Reusing rigging information for other characters?

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  10 October 2003
Hey Gabriel,

I'd suggest going to Jason's website and asking this question on his forum. It's got a section just for questions on his DVD. Here is the link:

Jonh and his dog

  12 December 2003
Quote: Originally posted by bentllama
Most of my rigging for bipedal creatures is automatic. The beatuy of MEL is that you can script the usual grunt labour you repeat all the time...

Do you have to adjust the weights for the joints greatly? Or is the automatic weighting near perfect?

In Blender we have a new auto skinning feature. I have yet to use it. Some folks say it works perfectly but itís a new feature so I have not made use of it. The auto skinning process seems to be the way to go if it works ok in an app. Manual is always more reliable. In 3d reliable methods are often slow.
Modeling 3d objects on a 3d Beryl desktop. It's the 21st century, forreal.
  12 December 2003
From what I've experienced the procedural stuff never quite does everything for you to prefection, but it does do a vast majority of work that otherwise would become tedious and boring. There is always a bit of manual tweaking and stuff you need to do in order to get really good results. Anybody that is looking for a one button perfect rig is asking for a bit too much

Procedural muscle rigs are a really good starting point to much better deformation though.

  12 December 2003
hey Jason,

thx for all the postings, even though I use max.

My main problem is getting some of the vertices on the fingers and toes unstuck. I'm guessing this is an amateurs problem, probably nothing any of you get phased by.

cheers man!
  12 December 2003
Quote: Originally posted by nobrain
hey Jason,

My main problem is getting some of the vertices on the fingers and toes unstuck. I'm guessing this is an amateurs problem, probably nothing any of you get phased by.

cheers man!

I think that it is always best to work in stages and save often. I have ruined many a rig while trying to setup a working rig. Most animators use some method of assigning weight groups often before a rig is applied. At that time you can make sure that every part is assigned. You can use automatic weighting if your app allows this. It is so much easier to adjust weights later on.
Modeling 3d objects on a 3d Beryl desktop. It's the 21st century, forreal.

Last edited by JA-forreal : 12 December 2003 at 09:49 PM.
  02 February 2004
Speaking of skinning

On a "naked" character biped (good examples are Cave troll and Gollum), how were seem problem's overcome between the body and head?

Is it practical to have one single Sub-D mesh (head and body and arms/hand, legs/feet all one mesh) over your rig/deformers ?..or is there clever ways to eliminate seem issues in SubD's.

I guess I worry about having a very large and complex subD mesh, some areas being effected by influence objects or as a Wrap (body/arms/legs) , and some areas effected by Clusters and Blendshapes (Face, neck, hands)...however, is this how it is "done" on the whole?

Be great to know, as It'll point me in the right direction to find a solution for my own Character issue

As it is a Naked character, there is no segmenting or clever disguising of seems with bits of clothing/collars etc.

Cheers for any thoughts anyone might have on the topic (and yes, think it is related to the topic of Rigs )
  07 July 2004
Originally Posted by Bennels:
However, the program I use (MAX) does not support reusing skinning and deformations (correct me if I am wrong). It sounds like you are using Maya, so I don't know if it is possible in that program.

I hope that helps

Max does support this actualy and does a great job of it. You can do it in several ways.

if you are using the same rig with similar naming conventions you can save the envelope and weight data out to and file and load it back into the new character. If the vertex count and order has changed and you have weighted the verts with paint weights or weight table then this method will not work.

Another method if every thing is the same is to just copy the Skin modifier off of one character and paste it on another. We do this all the time to update a character mesh in an already animated scene.

