View Full Version : Alien1 - new rig/animations

03 March 2003, 08:06 PM
Hey guyz I have fixed the deformation problems on the Alien and have added some of mine own tricks in the rig, Ila is taking a look at it as we speek, so it will up on the net soon. I have also done some animations with it, and they will be up soon.

03 March 2003, 09:18 PM
you might wanna change the name of your thread to read something like

Alien1 :new rig/animations

anyway its great to here some animation is getting done (besides cutnpastes)

03 March 2003, 08:12 AM
ila forwarded me your e-mail, but I didn't get the attachment. Could you send it to me also? Thanks.

03 March 2003, 02:50 PM
New rig???

but....and ila? I supposed it's an ila model.....


tell me more...


03 March 2003, 06:37 PM
Hold up cunpaste as soon as it is aproved everybody would get a chance to play with it. I have just emailed it to Kirt so it would not be to long now.

03 March 2003, 10:18 PM
Well, I guess we'll have to wait on Ila's recommendations then. I opened the file in PLE and it looks like some of the nodes aren't supported. :shrug:

*You see Kirt make another $20 deposit to his Maya Complete savings fund* :D

03 March 2003, 11:35 PM
Does that happen in the render only or all the time?

03 March 2003, 12:46 AM
Render only, but I'm also not seeing the rings around the wrist for the IK controls.

03 March 2003, 01:03 AM
There are not any rings around the wrist. There is one oround his waist, and in the chanell box there is a attribute called IKFK 0 is FK and 10 is IK and thats how the IK turns on there would be a box under the palm,select that and u can accesses the IK's.

03 March 2003, 10:53 PM
Hi, sorry for late responde, ok I opened & checked out the new rigged & I think it's good for animating, I don't know about disappearing head because I didn't make any render test but it's no problem after all. it's very easy & practical, you animators should check it out. you can tweak/add/remove things in the rigging in your needs, of course.
I put the original file that Mike has sent to me in new FTP server, the pass is the same for the previuos zipped file & here is the link:

Alternate Aline #1 rigged model (1.5 mb Rared) (

I hope the link works!

03 March 2003, 09:13 AM
Ok...I'm downloading it.....I'll check it soon.

thank you nottoshabi + ila



04 April 2003, 12:12 AM
Kirt I had the same disapering head when I render and the way to fix that, is select the head go in the atribute editor and under render stats turn all the options on cast shadow, recive shadows,etc. I have just render this for the first time, I will post my render soon.

04 April 2003, 06:25 PM
Hey guyz I have tweeked the deformations on the model a little, so I think you should update.

04 April 2003, 06:46 PM
on your link, why did you put ftp://ftp....

shouldn't it be an http?

I got a "page cannot be displayed" so I may have to go have a looksie at the host....

04 April 2003, 04:42 AM
unLevel is right, the 3x ftp is username and password protected so you need a direct http link, here it is:

(right click and save target as)


04 April 2003, 05:04 PM
thanks brad!

though it's changed, now, to a new host...hehe...

05 May 2003, 04:26 PM
nottoshabi + ILA : hello, I'm working on your rigging...

- wrist : when I rotate the box inside the hand the wrist rotates, but it twists the mesh of the arm. I think it doesn't influence the forward arm. Is it right?

- finger mixer : can u add a kind on Mixer over the hands to manage the fingers movements? It should be attached to the wrist.
what do you think about this idea? I use it in my rig. mixer.gif

I'll continue to examine the rigging....
Thank you


05 May 2003, 05:39 PM
Hey cut.

The reason I think you are geting the funky deformations on the wrist is because you are viwing it in the low rez the low rez is just on with default settings. The high rez is were the real deformations are. The finger movements have a F curve on the right and left side of the model thats were all your finger movements are, you have finger spreads and curls. The reason I like to use that perticular way is that it keeps the graph editor cleaner. But if you like the way you demonstrated better I could change it, plus you have a rig that I have updated all ready were it deforms better, I have posted that I have updated the rig a while. Just tell me everything that you like to change and I will make the changes and give it to you.

