the use of expressions for characters animation


#1

hi all !

does a good book exist about Expression and LW ?:rolleyes:

( use of expressions in character animation and rigging…)

or maybe good tutorial ?

thanks !

:slight_smile:


#2

You actually shouldn’t use expressions when doing character animation. Since expressions calculate on a per frame basis, they will considerably slow down your scene when animating.


#3

slow down on rendering time ?

but expressions are so useful for good setup !

:shrug:


#4

not saying expressions aren’t good but why can’t you make good anims/setups without them…just curious:shrug:


#5

Originally posted by 5TEF
[B]slow down on rendering time ?

but expressions are so useful for good setup !

:shrug: [/B]

I didn’t say rendering time!


#6

5TEF,
I dont like to use too many expressions when rigging. CIMs point is that every expression you add will make the rig more and more sluggish. A good rig has little to do with the expressions on it but more about what it needs to be able to do. A good rig can be enhanced by the use of some expressions. It really depends on what your rig must be able to do. Most of the time the types of expressions that you might common use would be muscle bones or opening/closing fingers. Theres a few other things as well.
Once Im certain any muscle type expressions work I will usually turn them off termporarily to speed up the rig.


#7

Originally posted by CIM
You actually shouldn’t use expressions when doing character animation. Since expressions calculate on a per frame basis, they will considerably slow down your scene when animating.
LightWave 8 might work a little better; anyone here know? It’s totally possible to have expressions not slow down a program. I’ve got 274 expressions in the character scene I’m doing now in messiah and it’s still 100% realtime, both in manipulating the scene and playback (30fps in this case). I’m sure most people wouldn’t need that many expressions of course, but it IS possible to have software than can handle it.

After all, what good is a good expressions editor/creator if you can’t actually use expressions in your scene?

Fred


#8

Originally posted by fwtep
[B]…but it IS possible to have software than can handle it.

Fred [/B]

We already have, and it´s availabe to purchase since 1999 :applause:


#9

Originally posted by CIM
You actually shouldn’t use expressions when doing character animation. Since expressions calculate on a per frame basis, they will considerably slow down your scene when animating.

Perhaps in the majority of current C.A. softwares yes, but there also “others” out there that dont even glitch with 200 + expressions and more than one character in scene :bounce:

And if they do, they also have something similar to Maya´s playblast :stuck_out_tongue:


#10

5TEF,
What are you doing or interested in doing that you feel you need expressions? There are literally thousands of things that could be done to a character using expressions. :slight_smile:


#11

Originally posted by SplineGod
There are literally thousands of things that could be done to a character using expressions. :slight_smile:

Just not in realtime, in Lightwave. :scream:

Hey, Larry, you’re a beta guy, have expressions been speeded up in LW8? I can’t imagnine that’s a “trade secret.”

EW


#12

Originally posted by EWolf
[B]Just not in realtime, in Lightwave. :scream:

Hey, Larry, you’re a beta guy, have expressions been speeded up in LW8? I can’t imagnine that’s a “trade secret.”

EW [/B]

Most of the stuff Ive had to do with characters and expressions Ive been able to do in realtime.

Honestly? I dont know whats been sped up in LW8 or not.
That would be a good William question though. :slight_smile:


#13

Help, I’m confused! Is it:

Originally posted by SplineGod
“Most of the stuff Ive had to do with characters and expressions Ive been able to do in realtime.”

Or is it

Originally posted by SplineGod
“I dont like to use too many expressions when rigging. CIMs point is that every expression you add will make the rig more and more sluggish,” (and) “I will usually turn them off while animating to speed up the rig.”

Which is it? Also, just so I can get a better idea, I remember reading that you worked at Foundation Imaging (cool! :slight_smile: ), but what character animating do you do now, other than training? The current expressions stuff in Lightwve wasn’t there when you were at Foundation, so unfortunately that doesnt help. I’m just trying to gauge where you’re coming from on this issue, because I see conflicting info fromseveral people.

EW


#14

Originally posted by EWolf
[B]Help, I’m confused! Is it:
Or is it

Which is it? Also, just so I can get a better idea, I remember reading that you worked at Foundation Imaging (cool! :slight_smile: ), but what character animating do you do now, other than training? The current expressions stuff in Lightwve wasn’t there when you were at Foundation, so unfortunately that doesnt help. I’m just trying to gauge where you’re coming from on this issue, because I see conflicting info fromseveral people.

EW [/B]

Whats confusing?
I didnt say “never used” I said “dont like to use too many”
I also said MOST of the stuff Ive had to with characters and expressions Ive been able to do in realtime. MOST would mean the majority of the time but not all of the time. In the case where expressions may slow down a rigs level of interactivity its simple to temporarily disable expressions not essential to actually animating.

