Friday, December 03, 2010

Setting up a "Reverse Foot" Rig

Creating a reverse foot setup is fairly simple (that's the thing that keeps the character's feet stuck to the ground and allow you bend the foot in various places). But the process can seem a bit complicated when you first see it . . . lots of moving pivots to various places, etc. So here's video to walk through how I do it. Obviously, other people have other ways of doing it, but let's see them make you a video! They'll never love you like I love you! {sniff}

Maya/Rigging: Reverse Foot Setup from zeth willie on Vimeo.

Set Driven Key weirdness in Maya

I noticed this issue a few years ago while animating something (something brilliant, I'm sure) and realized while describing it recently that most people don't actually think about the "behind the scenes" stuff when creating set driven keys. So here's a video describing it!
In short it goes over the "interpretation" graph that gets made when a set driven key is created and how the tangents (and shape generally) of that curve affect your animation.
Please to enjoy . . .

Maya/Rigging: Set Driven Key Animation Problems from zeth willie on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Modeling for animation - 3 part video

Did you know that the word modeling has only one "L" in it? For some reason I always chuckle when I write that. (as opposed to "sepArate" vs. "sepErate", which my brain seems incapable of ever remembering).
Anyways, more to the point, here are a few videos about MODELING (heh heh) that go over some basic stuff that pertains to animation. Did these quite a while ago and forgot to put the Vimeo links here on the blog. Oops.
These go over creating and using edge loops to get the forms you want while keeping the poly count low, localizing additional geometry you're creating using loops, and some general tips about modeling for rigging. The general idea of all of these is to point out that modeling for animation and production has some different requirements/goals than animating for, say, stills or for turntables. Some of the stuff is pretty basic, but things that I see done a bit wonkily fairly often, so there you go . . .

Modeling for Animation - part 1 from zeth willie on Vimeo.

Modeling for Animation - Part 2 from zeth willie on Vimeo.

Modeling for Animation - Part 3 from zeth willie on Vimeo.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Creating custom render passes in Maya & Mental Ray

Been studying up on how to create some render passes in Maya/Mental Ray. I'm using 2008 (so sue me), but this should mostly be applicable to 2009/10, as well, because there are some issues with the render passes coming out of both of those versions (mostly much longer renders, as Sagroth talks about HERE).
Basically the idea is to use the mia_x shader in particular to get a full spectrum of render passes basically at no cost (or little cost) to the render time of the images. This can be HUGE when you're rendering a longer animation or a series of animations.
Problem is that it's REALLY complicated, so I do it in three parts here. Part 1 talks about why you'd want to do this, Part 2 talks about the basic setup in Maya using the SimplePasses shader (which you can download HERE) and Part 3 talks about adding multiple shaders to your passes (both multiple mia_x and other custom passes) and some things to look out for re: render layers.
BTW, the script I'm using in the vids is here, though I make no promises about it. I fixed a couple things and can't replicate the weirdness from the 3rd vid, so I think . . . think . . . it should work OK for most things. To use it, source it, then type "zbw_renderPasses". If you open it in a text editor, there are some basic instructions in the header . . .
So anyways, here are the vids :)

Maya/Mental Ray: Custom Render Passes (Maya 2008) Part 1 from zeth willie on Vimeo.

Maya/Mental Ray: Custom Render Passes (Maya 2008) Part 2 from zeth willie on Vimeo.

Maya/Mental Ray: Custom Render Passes (Maya 2008) Part 3 from zeth willie on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Getting the most from your joint chains

Sounds fun, right? Actually did this video a while back, but been so busy with work that I forgot to post it here. . .
This is a video about how I "reuse" joint chains in a rig. The basic starter example is using copies of the same joint chain for an IK/FK arm. From there I show how to use a version of that chain in a stretchy rig and finally show how that concept applies to a rig I did for Method for a fish character that incorporates an autoswim function with FK control.

Maya/Rigging: Using multiple copies of joint chains from zeth willie on Vimeo.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Correctly orienting controls to your rig

A quick tutorial about getting your controls oriented correctly to the joints of your rig. Seen this done wrong a few times in the last couple years on jobs, and definitely amongst lots of student rigs so I thought I'd throw this together. One of the most sneakily fundamental things you need to know to make decent rigs . . .

Maya/Rigging: Group Orienting/Freezing Controls from zeth willie on Vimeo.