First up, although not the focus of the tutorial, he showed a couple of Weight Painting tips that will greatly relieve my frustration in my own projects.
- He selected the mesh and went to Weight Paint mode (which of course showed that the weight paints were all over the place and not useful as they were)
- Then he toggled to Edit mode and selected all the vertices that he didn’t want in the bone he was working on.
- Back in Weight Paint mode, he toggled theFace Selection Mask for Painting, only the vertices he had selected in Edit mode were included in the selection mask
- Now he set the weight strength to 0.0 and clicked once in the selection mask ( where you click in not overly important as long as it is in the selection mask.
- Then he hit Shift + K, and the whole selection mask turned Blue (0.0 weight)
Now how cool is that. That is going to be a huge time saver for fixing up weight painting. In fact I will be using that work flow here a little bit later this morning. 😛
Now obviously this was just part of Patrick’s set up to get to the real objective of the tutorial which covered the following:
- Setting up a rig with separate IK and FK controls. Skinning the rig to the mesh.
- Setting up Bone Constraints.
- Setting up Custom Properties.
- Setting up Drivers.
- Drawing some UI elements in the Properties Panel through Python.
- Creating some Bone Shapes.
He covered quite a bit of information during the tutorial, but none of it felt rushed or glossed over. By the end, not only had I learned about topics that I had considered too advanced for my skill level, I had gained a better understanding of how advanced rigging worked in general.
Which is great, having recently been playing with rigify, I had quite a few questions on what to do with my character once rigified. And while Patrick’s tutorial did not cover rigify, I could see how things went together, which explained the rigify controls that were confusing me. Yay, I love it when information all of a sudden comes together and makes sense.
I even understood the section of the tutorial where he covered Python scripting the UI elements. Okay, maybe “understand”, is too strong of a word. I am notorious for not “getting” python. But I did follow along easy enough to understand what he was doing, even if there is no way I could ever duplicate it on my own. But luckily I wouldn’t have to. It would be very easy to play the tutorial to that point and then open blender and simply type in the script exactly as I see it in the tutorial. 😛
Okay, I might have to struggle a bit to extend the script to make it work for the rest of the armature, he only covered the left arm after all. But even I can extrapolate and figure out the naming stuff, once the main part is set up. And if I was smart enough to always name my armatures the same way, I would only have to create that script once, and then re-use it as needed. 😛
I thoroughly enjoyed Patrick’s tutorial and hope that he creates many more for BlenderCookie. Who knows, he might even be the one to actually get me scripting on my own. 😛
In case you missed it, I encourage you to check out his first tutorial on BlenderCookie: Creating an ‘Add Mesh Primitives’ Panel in the Tool Shelf.