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More rigging notes..

July 3, 2006


Ive had change of heart, essentially animatable pivots are pointless. As a flashy rigging setup for your reel, there great. But in rigging and animation they dont work- additive affect and counter rotation fixes makes them pointless. So heres an updated version of my ground rules:

  1. Independant hip control, that doesnt affect the chest.
  2. Independant chest/neck control that doesnt affect the heads orientation.
  3. Independant head control, thats orientated to the root/torso control.
  4. Shoulder controls that are orientated with the chest, but dont control the orientation of the arms – allowing for shrugging.
  5. IK/FK arms/legs with natural hand/foot. This means if the controls move further than the ik the legs/hand naturally peels away (in ik mode)
  6. Knee/elbow controls
  7. Foot/toe control
  8. Heel/Ball of foot left/roll
  9. Ball of foot twist eg. stubbing out a cigerette.
  10. Finger curl control & independant digit control

*8 & 9 using the same control object.

For quads this is essentially the same, but front foot lock is needed to allow for unlocking during the passing position.

The head is important, as it deals in two transform spaces, its parented to the chest bone, but orientated to the root. So as you twist the upper torso it stays locked. The neck stays with the chest -this is important else it would get crunched. This both fixes the issues of blending the head between a look at and orientation, as general movements of the root it stays with but the upper torso it stays locked.

To John: Ontop of this the three bone spine is perfect candidate for a skin pipe, essentially building a nurbs or custom spline ik system ontop of it. The animator doesnt need to see this but the skin rig can and it could inherit average rotations from the the 3 bones. The arm twist could be added as part of the skin rig to.

One way for this is to do a frame by frame pass at the end of the animation, work out the twist range and bake it into the skinning rig. This essentially would defeat gimbal as its looking at the average on a frame by frame basis.

Stretching rigs, bend bone, length, curvyness next.

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