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JamSession
04-17-2006, 01:48 AM
I have been doing cartoony rigs with squash and stretch for shorts and stuff at school so I am fairly familar with rigging. Right now I have a muscular character and need to do a very hyper real rig. I want to stay away from plugins since I am in college and broke:D. I also think that I should have the basic idea of how muscle systems work before I use plugins and scripts that do it for me.

So are their any tutorials or or info on where to start for muscles, realistic rigs and deformation. What would be the best approach, influence objects, wrap, blend shapes, any help and input is greatly appreciated.

Nicool
04-17-2006, 10:08 AM
http://www.highend3d.com/maya/tutorials/character/225.html : a tutorial on simple muscle setup (with two driven keys on a lattice/cluster mesh). No plugin here. You could add a jiggle node to have it more realistic without using dynamics. It's really easy !

john_homer
04-17-2006, 10:30 AM
i would love to hear a reason why this technique has any advantage over a simple blendshape on the final skin.

seems like a long (and slow) way to the same thing... would have an advantage if skin could "slide" over wraps.. but it doesn't

no offence to the author... I just cant see the point.

.j

Nicool
04-17-2006, 05:31 PM
john_homer is true! The use of blend shapes is really much better, use it. Stahlberg wrote an article on this oldschool ( no plugs, but really powerful) method : http://www.androidblues.com/rigtut.html . You could still use jiggle node to help micro animation though.

john_homer
04-17-2006, 11:34 PM
hmm.. same thing really...

depends if you want control over the detail I guess...

.j

JamSession
04-18-2006, 04:25 AM
thanks for your inputs guys,

one last question, is the blendshape the entire body? For example I want to bulge his calf, is that a blend shape that affects the entire body, or is it broken down into different limbs?? Personally I would think that having a high poly character with blendshapes affecting the entire body would crush a machine.

NolanSW
04-18-2006, 05:00 AM
I saw on one of of the hyper real rigs that an animator from Sony did that was super simple and had great results was simply using clusters. He did it on a calf muscle and looked really good. Very subtle but did the trick.You just animate it slightly and have a soft fall-off. Yea you could use jiggle but takes some time to setup and tweak. Simple is sometimes the best option.

john_homer
04-18-2006, 06:17 AM
thanks for your inputs guys,

one last question, is the blendshape the entire body? For example I want to bulge his calf, is that a blend shape that affects the entire body, or is it broken down into different limbs?? Personally I would think that having a high poly character with blendshapes affecting the entire body would crush a machine.

it uses no more resources to have it on the entire body..
I've explained why in detail before... search the forums if you what to know why.

basically maya only stores "change" so if only 20 verts move, it makes no difference if the mesh has 20 verts or 1000000000000000000000000000 verts

.j

JamSession
04-18-2006, 07:32 AM
I did a search and wow, you seem to know your stuff john. i completely forgot what I was searching for when i came across a thread about you using the blend color node to switch ik/fk (ingenious). ohh yea back on topic, i think you know more about blendshapes than i do about maya :thumbsup: Thanks for your help, I will play around with some test and let you guys know how it goes.

What is the best order of Operations?
1. skin
2. blendshapes
3. clusters
4. jiggle

_vine_
04-18-2006, 03:31 PM
My main problem with blendshapes is they start to freak out when you start adding a lot of them onto a character (ie the shoulder region typically requires at least corrective shapes). For the calf or bicep muscle I would use blendshapes. When you try to correct the shoulder area, you will probably run into normalization issues at extreme poses (ie trying to raise the arms above the head causes two or more blendshapes to add together and create bizarre bulges).

Also, Maya computes blendshape movement to the fifteenth decimal place in translation. This means that vertice you might have moved just a super minute amount and forgot about is still getting just as much matrix calculation time as the one that moved across an entire scene. Move _only_ the absolute minimum number of vertices you need to make shape and you should never have any problems.

If you every run into normalization problems you could try pose space deformers (the next evolution of blendshapes), but they do require plugins so they don't pertain to this thread. I just want to note that they use a much more advanced normalization scheme and have very fast performance compared to blendshapes.

lucille
04-18-2006, 04:36 PM
The problem with blend shape and pose based systems is that the more correction
they do--in other words--the more deficient the initial set up--the greater the
potential for a morphy feel in the mesh as the limbs go to different extremes--even
with a fairly sophisticated driver.

After working with cMuscle for a while I became interested in the idea of creating
a 'no plugin" muscle rig using nurbs shapes as infuence objects. The procedural aspect of muscles systems--squash and stretch--do not play into the way muscles resolve themselves in the shoulder area. Obviously this approach as forgoes "sliding", but this is an acceptable
tradeoff in many uses. I am hoping to create a reusable muscle rig that I can port--with
modifications--between characters. Paul

Gnimmel
04-18-2006, 06:50 PM
I've created various muscle rigs from using plug-ins to mayas wrap deformer etc. and so far I think the best way by far is still blendshapes. However, there is a better way to aproach these that hasn't been mentioned yet, and that is Michael Comets free Pose Space Deformer.

http://www.comet-cartoons.com/melscript.php

This will allow you to pose the character and create the blend shapes in the final pose, instead of the old way which ment you had to model in the default pose and hope for the best.

