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Rigs: To update or use a new version?

June 18, 2009


I found a dilemma today involving updating rigs – firstly what’s the best approach to update one, and secondly when should a users just use a new version? Should we just keep updating a rig with updates or at some point build a new version of the base rig with the said updates? I.e a new version. It’s a tricky problem for a development.

I guess the best paradigm for it is this – build a rig, and when changes happen apply them in a form of updates to users who are already using the rig. But in addition to the updates, update the original rig so that new users get the change instantly without being out of sync with the old ones.

Updating needs to be simple; simple enough for anyone to just drop an updated file in a folder and have the rig read it in.

As to any character pipeline backbone, the ability to update a rig without destroying the animation is crucial.


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  1. June 19, 2009

    Depends on whether it’ll make newly exported animation incompatible with previously exported ones, (i.e. changing the hierachy rather than just the controls).

    If so, you’ve gotta update all your files and batch re-export, which is a real bitch (outside of Maya if you’re using referenced rigs) and prone to errors.

    If not, I’d suggest adding the updates as an optional script that users can run whenever they wish to take advantage of the newcontrollers, and if added automatically via referencing just make sure you set any new controls that might change the way the rig handles to default as off so users don’t get a surprise when opening their files.

    • June 19, 2009

      Yep thats pretty much what it boils down to – My system is basically what I built for you guys on ME2, but on steroids! Once I’ve finished the final big part and added a wrapper for the whole system i’ll fire over a demo.

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