I’m working on an in depth movie project that will probably span several years before I have anything worth rendering beyond a couple hundred frames. But I am dedicating myself to this project, may ask for collaborative help down the road, and want to see this through.
On to the question. I have a character modeled up and mostly rigged, but I don’t like how the joints deform the mesh. He is a somewhat muscular built character, and I plan on showing this off in a couple shots. I’ve seen demos in 3ds and maya, of the simplicity of muscle deformation.
I took a look at blenrig, but to the best of my knowledge, it’s bendy bones and fine control bones on top of those. Someone correct me if adapting blenrig to my characters would produce a better result.
I want to start with the base rig, and then add smaller origin and insertion points for muscle shapes. then use an IK bone to scale the muscle in length, and bulge or deflate it with shape keys, relative to a global and local weight bearing variable. Global being which particular segment (forearm, bicep, and shoulder blade, for example) is bearing the weight, and local being how the load is distributed over each individual muscle based on which position the segment is in.
On top of that I want to add a shrink wrap layer to normalize to valleys between muscles, then shrink wrap the character mesh to that.
Another handy “feature” would be if I could find a way to then “bake” these deformation properties to shape keys, but I don’t know if I want to, because I would lose the option of making the muscles soft bodies for running or other fast moving actions.
I’ve been trying to think of a way to also use curves as vein lines, but I’ll decide whether or not I want to do that when I get the muscle deformation rig completed.
Looking forward to contributing to the community-