Thanks for the feed back.:bounce:

05 May 2003, 06:16 PM

WRIST:are you sure about the wrist torsion ? I've try to rotate the wrist with the high poly model and the wrist+forward arm seem to twist strange.....
can you verify please? maybe I wrong something...

FINGER: ooooh....I've accidentally hide the splines....good....they make what I want. thanks

bye Cut

05 May 2003, 06:47 PM
Well if thats the case then give me your email adress and I will mail you the one that I have. That I have tweeked the deformations on it.

05 May 2003, 12:56 PM
Hello man....

in order to manage the "tongue" ...I've noticed a "Tong" channel in the Neck_Control it right?

I probably need more control of the it possible?

thank you


05 May 2003, 05:40 PM
Sure no problem anything ellse?

05 May 2003, 08:06 AM
not at the moment.....


05 May 2003, 05:12 PM
Hey Cut I was wondering about the tong control, if there are no CU of the mouth were you will need to see the tong in action it will make no reason for extra controls in the tong, not that I dont want to do them. They will be pointless if wee wont be abel to see it.

05 May 2003, 09:36 AM
I'm not sure to understand your doubts....

.. during animation Alien#1 make several facial expressions....and during these expressions the tongue is really visible and I need to animate it.
The unique tongue control I've found allow me to bend up and down the tongue, but not to bend "right-left" or "forward-behind"
or other grow up the facial expression power.

This is what I want to say wiht the previous message :)

What do you think about? I hope it is possible to add these controls....

thank you


05 May 2003, 09:44 AM
and....what do u think about to put finger controllers near the hands?
and make that they move with the hands ?
(in order to have them always near the hands)

Is it possible?


05 May 2003, 11:00 AM
Hello men,

here the animation test03 to try Nottoshabi Rig and Fist Cockpit location.

I'm not proud of this animation, but the time is a tyrant..

divx bla bla

Test03 (3,7 mega) (


:wip: :wip:

p.s. Old animation tests are here : Test01 (1 mega) ( and Test02 (1,3 mega) ( (with ILA rigging setup)

05 May 2003, 07:02 PM
Ok Cut I see what you mean about the tong. Now do you want the tong to move right and left up and down, would you like it to strech to, or not. I will make all the changes to it but you have to tell me exactly what you want.

Now about the fingers: I have to run some tests because with the hands switching between ik and fk I dont want the finger control to dissapear on you.

Everything else is ok with it?

05 May 2003, 07:53 AM
hi...well....i think the tongue has to move right and left.....and it has to exit out from the mouth and enter in the mouth (a kind of forward (and backward) stretching)

is it possible?

p.s. I remember to you the wrist + forward arm problem......


05 May 2003, 12:28 PM
:D LOL! hey CUT, that was very cool ... :beer:

05 May 2003, 12:37 PM
GH gh

thanks ILA!


06 June 2003, 07:04 AM
hey guys Id love a chance to do some animation tests with alien #1.. any chance of getting the model and maybe a story board?
Id love to be involved..I was an animator on sitting ducks, sorry the only video i found was on a japanese site.... its real popular over there... I dont know if youv ever heard of it... but none the less i can animate fairly well, and id love a chance to brush up on my maya skills and help out with the short film at the same time...

06 June 2003, 08:16 AM
give it a shot,...& welcome! :)

06 June 2003, 08:17 PM
Hey Pax welcome. I'm still working on the Alien, it should be done by the end of this week. I got all the modifications that Cut asked for, I'm working an the deformations at the moment. I will post as soon as I finish.

06 June 2003, 12:32 AM
hahah PaxtonGerrish yes and ive seen sitting ducks that show is a classic !

06 June 2003, 07:55 AM
PaxtonGerrish : hello!! Yes....I know sitting's on TV at the moment in is good!

About the Alien#1.....I've already made some test.....I hope we can collaborate to improve the rigging setup for the characters!

