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View Full Version : Rigging a big water beast thing


monkeydonut
06-12-2006, 07:57 PM
Hi I'm just posting this to get some insight into how to go about rigging this inside of max8:

http://img455.imageshack.us/img455/1553/finaltweaks25sh.jpg
http://img451.imageshack.us/img451/10/finaltweaks37jf.jpg

I've only really rigged bipeds before, and using cs biped too...

Basically the eyes,teeth,tongue, all teeth/claws, the small chest tentacles and the 6 larger tentacles and their teeth are all separate objects within max. There are displacement maps on the 6 larger tentacles and the main body (which I will turn on at rendertime). There is a duplicate set of polys in the belly to act as pflow emitters for the tentacles (and later probably hair instead so I can get better dynamics).

http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/8613/inmax87fj.jpg (http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/8613/inmax87fj.jpg)

This shows the general structure, the 6 main tentacles will be replaced with the low res one you see beside it (which can be smoothed/displaced later). I seem to have converted the displaced meshes to editable polys and therefore lost the stack, but I will replace them come rigging/animation.

In any case I have done tests where the whole of the main body is rigged with a spline ik in order to have it snaking through the water and that seems to work well, but I'm not sure how to integrate the main tentacles and other parts that aren't a part of the main body mesh. Do I attach them and rig them as if they were a part of it or can I just link them and rig them separately (doubtful as I expect they won't deform correctly with certain movements of the main body).

Basically, if anyone has any pointers I would be really grateful... this is only my 2nd organic model and clearly it isn't the easiest mesh in the world to deal with.

PEN
06-12-2006, 08:42 PM
I did something similar to that a while back that had tenticles sticking out of the character. Here is a screen grab of it.

http://paulneale.com/production/pitLasher/pitLasherRig01.jpg

The tenticles are just FK as the client didn't want spline IK and it isn't always the best solution depending on what you are doing with it. The arrow controls along the length of the tenticles are there for scaling the tenticles in and out. As you can see I didn't use stretchy bones as the game engine didn't support it. If it wasn't a real time application for the character I would use stretchy bones though.

I hope this helps a bit.

monkeydonut
06-14-2006, 02:25 PM
Paul, thanks that's really interesting.. I have a few questions on that, bear in mind I am relatively new to rigging (I rigged one huge robot which was all lookat orientation constraints for pistons and a few wireparameters but nothing too harsh, and aside from that I have just used tweaked cs bipeds):

>The tenticles are just FK as the client didn't want spline IK and it isn't always the best >solution depending on what you are doing with it. The arrow controls along the length of the >tenticles are there for scaling the tenticles in and out.

This is really interesting, how do you go about setting up scaling lengthwise on the tentacles, I had thought about that for my main tentacles but decided it must be too hard and look weird on top of bump/displacement maps.

>As you can see I didn't use stretchy bones as the game engine didn't support it. If it wasn't >a real time application for the character I would use stretchy bones though.

What are stretchy bones and why are they useful? (Sorry I don't have max help at hand).

So my approach is probably going to be:
- Morphtargets to govern minor facial movements + the tentacle mouths opening/closing/ sphincter contraction etc
- spline ik of the main length of the body
- Something else for the tentacles
- Regular bones for jaw / minor movement of the spines/torso stumps etc
- stretchy bones for the tongue?

Thanks this is a job and a half for me ;)
Alex

RyanT
06-14-2006, 08:39 PM
Just remember if you go the FK route then locking the tenticles onto objects or planting them will be a pain.

-RyanT

monkeydonut
06-14-2006, 09:05 PM
good point - I assume you mean the tentacle clamping onto the object and then the body moving and the tentacle tip staying clamped on... so if the tentacles were ik you could just link the ik goal to the object and animate the body as usual.

If you wanted to pick an object up though you could just link it to the ik goal or to the final bone or whatever and it wouldn't matter either way ik / fk or whatever right - it would still move with the tentacle?

monkeydonut
06-14-2006, 10:14 PM
Another quick question..

Each tentacle is one object, with all the teeth on it as another separate object (all teeth together as one object).

When I pose the morphtarget I use the low res models of the tentacle+teeth skinned simultaneously to the same set of bones in order for the teeth to move correctly with the deforming tentacle tips. I then separately set up the teeth as a morphtarget for the main teeth and the tentacle as a morphtarget for the main tentacle. In order for the teeth to match then, the % of any given morphtarget must match between the main tentacle and it's teeth.

i.e. "Tentacle Mouth Open wide" morphtarget at 90% on the tentacle must also be matched with 90% for the teeth morphtarget..otherwise there will be a mismatch and the teeth will skate off of the lips and not fit properly etc.

-> Is there any way to "wire" a given morphtarget on the teeth to the corresponding morphtarget % box on the tentacle, in order that I don't have to duplicate my values into the teeth morphtargets when animating?

monkeydonut
06-15-2006, 07:51 PM
sub-question: how would you rig the sphincter like inner mouths on the tentacles? binding like a cylinder around it and scaling down the cylinder gets a nice effect on the tentacle mesh but shrinks the teeth which doesn't look that great, though they close in with the mouth.

monkeydonut
06-20-2006, 11:46 PM
bump

I've decided to go with spline ik for the tentacles, with morph targets governing the tentacle mouths... tests seem to indicate this is the easiest and quickest way with the best overall look animation wise. I can make the tentacles grab things easily enough by linking the object to the last bone in the chain at the correct moment. I don't need the tentacles to clamp to things with the tips locked, more just to grab objects etc.

Question is whether to bother with morph targets for the head/face/body, or whether to just do a simple rig for the tongue (stretchy bones?) etc.

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