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f3rry
03-01-2004, 11:03 PM
Hi All,

We are developing some characters for TV series and it's time to prepare the rigging system. Since most of the characters are biped and none of us is Rig genius (and short deadline) we decided to use free (or cheap) pre rig solution out there...

I did a search and couldn't find anything similar so sorry if it was discussed before.

What's your favorite pre rog solution? I use Final Rig for my personal Short, i like it and recommend it to the team (apart from the finger setup problem). I tried the old version of advance skeleton, didn't like it but don't know how is the new version like (1.75 i think). I got joint Factory but man, they have the most confusing manual on earth... im still trying, though...

What do you guys think of others? Puppet Master, Animan, Creature House, Autorig, The Stup Machine or something else? We might have to try them all anyway, but it's good to hear what people think so we don't trip on the same mistakes.

Thanks

Ibanezhead
03-02-2004, 08:17 AM
autoRig and dwRiggingtools are my favorites...

dwalden74
03-02-2004, 01:03 PM
autoRig and dwRiggingtools are my favorites...

Cool! ;) Actually, Iīm thinking of making some updates to my dwRiggingTools (http://www.davidwalden.com) scripts in the near future...If you have any ideas for possible improvements please send them my way.

:beer:
David

modi
03-02-2004, 06:09 PM
dwRigging tools are my favorite.

David, a few suggestions

. Would be cool if it worked on joints with negative x translations

. A stretch switch for the legs would be nice.

. sometimes the curves for the spine don't show up, all the controls are created but the curves don't show up.

. Independent hips and shoulders.

. Better Iconic representation of curves.

what i like best about your tools is that its very simple and easy to use. Try and keep it that way. Cheers.

dwalden74
03-02-2004, 07:25 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, Modi.

Would be cool if it worked on joints with negative x translations

I have a feeling this might be a bit tricky. Also, I like the idea of forcing the user to have "healthy" joint orientations. ;) Is this a big deal?

A stretch switch for the legs would be nice.

This is already in there.

sometimes the curves for the spine don't show up, all the controls are created but the curves don't show up.

I seem to remember something about this bug, but I canīt replicate the problem. Could you send me an empty skeleton scene (no rig, just joint hierarch) where this happens? Thanks.

Independent hips and shoulders.

This is in the IK spine setup, although that setup is not my favorite. In fact, this is one of the big things that requires a makeover right now.


Better Iconic representation of curves.

What do you mean here exactly? More options for the types of curves? If so, what kinds?


Anything else?


:beer:

modi
03-02-2004, 07:45 PM
Wow, that was quick.



I have a feeling this might be a bit tricky. Also, I like the idea of forcing the user to have "healthy" joint orientations. ;) Is this a big deal?

You are right about that. I usually use the mirror joint tool a lot, i guess i should not be doing this.


This is already in there.

I meant to turn on and off the stretch for the legs and hands.



I seem to remember something about this bug, but I canīt replicate the problem. Could you send me an empty skeleton scene (no rig, just joint hierarch) where this happens? Thanks.

will send it tonight. It actually happens on almost all the rigs. I just make my own curves after that and parent to the shape node.



This is in the IK spine setup, although that setup is not my favorite. In fact, this is one of the big things that requires a makeover right now.

I usually create an extra hip joint independent of the spine hirarchy. So i have complete control for my hips.



What do you mean here exactly? More options for the types of curves? If so, what kinds?

Like the boxes for the feet and hands and circles for everything else is a little tedious to work with. Like u said , maybe a few more options for the curves.


Anything else?

how bout a complete muscle system. :shrug: ;)

Thanks man, u've made life a lot easier for us animators. cheers

dwalden74
03-02-2004, 08:23 PM
I meant to turn on and off the stretch for the legs and hands.

Yeah, thatīs something I wanted to put it a long time ago but never got around to it. It was never a big deal so I just forgot about it.

Oh - I remember the problem with the spine curves not showing up: the script uses the length of the lower spine joint to determine the size of the control curves, therefore if the lower spine has a length of zero, the control curves will also have zero length. Theyīre there, you just canīt see them. I can fix that though no prob, thanks.

Like the boxes for the feet and hands and circles for everything else is a little tedious to work with. Like u said , maybe a few more options for the curves.

I actually find bounding box control types to be the nicest to animate with. Maybe you could send me a temp skeleton with the type of control curbes you find best?

thanks-
David

f3rry
03-03-2004, 01:09 AM
Thanks guys,

I don't even know dwRiggingTool exist.... oops, sorry, but i'll try it for sure..

