product page in the shop. Their feedback was vital and made the rig turn out super solid with tons of possibilities. I asked these three people because they each represent a level in animation, one junior/ mid, one mid and Mette as senior all of them from different companies, ranging from Framestore, MacGuff and TeamTo. Once the animators had gotten what they needed I got ready to published the rig v1.0.
Future of Manoanim I always imagined myself owning a company. Since I was a little kid I like the salesman part of working and wanted to be my own boss. I am running Manoanim in my spare time which has given me the freedom to earn money and at the same time try to build a business. If anyone thinks you just build a rig and starts selling like crazy they are profoundly wrong. It demands a whole lot more work than first anticipated by almost everyone who are new starters. The following were things that came besides designing, modelling, rigging and the rest of the computer graphic pipeline I had no idea how to do when I first began and still studies.
1. Learning how to build a website
2. Getting a payment gateway and setting up a tax system
3. Write this and many more texts to give the site a feeling of care
4. Search engine optimisation 5. Promotion
Manoanim, created by Kasper Larsson
"The goal for a Creature Developer is to give the animators as unlimited freedom as time and quality will allow"