Setup a Muppet for Animation

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  07 July 2012
Setup a Muppet for Animation

Hey Folks,

I am about to animate a muppet. Well the body parts like legs n arms should hanging down because of gravity. I intend to controle legs and arms and the body of course using wires/strings. These wires I want to attach to a handle (controlobject), something like an easy controlobject. Well the model actually should work like a muppet in reality. The software I am using is Maya. For test purposes I allready tried an IK Spline Handle Tool and to convert the CV's into softbodies, but doesnt bring the desired effect. The other methot I tried was to make all body parts like active Rigid bodies and to constrain them via Nail and Pin and hinge. Last but not least was a bit critical to all my theories.

How would you setup a the muppet contrel ist by strings/wires connected to a handle ??

( I am really new to Animation, Rigging...)
  07 July 2012
Well this can be quite a complicated rig. It is possible to animate such a rig without explicitly using dynamics.

For the purpose of guiding you int he right direction it'd be helpful to see an image of your model or anything relevant.. I think I know what you mean but anything would help.

You will need to use splineIK is there is a string connecting the foot to the body for example and then a string from the puppeteers handle to the foot.
blah blah blah
  07 July 2012
IK Handle Tool interaction with Dynamics

thanks gmask,

well no the puppet isnt designed yet. I am doing that after I know how to animate the model because the puppet itself will be a very basic subject out of simple geometry object, except the face, hands, feed. I will use nCloth to simulate cloth. More focus I put on the animation. Well if I do use a Spline IK tool I am able to animate the points of my IK curve, right ?? Will that give me the desired effect ?? How to have Inverse Kinematics with the IK Spline Handle Tool. Isnt the control about the CV's of the curve ?? I want that my chain of joints will be effected by an endeffector (null object, locator..) in order to have Inverse Kinematics. On the other hand I want that endeffector (null object, locator...) will interact dynamically with wind gravity or other forces ??? Isnt that possible in Maya ?? If yes would be nice to know how to do it.

Thanks gmask ... I like if people share their knowledge ;-)

  07 July 2012
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