I used to use the old autorig and it is so buggy... what version is the latest one and where can i try it? i got mine from mark behm website and i dont think h3d have it...

what do you think of the rest of them? thanks

Ibanezhead
03-03-2004, 03:48 AM
David,

Modi about covered it, for suggestions. I agree on more options for the curve controls. Also, could there be a way to have the wrist rotation controller and the IK controller one in the same, but still be able to turn the orient on and off? I love your script because I can apply it to just certain parts if I want.


f3rry,

I got autoRig from Behm's site. http://www.markbehm.com/downloads/autoRig.mel

Hasn't given me any problems. The only thing I don't like about it is the wrist. It is always on world orient, and that isn't good for every situation...

Vic

dwalden74
03-03-2004, 06:52 AM
I agree on more options for the curve controls.

Iīll keep this in mind... again, I find bounding boxes most intuitive when animating, but maybe you could send me a file that has the types of curves you prefer?


could there be a way to have the wrist rotation controller and the IK controller one in the same

This would probably be possible on an IK-only arm (although Iīm not really sure how), but itīs not possible on my IK-FK arm setup (at least not without doing some very serious reworking). I think that mine is actually a better solution than what you propose because:
a) rotation and translation attrs are on separate control objs, which makes it cleaner when using the graph editor.
b) you would need separate wrist controls for both the IK and the FK arms, and this would be a serious pain to work with.

I think that mine is a more flexible and user-friendly solution.

I was, however, considering implementing the option of doing an all-IK or an all-FK arm, if the user wants. This could be useful in some cases, although I personally find being able to switch between the 2 a necessary option when animating.

Thanks for the suggestions.
-David

santosLord
03-03-2004, 05:24 PM
Hi Mr. Walden,

Remember me.. was wondering if you put sticky on the foot controls? Well here are a few ideas also.. keep up the good work. nice to see a rigging tool that actually works.

What about control replacements. Have a bunch of different styled nurbs objects where users can select various types of controllers.

what about something like this .. check this website out...
http://www.geocities.com/bazhutkin/selector1.html

dwalden74
03-03-2004, 06:15 PM
Hi Mr. Walden

Please, my name is David. ;)

as wondering if you put sticky on the foot controls

Not yet...but Iīll put that into the next update (thatīs an easy one).


What about control replacements

I think thatīs what the other guys were asking too. Iīll have to see which controls people use most often (I like bounding boxes).... So far no one has sent me a file with their "preferred" control types... :(

About the selector thingy, well, anythingīs possible.. I havenīt used this one, but it seems pretty cool- I like how it can be docked in the channel box or as a floating window. In general I like selecting things in the viewport, although I admit sometimes it would be convenient to have a character selector UI. I probably wouldnīt implement something like this right now though... Iīd rather focus on sorting out the rig functionality first.

:beer:
David

macaroniKazoo
03-03-2004, 10:11 PM
if you want a character picker UI, you could always use the zooTriggered solution. :)

http://andrewsilke.com/generi_rig/generi_rig.htm

check out andrew silke's generi-rig to see how it works. Its a character picking UI that sits in the viewport that can be made by anyone. I have a "pre-made" one here:

viewport buttons (http://www.macaronikazoo.com/mel/download/zooViewportButtons.zip)

There are instructions in the file on how to use it, or check out andrew silke's site for a bit more info. Theres also more info on what to do with the script that comes with the file.

Ibanezhead
03-04-2004, 06:54 AM
Rigging 101 has a script that creates some nice curve controllers. I mainly use Circles, instead of bounding boxes.

Thanks for the response on the IK/Wrist issue. I agree, your way is probably best, I was just wondering if there wasn't an alternate solution.

Thanks, and I love your script...

Buexe
03-04-2004, 07:58 AM
Meanwhile there are a whole bunch of free rigging scripts, each one has its strengths and of course a few drawbacks, but since even commercial tools have them it`s ok. What I don`t understand is the fact that there is no commercial character rigging solution for Maya, or is there ?

Ok, Advanced skeleton charges money, but I mean something in the style of Character studio. In my opinion CS is a piece of crxx, but it is something like a standard in the MAX world, and it is everything but cheap. Why is there nothing comparable available for Maya? A rigging solution should have more than just a few stylish icons where you can select this and that, what about skinning, muscles, pose/animation import/export.

