As some have seen the old Rigify, which I’m very fond of, has seen some important updates, lemme pause right there if you haven’t this is the Tutorial for the old rigify, which is still mostly relevant, and so consider this as “part two” or “advanced rigify” so you learn a bit more of the ins an outs of using the newest version shipping worldwide with blender but the general mechanics of setting up a rig is exactly the same.
The documentation isn’t complete, but I’d say it’s just enough to understand most of it and so thank you to the MAD Entertainment dudes and the Pitchi Poy guys as well, who worked out these big updates and tried to keep everything documented.
Though I’m still missing some features to have a complete professional rig like you’d see at a studio, with things like space switching, or a better facial rig, it’s still my favorite auto-rig in blender, because its super solid and fast to setup and results are pretty good.
In fact I recently used it for a couple small tests like this, note that rigging this character took about 20 mins.
Soooo, lets get to it!
One of the first things that you’ll see out of the box is that now it comes with a few new meta-rigs setups for different kinds of beasts for faster setup beside the Human Meta-Rig:
Which as a bone setup look like this:
Also some of the amazing new features is that it bundles a panel in under the T panels for tools, with not only IK FK snapping, pole to rotation type of knees and elbows, and rotations axis converter bundled, which are all a MUST have:
As I was mentioning before, I’m missing in this panel a pose space switcher to be able to switch spaces to world, root, or whatever other control control you want with a click, and back… I remember Julien Duroure was creating an add-on called AutoRefSpace for this, but given that this rig aims to bring the important stuff out of the box, that should definitely come with.
So as you first setup your rig most of the process is the same, though before you press “generate”, you might want to go into the first bone of each chain and pick a setup of your preference,
This is one of the new things that I didn’t understand but after going through the docs, i finally get, each of the chains will be converted into a modular part of the rig, and so there are types of pieces that you can generate, there are two types of fingers for instance, and also different types of legs, and so on which you can read more in depth about here
In my case I really don’t like the default setup of the finger rigs that comes with new rigify, I like the old one, the one with a little stick for curling, and then rings to tweak each phalange, so I’ll go to every joint of the base of each finger (you can do them all at the same time with right click copy to selected after you’ve done one)
And after you’ve picked that, then you can go and look at the new panels to setup your rig under the Armature options of your metarig:
You’ll see these:
First: and one of the things I started recently understanding and loving, is that you can make rigify, create bone groups for you, and then define which bones go and colors they get beforehand.
Also the “unified select/active colors” is great, now you can really see what’s selected, active and unselected, this bit in blender rigging default setup is very crapy and these guys managed to make it pretty decent and less complicated.
In this panel you tell the autorig how to organize, and name your armature visibility layers, tell it if you want to create a “selection set” for that layer (the little circle), and finally tell it int which bone group it will live (color), it looks weird but it’s rather simple.
Finally you have your usual Generate rig button, but not without some advanced options, like override a rig that you already had built, or just create a new one.
Here is a sample setup with the first one, default coloring, and the second one my own color setup, it took me 5 mins to actually set it up:
And so the last thing feature I feel I’m missing, is the ability of preset your own setups of meta-rigs with your color, layer setup and every so you can just add it and apply the configuration, or just be able to setup your meta-rig and add it to the add menu, so once you found your ideal setup you can just bring it in each time, but really that’s it.
It’s getting really close.
UPDATE (01/06/2018): Oh and as an other thing I would like to see in rigify as an option would be the ability to create double or even triple controllers for at least the root, hands, head, torso, chest, hips. Given that blender doesn’t have animation layers (and it isn’t likely to have them any soon), and the NLA workflow for this is retarded, a good fix that is very common is to have multiple sub controllers, also eases the work to avoid gimbal locks.