After reading the request of a starving animator on cgtalk.com, I present to you, free of charge:
When you load the scene you can see the default controls; translation and rotation controls for the ball and rotation controls for the tail. From here, you should have everything you need to make a traditional bouncing ball with a tail. No need to do anything else! Start animating. However, the tail is more than meets the eye!
If you haven’t already, load the xsiaddon I included in the zip file. In there you have a set of basic tools for hiding and showing the rig, as well as resetting the whole rig, rig selections, or your current selection. The toggle_tail and toggle_sqsrt are to swap between different sets of controls. Clicking on toggle_tail reveals a new set of free deformers for the tail. The orange controllers are to change the shape of curve running through the tail. The teal/blue controls are for completely warping the form of the tail as you see fit. The red one is for twisting the tail (though without a texture or hair this is hard to see). The yellow is special as it has sliders (using the keying panel to the right) for animating the tails compression along the curve, tapering, scaling (I love scaling options), and wave controls; frequency, amplitude, offset and noise. These can be used by hitting Play at the time slider, and increase the frequency to see the waves. Perhaps you can find interesting ways to use these controls to create unique emotion for Red, the Ball with a Tail.
A few more things about this rig and scene.
- Place both the scene and scntoc file into your scenes folder. Install the addon by dragging and dropping the file into an empty viewport.
- Keyframes can be saved using “Key All Keyable” (default in the scene) or by “Key Character Key Set”. I think Key All Keyable is a good way to work, but I included the Character Key Sets for your convenience.
- After closing red_theballwithatail toolbar you can find it under view > toolbars.
- A minor irritation, after using hide_rig, toggle_sqsrt has to be clicked twice to show the ball translation and rotation controls.
- A couple things are not completely implemented. For example, the OPTIONS > Scale_of_Rig works fairly well, but the tail will need the scale compensated. I’m still fleshing out the answer for that. Another problem is when squashing and stretching the ball, well, the tail doesn’t “follow” the deformation. I’m working on that, too. I don’t think these are critical issues. It’s a very usable and friendly rig.
If you have any questions, concerns, complaints, or “bugs” to report, then please post it here. I’ll answer as best as I can, and as fast as I am able.
Please send me a video (720×480) or a link of your final results animating with my rig. I’d love to include your work in my demo reel and website! Thank you!!