The current status seems to be that everyone who is not in a large studio hords a bunch of MEL-scripts each one for a special purpose. The advantage is that there a quite a few enthusiasts who give them away for free and that is totally cool the way it is. But as soon as you are on a more commercial level, wouldn`t be a little more service be worth the price? Why is nobody offering a tool like that, or is there no market, because everybody expects it to be free ?
cheers
buexe

dwalden74
03-04-2004, 09:11 AM
Well, Jan, if you want to give me money for my scripts then thatīs totally OK by me :p

But seriously, I think every major studio is going to have its own custom rigging pipeline, and this pipeline is probably customized further on a per-project level. At Dreamworks, for example, they have custom rigging scripts for each character (so I`ve been told). Thatīs where the beauty of Maya lies- customization. And this is what is necessary for a rigging solution, IMO.

I havenīt looked at Character Studio in some years now, but my bet is that it would not hold up in a serious character pipeline. Or am I wrong here? There are other commercial rigging packages available for Maya, namely The Setup Machine from Anzovine Studios... but I havenīt used this so I canīt say if itīs worth the investment or not.

Why is nobody offering a tool like that, or is there no market, because everybody expects it to be free ?

Well, I think small Maya-based studios (that donīt have their own custom rigging pipeline) do take advantage of the free tools that are available - Iīve seen this now on several occasions - and wouldnīt even consider investing in a more expensive solution. Also, XSI-based studios, from what I understand, love the auto-rigging tools that XSI offers. But as soon as a studio becomes more serious about a character pipeline, I think theyīll just develop their own in-house solutions. Besides, the idea of using a 3rd-party rigging system just doesnīt rest well with me- I would need to know exactly how it works and need to build exactly the kinds of controls I need into it.

This was basically the primary motivation for developing my own rigging tools- I looked at a few of the solutions available, and, disappointed, I decided that I needed a solution that worked for me, that I could customize as I see fit. Now, it is by all means not a "complete" toolset, but at least the framework is there to develop it further into something more robust and secure.

Coincedentally, the approach that I had (and still have) in developing my own tools is almost identical to the one described in the Siggraph 2003 Maya Masterclass- Advanced Character Pipeline (available sometime soon as an Alias DVD). This kindaī tells me that at least Iīm on the right track.

bentllama
03-04-2004, 03:48 PM
I have actually written my own tools.

There are a great many of wicked features and methods in other auto-riggers, but when you make your own tools you get exactly what you want...

MDuffy
03-04-2004, 07:48 PM
Agreed. After a point it just becomes easier to write your own tools and create your own setup. Commercial tools just can't account for the exact needs of your production, and rigging scripts aren't all that difficult to create (just time consuming).

I was responsible for implementing the auto rigging system we use here on the Jimmy Neutron TV Series. The basic rig was designed by our Setup Lead, and then I tore it apart and wrote MEL scripts to automate and recreate the rig. Over time I've added a lot of enhancements into the setup scripts as production changed and new things were needed, or because we learned a better way to do things. When all your characters are set up the exact same way, it makes it easier to go in and automatically add enhancements into existing rigs.

Plus on a full TV production, it helps to know the rig inside and out so that you can fix problems as they arise, or add enhancements that are needed. Plus you will run into characters that don't fit the biped scheme exactly, and you need to know the rig inside and out in order to adapt it to the new characters.

Cheers,
Michael Duffy

Buexe
03-05-2004, 08:40 AM
Actually, this what we also did, after testing the available scripts, which didn`t get the animator`s okay, we developed our own pipeline/rigging scripts/plug-ins. But we only did that, because we had no other option. In the meantime a whole bunch of useful tools have been developed by us and I rarely use the standard Maya tools via GUI now. And if you have specific needs, that`s what I like about Maya, create your own stuff. I just don`t get it why there isn`t a little more sophisticated rigging/skinning/character animation tool available.

Do you write your own renderer, because you don`t like the standard renderer? (Pixar guys, please don`t respond to this ; )) And if you don`t like Maya Cloth do you write your own stuff or will you give syflex a try? Well, we gave syflex a try, liked it, bought it, use it. And of course there are some drawbacks with 3rd party tools (updates, platforms, etc.) but you still save a lot of time and money in the long run.

I was just wondering about this issue, since so many people seem to have the same issues with (biped) rigging. And since tools like that are available for MAX, it seems to me kinda obvious that there could be a whole bunch of people, that are neither students (maybe little money, maybe non-commercial) nor big shots (creating proprietary software to put them apart from the competition), who may be interested in something like this, maybe someone like f3rry who started this thread.

So, nobody else on my side ???
now back to my riggin script ....
:love:
cheers and thanks for your opinions
buexe

Ibanezhead
03-06-2004, 06:02 AM
I agree. I've always wondered why Maya doesn't come with a pre-built, customizable rigging system. Alias should develop it's own autoRig/FinalRig/dwriggingtools that ships with the software... Should also be free of bones/controllers and just have a proprietary skeleton system like Biped...

bentllama
03-06-2004, 06:53 AM
Originally posted by Ibanezhead
I agree. I've always wondered why Maya doesn't come with a pre-built, customizable rigging system. Alias should develop it's own autoRig/FinalRig/dwriggingtools that ships with the software... Should also be free of bones/controllers and just have a proprietary skeleton system like Biped...


