Roller Derby Rig – Progress at 25/12/2016

Holidays! Perfect time to test my ability to keep on task.
Don’t worry, I spent the evening with family. It wasn’t all work.

Anyway, progress is being made!
I made a new hair setup with Shave and a Haircut – I mentioned in my last post that it was crashing Maya, but I’ve narrowed that down to specifically swapping from the brush tool to the select tool with hotkeys. Just gotta remember to click the icon when using SnH.
I got this style out in less than an hour – most of that time was just figuring out a decent workflow and getting used to the tool.
Obviously there’s still a lot of work to be done on it (the hairline on the forehead for example), but it’s soooo much nicer than my previous attempt already. Super excited.

I also got my iris color blending system working! I looked back at my old Mental Ray method of doing it, and it turns out I was using the ADD blending mode, not multiply. Well, guess what? Pixar’s PxrLayeredBlend node doesn’t have an add blending mode. So I had to get a little creative!

I ended up shoving the PxrTex nodes into three PxrBlend nodes – one for each color. My control will use these blend nodes to define how much of each color is blended in to the result.
The result RGBR, RGBG, and RGBB of the corresponding blend node was then plugged into the R,G,B (respectively) of a final PxrBlend node to mix ’em all together.
Finally that’s going into a layeredBlend, along with the eye whites. I had to modify the textures slightly so that anything I don’t want showing is black – that way I can use the Lighter Color blending mode to get the irises and whites together.

I tested this against my Mentalray setup and it’s basically identical! I still need to whiten the white part, and I haven’t set up the cornea yet, but I can happily move on from this and deal with the final bits later on.

I’ve done some work on the skin textures too. I had originally set it all up using a PxrLMSubsurface material, ’cause that’s the thing to do… but it didn’t take me long to fall back to a PxrDisney material, with a subsurface map plugged into it. It’s much simpler to set up, takes a small fraction of the time to render, and with the level of detail I’m adding in it looks much nicer.

I still need to add in some more details and play with my settings a little, but it’s certainly gonna do for now.

Also on the subject of textures, check out these clothes!

Things are coming together so nicely!

Finally, I’m on to the part that is the focus of this assignment; the rigging. I’ve created the overall skeleton (somehow forgot the jaw jnt but I’ll do that when I get to the face), checked my orients and rotate orders, and pythonically setup a simple IK/FK blending system for the arms and legs. I also have a simple automatic clavicle/scapula setup.
You can see the bendy controls in here too – I’ll be hiding those behind an attribute eventually, but not until I decide exactly where. I’m toying with the idea of having them on the IK/FK controls, but I might also have them go through the blending system and have attrs on the IK and FK controls themselves.

Notice also that the FK arm control is at the A-pose. I set up my joints so that rotation 0 is T-pose, but rotating down to -50 on Z gets you to the bind (A) pose. That way after I bind, I just have to 0 out my transforms and presto – instant T.

I also thought some people might be interested in the way I organise my outliner. It seems that everyone has their own organisation system – or none at all, in some cases.
I like everything to be in its own place, so that I can very easily get at the left arm IK joints for example, without having to dive down the entire joint hierarchy hunting for ’em.

Anyway, lots of work to do. Back to it.

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