It’s Time to Try Blenrig Again -
So far I have only done the mesh modifier. None of the hand or toe or face bones have been set up, so this is just a very basic pose test, and that’s why it looks like her hands are paralysed. They are.
I do like some of the deforms better than Rigify. Others, I like less. I’m unhappy with her elbows, knees, wrists, forearms (?!), and ankles. Shoulders actually seem to be better, so that’s a good sign. Unsure if corrective smooths will help the problem areas like they did with Rigify.
I also wonder if I could increase her polycount again. With Rigify, I found increasing her polycount led to intractable problems with the mesh intersecting itself, and too many vertexes to move around to try to correct it.
An experiment to try, I suppose.
Starting All Over Again, Really
I deleted a lot of faces and edges, including in her face. I reworked the topology more. I redid her skin textures. I added a few edges back in.
I deleted the hair and tried again with fewer faces. Not too satisfied with the current hairstyle, but again, it’ll do for a placeholder.
I completely re-did her eyes, the shape, the textures, the colours, how they reflect, IOR, etc.
I deleted the eyelashes and went back to a ~30-poly top eyelash setup with a similar texture to her hair, which I will fix over the coming weeks to fade at the ends. (UPDATE: gave up on this line of thought)
I changed her entire body shape and style. She’s thicker, shorter, and has shaplier breasts. Inside Blender, she’s actually about 50% taller than before, so that I can deal with intimate topology at the X mirrored seams.
She’s not as pretty as before, but over the coming weeks I’ll get her back into her glorious previous look.
Does Anything Suck?
Yeah. I have about 9 different objects that I want to add the exact same mesh deform modifier to, but it seems I have to do it independently, one-by-one. Jeez. Seriously?
On the other hand, the reason they are separate objects now is that in Rigify, when I would try to parent them all the same armature, Blender would freak out about intersecting meshes. So maybe since most of the deform happens via the mesh deform modifier now, I could just make them all part of a single mesh again?
The answer to the implied question: no, that won’t work. I combined all the various meshes together, but her rings and belt are thousands of faces, so suddenly editing her mesh was slow as dirt. I was sort of able to deal with that, but then I decided to turn on her subsurf and… oh boy. Was that a mistake.
I broke the meshes all back out, and now I have to unbind/bind every single one of them everytime I make a change to the mesh deform cage.
Is this an Improvement over Rigify?
I didn’t think I could pull off that pose in Rigify, but… well… apparently I can.
One thing I’m considering is to pull the Blenrig mesh modifier into this .blend, parent it to the armature, and then use mesh deform modifier and see if it helps any of the problems I’m currently using corrective smooths to fix.
I’m not sure mesh deform modifier works in this .blend, though. It was having troubles with that some months ago when I tried to do that with her eyelashes.