Thursday, 4 October 2012

Advanced Channel Management and attrMaps

I've been doing some more work on the channel management / LockChannelsUI and have come up with something pretty interesting. For those who don't know what this tool does, it's for managing what attributes, per node, are locked, keyable or hidden. There's nothing worse than getting a rig that has lots of sub-nodes with open channels for animators to abuse, this is aimed at doing something about that.

The first half is pretty standard and obvious, what channels in the hierarchy, or selected, do you want to manage. There's a specificAttr's field with RMB popup that allows you to grab attrs from the channelBox to include in the filter.

The cool bit is the attrMap. Lets say you're a rigger and have very carefully gone and locked everything you can from the animators but now need to unlock stuff to manage or tweak your setup, or you now have a new rig and want to lock the same attrs per node. With this you can select the top of your rig hierarchy, check the hierarchy box and store an attrMap for the entire setup. This stores the l,k,u,cb state of every attr, for every node in the hierarchy to an attrMap init file. The load restores each attributes status, either at a selected node level from the map, or for the entire hierarchy.

Now you can select the top of your rig, unlock and unhide everything so you can mess around, then just restore the attr status's from the attrMap afterwards!