Thursday, 28 August 2014

Rigging On The Fly

I got this character from Basim Ahmed who's working in Piranha bar at the moment, he had rigged it himself but I wanted to try my hand at creating an animator friendly rig with controls I thought would be helpful as an animator. The workflow I used with the biped was useful here to a point though I had to edit it quite a bit due to the different anatomy.

the wings where the biggest challenge in this rig, I wanted to have as much control as i cud over them, with some set driven keys to allow for easy posing and curving of the basic shape, while not cluttering it up with too many controls or a complex bone system that would make skinning extra difficult, I learned this part the hard way after a bit of time spent trying to fix what could not be fixed. I also wanted to have a control that made the wings and wing covers fold in so that you don't have to pose them in every time you want them closed.

All of this involved a lot of parenting, grouping and figuring out what combination of parenting, constraining and use of the connection editor as well as the node editor. I also employed some of the dorrito effect I had learned from the previous rig to get the controllers on the lower parts of the wing to move with the deformations. I found this part highly enjoyable, trying to figure out the best, or sometimes only, way that something will work with all the incoming and outgoing connections

Below is a quick test animation I did with the rig.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Fully Rigged

I pushed on from my rigged head to rig a full biped character using the skills and techniques I learned on the last piece and adding in a lot more. The character I rigged is XSI man exported from Softimage and brought into Maya

The extra bits I learned and implemented in the rig:

  • How to rig a biped character, including setting up the hierarchy and constraints for the controls and what bones to place where.
  • How to set up the reverse foot lock so that he can roll on the ball/toes/heel.
  • Creating a setup where the animator can switch between FK and IK allowing for greater control of the arms. Three sets of arm bones were created, one for FK, one for IK and one which blends between these two to hold the geometry.
  • Adding a twist system for the wrists and legs to avoid mesh pinching when the wrist/ankle are rotated.
  • Using extra bones in the knees and elbows to maintain volume when the arms and legs are bent. These extra bones find the average angle of the bones on either side of it to orient themselves in the correct direction.
  • Using clusters to control deformations on the face.
  • Facial controllers that will follow the deformations caused by the jaw while still allowing control over the shape of the mouth AKA the "dorrito effect".
  • A constraint system led by custom attributes on the controllers for knee/elbow/eye controllers to follow parts of the rig or be free in world space.