xenoid Huntress Torso Maya 7.0

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Old 12 December 2006   #1
xenoid Huntress Torso Maya 7.0

Booked a thread here to start with! Will look at it once I get home from work.

Thanks twidup for this great initiative!
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Old 12 December 2006   #2
Model Analysis

Just started to look at the model itself. Separated the armor parts. Gave them naming conventions. Organised the model scene. And here's the result:



Initial design plans:
1. Torso Rig
- Planning to use ribbon spine setup. Even though its a hyper real character, animators have feedback to me before that they would prefer a setup that can be easily used to pose their character. Would attempt to stabilise my research on creating ribbon spine setup using pointOnSurface nodes instead of Maya Hair. Might add in additional FK controls too.
2. Head/Neck Rig
- Basic FK neck which will automatically rotate according to head rotation
- Head Aim control with additional FK control

That's about it for now. Next would be joints creation.
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Last edited by xenoid : 12 December 2006 at 03:40 PM.
 
Old 12 December 2006   #3
I take it that you are using the tutorial from the Rigging for Feature ANimation DVD as the basis for the theory and then taking it in a different direction so that oyu don't have to use Maya Unlimited if you don't have it available to you. I think this is a great idea, since there would be animators out there that may not have unlimited.

I had to do some quick research to see what you were talking about. But I do understand the basics of what is going on. I do seperated set-up for my parts with controllers.

Though I think I need to take a look into the ribbon setup for my rigging class I am teaching next semester.
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Old 12 December 2006   #4
Hey Darksuit, you are the most active guy out here in this Rigging Challenge.

Yup the basis is from that DVD, but wana make it available for people without Maya Unlimited like what you said.

So many things to do! So little time!
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Old 12 December 2006   #5
Thanks =)

I think that once more people start to join in we will see some good ideas... I am looking forward to Peter Thomas' rig. =) I also wonder Proton will do something as well. He did however provide the model.

I have the next month off. So I am using this as a way to relax a bit. =)
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Old 12 December 2006   #6
Joints up...

Finally got down to create the basic joint hierarchy of the character.


Spent quite some time on this step as I feel this is very important for all the rigging to come. Joints will not be created for the armor pieces yet as they will be of a separate hierarchy. Extra helper skin joints placed in the rib and breasts areas to get a good default skinning. Below are some tests (all Maya default skin weights):

Spine Twist:


Sideways:


Shoulders/Arms:

Placing one extra joint at the shoulder area tend to hold the volume for the deltoid areas. Something that I always do after reading the Inspired 3D Advanced Rigging and Deformations book. Great book!

Next up, Ribbon Spine setup.
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Last edited by xenoid : 12 December 2006 at 12:28 AM.
 
Old 12 December 2006   #7
Nice Deformations Xen. However, I am more interested in checking out the Ribbon Spine Setup. I have heard a LOT about it...cheers man
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Old 12 December 2006   #8
Ribbon Skin joints

First step of ribbon spine - the creation of ribbon skin joints. Made use of pointOnSurfaceInfo nodes and aimConstraints to obtain my "follicle on surface" effect.

Difference between my method and using of hair follicles:

In my setup, when the CVs of the surface are moved sideways, the skin joints will be able to follow the curvature of the surface as you can see in the left pic. As for hair follicles, the orientation of the joints remain constant when the surface is pulled sideways. Even though I feel that this is a plus point for my setup (other than the fact that we dun require Maya Unlimited), I will investigate further to see if there are any undesirable implications on the final setup.

After the skin joints are done, next will be the way to control them.
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Last edited by xenoid : 12 December 2006 at 12:22 PM.
 
Old 12 December 2006   #9
Ribbon Spine Completed!


Completed the controls for the ribbon spine. As you can see, it consists of an upper spine controller, a mid controller and the hip controller. All these controls can be translated and rotated. Basic idea is this:
- Skin the ribbon surface created earlier on to 3 joints, the upperSpine, mid and hip joints, which are controlled by the respective controllers. In this way, you can use 3 controls to control the 5 ribbon skin joints.
- The mid controller is point constrained to the upperSpine and hip controller, and also aimConstrained to the upperSpine controller. The mid controller will then be able to follow the transformation of any of the upper and lower controllers.
- The rotation values of the upperSpine and hip controllers are plugged into a blendColors node and the output connected to the mid control joint rotations. This created a nice twist when the upperSpine or the hip controller is twisted.

