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View Full Version : Blendshapes: did you know this was possible?


CoolDuck
11-29-2004, 04:31 PM
I just discovered something nice about blendshapes in Maya and I thought I'd share it with you guys, maybe some of you may find it helpful.

Did you know you can:

1. create and setup blendshapes based on a detached character head (body and head seperated) (so detach it and first apply blendshapes to it with only the heads)
2. combine the head (with the blendshapes applied to) to the body mesh
3. merge the vertices one by one
4. bind the body with a rig
5. and even do a PolySmooth

The blendshapes still work! And your mesh is now one seamless mesh. That is if you don't delete the history. I thought this was possible because of Maya's node based system, I tried it and I was shocked. :) I didn't know Combine was a node. And since the blendshape is evaluated at the bottom of the stack, it still works the way up.

I always thought the head and body must stay seperated. I don't know how this technique work in more complex situations as I've only done basic testing.

Rodi
11-29-2004, 04:50 PM
I think the history will slow down the whole skinning, animating process quite a bit. ANyone tried on a complex model?

thanks.

john_homer
11-29-2004, 07:16 PM
you can do it simply by combining and merging multiple verts (in 1 go), then DELETING HISTORY.
as long as you select them in the correct order before combining,
its all just a matter of vertex ordering on the resulting mesh, and the verts on the first object in the selection to be combined does NOT have its verts reordered (this is the key)
then the blendshapes (of just the head) can simply be applied to a mesh (of the entire character) with "check typology" OFF, and it will work.
no history (except the blendshape) is needed, so it doesn't slow anything down.

BTW, this is covered every 2-3 months or so, check the archives for a more detailed description...

thanks for sharing though ;)

.j

DaddyMack
11-29-2004, 07:39 PM
wow, never thought of that before...cheers

CoolDuck
11-29-2004, 09:20 PM
Wow sounds interesting what ur saying john_homer. I'm gonna try that. Thanks!

Do u mean it is possible to apply blendshapes (let's say a seperate head) to the whole combined character as long as the verts of the heads remain the same? Never thought of that.

Edit: Cooool! I tried it and yep it works! Even better without the excessive history. Thanks a lot!

thematt
11-30-2004, 10:32 AM
There is even a better way (at least for me), is to copy the entire body and use the editMenbershipTool to only apply the blend shape to the vertex you need !!!

then when if you delete your blendShape mesh (there are way to reconstruct them afterward), you got a clean blendShape and a light scene.

Cheers

By the way John you are now oficially owning the title of "KING OF BLENDSHAPE"...so much patience repeting over and over the same old stuff :).
Are you one of those day going to share with us you're super node facial rigg ?? if i remenber correct you were talking about it some while back,and i've always be curious about it..:)

john_homer
11-30-2004, 08:12 PM
There is even a better way (at least for me), is to copy the entire body and use the editMenbershipTool to only apply the blend shape to the vertex you need !!!

nice call thematt, good thinking ;)
but... (in defence of my crown)... none of this is really necessary, editing the membership will not actually change anything! and here is why...
when you apply a bendshape to a mesh, maya only records the "difference" between the target and the base mesh, that is to say, that if you have a mesh that is 9999 verts and you apply it as a blendshape to another 9999 verts mesh, but only 1 vert has moved, then that blendshape node will be the same size (and use the same resources) as the same 1 vert move on a 4 vert mesh.

the real advantage of separating the head is in the modeling, not in the resulting blendshape.

I would only edit the membership on a blendshape if the target had deformations that I did NOT want to happen to the base mesh.


By the way John you are now oficially owning the title of "KING OF BLENDSHAPE"...so much patience repeting over and over the same old stuff :)
I think there is some new stuff there ;)


Are you one of those day going to share with us you're super node facial rigg ?? if i remenber correct you were talking about it some while back,and i've always be curious about it..:)
check out the memory on thematt!!!

sorry dude, its in the can't-talk-about-box... maybe after the show is released, which is probably about a year off...

.j

DaddyMack
11-30-2004, 08:47 PM
double wow :bowdown: and my first bow

Nenox
12-01-2004, 07:40 PM
Hi.

I'm not to tech saavy, but editing membership can speed things up by a bit. At least thats my experience. I did some kinda "A -B" testing some time back. Don't rember exately how but there was no doubt about the results.

