Posted by at 6:50 am
Sep 022013

I’m finally making headway! I’m pleased! (Mostly). My daytime job at the stained glass studio had a project come in two weeks ago and we’ve been doing massive overtime to try and get it done (I’m usually there at 7am and leave at 7pm and have been known to work weekends or till 10 pm some nights…) So the past two weeks, the time in which I wanted to finish updates for Version 2 of the wing rig, have been spent in sleeping and working instead of rigging. I managed to get some time this weekend and work on it though!

The program is now more efficient, thank goodness. I had so much code that was just inefficient and spaghetti-like that it was kinda crazy. I’m still not the most elegant programmer, but this is much better now, using classes (thank you Python) for the feather groups and the wing types. Now it’s easier (read: possible) to add different wing types with this class setup. I did kinda wanna cry when I discovered that while MEL script has vectors and can natively do vector math, that doesn’t carry over to Python so I had to brush-up on my old vector math. Not hard, just… saddening. I was so looking forward to playing with MELs vectors and then finding out I couldn’t and had to do it the long way- yeah, I was a momentarily sad bird.

Anyhow, Falcon Wing! :

I worked on getting new wingshapes made, and discovered a couple problem I made with the original wing shape that have made it troublesome to add more shapes:
-The hawk wing, while it -looked- spread midway between it’s range of motion, was actually more extended than midway, making it hard to add other wings, like the falcon I’m doing now, because other birds don’t have that much splay in the feathers. I need to go back and reshape the hawk and make it a more neutral position, like the falcon is.
– Somehow, the scale for the feathers in the hawk wing all had the same values, whereas the falcon wing they… don’t. So when I apply the function for scaling the wings to the falcon, the size of the feathers looks odd.
This is how it should look, with thinner feathers on the outside, pointy edge of the wing (Feathers are still flat, so they’re interpenetrating, ignore that):

This is how it’s currently generating, with the thicker feathers on the outside and the thinner ones toward the center (program auto-rotates the feathers to avoid most interpenetrations, unlike above):

At least the shape on it (rotation and scaling and positioning of the feathers) is correct. Once I had the falcon shaped correctly before taking the values into Excel to generate the functions for the wing shape, the wing rigged up beautifully with the existing rig generation program (Or rather the updated one, since I added a few things), so all I need to tweak and poke at feather generation class and add scaling in the other directions to work properly…

Now if only I can wrangle a little time away from the stained glass studio to be able to work on this and finish!! And work on my poor hawk rig!! I think I’ll go faceplant into bed now.

A side note: If I repeat the phrase “I will not rig a pennant winged nightjar” enough times, I might actually listen to myself and do the other things on my to do list that need to get done. Oh, but I really wanna make a wingshape for them… they’re so freaking cool