*slap!*

biped sucks. do not ever utter that word around hear again!

;)

Ibanezhead
03-06-2004, 06:21 PM
Biped has it's issues for sure, but I've done some of my best animations with it. Anyway, if Maya made a customizable rigging tool I wouldn't expect it to function like Biped, when it comes to curves, etc...

macaroniKazoo
03-07-2004, 09:32 PM
Do you write your own renderer, because you don`t like the standard renderer? (Pixar guys, please don`t respond to this ; )) And if you don`t like Maya Cloth do you write your own stuff or will you give syflex a try? Well, we gave syflex a try, liked it, bought it, use it. And of course there are some drawbacks with 3rd party tools (updates, platforms, etc.) but you still save a lot of time and money in the long run.with all due respect, developing rigging tools is somewhat more simple than writing a renderer or cloth sim software. After all, I know I'm not a programmer and I've written a very comprehensive set of rigging scripts. I expect Dave Walden is no programmer either, and look at his great scripts.

I expect neither of us would even begin to think that we could write a renderer or a cloth sim plugin. alias knows this, and realises that their customers will end up writing a lot of the software to make maya bigger/better/faster for them.

I would be interested to see an autorigger come out of alias, don't get me wrong, but I would much prefer to see them concentrate on putting a bit more innovation into the app. I mean, chances are, even if they did build an auto-rigger, I'd keep on developing our in house one here, and my personal one at home. :)

Phearielord
03-07-2004, 11:21 PM
I would also suggest looking at Final Rig (www.radiantsquare.com)

easy to setup, with all the controls you need.

bentllama
03-08-2004, 05:49 AM
Originally posted by macaroniKazoo
with all due respect, developing rigging tools is somewhat more simple than writing a renderer or cloth sim software. After all, I know I'm not a programmer and I've written a very comprehensive set of rigging scripts. I expect Dave Walden is no programmer either, and look at his great scripts.

I expect neither of us would even begin to think that we could write a renderer or a cloth sim plugin. alias knows this, and realises that their customers will end up writing a lot of the software to make maya bigger/better/faster for them.

I would be interested to see an autorigger come out of alias, don't get me wrong, but I would much prefer to see them concentrate on putting a bit more innovation into the app. I mean, chances are, even if they did build an auto-rigger, I'd keep on developing our in house one here, and my personal one at home. :)

well said.

good scripts usually come from common sense. common sense to know that efficiency and ease are great things to have in a custom pipeline...

f3rry
03-08-2004, 10:23 PM
Thank you all...

About biped in Maya (CS style), I personally don't agree 100% on that. I remember back on version 2.5 people are nagging coz there are no teapot primitive in maya, or soccerball, or capsule, etc etc... Maya wasn't built for that.

Once you "try" to put standard biped rig into the package people (specially new ones) will think that's the only way to do it when there are really no absolute rules of how we suppose to rig a character. Andrew silke, antropus, Dancing God's statue, these people comes up with their own solution (dont know if its original or not) and solve their problem.

I agree though with what Buexe said about one party that is serious about developing this area of 3D.

My 2 cents


NB: I've seen people who wrote their own dynamic system in couple of days to do excatly what he wants in one shot

Buexe
03-17-2004, 06:36 PM
"with all due respect, developing rigging tools is somewhat more simple than writing a renderer or cloth sim software"

Are you sure? I haven`t tried it, I only know that writing a sophisticated rigging script is a rather complicated thing, if you are looking for more than a bunch of joints, ikHandles and fancy selection UIs. And another thing is that even if one is a hot shot MEL-Scripter sooner or later there are limits to the syntax and standard node functionality. Well, don`t get me wrong, the renderer/cloth simulation thing was just thrown in to illustrate that one does not need to know what`s under the hood of something to use it, though it`s helpful of course.

But to get my astonishment to a conclusion :

Maya users are very intelligent and motivated people who don`t like to trade in quality for speed.

