Maya Auto Rig Script: Progress Log

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  02 February 2006
Hey Mark,
You got some nice features. I like that adding joint to the end of an existing joint. Haven't seen anybody do that in Maya. Just inserting between two joints which is easy but adding another joint at the end takes a bit more tweaking but totally doable. This is exactly what I need to see. I don't see what other people are doing in other apps that are not in Maya and replicating it.

I've been working on a autoRigger for work and have implemented a modular system like yours where you can have mulitple limbs and such. Just have to tag a prefix to each part. Definitely the way to go.

Cool stuff.
Sean
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  02 February 2006
For what it is worth rigging in Max isn't realy any different then rigging in Maya once you understand the difference in how nodes work in both packages. I like parts of bth but would never state that one is truely better then the other. There are certain things in Max that are far better then what is in Maya and there are things in Maya that are far better then max. If you learn both to a high level you start to see this.

As for rigging systems for Max there are also a pile up them showing up. It is like it is all the rage now or something. I guess that they are all just starting to become public because people have been doing it ever since scripting was added to 3D packages. What is really cool about it is some of the scripted versions of auto riggers are better then commercial ones. Kees Puppetshop is a good example of this.
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Paul Neale
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  02 February 2006
I've a few reasons for releasing my auto rig - the main one is that I work for a tiny company int he global sense of things and there's only 3 other 3d ops working with me. No other post house in dublin uses max so our user group is tiny. If I make an auto rig and keep it in our company, the only feedback I'll get is from 3 other people who aren't full time aniamtors, they're generalists so the feedback I get isn't going to be great. If there are hundreds of people playing with the rig, they'll find faults far quicker and give me a tonne of feedback about what they like and don't like and we can exchange far more ideas on how the rig should work and how the controls should be presented. Basically it get's far better because of the bigger user group. Secondly I know I'm not staying in dublin forever and it's nice to get a little bit of exposure for something like this - it's not going to be better than puppetshop or whatever extremely clever setup Paul, Mark et al work on but I'd consider myself a high level max op, not a character td.

It's great to have so many ideas public though - there's a tonne of stuff floating around that I never would have thought of so it's great to see how other people do things...
 
  02 February 2006
Awesome, Mark! I'll have to give this one a shot. Is this one still WIP?
 
  02 February 2006
hey podman,
mine is still wip yes, not available to the public and not sure it ever will be - have to see how things pan out for me

cheers,
mark
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  02 February 2006
Hi Guys,

well, here's another one with a scripted rigging solution

looks like mine is fairly similar to pauls, i use a skeleton built using standard bones as well for pretty much the same reasons. (i call this the template)

i have a template node that's basically the root node for that skeleton, in there i have a list of what every part of the skeleton does, for example you pick a thigh bone and define it as the start of a leg, and you can adjust some settings for it.

the scripts for all body parts just plug into the main script, and for every project coming up now i just add and refine elements. for example i have one for appendages like tails, long ears etc. with some options over how the controls work, i could also easily implement one for wings and the like. all the elements also communicate with each other, so for example i have a global list of control objects, nulls and the like that every function add's it's created objects to.

for our current project where we have cartoony eyes and brows that are seperate meshes, i also set up a way to rig those automatically and connect them to controls. you just add two sphere to the "template" rig and define them as eyes, so the script knows what to do with them and uses them for positioning and sizing the scripted eye 'elements'.

my approach with this was that i wanted it to be flexible, but still a one button solution once the template is done. once i have the template set up i can, with one click, generate a complete rig including naming, an animation rig, deform rig, all seperated into layers, a bunch of selection sets, organised trackviews for body and face and so on.

with this approach i can have revisions of the rig very quickly, and i can load animation from an old version onto the new one easily because the naming and everything will stay the same.
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Kai Stavginski

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"There's nothing to it but to do it!"
 
  02 February 2006
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