Woo I finally have been able to play with the Patches rig. I have been trying out some experiements with his Blend Shapes and some movement with a walk, although I have struggled with it a little bit and will change the walk again tomorrow.
Very quick facial test using Blend shapes:
This is just a little test trying his expressions in a little bit of a context of him scratching his head. It is only a quick attempt and by no means perfect (especially as I did not animate his fingers), but it helped my to get to know the Blend shapes better and also the limits of the arm movements. I am going to try more with Patches tomorrow, hopefully we will get on a little bit better.
Finally I tried to make him walk. I originally tried him on 15 frames per step but soon shortened it to 12 and then eventually to 10. This is because I feel he would have short little fast steps due to his small size and especially his legs.
I do not really like this walk cycle, as although the legs look ok, I want him to have more of a hop, kind of like a bunny rabbit walking (-if that makes sense?) so I am going to try and simplify the walk cycle tomorrow to the contacts and a bouncy inbetween/passing position and maybe not even include the up and down keys with it being so fast.
The arms are what bothers me the most, I am going to give them minimal movement tomorrow as they look ungainly and all over the place compared to his stumpy body and legs, so will prove too distracting if I move them too much during a walk.
My focus for tomorrow will be to continue with Patches, create a new walk for him (even if it will not be used by the Pirates team it is still good practice for me) and also try out a bit more character animation for him using the team's animatic for a guide.
We will be having a meeting with the Pirates team on Wednesday to determine the shots we will be animating for their final piece, and I will hopefully get my hands on the Guard rig too. Exciting stuff!