HIVE AUTORIGGER – BETA

 

The Hive Auto-Rigger brings clean, intuitive rigging with powerfully fast and lightweight rigs to studios and individuals.

Comprehensive Training is now available, with more on the way.

Hive is a modular auto-rigger included in Zoo Tools Pro, all rigs are game engine friendly and can be easily exported with our Hive Export FBX tool.

Zoo Tools Pro, features integrated Animation Tools.

The rig builder comes with a Developer API. Hive rigs can be quickly upgraded/rebuilt within our UI and from the command line. Rig names can be fully customized to your pipe-line.

Hive rigs are vanilla Maya compatible; there’s no need for animators to have Zoo Tools installed to use the rigs, although features like the right-click menus and the animator tools do require a Zoo Tools installation.

We are now in beta and production ready. See our Road Map below.

Hive is compatible with Maya 2020 and above.

 
 

PAGE CONTENTS


Training: Hive Introduction
Training: Guides Workflow
Training: Skin Workflow
Training: Pole Vectors, Spine, Fingers
Training: FK Chains
Compatibility
Road Map
Hive API
Beta Note
The Team


 
 

TRAINING VIDEO 01 – HIVE INTRODUCTION

The video above is overview of the Hive Auto-Rigger.

You’ll see a quick demonstration of the Natalie Rig (included) and animator features.

Learn how to build, rebuild, adjust controls, change pivot points, save your own templates and more.

Studio Library in the demo here is a free animation browser for Maya.

 
 

TRAINING VIDEO 02 – FAQ – HIVE GUIDES WORKFLOW

Hive Guides can be placed easily but there are a few tricks to help speed up your workflow.

In this video you’ll see how to:

Pin components
Snap and match center pivots
– Place components with twist guides and pole vectors
Align components
– Placing Pole Vectors (overview)
– Move guides without affecting others with preserve children
– Disable Hive’s right-click marking menus.

 
 

TRAINING VIDEO 03 – FAQ – HIVE SKIN OVERVIEW

This video shows how to bind skinning to Hive with the correct deformation joints, you’ll also see Zoo Tools related skinning tips as well.

This video is a skinning overview, full skinning workflow videos are coming shortly.

– Using Hive’s Skeleton Deformation Skin Sets
– Default Skin Settings
Zoo Marking Menu
Zoo Skinning Toolbox
Hive Export FBX Tool
– Free third party skinning tools.
Transfer Skin Weights to clothes
Add/Remove Joints
Duplicate Original Mesh
Transfer UVs to skinned meshes

 
 

TRAINING VIDEO 04 – FAQ – POLE VECTORS, SPINE, FINGERS

This video drills down into our most asked questions for placing guides.

Feet
Pole Vectors
Spline Spine and how it works
Finger orients and the auto-align attribute setting.

The FK Chain component video is coming shortly and up next.

 
 

TRAINING VIDEO 05 – FAQ – FK CHAINS & AUTO-ALIGN ORIENTS

This video introduces the FK Chain component which is used in a large number of situations like clothes, appendages, hair, props, faces, short tails and more.

You’ll learn how to:

– Create FK Trees
– Orient FK Chains
Auto-Align and Manual Orient settings.
– Match Hive to regular Maya joints.
– Position controls and add colors
Skin the moustache and mirror skinning.
Match Center Pivots.

The video for the brows and hat components are coming shortly.

 
 

TRAINING VIDEO 06 – FAQ – RIG BROW FK CHAINS

Learn how to rig toon brows by inverting axis orients with FK Chains.

You’ll learn how to:

– Use FK Trees to rig brows.
– Reverse Orients on FK Chains.
– Precisely skin simple geometry.
– Free Braverabbit Smooth Skin community tool.
– Free Skin Wrangler community tool.
– Save the Brows as Templates.
Mirror poses on the new Brow controls.

The video for the hat component is coming shortly.

 
 

MORE VIDEOS COMING SHORTLY


We’re in the middle of rolling out our Hive training. More videos will be up shortly.
 
 

HIVE COMPATIBILITY

Hive is compatible with Maya 2020 only and above. We are using Maya’s new matrix attributes which breaks compatibility in 2019 and below.

Zoo Tools Pro and all other tools are compatible with Linux, OSX, and Windows, from Maya 2017 – 2023.

 
 

HIVE – ROAD MAP

Hive is in its second stage Beta.

The previous Alpha stage was focused on artist usability and TD/rigger extendability, lightweight rigs and game engine support. The Alpha stage is now complete.

In the current Beta stage, we are now creating and upgrading our rig parts (components).

Once we are out of beta and gold we’ll continue to add further animation tooling, mocap support, and facial components.
 
 
Alpha (complete 2.6.9 and below)
– (complete) FK (handles multi chain fk)
– (complete) FK Spine (with space switching)
– (complete) Simple Neck/Head
– (complete) IK/FK Arms with FK fingers, stretch and twists (bendy is part of Beta)
– (complete) IK/FK Legs rev foot, stretch and twists (bendy is part of Beta)

– (complete) Space Switching frame/key/bake
– (complete) Gimbal switching frame/key/bake
– (complete) IK/FK Switching frame/key/bake
– (complete) Game Engine FBX Export (Hive Export FBX Tool)
– (complete) Inbuilt reference model/skeleton. (Hive Reference Model Skeleton Tool)

– (complete) Fast intuitive builds
– (complete) Custom Joint Orients (stage one)
– (complete) Easy control curve modification, and controls save with templates
– (complete) Rebuilds while maintaining skin weights
– (complete) Build and match symmetry in guides mode.
– (complete) Duplicate components.
– (complete) Save templates saves modified proportions and controls.
– (complete) Dynamic Naming for engines and studios (Hive Naming Convention Tool)
 
 
Beta (2.7.0 and above)
– (complete) Spline Spine
– (complete) Limb Lower/Upper Stretchy Update
– (complete) Mirror pose and animation tooling.
– (next up) Bendy for arms and legs, soft ik.
– (next up) Limb guides build improvements.
– (coming soon) Quad Leg component
– (coming soon) Spline Tail component
 
 
Official Release (Coming Soon)
– (outstanding) More animation tooling,
– (outstanding) mocap/support with other rig systems
– (outstanding) Face components
– And more.

 
 

PRODUCTION RIGGING WITH HIVE

 

Hive has been built so that it can be extended and modified in production. It has it’s own Hive API and has been built on top of Maya’s API 2.

We are currently adding more rig and animator features.

 
 

HIVE API

Hive has it’s own code API, you can see the rough Zoo Code Documentation here . Our documentation is a work in progress.

Email us if you are a TD and are interested in extending Hive. info@create3dcharacters.com.

Hive has been built in Python Open Maya 2, though you can create your own rig parts in cmds or pymel.

 
 

BETA NOTE

Beta means:

– Rig part (component) selection is still evolving, we are adding more parts.
– Rigs are fairly stable and can be considered production ready with caution.
– We are still ironing out small low level bugs.

 
 

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Thanks we hope you enjoy! There will be a lot more coming, Hive is a large on going project that has been built to grow.

 
 

THE TEAM!

David Sparrow: All backend code and code design, rigging rig design.
Andrew Silke: UI Design, workflows, and rig direction.

We’d also like to thank Keen Foong for doing a lot work on the Hive UI.

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