Does everyone agree to that? :wavey:
cheers

macaroniKazoo
03-17-2004, 09:10 PM
Are you sure? I haven`t tried it, I only know that writing a sophisticated rigging script is a rather complicated thing, if you are looking for more than a bunch of joints, ikHandles and fancy selection UIs. And another thing is that even if one is a hot shot MEL-Scripter sooner or later there are limits to the yeah, i'm pretty sure. writing an auto-rigger is really just a matter of knowing how to rig a character, and knowing how to write mel. writing a cloth sim tho requires skill enough to turn complex mathematical cloth dynamics algorithms into useable code - and renderers require knowledge of some seriously cool programming concepts - acceleration trees, caching, optics etc... hardcore.

but anyway... what was this thread about again? :)

Quizboy
04-18-2004, 06:54 AM
David -

So glad that you've got this script available and even made recent updates. It comes right on time for my animation final project. I've just downloaded it and been browsing the interface...

My character is quite standard, a human woman 8 1/4 heads long, posed in the t-position. For my last character I made my own rig following the Alias book "Character Rigging & Animation" My rig was ok for that learning model but not ideal and I'm not trying to sell myself as a rigger. I need speed so I can put my time into the animation and the texturing/rendering of the short itself.

I've never used an auto-rigger so I just need I quick clarification of the workflow:

My character model scene is open. I've got a temp-textured body mesh, and a separate temp textured head. I've already generated and installed the head blendshapes I will need for the film.

Now I open dwRiggingTools and what do I do? Do I start by generating that automatic simple skeleton then add to it? Or do I generate an individual piece (like a hand), position it and scale it in the scene in relation to my templated mesh and position all the individual parts I will need where they should be, and then at the very end - parent it all into one skeleton?

If I generate that standard skeleton, the arms are bent. Is it ok to rotate and scale the skeleton at will to suit my mesh? (I realize that this must be ok otherwise how would the skeleton fit different sized characters, but I'm asking how this is approached) Will this affect the controls adversely - I mean with respect to joint orientation and such how much is it expected that I freeze transformations and muck around with joint orientation myself or am I contradicting the work of the auto-rig?

Thanks for your patience with me orienting myself to your rig.

dwalden74
04-18-2004, 09:55 AM
Now I open dwRiggingTools and what do I do? Do I start by generating that automatic simple skeleton then add to it?

You can either build your own joint skeleton, or use the one that Iīve included as a starting point (thatīs what I do - it saves quite a bit of time). If you use my skeleton template, just position/rotate the joints to match your character. You can also insert new joints with the insert joint tool Iīve included. When youīre finished positioning, make sure you then freeze all transforms on the skeleton, the orient all your joints correctly. For this you can use the orient joints tools Iīve included; youīll also need to double check problem areas (like hands and joints with multiple child joints) manually, and reorient LRAīs manually if they donīt line up just right. Now youīre OK to build the skeleton (after which youīll probably want to edit the control cvīs to fit better your character, but thatīs no biggy).


Is it ok to rotate and scale the skeleton at will to suit my mesh?

Yes. There were originally some limitations as to how this could be done, but I think you can modify the skeleton in just about any way now, as long as you freeze and the reorient all joints correctly afterward.


Will this affect the controls adversely

It shouldnīt. But definitely let me know if it does ;).


I mean with respect to joint orientation and such how much is it expected that I freeze transformations and muck around with joint orientation myself

In theory you should be able to do whatever you want. In theory. :) For some areas obviously you will not want to move joints around much (for example, if you have a split bicep joint, that joint needs to lie perfectly on the shoulder->elbow vector, so moving it off this vector will definitely screw things up). Also, originally it was necessary to create some chains (like arms) along a straight line, and then rotate them to fit. This is no longer necessary . As long as you freeze all transforms on the entire joint hierarchy, and then reorient your joints correctly, everything should still work fine.

But, if you do run into problems, let me know, īcause Iīm definitely interested in fixing them ASAP.

Iīd recommend reading through the help menu (itīs not that long ;) )
if you have other questions. But if things are still unclear, just post again.

Let me know how it goes.

:beer:
David

dwalden74
04-18-2004, 09:59 AM
Oh, BTW, the only limitation that I currently know of (in terms of skeleton structure), is that the feet must be pointed forward on the Z axis. Meaning that the leg rig wonīt produce correct results if the feet are angled outward or inward with respect to the character. This is something that I should think about fixing but I just havenīt had the time to do. Glad you reminded me ;)

-d

EDIT: another thing is that if you use the IK spline spine setup youīll get best results if the spine joints are created on a straight line. Otherwise as soon as you run the setup, the spine rotations will be slightly altered because the tool uses "Auto Simplify Curve" for the IK Spline setup. This is only an issue if you plan on applying one characterīs animation to another character. Otherwise, it shouldnīt be a big deal.

Quizboy
04-18-2004, 10:27 AM
Thanks for the quick response! I should have this up and running in one day...which I desperately to finish this animation project of mine in time.

