July Update! / by Jeremy Ernst

It's been a long time since I did an update. Lots of stuff going on at Epic these days, and the days are packed with things to do, but tons of progress has been made on the tools amidst all that!

this is what I look like working..

this is what I look like working..

Since the last update, here are some of the things that have been done:

  1. Leg rigging completed
  2. Root rigging completed
  3. Global rig scale implemented (new V2 feature!)
  4. Rigging interfaces and code all wrapped up and polished
  5. Add and Edit Character UIs and functions done
  6. Animation picker R&D
  7. Began work on animation picker

For the rigging, most of the animator-facing features are the same, but under the hood, everything has been re-written and many small features added. As mentioned, there is now global rig scaling, which should be a pretty handy. Also, minor changes like: squash and stretch now correctly blend as do fk/ik switching.

 

For all of the rigging interfaces, I ripped out all of the custom images and styling I had been doing in code, and instead wrote a nice style sheet that each UI uses to cut down on the amount of code being written and also to give a nice consistent look to everything, as well as getting some additional polish features like button animation and such.

Add and Edit character use the same interface code, but the add/edit buttons get swapped out depending on which menu option you chose:

 

Also of note, is that there are no longer two files for every character. There is now only one file. If you want to edit a character, and you bring up the rigging tools, you will have to remove rigging to go back and edit placement and such.


The animation picker has been something I've been fearing a little bit, as it was the main thing I had in my head that I didn't really know how to pull off. I did some research and some tests and actually got what I thought would be the hardest part working in a day. This test shows what would eventually be a picker for a module, being able to be moved around on a canvas, rotated, and scaled. Each module will have a pre-written picker for it, that can be added to a canvas, and manipulated like this.


 

This will then get saved out to a picker file that will be associated with the given character. Even for the standard biped picker, this would allow people to go in and edit that file to better customize the layout for them. The rest of the picker isn't far enough along to bother showing until I get more done, but that will be the next big thing coming up.

Cheers!