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Kevfx Biped Character Rigging Complete Workflow
For Houdini 19.0

Kevfx Automatic rigging tools for Biped Character in Houdini 19 are based on KineFX tech. Including body, facial, facial motion capture, offline facial mocap data loading, body & facial control picker, keyframe IO & caching, etc.

Intro & Features Of The Kevfx Biped Auto-Rig Assets

Kevfx Biped Character Auto-Rig Tools consist of multiple Houdini Digital Assets, that are based on Houdini 19's KineFX technique. The auto-rig assets aim to provide quick, flexible and robust SOP level procedural rigging experiences to everyone, even the digital artists who might not have deep knowledge about rigging. 

1. Features Of Body Auto-Rig Assets

One node quick rigging, fast performance. IK/FK blending for arms, legs, spine, neck. Spline curve IK for spine and neck. Reverse foot setup. Smart shoulder/forearm/leg bones twisting. Color/size configurable controls. Multiple parent spaces switching and weights. 

Watch the short video for the main features of the body auto-rig assets. 

Use the the buttons below to get the Biped Character Auto-Rig assets from SideFx's Orbolt website. These are all the nodes needed for body rigging. Continue to read and watch detailed tutorial in later sections on how to use these assets.

2. Features Of Facial Auto-Rig Assets

Joint-based facial auto-rig, no need creating blend shapes. Fully procedural, easy to adjust for different characters. With viewport selectable facial controls. Supports facial motion capture via Live Link Face (free app).

Use the the buttons below to get the Facial Auto-Rig assets from SideFx's Orbolt website. These are all the nodes needed for facial rigging. Continue to read and watch detailed tutorial in later sections on how to use these assets.

How To Use The Body & Facial Auto-Rig Assets

The detailed step by step tutorials of how to use the body & facial auto-rig assets for rigging a biped character. Including connect to facial motion capture device (Live Link Face iOS app). 

1. How To Use The Body Auto-Rig Assets

This detailed tutorial will go through the steps of installing and using the body auto-rig assets, including creating the initial skeleton, adjusting the skeleton to fit your own character, auto-rigging the skeleton, painting the capture weight (skin weight), etc.

2. How To Use The Facial Auto-Rig Assets

This video will go through the steps of how to create initial skeleton for facial rig, adjust the skeleton to fit your own character, auto-rig the facial geo, use built-in preset as starting point, how to add/remove/tweak facial rig components, how to use the viewport selector controls, how to connect to mocap Live Link Face, paint capture weight (skin weight), mirror capture weight, drive non-rigged facial geo, etc.

3. Put The Body & Facial Auto-Rig Together

Then it is time to put these all together to complete the full body rigging for a character.

How To Use The Other Supporting Assets

In this section, you will learn how to use supporting assets to enhance the character animation in Houdini.

1. Load & Use CSV Facial Motion Capture Data (Live Link Face)

This tutorial will show how to use the asset to load offline CSV facial motion capture data (created via Free Live Link Face iOS app) into Houdini to drive the facial auto-rig asset. Note: the loader only load the facial mocap data, you need the facial auto-rig asset to drive the facial animation.

Use the the buttons below to get the facial mocap CSV data loader asset from SideFx's Orbolt website. 

2. KineFX Animation Library - Using Keyframe Cache Node

This video is about how to use the asset to collect keyframes from nodes or Animation Editor, and cache out to disk files, and load back and apply to other nodes. So that eventually you can build your own animation library based on real keyframes (not sampled animation) that can be easily modified via Animation Editor.

Use the the buttons below to get the keyframe cache asset from SideFx's Orbolt website. 

3. Body Control Picker - Python Panel

This video will show how to use the simple character picker asset to quickly select different controls of a KineFX based auto-rig asset via a Python Panel UI. (Note: this is only the first versions, the tool will be improved and more controls will be added to the UI.)

Use the the buttons below to get the body control picker asset from SideFx's Orbolt website. 

4. Facial Control Picker - Python Panel

This video is introducing a facial rig picker (python panel based) to work with Kevfx Facial Combined Ctrls and Kevfx Facial Auto-Rig. The picker can sync' to the selected Combined Ctrls node, so the sliders will move according to the parameter values. It also support extra mouse events. Middle mouse click on the controls to add keyframes to the related parameters. Right mouse click on the controls to reset the controls and the related parameters to the default values. So the users can just work with this picker and no need to scroll through Parameters Pane to look for parameters to add keyframes.

Use the the buttons below to get the facial control picker asset from SideFx's Orbolt website. 

Future Development

That is all for now about the biped character rigging tools. These tools are under active development and tutorials on this page will be updated as well. 

1. Modularization of The Body Auto-Rig Asset 

So that users can choose to create rigs for special cases, such as leg only robots, multi-arm creatures, multi-leg creatures, leg rigs without reverse foot setup, etc. 

2. Support of Body Motion Capture Data / Motion Retargeting

So that users can import and apply motion capture animation data to the body rigs (motion retargeting) and tweak the animation using the auto-rig controls.

Hopefully you can find the assets useful. Any feedbacks would be much appreciated. Many thanks to many of you for your kind support of the assets.