Ignore most of the e-mail I just sent you then. I'm desperate! :surprised

Iīd recommend reading through the help menu (itīs not that long )

So glad you mentioned this. Didn't even see it right there in front of me. That's what I was missing...ok everything shoud go well now. Cheers! I'll be sure to feed you back suggestions when I've operation tested your rig.

Quizboy
04-25-2004, 05:23 PM
question: how do i bind an fk/ik skeleton? i dropped the fk because i don't know what i'm doing with both of them and i don't know how to bind an fk/ik skeleton, but it seems like something i'd like to be able to do?

basically my thing is one skeleton leaves the other behind, so if it's bound how do I decide where to place the weight?

dwalden74
04-25-2004, 05:33 PM
Well, if itīs FK/IK, it means youīre (most likely) doing one of 2 things:

a) using a control skeleton and weighting between the fk and the ik;

b) using Maya 5īs fk/ik solution.

If the case is "a", then just bind to your control skeleton. If "b", then you have only one skeleton so it shouldnīt really be a question.

-d

Quizboy
04-25-2004, 10:07 PM
what do you use david?

Quizboy
04-25-2004, 10:51 PM
david, another question: do you happen to have any pictures of normal human beings you've rigged up to show how you've positioned the skeleton in relation to your rig?

I'm having a hard time deciding on number of joints, especially for the spine, neck and head area. legs and arms are fine, but i learned rigging based on Maya's character Melvin, and I think they use more joints than most people do in real production. I'm now trying to adjust, but i'm shooting in the dark...i need some kind of reference man! someone, please show me your skeleton...

Show Me Your Skeletons! Please!!!

dwalden74
04-26-2004, 06:44 AM
Both the insect character and the mustache guy on my site were rigged with dwRiggingTools. The spine on both characters was a simple 2-bone chain (lower back/upper back), animated with my FK spine rig. The neck had one bone and the head also one bone. Iīve seen normal biped chars rigged with more than one bone in the neck, and more than 2 bones in the spine. In my opinion, this isnīt always necessary. Unless the neck is much longer than a normal humanīs neck (and needs to move more in a S-figure), one joint is fine for the neck. Good deformations can be achieved by using inf objs. For the spine, my opinion is that 2 bones are fine, unless your using a splineIK spine rig, in which case the splineIK behaves nicer when you have around 4-5 joints in the back.

In terms of skinning, I always skin the character first, then do the rigging. I find this easier, just because once you do the rig setup, you have many more joints in your scene do deal with, and obviously all of these joints are not used in skinning. Of course this isnīt a big deal if your skinning and rigging characters are completely separate files, which are brought together only at the very end of the process for rendering.

Quizboy
04-26-2004, 03:44 PM
ok it's starting to work out a little better. i just keep doing and redoing it until it starts looking ok.

i want to make some of the controls bigger ('cause they are hidden under my mesh. is it ok to just slap the scale variables back into the channel control for each control object, then scale, then get rid of the variables again? or will this screw something else up?

dwalden74
04-26-2004, 04:07 PM
Yeah, this will screw things up. Just select the control CVīs in component mode and scale them up that way. This way you donīt actually scale the obj, you move the CVīs instead. I wrote about all this stuff in the help.

-David

Quizboy
04-26-2004, 04:31 PM
Hi folks, just trying to work out the big picture of my skeleton/character/animation workflow:

Think with me here...

I've been building my character with everything all in one scene. Head Mesh, Body Mesh, Textures, Blendshapes for the head, Skeleton, Skeleton Rig, and Bind, now still working on paint weights. So I've got a scene with a character that is doing what I want her to do - more or less.

I will be making an animation with this character in a room, a dojo.

I create a new scene, then reference my character scene for whom I'm still painting weights and fiddling around, then I reference the dojo scene, then I animate everything and render and tweak to my heart's content, right?

OK, here's the question: If I am interested in using this skeleton and rig, and probably the animation itself for another character, or later updates of the character (better looking, higher-res model) within the same animation, is this an intelligent approach?

My main thing is I want to ultimately re-use the rig and animations over and over again for same sized characters. What is the best workflow to allow for this flexibility down the road?

Should I be saving the skeletal rig into a file of its own instead of having it lumped in with the bound character, and then referencing the rig before binding my character and painting weights? Do I gain anything by doing this?

dwalden74
04-26-2004, 04:48 PM
Sounds like youīre on the right track. What I do is save out a "bind" scene, then reference this into a "rig" scene, then reference this into my animation scene. I always get very good results using this workflow. One nice feature with this is that, for multiple characters, you only need to save out a new bind scene (new geometry, same joint skeleton), then you can make a copy of your rig scene, edit the file in a text editor to reflect the path of your new geometry file, and wham! youīve got a new character ready to animate. This is one reason why I always use Maya .ma files. Splitting up the different workflow steps into different files is a great way to keeping everything modular and flexible.

