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View Full Version : How to rig a character so he can hold (and use) a weapon?


LittleFenris
11-22-2003, 07:16 PM
I am modeling and rigging a character right now for an animation and want the character to hold a sword. i would like it if he could put the sword in a sheath when he's not using it also. What extra things do I need to add or do to make these two things possible.

Here is a render of the character and the sword (sword is just floating in space):

http://vwtornado.baked.net/Fenris_Web/JPGs/Rocco_Katana.jpg

Heres the character mostly as he will apear in final form (with the Katana and red outfit from the first pic):

http://vwtornado.baked.net/Fenris_Web/JPGs/Rocco_Pants.jpg

The animation will be all action, no speaking. The sword's sheath will be behind his back as its too big to have in the correct side position on his hip.

CIM
11-22-2003, 09:58 PM
Use Point and/or Orient Constraints.

SplineGod
11-22-2003, 11:48 PM
I agree. You can do dynamic parenting in LW. If that gives you fits just have two swords, one always in his hand and one always in its sheath. Simply dissolve the proper swords in and out when you need them to be visible.

kretin
11-22-2003, 11:50 PM
I would approach this from a couple of angles. Firstly I'd create a Motion Mixer motion for him putting the sword in the sheath, and one for taking it out of the sheath.

Then I'd have 2 swords, one parented to the hand null/bone, and one parented to the sheath's parent/bone. This way when doing most of your animation you can just use one or the other.

Using these 2 techniques should get you through most of your animation.

But if you want to have a fair bit of dynamic putting in and taking out of the sword (stuff that can't be fudged using well placed cuts) I'd:

1. Create a null, say Sword_Parent and make Sword_Parent a child of the hand null/bone.
2. Create a null, say Sword_Sheath and parent this to the sheath's parent/bone.
3. Create a null, say slid_Sword, and create a slider based on it's X position.
4. Use a Motion Options expression for the sword to follow the world coords of either of these nulls based on a slider. Something like

Expression: (Sword_Parent.wpos(Time).x * A) + (Sword_Sheath.wpos(Time).x * B)

A: clamp(slid_Sword.pos(Time).x, 0, 1)
B: 1 - A

(This is for the x pos, you'll need to copy the Expression part to each channel, replacing the appropriate channel reference in the expression)

What this is doing is, A is clamping the slider to between 0 and 1. This means that you don't have to adjust the curves for the slider. Then B is the reverse value of A. Then the expression is telling the sword to follow either of the nulls based on the slider value, so you have full control of the transition timing, and you know it'll be a smooth transition from one to the other.

Reason for doing this instead of point affectors and constraints, although they're a little easier to setup, is that they work "after" IK, so if you have any IK in the dependant items they won't work.

LittleFenris
11-23-2003, 02:33 AM
Originally posted by kretin
But if you want to have a fair bit of dynamic putting in and taking out of the sword (stuff that can't be fudged using well placed cuts) I'd:


Thanks for the suggestions. Maybe I won't show the sword coming in and out of the sheath or I'll just animate it frame by frame as its coming in and out. I will probably only have him take the sword out one time, then it will be out the rest of the time. Kretin, I wish I understood ANY of that expression you posted...but thanks for the info...maybe when I've animated more I'll understand all that. Seems like Splinegods way will be the most practical for a beginning animator such as myself. Will having a fully transparent object in the scene slow down render time considerably? Not that big a deal, just wondering.

So using that method, I would have a sword object as part of the hand (like in that first pic) that rotates with the hand and all, but is transparent until he actually draws the sword, and vice versa for the one in the sheath?

SplineGod
11-23-2003, 02:59 AM
You can just parent the sword to a bone in the hand and then have another sword in the sheath. Just object dissolve each one in/out on one frame. We would use this trick in production all the time simply because its fast and easy. :)

LittleFenris
11-23-2003, 04:50 AM
What exactly is object dissolve? You didn't mean simply have the sword I'm not using transparent? Is object dissolve something different? (im at my girlfriend's house responding to this so i can't check the LW manual for that term)

SplineGod
11-23-2003, 05:15 AM
In the object properties panel under the render tab. You can dissolve objects in and out.Transparency only works on a surface by surface basis.

LittleFenris
11-23-2003, 04:23 PM
Cool, thanks Splinegod! So there is an envelope for object dissolving?

