With this tutorial, we will take a software-independent look at some of the vital terminology required to build a solid foundation for learning how to build rigs for 3D models. Software required: none.
With this tutorial, we will take a software-independent look at some of the vital terminology required to build a solid foundation for learning how to build rigs for 3D models. The purpose of these standalone lessons is not to learn how to use any specific software, but rather to focus on learning fundamental terminology. It is recommended that you are familiar with all of the terminology that is discussed throughout these lessons before starting to follow along with any rigging tutorials. Software required: none.
Introduction and Project Overview In this lesson, we will learn about set-driven keys. Animating complex objects and characters will often require us to key frame a large number of pieces or joints. Having to set keys for all of these pieces individually can become tedious, time consuming, and an organizational nightmare. Using set-driven keys can help us to animate more efficiently and set fewer key frames. A set-driven key allows us to drive multiple objects and attributes with one control. For example, let's take a look at this hand. We can see that it might take a while to animate all of the fingers into a fist position, because of the large number of joints that must be individually key framed. By using a set-driven key we can now use one control to animate all of the joints into the desired position. A set-driven key consists of two parts, the driver and the driven. The driver is the object in control of the animation. In this instance, it's a control with a custom attribute called fist. Now although this driving attribute could really be any attribute on any object, we've just chosen this one and called it fist. The driven is the object and the attributes that are being controlled. The driven in this case is the rotation of the finger joints. We can set up a specific relationship between the fist attribute and the rotation of these finger joints. Now once the driver/driven relationship has been established, we can now key frame all of the fingers in and out of the fist position by simply key framing our new fist attribute. This set-driven keys can also be used to consolidate character controls, control mechanical doors or gears, or any number of complex animated actions. They are a great way to start animating multiple objects or attributes simpler and have much more efficiency when you go to work with them. So give them a try.
CG101: Rigging In this lesson, we will learn about lattice deformers. A lattice deformer, also known as a free form deformer, is a volume of vertices that surrounds an object or group of objects that can alter their shape. This volume, or cage, will allow you to deform the object in a free form manner by allowing you to manipulate hundreds of vertices on the object with just a few lattice points. The benefit of using a lattice to manipulate the geometry like this is to help you create a smooth deformation over the surface. It will also help not having to manipulate so many individual vertices where you might get pinching or tearing. To create a deformation using a lattice, you alter the shape of the lattice thus deforming the objects it's connected to. There are typically two parts to a lattice, the base and the lattice itself. The lattice base is typically hidden and is used as a point of reference for your deformation. The lattice points can be moved, scaled, or rotated, and the application will calculate the change between the base and the lattice cage. This change is then passed through to the object that's inside of the lattice. The unique thing about lattice and object relationships are that they're not tied to the lattice so that you can create really amazing animations by moving objects through the lattice volume. By utilizing lattices for both animation and modeling, you can create endless variations of your art.