Sunday, 19 March 2017

Character Rigging Process part 1/2

Rigging Part 1 / 2
This is a difficult one to document as my rig has undergone MANY iterations, improvements and struggles throughout. I'll piece things together as best I can with a final demonstration of the rig.


First started by creating a simple rig setup with a IK arms, Spline-IK spine, Reverse foot lock and Eyeball aim constraints.When modelling the face I kept in mind that I may want to try and use blendshapes. So I created some blendshapes to see how well this works.

Was genuinely suprised at how simple this process was to get some basic facial movement. Of course would definitely benefit from having more blendshapes or advanced controls, but the general premise seems pretty simple so far.

 I did some animation tests with the rig in current state to see how it handles. added a set driven key to drive a closed and open hand position.

Because of the limited functionality I had on the hands I made the hand open and close perhaps too extreme in the animation. From this point I decided I wasn't super happy with animating using IK arms and wanted more hand functionality. I knew IK-FK arm switches were possible so I gave this a shot. I also hadn't rigged the scarf at this point. I also wanted to go in and add more hand controls. Did some analysis of my own hand movements to see what I might want to be able to control.

Few things I noticed:
A: My fingers can only really rotate on 2 axis. Unable to twist them.
B: I can move my knuckles independently and keep my fingers straight.
C: The 2 tip joints of my fingers are difficult to curl independently from each other.
D: C is overridden and finger tips can be kept straight if knuckles are curled in.

So, using this I decided I wanted a control for the knuckles and I used a set driven key for the curl on the tips of my fingers, as I will curl them together. There are very few poses that I may not be able to achieve. but easily replaced by similar poses.

Revised some changes and did again another animation test. This time looking at reference video from YouTube to see how I could make the character skip. Though the general concept of using reference seemed pretty simple, it was an interesting challenge to breakdown the movements into poses I could use.

I also did some tests with the FK arms using Breaking of Joints. To see how well it may work. Actually pretty happy with how this looks.

Will continue this in part 2.

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