Mouse Looking For Good Home

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  02 February 2011
Mouse Looking For Good Home

Hi, here's a mouse rig I built a few months ago for a project. I was trying to make something to resemble flat cut-out pieces of paper. To that end, all the shading was done with surface shaders set to a constant color and applied to different polygons (the paper texture in the image was comped over a render). It lets you cheat poses like crazy, take certain liberties with the geometry, and really stretch some things to a point that wouldn't look good with a regular shader. For example, he can open his mouth really really big (scale the CornerLf/RtControl to round out the mouth corners). If you do this, look at the spans, they're totally wrinkly and shredded, but it doesn't matter, because you can't see the bumps in the surface because of the flat shader.

Uh... what else...?
-He's very squishy. His whole body is in a lattice, so you can really stretch him around if you want to (see BodyStretchTp/Md/BtControl), and you can rotate the lattice to stretch him in any direction (see BodyStretchControl).
-I'm not sure if I like the facial controls as a separate mask off to the side, but in some ways it was kind of necessary because the whole body is in a lattice, and making the controls follow that would have slowed the rig down a bit.
-He's got pretty good stretchy limbs, and controls to make the arm bend as a curve instead of as a sharp line (see the softKnee attribute on the FootLf/RtIkControl, or softElbow on the HandLf/RtIkControl).
-You can change his colors all in one place if you open up the OptionsControl in the attribute editor.

To download, visit, and click anywhere on the splash screen. Feel free to mess around with it, animate it, pick it apart, do whatever... but non-commercial projects only.

Have fun, and happy animating,
  03 March 2011
wow, damn fine rig. it's so deformable!

thanks for sharing
  03 March 2011
Super fun rig dude! I can't wait to play with it more!
  03 March 2011
Okay so I checked it out a bit more. You've got some really neat features, particularly all of the body stretch controls and floating facial features offers a lot of flexibility for animators. A couple of things I would like to see improved if you decide to work on it more are

1. IK/FK snapping and matching
2. Easier to select arm contorols - many of these are controls are the same color and are right on top of each other
3. ability to rotate all of the arm controls together to get a nice curvature shape, currently all the shapes rotate around their own pivot points

*please note however that I'm not using the latest version of maya, so if this has already been addressed then I apologize
  03 March 2011
Thanks guys! Archanex, you raise some good points about some scripts for snapping, and selectability. Regarding the last one, are you talking about the tiny controls to move individual segments of the arm? It might be possible to make those in more of an FK hierarchy to let you rotate them all together, but it would make the rig a little bit more complicated (and maybe slower). Barring that, I think your best bet would be to use the FK arms, then translate the small controls into the shape you want.
  03 March 2011
yeah, it's just that when I have to translate and rotate each of those smaller controls independent of one another it makes posing the arms in a simple curved shape very time consuming, and also difficult to replicate from one side to the other. If the performance hit wasn't too drastic, I think making those smaller controls work in an FK type of hierarchy like you mentioned would save a lot of time when posing the rig.
  03 March 2011
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