Texture rigging like Pocoyo. Question about in betweens

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  06 June 2013
Texture rigging like Pocoyo. Question about in betweens

If you haven't seen the 3D cartoon series Pocoyo, take a brief moment and watch a video or two on youtube, then come back to this post.

I (along with a friend) am working on a rig similar to this character. I'd like to create texture maps for the eyes and mouth. However I am running into a problem with the inbetweens. For testing purposes, I created a ball with 3 basic color attributes (red, yellow, blue).

(NOTE: If you don't want to read my test example, skip to the word "SO")

These attributes were hooked to an image sequence so when the value of red is 1, the texture is red, when the value of yellow is 1 the texture is yellow, etc. Then I wrote an expression (via a series of if else statements) for the inbetweens. So if red == 1 and yellow == 1, then the texture is orange, and so forth for green and purple. If red, yellow and blue are all 1 or all 0, then the color is white.

So this way, I only had 3 attributes to animate, yet I could have all of the inbetweens (orange, green, purple).

This works alright for very basic inbetweens, but I'm not sure if it would work if the inbetweens are a sequence themselves. If-else expressions are also very limiting. Say I wanted to add more textures into this scheme (ie: yellowish orange, blueish green, etc.) That would mean I'd have to change the entire expression.

*** SO ***

Basically here's what I want. I want to rig my character in a way where I only have to animate key expressions, and Maya handles the inbetweens. So I key angry face then key happy face, and Maya figures out to do an expression (or something) in betweening between angry and happy.

What I don't want is a series of "inbetween" attributes that I have to key and animate.

When you see the rig, I want it to have image sequences for each key expression that can all be animated. And like I said, Maya handles the in betweens.

This is automatic with geometry, but can you help me create a way to do it with textures? I can draw all the inbetweens, but what is an efficient way to hook them up? Thanks.

- Scott
  06 June 2013
If you wanted to have in-betweens for this method, you would have to make additional textures. The process of going between, say angry and happy, wouldn't be too hard to automate.

However, the work load for creating the textures would become quite large because you have to create in-between textures for every possible combination of emotions. Say you have 8 expressions and you want one frame for an in-between. This means you have to create 64 new textures to accommodate every possible combination. And that is only for one additional frame to transition from one emotion from the next. Say you want 3 frames of in-between. Now you are looking at 192 new textures.

Honestly, I don't think the pay-off is worth it. In the case of Pocoyo, it looks like they don't use any in-betweens.

I hope my math isn't wrong, I often times can't math.
  06 June 2013
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