So I’m currently working on this hand rig in my spare time, and slowly but surely, the results are looking more and more usable - so I figured I might as well share them for anyone interested.
Ideally, when everything is finished, I’d like to release it for free (under some sort of open-source license maybe).
Here’s the current progress so far - the wrist joint is in a really rough state, and I’ve used “mannequin/puppet” joints for the fingers, in order to focus on the thumb’s deformation, as well as the skin around the fingers.
Also, here’s a quick recording of the current palm deformation (or whatever the region around the fingers is called).
Not a lot of hand rigs actually implement this - probably because it’s not very noticeable unless the camera is very close to the hand itself.
Quite a bit of progress: The hand is now one continuous mesh, and thumb/fingers are more or less finished (maybe some more polish for the weight-paint might be a good idea though).
One area that was surprisingly hard to get right was the wrist: One would expect that due to the relatively simple movement range, two bones and some clever skinning would get the job done (which it does, to some extent), but achieving nice deformations that preserve the contour of the arm/hand is sort of tricky:
This solution here uses one ‘corrective’ bone (the small one that takes off when the wrist bends backwards) that smoothes the deformed area, and few ‘Transformation’ constraints to influence the overall shape at specific rotations.
After some tweaking of the finger segments (bone pivots, lengths, and so on), I think I’ve arrived at a presentable result. Here’s a short recording:
Also added fingernails, because looking at the same old plain mesh gets boring after a while.
Also, if any animators happen to read this, a small question for you:
When it comes to animating hands, what’s your preferred setup for posing fingers? One control to control all finger rotations simultaneously? Finger IK? Something else entirely?