Today I set about the task of refitting some of the larger elements of the Oinkfrog rig. There are lots of things I would like to improve and elements that I can now see arent so good - this should hopefully fix all these up ready to add the details and refinements that every model/rig needs.
Here is the basic workflow for this exercise:
De-Skin the model, this allowed me to do more invasive things on the rig - then I will come back to re-skin later.
I smoothed down the Adam's apple and shrunk it down, this with the long awaited inclusion of a sculpt deformer should make for some real fun there.
Remove the hand and arm rigs. With the mental local rotation axes I ended up with somehow - this allowed me to create a new hand rig, this time being more careful I created the fingers and arm separately then parented them. Though some of the secondary axes vary between chains, for each chain they are nice and aligned now which is gooood.
I also added the special joint to handle the elbow - not only could it then be animated (which could be cute) but this will keep it as a nice ball even if the arm boned are stretching all over the place.
Though I had fun experimenting with IK fingers, I am going to go for FK with some controllers to allow for some quick rotations without having to do each finger joint. Plus I will FK the arm as that will give better stretch control than the IK versions I tried.
My plan is to have the blend shape that narrows his arms driven by an expression calculating the distance between the elbow and wrist in the case of the forearm - that should be fun.
I like this image looking down through a finger inside the hand with the joints inside:
Creating the controllers with an eye to doing translations and rotations was next - almost like a mix between IK and FK. Creating the various arcs/circles was ok and parenting them (point and orient) to the respective bones worked like a charm after some controller parenting. I thought I might have to deal with keeping my controllers aligned with things - but as they are the masters of orientation - it just works.
I am keeping the Es and other controllers from past experiments just until after I skin and it doesnt work completely to plan.
I removed the tail splineIK setup - I have a different plan for that now as dealing with that IK and a spiral tail was tricky. I created a new big tail bone and a controller so I can swish his curly tail around after it is skinned. Working through an increased set of loops in his tail I methodically created the spiral in his tail looking from his back. Then working around again getting the orientation right, thus keeping the tail thickness and smooth geometry going.
After skinning, I will be able to see how much in the way of blends the tail needs and how much that new controller can deliver.
I then had a little play with some new foot'n'leg rigging - not happy with it though. I will have a bit of a read and try and get some advice on a cool short-leg-flipper-foot rig...
Next up - feet, then skin then back into blends and controllers.