No usual FK hierarchy controls, and I may add them in if I have the time.

I documented all these down as I go along with this character and will hope to release it to you all once I have the time to clean up all the bad English and organization of the document.

Having said that, I have not yet put this spine rig thru a stress test. But I guess once the whole character is out, I would be glad if any one of you can test it out for me.

Oh and forgive me for the hanging eyeballs.

I also wana say a BIG thank you to Aaron Holly, for his sharing of the ribbon spine technique and the always-so-helpful him. Buy the Rigging for Feature Animation DVD guys! It's really good. Not forgetting the Skinning for Feature Animation and the newly released Facial Rigging for Feature Animation. Find them here!

As usual, feel free to bombard me with opinions or advice if you do forsee me going the wrong way for this kind of rig!
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Last edited by xenoid : 12 December 2006 at 12:33 AM.
 
Old 12 December 2006   #10
Looks good so far. Yea, I'd be interested in giving this spine a good thrashing about. *nod nod* Also, I'd be interested in seeing the file .. just to see it.

It looks like it is quite robust, and if you can control it using an IK methodology, then it seems to be all the easier. I do have a few points of clarification though...

When you made the spine, did you make a ribbon for the entire length of the spine, or just the length of the midsection? Also did you just use a nurbs plane with the afforementioned nodes to create the ribbon?

Other than that, it looks like the deformation would be quite smooth and easy to animate with. Keep up the fine work.

-Tux
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Old 12 December 2006   #11
Woah Tux, you replied real fast.

When you made the spine, did you make a ribbon for the entire length of the spine, or just the length of the midsection?
The ribbon is created only for the lower back region, which realistically is the flexible part of the spine. The upper part consists of the rib cage, which prevents too much deformation on the torso. As such, only the lower torso region is given the ribbon.

Also did you just use a nurbs plane with the afforementioned nodes to create the ribbon?
Yes I used a nurbs plane to create the ribbon.

It looks like it is quite robust, and if you can control it using an IK methodology, then it seems to be all the easier.
I'm not too sure though, as some animators do want the FK hierarchy controls to be there. So more comments would be greatly welcomed.
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Old 12 December 2006   #12
Initial Head/Neck Rig test

Did an initial Head/Neck rig test:


- Typical FK hierarchy neck rig
- Experiment with space switching for head controller using orientConstraints and scriptJobs
> head controller parented to neck2 controller, but orientConstrained to 2 groups - the world parent grp and the body parent grp.
> Both grps have the same orientation as the head joint in the beginning
> Body parent grp is parented to the end of the neck joints while World parent grp is parented to a group outside the hierarchy of the rig
> With an enum attribute on the head controller, setDrivenKey is used to switch between the 2 orientConstraint weights when the enum attribute is toggled.
> A scriptJob is created such that when the enum attribute is toggled, it will match the orientations of the 2 parent grps so that the parent space switching will be seamless.

Considerations:
1. A mechanism need to be in place so that when the head controller is reset to zero, the world/body parent grps need to go back to default values. Use scriptJob again??
2. Scriptjobs may not be the best of ways. But I would prefer my rig to be self-contained, instead of having to source and run mel scripts when something is triggered. Hmmm...

This space switching thing has been bugging me for quite some time now, and I'm glad I'm able to spend some time to work something out for this challenge. Any experts out there on this space switching issue please feel free to advise me on this matter!

More tests will be done to stabilize this. And following that will be the head aim controller, and making the neck controls rotate when the head controller is rotated.

Any advice or opinions will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 12 December 2006   #13
Cool stuff Xen!

Thanks for posting that variation to the Ribbon Spine, Xen!
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Fahrenheit Digital
 
Old 12 December 2006   #14
Dude....great work so far.

As far as your parent switching mechanism goes, why don't you try out zooTriggered? Closest thing which does what you want, without getting your hands dirtied in scriptjobs....Ok I know it creates it's own scriptjob, but heck, at least you don't have to do it....
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Old 12 December 2006   #15
Yo thanks for the tip! I did consider zooTriggered before, but if it were to create scriptJobs too, I think I would prefer to get my hands dirty with it!
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