Graphics researcher Jesus Rodriguez Nieto has posted an interesting video of his work-in-progress Automatic and Interactive Rigging system, or AIR for short.
The system provides automatic, shape-aware skinning of a wide range of models, and supports secondary weights for advanced deformations, such as twist effects.
According to Nieto: “The key point is the possibility to test deformations of your rig while you are building it.”
New features in future releases
The demo video only shows the system in use on simple, cartoon-style models, but the results look promising: the second half of the video above shows AIR running side by side with an Animation Mentor training rig, and identifies features that will be added in future releases.
AIR currently runs in near-real-time: something that Nieto hopes to accelerate to true real time, along with adding the option to ‘sketch’ skeletons over the model in order to test deformations interactively.
The system is written in C and OpenGL, but Nieto hopes to integrate it with Maya and Fabric Engine.