Hank: Human Character Rig

After completing the turtle rig for Niamh and her team she asked would i mind creating a character rig for her human character.

Due to my automated system i was able to knock this project out in a matter of hours and had it off to be animated. Although the first version i sent had very rough skin weighting due to time constraints on my own project, it was still able to be animated so the team wasn’t waiting around for me. Once i had a free minute i finished the skin weights and handed it off to Niamh. The human in the story doesn’t play a huge part in terms of motion so the rig didn’t have as many bells and whistles as it could have.

The largest part of the rig was getting the shoe laces to skin nicely with the foot.

Additional photos to come (awaiting finished render)

Hank: Hank Character Rig

During the semester i was approached by Niamh because she needed a rig fixed, it had previously been rigged by Andrew Coyle but he disappeared. I wasn’t used to his pipeline and Hanks geo had been changed since the original rig was made so i decided it was quicker for myself to just rebuild. Thankfully my biped automation of IK/FK legs was able to be use for Hank.

Hank

I was instructed by Niamh that the geo should only been seen from one plane of view at a certain angle. This meant the model had been constructed to fit said angle. The models legs were asymmetrical and the entire mesh wasn’t sitting on any one axis.

Luckily i was very familiar with the story of Hank and understood what he needed to achieve. The character didn’t need a whole lot of special features. His animations would be low key but effect so i had to ensure any movement  he did do was clean and nice. The first thing i did when receiving the rig was to rotate him to have his spine on some sort of a single axis plane. This made constructing his body and head rig a lot easier.

His rig was a IK/FK rig with a rigid spine, due to the shell being unable to bend. Although i put in place ways to adjust the shell and drop the shoulders and hips if needed for some exaggerated animation. Thankfully i had already be doing RnD for my own facial rigs so Hanks was a breeze and due to his derpy expression that he maintains throughout the animation his face didn’t need to be too fluid. The lower lip is jsut controlled by a series of joints attached to a motion path, each joint has a offset joint which is controlled by a control curve, the control curve is orientated through a locator alignment script i have and this allows the locator to follow the curve when it moves and in turn controls the offset joints.

A issue i had was due to the different leg shape each joint chain had to be made separately and re-orientated to fit the correct axis so all legs moved together as expected. Both legs are capable of IK/FK controls and have foot pad rotations as requested by Niamh and Shelley. His shell is capable of scaling in any direction (requested by Niamh) and the rig is able to invert on the X axis as the character doesn’t turn on a rotate base he just flips like a 2D character.

 

Additional photos to come (awaiting finished render)

Aster: Robot Character Rig

One of the biggest challenges of the semester was working with Daryl, Blaine and Aidan to develop there character rig to be used for motion capture and put into Unity. This was a extreme challenge getting he rig to be usable by animators but also able to hold all the data required.

From the start i built up a simple IK/FK rig and showed Daryl my workflow, pipeline and sent him some scripts. Once i had most of the rig complete i handed it over to him to finish pieces off, while Blaine was working on a hand rig.  Meanwhile Aidan was trying to carry the motion builder to connect to the character.

The initial tries ended in small success, we were able to get a pose to transfer but couldn’t get the animation to carry across. then when we tried to bring the data into Unity the rig exploded. The exploding issue was solved by Daryl, it turns out it was a global scaling issue.

One thing that Daryl found out that i worked on was that we needed a completely clean rig to place the motion capture onto in order to bring the data across, but this motion capture rig also needed to be controlled by the animation rig.

Sadly we were unable to get the hand rig from Blaine to attach to the animation rig so i went and rebuilt his version in order to have to connect within are pipeline. The mo-cap rig was a single hierarchy rig that had zero constraints or inputs other than the straight connect from joint to joint from the animation rig.

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Thankfully we were able to get everything somewhat working together although issues still arise for some things during the workflow.

Additional photos to come (awaiting finished render)