As well as this, The art of rigging book also goes into pose space deformers and has mel scripts to do the same jobs. This might be a little slower, but it means you don't have to add any plug-ins to you render farm etc.

Anyway, thats my 2 cents.

Richard

john_homer
04-18-2006, 09:29 PM
The problem with blend shape and pose based systems is that the more correction
they do--in other words--the more deficient the initial set up--the greater the
potential for a morphy feel in the mesh as the limbs go to different extremes--even
with a fairly sophisticated driver.


I couldn't agree with this more.
lots of people seem to become too dependant on "correcting" rather than rigging it nice to begin with and then just touching up a few areas with correctives...
and also mentioning the driver (which I'm not going to get into BTW).. you cant just go and drive shoulder (for example) correctives with the rotation values due to Gimbal... this is probably as important as the deformation method

I prefer to use joints where I can.. blendshapes where i need to.

as _vine_ and then Gnimmel mentioned, Michael Comets free Pose Space Deformer is worth a look. its bacically a version of mayas "parallel" blendshape that actually works.

.j

inverse catheter
04-19-2006, 01:55 AM
get comets plugin .once you have it down .it 's so f__king cool .it 's a massively empowering tool

.

when my pose is this .my shape is this .done

JamSession
04-19-2006, 06:04 AM
Waiting for the impressive Mr. Comet to make an appearence on this thread :shrug:

His stuff is amazing I can only dream of one day being like him combined with Jason Schliefler.

I have used 3d max in the past which is by far the worst program ever, if you are ever offered a job rigging in that PASS on it. But it does have something very similar, but it is also similar to the rigid bind of maya, where you bend/pose joints then sculpt geometry and it remembers the interpolation. that is the only cool thing about max.

I will definately give this comet script a shot, I will use blendshapes for legs just to see how they come out then comets pose deformer for the arms to see how they compare.

underearth
04-19-2006, 01:29 PM
Waiting for the impressive Mr. Comet to make an appearence on this thread :shrug:

His stuff is amazing I can only dream of one day being like him combined with Jason Schliefler.


me too but with bit of Erick Miller..but would maintain humour of js.

underearth
04-19-2006, 01:30 PM
duplicate post

michaelcomet
04-19-2006, 04:48 PM
LOL and I should say what.... ?

JamSession
04-20-2006, 05:34 AM
LOL and I should say what.... ?

LOL, good timing mr. Comet

just any input on muscles or your pose scripts. I know you are biased about muscles but you are very knowledgable. what route or how would you tackle this?

Matt Leishman
04-20-2006, 08:14 PM
not to take anything away from michael, jason, or erick, but y'all are already in the presence of a rigging champ - John Homer. 'nuff said. Whenever I see his posts, my brain perks up ... I love his "Keep It Simple Stupid" approach to everything ... always so very effective.

michaelcomet
04-20-2006, 08:59 PM
Heh well definitely PSDs if they work are easier/faster in most cases. I'm hoping to improve my psd plugin sometime here in the relatively near future...we shall see. Muscles are good but in a different way. I mean you will get things like true sliding or jiggle or other stuff, but at the cost of a harder setup. Both have their uses, it's kind of up to production budget/style/quality imho.

For real realistic creatures etc etc i think muscles may be simpler than say sculpting a buttload of shapes to give the kind of subtlety you can get. On the other hand for things that are simpler or whatnot shapes may be easier.

The other thing to keep in mind is it's not like one is neccesarily faster/slower production-wise. It depends on the tools. With cMuscleSystem it's really not much different from Maya skin as a "starting" point but then you can take it a lot farther, make muscles, sliding etc..etc..etc.. So there's a gradient there depending on how you want to use it. Same as PSD's...you could either start very simple with a few shapes, or start going nuts sculpting tons of stuff or setting up a muscle rig to generate shapes etc...it all depends on how you approach things.

As matt mentioned simple is always good. That said...go buy 10 copies of my plugin...hahahaha.

JamSession
04-21-2006, 06:07 PM
not to take anything away from michael, jason, or erick, but y'all are already in the presence of a rigging champ - John Homer. 'nuff said. Whenever I see his posts, my brain perks up ... I love his "Keep It Simple Stupid" approach to everything ... always so very effective.

I agree, Mr. Homer is very intelligent along with many other members on this board, I just used them because I have their DVD's. I have watched them so much I feel like I know them personally, and I can put a face to a brain. I like Mr. Comet because b/c he is going beyond mel scripting and tapping into the API which not too many people can do "WELL"

As for Mr. Comet thanks for your input. After I am out of school and don't owe 100 grand, then I will be a client of yours. I have heard great comments about cmuscle and the only negative is that you have to buy it LOL.

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