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BUZZFX
11-15-2008, 12:02 AM
I am looking for a new software. I want to find one that among other things has a very intuitive rigging system. I don't want to start a flame war but I just want to know if there are different methods of rigging a character?

Q) Do some applications use "nodes" to rig characters or do they all use bones and joints and what are the best methods to rig a character?

Q2) I've heard some 3D softwares make it easier to rig and animate a character. What makes these softwares easier to rig and animate in them?

Q3) What are some features you find indispensable for rigging and animating a character? or What are some features that help you rig and animate a character faster?

Thanks :)

IkerCLoN
11-15-2008, 01:22 AM
Q3) I think that the deeper you know the program the easier will be for you to tie things up in your rig. Since it's a very technical field knowing the program is IMHO a must. So maybe you should tell us if you are using a 3D software right now and which one if the answer to that is 'yes'. And maybe the reason why you want to switch to another package :) I mean, just for knowing your actual skills ;)

I've been using MAX a lot of years, and for me it's kind of intuitive and easy (my knowledge in Maya, XSI or Blender is not as deep as in MAX). Sometimes you need some workarounds to deal with a problem when using other packages that would be solved in a second, but I guess it happens on the other way too.

So I would state the obvious: this is not about the tool but about the person who is in front of the screen.

Good luck!

BUZZFX
11-15-2008, 01:29 AM
Iker, thanks and good points. I am currently using Cinema 4D, but I am trying to learn Blender as well.

Any other tips or advice?

stewartjones
11-15-2008, 06:26 AM
Q) Do some applications use "nodes" to rig characters or do they all use bones and joints and what are the best methods to rig a character?
Joints are the basis of all character rigging. All the package I have used use joints and nodes for rigging.

Q2) I've heard some 3D softwares make it easier to rig and animate a character. What makes these softwares easier to rig and animate in them?
Nope. A good rig makes it easier to animate. A good rig comes from a person who knows how to create it. The software is a tool, nothing more, nothing less. I use both Max and Maya and they are very much similar. Sure, there's a different way to go about things, but it's usually the same thing whith a different approach and a different name.

Q3) What are some features you find indispensable for rigging and animating a character? or What are some features that help you rig and animate a character faster?
Scripting, for me it means = Faster, quicker, easier. Like IkerCLoN said, the better you know the application, the better the rig you can make.

Don't get hung up on the software! :thumbsup:

MolemanSD7
11-17-2008, 03:16 PM
Granted the above statements are true, but if you're just looking at having something to get going with, XSI has some native rigging tools and scripts that you can piece together, rather than creating one from scratch. That said, Maya (my home) and 3ds users all have created plugins and automated rigging scripts that you can find and implement. So, there really is no definitive answer.
However, Maya does allow for both MEL and Python scripting to be used to create tools and automate processes. Which may or may not be adventageous if you know anything about programming with Python. I'm not sure about Max, but I think it only has MaxScript.
I'd say to download demos of the different packages and see which is easiest for you to pick up. Go from there.

edwardG
11-17-2008, 03:47 PM
Q1) Well, Maya is a completely node based system, so you don't technically have to use any joints to create an animation rig. That being said, your setup would basically simulate using joints but would take a lot longer to create the setup... so you're better off using joints anyways. Joints are higher-level node systems.

The best method for rigging depends on the project (game rigs are somewhat different from film rigs, for instance). The general rule is that a rig is easy to animate, versatile in the poses you can create, and doesn't break! How you go about doing that is up to you.

Q2) I think it's pretty safe to say that the majority of the Industry rigs in Maya or Max (I lump Character Studio into Max). Maya seems to be the most popular package for rigging reels, but I have seen good rigs in almost every software package (including Cinema 4D).

Q3) Learning how to do some sort of Scripting will help out tons. Both Maya and Blender have Python capabilities, so you could start with Python and then learn to translate your scripts into other languages.

Some features that I find indispensible to my rigs are:
-IK/FK switching (this is pretty much a standard to include now-a-days).
-Animatable pivots.
-Space Switching.

Things that are nice to have are:
-Stretchy Rigs (not always necessary).
-Extra Deformation Controls (Bendy Rigs).
-Dynamic Joint chains.

BUZZFX
11-17-2008, 05:05 PM
Wow, thank you all very much for your advice. I will try the rigging in some of the various apps and see how it goes.

One thing that has always confused me is the animating of a character. It must take an enormous amount of time to animate a character. I guess IK makes it easier but is the general workflow to move each limb, set a keyframe and then move each limb again etc. until you have the animation you want?

Sorry if I am being simplistic, but I have only animated cameras and simple objects not characters. :)

IkerCLoN
11-17-2008, 05:34 PM
Depending on the motion of the character an animator shall use FK or IK for the limbs of the character, even for the spine too. So having a FK/IK hybrid system that allow him or her to switch from one solution to the other is a must.

If you wanna know the process on animating a character check some videotutoriales that are available (some of them are free, some others are not) on the web. They might illustrate the process better than anyone with words ;)

kaggen
11-18-2008, 12:52 AM
I'm also trying to learn rigging and also use Cinema 4D (r 10.111). I looked at the tutorial that is included in the package (the flabio rigging) and was turned off at first. I think they tried to cover to much in one go. Besides you never was told *why* you should do certain things, just that you should put the ankle goal in the foot control f.ex, not why.

So i pulled up my sleves and built a simple box based character and started to try to understand the logic behind rigging, golas, poles, controls... etc. After many mistakes (see attachment) i think i finally got it (mostly), and i actually now think it's pretty logic and simple (that might be stretching it) even in Cinema.

I've looked at several tutorials on the net for most apps, and most apps seems to handle rigging basically in the same way. Besides most apps seems to use much scripting for handle rigs, so i would think it's a pretty steep learning curve in any app (with the exception of A:M?).

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