Summer is finally here! We've all handed in our final projects at South Wales University, and while for some people, it feels good to not have any work to do, people like me, need to be busy and work on new stuff 24/7.
This last week, I helped a 3D Character Artist friend who is working in a VR project. They needed one of their characters to be rigged, and so I decided to help them. The links to the game and to my friend's portfolio are linked down below.
The whole body can be controlled by an FK system but it has a few add ons. One of the most interesting things that I've been wanting to do for a long time, was a dynamic tail. For this one, I used a dynamic curve and a spline IK. I basically had the main root chain of bones. This is the one that will be baked and exported to Unreal Engine 4, and it's the one bind to the character's skin. Then I had a bone chain called DRV, from driver. I connected this chain to the dynamic curve. Then I tweaked a little bit the values of the hair system created by the dynamic curve. I also turned on the plane collision. Then using constraints, I linked the DRV tail to the main tail, and I created controllers to control the FK system and the dynamic system, and both systems were blended using the constraints, and the Set Driven Key tool from Maya.
The rig also has an IK/FK switch for the arms, and CCs to fully control the wings. When switching between modes, the corresponding controllers appear/disappear. A little bit of MEL scripting was taken from one of the Pluralsight courses ("Rigging a sea creature"), to blend the rotation of the body bones, so when you rotate one of them, the adjacent ones rotate proportionally. This gives an extraordinary sense of organic, and it also helps the skinning. Apart from that it has all the other common controllers. The feet controllers have attributes to control the ankle, ball, toe and heel rotation. Sorry this is not a "beginner friendly" explanation and it's not super detailed.
Link to the game: http://www.indiedb.com/games/jeffs-tower-vr
Link of my friend's work: https://www.artstation.com/artist/carlskanoy