Thursday, September 17, 2009

Finally a rig test!

Hey it's been ages since I've posted anything (big surprise I know!). Anyway, I finally started a rig test with the Basic Guy that you have all been playing with (or not playing with...whatever;) ). I decided that I wanted to animate him riding a unicycle in the test....why not right? Seemed like a good way to test out his updated rig features. There's a lot of fk and ik matching/switching and... switching hands with props... and squash and stretch...etc... Also, I wanted to take a crack at rigging a cartoony unicycle as well:D

I'm also working on an updated Basic Guy that I hope to have out sometime soon (solutions to things that I found irritating when animating this clip). The rig hasn't really changed all that much, but I have written a MEL script that helps tons with selecting controls and all that. Basically, it's a GUI that when you select an object it will in turn select that rig part.

I've also written a MEL script that let's you manage your custom cameras in a single pane. So for Basic Guy, you can switch between his face rig controls and the body rig selector GUI that I mentioned previously very quickly and easily! Whew...time saver!

Oh, I think that I'm close to having the whole referenced file thing figured out too (so you can then have more than one BG in scene and have all the fk/ik matching stuff work...) I'll post another blog on that sometime soon as well.

Anyway, I'm not done with the animation here, but, I felt that it was time that I stop and post something! So, here is my still work in progress rig test with Basic Guy.

Basic Guy and Unicycle Rig Test
(quicktime movie file ~2MB)

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll try to post again soon(ish)!

Cheers and as always happy animating!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

slight bug fix for Basic Guy

Hey all,
If you downloaded BG v3.3.03 you will want to get v3.3.04. There was a small bug reported. I forgot to re-parent the left proxy foot to follow the rig...doh! Anyway, that has now been fixed and can be downloaded below...


BG v3.3.04 Beta Release!!

Wha wha WHAT!?!! A new release!?!?! Yes, I am happy to say that Basic Guy is ready for you all to animate. He's currently still in "Beta" (meaning, that I'm only posting this in limited places), but he should be good to go.

As I mentioned in my previous post, he is currently limited to Maya UNLIMITED users only (Maya v7.0+). However, I'm still looking into ways to get all the "bendy" limb stuff supported when using Maya Complete. So, I apologize to those of you that are not able to use this latest release. But, by the poll results, that isn't that many of you...

Here is a list of v3.0.04 changes:

1) uv's and a generic texture (I included the Photoshop files for those of you that want to edit further). The one there is pretty "basic"... but, should get you all started.
2) I edited his ability to make an "OO" shape some. I received quite a few comments that it was really hard to get that shape. Hopefully now, it's easier...
3) Bendy limbs (select the BGCtrl_Switchers to turn them on)
4) Different way of squashing and stretching the head (select the "BGCtrl_Head" and turn on "SS_Vis")

Known Limitations:

1) You CANNOT change the name of the controls (i.e. reference the file). This will make the fk/ik matching not work (I'm looking into ways to fix this).
2) Settings work best when set to "centimeter"
3) MAYA UNLIMITED only (I'm looking into ways to fix this).

Here is where you can find him:
Zip file
7-Zip file: smaller file size

Anyway, that's about it. Sorry once again to those of you that are Maya Complete users. But, I am looking into other solutions for the bendy limbs. I may just take the bendy stuff out for now so that you all can at least have the rest of the "new" features...

Cheers and happy animating!

Friday, March 6, 2009

About Time I post something!!!

Well, it sure has been a while since I posted something huh!?!? Sorry about that. I mean to post WAY more than I ever get around to. But, life for me has been extremely busy these past few months. In January, my wife and I had our second son! So, we now have a 7 week old and a 2 year old... Needless to say we're very tired;) But, things are slowly getting back to some kind of routine. I am finding some (if very little) free time before work and even some time after the family has gone to sleep (though, lately, I'm WAY too tired to keep up my late night routine) to work on Basic Guy and my other personal projects...

Anyway, I have some good news and some bad news about Basic Guys next release.

Bad News:
The new Basic Guy release that's coming down the pipe only works in Maya UNLIMITED. It has to do with how I handle the bendy limb stuff... I'm using "follicles" and that is a Maya Unlimited only feature. Above this post you will see a poll that I set up (about what version of Maya you're using). Please answer truthfully (though I dont know why you would make up the answer...). To be honest, I don't know how many people actually use Maya "Complete". For some reason my gut tells me that the vast majority of people are using Unlimited. So, the following image probably isnt that big of a deal (what BG looks like when opened in Maya Complete...gha!):

However, if a lot of you are using Complete then maybe I'll need to re-think the bendy arm/leg solution. Or, maybe I'll do a release that has the old rig but will include the other new "features".

Ok, now the good News:
As you can see in the image, Basic Guy is finally uv'd! I was waiting for a co-worker to paint a texture for him, but well, that's just taking WAY too long. So, I'm making my attempt at hacking something together for you all. I will release the Photoshop images for you all so that you all can easily customize and paint your own textures for him if you want.

Also, I want to release a "beta" version of him very soon (hopefully in a few days or so...). This way all of you who stop by my blog can play with him and help me make sure that he is ready for a bigger release.

Here's to a new Basic Guy release very soon!

Cheers and as always happy animating!