I am very new to Blender, but not to 3D. My ultimate question is what are some alternate options for rigging a bike/rider system in Blender and what are the pitfalls to watch out for...
I have a Rigify-rigged character Armature. I have a custom bicycle rig Armature. I need this character to mount the bike, ride the bike, then fall off the bike.
On a previous Blender project, I used Child-Of Constraints on the character Armature.
Hand and foot IK handles were assigned Child-Of Constraints to Empties. Those empties were parented to joints within the bike armature. (Blender vets: Is this a bone-headed move?)
The character's Root was given a child-of Constraint to an Empty on the bicycle armature placed at the seat position. My belief was that empties parented to handlebar and pedal bones allowed for easier fine-tuning of the rider's hand and foot positions. (Misguided? Right idea?)
I then chose a frame where the fall would occur and keyframed the Influence on each of those Constraints to zero, shifting the character back into global coordinate space to separate them from the bike.
I was absolutely brand new to Blender and tried the first tools/processes I found.
Are there better solutions for a dynamic bicycle and rider setup?
Are there any advantages to them being in the same armature? Caveats?
What level of the character is best for constraining (Armature Object level versus some root joint)?