Caroline and Henry are now available for download at Cogswell’s website
After completing the Jaguar and Dragon, the rigging project continued to grow at Cogswell and has since been named Project Avatarah. I continued my work in developing more character rigs and after working on a couple of simpler bipeds that were styled more along the lines of popular characters such as Norman and Hogan, we went into designing the next set of bipeds with a higher-level design geared towards detailed acting and subtlety in motions. Caroline is the first rig we developed with this mindset and includes features such as bendy limbs, proportion adjusters, IKFK spine, breathing controls, and a toony facial rig capable of squash deformations.
I’ve been working on updating our animation library tool at work for use in Maya 2012 and noticed an issue with properly generating thumbnails. After scouring the internet for awhile, I found out I wasn’t the only one experiencing an issue with the playblast command. When using the completeFilename flag (to save an image without zero-padding), the image won’t save, and Maya raises no warnings or errors about it.
Fortunately, I came across a post from Nathan Horne, showing how to generate thumbnails using the Maya API commands. I added some additional checks to the original snippet:
def writeThumbnailFromView(filename, compression, modelPanel=None):
#Import api modules
import maya.OpenMaya as api
import maya.OpenMayaUI as apiUI
#Grab the last active 3d viewport
view = None
if modelPanel is None:
view = apiUI.M3dView.active3dView()
view = apiUI.M3dView()
#read the color buffer from the view, and save the MImage to disk
image = api.MImage()
So far it seems more efficient for my needs than the playblast command, as my tool is now able to avoid capturing the wrong viewport, and I can control the image without messing with render settings.
For this part I’ll go into some detail about the setup on the arms and claws as well as touch on a few other things as I prime this character for his first round of animation testing. More after the jump!
I mentioned in an earlier post that I thought the head would require the most complicated rig to work. Today’s post is to show that 1) I was sorely mistaken, and 2) the leg rig is quite interesting and borrowed a setup often used for the hind legs of cat and dog rigs. More after the jump!
I’ve now made further progress in rigging the legs. For the limbs, I’m implementing an IK/FK setup. My approach for setting up the switch is a twist on the standard 3-bone setup where the original joint chain is duplicated and influenced by two separate chains.
Reduced model to about 12k polys. The original model is about 330k.
Positing a minor update. With the rig completed for the spine and tail, today I mostly focused on creating a proxy mesh for the newly rigged areas. A handy tool I like to use when building proxy models is zooSurgeon. This neat script takes a skinned mesh, breaks it down to solid segments, and constrains the segments to influencing joints. I incorporate this script in my workflow by first skinning the reduced mesh using solid weights (one joint per vertex), and then running the script to get my true proxy. For me, this is efficient because I can preview the behavior of the proxy prior to breaking down the model.
Without legs or claws, the mech looks kinda like a snake!
Here we are, part three, and progress is looking good. For this post, I’ll describe some of the processes I’m using to set up the spine and tail’s behavior. Read on!
For this part, I’ll go into my detail on my initial rig for the Scorpion’s head, which compose of the mandibles, face, and the wicked tubing and pistons attached to the skull. I decided to tackle this part of the character early since it’s likely the most complicated part of the overall rig, in terms of joint setup.
I thought it be interesting to document my rigging process from start to finish using a fairly challenging model. I’m not going to push this series of tutorials as an “ideal” way to rig such a machination, but it will show one approach. I’m going to rig a scorpion model I came across in the forums of CGTalk (original post here). The artist, Nicholas Silveira, modeled and rigged the creature and was nice enough to share the bare model to give anyone else the oppurtunity to rig his creation.
here’s a bitmap error that comes up in 3ds Max when using exceedingly large texture files or fairly long image sequences in the scene. The error usually brings up this window:
I ran into this error recently with a rig that’s using more memory than 3ds Max’s current threshold. I did some poking around the Autodesk forums and came across a solution that seemed to work. Continue reading