Monday, 4 May 2009

Knights Project: Rigging Controls

After creating the skeleton for the rig and binding the skin you have to create controls that make the character move. Its always best to keep a clean looking hierarchy at the side of the interface by parenting certain geometry and joints to controls also makes an animators job a lot easier. My characters have I.K handles and pole vector constraints that control the movement in the arms and legs and angle of rotation in the knees and elbows. The upper body including the arms, head and helmets of the squire character are controlled by C.V curves and work on the rotation. The larger circular curve controls all the upper body including the rotation in the arms, it doesn't control the arms individually but if the top of the character moves forward or rotates then the arms simply move with it. I have separate controls for the head and helmets. I used aim constraints to controllers for each eye and parented it to a controller that controlled the movement of both eyes. For things such as ankle rotations, foot movements, finger rolls, wrist and hand movement’s controls need to be added via the hypershader. I selected controls that move the o.k. handles for my arms, I then added attributes to the control such as "wrist roll" and "index roll" and made sure that all my hand and wrist movements were named properly so that the animator could easily understand how to animate my model. I assigned each individual joint to an attribute using the hyper shade making sure that each rotation was correct. This means that instead of having a control for each finger bend the Hand control can be selected and the attributes appear on the side of the screen, the animator just selects the movement i.e. 'index finger roll' and slides the cursor across the screen making the joint rotate in either x, y or z depending on what rotation it was assigned to. The same process took place when including the ankle and foot controls in the Foot I.K handle control. Although this seemed to be a daunting slightly complicated task it wasn't and I actually found it quite therapeutic as no problems occurred and the process was quite repetitive.

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