Control Morphs by null ?

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  06 June 2003
Control Morphs by null ?

How can i setup a null that controls the weight of an endomorph by its rotation in Lightwave ? This might be a dumb question but i focused the last monthes on Modeller and am not so far in Layout ( i own LW only for around 6 month now )

Thanks in advance

EE
 
  06 June 2003
Apply an expression to the morph channel in graph editor. Start the expression builder and look at the "Morph Link" utility function. There you choose a rotation channel of the null.

Cheers,
Andreas
 
  06 June 2003
Ill try Thanks a lot

EE
 
  06 June 2003
Ok works fine so far but now it gets a lil more complex and since i dont really know my way around expressions ill ask again.
the p rotation of my null object controls now the opening closing of both eyelids and know i want the h rotation to control if only one eyelid gets closed or both so that when the eyelids are closed and i rotate h to the left only the left eyelid is closed and the right is opened again

Thanks in advance

EE

 
  06 June 2003
Expressions are often quite hard to understand.
Cyclist is an overlooked plugin. Really really good.

Just set up your morph keys at frames below zero. Tie them to a control null and you're all set.
I tried that for controlling jaw. up/down, left right. Worked great.
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Henrik Andersson
tudor@dalnet.se

There is no God.
 
  06 June 2003
Could you explain that a lil more step by step please ? Ive just tried to do what you told me but i really dont get it ( ive also rtfm bout cyclist but that was even less helpfull )

EE
 
  06 June 2003
If you have left and right blink morphs, and you've linked both to the pitch of the null, with something like "null.rot(Time).p", then you just need to copy and paste that expression for each null, changing it to "null.rot(Time).h". The difference being that you'll want something in there to determine whether the null is rotating positively or negatively, and also a limit so the morph doesn't go below 0 or above 100, so I'd do something like:

Blink_L

clamp( (null.rot(Time).h * 1), 0, 100 )

Blink_R

clamp( (null.rot(Time).h * -1), 0, 100 )

You can get rid of the "* 1" in the first one if you like, or change the 1's to a different number...
 
  06 June 2003
I was wondering what you see as an advantage to controlling the face this way as opposed to just using morph mixer? Seems like an awful lot of extra work.
 
  06 June 2003
Quote: Originally posted by SplineGod
I was wondering what you see as an advantage to controlling the face this way as opposed to just using morph mixer? Seems like an awful lot of extra work.


I have to agree, Larry. First the morphs are controlled by a null and expressions are set up, next is to controll the null by sliders for easy access :-)

I would go the plain morph mixer route too.

Cheers,
Andreas
 
  06 June 2003
Check out Simon Mills demoreel at:
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=71553
and you will see why it is so cool

Another reason is that you don't see your morph keys in the timeline as in Maya. Really hard to keep track of yor keys then. This is much more visual.

Quote: Originally posted by SplineGod
I was wondering what you see as an advantage to controlling the face this way as opposed to just using morph mixer? Seems like an awful lot of extra work.
__________________
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Henrik Andersson
tudor@dalnet.se

There is no God.
 
  06 June 2003
I havent really felt that not seeing the keys in the timeline is that big of a deal, I usually just leave the graph editor open if I need to adjust morph keys. I also just make channel sets as I need to and mess with groups that way.
Im not saying its necessarily a bad thing but I try to keep my screen clutter and setup time down so I can focus on the animating
 
  06 June 2003
Agree, that is the way I work aswell, but seeing the keys on the timeline really helps a lot when it comes to speeding up animation. Setting this up is also quite fast, as Kretin pointed out.
But the biggest advantage is that it feels like part of the same animation process as the body animation, and not a separate task.

Quote: Originally posted by SplineGod
I havent really felt that not seeing the keys in the timeline is that big of a deal, I usually just leave the graph editor open if I need to adjust morph keys. I also just make channel sets as I need to and mess with groups that way.
Im not saying its necessarily a bad thing but I try to keep my screen clutter and setup time down so I can focus on the animating
__________________
------------------------------------------
Henrik Andersson
tudor@dalnet.se

There is no God.
 
  06 June 2003
I used to use a similar technique before sliders to set up little control panels for hands/fingers using nulls and such.
We used Relativity a lot at FI because it was easy to create "snap on" assemblies where I could create generic null control panels that would snap on to a hand and automatically work.
 
  06 June 2003
What i am trying rightnow is making very much morphtargets for every area and trying to find a setup that makes it easy to control them ( i asked this question for the eyes but i could have asked nearly the same thing for the mouth which has way more targets and i dont want to animate with 15 sliders only for the mouth ).Also i have to say that this is only a test about what i can do with Lightwave (the morphs i made for the head are just quickly done and dont look to good ) and its not said that if i am really going to make a short i will use that kind of setup for every character ( i think it makes sense if a character has much screentime but it doesnt make sense for a character that you only see for some seconds ).

I will post the head scene for download when i am done with it ( that will take me some more days because i am new to that stuff in lw ) and then you can test by yourself if you like the setup or not

Thanks for all the help
EE

Last edited by EvilE : 06 June 2003 at 03:13 PM.
 
  06 June 2003
I was looking at trying to implement a similar setup in LW but have the nulls parented to the camera so they stay in view.

But I think that you would need to have a view bond to look at the face because you can't do facial animation while the face isn't looking at you.

So the setup would require the following

a camera(hidden) parented to the face bone
Turn off PHB and XYZ so it doesn't move once it is in position.
Hide it but don't lock it since you need to select it from the
camera drop down


then nulls parented to the camera, or maybe the face.

THen the nulls would need to be set to local axis so the face isn't jumping all over the place as the head turns.

Then you setup a layout that has a main window and 3 on side. each view on side will look though a face camera. this will allow you to work on up to 3 characters at once or at least allow you to see their interaction.


How does this sound?


Jason

Last edited by jmcalpin : 06 June 2003 at 03:51 PM.
 
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