Just starting with the character setup for the UDK. I'm using maya 2010, rigged numerous characters but none for game engines. Have two quick questions about using blendshapes and the editor IK's, any insight on these two areas would be sweet!
First, the editor IK's. I went through the documentation on how to set them up, no problem there, my question is, how necessary are they? The reason is that I won't be able to create a stretchy arm or leg rig for any of my characters, which is a definite drawback for the type of animations I'll be doing. (won't be able to use the editor IK's since it requires a 2 joint arm system, the reason why the documentation recommends separate ulna twist bones not parented down the chain; stretchy arms require more joints)
Is it a huge loss not to have the editor IK's to fix different blends on the fly? We'll be using melee weapons, so getting nice looking poses with stretchy arms is a big plus, not to mention quick fixing elbow pops.
I really don't know how to decide which would be more beneficial for me in the long run having never used the editor before. Any advice on this matter would be super fantastic!
Second, blendshapes in the editor. The documentation was a bit fuzzy on the application of blendshapes, was focused more on how to get them into the editor. Does anyone have experience using blendshapes with UDK to fix deformations/volume loss in typical trouble areas (elbows/shoulders/etc)?
I've always used Pose Base Deformers to fix spotty volume loss with the maya comet scripts. The script handles all the joint orientation blending based off the angle of the cone; really never had to think about it once the blendshapes were created.
My specific question about the UDK is, If I create a blendshape for say, shoulderUP, is it possible to play back that blendshape gradually over a certain time-span of the animation? Also, are blendshapes applied before or after the skeleton deformations (really important)? Or maybe it works entirely different. My main concern is that the UDK blendshapes act like on and off switches, its either applied or it's not, which won't help create really nice deformations.
If anyone has insight on using blendshapes effectively with the UDK, I would super appreciate any tips!