Skinning and additional rigging

Due to some slight rearrangement in schedule, this has been a mostly technical week for me without any actual animation going on. I’ve been trying out ways to add additional control over the mesh in regards to¬† contact surfaces, implemented dynamic secondary action in the rigs and begun the skinning of Yesim.

We have several shots in which the characters have close encounters with the ground, often quite forcefully and with other bodyparts than their feet. Therefore it felt like a necessity to get some additional squash and stretch control over the meshes at impact, to strengthen their prescence in the environment. Since time is of the essence right now, i’ve decided to stick to something I have some previous knowledge of and solve this by connecting lattices to the rig and hook the lattices up with clusters.
I have yet to stress test this and see if we’ll have to stick with a bare minimum, otherwise it would be nice to be able to add some smear-like drag in the mesh and other such flourishes in the animation.

Skinning of Yesim is in progress, the process is time consuming and will require more than the two days I had assigned for it. I had planned to use interactive skin binding, but upon seeing the initial, not at all optimal placements of the influence capsules I chose to let do with a standard smooth bind rather than to spend time troubleshooting. I go about the skinning by flooding everything to the root joint, thus ensuring I get a clean slate to start from, then moving all influence to the next joint in the hierarchy, only leaving behind that which is closest to the parent and repeat this process until I have traversed the entire skeleton. By doing this rather than painting the weights I can be certain I get the initial weighting exactly as I want it. Next I create an animation for the area I want to tweak so I can see the deformation easily, lock all the joints except the ones I want to have influence over this area and start to add and smooth weights between them.

Yesim will get some automatic overlap and billowing action in the hanging parts of her clothes. This is achieved by a spline IK rigged to a hair system, which is in its turn kept in order by FK controls, allowing both great control for the animator and a realistic touch to the fabric without painstaking hand animation.

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