Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Character GUI

For the majority of my workflow, I prefer to select controllers in the actual viewport and on the character--I find it faster that way. However, I also like having a character GUI (or picker) to supplement my selection options. Every character should have one of these. I find GUI's most useful for selection sets (i.e. All Controllers, Spine, Fingers, Mover, etc.) or whenever a controller happens to be hard to find in the viewport.

AbxPicker, a free download from Highend3d has to be one of my favorite scripts. Thanks Adam Burke for sharing! This super versatile script allows you to create fully customizable Pickers very quickly.


--Easy to make, easy to change and customize on the fly
--Able to save out and import GUI into another scene (with a new character)
--Supports referencing
--Supports multiple characters
--Supports tabs (i.e. body, hands, face, etc.)
--Clean=>only one extra node in the scene
--Useful "help" button on the GUI

Here are some of the pickers I've made in the past using this script.

The buttons I made at the bottom are "extras", used for mapping frequently used scripts and commands (i.e. euler filter, toggling inherit/follow attributes, bringing up other scripts like tweenMachine, autoTangent, shotView, etc.)


  • Change the size of the GUI in line #41 of the script to your liking--then save script. Mine's set to 300 x 550.
  • If you want more control and precision while lining up the buttons during creation, change the resolution of your moniter to the lowest setting (as long as you don't mind messing up your desktop icons)
  • Making that first GUI could take 15 mins...or an hour if you are artistically anal like me. But after you've made your first template, you could just import it into a new scene and modify it very quickly for every new character.
I know the GUI itself won't make good animation, but I'm all for workflow helpers and making technical things (like selecting and manipulating controllers) a bit less cumbersome. That way, hopefully, we could concentrate more on the actual art.


Saul Ruiz said...

Cool Tips TJ... i wanted to check in with you to see how you were doing sir.. i hope all is well buddy. Oh yea.. i saw that you were up on the house of chai as artist of the month! Congrats! Take care TJ!

Ratul Sarna said...

works super cool!
Thanx TJ for pointing this out and your tips were great! :)