Over the Summer, I'll be doing a university project where I'll be looking into custom rigging with bones in 3ds Max (no plug-ins like Biped or Human-IK), but I'm interested to find out what passes for an "intermediate" feature on a bipedial character rig so that I know what I have to include and maybe what I can include if I have time towards the end.
1. For the face I was going to go for a bones-based approach rather than a morph target solution - I have seen people create spline controllers on a seperate panel (like you'd see in a traditional morph target set-up) which use Set-Driven Keys or Reaction Manager to control the bones' position which is something I could try to incorporate.
2. For the limbs, I have a list of features which I'd like to include:
- Traditional IK-FK blending system (three chains: IK, FK and one for skinning)
- Skinning bone chain blends between IK and FK with an arc rather than linearly
- IK to FK snapping and FK to IK snapping
- Twist links
- Bendy elbow/knee
- Additional controls for a hosepipe effect
- IK pinning
- IK/FK stretching
- Volume preservation in elbow knee area (using Skin Morph)
3. For the hands:
- Pose storing
- Control rotations with viewport spline controls and slider UI controls
4. I can't really decide what spine type to go for, but it must have:
- Ability to stretch and squash
- Change colour when stretched and a different colour when squashed
- Have independant chest and pelvis controls
If you have other suggestions for features that I should try to include then I'd be happy to hear them.