Fun detailed rant time. For all the 3D artists and animators out there.
My project is pushing towards small details in a lot of different aspects. The biggest one is the character himself, an android with a humanoid endoskeleton and synthetic muscle system.
The challenge with this is mostly in the forearm, actually. While traditional rigging methods work for human 3D models with skin, it won’t work here. Traditional methods are only going to work on the joints themselves, and certain low priority muscles, as the Radial and Ulna need to twist, dependent on the wrist. This means that having only one “animation bone” for the forearm will create mesh/texture stretching and will make it appear that the metal “bones” are flexible, thought they should be rigid.
I plan to overcome this challenge by rigging only the hand/wrist to the main character, and attach each bone and muscle individually between the elbow and wrist using inverse kinematics to let them track to the wrist attachment points.
We’ll see if Unreal Engine can handle that many attachments on a single character.
Any pointers and considerations are welcome on the subject.
Im a lead rigger for film vfx and have to deal a lot with anatomical rigigng, and as a hobby I do stuff in ue4 with some of my rigs, so Ive got a bit of experience with advanced rigging.
Your plan sounds about alright, but can you post an image of the model? That would help us a lot to find a good solution and point out potential pitfalls.
Such as: Why deal with the IK in the engine? Is there gonna be a procedural animation system? Or will you be baking out these anims? Cos if yes, you dont have to do this in the engine, you could port all this out to a complex maya skeleton and bake that.
I actually haven’t completed the mesh yet, I’ll post it either tonight or tomorrow.
It had not occurred to me that I could bake complex animations to a simplified skeleton… I’m not very experienced with rigging/animating (I know enough to do it, but I don’t know the tricks) and I suppose the method I detailed above clearly indicates that, haha.
I only have Maya LT, and I’m not sure if it allows baking animation across different skeletons, but I will certainly research this tonight after I put together at least a test mesh. Thank you, Adeptus, you actually opened my eyes to a whole new series of methods.