It’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve been working on getting the hang of setting up characters on and off. Right now, here’s what I got: my own version of the MLP character Scootaloo, based on some older show references and a chart off Double Rainboom, a fan project. Thought it was kind of appropriate to start there, all things considered.
I’m setting it up for posing using both the Group Widgets method and the Z-layer animation method, hoping to emulate how Flash characters are set up. The reason I’m not using bones is because the Z-layer animation means I’d have to bone parent a metric ton of points to single bones (my laptop started whistling when I selected all the snout layers, which doesn’t strike me as a good sign), and besides that bones don’t seem to like me very much. I tried to open a newer version of my file just now which had bone values, got an error message like the one I got last time I posted here, and I can’t seem to do the XML editing that was suggested last time, so I think I’m better off avoiding bones altogether.
The face shapes are a little wonky, the arm shapes are not much write home about, and there’s still a lot of drawing that would need to be done for this to come anywhere near cartoon quality (there’s only one eye blink set up as it is, and in one perspective only), but I do think most of the mechanics are in place now. It’s been a good learning experience, even if it’s not finished. Not all of the pivot points have been added to the set, either, and the reason for that is that I hadn’t considered how to handle the different perspectives. The pivot points shift, so maybe each perspective needs its own set of controls, maybe it’s okay to link rotations and whatnot. The left arm and right arm won’t move the same way, either: in the left arm, I’ve made it so the rotation of the lower arm carries over between the shapes, it might make the animating process easier if I do the same across all the joints (and leave less values in the library), it might backfire horribly. Then there’s naming conventions, still figuring out the best way to go about it all. Oh, and the Offsets aren’t linked yet; I focused mainly on the rotation aspect of things. Again, one of those things to figure out.
But it works, or it should, mostly. I’ve got a front pivot point and a back one on the torso, with the arms and legs included or excluded as needed, so it could rise up on its hind legs as well as buck backwards easily, and the Skew angles for the torso chain are linked, so the head skews with the neck and whatnot.
Anyway, it’s messy, but it’s a start, and it’ll (hopefully) lead to other, bigger things in the not-too distant future.
So, your thoughts?
ScootalooPrototypeSet.sifz (522 KB)