Pi3141
11-23-2003, 04:26 PM
I have no way of helping you with rigging, but I just gotta say, that is one cool cat :cool:


Bruce Fee-line (Cymbol crash)

LittleFenris
11-23-2003, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by Pi3141
I have no way of helping you with rigging, but I just gotta say, that is one cool cat :cool:

Bruce Fee-line (Cymbol crash)

Thanks Pi3141, thats a huge compliment coming from you. :buttrock:

I wish he was rigged more so I could put him in a cool pose, but here's a shot of him angry. I have done endomorphs for mad and surprised so far and I have a skeleton made and most of the preliminary weight maps done, just not enough to pose him.

http://vwtornado.baked.net/Fenris_Web/JPGs/Rocco_Mad.jpg

SplineGod
11-23-2003, 08:28 PM
Originally posted by VWTornado
Cool, thanks Splinegod! So there is an envelope for object dissolving?
There sure is. :)

LittleFenris
11-26-2003, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by SplineGod
You can just parent the sword to a bone in the hand and then have another sword in the sheath. Just object dissolve each one in/out on one frame. We would use this trick in production all the time simply because its fast and easy. :)

OK, I tried parenting the sword to a bone but when I do that the sword moves from where I have it placed (in his hand) to wherever and whatever orientation the hand bone I parent it to is in. Can you parent objects to other things w/o it moving to where that thing is? Anymore help would be greatly appreciated.

Pi3141
11-26-2003, 01:53 PM
A shoot in the breeze here, but...

Press "o" and make sure "Parent In Place" Is on?

LittleFenris
11-26-2003, 04:19 PM
Pi3141
A shoot in the breeze here, but...

Press "o" and make sure "Parent In Place" Is on?

That did it!!! You rock. :buttrock:

Here's a render of the character. C&C are welcome.

http://vwtornado.baked.net/Fenris_Web/JPGs/Rocco_Katana2.jpg

Pi3141
11-26-2003, 05:06 PM
Kickass :buttrock:

But dude, mines bigger than yours :bounce:

LittleFenris
11-26-2003, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by Pi3141
Kickass :buttrock:

But dude, mines bigger than yours :bounce:

MUAHAHAHAHA. It's not how big it is, its how you use it! :buttrock:

T4D
11-27-2003, 12:46 AM
if your still having trouble with the whole rig thing I got a tutorial that shows good a Animation rigT4D Rigging tutorial (http://www.thomas4d.com/lwt1.htm)
or if your feeling lazy just email me the model and i'll rig it for you
l'm testing/playing with a new rigging lscript :D

LittleFenris
11-27-2003, 03:21 AM
T4D, very nice tutorial there. I'll check that out monday when I get some time. It looks like you use quite a bit of IK...ive seen a few people that seem to be against IK, or say it causes problems...why is that? Seems to me IK can speed up posing a lot if setup correctly. :shrug:

T4D
11-27-2003, 03:49 AM
glad you like the tutorail:D

There's 2 ways to the arms
IK OR FK with IK there's less object's to key
with FK you have alittle more control but alot more objects to key

if you Rig the IK nicely
IK will give you the same " sort" of control
I prefer IK for arms ( I'm Lazy :blush: )

but it's a personal thing really
also I done IK in the tutorial because most tutorial's i've seen uses FK for arms i wanted to do something different :)

and you have to have IK on the Legs
I started with Inspire 3d and that only had FK and it was a real pain to animate legs and body with FK :cry:

IK is an odd thing, I remember having heaps of trouble with joints flipping around, but once you work out what channels to let the IK control and what not to, it all work very well.
just need to play around with it abit

SplineGod
11-27-2003, 04:10 AM
Generally most people tend to use IK on the lower body because the feet need to stick to the floor. IK typically if used on the upper body is used when you need to have the hands stick to something. If a character is just walking around I usually wont use IK on the upperbody.
One of the problems with using IK on the upperbody is getting overlapping motions ie. motions that start with the shoulder and propogate thru the elbow to the wrists, like a whip. That type of motion is best done using FK.
There are all kinds of ways to rig things to blend between both but generally for me are more time then theyre worth. :)

T4D
11-27-2003, 05:43 AM
Sorry SplineGod your a true god of Lightwave :blush:
and you have helped me learn lightwave big time

But to paint FK as the best way to go is not right
I say again it's a personal thing that each person should try
Keith Lango http://www.keithlango.com/
( great character animation tutorial there )
and many other character animators i have read used IK on they hands and many others used FK
but to Quote Keith Lango
The only rule is the animation: does it look good?
If yes, then the cheat is good. If not, then the cheat is evil.