Ok. Try it out for your selves and see if you get the same results.

Cheers ;)

thematt
12-03-2004, 08:15 PM
when you apply a bendshape to a mesh, maya only records the "difference" between the target and the base mesh, that is to say, that if you have a mesh that is 9999 verts and you apply it as a blendshape to another 9999 verts mesh, but only 1 vert has moved, then that blendshape node will be the same size (and use the same resources) as the same 1 vert move on a 4 vert mesh.


Oh really are you sure about that..from what I expereince using the edit menbership really make a difference but...I usually erase my blend shape after (there are on a separate folder in case, and there are script to reconstruct.), I'm now very curious to know if that's true and there should be no difference, you've got me doubting..damn you :)

sorry dude, its in the can't-talk-about-box... maybe after the show is released, which is probably about a year off...
damn you again...1 year !!! how am i going to wait that long...
Don't worry I'll be there to remind you in a year or so to share that knowledge with us hehe talk about memory..I'm the kind to remember those sort of thing, but to forget 5 of 10 thing on the grossery list 10mn after i've been told!! :)

I think there is some new stuff there
yes that's true..but you're still the king :D

john_homer
12-05-2004, 09:21 PM
Oh really are you sure about that..from what I expereince using the edit menbership really make a difference but...I usually erase my blend shape after...
its the deleting the targets that makes the difference.
I just did a test (after you made me doubt myself ;) and editing the membership made no difference to speed or filesize.
its easy to test... if you dont believe....

.j

thematt
12-06-2004, 10:08 AM
its the deleting the targets that makes the difference.
yes true, it doesn't make a difference, I've test it too after you said that and realized it..
So I guess I will just make it to the part I need from now on.
I don't know how in the world i saw some improvement ??..should try again on some characters to see..ho well..
You really deserve your crown..:D

cheers

nsimagine
12-07-2004, 02:23 PM
So Blendshape-Gurus,

here comes a task for you: (or at least a question :-))
I have a scene with about 400 Blendshapes which gives me a file of about 300 MB
and makes it very hard to work with - tooooo sloooowww.

Is there any chance that I can create a blendshape and then get rid of everything except for the target with the animation on?

I am thinging of something like vertex-animation baking?

Any solutions?


Regards

nsimagine

thematt
12-07-2004, 02:36 PM
why don't you just erase your blendshape then..no need to keep it in the scene.It will still keep the information, that's what we're talking about here.

cheers

failure
12-07-2004, 03:09 PM
You can bake it with Edit->Keys->Bake Simulation

john_homer
12-07-2004, 09:24 PM
You can bake it with Edit->Keys->Bake Simulation that will cause the largest file possible (apart form leaving in all the targets, which is pointless), as it bakes keys on verts even if they are not moving, whereas a blendShape will not.

if you read the thread and do some tests, you will see thematt was correct with his last post.

.j

Dudeman
12-08-2004, 06:12 PM
thematt said:

"why don't you just erase your blendshape then..no need to keep it in the scene.It will still keep the information, that's what we're talking about here."

I found that out the other day. (I'm a major Blendshape novice)
But is there a way to get them back if they need to be edited?

Also, I posted a thread about hiding faces in the main Maya forum. Basically I want get rid of the unecessary clutter of the blendshape mesh I'm editing. Any suggestions how to efficiently do this?

Was this what you guys were talking about from the beginning?

-Dudeman:thumbsup:

john_homer
12-08-2004, 07:14 PM
But is there a way to get them back if they need to be edited?

only by duplicating them off and recreating the blendshape, there is a script on highend to do this easily, its called "duplicateBlends" I think...


Also, I posted a thread about hiding faces in the main Maya forum. Basically I want get rid of the unecessary clutter of the blendshape mesh I'm editing. Any suggestions how to efficiently do this?
-Dudeman:thumbsup:
if I understand your question...
select the faces you want to view and use "isolate select" (under the "show" menu)

.j

Dudeman
12-08-2004, 11:13 PM
Thanks John,

Stallion151, from the other thread extracted the script that does that feature for me so I can assign it to a hotkey.

dwalden74
12-10-2004, 04:22 AM
Just to add my $.02 (and to plug a great tool) you guys should definitely check out blendShape_Manager, by Sebastian Woldanski (woold@interia.pl), if you haven't already. Definitely the best all-in-one blendshape tool I've seen yet. Here you can add, delete, substitute, rename targets and in-between targets on the fly. You can also rematerialize targets that you've already deleted. It has a crapload of other features too - basically everything you need to work FAST with blendShapes. Truly a godsend, this tool is. He's still working out a few kinks here and there in the script, but so far this guy has been really responsive to the feedback I've given him. Cheers Sebastian for such a fantastic tool! Anyway, check out the script on highend.

