Yep, using groups to animate what you want, when you want, is a good idea. Let us know how it works out for you Julez.
There’s an ‘Animatables’ group that hides all the things you don’t need to look at in the list by default.
I got a few questions via pm and thought I’d share the answers here in case other people are wondering the same thing.
The armatures click and drag functionality is there to provide a much more intuitive approach to animation than the regular ‘rotate this thing on this axis’ kind of thinking. You can play to the camera much better and it’s a quicker way of animating (click, drag, release instead of click object, select axis, drag, release, change axis, rinse and repeat). Instead you can just drag what you see the direction you move your mouse. This functionality was programmed by Suricate and is really nice (apparently quite similar to animation:master controls).
About the naming convention, the bones there has to stay like they are until you’ve run the autorigging script, after the controls are all in place, you can rename it to anything you want (for instance by opening it in notepad and find/replace everything called Character with your character’s name.
You can build on the rig, and if you know scripting (a lot can be learned from reading the script file) you can add more stuff to the autorigger yourself too, but you shouldn’t distibute the normal autorigger code once you’ve bought it. (only stuff you’ve added yourself if it was cool)
I also got lots of cool suggestions for version 2 of the autorigger I found that a bit amusing since it’s only a few days old, but yeah, if we get enough customers to pay for development time we certainly will look into all your suggestions. We have other great plans for plugins as well but you have to help us develop them, both through suggestions and through buying our plugins. If we can get a large enough amount of users for these plugins, we can help make messiah in the very forefront of animation again. The userbase for messiah is currently not huge and that is something we probably all know, so it’s all the more important that you help support the development that does happen, both at pmg and with us third parties (yay who said parties?). We’re currently developing a brand new deformer type for messiah and have had promising results so far, but I’m paying for it out of my own pocket, and so I need to amass a little army of you to help share the costs. Anyway, that’s a really long post for you all to read and digest so I’m going to end it now and make a character. Have fun!