Ask me all your doubts !!


:bounce: yesss ...another animator!!

06 June 2003, 03:36 AM
thanks guys:cool: , yea sitting ducks was a blast..

im moving to Atlanta this weekend, so im really buisy, but once im there any free time i have il be spending doing some animation tests.. or email me when you finish the alien one rig, :D


06 June 2003, 05:01 AM
i just got some old sitting ducks clips i did onto a freinds ftp site if your interested in checkin them out

heres the link:


06 June 2003, 05:45 AM
well actually ... I lied.... this is the link

06 June 2003, 01:50 AM
here another test with nottoshabi rigging ver 0.2

Test04 - nottoshabi ver.0.2 (666 k) (

no time to spent in this period....ach



06 June 2003, 02:17 AM
Neat to see him move. There's some pass through with the left arm and the body. Why not have it come up and also grasp the lightsaber in a two-handed style?


06 June 2003, 02:20 AM

essentially because it's a test to examine the rigging made by nottoshabi... :)

anyway, I'll emprove it asap! :)

thank you


06 June 2003, 05:47 AM
Question ... if it's a test of the rig, how come most of the animation is in the facial morphs set up by Ila?

I think a better test would be to set up a stationary camera and have the character do more routine things (pick up an object, turn around, bend over, jump, etc.). Also, you should do it all against a neutral color background. The black is too extreme and distracts from the movement. I can't really see anything off of this latest animation other than the arm problem already mentioned.

The previous test (inside fist's cockpit) reveals a problem with the deformation of the alien's hands that needs to be corrected. Make sure you take a look at Stahlberg's tutorial on joint deformations ( I think this is a good way to solve many of these bend problems.

06 June 2003, 08:10 AM

I've done this animation for fun...maybe I've lost the target .....

ok...good idea to make test animation as you mention before.
About the rig...nottoshabiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii :surprised

c u soon


06 June 2003, 07:45 PM
Thanks for the replies.


06 June 2003, 06:04 PM
Kirt I knew about Stalbergs process, but the reason I did not use it form the beginning, because it will triple the weight of the file the model is already at 30 megs. The deformation processes that I used are the default Maya deformations with a lot of tweaking.
With Stalbergs process the model will deform right but it will be useless, because it will be impossible to move or render. If we have to throw it in a scene that have animations and other characters and an environment, I think it will create a problem. I was hoping we can get away with some stuff with camera angles and editing, if not we will need to take a look at the original mesh for better deformations.

07 July 2003, 01:50 AM
Ok I have been going over the Alien. And this is what I think would help the deformations. The main problems are at the waist area and the crotch. I think if we take out the pocket and the belt and put them in with textures would get us better deformations. Also the legs are to short for his feet when he walks, he kind of kicks him self in the but. I would also recommend converting the hi rez to subDís instead of polies.
From were we stand thatís the best deformations we will get out of the Alien. If we go a different way of deformations I think the model will be very heavy to work with witch might give us problems later on down the line.

Also if there models that are ready for rigging please let me know.

07 July 2003, 05:53 AM
Ila has mentioned to me before the possibility of me modeling the alien #1 with some different geometry. I would be willing to model another one or even modify the current mesh. Ila and Kirt if you are out there, gimme some feedback on this.


07 July 2003, 08:27 AM
Yes of course, It would get better if you touch it up with your talent, or if you like, re-done it from scratch. :)
anyway I send you the mesh in FBX format. (if you can't import the mesh from the maya's mb)

07 July 2003, 04:41 PM
Go ahead and send an FBX of the mesh since going back and forth will loose some of the elements of the rigging in Maya.


