Super Simple Rig

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  02 February 2013
Oooo. Very nice Rune!
  02 February 2013
Thanks a lot Kees! It's pretty simple compared to what you've done, though

And thanks for the comment on my website, Rotem!
  03 March 2013
Rune, this is really, really awesome work. I love how light it is and have a feeling it'll be a lot easier to export in to a game engine than the rig I'm currently using, which is unbelievably complex (but also awesome). I'm going to be playing around with this a LOT.

When you add squash and stretch to the rig are there any plans to allow the neck to stretch with the head's translation?

Also, any plans for bendy/noodle limbs?

So far I'm really liking all the UI and tools, too. Really well thought out and executed.

The only two "bugs", I hesitate to call them that since it's only a pre-release, but the only two I've noticed so far are that you're able to click the "Build Rig" button before you Create Locators which will crash the script, which would just be for idiot proofing, but I'm an idiot and did it on accident.

And the other is that certain rig bits don't seem to scale in proportion to the rest of the rig, like the fins on the spine bones or the position tolerance of the arm IK. So like creating a rig with a height of 10.0 gives spine fins that are 2.0 (proportional seems like it would be 0.2) and IK position tolerance of 1.0, instead of 0.1 which makes the IK arm translation path all jagged, like it's bumping up a flight of stairs.

Anyway, can't wait to watch this thing develop! Thanks again. This is great!
  03 March 2013
Great feedback, Andy!

Not sure if can work with game engines. The bone chain is of the "broken" type (again for speed), and as far as I understand game skeletons need to be connected all the way? If there's enough interest, I will see if I can solve what is needed for a game-compatible rig. I'm afraid all the constraints needed will slow down the rig.

Stretchy head/neck are in the plans. And I was actually going to look at bendy limbs this weekend! I really need that myself for my next project, but I'm not 100% sure how to do it. I have an idea, and will share it as soon as I have a prototype.

Good catch on the rig-button. Didn't think of that and will fix it straight away!

And a resizable rig is on the To Do-list. It worked earlier, but as the rig got more complex the scaling broke. You can try digging into the rig layer and parenting up stuff. Sometimes the scaling will work if you parent the topnodes of each arm and leg to the root controller.

Edit: Perhaps I misunderstood the scaling! I realized that you are talking about the initial size when things are created? The rig size value is a late addition, and not everything is connected up. I will try some crazy sizes myself and see if I can take care of the worst offenders.
  03 March 2013
Originally Posted by SuperRune: I realized that you are talking about the initial size when things are created? The rig size value is a late addition, and not everything is connected up..

Right! That's what I meant and I figured it was just a matter of things not being finished yet.

I'll try getting the rig exported into either our game engine or Unity just to see what happens. I think it's going to work, though. I'll post back with what happens.
  03 March 2013
Originally Posted by SuperRune: Not sure if can work with game engines. The bone chain is of the "broken" type (again for speed), and as far as I understand game skeletons need to be connected all the way?

You can always have a 'export rig' that is nicely linked together in un-broken chains that uses position/rotation constraints to attach itself to the bones in your rig.

That way you rig can do whatever it wants with parenting, while the 'export rig' is a simple game rig that are an extra set of bones or helpers.

Gets a little trickier when it comes to scale/stretch though.
But often times game rigs are not allow to scale anyway.
  03 March 2013
Kees, that doesn't sound too hard! I'll add that to the to do-list. I reckon this constrained skeleton also has to be the one you skin to, right?
  03 March 2013
Originally Posted by SuperRune: Kees, that doesn't sound too hard! I'll add that to the to do-list. I reckon this constrained skeleton also has to be the one you skin to, right?

Yes, exactly.

Perhaps it could be an option at 'rigging' time.

With perhaps the option to add it at any time later if the user forgets.
Though they would have to either re-skin too or try and transfer the skinning to the 'game rig'.

A lot of user would not need it (so no need to clutter the rig with it), but game developers would almost always need it.
  03 March 2013
Great! I'm adding it to my To Do-list, and have to see if it's best to do as an optional thing while rigging - or as a conversion thing later. Transferring skin weights shouldn't be too much of a problem, I already have written some functionality around that which I can expand

I've fixed some of the things that have been mentioned, and decided to call the next version the first proper version of the rig! So, Super Simple Rig v1.0 can now be downloaded from my site! (btw, the URL has changed)

There's a changelog with previous versions here:

The changes in this version are:

  • Fixed error message when naming character without locator layer.
  • Controllers are created with 2 shape steps as default.
  • Will pop up an error window if rig button is pressed with no locators present.
  • Locators and bone fins are scaled to rig height. Different sized rigs should look better.

Next version (v1.1) will be concentrated around functions that I need for my next short film:
  • Save the rig creation options to the preset file, and store settings in same max session
  • GUI for my face morph toolset
  • Squash and stretch rig presets on all limbs, with soft IK if possible (if anybody has any good squash stretch-rigs they can share, I would love to see them!! send me an email)
  • The rig supports a for additional custom rigging. This will be put into the GUI, and I'll include an example file.
  • Name checking to make sure animation data and presets can be moved across body parts.

I will also keep trying to make the code better and prettier, although rig features are most important right now

I'll also try and do a rig setup video soon. I just need to create a little character to have as a guinea pig!
  03 March 2013
Hey Rune,

Great initiative!
I'd like to add two requests:
1. Animation layers! All animators I work(ed) with are accustomed to using animation layers, layers for blinks, offsets etc. It will require a substantial amount of work, though, judging from your code
That brings me to
2. Use Github or some other online repository to allow others to propose updates and patches. It will require you to learn about versioning, but once you get the hang of it, you'll feel like a pro(!), and you never have to name your scripts v1.1a again. I'd volunteer to explain some of the basics.

And a remark:
Don't use radians in the spinners, I know it's for speed, but here's a trick to not use scripted or wired controllers and still multiply a value. Make sure you take a float list and then multiply the weight of the actual controller to the value of the rotation controller. 100 * (RadToDeg 1) You have degrees in the spinner and radians on the rotation. I could show you a sample of what I mean, if it's not clear.

Online: LinkedIn
  03 March 2013
That float list-trick is NEAT! Thanks a lot, Johan - that will be a huge improvement! I wish I had that in v1.0 - will try and get that implemented ASAP!

I was thinking about animation layers at the start, but none of the animators I know use it. And yes, it sounds like a huge thing to do As a compromise, I have planned to do track view-buttons where you can see only specific controllers (such as the eye blink sliders).

I've thought about Github as well, but I'm not sure how to integrate it with the parts of the rig that I have to keep personal. Also, I'm considering making some of the more high-end features (such as clip save/load) reserved to those why eventually donate to the script. Perhaps a dual public and private Github is the thing to do?

Last edited by SuperRune : 03 March 2013 at 01:19 PM.
  03 March 2013
Github only offers public repositories for free, bitbucket also offers private repositories for free. If you seperate the two you can easily combine 2 repositories, by excluding one repositories from another via .gitignore to make sure you're not keeping 2 codebases.

Online: LinkedIn
  03 March 2013
Thanks for the great script and sharing to the community for free,all the request and ideas can't wait to see all in your Rig most especially for me to scale all the character rig.all the best and my God Bless you.
Job:1:21 Naked i come from my motherís womb, and naked i will depart, the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away,may the name of the Lord be praise.
  03 March 2013
Wow dude, Thanks! Will have to try this out!
Level 34 Human 3D Artist
  04 April 2013
Sneak peek of the new bendy limb setup. It will be real simple, as you see. I will try to add stretch to this as well.

I'm planning of adding this to the next release, in addition to the float list-trick suggested by Johan!
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