Sorry your post seemed alittle one sided
just had to fight for my IK hands :D

but agree the IK/FK mixing thing is way too much work for it's own good

SplineGod
11-27-2003, 06:05 AM
Thats why I use words like "generally" because it depends on the software, the person and what youre trying to animate. Most other apps can mix IK and FK which helps to make the argument a moot point. Theres also a huge difference in rigging for doing personal animations and rigging for a large group of people. I have a great deal of experience doing both. Theres also the difference between animating for personal projects and animating for a picky animation director or a client who doesnt think the way I do. Again, Ive done a great deal of both. :)

I know a lot of very seasoned animators (15 + years) who dont like using IK for things that dont have to be locked down and prefer FK on the upper body in the cases where the characters arms dont need to be locked to things. There are many situtations where I can animate faster using FK rather then use IK to try and get what I want.

As I said, there are some types of motions where its difficult to get things to "break" in the proper sequence. I used the example of whip like motions because those motions start at the root of the heirarchy and not at the end. IK means that the motion starts at the end of the heirarchy. These whip like motions are also referred to as OVERLAPPING MOTION and doing it properly with JUST IK is very difficult. For this type of motion you need precise control which IK doesnt give due to the fact that it is IK and not FK.

IK can be a quick way to pose or set up some basic motions but to really tweak the motions you almost always need some FK in there. Lightwave currently doesnt easily and reliably allow IK/FK
blending. One thing I do on occassion is to rough out motions with IK and then bake the motions onto the bones. I may then turn off IK for those heirarchies and further tweak with FK.

BTW heres a great resource for Character Animators:
http://cgchar.toonstruck.com/forum/index.php

T4D
11-27-2003, 06:18 AM
:bowdown: Yes you have a great deal more experience then me :bowdown:

no disrespect intended at all :blush:

SplineGod
11-27-2003, 06:25 AM
Originally posted by T4D
:bowdown: Yes you have a great deal more experience then me :bowdown:
LOL! Im not putting you down believe me. Others will certainly disagree with me as well. I can only share what I know based on my own experiences. Im giving general rules which means they dont apply in every situtation. Im also giving examples of where IK might not work as well or as easily. Regardless, its certainly worth experimenting with. :)

T4D
11-27-2003, 06:33 AM
:beer:

LittleFenris
11-27-2003, 01:31 PM
When you say IK/FK blending what do you mean exactly? Can you turn IK on and off for things or what? I haven't gotten the finished story for my short film (a friend is writing it for me) but I dont know that I will need my character to hold onto anything like poles or bars or anything like that, but who knows. :) The most important thing is that he can hold and weild his sword reliably, which normal parenting seems to be doing just fine. :applause: Although it would be nice to know how to set these things up in case I do want him to swing from poles and jump off walls and stuff.

One problem I have encountered so far just testing my rig is that the eyes won't rotate in all 3 directions...2 of the circles are facing the same damn way. :banghead: How can I fix that? Is it something with reseting bones in Layout or what? I have seen Todd Grimes character animation DVDs and he had to go into Layout and fix the orientation of a bunch of bones because I guess it matters how you make them in Modeler as to where they are oriented in Layout. :shrug: Also a minor problem with the finger joints flattening out when I close his hands into a fist (the joints don't keep that round feeling like they have a knuckle in them). I tried playing with all those joint compensation and all that and it didn't seem to do anything.

Thanks to both of you for the help so far and I look forward to any other assistance you can provide.

T4D
11-27-2003, 02:02 PM
here's the base skelegons for Pi's AfroSamurai
One thing i do is
i don't rotate any thing in layout i start every chain with a base bone that has a screwed up rotation on it then the rest of the bones in the chain will have correct rotation channels

so this will fits the finger & eye problems
but they are other way to fits this...

When you say IK/FK blending
check out auto character setup or The Setup Machine rigs
pretty sure both have exsamples of IK/FK switching

and they are 1 or 2 tutorials on it too
but it is alot of work to setup in LW 7.5 at the moment.

LittleFenris
11-27-2003, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by T4D
i don't rotate any thing in layout i start every chain with a base bone that has a screwed up rotation on it then the rest of the bones in the chain will have correct rotation channels

so this will fits the finger & eye problems
but they are other way to fits this...

Well I have the skelegons all done in Modeler and don't really wanna have to do it over again if I dont need to. What do I do to fix the problem with the eyes not being able to rotate in one of the 3 direction? Its weird, 2 of the circle slider things are on the same axis...I've never seen that before, but its happening to BOTH of the eye bones. :hmm: I'll check out that rig when I'm on a machine that I have LW on (at my girlfriend's house on a MAC so i can't look at it right now).

