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Old 08-13-2013, 06:32 PM   #1
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Gene Carlo Magtoto
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Free Joint-Based Rigged Head with my SIGRAPH Presentation

Hi guys,

There was some feedback during my SIGGRAPH presentation that there's not much character animation stuff to tinker with in C4D, so I said I'd have a rigged head available once the livestreams are archived.

Well, the vids from MAXON's booth last SIGGRAPH are now up.
My presentation and download link for the rig are on:
http://www.cineversity.com/vidplayt...nd_gene_magtoto
(no need to register to download the file)



I also made a quickstart guide of sorts for the rig here:
https://vimeo.com/72254716

Feel free to take the rig apart. Just keep in mind that this rig was designed for generalists, so a bit of efficiency is sacrificed to gain accessibility and modularity.


Enjoy!
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:02 PM   #2
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Thanks very much !
It's always nice to see how other people approach rigs, no doubt I will get some new ideas.

I must say the quality & variety of Cinema 4D presentations this year has been really impressive.
Talks on sculpting, character animations, rendering techniques, effects work, pre-vis etc. It's really good to get a range of insights into non motion graphics stuff (no disrespect at all to the MG artists, it's just MG is SO well covered in Cinema 4D and its about the only thing I never do).
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:36 PM   #3
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Nice presentation Gene!
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:11 PM   #4
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Thanks for some great tips ! The FK/IK using posemorph is a very smart one.

It's nice to see some Character Animation done in C4D. Your facial control rig looks sick too.
 
Old 08-14-2013, 11:30 PM   #5
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Thank you very much for your c4d-scene and the cool tips for animating characters.
Very impressive Rigs from you, for the game "Remember Me". You said, there was a
mix using hand animated Rigs and mo-cap animations. Is that true for the face
animations too, or only body animations ?
 
Old 08-15-2013, 12:22 AM   #6
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Gene Carlo Magtoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesignAmyte
Thank you very much for your c4d-scene and the cool tips for animating characters.
Very impressive Rigs from you, for the game "Remember Me". You said, there was a
mix using hand animated Rigs and mo-cap animations. Is that true for the face
animations too, or only body animations ?


Aye, face animations were a mix of both as well. For Nilin and the characters in the commercial, we had facial performance capture from Cubic Motion. We did probably 5-10% tweaking afterwards to match what our director wanted (e.g. smile too big, doesn't look at camera, eyebrows too angry, etc.) We only had budget for one solve per character, so it was imperative that the rigs can be hand-animated for sudden changes.

For the newscaster, we were given data from an audio clip, just so we didn't have to worry about timing. Then I did prolly 80% tweaking for the final version. (we were still waiting for final approval with the character model, so I had to do rush this during the last few weeks.)

The child version of Nilin I 100% hand-animated the face, since she only had subtle expressions, no dialogue.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:00 AM   #7
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Ah ok. I guessed it. Now i want to say: awesome I´ve done by myself some character animations for a shooter-game. But only body animations with mo-cap. Hand driven animations & adjustments with the motion-layer system. Works pretty well.

The only thing, what bothered me, was retargeting one skeleton animation to an another skeleton that was proportional different (high, male - female, etc.). I managed it somehow. I think with some constrains. The problem in my case were the footsteps. If i get a tall person (bigger skeleton than the source) so his footsteps get under the ground and were not fixed on the ground, when the person is idle, f.e.

Face animation is a higher level & a hard task, imho. For the facial animation, did you adapt some parts of the face rig from the mo-cap data, or did you build your own different face rig?

Thanks again for this inside-view of your work
 
Old 08-15-2013, 10:44 AM   #8
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Yeah, transferring mocap data to different-sized characters isn't easy in C4D right now. The Retarget Tag sort of works, but it tends to drag some joints too far so the proportions could break.
What I try to do is clamp the legs using a separate IK skeleton, though it's not perfect.


I worked with shape morphs before (Halo4 Terminal videos) but while the poses look right, transitioning between poses looked off. Plus if you needed to change the character's face, most if not all poses had to be redone. At least with joints it was an easier job for me (Weighting joints on the face is still tougher than on the body, especially around the mouth. But changing shape morphs takes a lot more time no matter your skill level. And we were really pressed for time.)

