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LoveFest
01-19-2012, 11:21 PM
Does Soft have capsule rigging abilities like Maya? Instead of painting weights, it has the capsule tool...
You know, like the old Blue Sky Studios tool made for Ice Age back in 1998?

Today, (like most) I'm just tired of wrestling with Maya.

colour
01-20-2012, 06:46 AM
Softimage has bounding volumes. Just google softimage bounding volumes and you'll get a wikipedia page on it.

mattmos
01-20-2012, 09:17 AM
Softimage weight painting is fairly painless. Most of the time I use a low res mesh and gator the results onto the higher res render mesh. Makes it very easy to tweak.

colour
01-20-2012, 09:24 AM
I agree with mattmos. I use that workflow too. I can't say I've ever tried the bounding volumes.

LoveFest
01-20-2012, 05:21 PM
Softimage has bounding volumes. Just google softimage bounding volumes and you'll get a wikipedia page on it.
Do you use the bounding volumes for a capsule skinning tool substitute?

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-g1Ya6Y9RvhE/Tgx4LUWxWoI/AAAAAAAAH3o/dMeAgm4qpZE/s1600/InteractiveSkinBindIssue.jpg

Softimage weight painting is fairly painless. Most of the time I use a low res mesh and gator the results onto the higher res render mesh. Makes it very easy to tweak.
Does Soft have good tools to separate vertices associations with skin clusters to free up unwanted verts (like the lats getting stuck with the arm when the arm pulls up the lats move up?). Do you have other tools besides the paint weights to individually remove verts, etc?

TheRazorsEdge
01-21-2012, 01:43 PM
I personally find capsule skinning a huge headache in Max, a step back even in Maya and see no reason why it should be in XSI. Have you even tried painting weights in XSI? I know its hard to believe, but its is very smooth and easy for even the most complex of setups! Maya is a nightmare compared to that. Just give it a shot and I'm sure you'll be very pleasantly surprised.

Cheers!

bottleofram
01-21-2012, 07:06 PM
Do you use the bounding volumes for a capsule skinning tool substitute?
Considering bounding volumes are a decade old technology (if im not mistaken), is it fair to call it a substitute to the last years mya novelty?

Do you have other tools besides the paint weights to individually remove verts, etc?
You can use weight editor to control weighting on individual verts.

LoveFest
01-21-2012, 07:14 PM
I personally find capsule skinning a huge headache in Max, a step back even in Maya and see no reason why it should be in XSI. Have you even tried painting weights in XSI? I know its hard to believe, but its is very smooth and easy for even the most complex of setups! Maya is a nightmare compared to that. Just give it a shot and I'm sure you'll be very pleasantly surprised.

Cheers!
Very tempting.

Considering bounding volumes are a decade old technology (if im not mistaken), is it fair to call it a substitute to the last years mya novelty?
Not sure what you mean.

You can use weight editor to control weighting on individual verts.
Great. Maya has that too.

LoveFest
01-22-2012, 07:58 AM
I personally find capsule skinning a huge headache in Max, a step back even in Maya and see no reason why it should be in XSI. Have you even tried painting weights in XSI? I know its hard to believe, but its is very smooth and easy for even the most complex of setups! Maya is a nightmare compared to that. Just give it a shot and I'm sure you'll be very pleasantly surprised.

Cheers!
You've done a lot of skinning and rigging in Maya? What's been your experience?

Sorry. Double Post. :(

TheRazorsEdge
01-22-2012, 10:19 AM
You've done a lot of skinning and rigging in Maya? What's been your experience?

Sorry. Double Post. :(
I have indeed! lol

Skinning in Maya can take forever and is a more or less convoluted workflow, which you need to experiment a lot with to find your own and efficient way of doing things. This can be a very time-consuming and frustrating affair. One reason for that is simply that the Smooth-brush mode does not work right and you have to constantly hold/unhold influences in order to not have weights normalize all over the place. David Walden's skinningTools.mel helped a lot to make the related workarounds more bearable, but nowhere near as easy as painting weights in XSI.

In XSI things simply work as you expect them to. It's totally straight-forward. These days, if I need to have a rigged character stay in Maya, I'll strip the scene down to skin and skinning joints, send them to XSI, paint weights there in a breeze and send the whole thing back to Maya into a separate scene. There I'll export the weights to disk and re-import them onto the fully rigged character. This literally saves me days of skinning effort!

In Maya skinning is a mean headache for me, in XSI a more or less meditative, artistic effort, which it really needs to be. Take a look at the Tiger in my folio, all the posed deformation is painted weights, not sculpted and holds up to basic animation needs. I have no idea how long this would have taken me in Maya, but I did that in XSI over the course of a single evening. There is a link to a wip-thread in the description, which contains an image of the basic skinning rig, in case you may want to take a look at that kind of thing.