Also if some of my arm bones are oriented wrong, can I just rotate the bone in Modeler then re-convert the skelegons in Layout to fix any orientation problems? I would like to fix as much of this as I can in Modeler so its less to do in Layout or in the future cause I can save the stuff in Modeler and its ready for later use.

kretin
11-27-2003, 11:16 PM
Use your current eye bones as parents for new eye bones. Position the new bones at 0,0,0, give the parents (current eye bones) 0% strength. Then the rest rotation of the eye bones will be zeroed out.

If other rotations are wrong in your converted skelegons, check either the bank rotations in Modeler, or re-create the skelegons using the appropriate viewport for the rotation you're after.

You can "add" to an existing skeleton in Layout using skelegons by just converting those skelegons you wish to change/add. Just copy the new skelegons you want to add into your main layer and convert in Layout.

LittleFenris
11-28-2003, 12:40 AM
Can I just rotate the skelegons in modeler to fix there rotation in Layout? (i would re-convert the skelegons in Layout after rotating them in modeler.) And what viewport do i need to make the eye bones in to have them rotate in all 3 directions? i still don't understand why that is happening.

kretin
11-28-2003, 12:47 AM
Can I just rotate the skelegons in modeler to fix there rotation in Layout? (i would re-convert the skelegons in Layout after rotating them in modeler.)
It depends on what problem you're having with the rotation.



And what viewport do i need to make the eye bones in to have them rotate in all 3 directions? i still don't understand why that is happening.
It's happening because the eye bones are parented to the head bone, which is perpendicular to the eye bones, so your bank is rotated to match the heading (called gimbal lock). You either need to Record Pivot Rotation (not recommended as it can stuff up targeting or IK) or create children of the eye bones to use as the actual eye bones. You need to understand the relationship between parent and child items, then the rest falls into place.

LittleFenris
11-29-2003, 03:42 PM
Originally posted by kretin
It depends on what problem you're having with the rotation.

The problem I'm having is some of the arm and leg bones have a different rotation setup than others in the same chain, which I dont understand as I made them in the same string of skelegons. :shrug: I just wanted to fix those couple that were different.

It's happening because the eye bones are parented to the head bone, which is perpendicular to the eye bones, so your bank is rotated to match the heading (called gimbal lock). You either need to Record Pivot Rotation (not recommended as it can stuff up targeting or IK) or create children of the eye bones to use as the actual eye bones. You need to understand the relationship between parent and child items, then the rest falls into place.

I stil don't understand the whole gimble lock idea, but I kinda see what you mean by it taking on attributes of its parent. Why doesn't it just link to that bone w/o taking on its attributes? :hmm: And yeah, I have a lot to learn about parenting and relationships and IK before this animation gets going. Thanks for the help, its nice to have experience people like you that know what the problems are and how to fix them. :buttrock:

kretin
11-29-2003, 10:48 PM
The problem I'm having is some of the arm and leg bones have a different rotation setup than others in the same chain, which I dont understand as I made them in the same string of skelegons. :shrug: I just wanted to fix those couple that were different.
In that case you can't fix it by rotating the skelegons, but you can to some degree by
a) Rotating skelegons bank angles.
b) Recreating the skelegons. Read up on skelegons and their relationship to bones, but essentially the pitch (once in Layout) is along the axis you create the skelegon in unless you edit the bank handle. You can have all sorts of rotations in a single skelegon chain, it's up to you to make sure you're creating them well.
c) Adjusting the bones in Layout. With Parent in Place on, say your upper arm's rotation is off, so parent the lower arm to the shoulder, adjust the bank of the upper arm, then reparent the lower arm to the upper arm. Doing this kind of adjustment is pretty quick. You can still salvage your skelegons for further use by using DStorms "Load Bones" plugin:
http://www.dstorm.co.jp/dslib/bone.html


I stil don't understand the whole gimble lock idea, but I kinda see what you mean by it taking on attributes of its parent. Why doesn't it just link to that bone w/o taking on its attributes? :hmm: And yeah, I have a lot to learn about parenting and relationships and IK before this animation gets going. Thanks for the help, its nice to have experience people like you that know what the problems are and how to fix them.
Linking to a item and parenting to a item are 2 very different things, each having their uses. You can link one item to another without one inheriting values from the other, but a child by nature has to inherit values from the parent. Record Pivot Rotation was created as a quick and dirty way to try to stop children from inheriting parent values, but it's evil and should never be used, invariably creating more problems than it solves. 9 times out of 10 people use RPR without understanding it, and not really knowing why they're using it.

