View Full Version : Rope or Pony Tail Rig

05 May 2006, 09:52 PM
Hey guyz

Just wondering if any of can suggest a rig for ponytail i have on my character. thanx :)

05 May 2006, 11:16 AM
Umm, suggest a rig? Not sure what you mean by that. If you mean which method to use for rigging, I guess it depends on your needs.

You can setup just a standard FK chain, or maybe something with automatic overlap using soft bodies, or maya hair... If you're using maya of course!?!?!

05 May 2006, 12:18 PM
Depends on how much movement you want on the braid of hair.
The tighter the hair bend (relates to the hair strand's thickness) would relate to the number of bone objects you would use in your bone chain for the braid of hair: greater flexibility to bend results in greater number of bone objects within the bone chain.

One could then skin (3dsmax talk) the braid of hair to the bone chain then perhaps add in some morph targets to the mesh (the hair braid) to further refine the look of the braid at extreme poses (ease into view based on extreme bone rotations). Heck you can even create custom texture/specular maps to take on the appearance of the hair braid at extreme poses.

This would offer you a smaller load on the processor than referring to the use of a hair plugin, of course hair plugins take care of a lot of features that would overload your time and processor if done with the standard toolset of your 3D application - case is there are cheats one can refer to in order to speed up the animation process while not loosing much feature to the audience.

Ultimate question to ask when considering how complex an object will be rigged is:
1) how close to the camera will the object be in motion?
2) how many frames are you going to include in the animation sequence: fast/slow motion?
3) if the hair braid will silhouette to the background, then the background itself will reveal if the finer details of a hair braid will be noticed (in the rendered frames) by the camera.
4) what's your rendered frame's resolution ?

05 May 2006, 05:00 PM
Fk for the most part, its simple and effective. Also this can be a base to be driven dynamically, with ik, spline ik etc. Try it out with just plain fk to start, if you need more holla!


05 May 2006, 07:27 PM
thanx guyz,

by the way im using MAYA... the ponytail's movement will be quite strainds of polygon in the general shape of a ponytail comming out the back of the cap. I've tried a spline IK tutorial...(the only one i can find) and it isn't too needless to say it doesn't work the way it suppose to when i'm done with it. So i'm thinking of just using FK with some clusters for the geometry for anything further i need to do. Wut do u guyz think? I"m guessing since i'll be using FK i've gotta remodel the ponytail straight out (like arms) before i bind....

05 May 2006, 09:36 PM
I've added a photo just for details and so that u guyz know wut i'm talking about. :)

05 May 2006, 07:46 AM
You don't have to remodel the hair, just chuck in some joints. FK is the simplest way to go, and the fastest to animate in my opinion. If you're wanting to be fancy you could use a soft body so that the movement is automatic, but it can be more of a problem than it's worth overall.

05 May 2006, 12:34 PM
I'm all for the FK method but I think that I would also want to have a dynamic curve in there with joints following it and then have an FK system as well and blend from one to the other. All depends on how much animation you are having to do.

Here is a similar set up done in Max, I can't find my Maya one and dont' have time to recreate it for you.

This one is using a spline or curve in Maya.

This is using cloth as the dynamic object that drives helpers/locators that then drive bones. The bones are in there because this was for game export.

05 May 2006, 12:58 PM
Paul, would you be kind enough to explain how you did the dynamic bone and the cloth hair? Well, the dynamic bone I have no idea how you did it, but for the cloth hair, here is what I think:

You crate a cloth object, and then constraint the dummies to the surface of the cloth. Then create stretchy bone from one dummy to another, am I correct? Or you just us the dummies as a bone object?

The result is amazing! It gives the hair a lot of volume and look very natural.

05 May 2006, 05:11 PM
Cloth dynamic spline, driving helpers that rest along it - that in turn drive bones. Also you could have a list controllers to break away into fk mode. Or another blend chain to blend between the two. How do you stop bunching of the chain. Hmm well i guess it doesnt matter as its pointing down - and for crazy moves blend to fk.

Ah yes, could use lengthInterp to do a length check, script controller.. yes yes. Seems ok on smallish chains.


05 May 2006, 08:14 PM
thanx for the responses guyz...well with the limited time i have left to animate, I'm gonna go with VYNTAX's suggestions and just go straight FK...although the cloth and dynamic curves seem very interesting it will probably cause more issues than just animating with FK. Thank you guyz again. Well off to animate...wait i gotta weight first...crap!

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