Author archive for

A tool for visualising particle distributions

March 18th, 2007 by Andy Nicholas. Viewed 14180 times.

Some of you may remember the Histogram plugin that I wrote for XSI’s rendertree. It’s a tool for visualising exactly what is happening in your shading networks and can be invaluable when trying to find out why your shader is behaving unexpectedly. Since the Histogram display window is just a COM application launched by the [...]

Soft IK in XSI, Part II – Stretchy bones

August 16th, 2006 by Andy Nicholas. Viewed 74994 times.

When I wrote the first article, I hadn’t planned on writing a sequel, but a couple of people on XSIBase asked me to look into how I could extend the Soft IK system to work with a stretchy bone chain. Initially, figuring out how this could work seems like a pretty tricky problem. The bone [...]

Soft IK in XSI

August 14th, 2006 by Andy Nicholas. Viewed 78104 times.

When an IK chain extends towards its full length, it will tend to snap into it’s final position. To prevent this from happening, it is possible to give the appearance that the IK chain is stiffening as it extends towards it’s full length. This technique isn’t new and similar functionality is already implemented in Cinema [...]

Now you see it, now you don’t. Digital assets in XSI.

June 15th, 2006 by Andy Nicholas. Viewed 12294 times.

Sometimes when you’re trying your hardest to put together a rig that the animators won’t break, you wish that XSI had something like Houdini’s digital assets. In case you haven’t come across Houdini yet, “Digital Assets” are a way of encapsulating a group of objects and hiding everything except for certain items that you choose. [...]

Editing Templates in XSI

January 13th, 2006 by Andy Nicholas. Viewed 11776 times.

Anyone who”s had to do much work with Symmetry Mapping Templates (for transferring envelope weights from one side of a rig to another), or Connection Mapping Templates (used for applying actions to different bone rigs) will know that editing the data can be tricky and error prone. But there”s a solution.