View Full Version : Rigging while mesh still being built

Bryan Y
03 March 2006, 08:51 PM
Is it possible or reasonable to begin any rigging work before the entire mesh (polygon mesh ultimately converted to a SubD surface) is completed? Is it reasonable to start work on a rig that would then be fitted to the mesh upon completion?

Are there any articles/tutorials that describe methods that are amenable to parallel workflows?

03 March 2006, 01:16 AM
Thats how I do it. I start R&D on the rig as soon as the modle is 60 percent there. As long as the character does not change proportions its fine. For example if the arms will be longer then they were when I first started the rig. Then yeah that is a little bit of a pain cause I have to rebuilt the arm to fit the new proportion. If you build the rig from scratch rescailling limbs is not an eassy task. If you have procedures that built then it would be eassier. Its good to start R&D on the rig earlly. So by the time the modle is finished the animators get used to it and they feel confortable working with it plus it gives you time to work out the buggs.

03 March 2006, 01:24 AM
quite often your rig will use stand in geometry for the animators to work with, that wont change even as the final tweaks are made to the renderable mesh, and last minute mesh revisions will mean you are working in paralell whether you want to or not, so if you plan it from the get-go to easily incorporate reasonable updates to the mesh it saves headaches.

i dont know that there are any particular tricks to this, other than having a UV set on your mesh before you bind it that is suitable to exporting UV weights for any custom weighting you want to re-import onta a revised mesh, which will of course have to have similar UVs also..

03 March 2006, 09:48 PM
It would be nice if you could wait til the model was approved but you just can't. Some important things/tips:
As already mentioned, if proportions don't change then you can definintely get your body rig up and running. It won't really matter how they change the geo. If they do change you will want to script your setups
You can always try wrap deformer style deformation setups, but in the end you are still going to have to probably do specific tweaks for the model, so at some point the model has to be "bought off"
Faces are a killer. You might as well not even start rigging the face if the geo isn't done. ONce again, sometimes you can't help it and sometimes you have to request a change and usually that means a lot of rework, but it's easier the second time right.

In all the above, scripting is your friend.

03 March 2006, 12:52 AM
My workflow that worked well on the last two projects:

I have a file in which I have the polyMesh ( work in progress)
but you can already layout the joint structure, and smooth bind it.

Build a protype for the animation rig by hand and if you are
happy with it write a script that builds the animation rig on top of your joint hierarchy.

This way you can change your mesh, skinCluster, joint layout and animation rig.

And if you are really nifty write a script that automates this update process,
so you can update multiple rigs/files with a single click.

>> It would be nice if you could wait til the model was approved but you just can't <<
so true!!!

Bryan Y
03 March 2006, 07:05 PM
Hey everyone,
I just wanted to thank all of you for your replies. I've been busy and haven't really had a chance to post my follow up questions yet, based on some of what has been said.

03 March 2006, 09:51 AM
I usually script the character rig before the model is done, except the facial stuff. The only thing I usually start with is a simple block low-res model. If proportions are different in a final model that's usually not a problem since the rig is scripted and thus adjusts the controls accordingly.
Normally when the final model is complete certain small modifications are done to the build script (fine details like set driven keys for fingers) along with added facial controls and then run again to build the final rig.


03 March 2006, 08:04 PM

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