SCRIPT : Draw Animation

SCRIPT : Draw Animation from Guillaume FERRACHAT on Vimeo.
Watch on Youtube.

 And here's a new script I just did : drawAnim. It creates an animation on the selected object based on what you draw with your pen or your mouse. By default there's one key per frame, but you can choose to simplify the curve. It is downloadable here : http://www.creativecrash.com/maya/script/draw-animation

More info : http://the-rigging-clown.blogspot.fr/p/download.html


Autorig 2.0

Modular Autorig from Guillaume FERRACHAT on Vimeo.
Watch on Youtube


Here's my third automatic rigging script, written it in Python. I made it because I needed something that could let me rig absolutely every kind of character. That's why this new script is not a basic autorig for bipedal character, but more like a big rigging toolbox that I will enhance whenever I need something new. The idea is that I don't click one button to generate a full body, but that I use different modules to build differents parts and attach them together.

Step 1 - Initialization 00:00

The first step is to initialize the rig. It begins with the name of the character, then the scale and whether I want to use the character's name as a prefix or not.

This first step creates the World controller, the main group and the sub groups

Then, as you can see at 00:07, I create the root controller. For that I use the Controllers module. It's a module that creates different kinds of controllers, with several options like the size, color, axis, etc...

If there's an active selection of components, it will snap the the controller to the center of the selection.
If there's several objects selected and the "&" symbol in the name, it will create one controller per object and replace the "&" by a number.
Finally, if a mesh is selected, a shift + click on the button will launch a special tool (called dragger context, for those who are familiar with maya scripting) made with API that let's the user create controllers and move them on the surface. It's quite useful to quickly create the controllers I use for facial rigs.

Step 2 - Torso, Neck & Head 00:20

The second step is to build the torso because on my character, all the other parts are attached to this one. For that I use the IK Spline module and set the root controller as the parent of the torso.
First, the tool creates a curve with several CVs according to the set number. There's one CV per controller. The ik spline can be in IK, FK or both. For the torso I usually use both, with 2 division on a standard human, and only one division in FK for the neck.

Step 3 - Limbs 01:02

Now that the torso is done, I can attach the limbs. The clavicle is optional and has an autoRotate mode for quadruped legs, but that can also be useful for human arms and even legs to have an automatic shoulder and hip rotation, I'll show that in my demoreel soon.
The limbs have several options such as non roll and bendy limbs. The hands and feet are made with a different module.

To build the other side, I use the mirror module to mirror the locators, then I load the new locators into the corresponding modules to build the mirrored limbs.

Step 4 - Eyes 04:39

The eyes are made with the look At module. It simply creates a set amount of joints aiming at their controllers, with an optional master controller

Step 5 - Space Switches 05:00

Now, once all the part are rigged, I finish the rig with the space switches. It creates constraints (parent, orient or point) with multiple targets, and an enum attributeto switch between them


It is obviously longer to build a standard human rig with my new modular autorig than with my old one, but the good thing is that this autorig is much more flexible, I can rig pretty much anything.

I'm currently working on a new module for facial rig, and I will also add some of my external tools to this autorig (like my dynamic bones rigging script)

PS : don't forget to check my scripts available for download : http://the-rigging-clown.blogspot.fr/p/download.html


New Character : Engineer

Just a preview of what the character I'm working on. It's a realistic version of the engineer from team fortress. The model is almost finished, then I'll start texturing and rigging it.

SCRIPT : Curve on Mesh

Another script on creative crash. I've been playing with API and the dragger context. With this tool you can draw a curve on a mesh.

I already planned some improvements, like the ability to handle multiples mesh and maybe an offset value.

You can download it here : http://www.creativecrash.com/maya/script/curve-on-mesh


WIP : Pose & Animation Bank

I Am currently working on a new tool to store and reuses poses and animations.The user interface is almost finished and the basic features of the poses part too.
For now, it is possible to add characters and categories. It is also possible to add poses with a snapshot. Those poses are reusable and can be deleted, and there is a tool to select the controllers of the pose.
What remains to be done ?
I have to do the animations part, wich will be a bit more complicated. It will be possible to insert the animations wherever you want in the time line, they will probably be scalable to.
I'd also like to add substract/add modes for the poses, but I don't know if it will be in the first version or not.
In a future version there will be a tool to add other directories, so you can store your poses and animations in different folder (flashdrive, HDD, etc...)
How does it works ?
It is pretty simple : you select some controllers, position you camera for the snapshot, choose a name, character and category and click on "add". Now the image is stored as a .png and the pose/animation informations as a .xml, in the same folder as the script.
One important thing to know is that it doesn't need to be launched from maya's default folder. I am currently running it from a flashdrive. I haven't try yet but it can also probably be launched from a server in a studio, so all the animators can share and use all their poses and animations.
When ?!
 I think I will be able to publish a first version at the beginning of september.


SCRIPT : gf_multiRivet

I uploaded another script on creativecrash. You can find it here.
It attaches the selected object(s) to a mesh, with a rivet. I use it a lot for facial rigs, but there's a lot of uses ☻

More info : http://the-rigging-clown.blogspot.fr/p/download.html


Autorig, Interface and more : VIDEO

I recorded a video to talk about my autorig, the animation interface and other things I usually add to a character rig. The video is quite long (35 minutes) but I wanted to cover every features.

I recorded this video in french. If you don't speak french... well that's too bad, because first, you won't understand what I say, and second, you'll never know what anticonstitutionnellement means...

Now seriously, I will record a series of shorter videos in english, focused on stuff like the limbs rig, the facial rig, the interface, the tools, etc...so stay tuned ☺

GF autoRig - Explications détaillées [FRENCH] from Guillaume FERRACHAT on Vimeo.


SCRIPT : gf_vertexSnap

I just uploaded a first script on creativecrash. You can find it here.
It snaps a selected object to the center of a selection of components on a mesh. I use it to snap joints inside a model, but I'm sure you'll find a lot of other cool uses :)

More info : http://the-rigging-clown.blogspot.fr/p/download.html


     As this is the very first post on this blog, I feel I should talk about my main tool as a character rigger.

     This is actually my second autorig. The first one (https://vimeo.com/33766447) was written in MEL, and was provided with an animation interface with tools and pickers. It worked fine but was limited to a very specific type of character : 2 arms, 2 legs, 1 toe, 5 fingers and a thumb.

     This new autorig is written in Python and presents much more options. Here is a video I made 2 months ago showing its features and how it works : https://vimeo.com/65519627 I did some improvement in the past 2 months but the most important things are in this video.

      There's one thing I kept in mind when building the animation interface : it HAS to fit each and every character; I must be able to add controllers (facial rig, antenna, tail, etc...) that the interface is able to recognize. In order to do that, each controller's message attribute is connected to a multi message attribute on a group, so the features like the Select All button simply checks that attribute to create a list of all the controllers.

    I'll write another post later to explain the details of how the interface works and how the pickers are generated dynamically.