I don’t want to jinx anything, so I’m not going to say that Gronky’s rigging process is over. It’s never over. But the rig is now fully functional, let’s put it that way.
There’ll probably be bugs to work out that will only surface during animation. Also there’s no IK controls for the hands (not that Gronky needs IK controls for his hands, he doesn’t touch anything). I’m happy to go to animation without IK-controlled hands because today, vexed by a painful shoulder injury, I decided to just downscope the hell out of the character rig and finish off the bare essentials.
1 – 7 September has been another huge week, though.
Kicking off with a major annoyance in the form of a misbehaving arm, I spent a couple of days in research mode and figured out how arms work. I ended up with a solution that uses four bones per arm – non-twisting “direction” bones leading out of the shoulder and elbow, and non-directing “twist” bones leading into the elbow and wrist. The twist bones are weighted to smoothly take effect up towards the elbow and wrist. It took a couple of tries to get it working but once I realised the trick was not to let the twist bones have ANY effect anywhere near the joints furthest from them, it got better.
In the process of gathering wisdom, I also learnt some new rigger jargon – specifically “candywrapping”. That’s when a cylindrical mesh screws up like a candy wrapper under the influence of bone twist, losing volume in the process. A common problem in the arm area, I found out.
By Saturday I’d come down with a rather evil little shoulder injury that stopped me from sitting up at my desk for too long, so I had to begin pacing myself as I continued rig-weighting vertex by vertex to fix up deformations around the elbow. It was even worse on Sunday but I soldiered on, taking frequent breaks while rig-weighting the neck, setting extra constraints to stop the rig from deforming in ways that make the mesh break, and nutting out a quick and awesome solution for giving Gronky that smooth shape he needs despite the rig weighting being all over the place.
So yeah, the rigging is about 95% done and the remaining 5% will be minor troubleshooting after I hit animation. Maybe I’ll end up building that IK system for the arm after all, but I don’t think I’ll need it.
This week’s videos:
- Arm and shoulder experiments: part 1, part 2
- Modelling Gronky: part 12
- Rigging Gronky: part 31, part 32, part 33, part 34, part 35 (realtime excerpt); part 36, part 37; part 38; part 39; part 40; part 41
- Making Pointy, part 4
If you’re ever in the mood to watch me make “A moment in the sun” in timelapse, non-stop, you can always check out the YouTube playlist.
Moviewise I watched David Cronenberg’s “A History Of Violence”. It was pretty great – somewhat reminiscent of other movies like “No Country For Old Men” or “Fargo” where bad things come to small town USA. I also watched Terry Gilliam’s solo debut film “Jabberwocky” which was surprisingly good – a dark cousin to “Monty Python and The Holy Grail”.
I finished the week off with a walk cycle which I posted here. It’s still not lumbering enough yet but I’m still getting to grips with animating a big heavy character. It’ll come. 🙂