Izzys Evolution: To Rigify or not

Let me start off by saying, I really hate rigging. So much so that I put it off and drag my feet anytime I am required to do it.

Oddly enough I have found numerous ways to get out of it. My favorite way being, just don’t model anything that requires it. πŸ˜›

But even I can’t avoid it forever. Unfortunately I do avoid it often enough that the options always seem to have changed between my last rigging misadventure and the current one. Which of course requires new research and experimentation every single time I actually rig a character.

This time I thought I had a good plan. David Ward did a great video tutorial on adapting the Meta Rig. He added a few very simple constraints that even I could replicate.

I prepared by watching the tutorial several times, back to back. Okey dokey. This should be too easy.

Yeah, not so much.

Between watching the video and sitting down to actually try it, I had an interesting conversation with Jason. He was telling me about rigfy and how cool it was. I went to the link he gave me and checked it out.

Looking back at it, this is where my problems began.

I downloaded the add-on and installed it. I also bookmarked the thread and demo videos for future reference. Very important to note, I did NOT read or even skim the thread. If I had, I could have avoided a lot of confusion.

Okay so current plan is try David’s method to get Izzy rigged and then later check out the rigify add-on and decide which I like better.

Okay, step one: Add>Armature>Human (Meta Rig)

hmm… that doesn’t look like the rig David was playing with. The foot doesn’t even remotely match.

hmm… try it again. Nope, that most definitely is not the same rig.

Umm…. Oh!, I bet the options are different because of the rigfy add-on. No problem, I’ll just turn that off and continue on my merry way.

Okey dokey, add-on disabled back to step one: Add>Armature>Human (Meta Rig)

Umm…. snap! Now only option is Armatures>Single Bone.. No Meta Rig at all, old or new version.

Sigh I must have really fouled something up when I installed that add-on. Wouldn’t you know it, first time I install an add-on and I totally break blender.

Well no problem, uninstall everything and start over. Wouldn’t be the first time. πŸ˜›

Okay here we go again. Add>Armature>Human (Meta Rig).

Double snap!!!

Still only Single Bone.

What in the blue blazes did I do now?

Fine, obviously time to do some reading. Back to the post I bookmarked and a not so quick read/skim (that is one LONG thread).

Ahh! Well that explains a lot. Rigify is now installed with blender as an included add-on. Well that made my install of it rather redundant, now didn’t it.

Reading the thread was just a start, I still needed to watch the videos to see how to use it.

Ooooh! That is too cool. Especially the part where you can use templates to build the base rig that rigify uses. Izzy is not completely standard. She has three fingers not four and of course she has a tail. Using rigify I can “customize” her rig.

Well no time like the present.

I added all her bones using the provided templates. Moved the rig to the side and hit the rigify button.

Ooooh! That is seriously cool. Well at least it was until I discovered that moving her arm didn’t move her hand with it. Ooops! I didn’t parent the hand bones to the arm bone. Um come to think of it, I didn’t parent any parts to any other parts.

Serious giggle time, even I know bones need to be parented to bones, there is a clearly defined hierarchy for this sort of thing. I don’t know why I thought just adding the templates was going to do it.

So I fixed it all up, then for comparison, I added the Meta Rig and didn’t use the templates (well except for her tail, standard Meta Rig does not have a tail.) For me at least, it seemed easier to use the standard rig and just add the part I needed (her tail), rather than adding all the parts from the templates. Which then required parenting.

But ultimately the end result, was getting Izzy actually rigged with a minimum of effort on my part. Major whoo and hoo for that.

A little clean up of weight paints and she will soon be dancing. Well she will be dancing, once I experiment and sort out just exactly what everything does.

Got to love how the coders spoil us.

hmm… I wonder if I can convince a coder to create a “dancify” button. It would make the next part of Izzy’s evolution easier.


Sigh, I guess that was asking a bit much. But it doesn’t hurt to ask. Just in the last few weeks I learned that there was a “Light it up” add-on and a rigify add-on. So if some sweet coders actually made a dancify button or add-on, just let me know. I will be all over that. πŸ˜›



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5 responses to “Izzys Evolution: To Rigify or not

  • notbycharlotte

    Ohmygosh this was like reading my own train of thought while trying to rig my character. I of course, bought the 2010 Blender Training series and watched the rigging bit about 12 times while trying to figure out why there’s a metarig in the tutorial and no metarig on my screen lol! Then I caved and asked a friend if they knew anyone who’d set up my character rig for free or very close to it lol. They sent me to cessan.com who lo and behold is the inventor of Rigify! lol. I emailed him and he suggested I use it! …So I downloaded it. ….And tried to install it…. And nothing happened except Blender’s “navigate through your files” screen just kinda stared at me. …So I installed it three more times lol. Then I reread Cessan’s email to me a little closer… ok I read it completely for the first time… and he said to “enable” it …not install it. So then I went back and realized I could just click that little check box and Rigify showed up on my screen! Whooo Hoooo! ….Then I set up my whole character with it -per training video instructions… and skinned it only to find out it didn’t rotate the hands when I’d rotate the arms…. Then I went back to google and searched “Rigify Metarig Tutorial” lol and found your blog! So NOW I know I need to parent the dang bones before skinning because Rigify doesn’t do that for me lol! Thanks for the information!!!! You saved me another 3 days trying to figure this out! πŸ™‚

  • notbycharlotte

    —–>Also I love Izzy! Very cute and can’t wait to see the dance! I hope you post it!

  • dreamsgate

    I feel your pain, rigging is NOT my favorite task in blender. Rigify does make it so much easier. I still plan to get Izzy moving, just been busy lately with other things.

  • notbycharlotte

    lol I’m so right there with you. I just asked for a deadline extension for my rig. Since reading your post and thinking that FINALLY I had everything figured out (and actually I am quite happy with the rig I’ve built…) ugh it seems I may actually need to rebuild my model’s body. My boss purchased an existing model for me to use as a base -thinking it would simply things. Silly me thought it would too. But now that I’m skinning it – there are so many pieces that aren’t attached I’ve got pieces flying everywhere.

    I should probably mention that I’m new to Blender too lol! Silly silly girl that I am -I assumed that since I know Maya and 3d Studiomax (har har har) that it’d be a snap to transition to Blender. (Did you notice the previously inserted laughter? Go ahead and insert some more here too!)

    It’s cool though. Model’s only a month late (yikes!). And now I don’t have the heart to tell him I’m going to recreate the base model he kindly provided (double yikes!). But it’s cool – I can get this finished before tomorrow evening. Yeah! No problem! I got it under control!!! πŸ˜€

  • dreamsgate

    Bummer deal, but that is the way it goes. And my personal projects are NEVER done on time. I am the reigning queen of “if it can go wrong, it will go wrong”. Which is just ridiculous considering how long I have been using blender.

    On the up side, I am pretty good at modeling, it is everything else that causes problems. πŸ˜›

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