After watching "Animator Friendly Rigging" by Jason Schleifer aka God , I tested the rig provided in the DVDs and realized that it's the best rig out there in terms of usability and animator freedom as well as being technically robust . I needed to implement that rigs on multiple characters , so I ended up automating it.
The automation follows the creation from joint orientation settings to match_Object creation (which was a pain to reverse engineer and automate) .
If you are a character TD / Rigger and you haven't watched the DVDs
go buy them now !! I can't stress their importance enough
I added a GUI to use the functionalities in this rig : IK/FK matching to , pivot move, mirror , save pose . It should make a good pipe-line rig / animation package.
>>> Download Jason's scripts from http://www.hollowearth.org/dl/JS_Scripts.zip
>>> You just need the scripts folder from the zip file (JS_Scripts\Scripts), copy its contents to \My Documents\maya\xxxx\scripts ... REPLACE the ones you have these are the newest (the ones on the DVD could be the old ones)
>>> Extract wf_autoAFR \My Documents\maya\xxxx\ make the scripts , icons , shelf are copied properly
>>> Start Maya , you should have a shelf named autoAFR .
>>> If for some reason the shelf doesn't load , type "wf.autoAFR" in the command line and drag it on any shelf
>>> Click on the icon
>>> You need to reset the move tool from the attribute editor for maya 2008 and above (make sure "soft select" and "reflection" are OFF )
>>> Rig can be created in relaxed A pose
>>> Dummies are mirrored automatically , you just have to move the left side,
>>> Hands driven keys are created automatically
>>> Match objects are created automatically (matching FK/IK including iterated attributes )
>>> Mirror-able (WIP on some issues)
>>> Saving poses, and transfer animations
>>> Stretchy FK / IK with knee and elbow locks
>>> Stretchy FK / IK torso and neck
>>> UI to toggle between IK/FK modes and matching objects
>>> UI detects multiple characters
>>> _anim set for animation controls (key scaling)
>>> _skin set for skin-able joints
>>> Watch the DVDs for the full features of the awesome rig :)
>>> Added "parent" selection for the IK arm controls
Work in progress:
>>> Supporting leg rotation before rig
>>> Finishing the mirror script
>>> Multi-rig creation in a single file (low priority)
>>> Double knee (low priority)