Oddly enough I have found numerous ways to get out of it. My favorite way being, just don’t model anything that requires it. 😛
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. 😛
Okay here we go again. Add>Armature>Human (Meta Rig).
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. 😛