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Old 04-14-2003, 02:25 AM   #1
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Red face Advanced (sort of) character Rig - muscle and fat simulation

Hello there.

I made this little something a couple of weeks ago.
Well, as a matter of fact I've been working on this little project for about two monts and I've reached a conclussion.

The proof of concept:
Basically I made a muscular system that would behave "nicely" and "realistically". It worked (I used dynamics) very nice.
Step number two: skin.
What can I say.. do you have a powerful computer?
I have a Athlon 1.4GHz and 512Mb RAM and it was impossible to animate the character. The muscle deformations take around 10 seconds to calculate (per joint rotation) since I have the "use components" setting turned on in the SkinCluster node.

I am sure there is a way to optimize the simulation but I am not a developer (I made this by using simple Maya dynamics and standard Maya tools) so I don't know how the -expletive deleted- it can be done.

Any ideas on how I can improve the performance???
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Old 04-14-2003, 02:47 AM   #2
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I think normally you would not try to animate with the muscles turned on but rather hide them and animate the character then run the dynamic simulation.

Supposedly the dynamics in Maya 5 have be sped up %90 on windows but still I would imagine that is too slow to work with such a system any where near realtime.
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Old 04-14-2003, 03:47 AM   #3
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Yeah, the general solution is to have two versions of your character.

Build a low resoluton version of the character that has no deformations going on, but is just a low poly block version to show volume and spatial relationships. Make sure all the animated objects are named the same. (ie: if you're using control objects to animate, make the control objects the same name as their counterparts in the high res version. If you're animating joints directly -ick- then name the joints the same as in the high-res.)
When you animate, use referencing to bring in the low-poly version into a clean Maya file. Animate the low-poly non deforming version. You'll get real time performance. Then when you're ready to see how it looks deformed, swap the reference in the reference editor for your fancy-pants muscle system. By keeping the animated objcts the same names in the two different versions, the animation data should transfer from the low-res to the high-res without any problems. Set up a playblast (and take a nap ) and see how it looks after it's done. Now all you'll need to do is some tweaks, which is acceptable at that slower speed. Animating from scratch at that speed is not.

That's probably the most reasonable solution to your problem. Trying to optimize something like this will be more ellusive in my opinon. Muscle based system solutions/techniques are still in their early stages and take a ton of horsepower to solve. Speedier muscle simulations (with skin/fat, etc) is probably the next big hurdle in animation systems.

-k
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Old 04-14-2003, 04:05 AM   #4
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Talking

I'd have liked Maya 5 to have some sort of "skin system".
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Old 04-15-2003, 08:05 PM   #5
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you could also try using the wiggle deformer as a "bake" node.. i.e. put a wiggle deformer on the skin but w/out any wiggle & run through the frames, then save the cache.

Take your skin w/out any muscle system, apply the wiggle deformer, and read the cache from the other wiggle deformer.. your skin should move as it did with all the bones 'n stuff, but w/out the time delay..

you'll have to run through the simulation at least once to do this, but once you've gone through you can then scrub, playblast, render, light, etc really quickly.

of course, this is all in theory.. I haven't actually tried it
-jason
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Old 04-15-2003, 09:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by jschleifer
you could also try using the wiggle deformer as a "bake" node.. i.e. put a wiggle deformer on the skin but w/out any wiggle & run through the frames, then save the cache.

Take your skin w/out any muscle system, apply the wiggle deformer, and read the cache from the other wiggle deformer.. your skin should move as it did with all the bones 'n stuff, but w/out the time delay..

you'll have to run through the simulation at least once to do this, but once you've gone through you can then scrub, playblast, render, light, etc really quickly.

of course, this is all in theory.. I haven't actually tried it
-jason


Thanks I will try that after I finish my current "project".
If you haven't tried it I think I am the one what will make the "proof of concept"
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Old 04-16-2003, 08:18 AM   #7
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Interesting theory, Jason! I guess you mean Jiggle deformer instead of Wiggle .

I have had trouble getting Maya to read the Jiggle cache when I use a referenced rig. We've tried a number of different sollutions, but none seems to work. Since we're on a tight schedule we solved it by using jiggle in scenes where it deforms properly by default and when it don't we turn it off .

Any sharing of experience or suggestions are however appreciated.
 
Old 04-16-2003, 07:47 PM   #8
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oop! yeah, jiggle.. not wiggle..

although, a wiggle deformer might be cool!
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Old 01-14-2006, 10:00 PM   #9
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