If at first you don’t succeed…

Today I have been mostly trying to get the character ready for animating; am currently not concerning myself with texture or colour at this time as I wish to get the animation done before thinking of such things, and also for time.

The one thing that I have noticed/done is to group and parent the character differently for animation, a change from the original rig set up. As previously mentioned parenting certain parts resulted in objects of the character deforming when moved. The solution was to do a combination of parenting and grouping, however either I am not use to this or it just isn’t an exact science as it feels as if once I get one section working another stops. So it is trial and error at the moment but so far it appears to be working well. Granted the method is more time consuming in the long run but I think it gives me a far greater realm of control that IK linking; something that was suggested in the last tech lesson, and I tested out on the legs of the character. I think it would have worked if my character was more human-esque than it is. However its characteristics did not lend themselves well to the IK process, I also tried parenting the objects to the bones of the IK link but I was still getting unwanted results with movement, so I stuck with the original method. With the grouping and parenting method though I have been able to move the pivot points of the characters ‘limbs’ to where I need them to revolve around it’s ‘joints’ in a way that I can’t currently do with the IK linking, but I fear that it may just be my lack of knowledge in this area that’s causing some of the problem too.

Also have lost count as how many files I have created now in saving different versions, failed attempts etc. I will need to go back through once the project is complete and delete redundant ones maybe so as to save space!

Now the next task is to try and get that desired movement out of it, although I have not done much of this with Maya so far. It is the same key-framing process that I was used to in 3DS Max from what I have learned so far. However the tech class covering that was so long ago and when I asked for a re-cap it kinda got brushed over as technically the re-cap was in a class I missed. This has been inconvenient as I missed it due to stress (caused by some personal matters) which also meant that I wasn’t practicing as much as I should have been in the early stages of this project, so am learning as I go, not a good position to be in but I shall have to make do for now. So instead I now have work induced stress, more enjoyable that personal stress, as with work stress there is always a goal and an outcome in sight.

Trying to use the graph editor to create animated movement.

As seen here the new parenting and grouping and have started to use the graph editor to work out the timing of the movement, a rather confusing process, I hope that after using it more it becomes more familiar as it is very useful.

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