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JokerMartini
02-15-2011, 06:12 PM
I've come across this demo reel a while back online at http://somosposmodernos.com/blog/?p=94. You might be familiar with it. Around the 54 second mark he begins to show off his rig and how it has its basic setup but my concern is how he has additional secondary controls which are the yellow rings places up and down the legs/arms. Which allow for the rubber hose/cartoony look. I was curious to know if anyone could help me on how to create these?

My assumption is that he has skinned his character to these secondary controls and those are linked to the main ik/fk rig.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

JokerMartini

elT
02-15-2011, 06:38 PM
Felix Joleanes:
http://joleanes.com/tutorials/bendyLimbs/bendy.php

IkerCLoN
02-15-2011, 09:57 PM
Hey John, Tarik points you to a very good and reliable source. There you'll find your answer :) Basically, a good start point for a do a layer-based approach. First, you do the basic stuff: FK, IK, ... Then, another layer for blending between them. Then, another chain constrained to that one for twisting/bending. And that way your rig keeps growing and I think you have more control over it.

And also another one for deforming. It's really smart to have your control rig not deforming your geometry. I didn't do that on the rigs I show and I could have saved a lot of headaches by splitting both systems (transformation / deformation).

Cheers!

elT
02-15-2011, 10:10 PM
It might not be the kindest way in the world I just though it would be good for John to watch the video first and then return with whatever questions he might have.

And I totally agree on the separating the deform and control portions of the rig. It makes a whole bunch of things easier and/or possible, especially when it comes to transferring the animation.

JokerMartini
02-15-2011, 11:17 PM
Thanks a ton for the help and pointing me in the direction of those videos. I've done a few characters rigs here and there with just basic setup. I'm looking around and trying to see what people like to use in there rigs other than what I like to use. This reel seemed like a good place to start and there are some techniques I'm unfamiliar with in it, so its huge help that you guys are helping. Thank you.
What things do you guys like to have in a character rig? Anything in particular?

elT
02-15-2011, 11:29 PM
I'm not an animator so I like to have my rigs done and the animators of my back. :)

Other than that, I like them split in low and high resolution rigs. Low resolution optimized for performance, high resolution for integration/rendering. To make it work I like to have an easily transferable animation on the deform rig and and up with totally cached characters when it's time to render.

Other than that it depends on the task at hand and what is needed. Things you could research:

Animatable pivots
Parent Space Switching
IK/FK/Spline IK blending/switching

Basically, the things so wonderfully shown in Iker's reel. I don't think there's much more an animator will need to have a good time at work.

Oh, and I love foot rolls. :)

JokerMartini
02-15-2011, 11:42 PM
Thanks. I figured those are the most widely used and wanted controls when animating. Other than that it just because a unique feature.

JokerMartini
02-18-2011, 12:11 AM
Ikers rig setup in the beginning of your reel.
I was wondering how you have that setup. It seems to be a more straight forward way of setting up the point helps which are later usesful for snapping bones to and whatnot when rigging.

I have a few questions.

1. How do you have the splines knots connected to the point helpers (linked xform)?
2. How do you have them automatically update the left side to the right side in real time. Considering you are moving the point helpers around and not the spline.
3. Does the orientation of the point helpers get effected as you move the point helpers in space? Or do you have to manually rotate them still?

Thanks JokerMartini

IkerCLoN
02-18-2011, 01:21 AM
1. How do you have the splines knots connected to the point helpers (linked xform)?
2. How do you have them automatically update the left side to the right side in real time. Considering you are moving the point helpers around and not the spline.
3. Does the orientation of the point helpers get effected as you move the point helpers in space? Or do you have to manually rotate them still?

Thanks JokerMartini

1.- There are no splines between the bones. Most of them are using LookAt constraints, so what you can see there is the result of using the option 'Viewline Length' on that controller.

2.- I don't know if you are used to the concept of instancing controllers. You could do it in several ways, but what I did was setting Position Float List controller on the right point pasting the X, Y and Z position controllers of the left point as instances.

Since you want the right point to have a -X value for it to be symmetric, just take the weight of that controller under the list controller and set it to -100. You could use an expression too, but I guess this way is faster.

3.- Since they are using LookAt constraints, yes, the orientation is affected when you move them. I'm using the orientation of those points for orientating the bones on their creation. Maybe not the best choice but that's what I had to stick to after I started developing it.

Since you seem to be interested in the guide thing, I'd like to tell you a couple of things. I realized now that using points could not be the best approach because sometimes you cannot notice exactly where they are. I'm quite picky when setting the position of those points and in most cases I have to put your camera really close to see if they are on the position I'd like to. So some weeks ago I had some time and I wanted to try something more 'visual' and appealing than moving points.