08 August 2003, 03:00 AM
helooo everybody..
sorry I dissapeared right after introducing myself.. I guess im kinda sneaky like that..
during my lunch-break i was playing around with the alien 1 rig, and i think the rig should probably be changed ..
correct me if im wrong but a character like this should probably be bound in low rez with a poly smooth on top.. also the foot controls need to rotate from the heel, or atleast the ankle..he needs hips... (as in have the root near his waist and have a bone or two extend down from that) .. and he needs more controlls in his torso. he also needs individual shoulder controls. I couldnt find any blendshapes but maybe i missed em.. Im pretty sure ila modeled them.. (stops to breath)..... but i dont see em
did i download the wrong rig i wonder?

oh and blue couger, are you still going to edit the model? I personally dont think theres a serious problem with the big feet, just something for the animator to work around..

08 August 2003, 03:01 AM
oh yea heres the test i did
its rough and mostly liniar keyframes.. and i was having to key on nearly every frame because the polevectors seem to wig out prety bad

make sure you put media player on loop.. as its a cycle..

08 August 2003, 09:23 PM
Hey Pax thats nice, I like the run. I had problems with skinning the waist, because the pocket is modeled in the mesh it gave me a lot of problems with flexabilaty in the waist area. I did not try the low rez under the hy rez method yet. But I dont thinck it will change since the pocket acts like a plate, its quite stiff. But for the other things like fixing the rig thats not a problem at all, I will gladly fix that. If you see anything else wrong with it let me know.

OK! :thumbsup:

Nice run :D

P.S. Go to Window/Animation Editor/Blend Shapes they should be there.

08 August 2003, 11:25 PM
hahaha! very funny Pax :) where are the eyes?

08 August 2003, 02:06 PM
I like the expressiveness of the jog you have him doing. Actually the mesh I was going to primarily mess with was the face but if its all good to go roll with it man. I can always model a seperate one for close-ups to the face if necessary. Ila doesn't think enough of the great work he did and wanted me to rework already great mesh. Lets see more stuff!


08 August 2003, 03:27 PM
hey ken,
I guess you didnt notice that there is absolutly no hip or torso movement.. but thanks for the compliments :D
If you want to tweak the face, go fer it.. re rigging the head would be no problem.. however it does mean someoned going to have to do some new blendshapes..

I was also thinking about how we animators are going to show any emotion in those eyes without brows or any controls. for the .... um ... Eye hole flaps....

maybe we could do the ol magical floating brow?

Kirt? any ideas?


hey notoshabby or cutn paste have you guys started doing anything from the story board... do you want to do a little test directly from the intro sequence? to get a feel for it all.? only with alien 1 of course.. I could render it here on the farm even...
tell me what you think..
ps.. i re rigged alien 1 and posted on the main page.. tell me what u think if you get time.

08 August 2003, 06:36 PM
Yeah, I have one idea ...

Deform the shape of the eyes to convey the idea of eyebrows where there are none. By squashing and stretching the eye and geometry surrounding it, you can put quite a bit of expression on the character's face.

Here's a couple of examples from the storyboards that illustrate what I mean.

Also, resizing the iris and cornea of the eyes will help with some expressions (such as shock, surprise, nausea).

08 August 2003, 02:44 AM
Awsome... Il mess around with some deformers on the eyes this weekend.. (something i havent yet used in maya), but i assume there prety much the same as the FFDs in max.. Im also hoping to do some tests loosly based on the Intro story board.. Is there any way i can get fists ship model ?
I noticed some audio files in yourweb archive.. Are the aliens going to speak, please say they speak

cheers and beers,

08 August 2003, 04:39 AM
Hye Pax great idea lets do some story board action. Let Kirk pick what ever he wants to see animated and lets do it I'm totaly psyched about it. :scream:

08 August 2003, 07:52 AM
paxton - Yes, the aliens speak. However, they don't speak any recognizable language. I'm thinking of writing down a few 'most excellent' phrases muttered from my 2 year old son and converting these into the alien's dialog. :D

We have the ship about 80% complete, and models for the characters that should be good enough to put together roughs for the opening sequence. I think you guys should go for it and we'll fill in the details later. Even if you're animating in 3DS it'll be good to break down the shots as an animatic to see how everything flows and if any changes are needed.

