Our animator prefers to work in Maya so I spent the first half of the week trying to make a rig there. A rig which is quick to make and even I can use and maintain it, so I chose HumanIK as a base. Unfortunately I was not able to come up with a good enough workflow and got really frustrated by how Maya works. It feels like a Linux distribution from around 2000…
So I went back to Motionbuilder, rebuilt and extended the whole rig, making it as animator friendly as possible. There is an excellent, eye opening ebook on the subject which I followed closely: The Animator Toolkit for MotionBuilder. (It has a DVD version as well.)
One of it’s authors is Brad Clark who helped me a lot on the TAO forums, so if you need some good advice on Motionbuilder, Maya or animation in general, visit his blog.
Next week I’ll transfer the existing animations to the new rig and hand them over to the real animator for fixes. After that I go back and try to fix 3dsMax’s broken object baking.read more
Most of the work I’ve done this week was “under the hood” stuff: I re-linked a major portion of the animation tree so now it includes our custom blending nodes. I was content to discover that finally the anim nodes are text based like the rest of the node based systems in UDK. That allowed me to do some copy-parse-paste magic in Notepad++ thus easing the pain of the tedious task.
I finally got around to download the trial version of 3DSMax 2012 and see how the new features/bug fixes affect my realtime high def texturing workflow. Well, there are good news and there are bad news:read more
The first room for the Dark Ride is as complete as possible without a working animation or control system. For example I have no idea how/if we can make a good enough jumping mechanic or proper looking movement on stairs.read more
The design document was updated and yet another part was cut: the GVInput class. It was meant to replace Unreal’s .ini based input and control management in favor of a more flexible system. Instead of config files, input mappings were to be stored as archetypes which could be swapped on the fly: in one minute the user moves the pawn around, in the next the controls are changed to focus on arm and hand movements.read more