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HERMES Modular Autorigger

Beginning Of The Project
Savannah College of Art an Design (SCAD) originally used a biped auto rigger called
"Rig-O-Tron 2000" which was designed by former student Benjamin H. Singleton.
His script was used on numerous films from 2014 to 2017, but during that time period it's limitations and flaws became apparent. 
Issues With The Proxy
  • ​The finger proxies were tedious to set up and adjust.

  • There were separate wrist rotate and wrist translate proxy controls.

Issues with the with the rig
  • The ball joint of the foot would always be placed at the bottom of the foot, not inside of the foot. 

  • The spine joint chain ran all the way from the pelvis to the base of the neck which made shoulder deformations significantly more difficult and caused the characters rig cages to bend too much.

  • The pole-vector control was a sphere which would go inside the mesh when using knee or elbow pinning.

  • The arms had separated SDK finger attributes on the IK and FK wrist, which caused issues for animators because they would interfere with each other.

  • The mid-spine FK, head, and shoulder controls were ugly.

  • The arms would shift when the hip control was rotated.

  • Some of the controls used the suffix "_jnt".

  • The bendy controls were unintuitive.

  • Certain attributes like the leg and arm twist were not functional.

  • The hips and shoulder would "candy-wrapper" when twisted.

  • The FK controls did not have mirrored orientations (much to the chagrin of animators).

  • Forearm and shin twist did not work properly if the rig was created without bendy limbs.

New Features

  • Instead of just  single "Curl" and "Scrunch" attributes that effect all the fingers, HERMES has a master "Curl" and "Scrunch" attribute that effects all the fingers as well as separate attributes that effect each individual finger.

  • The channel box is more organized through the use of locked enum attributes as headers.

  • The parent space of the IK hands can be switched between the root, hips, shoulders, and head.

  • The hips and shoulders spread out their twisting gradually. 

  • The fingers can be pinned to surface while the palm is lifted up or peeled.

  • IK/FK snapping through the use of buttons.

  • The IK arm has an FK offset for the elbow to be used when the elbow is pinned.

  • The foot has additional posing attributes (Toe Raise, Heel Raise, Ball Raise, Ball Twist).

  • The spine root control has a movable "center of gravity" pivot.

  • The controls are shaped in a more intuitive way.

  • No-flip option on the IK legs.

  • Mirroring FK orientations.

  • Macro and micro bendy controls.

  • Toggle-able elbow and knee “middler” on proxy.

  • Proxy modules mirror each other interactively. 

And of course the HERMES auto-rigger is Modular. You can create a character with any number of arms, spines, or legs, and combine modules from the quadruped rigger and biped rigger. Linking the modules together is easy thanks to the node-editor and the use of custom nodes.
The HERMES auto-rigger has been used on the following films:
Dark Street
Temple Dogs
When Hairy Met Scaly
and the D9Greekmojis App
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