Monday, October 8th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

New plugin implements elastic implicit skinning in Maya

STORM, the CG team at French research institution IRIT, has developed a stable implementation of new character rigging technique elastic implicit skinning.

The technology is available both as a free standalone demo and a commercial Maya plugin.

Fewer artefacts and better skin contacts and muscle bulges than traditional skinning methods
First set out in 2013 and further developed in this 2014 research paper, implicit skinning provides more accurate surface deformation than traditional approaches to character skinning.

The method creates fewer artefacts and less texture stretching than the dual quaternion skinning used in tools like 3ds Max, Maya and Houdini, and results in realistic skin-to-skin contact, even in extreme poses.

The STORM team’s implementation is available as a free standalone demo showing the technique applied to both a hand model and a complete character, from which you can export OBJ meshes.

An optimised version is available as a commercial Maya plugin, although it currently only supports joint rotations, not joint translations or bone scaling.

Pricing and availability
The implicit skinning demo is available as a standalone app for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

The commercial plugin is available for Maya 2018 running in Linux only via distribution partner Toulouse Tech Transfer. It’s priced on enquiry: you can find contact details via the link below.

Download the free standalone demo of implicit skinning from IRIT’s website

Read more about the commercial implicit skinning plugin for Maya on IRIT’s website