:beer:
David

Quizboy
04-26-2004, 09:46 PM
thanks david, sorry about the help files, i have read them all and they aren't that long but just consider that everything about your rig is within a few days of new for me. with so much information coming at once the issues that i read only stick for the problems that are in front of me at the moment, so i missed the control object thing...one issue down, next issue arises, reread.

i like the rig i have to get used to this different style but it's much better than i could have done on my own. because it's automated i can tear it down and build it again quickly and figure out what works. on my own rig i would be reluctant to tear down a day or two's work even if it would make things better...i've been playing with the free orient dohickey for the neck and head, actually the entire spine's got it. that's badass homey, free orient totally rocks! my girl can do some funky walk like an egyptian dance action with that one, homes!

i did have a question but i forgot it now. Oh about the general control object that your help files say to make...A Global Control. It's not the COG control but why not? I don't really see why the COG control is called that, it doesn't seem to be recentering the way the skeleton is balanced, it's just moving the entire skeleton except for hands and feet, right? Is this the same as my global control which I would normally use for repositioning the body when I animate? And the control your suggesting that I make...I make a large circle (or whatever) around the hips area and then parent the COG control, wrist controls, and foot controls to it - and I'm done? Then use this to move the entire character in pose?

I know I ask a lot of questions but I need confirmation/affirmation/correction to be sure i'm on the right track. it's just me alone on an island here so please forgive me.

dwalden74
04-27-2004, 06:11 AM
I don't really see why the COG control is called that...Is this the same as my global control which I would normally use for repositioning the body when I animate?

No, these are different controls. The COG determines where the characterīs body mass is at any given time. This is like a "collective" center of the characterīs entire body. The global control that I wrote about is simply a tool (spline curve obj) that helps you with the initial positioning of the character within your scene. This is just a helper: Itīs not necessary, but itīs a good idea to use. For this I just create a standard spline circle and parent my control groups to it. Just be careful if you use the IKSpline spine setup- it creates a doNotTouch group which should *not* be parented to this control (but should remain in global space). I wrote about that too in the help. :)

Hope that clears it up.

-David

Quizboy
04-27-2004, 08:27 AM
Thanks for your patience David. You've officially got front row seats to my short if it ever gets done. (in front of your PC):cool:

AniMo
04-27-2004, 12:23 PM
i tested quite many autoriggers that are available and i must say
the best solution in my eyes
is "finalrig"
even the team seemed to stop workin on it

the version 1.2 beta is most proffessional appearance and easy to use autorigger for maya in my opinion

:)
so what ?

www.radiantsquare.com

check yourself

Quizboy
04-27-2004, 05:07 PM
aniMo - I tried final rig before reading about dw's Rig here, but when you let it rip the hands screw up and I don't know how to fix them. Don't you have that problem?

Quizboy
04-27-2004, 05:29 PM
mr. david, have you noticed that when positioning the feet on your rig then if you move other controls like the pole vectors or anything else that affects the position of the feet, the feet change position and then only pop into their actual position when you move one of the foot controls again if even so slightly - it's some kind of irritating glitch that I had even on my own rig on the foot controls and i don't why it happens...do you?

dwalden74
04-27-2004, 06:21 PM
No, Iīve never seen that. Could you please send me the file and Iīll see what the problem is?

thanks-
David

Quizboy
04-27-2004, 08:50 PM
I've sent you a link. there was a lot of junk in the file, but i trimmed it to about 9mb

on another maya-related subject of character sets, do you mind taking a look at this thread i just made to check out my character sets approach? I need to verify if my workflow will work with my flow...

http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=140632

dwalden74
04-28-2004, 06:46 AM
Iīve looked at your file, and I donīt see what the problem is. Do you mean, the slight pop that occurs when the leg is extended completely straight? Thatīs normal in Maya. The solution is to set a min Z rotation limit on the skLegL_IKFootControl obj, to a value of about -1.0 or so.

Hope that helps-
David

Quizboy
04-28-2004, 10:29 AM
hmm, no David I mean that if you position the foot a certain way, then move the pole vector which rotates the ankle, the foot will rotate along with the pole vector rotation, but the rotation is not real because if you now decide you want to move the foot two pixels to the left, the rotation will pop back to the original straight forward position that it started. Now if you translate the pole vector again to the right, the foot will rotate the other direction.

