workflow question for multiple takes

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  02 February 2013
workflow question for multiple takes

I was wondering if anyone had a workflow for when you have basically the same motion multiple times but you need the hands to be constrained differently. Currently working on a project and we need the character to do things like a run with a rifle, shotgun, pistol and other weapons in the hands. I want to use one file where I set up the run with the different upper body motions as different take but the constraints seems to carry into each take. If anyone has a workflow already set up that they use I'd love to hear it.
  02 February 2013
You probably know already that you can animate the constraints so one method is to set keys on constraints so that other takes the constraints are set to have different offsets or off altogether. But yes this can get messy if you aren't clean with your naming conventions of constraints and have a bunch called contraint12, constraint13, constraint14 etc...

Sometimes I would have locators or Nulls in the scene parented to the Weapon that I constrain the left wrist of the Control Rig to. The Weapon would also be constrained to the Right Wrist joint. Then for each take i simply adjust the null positions for the Left Wrist and Right wrist on the Control Rig on a Layer and set a new Key.
So you can do the adjustments to the nulls on a layer if you like and key them on/off.
Its a good idea to alway name things as you go along.
If you dont want to use nulls you can use the aux effectors in MB, I tend to use nulls as I also do a similar thing in Maya with locators so that the constraint is always active and I just animate the locator/null on the left to get subtle pose changes so that the hand isnt always locked in one pose like it's nailed.

Another method is to plot down your finished animation to the skeleton each take, so that when you go to the next take you can turn control rig back on and adjust the constraints again - this is a common method but personally i dont like to plot everything down straight away in case i need more edits, but this is a personal choice really.

So there are many ways to do this, you could also use Story mode to keep your run motion exactly the same and control the Upper body with a story mode layer that just works on the upper half with your offsets. You could then plot this down to a control rig or skeleton etc.

I should add that to be safe, save poses as you go so that if a constraint goes haywire, you've got the pose saved. Sorry if i've waffled, i could explain more if you need further help.
  02 February 2013
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