05 May 2003, 05:48 AM
I am on a project right now where I'm the only rigger for a number of models that need to be rigged and textured at the same time (for scheduling purposes). So I've had to work out some type of solution for this problem. Mind you, i'm no pro at setting up advanced production pipelines, but I like the system that me and the texture mapper on the project have worked out.
If indeed the geometry of the model does not change (ie adding extra poly lines, or merging points etc) after the model is locked and passed onto the rigger and texture mapper, then this method will work smashingly.
I rig up the character with all the custom smooth skin weight painting and any other additional deformations I may add to the character. Typically in my rigs I have only 3 items viewable in the outliner - the character's geometry (or the group node that the geometry is parented under if the character is more than one mesh), the main rig node (some call it the "world" node, or whatever you refer to it as), and another node that I call "do not delete". Under it I parent all the extra clusters and other deformers that don't need to find their way into the rig hierarchy (the "world" node) to work properly. Then I parent the "do not delete" node (with all its children) to the "world" rig node. I then duplicate the "world" node with the "Duplicate Input Graph" option checked in the duplicate option window. The duplication will probably generate a new character (the geometry). Just delete the history on this newly created mesh, then delete the duplicated geometry itself. At this point you can unparent the "do not delete" node from the newly duplicated version of the "world" node. Then I import the textured version of the character into the scene. Then I bind the textured character to the newly created "world" node. At this point the textured character is indeed rigged, but all that weight painting is not a part of the rig yet. Under the Skin menu in the Animation menu you can "copy skin weights" from the originally skinned character to the newly textured/skinned character. Doing this, I have had very good results in transferring skin weight maps from character to character. The extra clusters and other deformers you may have added to the character already obviously haven't transferred over to the new character as the smooth bind has, and it may be a little work, but there is a way to relatively quickly transfer the cluster weights from one character to the textured character (if of course the model geometry hasn't changed as I stated earlier). If you go to http://www.geocities.com/bazhutkin/weights1.html Michael has written some great tools to transfer the weights of cluster deformers from one object to another.
Like I said, I'm not some Weta expert at setting up pipelines, but this method has worked pretty great for me so far to solve that very same problem. I hope it at least helps open up your mind to some possible solutions to your specific issues.
05 May 2003, 05:54 AM
this is a little weird, but I didn't realize until right after my post here, that you are from Calgary. I too am from Calgary. Born and raised and wishing the Flames didn't suck anymore. I have been living in Utah since '93, but Calgary is always home to me. Just thought I'd say add that, just so you'd know I wasn't some crazy American trying to enlighten your obviously more developed Canadian mind. :p Later.
01 January 2006, 05:03 AM
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