Rig: Procedural Sine
When animating sea-creatures I found that a sine deformation was invaluable to get the dynamic flow that most of those creatures naturally had. Normally I’ve done this by using expressions, but I hate dealing with expressions when animating as you have to play the animation to evaluate and see the actual result of the expression.
So I’ve been experimenting a little on my own to see if it’s possible to achieve this with the standard nodes within Maya, and as Maya actually do have a sine deformer, I’ve been looking at ways to extract that behaviour so that it can be applied to joints.
Here’s the result:
It’s amazing what you can do with rivets, that’s what I used to extract the sine behaviour 🙂
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Nico Strobbe posted a rigging-challenge over at CGCociety in 2010, he has provided a stunning model of a mechanical cat consisting of 437 different parts which can be downloaded here:
I started to rig this creature about a year ago, being my first attempt at mechanical rigging I quickly ran out of ideas on how to rig the legs properly, so I gave it up.
However I picked up the rig again about two months ago, starting from scratch on the entire thing, after a hard struggle I finally managed to figure out how to solve the legs (which is the key to the entire rig) and completed the rest of the rig.
Here’s the rig-presentation:
Edit: Now about six years later, Ryan Porter has rigged this beast himself, he’s also shared his rig with to the community (which can be found here).
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Script: Delete Flat Keys
When you’re working with animation you eventually end up with a lot of extra keys, by that I mean flat keys, keys we don’t need.
See the image below, I’ve marked the flat keys with red dots:
With the script you just select all of the objects that you want to clean the keyframes on, then you define the angle threshold, and the script will go through and delete all of the keys with a lower angle threshold than specified.
When ran on the example above, we end up with this:
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