27 June 2013

Tool Development for Avatar Pipeline ...

In the last few months I have been working a bit on the avatar system here at Little Bridge. I am responsible for improving the avatar pipeline and also creating and integrating more assets to the avatar. This involved a lot of restructuring of scene files and some rigging & skinning.

As the avatar assets are not only used in Unity but also in Flash, I needed to come up with a tool which deals with rendering of each single item of the avatar (sometimes in conjuntion with other i.e. bodyparts or the mattes) and also the avatar's bedroom while adhering to different pre-existing naming conventions as different programs needed access to it. I ended up using Mel and automating the rendering process with only the least necessary user input while maintaining as much flexibility as possible. It really paid off...what used to take one person more than a day in rendering off and on could now be done in a few minutes and the renderfarm could do the rest when running it there.

While I was doing this I also added some features to make it easier in Maya itself to change the look of the avatar as this is often needed for renders for marketing material. This makes it a lot more fun to use I think in Maya itself.

I am looking forward to further improving the avatar and the tools that my colleagues use and making it as quick and easy to deal with as possible.

Avatar System used in conjunction with Unity

17 June 2013

Update - Mechanical Rigging

I always wanted to see if i can't get the beltrig I create with a script to act a little bit more dynamically and interactive WITHOUT using any dynamic curves....I think I might have found a way :) I wanted a belt around two wheels to react to size changes of the wheels and also distance changes, like you would find with a rubberband I guess.  Hopefully I can get a chance soon to integrate those features into the script i wrote a while ago.

The new manual part of the rig can be seen around 35 seconds in...first there is a recap of the scripted mechanical rig.

Update - Face Rigging

I created another little video showing and testing the face rig I created a while ago. I am looking forward to eventually going back and really enhancing it with some more corrective Blendshapes. It can get quite complicated to control corrective Blendshapes once you get quite a few...It would be a great challenge to come up with a system that does so reliably.
Face Rigging from Angelika Aibel on Vimeo.