View Full Version : First pass muscle tests

02 February 2005, 02:29 PM
Hey folks,

started to put together a simple 'system' for the lack of a better term. I'm writing this for dev purposes but also to implement into some future productions. Basic idea of the structure is to provide a simple and effective means of giving proper deformation via muscle support. Currently the ongoing testing is to get the muscles reacting right, stretching/pulling and giving that realistic feel.

Please note that this is in no way COMPLETLEY anatomical approach, it's more of a cheat around things :)

Video 1: Upper Body Testing

Video 2: Lower Body Testing

Playblast Window: Realtime Test

The fantastic model was supplied to me by Geordie Martinez by the way :)

*edit* muscleTK was used for the initial R&D, application and testing.

02 February 2005, 05:47 AM
Follow up videos added, more deformation tests and range of motion tests on the muscles. Finishing up work on the skin deformations this week, HOPING to have some final skin tests ready by this weekend on a proper envelope.

Arm Setup Playblast (

Arm Xray Render (

Full Body Xray Render (

Right Side Xray Render (

The tests were done with a very quick animation test-bed, once the entire structure is up and running I will be posting more stress tests on the muscles. Hope to be adding in a 'hot spot' function as well to show the areas of maximum stress during a given pose...that will hopefully be coming later in the project.


02 February 2005, 06:02 AM
Hey M.E.L.
Not sure what's going on exactly, but all of your AVI files are transferring over at around 300k/s, but I can't get a solid connection for the .mov files at all. Odd. :shrug:
Anyway, from what I was able to open up, it's looking pretty nice. You seem to have the realistic muscle movements down pretty well for the most part. I'll be interested in seeing how this turns out.

02 February 2005, 02:52 AM
I'm curious, are you going to give it a lot of dynamics too? These are endpoint parenting setups right?

Very interesting to see this now! I'm planning on experimenting with muscle deformation soon myself. I have been keeping an eye on muscleTK for a while now. Other systems are way to expensive and it seems to do the trick.

Are you prgramming or scripting this stuff yourself then?

02 February 2005, 03:04 AM
Looks promising. What software is this for?

02 February 2005, 05:13 AM
Hey folks,

jm: There won't be a ton of dynamics in actual reality...the problem with such setups is the amount of time it takes to get that proper 'feel' and the overcomplication of handing it off to an animator who already has enough on their plate as is!

Currently right now the prototype is running off some simple stuff which is for all intensive purposes a 'stretchy' bone. This has also been rolled into an origin and insertion point system to place the muscles within the body as well :)

MuscleTK is a great addition to the pipeline, my only gripe is just about handing it off to an animator and not being able to fully support it (being compiled without source) all through the pipe. Again I found that with the added skin in MuscleTK and dynamics it became a problem for me to hand-off to an animator and say "hey, you're doing Shot A Scene 7 with the muscles, here's the scene to tweak it up a notch if need be".

This setup was written in MEL as the base for everything, now it has been ported to the API for the origin and insertion point operations (thanks to Paul Thuriot for the help on this :) ). And yeah, this is a one man project right now!:buttrock:

joel: this setup is currently for Maya...once i get it up and running with a functional toolset I will be looking to port it over to XSI (beginning to shift the knowledgebase over to XSI a lot nowadays and feel it wouldn't be bad to give the XSI guys something to tear apart and hand back to me :) ).


02 February 2005, 01:25 AM
Smart move, I was planning on using for personal stuff. I hadn't worried about compatibility actualy. I'm very curious! Just a while back I tried asking my teacher how difficult it would be to script muscles for maya, apparently too difficult since he shuffed me of and wanted to continue his lunch. (yes, I'm pushy)

Good luck!

03 March 2005, 01:15 AM
Alright, quick new update added as I wanted to put the character and setup through a larger range of motion. Right now the muscles are active but fairly stationary, not much additive movement going on so the next pass will involve a lot more jiggle, compression and stretching. I just wanted to see if everything would hold together under an animated test :) The animation itself is taken from a kung fu motion capture file I had kicking about with a kung fu artist doing some moves with a staff.

Kung Fu Muscles (

03 March 2005, 06:20 AM
This looks really good Shawn. The muscles seem to be behaving alright.

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