Thoughts about releasing my rigs

More than a year ago I started working on a new rig, which would be my new “default rig” for blender. In the meantime I have finished another smaller rig or two. The last one being MTI_stickmanV4. I have not released that one yet, and there is a reason for that.

I only started the remake of stickman because I was asked to and would be paid for it. We came to an agreement, but my client did not hold his end of the agreement. Fortunately, I did not send him the final result. He just has an old alpha version which still had a number of bugs, which from a usability point of view make it useless.

But it does mean I started rethinking how I will release my rigs. This is not the first time something like this happened, and I’m getting fed up with it. I keep working on my rigs, but I’m seriously considering not sharing them anymore, or start a small web-store where you can just buy a license for it instead.

So right now I only have blender 2.4X series rigs available for download, and I don’t think I will release my 2.6X rigs. Not for free anyway. I know there’s a bunch of you out there who have been waiting for some time for me to finish another rig. Sorry, but I will not be releasing them for free anymore. I hope you will understand.

I also have an actual update. I finished the facial system, nice and flexible. I made a version of newfella with 5-finger hands (the normal one has mittens), just so I would have one character that has all the features I consider to be “default”.

Facial rig in place, and a version with different arms.

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MTI_stickmanV4

Hey everyone.

It’s been a looooooooooong time… How have you been? Still traveling the world, currently doing a dive master course, but I had some time to work on something new… well…. old AND new. I’m redoing MTI_stickman. The reason for that is that he is still very popular and gets downloaded a lot, but well honestly, he’s the only character that still makes me some money every now and then, and someone asked me to do a 2.5 version.

So coming soon: an old character with a shiny new rig. Same features as before, but more features to go along it, smoother bending in the joints, some more options like control the bendyness of the character without having to use all the tiny little cubes. You can still use these by the way. I came to call those the “freestretch system”. Some things have been simplified, and you have a nice rig menu where you can find everything.

Here are some images and a youtube video:

Looks about the same, handles a lot better.

Here are the work-in-progress colours.

Just starting to take shape.

And he needs a new logo.

Little fella reboot: MTI_littlefella

A week or two ago I suddenly had someone asking questions about little_fella. It had been a LONG time since I’ve had questions about him, and the rig is so outdated it was tricky for me to give good advice, because I changed a few things about the way I rig nowadays. So I decided to redo him, for good old blender 2.49b. Reason I’m not going for 2.5 is that I am still working on my MTI_biped rig, which is by far superior to this one. Still it is a good and solid rig. And it was useful for testing a new idea I had for the facial rig. For MTI_biped it might need some tweaking, but still, it works nicely :D.

Again, just like MTI_biped/blockman, if you like my stickman character rig, you will love this MTI_littlefella rig. It handles like stickman and it has hands, feet and a facial rig. You can think of it as a MTI_biped_very_light. It also comes with a manual which is useful if you are new to blender.

The license is a bit different this time. It’s the same as stickman, character and rig free for your own non-commercial projects, for commercial stuff please contact me.

Download him at the download page here.

MTI_littlefella, fresh rig for good old blender 2.49b.

The old version, made on blender 2.44/2.45.

And the new version. Made in blender 2.49b.

I also did a few other doodles in between, you can see them after the “Read the rest of this entry” link.

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New rig project

I haven’t posted anything in a while, which is mostly because I have been busy with work/family/other hobbies/blahblah. But I’ve also been working on this:

I have broken open my previous lowpoly rig, and started to rebuild it. I have a kickass rig which is basically ready to use, and has loads of features, while still being KISS… If you like how stickman, Audine and some of the newer blender 2.5 rigs that are floating on the interwebs handle, you are going to LOVE this… 🙂

I could show some images, but I rather wait until the complete rig with animations and characters are, well…. finished…

But I can show the characters I have been modeling to try the new rig with. It is supposed to be really easy to transfer… So I need lots of characters for it to handle. I have modeled 3 new characters for the rig (4 if you count newfella, which uses the old rig) and adjusted proportions and such on 2 old characters I made earlier.

So now I have  2 generic male meshes, 2 generic female meshes, 1 toony character and the newfella character. I’ll refit newfella with the new rig. I actually want to create 2 more characters, and do some sculpting somewhere along the road, but I don’t know if I’ll go that far. The characters are just eyecandy for the rig, after all.

I have to redo the face rig, but I have a clear idea of how to build it. If it works as I hope it does, it will make it much easier to open and close eyes without eyelids intersecting all the time, for example… I have to wait and see, but I think it should behave quite nicely.

I don’t have a lot of time to work on this, so it will probably be done after blender 2.55 is released.

Here are some character images (more after “read the rest of this entry”):

This is how I model my characters

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Call for donations: Vajira Sri Rehabilitation Children’s home

Ayubowan (hello),
I mentioned in the previous posts that I had been to Sri Lanka to teach English at the Vajira Sri Rehabilitation Children’s home.
What I haven’t mentioned yet, is that this school runs on donations and volunteers, and that they are short on both. But money is a rather pressing issue.

So basically this is a call for donations.

You can’t really tell from the photo’s, because they do so very well with the very few things they have, but they are very poor, and can use all the help they can get.
A donation doesn’t have to be much, any amount is welcome, they are resourceful and can get far with little.
You can send a donation directly to their bank account (Vajira Sri Rehabilitation Children’s home, “Bank of Ceylon” account nr: 0000227418).
Stuti (thank you)

Last weekend and toon Link

Had a fun weekend, Asa Seeley came to the Netherlands to attend a Kyusho seminar organised by my teacher Marc de Reus. Lot of info on energy, some stuff about chi gong. (did the red hand palm and the ba duan jin), and lots of stories and pressure points.

I have some photo’s, but I’m waiting for the groupphoto before I post anything.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on Link again this evening, and this is where I’m at:

toon link_WIP01

toon link_WIP04

girl material tests

It’s been a while since I’ve done anything with this project, but I did some material tests today. I tweaked the color maps, to elimate seams, and made bump and specular maps for the face and body.

Tweaked some other settings, and here are the new test results. Not perfect, but much better I guess.

EDIT: small update, tweaked the bump and spec maps for the face, and the bump settings. Last render has been replaced with a new one.

week09_wip03

week09_wip04

week09_wip07