Thursday, February 7, 2008

Testing a new Autorigging system...

A classical pose...for a troll...?

Note - This'll prolly be the last update on Olaf for a bit. Some major forks in the road are quickly approaching - 1) I'm getting married in a couple of weeks , 2) Moving to Houston, 3) Transitioning to a freelance/contractor from being an employee so it's gonna be a "wee" crazy. Crazy good that is!

I've been playing with John Doublestein's autorigging system the last two nights and I have to say it's pretty awesome. John works with my buddy Dave and we're using his rig for Dave's film. I hadn't realized a bunch of the neat little features workin so far on the film. He's got some great little right click menus that get built when you rig a character that snap between fk and ik.

You can play with the rig on a character by downloading the Andy Rig on that same page. Some neat stuff I noticed on that version that aren't in the autorigger that I'm planning on implementing to Olaf:
  • Squash and stretch through the spine using scale. Prolly will do that in other places too
  • An extra curl on the hand that allows that pinky and ring finger base bones in the hand bend for a proper fist.
Couple of things I noticed with the rig:
  • Some of the systems don't work properly in Maya 2008 - namely the right click menu
    • Speaking of Maya 2008, the new smooth skin weights feature is awesome. I saw it in a Austin 3d user group meeting a couple months back and had been dying to play with it.
  • Joint placement and orientation is critical but this matters regardless of what rig you're using. Having the ability to quickly try out joint placement by quickly adding an arm rig and a default skinning is a great boon to the work flow.
    • That workflow allowed me to identify problem areas - I updated Olaf's tail and made major adjustments to the hands
What's next for Olaf?
  • Facial Rig - This is where I wanna spend some time over the next...well a bunch of things I wanna try. I'm planning on blogging that process pretty well so tune back in if you're interested.
  • Tail Rig - at some point I'll have to rig his tail, but it'll be a bit
  • Animation - That's really the whole point....:)

Fingers are a pain in the rear to model well so that the proportions work to "roll the finger" on itself. If anyone knows a good tutorial or book on the subject, by all means let me know.


Matt said...

This is a lovely rig. Heck, I am really not great at rigging at all, so how easy is this for a fairly novice rigger to pick up and play?

Unknown said...

Don't remember if I responded to you man. The answer is very easy. Give it a go:)

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