Translate the foot, then the pole vector, then translate the foot back start position, then translate the pole vector back to its start position, and the foot will be rotated a different direction than when it started. That can't be right.

It's not that big a deal as long as you are aware of this and make sure that the last thing you touch is the foot translate, so you can see what you've really got as a pose.

Quizboy
04-28-2004, 10:54 AM
they say a picture speaks a thousand words...well what do 1,000 pictures say?

Here's of the rotate pop problem as it happens step-by-step:

http://www.xinxang.com/sk/rotatepop001.jpghttp://www.xinxang.com/sk/rotatepop002.jpg

http://www.xinxang.com/sk/rotatepop003.jpghttp://www.xinxang.com/sk/rotatepop004.jpg

Quizboy
04-28-2004, 10:57 AM
http://www.xinxang.com/sk/rotatepop005.jpghttp://www.xinxang.com/sk/rotatepop006.jpg

http://www.xinxang.com/sk/rotatepop007.jpghttp://www.xinxang.com/sk/rotatepop008.jpg

Quizboy
04-28-2004, 11:01 AM
http://www.xinxang.com/sk/rotatepop009.jpghttp://www.xinxang.com/sk/rotatepop010.jpg

At this point the values for the pole vector and for the foot translate are exactly the same as when I started! And yet the foot is rotated inward. (See first pic)

http://www.xinxang.com/sk/rotatepop011.jpg

On this last one you can see that the rotation of the foot changed even when i simply re-entered a "0" in the channel box, so no actual changes yet the foot rotates!

The problem is consistent and it occurs not only with the pole vector but with the hip/spine rotations as well.

dwalden74
04-28-2004, 11:43 AM
OK, this is pretty weird. Did you change the foot rig at all? Iīve never had this problem....and Iīve animated with this rig many many times, so I can only think that thereīs something strange in your scene.

The ankleīs rotation should be locked to the foot controlīs rotation, so I donīt really understand how this can be happening. Send me the link again and Iīll double check the scene. And you should definitely move the poleVector obj out in front of the knee before testing movements.

Now that I think of it, the one thing that did seem strange in your scene (when I looked at it the first time), was your characterīs feet were not resting at Y=0. Did you create the rig in this position, or did you move it to this position afterward? As I wrote in the Help, the character must be resting with the feet at Y=0 before rigging. This is standard practice.

-d

Firas
05-02-2004, 11:54 PM
ok..
hi all

my favorite pre rig is PuppetMaster .. and am using it now a producion for character .. thankx to Matthias Zeller for his nice work..

i did some modification after testing it .. and its over all realy better FinalRig ..

macaroniKazoo
05-03-2004, 11:43 PM
don't forget about zooCST (http://www.macaronikazoo.com/mel/download/zooCST.zip)... :) its a modular rigging script like dwRiggingTools, but its a pretty different rig.

Dakini
05-05-2004, 10:47 AM
Originally posted by Buexe
...In my opinion CS is a piece of crxx..... Why is there nothing comparable available for Maya?....

:surprised

Dakini
05-05-2004, 11:07 AM
Originally posted by bentllama
*slap!*

biped sucks. do not ever utter that word around hear again!

;) Wasn't Onimusha 3 done with Character Studio ?

Octagon
07-16-2004, 03:16 PM
ok..
hi all
my favorite pre rig is PuppetMaster .. and am using it now a producion for character .. thankx to Matthias Zeller for his nice work..
i did some modification after testing it .. and its over all realy better FinalRig ..

Thanks firas! At least *one* person seems to like my tool! :))
I'm working on the new version of it which will definately be much more robust than the current one. It will also be way more flexible to use than previous versions, as you will be able to use all the rigging procs interactively (without the Puppet Master wizard workflow), much like dwRiggingTools.

cheers,
matthias

dwalden74
07-16-2004, 03:49 PM
Mattiaaaas-

Howīs it going dude? Canīt wait to see what cool new stuff you put into Puppet Master... Btw, have you tried out the new IK spine setup dwRiggingTools? Itīs definitely worth a looky-looky.

:beer:
David

Octagon
07-18-2004, 01:20 PM
Hi David,
the "cool stuff" about the next PuppetMaster will be flexibility and overall improved riggings for the different parts. Nothing really "new" but solid riggings that I and other animator people here at AK like to animate with. FKIK with proper autoshoulder behaviour for arms for instance, or a sticky head option.

I'll definately take a look at your IKFK spine setup. I think I read something in your posts above about fk control boxes and so on. This sounds very much like my method, I have boxes for both the fk and ik controls. Those letter icons on the alias dvd always seemed a bit strange to me and you have a hard time selecting them sometimes.

cheers,
matthias

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