Machine à Signer

Rigging the perfect mechanics of automatons

The Machine à Signer ("Signing Machine") is an astonishing automaton by Jaquet Droz, using intricates systems with rotating cams and other designs to produce a life-like handwritten signature. I was tasked by i-réel to create the setup of this automaton on Jaquet Droz's commercial.

Using 3dsmax, it took a lot of reaction wires and a few reaction manager tweaks to achieve the perfect motion. On the final setup, the writing pen is actually driving the whole mechanism, while being itself directed by a nurbs curve : this allowed any artist to easily change the signature design, in the blink of an eye.

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