The models they gave us had some joints on the face (it is from a game-engine model after all) so I tried to use as many of them as possible. Had to overhaul the hierarchy though. Each logical part of the face had to be a separate hierarchy so PoseMorphs were easier to manage.
Also, I had to re-weight all but one head because the geometry wasn't suitable for SubD smoothing. They were all low-rez, and geometry around the lips and inside the mouth were terribly triangulated. Leo had to export higher-level meshes from ZBrush models before we could start working with them. (mouth innards were still terrible, had to retopo it in C4D.)


Cubic Motion sent us videos of different expressions that they wanted the rig to be able to do, so I built the controllers to accommodate for what they wanted. What we sent them was a finished head rig(C4D file), and the data they returned were actually keyframed to the slider controls I set up. They actually adjusted their workflow so they can solve for C4D files (They're awesome. =P ) We didn't need any re-targeting for the face, just direct adjustments to the controllers if needed.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:55 PM   #9
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I get always the advice from the game developers, to use as much as possible joints instead of morphs. Guess morphs costs much performance. In your case, as you said, it has more benefits to make changes etc.

The weight-painting inside the face region must be really tough The results you shown, are well worth ! If you have any more projects in the future, about characters and so on, it would be great to see them
 
Old 08-16-2013, 01:22 PM   #10
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Many thanks - always helpful to see how people do things.
 
Old 08-16-2013, 01:22 PM   #11
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Hey Gene, I've been trying to setup a FK to IK skeleton rig with a posemorph tag as you quickly mentionned in the video, but I can't really sort the IK part to...

I did 3 simple legs, one as the reference with the posemorph tag, with only FK to simulated the mocap pose, and one with a simple IK solver.

It kind of works for FK blending, after messing with priorities, but for IK I get strange behaviours.

Would it be possible for you to share the simple example you demoed at siggraph on the maxon booth ?
 
Old 08-16-2013, 10:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesignAmyte
I get always the advice from the game developers, to use as much as possible joints instead of morphs. Guess morphs costs much performance. In your case, as you said, it has more benefits to make changes etc.

The weight-painting inside the face region must be really tough The results you shown, are well worth ! If you have any more projects in the future, about characters and so on, it would be great to see them


Yeah, joints are supported by a lot more engines. And they're reusable. Morphs are still important as corrective shapes though. Plus on wrinkles like the nasolabial folds, dimples, crow's feet, and the eyebrows/forehead. Hadn't checked more recent engines so I'm not sure how extensive the support is.

Weight painting for realistic characters is a lot trickier around the mouth area since there's a lot of irregular shapes in there, and the upper and lower halves don't line up exactly. So I have to fudge around to get something decent enough.
For toon characters it's generally easier since topology can be made more regular. If the mouth's the rubber-bad type you can pretty much weight just a quarter of it and mirror the weights after.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricM
Hey Gene, I've been trying to setup a FK to IK skeleton rig with a posemorph tag as you quickly mentionned in the video, but I can't really sort the IK part to...

I did 3 simple legs, one as the reference with the posemorph tag, with only FK to simulated the mocap pose, and one with a simple IK solver.

It kind of works for FK blending, after messing with priorities, but for IK I get strange behaviours.

Would it be possible for you to share the simple example you demoed at siggraph on the maxon booth ?


Here's the scene file for the Pose Morph.

Rotational blending in a Pose Morph isn't the same as in a PSR Constraint. It actually blends each axis individually. For FK and corrections with mocap, it's great.
For IK, not so much out of the box. Gimbal flips will break the blend (90-degree flips usually) unless you set the IK to specific rotational limits.
Also, keep in mind that BVH files by default have their rotation order to XYZ, forward axis X. So the IK rig you're referencing should also have the same rotation order and alignment.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:23 PM   #13
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Thanks a lot for the rig and for the Vimeo clip on its usage.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:23 PM   #14
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