Rigging: Notes from "Body Language"

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Rigging: Notes from "Body Language"

Postby dcuny » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:20 am

I checked out a book on rigging for Maya, called Body Language, by Eric Allen and Kelley L. Murdock. I found it pretty useful - unlike other books that just told you what to do, this explained the theory behind different options, and the various pros and cons. I thought I'd include my notes from the book (mostly taken from the various tables). Obviously, the book goes into much more detail, but most of the items are pretty self-explanatory. :)

Classic Body Root - root located at hip joint
  • Simple to create
  • Easier to do simple animations
  • Great for acrobatics, tumbling, flying
  • Well known technique; easy to hand off to others
  • Very stable and reliable
  • Less functional for independent control of hip
  • Cannot easily mimic realism
Free Root - character's hips can freely rotate
  • Expanded functionality (more freedom to rotate the hips)
  • Ease of animation
  • Great for walking, running
  • Intuitive to animators
  • Follows Isner ideology
  • Setup is just a little more involved that the classic root, but well worth it
Isner Spine
  • Named after Michael Isner, tech guru from Softimage
  • Stretchy component
  • Lattice deformation for compression
Rigid Hips Technique - hips are attached to the spine
  • Simple setup
  • Simple to use
  • Great for simple animation
  • Cannot rotate hips easily
  • Less realistic
Free Hips Technique - hips are free from spine
  • More realistic
  • More functional
  • Very intuitive
  • Simple setup
Rigging for Ambulation
  • Mainly for walking, running and dancing
  • Movements based on the ground
  • Jumping works well
  • Great for most animations
  • Based on center of gravity
Rigging for Flight
  • Better for flying and acrobatics
  • For flipping, falling and flying
Simple Shoulder Setup - create shoulder straight from root
  • Simple
  • Quick to set up
  • Great for background characters
  • No clavicle movement
  • Less realistic
Clavicle-Based Setup
  • More realistic
  • Allows for shrug and droop
  • Used with scapular deformation
  • More complex to set up
Forearm Bone Setup
  • Easy to create
  • Requires limits with IK setup
  • Defined with weight mapping
Cluster Forearm Setup
  • Easy to create
  • Doesn't interfere with bone structure
  • Defined with weight mapping
  • Doesn't need special IK system
Advanced Setup
  • More complex
  • Requires FK/IK switch
  • Forearm rotation will be handled automatically later, with advanced deformations
Classic IK Leg
  • Easiest to create
  • Simple organization
  • Simple to use
Advanced Leg
  • More complex
  • IK/FK switch, world/local foot switch
  • Offers more options to animators
Classic Reverse Foot
  • Traditional setup
  • Uses reverse bones
Reverse Foot Modification
  • Simpler setup
  • Uses constraints and controls for reverse foot functionality
Classic Single Boneset Palm
  • Simple setup
  • Easier to animate
  • Lack of functional palm
Palm Bones
  • More realistic movement
  • Controllable palm shaping
  • Somewhat more difficult to set up with the correct rotation angles
Simple Eye Targeting - single target for both eyes
  • Speed of setup
  • Speed of use
  • No independent eye control
Advanced Eye Targeting - one target per eye
  • More control
  • Independent eye control
  • Longer to set up
Rigged Jaw and Mouth
  • Unlimited versatility
  • Easy to set up
  • Will take time to bind
  • Need to create morphs with poses
Morphed Jaw
  • Linear movement (not realistic)
  • Teeth and jaw move in nonrealistic way
  • Can create combination morphs
Morphs with Rigged Jaw
  • Hinged jaw (realistic)
  • Facial morphs need to work with jaw
  • Linear in their movement
  • Cannot rotate from point A to point B
  • Easily defined
  • Easily made (fast)
  • Easy to hook up
Joints and Influence Objects
  • More control over falloffs and extreme movement (independent control of joints)
  • Handles all mouths and shapes - very wide to very small
  • Allows teeth to be added to the jaw in a realistic way
Attributes/Morphs UI
  • Easy/no setup
  • Organized (attributes)
  • Sliders (middle mouse drag in viewport)
Facial Representation UI
  • Medium build time
  • Direct facial representation
  • Easy to understand
  • Can be in seperate window or next to character
UI Controls
  • Long build time
  • Easy to read facial representation
  • Joystick
  • Easy to understand
  • Can be in seperate window or next to character
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