View Full Version : LW to Messiah: Need some help

12 December 2008, 09:33 AM
Hi all,

"Look into Messiah padawan" someone told me. So here I'm looking at it. I feel a strong force pulling me into Messiah.

I have to admit I quickly browsed through the docs so maybe I missed a couple pointers here and there but here's what I'm trying to find out.

I'm working on a Lightwave project which involves a simple looking cartoon character. The character consists of a subdivided upper body with limbs, a head and eyes (Layer 2). It's lower body (layer 1) is dead weight kinda. No limbs or nothing just a "dead object".

Also the eyes are seperate objects consisting of an eyeball and subdivided eyelids. These have also been put in layer 2.

I used Jonny Gordon's approach to model and setup the eyes and the mouth (as seen in his book Cartoon Character Creation - Modeling & Texturing). In LW I would animate the eyes using bones. I would not use any morphing for them.

Now onto the messiah part. Before loading the model in messiah I removed all the skelegons. In messiah I setup a simple bone deformation to run some quick tests. It all works fine. I understand that I cannot use the weightmaps I created in LW. I studied the MetaEffector tool and kinda understand how it works.

I found out I have to make seperate layers in LW modeler for both eyes to keep them from being distorted by the bones of the upper body. The eyelids and eyeballs will stretch and move during animation. In Lightwave I would use about bones for each eye to animate the eyes and eyelids.

As pointed out I know how to set this up in LightWave but I'm just wondering how this is properly done in messiah. I might be able to use the same technique I use in LW but I have a gut feeling messiah has it's own (better, easier, more complicated (hahaha)?) way of setting this up.

Greetz, Rove.

12 December 2008, 04:47 AM
You might want to post your question(s) here:

It's devoted to Messiah users and they may be able to provide help quicker.

12 December 2008, 12:31 PM
For squash and stretch eyes, nothing beats muscle bones.
Add a bone to the base of the eye (right at the bottom of it on the Y axis). Set this bone's slip to 1 (we don't want this bone to deform anything we're just using it to scale the eye.)
Now add a null as a sibling of the bone we just created, and move it to the top of the eye (on the Y axis). Choose the bone we made and set it to be a muscle bone, and target the null we made.
Now add a null, this is to avoid starting the eye in gimbal lock. Parent it to the muscle bone,
Now make a bone that is the child of our pivot null set it's weight to only affect the eye (a metaeffector with 'all connected' should do the trick, make sure you use a negative version in your other weights to negate all other bones from the eye, thus seperating it from any other bone than this one). Place the pivot null in the middle of the eye and rotate the pivot null so the bone is pointing forward.

Final setup:

Now everything you parent to Eye_Squash_Bone will stretch with it, so this could be for instance eyelid controls, perhaps the brows ++
I even threw in a little armature control to do the squash and stretch, just because it's more fun.
Note that I used weighting here even though there's no other mesh just to show you what I was talking about for seperating the eyes from the rest of the mesh. You could alternatively just have the eyes/lids in a seperate layer and just parent them directly to the pivot null if the lids are seperate objects. It all depends on your objects.

12 December 2008, 07:49 PM
Thnx for the replies. I keep on discovering stuff in Messiah. What a treat it is! The rigging of a character is such a pleasure. I took some time to read the docs some more. I very much like your eye setup Ulven. I'm so used to the way how I modeled and rigged cartoon characters in LightWave I kind have to adapt to Messiah's way of things. I'm not such a techie and Messiah seems to be pretty straightforward. I love it.

12 December 2008, 02:24 AM
Great to hear you're enjoying it. There's a plethora of knowledge in Joe Cosman's CD's as well once you've gone through the manual and have a good grasp on things.

12 December 2008, 10:04 AM
I'll be making a wip thread on for this particular model. Thnx for your help Ulven and Megalodon.

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