My ambition for the upcoming renders on the motorbike design is that I'll be able to pose the bike as I please for various shots. And for this project, I'd prefer to have the flexibility to adjust the suspension on the bike should it be needed to make a shot look better and more believable.
Plus, it's just cool to make suspension actually work as it does in real life. To achieve a realistic mechanical function, the rig in Modo utilizes simple locators for parenting and hierarchy, an IK constraint, 2 direction constraints, and a simple normalized deformer for the spring geometry's squash and stretch effect.
This suspension assembly will be attached to the frame and the swingarm of the motorcycle and requires nothing else in order to function in an animation, if the motorcycle were to be animated. It will function on its own with no manual keyframing needed.
See test animation video below:
Specifically, out of all the software I've used for rigging, Modo has to be the most enjoyable. I've done rigging in Maya, Max, and Softimage, but Modo is by far the most forgiving. It does things a little different than many other apps, like I discovered when I began rigging a deformer for the spring. But it also allows you to rig using Modo's Schematic viewport, which makes it all feel truly non-destructive and allows you to more easily debug problems and learn better and cleaner ways to rig.
There's more to come on the motorcycle project. I'm having an incredible time just making these generic mechanical parts. I can't wait to get into ZBrush and really start with my own designs for the bodywork and gas tank.