|01-14-2013, 10:57 AM||#1|
Florence, United States
Join Date: Jan 2013
A new look at Anzovin Rig Tools for Maya and crowdfunding campaign!
Last year CGChannel did a short news item on our new suite of rigging tools, Anzovin Rig Tools. We’ve got a lot more to show this year, and we thought you guys would like to take a look!
Anzovin Rig Tools (or ART) is an alternative to conventional bones, deformers, and IK handles that was built for modern rig functionality from the ground up. ART bones are actually spline curves, and you can add “Bone CVs” to them at any time to reshape them. But the real centerpiece of our toolset is the deformer.
Take a look at this movie to get an idea of what rigging with ART is like.
Notice that the deformer is doing very reasonable things right off the bat. It’s warping the space around the spline so as to distribute the vertices of the mesh in an even and visually pleasing way without any user input needed. We call our deformation technique Volume-Preserving Pipe Space deformation (or VPPS).
It also lets you control the twisting around the spline so as to keep twist out of problem areas like shoulders, which turns the usual whole-bunch-of-influences-controlled-by-a-node-graph into a single setting that just distributes twist correctly for a shoulder.
You have a bunch of high level controls for adjusting the look of the joint and a built-in pose space deformer for art directing it precisely. It’s a general-purpose pose space deformer that can use whatever you want as an input--translation, rotation, extra attributes, etc--but it can also use the tangency of the ART spline itself as an input, which is very useful for ensuring that you apply the right pose no matter what way you deform the spline. Note that so far there has been no weight painting at all!
You can’t escape weight painting completely--you still need to use some to indicate what areas of the mesh will be deformed by which splines. But since each chain of bones drives a single spline , a whole arm, torso, of finger becomes a single influence. So rather than the usual vast hierarchy of influences, a character with no toes may have as few as sixteen.
The VPPS deformer is also really good at deforming thick objects , which is traditionally really difficult. Here I’ve rigged up a flour sack with a single chain of bones. The VPPS deformer removes the usual crimping and buckling and gives you a smooth deformation when the object is bent.
We’re really proud to be able to finally show more of what ART can do! Our website has a lot more information. We’ve also launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money to finish ART more quickly. So far development has gone at a slow pace as we’ve had to take time away from ART to work on things that pay the bills, but we’ll be able to get it into a production-ready shape much faster if we have some resources to focus our programming staff on completing ART.
We think ART has the potential to really change the way people rig characters. I hope you like it!
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