July 5, 2006
I thought of a new character pipeline tool today. It would be essentially split into two part: Main character and hands – and would work complete differently to tools on the market, including the ones i use at work which I cant say anything about. Eventually it would support quads, birds etc all predefined but very very simple and fun to setup.
SplineIK essentially comes in three distinct flavours,
This means the chain stretches across the entire length of the spline from end to end. even if the spline gets shorter.
This means the chain doesnt stretch, but the bones aproximate there position along the spline -they find there average to spread evenly across the length.
Chain is fixedThe Length of the chain stays fixed no matter how long or short the chain gets. – This is by far the most complicated setup as it needs to know how much to compensate for when the length becomes too short.You could regard ‘fixed length’ as a constant option of all three. It could be a base control of the spline itself i.e. never get shorter than its defined length. This could be an option of the rig. In all three setups the longest length can be anything – it’s how the bones run along it that’s key. Whether they stretch, approximate or stay fixed in length – the one caveat of the fixed length setup is that compensation of the length is essentially mandatory. It can’t get shorter than its defined length else it will crumple. Unless you cross breed setup e.g. it compresses, or it approximates the new shorter length.
This is good and bad – in one case the rig doesn’t break, its automated. But in another the setup is two beasts now, changing on the fly. For an animator this could be a headache. You could have three setups, but when and how do you do the blends? Mixing three very unique setup could have horrid results – In the end it’s a balance what does the shot need plus having the option to change it when necessary.