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Old 12-10-2004, 07:23 AM   #1
Fungusmonkey
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Peter Sorensen
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Animating a Brow with Points?

I was very impressed by this thread: http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?threadid=193416

So:
I've been cruising the threads trying to find this, but I must just not be using the right search terms or something. Basically, what I'm looking for is a way to use points or a spline to control a characters brow. You'd have four or five points on the brow that you could move around to control the exact shape you need. And it goes without saying that the points would also be parented to the head bone as well.

Sort of like this, but for Lightwave:



Any ideas? Maybe nulls parented to the end of skelegons with weight maps of the specific vertices? Has anyone tried something like this in LW?
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Old 12-10-2004, 08:24 AM   #2
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Never mind. I played around a little and just used individual skelegons sticking straight out to accomplish the technique.

Like this:



Not great, but I guess it'll do. Maybe I'll mess around a little more and see if I can make them a little easier to use.
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Old 12-10-2004, 08:39 AM   #3
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Have you tried SockMonkey or ShiftSplineTransform ?
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Great!
 
Old 12-10-2004, 11:52 AM   #4
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You could stick muscle bones in to keep the amount of control points down and to enable squash and stretch.
 
Old 12-10-2004, 09:37 PM   #5
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This might be of interest to you.

http://lwhub.com/musclebones/multi.html

Can be more than what you want and isn't easy to set up, but it doesn't hurt to mention.
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Old 12-10-2004, 10:04 PM   #6
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If you apply muscle bones, you can copy that technique with nulls for the control points just like in your example. I'd highly recommend using expressions to create the muscle bones though, as the plug Sam mentioned has some limitations...
 
Old 12-11-2004, 06:47 AM   #7
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Perhaps you can also do it with this technique:

http://www.newtek.com/products/ligh...cage/index.html

You can add a Null for each bone that you have created to control the mesh, and use Follower in each bone for each Null; then you can add an Item_Shape for every Null to identify them more easily.



Gerardo
 
Old 12-11-2004, 09:46 AM   #8
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hey fungusmonkey,
Ive played with this for many many hours in LW in the past. The tools just around there. Bones done have the type of deformation qualities that nicely implemented spline deformers have. Even setting up muscle bones is time consuming and hard to tune. You also have the fact that LW doesnt have a good built in pose mixer. Ive found that endomorphs are still by far the easiest and most efficient way to go. Its much easier to use modelers tools to get endomorphs setup.

That said, if you are still interested in experimenting heres some suggestions:
Try using colin cohens posemixer to blend between facial bone poses.
You can also try using motion mixer to mix poses.
Joytrol might also be useful for blending facial poses (Sam ?)
Weight maps on the face may help tune what each bone is controlling.
Try changing the bone falloff and other tools such as bone strength etc.
A quick way to setup facial bones is to pick points off the face. copy them into another layer. Convert them to single point polys and slightly extrude them. Convert the polylines to skelegons with the make skelegon tool. From there you can create weight maps automatically based on skelegon placement.
Miyazaki mentioned a couple of spline deform plugins. Heres an experiment I tried a few months ago using SST. http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/exa...st_face_rig.mov

Edit: Fungus monkey: Try that link again

Last edited by SplineGod : 12-12-2004 at 08:58 AM.
 
Old 12-11-2004, 06:15 PM   #9
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Well, played around some more with all your suggestions, and this is what I've come up with:

1. Skelegons (my first example): They work okay, but they're a pain and a half to move, control, and animate.

2. Muscle Bones (and Muscle Chains): Work a little better and a little faster, but take forever to setup correctly. I'm with Kretin here that the best way to do it is to write the expressions yourself.

3. SST: I couldn't get your link to work for me, SplineGod, and I didn't find any good tut's on using it, so I haven't tried it. It's next on my list.

So, basically, so far what I've found is that if you really really really want to be able to control the individual points on a brow, there are ways to do it. If you just want to speed up your animating a bit, I'd just stick with well-made endomorphs (emphasis on WELL-MADE).
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Old 12-12-2004, 02:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SplineGod
From there you can create weight maps automatically based on skelegon placement.

Could you please elaborate on that a little Larry? (The automatic weight mapping)
 
Old 12-12-2004, 08:57 AM   #11
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Lightwave can create weight maps on geometry based on proximity of the skelegons to the geometry. This can be done in vertex paint and theres a couple of other plugins that will do it as well.
 
Old 01-20-2006, 04:00 AM   #12
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