If you want to zero out the rotation of a child item, you just need an intermediate parent to that child. But most of the bones in a rig shouldn't be zeroed out, as they "should" rely on the rotations specified by the parent/child relationship.

LittleFenris
11-30-2003, 07:59 PM
Now I can see why people don't particularly like rigging characters. :banghead: Guess its gonna take some experimenting to get it right. But at least once I have a skeleton created, I can copy it into other characters and just adjust it to fit each one. Thanks for all the tips, they are very helpful.

SplineGod
11-30-2003, 08:41 PM
Originally posted by VWTornado
Now I can see why people don't particularly like rigging characters. :banghead: Guess its gonna take some experimenting to get it right. But at least once I have a skeleton created, I can copy it into other characters and just adjust it to fit each one. Thanks for all the tips, they are very helpful.
LOL, I actually like rigging. Remember, anything is easy if you know how to do it. What makes rigging difficult for many is that
rigging is not simply setting up bones, IK, weight maps and expressions. Its a list of requirements that a character must adhere to in order to make animating possible without the rig getting in the animators face. If a person doesnt understand animating or what makes a good rig then it becomes mostly a technical exercise which many times can be frustrating.

Think about what a pain it now just rigging for yourself and then think about rigging for a hundred other people. :)

LittleFenris
11-30-2003, 10:21 PM
Originally posted by SplineGod
LOL, I actually like rigging. Remember, anything is easy if you know how to do it. What makes rigging difficult for many is that
rigging is not simply setting up bones, IK, weight maps and expressions. Its a list of requirements that a character must adhere to in order to make animating possible without the rig getting in the animators face. If a person doesnt understand animating or what makes a good rig then it becomes mostly a technical exercise which many times can be frustrating.

Wanna give a short list of those requirements? ;)

I think my characters will be good for animating, I just gotta figure out how to setup the bones properly. I've got a handle on endomorphs, just need to figure out the bones and IK and stuff. I was really hoping rigging WAS just "simply setting up bones, IK, weight maps and expressions." :D Actually as easy as endomorphs and weight maps are to setup, I was beginning to think rigging and setting up for animating wasn't that hard, but then I run into stuff like this where things aren't rotating correctly and stuff. :banghead: Oh well, you live and you learn. The reason I started this project was to learn as much as I could about each aspect of 3D. :wip:

T4D
11-30-2003, 10:34 PM
here's a list I got Geoff Sutter a guy who post this on the LWOz list feels like 2 years ago now
But still up to date he was a messiah guy who worked in the UK and now works in my town on Maya anyway he it is

Control objects - Those big 'ol 2d wire frame type that are easier to
pick than those pesky little Nulls.

Hide all the extraneous stuff, unless directly part of the animation
rig, lock it, hide it, just get it out of the way so a dumb animator
like myself can't pick it and stuff up the setup. ;)

No hips between the feet type expressions, just simple IK chains between
the shoulder and wrist, thigh and ankle.
With a single controller at the end of each which rotates the appendage.
Ie: the same controller that moves the left arm, also can rotate the
left hand (easier to keyframe and concentrate on 1 keyframable object
than 2 or more)

Solid feet, no slippage or unwanted rotation, and toe and ankle stay
above the ground level at all times. Similar to reverse foot setups I
guess but just 1 controller to move leg and rotate foot (ankle). Ok
maybe 2 if needed ;)
This would defiantly be the most fancy thing in the rig.

That's about it really. To sum up control objects starting from the
bottom.

Global Parent - Move rig where ever needed in scene. Moves all rig with
it animated or not. This could be a null as not usually animated.

Feet - move leg and rotate foot.

Knees - rotate knee (2d IK chain).

Global Hip - moves hip and upper body including arm goals. Feet stay
planted where they are.

Local Hip - rotates hip only, feet and upper body stay firm.

Shoulders - rotate ie: shrug.

Elbows - rotate elbows (2d Ik chain)

Hands - move arm and rotate hand.

Spine - rotates spine in curl type of action in any direction, arms stay
put, head follows of course.

Neck - rotate head, maybe move side to side (yo sister)

Eye Main Target - Both Eyes follow.

Left/Right Eye - Parented to Eye main target for individual control ie.
cross-eyes.

