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By Andrew Silke
Now featuring Trigger UI selection by Hamish McKenzie
Generi is a free model rigged and ready for character animation in Maya 5.x. The Generi rig includes full lip sync and facial controls and the brand new trigger UI selection method for selecting puppet controls. He's a simple model with a production quality rig perfect for learning character animation.
UI' as seen here sits in the camera view. To select a control on the character
simply click the icons. Each section of the UI can collapse/expand and
scale/move to be placed as you wish. The UI will switch cameras with a
The rig is set up with my personal preferences - the spine could do with a more complex setup, but otherwise this is what I like to use. Feel free to have a play and use for non commercial purposes.
Also included are a couple of useful scripts that make animating in Maya a lot easier. See the bottom of this text file for a brief description of the useful scripts. A big thanks to Hamish McKenzie for these fabulous scripts. Check out his website at http://mel.macaronikazoo.com/ for more great scripts.
A slightly earlier version of this rig was used in the winning entry of the 10 second club October 2003. A similar setup was used in the short film Cane-toad.
- Generi now comes with a low resolution model for faster playback. Toggle the layers to show the low res meshes.
- A bug
has been fixed where the world coords (orient and pos) did not work properly
on the arm controls.
2. Move both the .mb and .ma files to your project's scenes directory
Move the contents of the prefs\icons folder to your icons directory
the contents of the prefs\shelves folder to your shelves folder
Move the contents of the scripts folder to your scripts folder
maya and load both shelves...
to do this
go file>reference editor
Usage Instructions ---------
I'd also recommend changing the select priority of nurbsCurves higher so that you don't accidentally click the mesh when you try to select a curve. To do this go to the Window>Settings/Preferences> Preferences window and click the 'Selection' category. Then go to the Priority Presets drop down and switch to 'Custom'. Scroll down to nurbsCurve and change it's priority value to 10. If you are using the trigger interface you might also set nurbs to 11 - so you don't select through the UI objects. Click Save
The Controls --
The animatable attributes for each control are in the channel box. It's important to use the middle click drag functionality of the channel box. ie. click on the attribute (word) you wish to change then hold middle click and drag left/right in the 3d viewport. This provides slider like interactivity. Important!
Trigger UI --
To switch the UI to a different perspective camera create a shortcut with the following command:
Make sure the correct scripts are installed for the Trigger Interface to work.
If you would like to create your own triggers you can do so with the trigger script. Use the following command as a shelf button, hotkey or type the command in the command line:
hi resolution/ low resolution model --
smooth the hi res mesh --
If you want to use selection sets they are found in the outliner just below the geo files. The sets are '__anim_fingers_L' and '__anim_fingers_R'. Make sure you have sets visible in the outliner. Open each set in the outliner for easy access. Rotate the finger bones accordingly.
Fk: is pretty obvious, the elbow bend is found on the shoulder control. (use the middle drag functionality of the channel box).
Ik: Use the boxes to move the arms. Use the triangular pole vectors to point the elbows.
Most of the arm controls have parent constraints so the hierarchy of animation can be altered. These attributes can be animated mid way through an animation. The attributes start with Pos_ or Orient_. Make sure the values of these attributes on each control add to a total of 10 to stop weirdness occuring.
Neck and Hips --
Eyes: can be rotated individually (eye_Rot_R/L) or with the aim control (the eye icon). The eye lids are found on the (eye_Rot_R/L) controls. 'Lid Follow' is a value that lets the eye lids automatically follow the eyes, I like a value of .4.
Brows: 5 bones in the face that can be rotated and moved, pretty simple.
Mouth: Mouth shapes are accessed by selecting the M on top of the head. Sliders are slow and take up too much screen space, instead I use the channel box middle click drag functionality to change shapes. Some mouth shapes should be combined with an open jaw.
The max value for each shape is 10 but I have allowed the values to go higher. Values higher than 10 will probably look odd. Some values also go into the negative. Highlight 2 values at once then middle click drag in the view port for changing multiple shapes at once.
Jaw: The jaw features a 3 bone setup. All the bones are controlled through the jaw control (jaw_ctrl). Use the 'Top Lip' and 'Chin' attributes to mix up the mouth positions.
Other: Controls include ears, eye sockets, nose, teeth, tongue.
Known Bugs/issues ---------
uiShowMMenu.mel makes a marking menu out of the show menu, to easily toggle the visibility of polygons, nurbs, camera, lights, curves display etc.
zooTangentWks.mel is an absolute must have for any Maya animator. Changes to animation curve tangents can be made without even being in the graph editor or on a key! make sure you try out all the features of this baby, it's a keeper, you won't know what you ever did without it.
zooTriggered.mel is how the Trigger UI was created, it comes with a nice UI and instructions for ease of use.
Happy Animating! :o)