Working with Bishop (updated)


Personally have a love/hate relationship with the rig. Love that it doesn’t come as a pre-defined character like other schools, and have seen some amazing animation done with it. But in quite a few ways it can be a bit of a hassle to work with. Here’s a few tips I’ve picked up and use frequently:

1. Channel Box.
Middle mouse clicking and dragging to change values is almost an impossible way to shape Bishop’s face, the increments are just too big to fine tune things. Luckily you can change the sensitivity of the Channel Box to make it more workable. One way is by clicking in the top right corner:

Or you can simply hold down Ctrl or Shift while dragging. Ctrl will increase the sensitivity, Shift will decrease it.

2. Fingers
With the default controller you have to select the hand, scroll through the channel box, find the joint you’re after, middle mouse click, drag.. arrgh! Luckily though you can switch to FK fingers and make the process much simpler.

Select the root layout controller, press your right arrow key and you’ll see a bunch of extra attributes. Set FKfinger to Curve. I’ve gone through and delete all the peaks off the pyramid shaped curves, so I’m left with cleaner looking squares.

If you want to make the body selectable, follow the same steps and change Geo Display to normal.

3. Selecting teeth/eyes
For my shot I want to have more control over the teeth than the rig affords me. You can easily go into the rig and unlock teeth or the eyes so you have full control over them. First find them in the Outliner and then in the Attribute Editor change the Drawing Overrides to Normal. Your teeth should now be selectable in the viewport. For the eyes you’ll need to unlock the attributes just by right clicking in the Channel Box.

4. Mods
2 great vids on modifying Bishop by Jack Parry. I found for the first video, you will need to make sure the Uniform Scale of Bishop is set to 1 (not 6) for it to work.
YouTube Preview ImageYouTube Preview Image

*For my Batman mod I actually used a wrap deformer for his mask.

5. GUI
Ditch the A.M GUI, use AnimSelector which I’ve written about here.

6. Changing the controllers
The way Bishop’s face is set up is quite hard to work with when it comes to splining, too many attributes on the one controller. I created some new controllers to help alleviate the problem, so for example blinks and eye transitions now have their own separate controls. To read more about this check Tomoyo Matsuda’s post here.

7.  Viewport display problems
Noticed this in my shot and also some other shots with Bishop. Pretty simple fix, I usually change the New Clip Plane to something between 0.5 and 1.


8. Shoulder mesh deformations
One of my biggest gripes with this rig is the shoulders. They’re hard to work with, and are very buggy if you use Follow Align. This solution isn’t as simple as it seems in the below image, but it does the job.

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