For this section section of the semester i have been focusing on some of the smaller prop rigs and enviromental pieces i need to create. The first thing i began testing was working out how the trees would move within Maya, this would either be aniamtied and simualted.
i began by looking at exteranl software that could be used to develop some complex tree sims, as we are using Xgen to populate are scene the trees would need to have the animation cached then be scattered throughout the scene that way.
the main pieces of software i looked into was SpeedTree.
This software seemed promising but due to the complexatity of obtaining a licence it became unpratical for us as a team but still reamins as a plan B option.
The follow up method i developed was within maya itself, i began by creating a IK spline rig to drive the tree branches manually. This animation could then be baked into the Geo and scattered through Xgen usinga script to drive the direction of fake wind. The second in Maya method i created was to use Nhair curves as solvers for my IK spline handels which control my joints. This method allowed for a complete simulated aniatmion which could then have belend shapes attatched ontop to allow for secondary control over the simulation. The benefits of this method is that it plays back in real time with no proformance issues.
My major focus for this presentation was on the main aspects of our characters proformance, the hands and face. Thanks to some interesting articles and videos i found along with the help from my chriopractor friend i was able to devleop a nice neck and head setup that allos for a interesting orientation space switching to achieve some realistic results.
Aswell as developing a new system for space switching and movement i worked on developing a counter jaw setup to allow the upper jaw to open as if the character would be resting his chin on the floor of their hands. although not anotomically correct this allows for additonal control for the animators to work with.
These early images are of a low poly early stage model that Matt created and i used to help develop a my facial rigging skills.
For the hands it was of an importance that the rig be nimble enough to be able to create whatever complex shapes required for a converstation through sign language.
Once i had this early version completed to a certain stage i moved onto the higher poly verison of the girl character that Hannah Loughridge created. Myself and Hannah have been in constant communication in order to achieve the best result possible. I will be rigging the character thne go back to Hannah to discuss anyway to make deformations or shapes have a better silloute.
Above shows the current progress as of today. The lower poly head will be what drives the higher version, these will be swapped when it comes to final renders.