Automating different rigging setups is an essential part of the production pipeline at any major studio. Learn all the fundamental elements of rigging and Python scripting in Maya with this 5-hour workshop, which is structured so that even beginners can follow along — even if you’ve never done any rigging or scripting before. Nick eases viewers in with lessons about the commonly used nodes, deformers, constraints, and explains various other types of relationships within Maya. As the workshop progresses, the concepts become more complex with step-by-step demonstrations that you can follow and apply to your own projects.
You may ask: If most companies already have rigging setup tools, why should I bother to learn scripting? To some degree, you could get by without scripting. However, studio tools can only get you so far. There will be many instances where you’ll need to automate a repetitive task. Now, imagine having to manually rig 100 pieces of variously sized ropes dangling from a ceiling? It would take you a long time. Scripting enhances your own personal workflow and makes you infinitely more productive, and therefore gives you an edge over the competition.
By completing this workshop, you will have created several helper scripts and a Python limb rig creation tool — complete with a graphical user interface. Limb functionality will include IK/FK switching, a full set of basic limb controls, and stretchy bones. All of the skills taught will help rigging artists to very quickly build and maintain animation-ready assets. When the process of building rigs is scripted, it becomes so much easier to update your rig with a new model, additional functionality, or a different joint layout.
PyCharm is used as a third-party tool in this workshop, which can be downloaded here.