Once we get this sequence done, some of the music and sound fX guys will have something to play with for awhile.

08 August 2003, 09:00 PM
Kirk would you like us to start with 2 aliens or just one of them?

08 August 2003, 12:52 AM
I think you should use both and follow the storyboards.

09 September 2003, 09:44 PM
Sure great, but I only have the 1st Alien in my posetion, so I will need the second and the cockpit.

09 September 2003, 10:42 PM
here my animation test relating this storyboard pic. I use the
KIRT sketch material to scale the cockpit relating the Alien.

Test05 - Storyboard_01 (938 k) (

I've some problems with the heaviness of the NOTTOSHABI rig and the confusion of the FIST cockpit (maybe due to the fbx it?).
I know that FIST and NOTTOSHABI don't know the fantastic minds of KIRT , but I would like to speak about some problems that fly in my mind.

About the rigging: I'm not sure that the full setup is necessary for Alien#1, I think it depends from the storyboard. I dunno what he has to do during the movie, but (for example) if he has only drive the ship, the current setup is unnecessary.
I hope you understand what I is similar when I have to animate a character walk and the storyboard says that the camera never shows his legs: I don't animate them !!
Other: I've some diffucult with the spine controllers....for me, they are few usable...they allow little rotations with a lot of side-effect on the other part of the body. In the cockpit, for example, I've to parent the hand controllers to the steering wheel to obtain realistic movements, but when I try to move the spine the arms jump and twist themselves.

In the end, I think that some controllers for the forehead part is necessary to grow up the expressiveness of the character, but it is my opinion.

About the cockpit :
The FBX file that fist sent me had been converted and imported in Maya, but the scale and the pivots are almost everytime not aligned with the right axis of the animation. We have to find quickly a safe procedure to setup the file coming from Max (or other).
There are, also, a lot of separate suggestion is to organize them in logical subdivisions and group or weld them in macro objects. Only the significative objects have to be isolated.

For the animation, I ignored the behaviour of the cockpit commands, levers and buttons. So, I suppose that it has a moving seat and I place the pivot of the steering wheel using my fantasy :).

That's all folks, I hope you suggest me a lot of c&c.

T H I S________P R O J E C T S_______R U L E Z


09 September 2003, 10:50 PM
hey cut, i'm downloading the animation right now, i'll talk about that later.

on the cockpit: i fully understand your concerns, but you have to understand that the spaceship is still in progress. i don't know what kirt want to do with it through the course of the story because we don't have complete storyboards, so there might be some unforseeable changes in the future, keeping the objects seperate but well organized makes that process a lot easier (or at all possible)

i'm sure for the final animation your job will be much easier :beer:

09 September 2003, 10:54 PM
yuo're right..... I want only manifest my minds :)

If all everybody know the right way, well... great! :)'s really funny open your cokpit file! explosion of objects!! BUMMMMMMMMMMMM


you rock, man


09 September 2003, 11:54 PM
Wooooooooow.....magic night. I've retrieved an old arms test.

Here, for you men:

Test 06 (638k) (


09 September 2003, 01:07 AM
cutnpaste - I believe that Paxton is working on fixing a lot of the rig problems with the alien and trying to add some deformers to the face so we can get more expression out of the eyes.

You're right that for most of the film the legs will not need to be animated on Alien #1. He doesn't even have a walking scene so don't worry too much about the leg problems. I want to concentrate on his upper body and facial expressions. That's what is going to sell this character to the audience.

The seats in the ship should probably stay stationary. In your animation the seat moves but the body isn't moving with it. As fist stated, we're still working on the ship so all the animation controls will be included when we get to a final version.

One other thing I noticed though ... the exterior view into the cockpit is something we'll want to avoid. The widow will have a dark reflective glass on it so it won't make sense that we can see through it sometimes, but other times we can't. I'd rather you just hide half of the windshield and shoot the interior scenes as if the camera was inside.