So I used this as a concept for a new 'interface' for the guide:

http://www.somosposmodernos.com/liveOnLine/enigma_1_OK_controller.swf

The concept behind it is a bit similar to the elastic bone setup, but here you CAN manipulate the bone instead of a point. Just aiming to bring a new perspective here. This video is the solution of a riddle I I recorded the video as a solution of a riddle I suggested to my students. It's in spanish, but I guess you can get the idea by watching the screen.

Cheers!

JokerMartini
02-18-2011, 01:45 AM
Thanks for the response. It definitely all makes sense. I appreciate the link to the video. I'm just trying to see the most efficient way of setting up a rig and like you I'm very pick on where the point/bone is placed. The orientation and pivot of the bone is always vital. What you did for the setup seemed like a quick effective way to visually setup characters. It's very easy to create custom helper objects so I'm wondering if maybe having a custom object that was more useful for the purpose of setting up bones could be a solution.

As for instancing controllers I have not done that to often to be honest. Most of the time I'm just copying one controller to the next whether it's through maxscript or editor in max. I appreciate your help. This is all great information. I'm going to mess around with that stuff tonight and see what I come up with. I'll be sure to post anything that could be useful.

Now where you mention "...but here you CAN manipulate the bone instead of a point."
Is this something you would use to help setup the initial bones and later attach controllers to for animating?

IkerCLoN
02-18-2011, 02:27 AM
Is this something you would use to help setup the initial bones and later attach controllers to for animating?

Definitely that could be another approach :) But in that last setup I have a set of points as a guide for placing the bones and helpers built with the tool, and the bones shown in the video act as an 'interface' for placing the points. I could skip the points part and, as you say, use these bones to build things on top or use their position or rotation as a guide, but did not have a lot of time so I came up with this as a 'patch' on top of the points guide.

So to sum up what I have now is:

- guide interface ---> bones that you can manipulate directly to place your proportions.
---> guide points ---> driven by the interface. Their position and rotation is used for building the...
------> rig, with a tool. Once it's built the guide becomes useless (just used as a reference).

Polimeno
02-21-2011, 06:29 PM
http://www.somosposmodernos.com/liveOnLine/enigma_1_OK_controller.swf


Hey Iker, thatīs a great trick my friend ! Thanks for sharing the link =)
Could you give me a real production example about where are you using this kind of 'guide' right now ??

First, you do the basic stuff: FK, IK, ... Then, another layer for blending between them.

PRO TIP
Iīm currently doing one single chain for IkFk switch inside Max based on this GDC Maya masterclass (http://area.autodesk.com/gdc/class1), by the way.

seeya

IkerCLoN
02-25-2011, 12:30 AM
On some lessons on my rigging classes I try to show the students how some advanced behaviours can be created without complicated expressions, thus this video was made showing one example.

I had the chance to do some freelance work for a project that required a lot of characters in a extremely tight deadline. A good fella was also on board for this, and we were joking that it was so much work that even we would need help for our girlfriends (that are not related to 3D at all!) :) Since we might have needed additional help it made sense to simplify the 'match-proportions-using-guide experience' as much as possible.

But in the end the project never came up.

JokerMartini
02-27-2011, 01:46 AM
That video was a huge great help. Thanks for the video. Do you have any video rigging videos other than that one? I'd enjoy checking them out.


I was wondering if the way you setup the rig that video is how you essentially set up the head for your reaper doctor character as well?

I notice the head has a bit of a squash a stretch look to it as well as the deform control in the middle of the head, and I was wondering how that was set up?

This is all great stuff.

Thanks.
JokerMartini

IkerCLoN
02-28-2011, 12:40 AM
Hey John,

The video I posted here has nothing to do to the rig itself; it's just an update to the guide I use to set the position of the joints.

About how the head is deformed, it has two bones skinned instead of the typical one. So in the image below you grab and move one of the blue spheres that happens to be one of the sides of the elastic bone and you can deform it. Control in the middle is constrained between the other two. Nothing fancy, really :)

http://forums.cgsociety.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=160000&stc=1

I'm glad this is useful to you!

marktsang
02-28-2011, 01:02 AM
hey ike
that image above looks familiar :)
guide rigs should be easily manipulated - you should avoid parts following down chains as for example moving the upper arm position should not affect the hand as you would have to work all the way down the chain for every change, but at the same time the "guide" bones should try to maintain a good orientation for that limb.

im moving out of london tomorrow :( im going traveling around the uk for a bit - i might be back in london in a few weeks though!

JokerMartini
02-28-2011, 01:08 AM
Nice work. I thought the video was also the way you setup the deform part of the rig as seen in your demo reel around the 51 second mark. Are those setups somewhat similar to what is seen in that video then?

