[Bf-funboard] Empties in the bone hierarchy

bassam bkurdali at freefactory.org
Tue Mar 31 16:41:13 CEST 2009

Hehe, incidentally , I sent a while ago an idea how to achieve
auto-rigging (well actually, some kind of system for rig retargeting) in
Blender, using edit-mode 'constraints' (which I have since renamed
'rules' to distinguish from real constraints). 

I have made a while ago a prototype one-shot (hardcoded) system that
worked for a basic production task very well in conjunction with

My idea is that this could be used with etch-a-ton using templates for
parts of rigs (arms, spines, whatever you want) or could be used for an
entire armature. The basic idea is simple:

in pose mode, 'geometry' bones depend on on controls via the rig, but in
edit mode, all the controls and helper bones have 'rules' similar to
constraints that define where they are relative to the geo bones (the
system could be extended to external objects such as lattices or curves
or empties) when rigging, you just position the geo bones (ore use
etchaton to sketch them and retarget from a template), then you press an
'apply rules' button that automatically positions every other aspect of
the rig correctly via the rules.

To make this work really nice, would be nice to have a few more features
such as:

attaching ID props to individual bones in an armature
python hooks in etch-a-ton to run the rules directly after retarget

PS I actually like some of the selection UIs I've seen: downside is they
'take you away' from the character, upside is that in a complex rig they
can really help. It's something that I think could be added scriptable
in blender in the future (possibly after 2.5 is released)

On Mon, 2009-03-30 at 20:07 -0700, Sangwoo Hong wrote:
> It also depends on where you work too.  While I was at Disney, they
> insisted on having a "control panel" for any given character which
> included screen grabs of the character in a spread eagle pose and its
> mug shot with the controls positioned in and around what they
> control.  Apparently "animators" are too "artistic" to deal with
> technical stuff like grabbing "empties" there.  Ironically this wasn't
> as much work as it sounds like because the guy who worked on this
> stuff had figured out most of his job as MEL scripts so it only took
> him several screen clicks in Maya to get him to 90+%.  Like I said,
> auto-rigging scripts are the way to go.  And these scripts should do
> more then just rig the characters.  They should build the UI to
> control the characters as well...
> phong.
> On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 7:37 PM, Nathan Vegdahl <cessen at cessen.com>
> wrote:
>         (David Bryant)
>         > So, most pro rig rig controls use simple controls (boxes,
>         > circles,crosses,spheres).
>           Most professionally produced rigs use simple shapes because
>         the
>         riggers making them are either lazy, or are on too strict of
>         deadlines
>         to make good control shapes.
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