Cheers!:arteest:

LoveFest
01-23-2012, 01:17 AM
In XSI things simply work as you expect them to. It's totally straight-forward. These days, if I need to have a rigged character stay in Maya, I'll strip the scene down to skin and skinning joints, send them to XSI, paint weights there in a breeze and send the whole thing back to Maya into a separate scene. There I'll export the weights to disk and re-import them onto the fully rigged character. This literally saves me days of skinning effort!
This part sounds great! Do you need plugins to do all the exporting and re-importing back? Does information get lost coming into Soft or going back into Maya, with lots of fixing and tweaking?

@Razor's Edge. The tiger looks really good! I can see the verts getting all connected to the stomach in Maya already. I would prefer to spend my time creating, not doing R&D. Seems like with Maya, you need a couple TDs chasing down research and problem solving to get stuff done.

Mattmos: You're the guy who made this!? I love this little guy. Have you done much rigging in Maya?
http://www.mattmos.com/nhs/martin_default.jpg

mattmos
01-23-2012, 10:35 AM
@Lovefest: ta! Haven't done any rigging in maya, but I've reverse-engineered a couple of maya rigs to build in softimage. It does seem like maya is a little more complicated to get to a final result, that's just my first impressions though...

TheRazorsEdge
01-23-2012, 11:06 AM
This part sounds great! Do you need plugins to do all the exporting and re-importing back? Does information get lost coming into Soft or going back into Maya, with lots of fixing and tweaking?

No custom plugins are needed, really! You use either FBX-Export/Import for older or the "Send To Maya/Softimage"-buttons in the newer versions. Keep in mind that joints will import as Nulls/Locators into XSI and influences that don't have any inital weighting assigned might not be exported from Maya at all. Hence make sure that everything you want to paints weights for has at least some rudimentary weights assigned already and that they are all named properly. Also, Softimage might not send the UV's back into Maya when using FBX, not sure why that happens, but since I still do most of my Maya work in Maya 2009 it always happens to me. It's nothing really major to deal with though and the exporting/importing the weights based on vertex ID onto the fully rigged skin fixes that anyways. The weights come in very clean though.

Hope this helps.

Cheers!

PS: The only reasons I am still doing some work in Maya at all are a) because some pipelines require it, b) I am so used to it, since I started out with it way back, and c) Softimage does not have native muscle system, which I really need for most of my character work, and I neither have the time nor capacity to create one (Syflex can be used as substitute though).

ViCoX
01-23-2012, 03:15 PM
Often when exporting FBX its good to add some texture to the materials so that uvs are exported. NoIcon is just fine. : )

TheRazorsEdge
01-24-2012, 09:48 AM
Ah, I had not thought of that one! So its similar to the unweighted influence exclusion.
Many thanks for that tip. One never stops learning! :)

Cheers!

finalgathering
01-25-2012, 11:19 PM
Like some others mentioned, a simplified version of your character is easier to weight.

I usually do that and Gator that over to the high res.
That simplified character is very useful and can be used as a reference model, especially for the advantage in animation playback speed.
If it's still too dense, just use poly reduction. Yes... amazingly the weight will be preserved even when you freeze the poly reduction ;) When you render, just switch to the high res.

Because of Softimage’s flexibility, you tend to adapt different weighting solutions.
For instance, the arm pit as usual is following the darn bicep bone ‘humerus’.
Assuming you have already weighted, just add a small cube at the arm pit, parent it to the appropriate vertebrae part.
Add these two cubes to the original envelope by using ‘envelope>set envelope’ (make sure to use ‘keep existing weight in ppg’)
For each side, select a generous region of points around the armpits region and use 'local reassign' pick the humerus, and cube, a couple of vertebrae if you want.
(Many believe that 'Local reassign' is meant to be used with a single deformer, if so... you're missing out)
Finally, use a smooth brush if needed.

Weighting should be for fine detail not large sections, if you have to weight large sections, then you’re wasting too much time, add more deformers as helpers.

LoveFest
01-28-2012, 06:36 PM
Like some others mentioned, a simplified version of your character is easier to weight.

I usually do that and Gator that over to the high res.
That simplified character is very useful and can be used as a reference model, especially for the advantage in animation playback speed.
If it's still too dense, just use poly reduction. Yes... amazingly the weight will be preserved even when you freeze the poly reduction ;) When you render, just switch to the high res.

Because of Softimage’s flexibility, you tend to adapt different weighting solutions.
For instance, the arm pit as usual is following the darn bicep bone ‘humerus’.
Assuming you have already weighted, just add a small cube at the arm pit, parent it to the appropriate vertebrae part.
Add these two cubes to the original envelope by using ‘envelope>set envelope’ (make sure to use ‘keep existing weight in ppg’)
For each side, select a generous region of points around the armpits region and use 'local reassign' pick the humerus, and cube, a couple of vertebrae if you want.
(Many believe that 'Local reassign' is meant to be used with a single deformer, if so... you're missing out)
Finally, use a smooth brush if needed.

Weighting should be for fine detail not large sections, if you have to weight large sections, then you’re wasting too much time, add more deformers as helpers.
Are these things pretty hard to do in Maya?

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