cmiVFX has released Modular Rigging with Python in Autodesk Softimage; an in-depth course in which our mentor, Jeremie Passerin, takes you through the whole process of creating a complete modular rigging system in Python. The two first chapters will get you comfortable with the basics of programming with Python and using the Softimage SDK. The video gets more advanced from there as Jeremie explains in detail how to create all the different components of a biped rig. You will learn how to get information from the scene and create new objects, apply constraints, use expressions, and connect everything together by using Python scripting. You will even see how to create a custom operator and use it to create a stretchable IK solver. For those who are familiar with the open source rigging system GEAR, this video will give you the basics you need to understand the core of the system and make it possible to extend it.
Learn the basics of Python programming, the different datatypes, statements and how to control your workflow. Learn how to create your own functions with arguments. Understand Classes and Inheritance. Discover how to access objects and manipulate data in Softimage.
Create your own Python library to store all your python code and learn how to use it from Softimage easily. Learn how to manipulate and reuse your code. Create your first tool; a simple Search and Replace to rename objects in the scene. Finish by learning how to create a curve and attach it to object.
Start working on the rigging system. Learn how to organize your work in models and create the initial hierarchy that is used as a guide to build the rig. Write your first python class to control this guide.
Learn how to create your first rig component. This very simple controller is the base of any rig. You will learn how to use the inheritance of a class to create your own custom component.
By creating a simple FK Chain, you will learn how to use the power of inheritance to reuse most of your code from the first component. You will also learn how to calculate the transformation of an object in space to create your FK Chain properly.
In this chapter we are moving forward with a more advanced component: the Spine. Create the controllers, the curve, and the deformers twisting properly along the path.
Define connections and slots to create a very flexible rigging system; allowing you to create any kind of character.
Here we return back to Python. Use your custom solver to create your arm component.
Adapt your code from the arm to create a leg component and add the foot rig with properly reversed controllers, allowing the animator to create a walk cycle easily.
Use your FK Chain component to add the final touch to your biped rig. Symmetrize all the components to create a full body. You have now created a flexible and extendable rigging system ready to use on your characters.
Video-on-demand streaming is available through the website to subscribers. In addition, video files are available for download for those who directly purchase individual titles from their cart.
Jeremie Passerin is an Autodesk Master and Rigging Supervisor at Blur Studio in California. In 2011, he released GEAR; the first open-source modular rigging system for Softimage, which is now largely used in production by studios over the world. He's been designing rigs and tools for Softimage for almost 10 years.