I have been slowly (but surely) working my way through some character rigging/setup books for Maya. Having read through a lot of material, it seems that in general, the authors create their own rigs from scratch. (The 2001 Maya Master Class - "Integrating an Animation Rig into a Creature pipeline" also had some fascinating information creating a procedural animation rig)
Do plugins like TheSetupMachine 2 or Comet's cMuscle system (which is seemingly not available anymore...) actually help when it comes to rigging "hyper-real" characters, or are they more of a hindrance because they limit what the rigger can do (things have to be done the plugins' "way", and the rigger is tied to that)?
If they do help, would they help working together (ie would you use both together), or would it have to be one or the other?
It would seem that by using these plugins, you would certainly limit yourself when it comes to things like scripting procedural rigs. Is this true or not?
I am not an animator or rigger, but I would like to try and learn more about the character pipeline, and actually create a custom procedural rig system for humans - mainly just for fun (I know... I had a life once...) to get a deeper understanding of how it all works.