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Author: Raffaele

Season 01 – Episode 37 – Modular Components, Reassembling the Rig

Modular Components and Rig Assembly

I’ve talked about components being modular before and I’ve shown the I/O process in the past, but this time around we do it for real.

There isn’t anything specific that’s new, but I did kind of like how it went and I would recommend watching it. It will take you through the whole process of componentisation and assembly well enough.

There’s a bit of everything in it, Maya bugs, scripting, tiny amount of nodelling, Q/C, conforming, the actual I/O of the components…
All in all I feel it came out well paced and it covers a good chunk of ground in one hour.

To be a bit more specific: This is where we take all of our components and we push them through the I/O process (to file and from file) both for Q/C (Quality Control) as well as to actually re-assemble a full rig.

In the process I list a couple gotchas with containers, find a non-bug, and we write a trivial renaming script (more for variety than anything). All the work gets done on time, and we fix the last couple dirty bits in our components, which turned out to be bug-free, and only in need of some conforming.

QnA, the last dozen minutes or so, is mostly me rambling about rig standards, instrumenting rigs, and pipelines at scale and not.

As usual the code is available on GitHub in the didactic section but it really isn’t anything much.

Enjoy,

Compiling C++ Plugins for Maya with Visual Studio

Compiling C++ Plugins

This is something I had wanted to do for a very, very long time.

A lot of people end up never learning to write C++ because of the difficulty presented by the ecosystem, despite the fact that the base facilities of the language itself are actually pretty straight forward.
In a similar vein I find the language itself, or its use in APIs, is often taught in an overly isolated fashion when it’s actually pretty important to understand how the tool-chain components (project, compiler and linker) actually work together to write and debug such plug-in’s.

My answer to that is a mini-series that isn’t really about C++ (there are many books and videos about that) as much as it’s about knowing how the system goes from source to binary target: We go from nothing to actually assembling and then building an open source node library without using other people’s projects. Every step is explained in both terms of doing it and what goes on under the hood, with further notes on what components participate and how, including possible issues and early troubleshooting of the various steps.

If you want to learn C++, or even if you don’t want to but you would still like to be able to build many of the excellent open source plugins available out there by yourself, this is the playlist for you.

Extra thanks to all the Patrons on Patreon who gave me the motivation to do it and provided feedback on the work as it progressed and was made before its public release.

Enjoy,

Season 01 – Episode 36 – Finished All Components

Finished Components With Working Symmetry

After warming back up to the rig in the previous stream yesterday this went pretty well, even if I say so myself.

Most of the content is nodelling and reviewing what I’m doing and why, but there’s a good amount of work happening at a relatively snappy pace.

Bugs (presumed) of the previous day are squashed, all components are made to properly guide and deguide, handedness is now considered for the foot too, the foot receives a proper deform layer, our tool for guiding is confirmed working… And more.

It is a nodelling episode, which we’ve had many of, but it’s a good one in my opinion, and it finally takes us to what might be the finish line for all components. I/O and re-assembling the rig should be all that’s left next (unless we will find issues 😉 ).

As for the previous episode I recorded a brief intro which is available in the first link/embed below, you can watch that if you want a quick verbal preview of what goes on in the episode, but it’s mostly what you have just read.

Enjoy,

Season 01 – Episode 35 – Warming Back up to the Rig and Foot Symmetry

Warming back up to the rig

It’s been a while since I last had streamed.

There isn’t much about this episode that is remarkable.

If you were following the season through its progress and you’re as rusty as I was then it might be worth watching me as I re-compose the structure of the rig in my head and prepare for some work on the foot, otherwise it’s not a particularly eventful one.

Below, before the link to the episode itself, I’m linking the intro I made for it which explains what will be in it and at what times so that you can decide if you care to watch the entire episode or some parts of it.

Enjoy,

Season 01 – Episode 34 – Everything Else About Mirroring

Mirroring Components, Everything Else

Different format than usual for this episode!

There was a good chunk of work that would be repetitive and boring to do on-stream as nodelling, so unlike in any previous episode I decided to do it off-stream and then bring the rig up to comment on why and how it was done and the underpinning fundamentals.

This is meant to compress the time to finish the rig a bit and offer a more concise episode.

I like how it came out and it seems to have been well received, so it might happen again, albeit probably not this season since the work remaining should generally speaking be new and/or interesting to see through its execution.

So, to make a long story short: This video goes over everything about mirroring components that is required to get a fully reflected component for the leg and shows the rig in action.

I recommend downloading the corresponding ep34 scene from the download section to follow along by exploring the scene as I go over it.
It can be found here as usual.

Enjoy,