Because the control that you have in the deform part of the rig is very cool and allows for that rubbery hose type of effect. Which is what I'm looking to know how to do. I've got the fk ik setup going right now. I just want to add that addition part.

marktsang
02-28-2011, 01:16 AM
i use splines for the rubber hose effect
the twist bones are path constainted to the splines that are controlled by shapes
the problem with this method is that i can be slow sometimes

mark

JokerMartini
03-02-2011, 07:04 PM
As seen in the demo reel around the 51 second mark he easily deforms the rig without any limit really. With a spline rig there are limits on how far you can pull something. I wondering how he has setup that deform rig. I would assume that was setup the same one the bones were setup in the video Iker posted.

It allows the animators to deform the character and get very nice results like the rubber hose effect. Which is what I'm not quite clear on how to do. I've got the rest of the rig setup meaning the Ik|Fk.

IkerCLoN
03-03-2011, 12:09 AM
Here you have a slight sample that may solve some of your questions ;)

JokerMartini
03-04-2011, 08:41 PM
Thanks Iker. I will check this out tonight when I get home from work.

I've posted and image explaining how I've tried to set up the mirroring of the point helpers like you suggested. It seems a bit off but off but it might be something I mis-understood.

Check it out in the image attached.

Post some rig stuff soon for everyone to check out and play with.

JokerMartini

pchela1313
03-07-2011, 03:37 PM
3.- Since they are using LookAt constraints, yes, the orientation is affected when you move them. I'm using the orientation of those points for orientating the bones on their creation. Maybe not the best choice but that's what I had to stick to after I started developing it.!

What do you choose for upNode for this points when You set them?

JokerMartini
02-07-2012, 02:06 AM
armSample file.

Has anyone been able to open this file and it display properly.

I tried opening the file and the bones seemed to be all crazy and skewed. I was wondering what version of max that file was built in. I wanted to look at the file and see how you created some of your rig to learn from it but I'm afraid the file is broken for me.

Aside from that I saw that you had an "Animation" controller on some of the controls....what is that or where is that from? This is located on the yellow controls on both the position and rotation controllers.

These are the bugged out items:
C_doctor_Bone_LMM_Arm-Bend2_BA
C_doctor_Bone_LMM_Arm-Bend3_BA
C_doctor_Bone_LMM_Arm-Bend4_BA

Thanks
John

IkerCLoN
02-13-2012, 11:30 PM
Hey,

I will take a look as soon as possible. I guess the file was done in MAX 2010. I will check it.

About the 'Animation' controller, it is (surprise!) just a renamed PositionXYZ / EulerXYZ ;) I've built some tools to deal with controllers and naming that way made my life easier (that is something I inherited from my work at Ilion).

shalabology
02-14-2012, 01:18 AM
personally i used to add that curvy stretchy chain to limb as stated in joeleans site , the only drawback for that is when you link that all to spine and try to manipulate any controller in it in curve editor yoy will find things soooo slow as max is recalculating the whole hierarchy while working in curve editor i circumvent this via using scripted transform controller instead of ordinary linking , if any one here has better idea would be great to share !

JokerMartini
02-16-2012, 02:39 PM
Thanks guys for the responses.

Iker - That's great. I'd really appreciate that. Id really like to have a simple sample scene like the one you initially sent , just without those odd bugs it was having in the previous one. So I could look at the file and just learn from it. Thanks

shalabology - Like I mentioned above it may be a bit slow but max is progressively getting faster each version that comes out and aside from that I'm sure there are ways around it to speed it up. All and all it is always good to atleast learn and know how to do it.

IkerCLoN
02-27-2012, 11:32 PM
Sorry for the delay, I've been here abroad for some weeks and haven't had the time to do it. But finally here it is! For MAX 2010 and above.

Just let me add that I coded this solution for the arms some years ago, and it might not be the one I would use now.

JokerMartini
02-28-2012, 04:47 AM
Iker
Hey Iker,
Thank you for the repsonse, I really appreciate the help and time you've set aside to get this file together and working.

As you mentioned above this may not be the way you'd rig now a days, with that thought it mind do you have any notes or things worth making note of that would be useful in ways you find yourself rigging now a days?

JokerMartini
03-05-2012, 05:13 PM
Could someone please help me with this example setup, I just want to add the option of a foot roll either left/right/front back. I've seen this on several rigs and I'd like to know how to do this. Does anyone have any ideas?
I've attached a sample scene is anyone is up for the challenge.

Thanks

Transmuter
03-19-2012, 04:20 PM
JokerMartini: Hi there!

About foot rig - I've been refreshing my memory with these things lately - it boils down to points and how you link them into hierarchies.

I didn't write this with file open but in general, you could try something like this:

Start with sole twist, parent it to tilt in.
Parent tilt in to tilt out.
Parent tilt out to toe tip.
Parent toe tip to heel lift
Parent heel lift to foot sole (master)

Rest is just orient-position constraint / lookat / parentation for foot bones and so on, depending on your needs. Hierarchies could be replaced partially with scripting/expressions or reaction manager too.

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