Week 36: A Bendy Stick Figure in 3D

I started animating digitally in 2D with Pivot Animator around fifteen years ago, and stick figures have had an impact with me ever since. So when a friend approached me to animate a soccer short with stick figures I hesitated to accept because I did not want to draw a bunch. However, after some thought, I realized I could use this as an opportunity to create a nurbs surface twisty/bendy module in Maya and make a proper 3D stick figure rig. Behold, a new character!

To the left, we have the original pivot animator stick figure, used as the concept for the 3D model. In the middle is the rig in Maya, and to the right is a quick idle animation from the 3D model.

As I mentioned, I used this opportunity to work on a bendy rig module, which takes at least three transforms, and whose mid transforms will be driven by the bendy module, example below:

from piper.mayapy.rig import Rig

with Rig() as rig:
    rig.bendy(['lowerarm_r', 'lowerarm_twist_{}_r', 'hand_r'], name='Right Lowerarm')

Where "{}", would be replaced with 01, 02, 03, etc based on transforms found. Controls are automatically aiming at the next control in the chain which creates for a smoother bend :)

Anyways, hopefully this semester is a bit lighter on my workload and I can continue on with this adventure!