That's it! :)


in lightwave i don't have Feet staying on the ground
i have toes always pointing above Ground But Still can jump without the expression doing anything

Love to know what your Guides are SplineGod :)

kretin
11-30-2003, 10:40 PM
Good rigging comes with experience. I'm sure most people's first rigging attempts are difficult, and well, not too good :p I know mine were. 8 years later I'm still refining my techniques, as both the software and my knowledge evolve.

I'm sure Larry's course deals with many of the common issues, as does the book I'm writing, to help people get up to speed alot faster than we have over the years by trial and error.

Trying to create a rig that you'll use over and over is an admirable goal, but keep in mind each time you create a rig, you'll find something new to change or improve.

My advice is buy my book when it's released :), and before you rig more characters for your movie, do a good deal of animation with this character. Doing this will help find what works and what doesn't in your rig so you can adjust this before you rig the other characters.

SplineGod
11-30-2003, 11:10 PM
In the rigging part of my course I cover rigging based on 12 principles of rigging that I think are pretty universal to any 3D app. Thats the requirement list.

I spent a long time figuring out those 12 principles. talking to long time animators, from my own experience animating as well as several years rigging for hundreds of animators. Keep in mind that theres a big difference between rigging for yourself and rigging for a very wide range of animators. :)

After that I spend time showing the technical part of making it happen in Lightwave, in fact I show more then one way in most cases of making the rig conform to those requirements. I show tricks and techniques Ive had to use in production such as setting up rigs for use with mocap so they can be easily tweaked. Techniques for making rigs easier to reuse etc.

This is why the Rigging module in my course is about 15 hours long. Along with the CDs I do provide a lot of online support so theres no way you wont get it.

Ive had several people taking my course who were learning to rig while rigging on shows they were working on. I helped them when they got stuck. :)

I wonder sometimes how big a book would be if I were to stick all the detail I go into inside such a book... :shrug:

If anyones interested you can check out my support forums HERE (http://www.learningstop.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi)
Just login as guest, password is guest
Im running specials on these CDs as well. You can check them out HERE (http://www.3dtraiiningonline.com/professionalcharacterseries.htm)

LittleFenris
12-01-2003, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by T4D
here's the base skelegons for Pi's AfroSamurai
One thing i do is i don't rotate any thing in layout i start every chain with a base bone that has a screwed up rotation on it then the rest of the bones in the chain will have correct rotation channels

So I basically make a tiny bone at the beginning of each chain (leg, arm, etc...) and the rest will be ok? interesting. Thanks for the tips everyone, its been a huge help so far! What would I do w/o you?! :bowdown:

LittleFenris
12-01-2003, 07:37 PM
OK, those tiny control bones fixed a lot of the problems I was having. :buttrock: Now I need to know how to fix things like this when they come up:

http://vwtornado.baked.net/Fenris_Web/JPGs/Bintu_Bones_Problems.jpg

As you can see , these are bones in the same chain yet there orientation for rotating is different (red and green circles). How do I fix this?

This is the bones setup for this guy in case you were curious:

http://vwtornado.baked.net/Fenris_Web/JPGs/Bintu_Clothes.jpg

T4D
12-01-2003, 09:26 PM
uses the bones chopper that's on flay i think..

chop the first bone and just lock it off then all the following bones wil have correct rotation channels

But the best way is to do all this in Modeler kill the three bones in layout now in modeler spit the bone and resize the rest lenght so that is very small

now select all the other bones move them to a new layer then save the model with only the corrected toe bone in the character layer and go into layout

convert skelegons again and it will tell you that they are already bones in the object but we know they only toes bones
now you need too correct the parenting in scene editor and you done :thumbsup:

OH need the set the sweight maps in spread sheet too :beer:

kretin
12-01-2003, 11:52 PM
As you can see , these are bones in the same chain yet there orientation for rotating is different (red and green circles). How do I fix this?
What I do currently to fix this is:

With Parent in Place turned on,

1) parent the second bone in the toe chain to the object.

2) Rotate the first bone so it's the correct orientation.

3) Parent the second bone back to the first

LW8 has a couple of tools for fixing this much quicker, part of Ortho tools.

LittleFenris
12-01-2003, 11:59 PM
Originally posted by T4D
uses the bones chopper that's on flay i think..

chop the first bone and just lock it off then all the following bones wil have correct rotation channels

But the best way is to do all this in Modeler kill the three bones in layout now in modeler spit the bone and resize the rest lenght so that is very small

now select all the other bones move them to a new layer then save the model with only the corrected toe bone in the character layer and go into layout

I'm not worried about deleting bones in modeler and redoing them, I'd rather have it right in Modeler, then just have to do all the parenting in Layout. I am just at the stage of getting rigging right, so having to start over in Layout each time is really no biggie right now (I wanna know how to do it all right in Modeler, so it makes the stuff in Layout that much easier). What do you mean by spliting the bone and resizing the rest length? What is this "rest length"? How do I change it? And which bone am I spliting?

