Quick update on what I'm working on! I'm now working as a pixel animator at Mighty Rabbit Studios here in the Triangle area, so I will be delving into more pixel work on here in the near future.
The Angels Fall First project is progressing well, too. The finished mech rig has been put aside for now so that I can do a full overhaul on the first-person arms and weapons.
The arm rigging is pretty nuts right now. The original meshes were created using a poly-decimator, which basically takes a hi-poly mesh and tries to create a low-poly version while maintaining the overall surface shape. The problem is decimators don't create clean topology, and messy topology looks crappy when it deforms. Thus, I've had to re-topo the hands and try to fit them all to approximately the same proportions, with a marginal degree of success. I hope to explain more in a future post.
My latest work, tho, has been on the gun rigs. I've got a ton of awesome weaponry on my hard drive, and I've been having a ball working on getting it all set up to animate. I took one of the assault rifles all the way thru to a finished rig so that I can start testing thing out in-engine soon. Here's a short demo vid:
This rig took a lot more work than I'd expected. It has a lot more moving parts than most guns (sometimes all you need is 2 bones: grip and magazine), which was work enough, but the real challenge was making the switchable pivot points. I tried a number of different methods, but the eventual solution ended up being pretty simple.
At the core, it's a variation off the simple IK/FK triple-skeleton switching system. I have two skeletons for the stock and grip which drive the main control skeleton. One skeleton is rooted at the stock, the other at the grip. The main body control houses the attribute which switches between the two. Ideally, I'd like to set up a script that will allow for matching between the two versions. Way down the road, I'm hoping to write a GUI that would allow the animator to switch out weapons on the fly and do other nifty tricks, but that's gonna take a lot more planning and work.
Alrighty. That's me for now. If things go well, I should have moar soon! :D