Monday, November 3, 2008

BG version 3.something...

When I finished BG v3.0, my goal was to start animating again. It's been WAY too long since I actually set some keys on a personal project... So, I set out and I started to story board out some ideas. I was also reading the comments from you all about BG v3 and what improvements/additions you all wanted. Most of them were already on my list of things that I wanted to add...especially the bendy limb stuff. So, a bit begrudgingly, I decided that I would go back and work on the rig a bit more. These updates to Basic Guy will be more fun to animate for me too!

So, the first thing that I decided to implement was the bendy limb stuff. It took me a bit to figure out the best way to do this. I played with spline ik solutions, expression based solutions, utility node solutions...pretty much anything that I could think of. Unfortunately, nothing was working the wayt that I wanted it to. I would get everything set up and then I would run into issues such as spline ik twisting issues, fk/ik snapping issues, etc. Needless to say, I lost handfuls of hair during this!

The solution that I ended up going with was based off of Aaron Holly's ribbon spine. If you have never heard of this solution, it basically uses hair follicles to use as the deformer! This seems to be by far the most versatile solution. Perfect it is not, but I am very happy with it right now. The only down side of this solution is that I think you must be using Maya "Unlimited" to have the bendy stuff work. However, since I'm not really using much of the "hair" side of things, I may be wrong about this....

I also added more finger controls. Or more specifically, I added the "carpal" bones. This will allow you to get more realistic/less rigid hand poses.

Now this next announcement is really exciting to me. A co-worker has agreed to lay out his uvs for me!!!! Yes, Basic Guy is FINALLY getting uv'd! He also said that he would paint a texture for him as well. I'm also toying with the idea of modeling "clothes" that would be swappable on him. This way, BG will be way more customizable than he is now...

Also in the works is a more robust GUI. However, since MEL and me are not the best of friends, this process is taking some time. But, in the end, I hope to have a GUI where you can select rig parts, the ik/fk matching, maybe some pose buttons, face rig, etc...

Anyway, there is a small update as to what I've been doing lately.

Thanks to all of you who have emailed me with priceless feedback and also all the kind words!

Cheers and happy animating!
Tim

9 comments:

Kyle said...

Dang Tim. Basic guy isn't so basic anymore.

CheeriO said...

Yo Kyle!
Thanks for stopping by the ol' Blog. And yeah, Basic Guy isn't so "basic" anymore. I was just laughing about that with a co-worker the other day. To be honest, he isn't really that "complex" either. I've seen some rigs out there that just blow my friggen mind away. I have so much to learn still! But, that's one of the reasons why I love this industry too.

What are you up to these days? Graduate yet? I checked your site out and it looks like you're getting great at modeling man. Too bad I couldn't sway you more to the animation side;)

Cheers,
Tim

Dave David said...

Sweet!
Can't wait for this Tim,Kudos!

Chris said...

Hey Tim! First off, i want to say that your rig rocks. I've used it for a couple of tests in school, and it's turned out to be a pretty flexible character! I really dig the facial expressions this guy can make.

As long as you're going back and fixing him up, i thought i'd put a couple requests in. :)

Is it possible to have his elbow retain its volume when his arm bends? At the moment, bending the arm makes his elbow look like a folded piece of paper. I think it would even be fine if his arm crashes a little bit into itself when it bends, as long as it keeps that volume!

For the hands, I would really really really like for the fingers to be closer together. Even if they crash a bit. I think they are just too far apart to make some really convincing hand shapes. Also, i think the hands would be more appealing if the fingers weren't tapered. When i use bg, i always end up fighting the hand rig to get robust shapes, due to the tapering fingers.

Anyway, if it's convenient for you i'd love to see those changes made. I think it would really benefit the rig.

Cheers!

lizardj said...

looks rocking! happy new year, Tim. :)

mattanimation said...

Wow, I love the Blue Guy! I didn't know the version I had was so dated. Thanks for making this dude.

Benny Goodtimes said...

This is the best free rig i have played with. I thank you for you work.

Si Bean said...

Thankyou so much for this awesome rig!

aron said...

WOOO! I checked in to see what was going on, and I'm excited to see a whole new rig!

I'll have to download it and test it out because I absolutely loved your earlier version of this rig.