You know, like how Hollywood would shoot interior shots of people riding in the back seats of cars. They would cut the car in half and frame the scene so you only saw the interior parts and the actors.

09 September 2003, 09:48 AM
i also thought this one was pretty cool:

just a suggestion :)

09 September 2003, 09:56 AM
Can someone c&c my animations pleasE!! :)

I need it to learn! gh


I mean.....more funny, more jumping, more realistic, more alcoholic, or ......... :)

p.s. Only positive and kindly c&c pleaseeeeeee :D

09 September 2003, 12:26 AM
here another animation relating the Storyboard

Test 07 (889k) - xvid compressor (

It was made with nottoshabi setup, tell me what do you think about it. It was hard because it has the raspberry (pprrrrrrrrr) and the fat laugh.....

Kirt : the camera is fake-inside the ship, but it doesn't move with the nacelle. Do you think it should be move with it?

Ok, now, I will examine the beta version of the setup by PaxtonGerrish, just to get confidence! :)

09 September 2003, 11:44 AM
wow you're working hard these days cutnpaste :)

as far as my judgement goes it looks very good. btw i've noticed that the hands deform very bad on this rig, that should be fixed as they can be seen very close-up.

09 September 2003, 12:19 PM
Thank you Fist,

I hope that XVid compressor is not a problem for all everybody, because DivX installs the Gator application too, that is a famous spyware.
If I try to remove the Gator, Divx cannot permit me to encode....bahhhhhhhhhhh....


09 September 2003, 01:04 PM
I hope that XVid compressor is not a problem for all everybody
you guessed right!

well, why not to try QuickTime Mov Soronson3 compression? atleast everybody can make/play it freely. Let's try to find/make some standards in every aspect of this projects, before we migrate to the new homesite.

09 September 2003, 01:11 PM
Yes.......quicktime is another one solution......

I choosed XVid 'cause it is really powerfull....the file is more small than using DivX (900k against 1200kb)


09 September 2003, 01:16 PM
i'm ok with xvid, i think it's one of the best encoders out there and i definitely prefer it to divx... but it's not popular enough to be used on the website once it goes online, that's true.

i think quicktime is the way to go, the only format that's even more compatible is mpeg-1, but we don't want to use that right ;)

09 September 2003, 06:59 PM
Hey Cut great work, I love the animation. I have just one thing to say. The way he moves the steering device, its to much it looks like he is swerveing side to side. That should be a lot more subtle.

P.S. If you guys decide to use my set up I will rework those deformations on the model.

11 November 2003, 09:16 AM
hey cut good start on the animation!

I see a couple issues but I would like to see it in quicktime so i can scrub through the anim frame by frame.

This div-x thing makes critiqueing hard :D

11 November 2003, 09:23 AM
Thanks Sheep!!

ehehe do you have a big lens to examine the animations lacks? :)

sorry, no time to produce animations will be in mov, ok?


11 November 2003, 09:29 AM
heh ok :)

One quick crit:

you are blinking the eyes all together at the same time , doing that gives the mechanical shutter feeling.

Try to alternate blinks , they can all close at the same time but make the inbetween frames one eye %50 closed the other %70 the other %20 , etc.

it'll look more organic.

Also hold the closed position for two frames or three right now they snap right back up.

hope this helps.

11 November 2003, 09:34 AM
r u sure?

You mean that all the 3 eyes must be closed at the same frame, but with different timing. So, their animations must start at different time, is it right?

I think this is not "natural" when the differences became too big (like 20% 50% and 70%)....maybe a little difference....

I'll check it asap

thanks for your c&c


11 November 2003, 09:38 AM
they dont necessarily need to close at the same frame either.

just play with different values , its the inbetween frames that counts.

good luck. And i'll post a test showing what i mean when i get a hold of that model.

11 November 2003, 09:53 AM

02 February 2004, 02:13 PM
Just to keep alive this thread.

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