Thursday, 23 February 2012

Week 3: A break from rigging (for more rigging)

Now the rig is up and running, I'm going to set it aside for a while. As I'm waiting for our artist, Dean Paupe, to finish modelling the character, I may still need to tweak bone positions. Rigging to a turnaround is not a precise art to say the least.

So I'm moving on to rigging the advanced tech characters. Initially we'd hoped these would just go in with the rigs they have but that's just not going to happen now, after my experience with the Ogre rig. Fortunately, these characters don't need to be animated by us, so the rigs can be basic and single layer.

I've played with one of them a little, and so far got this:

Again, this is going to be fun...

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Week 2: Reading Week Update

Bit of a slow week as its reading week so I've been home seeing my family. I have managed to get the base rig working in UDK, after an absolute nightmare. Every single bone orientation has to be perfectly set up to match the UDK one for the Ogre to take the animations properly, otherwise the bones just move off into a random place.

I got it done in the end though, here's the skeleton, picking up to animation from UT3. Doesn't look like much, but that was pretty brutal stuff.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Week 1: Major Project is a go!

Major Project start! This will be a bit of a trial and error space for a little while, as my first task is to rig our Ogre character for use in UDK. Having not rigged for UDK before, I'm sure there will be some traps and pitfalls I'll fall into and have to drag myself out of.

The rig will be complicated by the fact that we need to have our Ogre pick up the animations from UT3, as well as our own animations going in. This means the rig needs to be simple to apply the animations already there (especially as the Ogre's proportions are massively different to the UT3 characters), but we need enough control to be able to animate it well.

After some research, my plan is to make a 3 layer rig. On the bottom, I'll have a base rig, which the model will be skinned to and UDK will recognise. This will be constrained, with position and orientation constraints, to an animation rig, which we'll be animating. This means I can add IK/FK switches, twists and controls without worrying about breaking the underlying rig. On top of this I'll add a layer of control shapes. The Ogre is a fat character, and its going to be difficult if not impossible to animate him without seeing the skin, so our animators wont want to be messing around seeing the skeleton.