I’ve been working on the swing area this week. I started off by creating the swing model, using extruding along splines and beveling.
UV mapping for this took quite a while as I made the mistake of not unwrapping as I went (something I really should have learned by now!)
For the rig, I created a spline IK set up, with a dummy joint connecting the tree to the swing and acting as a placeholder on the origin for the unreal import process. I used clusters to drive control vertices on the splines and then added some control shapes.
Skinning this model was really difficult! Getting the ropes to act like soft, cloth objects and the seat to be rigid was really difficult – I had a lot of issues with deformation on the seat. I had planned to try and get something nice set up, but with the timeframe I had left I decided to not use the individual controls and just use the group ones.
One idea I did try was creating an additional bone that was a child of one side but parent constrained to the other. This was not a good idea! Maya just seemed confused about how the bone was supposed to be controlled and I got some really strange results.
I also tried adding apex cloth after this, NVIDAs real time cloth system. The way my model was made had gaps that were shown when using the cloth sim, and it actually made the animation look worse as it seemed too heavy. Its something I’d love to look into properly at some point, but again, I’m short on time. I haven’t had the best week in terms of workload/burnout and I really need to consider what’s important at this stage and what I can manage.
A real positive with this model was that it imported first time, no problem into Unreal – I must be getting better at technical art!
Textures were painted in the same style as the others and the normals were generated though crazybump.
Here’s the area all done!