LittleFenris
12-02-2003, 12:05 AM
Originally posted by kretin
What I do currently to fix this is:

With Parent in Place turned on,

1) parent the second bone in the toe chain to the object.

2) Rotate the first bone so it's the correct orientation.

3) Parent the second bone back to the first

LW8 has a couple of tools for fixing this much quicker, part of Ortho tools.

Man, what a PITA, how did you ever figure that out? I'll try that tomorrow thanks. (not at my house to try it right now)

If LW[8] has tools to fix this stuff easier I'm definitely getting it. :buttrock: (I was gonna get it anyways, but still. :shrug: hehehe )

kretin
12-02-2003, 12:29 AM
A large part of rigging from Skelegons is playing with the parenting of bones once in Layout. Some people try to link all the skelegons to reduce this a little, but I don't like having any bones in a rig unless they're specifically useful to the deformation, so many of the skelegons in my rigs are seperate chains, requiring re-parenting.

It's a pretty natural progression to arrive at the technique I suggested for fixing problem areas.

It's not really too much of a PITA, it's pretty fast once you've done it a couple of times... and it's often easier doing that than remaking skelegons over and over till you get it right :) Even in the most careful skelegon creation there are some times where rotation isn't uniform, thus the Ortho tools that help speed up the process of fixing them.

T4D
12-02-2003, 12:32 AM
cool tip kretin
http://www.thomas4d.com/LWBaseBone.jpg

if you want everything correct in Modeler i normally just add a extra bone in modeler called base bone and then animate all the following bones, again the first bone rotation channels don't worry anything because the following bones will have all the same rotation channels which is what you want

to fix the toe you already have just uses bone spliter and move the base bones points around so they don't effect the deformation and the second bone rotates in the right position



Playing with LW 8 yeah kretin ..................it must be getting near :bounce:

I seems to be modeling alot now adays due to waiting for LW 8
when working in LW7.5 layout, all i can think of is LW8:cry:
You lucky bastard :beer:

LittleFenris
12-02-2003, 12:55 AM
Maybe I'll try making my skelegons from scratch and see how that goes, just for the heck of it. I will be trying both of your suggestions tomorrow. Thanks. Kretin, can you tell us anything about these Ortho tools? :D

SplineGod
12-02-2003, 01:32 AM
The ortho tools were originally a separate set of tools that allow bones to be manipulated in layout rather then using skelegons.
The problem with skelegons is that the only part that is easy or intuive about them is drawing them. After that you run into problems. Ive worked with the guys who developed Ortho since their inception. After Newtek hired them and bought Ortho theyve been developed into much more powerful tools then what I demoed at Siggraph. Newtek was out here a few weeks ago and did a pubic demo of ortho and other LW8 features as they now stand. What is coming is MUCH MUCH better then skelegons. :)

The little lollipops (bank handles) you see in modeler when creating skelegons help determine the PITCH of the CHILD bone.
Lightwaves native coordinate system is parent based to it makes sense that the orientation of the parent effects the childs orientation. SO.... Lets say you have 3 skelegons. IF you adjust the lollipop or bank handle on bone 1 you are actually determining the pitch for bone 2 and so on. Pretend that the bank handle on the first bone AND bone 1 itself lie in the same plane. That plane is the pitch for bone 2.

Also, bone handles are created PERPENDICULAR to the VIEWPORT you create them in. This means that if you want the Pitch for the spine to lie in the Y - Z Plane you have to draw the skelegons from the top, bottom, front or back viewports. If you draw them from the side it means a lot of tweaking.

For something like fingers or toes I tend to create then in a straight line and then copy/paste them to create the other fingers/toes. I then just weld them back a parent bone which reparents them. If you cut and paste skelegons they are no longer parented. Bones in layout can be separated from their parents and still be part of a heirarchy. This is not so with skelegons.

I differ a bit from Kretin and I will (if using skelegons) link all the skelegons so I dont have to worry about a lot of reparenting in layout. My experience has been that reparenting a lot of bones can cause problems if you forget to do it on frame 0 and/or forget to turn on parent in place. I dont mind the extra bones because bones perform two functions: they move things and they hold things. I dont mind a few extra hold bones and it reduces the amount of thinking/remembering I have to do and I dont like using weight maps except as a last resort. Adding a few extra hold bones is easier/faster for me then screwing with weight maps right up front.