Next method is more flexable because the vert count, size and shape of character can change all that you like. In the Tools Panel go to more and open SkinUtilities. Here you can select the original mesh, press bake to mesh, which will create a mesh with all the saved Skin data stored in it. Merge this mesh with the new character. Add Skin to the new character and add the bones to it. Select both the new mesh and the baked mesh and in the SkinUtilities press Import Skin Data From Mesh. Just so you know you can remodel the skin data mesh any way that you want to make it fit the new mesh. the closer that it is the better the result will be. You can also use this tool to extract weights from one side of a character and paste it to the other. You would only need to do this if the character wasn't even close to being a mirror copy. You can just model up the data mesh to fit the other side and then import the data from it.
Paul Neale
  07 July 2004
Originally Posted by jschleifer: Hurm... I'll do what I can to keep them as open as possible.. but as I don't know any other software as well as I know Maya, it will definitely be a "maya focused" discussion.

I wanted to say thanks for all the information Jason. I do allot of rigging in both Max and Maya and your process is great to hear. I do most of my work in the TV series market and some feature work.

As for the discussion being maya focused that is fine. Max and maya as well as others are very similar in what you can do but getting there is often quite different. If you know other packages you can usualy apply this information with a few changes to reflect different tools.

Once again thanks, and thanks for all your great work.
Paul Neale
  07 July 2004
Another method for dealing with high and low res rigs like what Jason was talking about is to use constraints instead of copying animation.

So the animators work with the animation rig that is fast and doesn't require all the extras that you need for skinning a character. The TD's work with an FK rig that has all the extras and they skin to that rig. Merge the skin rig into the animation file and constrain the skin rig to the animation rig. This allows the animator to see both at once and even make small changes to the animation while seeing the final character. This isn't something that you would want to do with a character like gullom as he is so complex but I work mostly on TV series in Max and this is a very fast workflow since we can merge and delete the final character at any point in the animation process. I have a full set of Max scripts that run this and make it seamless to the animators and lighters.

A host of scripts for speeding up rigging is also the answer to all your rigging problems.
Paul Neale
  08 August 2004
does anyone try to use Houdini for character? I heard that the digital assets does the same thing that you guyz want.
  12 December 2004

4 all users of max i would like u to try this bones rigging ....which i have linked to move 4 legs

select any circle or the middle point to move the system .... thanks (download this file)
  01 January 2005
Modelling Gollum

Hi guys,

if I'm posting this in the wrong section, please let me know.

I'm in the process of making of movie called Lord of the Mojo. It's pretty well based on our own storylines but does have some some LotR elements, because we do wanted to get a feel of it, because it's such a great movie.

So we have Gollum, a CG character. Doesn't really show up in our fist part, but will be (far) more significnally in the 2nd/3rd part. So I got myself a modeller already. It's pretty much our first movie, and it's a feature film, so that means I've got a lot to learn, montage, sound, etc. We've got a crew of 4 people and 2 other assistants (camerra and conceptual).

Now for my question... I've got to get him rigged and textured, I've already practised on animation and I think I'll cope with that... But tips for rigging? I don't have that much time to delve into the art of rigging (not to mention texturing). Any tips? Is it hard to find one who would like to rig Gollum for me, or will I have a fair chance of doing it myself?

Getting just a basic feel of Gollum in our first part of LotM is essential, for now we don't have the need or urge to create a great or outstanding result. So would it be reasonable if I would say that if I would got through the Max UR and do some tutorials in the Tutorials index from Max, then I would get a pretty adequete Gollum?

I'm pretty new to the world of 3d, so some detailed feedback would be great...

Thanks in advance for your replies,

  09 September 2006
I'm definitely favoriting this thread .
  10 October 2006
Hacking the FBIK: good or bad idea?

Put your rt_hand_ctr in the air and sine wave like you just dont care!

I wanted to build a reusable rig for a biped for a long time, I bought a few books on the subject such as Inspired 3d, Advanced rigging and deformations and Maya Character animation. In fact, those are very helpful and I recommend them for people who want to learn how to design a character rig. But I'm starting all over again this time and I want to automate the process so I can learn Mel and make myself a puppet rig that is fun to play with.

Some questions:

Is it possible and can you share some tricks on how to improve the pretty cool yet not perfect FBIK? Like is it possible to hack it or to build on top of it and make it a little more custom. Are you guys using it only for mocap animation... is it something that can be expended let say to drive a deformation rig?
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