• Mike Malinowski

Single Node Foot Pivot

Typically I have setup foot rolls with either dependency node graphs consisting of a variety of utility nodes, or using DagNodes to create a reverse cross shaped chain. Both systems work reliably and are a tried and tested approach.

However, whilst these are not particularly complex setup's, they do increase the node count in a rig, and therefore add to the cost of computation - and when trying to increase performance every little helps.

The StarPivot node was an experimentation with the Maya C++ API and attempting to boil down a four point foot pivot into a single dependency node. Rather than building a structure of DagNodes with mutliple utility nodes and connections, all the transformations are carried out within a compiled node.

The node itself takes in two animatable attributes to define a two dimensional direction. These are fed through the node logic which also takes in offsets (which can themselves be animated too!) to determine a final matrix transform.

Finally, there is a debugging option, which when enabled uses OpenGL (this was done prior to VP2) to draw the plane and the roll plane.

You can download/view the code for the star pivot by clicking the download link below. This code is the computation code for the node, so you'll still need to setup a cmake project or vs project to build it - and add the plugin registration block.

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