-d

john_homer
12-10-2004, 05:04 AM
hay DW,
that script requires another called bSh_mirroring.mel but doesn't come with it!

what the story there??

.j

dwalden74
12-10-2004, 02:03 PM
oh yeah, forgot 'bout that one. Just go to his webpage and download the zip file - it should have both scripts in there. Otherwise you can just // out the statement that sources that script (bSH_mirroring, or something), and it should still work OK.

-d

sonn
02-05-2005, 02:32 AM
Hey dwalden. sorry to bring this thread back up, but i can't get the blendShape_Manager script to work on maya 6. it keeps telling me "unterminated string". does it work with 6.1?

dwalden74
02-05-2005, 03:54 AM
Yeah, the script is working for me. Try and check that guy's website for an update maybe? There is a problem with adding inbtwn targets, but other than that it works great.

later-
d

mindspin00
02-07-2005, 05:42 PM
Hey Guys!

Did anyone ever get blendshapeManger tool working? I end up will all sorts of errors when I try to source the script (see below). Anxious to try out the script based on dwalden's recomendation.

-eric

// Error: -c "

//

// Error: Unterminated string. //

// Error: "

//

// Error: Unterminated string. //

// Error: -c "

//

// Error: Unterminated string. //

// Error: "

//

// Error: Unterminated string. //

// Error: -c "

//

// Error: Unterminated string. //

// Error: "

//

// Error: Unterminated string. //

// Error: -c "intField -e -v ((`intField -q -v INBETWEENSColumnsNumber`) + 1 ) INBETWEENSColumnsNumber;

//

// Error: Unterminated string. //

// Error: prefsBsh_window 6 write"

//

// Error: Unterminated string. //

mindspin00
02-07-2005, 05:43 PM
Oh yeah, that was tried on Maya 6.0.1

-eric

dwalden74
02-07-2005, 10:45 PM
The author sent me an updated version by email- I'll check and see if this is the latest one available on his website. If not I'll tell him to update it.

Also, are you running on Mac OS by any chance?

-d

sonn
02-07-2005, 10:54 PM
yep.. i'm getting the same error

i'm using Maya6.1 on windows 2000

mindspin00
02-07-2005, 11:04 PM
I run on both OSX and WinXP, but my WinXP is what I'm trying to get it working on. :)

Thanks!

-eric

Iotrez
02-08-2005, 01:13 AM
Hey all,

I used this method talked about earlier in the thread to create blendshapes for my character's head, but now after animating the character I've decided that I want to add a blendshape to a part of the body as well.

So I tried duplicating the body(in bind pose) and adding it as a target on a new blendshape node for the character.(Front of chain selected).

However when i try to use this new blendshape, some of the character moves that shouldn't move.

So now I want to edit the membership of the blendshape. But when I select the blendshape node and try to use the edit membership tool (under the deform menu) to subtract the relevant vertices from the blendshape, it does deselect them but when I try using the blendshape, these vertices are still moving. And when I select the edit membership tool again these vertices are back in the selection, so I dont think it changed the membership at all.

Please, does anyone know why I can't change the membership.?

Thanks.

sonn
02-11-2005, 03:00 AM
It seems like the guy has abandoned his site... it hasn't been updated for more than 2 years now,

here, check for yourself:

http://woold.w.interia.pl/eng.html

ohiro2
02-18-2005, 03:39 AM
There are some bugs in the source cord.
Just searched -c " and fixed it.
It worked in v6.
I have to pray around.

sonn
02-19-2005, 03:18 AM
Hey, ohiro2. How did you fix it? what's the bug?

ohiro2
02-23-2005, 10:57 PM
Hi, sonn.I could send you the fixed code if you want.

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