RWBY, Image Courtesy of Rooster Teeth

Look behind the scenes of RWBY

A Rooster Teeth Instagram Takeover

Last modification: 6 Nov, 2018
4 mins

Rooster Teeth takes over our Instagram! Find out how they use Autodesk Maya in every step of their pipeline for RWBY!



"When animation is completed, our pipeline diverges. Backgrounds are lit and rendered in Maya, and the characters are split off and brought into 3ds Max. We utilize Alembic caching to bring the data across quickly and consistently. Once in 3ds Max, characters are lit and rendered using a plugin called Pencil+ 3 which helps drive the toon shading and character outlines, both of which play a huge part in the aesthetic of the show.” - Post Visual Supervisor, Robert Reynolds 


“We use Motion Capture in most of our shows. We capture it right here in our studio using
software and hardware from OptiTrack. From there, our Layout department sets up every shot on our shows with the correct mocap through the HumanIK tools. They then set up the cameras for the animators. The Animators take the rough mocap data and use Maya’s
comprehensive arsenal of Animation tools to help them turn the mocap into quality finished Animation. By using all these tools we can achieve the look we want for our shows in a very efficient way, while still keeping a high level of quality that we aim for in all of our shows.” -Lead Animator, Dustin Matthews



Maya's rigging tools and cmds engine has allowed the rigging team to build deformable and non-deformable auto-rigging solutions. These tools keep us from having to reinvent the wheel with each rig, but also give us the flexibility to make future upgrades in a scaleable way. The ability to import, export, and project skinweighting information has made our lives much easier. These weighting tools keep us from spending time on repetitive tasks such as manually painting weights on the fingers and face.” - Lead Rigging Artist, Brian Eby

Visual Effects

"To create the flaming tree arm of our forest Grimm, nParticles were emitted from the surface of the log in order to provide a fiery behavioral motion for the flames. The particles stayed close to the log when sedentary but would spread out when the trunk of the tree arm moved, creating realistic inherited movement from the base animation. Fluids were emitted from the particles to create the flame effect. The flame itself had a relatively short lifespan and would follow the general behavior of the particles, creating a random, chaotic look." - Visual Effects Artist, Jeff Yohn

RWBY Vol. 4 WIP in Autodesk Maya

"The opening shot for RWBY Volume 4 has one of our Grimm creatures emerging from a puddle of ooze. After the Asset and Animation team created the base file, our FX team took over to create a simulation for the liquid. Using Bifrost, they created a container for the ooze and used a cached version of the animation for collisions. The viscosity setting was essential to create a liquid that was thick and matched our aesthetic." - Visual Effects Artist, Quentin Holtz

RWBY Vol. 4 WIP in Autodesk Maya

Games Team

"On the Games team, we take the RWBY Show assets and convert them to RWBY: Grimm Eclipse assets. The difference between the Series Assets and the Game Assets is that the Game assets need to be optimized so that they can run in the game and not affect the frame rate. That involves lowering the polygon count and transferring the current texture maps (which are comprised of multiple texture maps) into a single 2048 by 2048 pixel map. After that, the new polygon mesh needs to go back through the animation pipeline. That requires vertex weighting and in some cases a new animation skeleton (or rig). The images show comparisons of the before and after for polygon counts and UV optimization. The animated series pipeline has different requirements than the game side, so we do our best to replicate the series assets seamlessly." - Rooster Teeth Games Character Artist, Michael Washburn

RWBY Vol. 4 texture UV layout WIP in Autodesk Maya

RWBY Vol. 4 polygons WIP in Autodesk Maya

Learn how Rooster Teeth uses Maya for rigging in our Tutorial Series.

Watch RWBY Volume 4 on or stay up to date on Twitter.

  • Maya
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