I just noticed my last journal entry was from August of last year. If you only follow me here, you could be out of the loop on a few things... particularly my 3D work.
Last year I'd developed my own tool for rigging characters in Maya. It took a few months of coding and testing, but in the long run it'll save me from having to build character rigs by hand. Once all the blanks are filled in, it takes roughly a minute to build the rig, as opposed to days or even weeks! Unfortunately that script did nothing for characters' faces, so I've been working on some new tools over the past several months. Now, it's starting to pay off.
Unlike my previous rigs, which used morph targets for the facial expressions, this time I'm using a bone-based rig. One small problem - I didn't know how to build it. The only thing I knew for sure was that the rig needed to be relatively easy to use, but with multiple layers to allow for finer control. I'm learning as I go, which makes it all more intimidating.
Something else that's changed recently, is how I'm approaching Daisy's rig in general. For most of April, I'd been too busy for any personal work. At one point I drew up a list of all the things Daisy's model would need before she'd be 100%, and that list ended up being so extensive that I wouldn't even have known where to begin. I almost had a panic attack! The next day, I decided to treat her more like a piece of software, with the to-do list broken down into 10 incremental "point-releases".
Earlier this month, I'd completed v0.1 of Daisy's rig - the body, and the very basics for the face. Now I'm working towards v0.2 - squashing any bugs that were found in v0.1, and expanding her face rig. With v0.3, the goal will be to finish the rest of the face rig. v0.4 will finally add her breast rig! With v0.5 and beyond, it should be down-hill...
...so when will Daisy actually be ANIMATED?? That's difficult to answer. If all goes well, she'll be ready for a test-drive once v0.2 is finished. Getting to v0.4 will be tricky, because the breast rig I have in mind will take some effort to build and test. 1.0 is probably far enough away that I don't even want to think about. Better to focus on what's in front of me.