Another thing people tend to forget is that you can create bones directly in layout. For something like feet its not hard at all to create and place them. There is a clone heirarchy tool that will also allow you to clone bone heirarchies.

Ill agree that in most situations its easier to just go back and fix the skelegons in just the feet and reapply/reparent in layout. You can try fixing using the rotate pivot tool and/or trying to use record pivot rotation. Using these last two tools is sometimes a crap shoot. Just remember if you use these tools use them on frame 0. With RPR make sure you also immediatly keyframe or have autokey turned on.

If you arent sure how these tools work then I would recommend practicing on something simple first to make sure you get it.

Ive never found fixing some of these issues to be a huge problem. Once you screw it up once or twice you wont forget. :)

There are also other ways to rig with bones then the standard ways you see most people use. Some of them make it easy not only avoid these issues but allow you to reuse rigs pretty easily.

LittleFenris
12-02-2003, 01:48 AM
SplineGod, why don't you like using Weight Maps? I don't see how you can animate a character w/o them? Anytime I toss bones into a character, then play with animating before adding weight maps the bones grab onto other parts of the model that I don't want. The only way i see stopping that is weight maps. please let me in on what you are doing to prevent that from happening. :bounce:

SplineGod
12-02-2003, 02:25 AM
Hey VW,
Ive used bones since they were first introduced into Lightwave.
Im not against weight maps, just against using them if theyre not needed. If I use them I tend to keep them ultra simple like both arms using one weight maps and the rest of the torso using another. Lots of character animation stuff has been done in Lightwave without the use of weight maps.
Heres some recommened reading on the Subject:http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=95214
Also do a search under weight maps. Theres a ton of stuff about them.

T4D
12-02-2003, 03:01 AM
After Newtek hired them and bought Ortho theyve been developed into much more powerful tools then what I demoed at Siggraph. Newtek was out here a few weeks ago and did a pubic demo of ortho and other LW8 features as they now stand. What is coming is MUCH MUCH better then skelegons.

WOW LW8 is going to be a HUGE update by the look of it :drool:
workflow is pretty fast now but Lw8 is going to make character creation VERY fast :bounce:

Waiting is sooo painfull:banghead:

Werner
12-03-2003, 07:07 AM
Originally posted by SplineGod
... Newtek was out here a few weeks ago and did a pubic demo of ortho...


lol would be funny to see the pubic demo! :D

Larry, you have now idea how much I learned just by typing your name in the search box! Thanks buddy.

SplineGod
12-03-2003, 08:03 AM
Originally posted by Werner
lol would be funny to see the pubic demo! :D

Larry, you have now idea how much I learned just by typing your name in the search box! Thanks buddy.

Thanks Werner,
Ive always loved the work you do and seeing it 15 feet high at Siggraph! Very nice stuff! :)

It was a pretty packed at the LAUser group meeting. Everyone was pretty excited about the Bone Setup tools for sure. Ive worked with the guys from Irrational Number on Ortho since the beginning, in fact next month will be a year. Some people might remember this thread http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=38704&perpage=15&highlight=calcium&pagenumber=3
Thats where it all started from. From the very start I was amazed that they could get some decent bone tools working in a few weeks. I think it was in this thread that I started posting some teasers about Ortho.
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=46039

Later we came out and "spilled the beans" here:
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=46814

During the time that Irrational Number was selling it I was able to get Newtek interested in Ortho enough to hire the programmers and buy Ortho. They have been developing it ever since and what was demoed at the user group is WAY beyond what I demoed at Siggraph. Part of the inspiration for Ortho came from Lernies Sticky Bony plugin. Ive always wanted to see the functionality of bones within Layout and was very happy to see Pete and his partner Steve actually pull it off in just a few weeks.
I was even happier when Newtek saw the value of these tools for Character setup. :)

Wongedan
12-03-2003, 04:04 PM
why use lscript??

I always use dynamic parents (parenter) on the motion modifiers...
its very useful..
parent it to one of your hand bone.

LittleFenris
12-03-2003, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by xvampire
why use lscript??

I always use dynamic parents (parenter) on the motion modifiers...
its very useful..
parent it to one of your hand bone.

What are you refering to with your lscript?

And it seems just parenting the sword to one of the hand bones will work just fine for my purposes, thanks.

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