Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Character Rigging Process part 2/2

Pre Paint Weights Posing

Rigging Part 1/2

Pretty much calling the rig done at this point and moving onto UVs. UV unwrapping is a nice challenge sometimes, oddly enjoyably tedious. However, quite annoying when unwrapping AFTER skinning. Oops. Did this once before and it worked fine after deleting non-deformer history. Pretty sure that only worked because I was unwrapping in the bind pose, having set up the rig and going through... Rigorous changes and iterations, the bind pose had been lost, even whilst all controls zero out. So from here, I found the best course of action to unbind the skin, do the UV's and rebind. Pretty simple.

Starting my UV's, not really going too well with the unfold, ran into trouble with non-manifold geometry, even when unwrapping sections that aren't non-manifold. This is when I was introduced to Bonus Tools, pretty nice little tool, adds both general and specific functionality to Maya. Definitely something I am enjoying using. But this tool adds some deliciously beautiful tools for UV unwrapping. Made the entire process so much easier, quicker and produces UV's at a higher standard than I was before.

Time to rebind the skin. Ah, well, no. Wasn't too concerned about the weights and the hands being fairly close together in the new unbound position, but I did hit trouble with Bind pose as the joints had a bind pose saved, but of course all the controls were pulling the rig out of this pose. I simply saved a new bind pose over the original and I was able to rebind the skin. In Hindsight I am wondering if resetting the bind pose may have alleviated my troubles with the delete non-deformer history breaking UV's.

Finally back on track. starting to paint weights until I come across another problem. Due to my rig being changed a lot. I then his some troubles with mirroring the skin weights. Somewhat annoying, but luckily I was able to change the mirror settings and all is good.

Having this done, I jumped in and blocked in some colours, colour picking from the original illustration as a base. Suddenly my character has much more life. I also fit in a little reference image into a gap in my UV's, because why not.

Despite all of these troubles I've really enjoyed navigating through problems. Furthering my understanding of problem solving in Maya and finding out a good sense of what order I'd want to approach a similar character in future. Eagerness to animate my character before UV unwrapping, not the best approach. Glad I've discovered Bonus Tools, really beneficial to my workflow.


Fit all my objects into the same UV space and opted to use a 4096x4096 texture as its easier to scale down than it is to scale up.

Took the character in and did another animation test. See how things are holding up. Doing good.

Just been doing some final clean up on the file making sure everything is pretty much named and organised. Looked into further functionality, but being mostly done it'd be difficult to go back and add further functionality at this point. Calling most of this here.

During clean up I noticed some random keys in my graph editor so I deleted them. Then my set driven key broke and I re-did them. I accidentally did this a couple times in different instances before I realised that I was deleting my set driven key.

Even when I think I am done. I find something else to do. Nothing too complex, just further clean up and colour coding some of my controls, which I find makes the rig look much more professional and the controls are now feel easier to deal with.

Full Rig Overview

Notice some misuse of Terminology, but I guess that's what I get for doing a single take.

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