Skirt Rig Test 01

Skirt Rig Test 01 from Ralf Straube on Vimeo.

A while ago, I started working on a (sort of) joint based cloth simulation workflow, for those cases where you would like to have realistic cloth animations but your platform doesn’t support actual cloth simulation.
I used the well known Maya nHair Spline IK trick, with an additional component constraint on the CVs of the splines, so they’d behave like a closed surface. The whole thing works surprisingly well, but it’s not very animator friendly, because nDynamics.
I have a couple ideas for how to work around it, but in the meantime, I figured, I could try to make a more animator friendly Rig that is more lean than the usual FK Ctrl mayhem and can replicate the look of simulated cloth.

This is my first approach. I use Spline IKs to drive the joint chains, every CV ring is attached to a cluster, which is driven by the circular control outside (parent + scale constraints).
The animation is hand-keyed (pretty roughly), but I’m sort of satisfied with it. The problem I ran into however, is that I don’t have control over the silhouette of the skirt segments – that is, I can only drive one segment as a whole, not the individual joint chains.

I think I found a solution for that already, but I’m still dealing with some double transformation issues there, but hopefully I’ll have them figured out soon.

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