Dynamic Chain setup tool 1.1

The Dynamic Chain Setup Tool helps any artist using Maya to get nHair simulated joint chain.
Easily create secondary animations for your character or prop while having a full control over the animation with a generated control rig, plus many options to manage your simulation for production.

 

Tool Info

The tool supports all Maya versions starting from 2014 up to the latest version (2017 at the time of this writing)

In the video demonstration, the tool is used to generate a control rig that can be switched to a dynamics rig and blend between both.

The Demo also features the Simulation Tab where you can select different setup components, bake your simulation onto controllers designed specifically for baking the animation and replace the hair system or the nucleus.


How To Install

Place the dynamcChainSetupTool folder in your scripts folder. Run these lines in a python tab in the script editor:

from dynamicChainSetupTool import dynamicChainSetup as dc
dc.show()

 

Install directory example

Install directory example


ADD Rigging TAB

In The ADD Rigging Tab you can generate a Spline IK rig for your joint chain.

  1. Add the Start joint using the Get Button next to the Start Joint Field.
  2. Add the End joint using the Get Button next to the End Joint Field.
  3. Choose the number of controllers you would like to have for your rig in the CTRL NO spin box. The bigger the number the smoother the Spline IK curve, a higher number is especially important if you have a long joint chain.
  4. Choose your controller shape from a list in the CTRL Shape combo box.
  5. Add a Prefix for the generate rig components.
  6. You can assign the rig a new Nucleus by just selecting new in the Nucleus Combobox, or choose an existing nucleus in the scene.
  7. You can assign the rig a new Hair System by just selecting new in the HairSystem Combobox, or choose an existing hair System in the scene.
  8. Create the Rig!
Add Rigging Tab

Add Rigging Tab


Simulation Tab

Simulation Tab

Simulation Tab

In the Simulation Tab you have a set of useful selections needed while using the rig.

Make sure to select one controller in your rig so the tool can get the information from before selection.

Baking

One of the most useful features in the tool is the Bake Simulation on Bake Ctrls feature.

  1. When you are happy with your simulation you can bake it onto the Bake Controllers. With this you can have your simulation as animation on the Bake Controllers where you can still tweak it or add it to an animation layer.
  2. To switch to the Baking Controllers chain, click on the Select the Settings Grp button in the simulation tab and switch the Baking Rig attribute to 1.
  3. You will see that the Baking Rig is an FK rig that corresponds to every joint you have.
  4. You can always redo the simulation but you have to set the Baking Rig back to 0, so you enable back the IK Setup that controls the dynamic rig. However your previous baked animation on the Baking Rig will be overwritten if you bake again.

If at any point you decide that you would like to replace your current Nucleus or Hair System used for the rig, you can do that in the Functions section.

Settings GRP Baking Rig Option

Settings GRP Baking Rig Option

 

Rig and Settings Groups.

  1. When you generate the dynamic rig using the dynamicChainSetup tool, it creates a new group in the scene with the prefix give. You can parent this group under the driving controller or joint. For example in the gif attached  we parent the tail dynamics group under a hips controller so it moves with the body.

     
  2. You can always control the visibility of the Baking Rig by selecting the Settings GRP through the Simulation tab and switching the Baking Rig attribute to 1.

     
  3. You can turn off the Dynamics simulation by by selecting the Settings GRP and turning the Dynamics Switch attribute to 0.
    You can use this option as well to blend between your IK rig animations and the dynamics, that is quite useful if you prefer to animate but want that extra bit of secondary animations or if you want to have a more stiff simulation.

     
  4. You can create a controller for your dynamics chain that controls the Settings GRP if you would like a faster access to the Dynamic Switch and the Baking Rig attributes. 

Tail parent setup example


Limitations

The tool currently only works on one chain at a time, you can not bake simulation or select rig components of multiple dynamic chains at the same time.


Terms Of Use

You may use the tool commercially. However you may not redistribute, rename or claim rights for the tool.

Feedback, questions and bug reporting are always welcome. However do not expect the author to provide any extra features not shown or documented in the tool.

copyright: 2017 © purplepuppet AB. All Rights Reserved