HIVE AUTORIGGER – BETA

 

(Scroll down to see a full training video)

Welcome to Zoo Tools brand new auto-rigger named Hive included in Zoo Tools Pro.

Clean intuitive rigging, with fast lightweight rigs.

Hive is a modular auto-rigger for artists and production rigger/TDs. It comes with a developer API , the documentation is a work in progress.

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

Hive is now in beta and is in a solid shape.

Due to technical considerations Hive is only supported Maya 2020 and above, scroll down for more information.

Credits
Hive is the brain child of David Sparrow our lead developer. The UI is by Keen Foong and general design and development by Andrew Silke.

VIDEO NOTE
The video (below) was an earlier version of Hive and we’ve already added many more features and fixed the bugs in the demo.

This demonstration is from the Alpha stage and we are now in Beta. New training is coming shortly.

VIDEO TIMESTAMPS

 
OVERVIEW
0:00 – Introduction
0:37 – Import Template
1:00 – Mirror Components
1:30 – Rig Character 1
2:15 – Animator Marking Menus
3:15 – Rig Playback Speed

REBUILDING THE RIG
4:15 – Rig Rebuild 1
5:00 – Fix Viewport Tool
6:15 – Modify Controls In Proxy Mode
6:55 – Adjust Controls
7:30 – Change Control Shapes

ADDING EXTRA ARMS
8:20 – Rig Character 2
9:00 – Rebuild Rig 2
9:20 – Guide/Control Visibility
9:50 – Duplicate Component
10:00 – Delete/Mirror Component
10:45 – Save Template (Copy Robot Arm)
11:50 – Import Template (Robot Second Arm)
13:40 – Parent/Unparent Component
14:35 – Pin/Unpin Component
15:40 – Preserve Children (Pinning Guides)
16:35 – Align Pole Vector Note

SKINNING
17:00 – Skinning
18:45 – Rig Character 3
19:25 – Rig Controls Overview

PIVOT CHANGES WITH SKINNING
23:10 – Rig Rebuild 4
23:25 – Pivot Changes With Skinning (Rebuild)
23:40 – Selecting Root Guides
25:00 – Modify Controls CV Tweaks
27:30 – Rig Character 4

PLAYBACK SPEEDS SKINNED GEO
28:25 – Hide Controls On Playback
28:35 – Rig Speeds With Geo
29:30 – Set SubD Levels On Geo

BUILD FK CHAINS
31:20 – Rebuild Rig 5
31:30 – Build FK Chain
32:45 – Rename Rig Part (Component)
33:10 – Change Joint Counts

JOINT ORIENTS
33:35 – Orienting FK Joints
34:15 – Invert Y Up Per Proxy
34:30 – Auto/Manual Align Options
35:30 – Parent Component
35:45 – Mirroring A Custom Rig Part
36:30 – Adjust FK Controls

TWIST JOINTS
38:40 – Twist Joints
39:40 – Pick Walk Guides
39:50 – Align Twists (Fix Offset Twists)

NAME RIG
40:40 – Name The Rig

CONTAINERS & BLACK BOX
41:25 – Rig Settings
41:40 – Containers & Black Boxing
44:20 – Toggle Blackbox
45:25 – Misc Rig Settings
 
 

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.

 
 

HIVE – ROAD MAP

 

Hive is now out of Alpha and is in its second stage Beta.

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

In the Beta second stage we are now focusing on creating new rig parts (components).

In the future official release (stage three) we’ll add further tooling, 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)
– (next release 2.7.1) Spline Spine
– (coming soon) Bendy option for arms and legs, improved stretch
– (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.

In the first stage our rig parts are for lightweight fast rigs for games. In time we will add more rig 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.
Keen Foong: UI code and UI design
Andrew Silke: UI Design, workflows, and rig direction.

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