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Hezza
01-18-2006, 05:27 PM
Hi there,

I've nearly finished modelling and texturing my character and i'll hopefully start rigging him in the next couple of days. I've got my bones laid out and done some deformation tests and they're not looking to bad. One problem i had tho was on his lower body, because he's split into lots of seperate objects, painting the weights was abit of a headache cause i kept having to select the different objects, and if i select multiple objects to paint, the bones list in the toolbox is stupidly long because it repeats for each object.

Should i combine say, the whole boot into one object (boot, tounge, laces) the trousers into one (trousers, belt, buckle, loops) etc? Or should i just combine the boots and trousers into one big object? Or combine all the objects into one big whole character object?

I'm waffling on now, but any help is much appreciated.

Cheers
Hez

http://forums.cgsociety.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=88523&stc=1

seven6ty
01-18-2006, 05:32 PM
I prefer to do it all as one big object. I guess it may be a personal preference thing, but I've definently found this easiest when it comes time to rig and paint weights.

seven6ty
01-18-2006, 05:33 PM
...Cool looking model and textures too! (Hopefully if you decide to merge objects it doesn't mess up your UV's.)

Hezza
01-18-2006, 06:30 PM
Thanks for the advice seven6ty, it was the way i was inclined to go i just wasn't sure if there was a major reason i didn't know about not to combine it all.

I did a quick test and didn't think it was going to work at first, nothing rendered out right. After my initial disapointment i reaslised combining the objects has broken some switch nodes i was using in the hypergraph to change the dirt maps for the left and right side gloves/boots. Also i had to reassign the mental ray SubDiv Approx.

I think i'll have to keep the body speperate from everything else as it needs more divisions for the details in the face, and i don't want to divide everything else an extra level just for that. But having 2 objects instead of 13 will be much easier :)

Thanks for the info and the comments on meh Dwarf Miner (he's not got his pick-axe yet :) )

Cheers
Hez

Morganism
01-18-2006, 08:21 PM
Hey. I just wanted to add something, if it's not too late.

It's definately much easier painting weights on a "watertight" model, which is all one piece, and even may have seams welded together. However it's also nice to have a final model broken up, so that if part of the model changes you don't have to replace the whole thing, or so blendshapes can be broken up and don't have to affect the whole body, or so that you can hide different parts of the mesh for various reasons.

So what I usually do is make a watertight mesh for painting, and then transfer the weights to the final model using Skin>Edit Smooth Skin>Copy Weights.

ta da!

Hezza
01-18-2006, 10:04 PM
Thanks for the tips Morganism. I've never really used Copy Skin Weights so i wasn't sure of its capabilities.

As it stands, i've combined everything into 2 main objects, the body and then everything else. The worst area is going to be the boots/laces, tho luckly there's not going to be to much deformation there and i got reasonable results with the tests i did.

So when i'm done painting the weights, if i wanted to, i could apply those weights to the 13 seperate objects that i combined to make the main two? Thats pretty impressive, i'd have thought it would go hay-wire and not be able to match the weights up.

I shouldn't need to as i'm fairly happy with the mesh, i might rework some of the textures but thats just photoshop work now.

Thanks for the pointers guys, nice to get a response so quickly.

One little last question, does it matter if you create blendshapes before or after binding? Or doesn't it make any difference to the construction history. (I'm also gonna have a play with the Pose Space Deformer pluging, need to get some belly bulging when he leans over :) )

Cheers
Hez

seven6ty
01-18-2006, 10:46 PM
Yeah, that sounds like a good way to go, what Morganism suggested, hadn't thought of that.

I like to wait until after skinning to make blendshapes. There are all kinds of little things that can change your mesh, like even just creating and enabling an IK chain will throw in little offsets and stuff. So there is a chance of verts changing places during binding and such, but it is possible to do it beforehand also. I'd do one or the other, all before weighting, or after, although like I said, I prefer after.

Hezza
01-21-2006, 08:31 PM
Hi there,

I have another quick question. I started rigging my character and have been having big headaches with the belt area and shoe laces. Trying to get smooth deformation is bloody difficult and i've mainly been setting the weights in those areas with the component editor as there's no chance of painting thought the multiple surfaces.

Sooo..... I struck upon the idea of seperating out the small objects again and using wrap deformers to move them. So i'd have basic boot/trousers shape bound to the bones (nice and easy to paint weights), and then the laces and belt area wrap deformed to those.

I've got near spot on results so far, and maya copes with it fine, no slow downs or laggy response. Is there any reason for not using this method? Just wondering if anyones had experience of doing things this way. Also, does it matter if i apply the wrap's before or after smooth binding?

Thanks for you help guys
Hez

seven6ty
01-21-2006, 08:57 PM
Ah yeah, well, it depends on what version of Maya you're running. I know multiple wrap deformers previous to 7.0 could really start to lag, but I've heard that the calculation times on them have been sped up considerably with 7.0. So yeah, in that case I'd say go for it. The places I've been at so far have had their own versions of wrap deformers, so their may be a more efficient plug-in or something out there commercially available, but I'm not sure of any, but yeah... That should work. Sounds like a good idea having them driven like that.

And if I'm understanding what you're asking, it would probably be better to wait until you've done your smooth skinning to apply your wrap, just so you can get the best idea of how it will work and if it will give you many problems, for example when his ankle rotates his calf forward, make sure there aren't any terribly bad penetrations and such.

Hezza
01-21-2006, 09:18 PM
Thanks again for the fast reply seven6ty, you've been a great help. I'm trying to get a small showreel together and do everything 'right' in it. Going to start applying for work experience or junior positions in the next couple of months.

Probably not going to get much done to the dwarf over the next week, got a stinking cold and my girlfriend is visiting for a few days but after that i'm gonna really get stuck in.

Cheers
Hez

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