Also, character models are frequently updated after the rig is created and functionality can change which require modifications or additions to the skeletal hierarchy. All these modifications need to happen with the skeleton in the original bind pose, so the ability to store and apply multiple poses for both creation and ongoing maintenance of character rigs is essential.
The only provision in Maya for storing a pose on a skeleton is through the dagPose node which is created when a mesh is bound to the skeletal hierarchy. I find this to be extremely inadequate, there is no good way of creating and managing multiple poses and often you can end up with connections to the hierarchy that prevent Maya from setting the skeleton to a single bind pose.
- The model pose - skeleton fits to the model as provided by the Character Art team
- The T pose - skeleton in pose suitable for control rig construction
- Modified bind pose - meshes re-skinned with knees, upper legs and elbows bent to around 30-35 degrees to help volume preservation (more on this in my next post).
Here you can download a version of the tool I use. It's had some extra functionality stripped out that isn't needed and it'll complain about a missing a .bmp file for the UI but other than that it should be good. Let me know if you have any problems and I'll do my best to help out.