This is a 3 part attack animation sequence for this male character featured in my current work in progress:
This is the stage that I am currently at in the project. I am putting combat systems together. The mechanics will be set up such that hitting the punch button will initiate the jab, then if the button is pressed again in the right amount of time the character will perform the hook and finally if the button is pressed again it will go into the uppercut.
This image represents a fairly pivotal moment in my career. I actually stopped production in Unity at this point in development and went back out to Maya to refine the character and the rig. There are some issues with the character that bugged me enough to go back and make the changes. I opened up the character file and made the changes to the model. And then as I sat there looking down the barrel of a few weeks of work to re-rig this thing It occurred to me that I could finally just take the plunge, learn Python, write a script to auto rig this and all future characters saving me thousands of hours of tedious work in the future.
I have occasionally taken a few days to learn something new, but I had been avoiding scripting in Maya for years because I knew it was going to be a major undertaking and frankly I feared that I was maybe just a little too dumb for that sort of work. But I figured that since I wasn’t currently unemployed, with no deadlines or bosses looking over my shoulder this was the time. And since I was carving out this time to learn coding in C# for Unity, why not learn Python too? Well that was in July of 2017. It is now June of 2018. That was certainly one of the more ambitious rabbit holes I have ventured down, but I am so glad I did it. I just completed a full body automated rigging script.
Now it took me a year to write that script. Will it save me more than a year of work? Maybe… but that’s not really the benefit. What it means is that I can make more characters and spend less time rigging and more time modeling and animating! Don’t get me wrong, I really like rigging, but it takes a huge amount of time and its really easy to mess up some small detail and then get into a one step forward two steps back dance. With a script it is done perfectly, exactly the same every time. I’ll probably never rig a character manually again. I’ll just continue to modify that script to rig a wider variety of characters. In the near future I will be working on more tools that will streamline the process for making characters. It’s my goal to get it down to a week or two for a full fledged character.
You can probably tell how excited I am by this by how much I have wrote here… Sorry… Oh who am I kidding nobody is going to read this.Share