Building A Character – Rig

So, I finally managed to get onto the rig of the character, it was fairly simply to understand from using a tutorial. I have adapted a method of working which means that I don’t rely too much on the tutorial, I will look at the tutorial and work through it, but then once anything becomes repeated I always turn it off and have a go on my own; this way I am learning on my tod somewhat.

I made pretty fast progress with this part and I must say that I actually enjoyed it. I think that is a recurring process with this brief, I seem to dread things then once they are done get a great sense of achievement and enjoyment from them. I did have some trouble with the controllers on this though, as I kept forgetting to use them to move the mesh, instead I kept moving the skeleton around then realizing that I had just created controllers to do that for me.

As you can see the bounding of the skin works fine, my character is fully movable ready for animation! Well, nearly…I still have some bits and bobs to tidy up.

Another main problem that I have noticed later on in the project is that my leg joints on the skeleton aren’t vertical, this is because I assumed that they would have to stay within the mesh. This isn’t the case, so because they are slightly angled the set driven keys on the feet are abit off. Just another thing to learn from I suppose.

Weight Painting is one of those things that I haven’t enjoyed so much this brief. I found it difficult understanding the reasons for having the black and white gradient for each different joint. It boggled my brain quite a lot trying to figure out which parts needed to be which colours, so in the end it was all down to trial and error. I think this isn’t a bad thing though, I think that it is one of those things that you get to understand better through experience. The more humanoid characters you do, the more you will understand the topology, the muscle structures and the general way that the weights need to be done to get a realistic end product.

By a long shot the part that irritated me the most was the bottom of the dress. It took ages!!! Plus is kept going wrong.

I think I have gotten a very good outcome from the whole modelling and rigging process. I am actually surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did, it was one of the areas I was dreading doing, but I suppose that fear was from a lack of using Maya; it’s simple once you get used to it. I am also glad that I have come to terms with the fact that this is my first attempt and everything doesn’t need to be perfect. This is a learning curve for me, and I think that my outcome is a good one, even though there are some imperfections.


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