How did that happen? I was behind in August so that my monthly quota spilled over into September and this month I caught up with a few days to spare. Yipee!!! Starting to enjoy the book more now. I suppose that helps. The bird rig is still very solid even in the new versions of Maya – that helps too.
In chapter seven I cover skeletons and rotational axis as well as referencing in models and rigs for a good animation workflow that allows parallel process to happen. We cover good joint placement that allows for proper movement for the animator. All in all not a whole lot changed in chapter seven. Joints still behave the same in these later versions of Maya.
Chapter eight covers skinning and here is where things got interesting. I was able to write “Well, that worked.” and delete three pages of working around skinning methods that left a lot of finagling to be done. Let me tell you how much I am adoring geodesic voxel skinning. Even with a low resolution and a higher (.77) fall off range I was able to get pretty good skinning on the bird with the first pass. That’s with lots of feather joints in the skeleton system as well. Well now. I had to then rewrite the chapter and go straight into skinning, skipping the interactive skinning method I had adopted to help get the students close to a good pass. LOVIN’ the voxels. If you haven’t checked out that binding method which came out in 16 – I highly recommend it.
The last bit of chapter eight I cover an autorig tool which I only use to create proxy geometry. I’m so happy to say even after all of these years zooToolBox still works. (Available here: http://www.macaronikazoo.com/) So lovely when a code base is so solid that it is maintainable. He has many tools. Including some you might notice have become part of Maya. I’ve only utilized zooSurgeon (sounds gross, huh?) to create the low res proxy geometry for the animator’s rig. That was easy.
Home from work today and taking naps trying to get over the crudz. Perhaps I’ll get a moment to begin next month’s chapters ahead of October. Keeps me focused on something other than the crudz. Be well out there in rigging land. – tina