Friday, July 25, 2008

Tutorial: FK/Ik matching

Oh my, what's this!?!?! Another post in the month of July! That makes for a total of 3 whole posts this month (a loud gasp is heard from the masses)! Yeah yeah yeah, I'm as surprised as the rest of you;) Who knows, maybe I'll become a "good" blogger after all. Hah! I doubt that very much...

Anyway, I just finished a tutorial that I have been meaning to write for a while now. It's a tutorial on how I do the fk/ik matching in my rigs. It's about 7 or so pages long. I quickly cover how I create my arm rigs as well as the MEL code that I use to match one rig to the other. Hopefully, it is clear enough (and not too boring) to follow along. Of course this is just one way to do this task. But, it seems to work well for me. It also seems to be very quick for Maya to evaluate.

The download consists of:
1) A Maya scene (created in Maya 7.0.1, but should work in Maya 7-2008)
2) the tutorial (".pdf" style)
3) the MEL scripts

Go ahead, sit back with a big, hot cup of (strong) coffee and read on...

Here is the direct link:
Tim's fkik_snapping/matching_tutorial

Cheers and enjoy!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

And then there was version 3.0.1...

Hey all,
So, after a few minor complaints about the face rig location, I decided to do a minor rig update. Version 3.0.1 now has the ability to shift Basic Guy's face rig to the left or right side of his face. I guess people were having "a hard time posing him with the rig there". I'm not sure if I understand that completely (you all know that you can turn the rig(s) visibility on and off... right?). Or, were they having a hard time animating the face with the rig there?

Either way, you now have more options! I should have thought of that initially, but I didn't...doh!

Anyway, thanks for all the great feedback! I hope that you are all enjoying the latest update! I can't wait to finish my friggen work deadline (I'm at the end of "crunch" right now on our latest game title... gha!) so that I can take a stab at animating him again!

Here is the new version:

Here is the link to the rig overview again (for those that love boring camtasia videos;) ):

As always, enjoy and happy animating!


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Basic Guy 3.0.0 Released!!!!

Wow, I have finally put the final touches on Basic Guy v3.0.0 (I believe that a pig JUST flew by my window)!!! I'm not sure if you can tell, but I'm REALLY excited about it... I actually have butterflies going on in my stomach. What initially started, almost a year ago, as me simply adding a mouth to him is now a fully rigged face. I took a long time rigging and re-rigging his face (There were also a lot of model changes... which led to re-skinning the face over and over again...ugh). Unfortunately, I had a very hard time finding "free" time to really sit down and focus on him (long hours at work, playing with my son, and hanging out with my wife and friends are my excuses). Anyway, the rig is more or less based off of the ever so popular Jason Osipa style face rig. The way that I have it set up makes it pretty easy for me (or whoever) to add more controls or to refine the shapes/sliders that are already there. I really do hope that you all like the new additions. I'm even posting him before I have really animated him myself (gasp!)! I did, however, spend a lot of time pushing and pulling on him to make sure that he holds up in most situations (3d characters all have their breaking points).

I also went through and tried to clean up any bugs that people had reported. The biggest one that I have (hopefully) resolved is the fk/ik matching when he has the world node anywhere other than 0,0,0, and his scale set to anything other than 1 (Thanks for finding that and reporting it Gino!). Honestly, I am not sure how I overlooked that in the previous versions! Anyway, I apologize for any inconveniences that created.

Instead of writing a rig manual, I created a video "rig overview" if you will. It's about 25 minutes long and about 60 MB. I wouldn't call it the most exciting video that you'll ever watch (I did it early in the morning and without a lot of coffee in the veins!)...but, I hope that it covers a lot of the questions that some of you might have. Also, I apologize if the audio is low. I tried to punch it up after the fact, but I may not have punched it up enough.
Here is the link to the video (takes a little bit to load):

Anyway, I'll stop writing because I'm sure that 90%+ just want to see the next link ;):
Basic Guy v3.0.0.rar

As always, enjoy, and happy animating!