View Full Version : Mo-cap Rigs

05 May 2003, 09:45 PM
Hey all,

I'm getting ready to rig a character that will be animated 95% with motion capture data using Vicon 8+. Problem is I'm not to familiar with the should and shouldn'ts.

I've rigged lots of characters, I use IK/FK blending, constraints, spline IK,... But is all that truely necessary on a mo-cap rig. I can see how some of it would work well and other parts would foul things up.

So if anyone can pass on their experiences or knowledge, I'd be very greatful.



05 May 2003, 12:30 AM
im sorry i cant really help you as i havent worked with motioncapture before. all i can say is try trial and error. i realise it must be expensive to do this so before you or whoever gets suited up, maybe look around on the web for some sample motion capture files that you can practice with. good luck to you

05 May 2003, 06:18 AM
hey BoomRat,

iv'e just finished a mocap session and am now at the state of cleaning the data. It was also my first time doing mocap and the guys used motionBuilder for the tranfering of the data. Rigging the character was basicaly using the same amount of joints as the desired one from Motionbuilder. (For more info on the joint names and stuff for motionbuilder visit the site or for tutorials(

basicaly during the session we just used the bones and no rigging! I think its the simplest solution but Hey i<m new at this!

After the bones were animated, a rig was developped over the animated bones (the mocap) to allow us to add some secoundary animations as well as corrections.

hope it works out for you and hope I helped you out!

On a personnal note I hate mocap. No fun. More work and going over stuff than anything else. It comes out to the same work time as key animating. And, at the end it just looks TOO REALISTIC, no emotions. I vote for key animation!!! But, heck, I was brought up as a character animator, making me biased...

later jack

05 May 2003, 11:57 PM
Thanks Jack,

The info does help a bit. The animation is going to be run through motion builder and this will give me the stuff I need.


05 May 2003, 12:01 PM
Watch for correct rotation orders on the joints, especially hips, elbows and wrists. A bad setup will result in joints getting crazy rotations and twisting the mesh skinned to them.

Filmbox supports intermediate twist joints for the limbs. So you can add one between the shoulders + elbows, one between elbows and wrists etc. This can be useful for skinning, depending on your workflow.

The Filmbox guy needs a mesh to do his stuff. Although fbx supports many skinning methods, I'd still suggest building a lowres segmented proxy and simply parent the geometry to the appropriate joints. Faster, easier, most of the times even better.

Other things about the rig... well, I have yet to do it, but the obvious method is to have at least two separate skeletons. One is driven by the mocap, one is driven by manual keyframe animation. The latter needs all the IK/FK controls. Now how you could blend between the two is above me right now... but it should be possible to do it somehow.

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