We have created a sketch-based combined modeling and rigging tool that
we’d love for you to try.
We call it RigMesh.
It is sketch-based, meaning that you create shapes by drawing the
silhouettes of parts.
The parts are automatically rigged with bones and skin weights.
You model by attaching parts together (merging) and cutting them apart.
You can also pose and deform the model or its parts with inverse kinematics.
Here is a video of the system (YouTube):
RigMesh is a research prototype, so it lacks most of the “polish” of
We are very keen to get feedback about the tool from the artist community.
Comments about the concept of the tool (rather than where it lacks
polish) are especially appreciated.
We would be thrilled to see models that you make with RigMesh,
and doubly thrilled to see an animation of a RigMesh model.
(RigMesh can export FBX.)
Does RigMesh remove friction from the animation pipeline, so that you
can modify the model without the headache of re-rigging?
You can download RigMesh, which includes a README describing its key
bindings, here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4964558/rigmesh_v1.01.zip
Any feedback and models you make before May 20th are especially valuable.
(With your permission and credit, we can make a gallery of models in
an academic publication.)
Update 05/13/2012: To save the shape as an FBX file
When you save the created shape (Ctrl+s after the shape is selected) a dialog will pop up. In the “Save as type:”, use the drop-down list and select “AutoDesk FBX (*.fbx)” option before clicking on “Save”.
We are glad to release RigMesh v1.01. It can be downloaded here:
The main changes are:
- The merging interface is now “mode-less”: it is suggested based on the proximity of the shapes.
While dragging one shape, press and hold Shift, and the system will suggest either:
- Merging the two shapes by snapping them on a joint:
The closest joint pair on the two corresponding shapes will be highlighted, the grabbed shape will be translated as a preview, suggesting that the grabbed shape will be merged to another by snapping onto this joint when the user releases the mouse.
- Merging the two shapes by splitting a bone:
One joint on the grabbed shape will be highlighted, together with a “suggested” splitting point on another shape and a cylinder connecting them, suggesting that a joint will be introduced on the other shape and the grabbed shape will be merged by snapping onto this newly added joint when the user releases the mouse.
- Merging the two shapes by connecting two joints on different shapes (and inserting a bone connecting the two joints in the resulting shape)
When the snapping/splitting bone preview is highlighted, drag the grabbed shape away from the target shape. The closest joint pair on the two corresponding shapes will be highlighted. Meanwhile, a suggested bone insertion will also be highlighted.
- The shapes generated from the sketch are improved by using a more robust algorithm
We are thrilled to see so much interest and participation in trying out RigMesh!
We have a couple of questions to ask. We would really appreciate if you could provide some feedback on these:
- Do you like always being able to pose the model to see its motion while modeling? Are the skeleton and skin weights created using RigMesh good? If not, where do you feel the results are being awkward?
- How often in the course of making an animation do you need to go back and change the model itself, necessitating some re-skinning/re-rigging?