View Full Version : secondary animation in rigs, what's your take?

05 May 2008, 06:42 AM
Hi there,

I've just been experimenting with various ways to create secondary animation within rigs and I'd like some other opinions because I couldn't really find an approach that I was really happy with. Do you use Dynamics? Scripted Ops, or constraints that are weighted below 1?

Here's what I tried:
This is a series of objects with pose constraints that Have decreasing blend weights. It's effect is pretty basic and more of a lag really. It's interesting how it also works on scale. It doesn't reset very well.

Next I tried a script mentioned by Michael Isner in this ( post. These are scripted operators sort of 'hidden' inside xsi script. With some help from "FrankM" from xsibase I made them into a script with a pick session. SPRING SCRIPT ( (right click and save as)
This works ok but for some reason if you move the 'springy' object at any point it will lose it's springyness (see end of video). Also you can't add them up (like have a spring object attached to another spring object in a chain).
THis one could be reset well but I couldn't see any cache options.

Then I tried Dynamics, and that worked pretty cool but was falkey in a few areas. things that were springy would tend to never settle down (no matter what I set the damping to). Things such as nail and hinge would end up moving out of place. I couldn't seem to add them up as they became pretty unpredictable...

I'd love to hear some other poeples approaches.

05 May 2008, 09:13 AM
Do you know about Helge's tail spring op? I am not shure if it is exactly aiming at your question but it shure is awesome:

05 May 2008, 11:48 AM
Wow, that is a really handy tool. Really intuative too :)
I still had a bit of trouble however as it seems that you cant change the position of the spring objects after they have been created. You can change the scale but not from where they pivol around. Surely there must be some wayto do this...

05 May 2008, 03:39 PM
I am working on something to be released sometime soon. Here is a preview (

The system is not limited to bones. It can be twisted, stretched and can have arbitrary pivots.

05 May 2008, 05:32 AM
That looks great, will you explain how to script this in your tute?
Or are you making a tool to automate this?

05 May 2008, 01:29 PM
That would be a training DVD series that explains how to create dynamic bones chains, among other plugins. It is not a commercial plugin.

The series will focus on using Jscript to develop Scripted Operators and general purpose plugins for rigging and automated animation tasks.

05 May 2008, 01:07 AM
Cool, how far away is it? Sounds good!

06 June 2008, 06:35 AM
It's currently in production.
I will be posting a demo soon.

06 June 2008, 09:38 PM
that video of dynamics bones, is something very easy to acomplish in messiah studio.

to bad that in my studio dont like messiah for that. i am still learning new tricks every day of xsi. =)

06 June 2008, 11:08 PM
Hi Pete,

I just found this video on youtube. This guy made some impressive secondary animation rig using rigid body spring constrains. Maybe this is something you can use?

Secondary animations rig (

I've made a very quick test and it seems you can attatch multiple springy object after each other. Now if you move the springy object, it will still break the spring, BUT if you first set the springy object to passive rigit body before moving it, it wil NOT break the spring. You can switch it back and forth to passive and active during the animation and it will keep the spring.

Hope this helps you a bit.

06 June 2008, 08:31 AM
Hi there Sarford
Thanks, I'm a bit scared of using Dynamics in a rig for some reason. Maybe it's because I've come from max and they were always a bit flakey.
The boobies shocked me a bit i must say :)

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