Yes I did work for Foundation Imaging. Ive done and continue to do character animation other then just training. Theres plenty of freelance work out there. I just finished a pilot/short film for Turner Classic Movies. That was 7 minutes of character animation.
Im working on projects and continue to work on others as well.
Youre mistaken about the current expression stuff. I was working at Foundation before and during the introduction of the current expression system in LW7. I was working there when we were using LW5.7, 6.0, 6.5 and 7.0. Foundation was a beta site so we were using versions of LW before it was available to the general public. Ive used LWs expressions since as long as theyve been around and in production.

I havent seen really much in the way of conflicting info really. Everyone is going to comment on this based on their own experiences. Ive been rigging in LW since rigging was possible. Ive done it for video game companies, on TV and Film projects. Ive rigged for large groups of animators and for small groups. Ive rigged when time was available to do it properly and Ive had to do it by the seat of my pants. Ive rigged for use with motion capture and hand keyed animations. Ive rigged and animated for my own projects. Thats where Im coming from. :slight_smile:


#15

does a good book exist about Expression and LW ?:rolleyes:

( use of expressions in character animation and rigging…)

My character creation book (that I’m writing atm) deals with expressions that are useful in character rigging, and some that aren’t so useful but that some people like to include.

There are very few rigs that I make these days that don’t have any expressions. I find them very useful for certain controls. If used sensibly, any slow down (if any) is unnoticable. In my experience it’s when expressions are asked to do too much that it starts to slow down a rig, and in these cases they are usually taking too much control away from the animator.

Also different types and implementations of expressions have different effects on the speed. You can’t say that “all” expressions will slow down a rig, it’s like saying that “all” characters should animate in real time, which is an impossible ask since there is no limit on the number of polygons in a character.


#16

Originally posted by 5TEF
[B]hi all !

does a good book exist about Expression and LW ?:rolleyes:

( use of expressions in character animation and rigging…)

or maybe good tutorial ?

thanks !

:slight_smile: [/B]

Jonnys (Kretin) book should be pretty good. Theres probably going to be some of that in Wordwares new Tips and Tricks book as well. I also cover expressions in my Tour CDs as well as in the rigging portion of my character course. :slight_smile:


#17

I used a dozen of expressions on a character, including both MusclesBones and Smartskins, and didn’t notice any slowdown.

I’ve heard though, that ACS4 which is (for what I’ve heard) full of expressions (which sounds logical when you create stuff that has to suit anybody), does slowdown.<----This is not a critic :love:

Perhaps, LW is not the best software to do CA, but if you don’t work like a pig it allows to go far enough…


#18

i’m not a “god expression” !
but i notice that a lot of good Wavers use expression on character rigging…
( i saw a lot of expression in some good tutorial ( www.digiwonk.com , for exemple )

i need to understand, the use of expressions. :slight_smile:

i made a good setup for my character ( i think ! ) , based on the digiwonk tutorial.

but , it’s not very easy to work with this rig…maybe i must customize it with expression ?
( i saw a good tutorial , with terrific expressions ( very very long !!! ) on the newtek website )

what are the most useful expression in a character rigging ?

do you enter limit rotation for bones ?
( i don’t enter them, and it’s a “veritable catastrophe” to animate my character ! )

For fingers, i think sliders are the best…

in conclusion, i want to make a good rigging, and to understand expressions…

Larry, have got good CD on animation and expression ??

Facial : i think i will contact you by mail, and in french ! :slight_smile:

Kretin : pleaasssseeee hurry up for your book !!! i want to buy it !
( same think for the leigh’s book ! )

hey, gods of LW, I want to learn :slight_smile: !

:thumbsup:


#19

Originally posted by 5TEF

i’m not a “god expression” !
but i notice that a lot of good Wavers use expression on character rigging…
( i saw a lot of expression in some good tutorial ( www.digiwonk.com , for exemple )

You dont need to be a god of expressions to have a good solid rig. You need to have a good basic understand of what the requirements are for a good rig. Once you understand that then the technical part will make more sense. Rigging is not about expressions or IK but what a good rig should be capable of doing.
I go thru all that in my Rigging CD. I dont just send you the CD and leave you on your own. I have a support forum which is very active. I do help you thru the more difficult spots. :slight_smile:

i need to understand, the use of expressions. :slight_smile:

Expressions can be very simple and dont normally require an advanced degree. Most of the time the math is very simple.

[B]i made a good setup for my character ( i think ! ) , based on the digiwonk tutorial.

but , it’s not very easy to work with this rig…maybe i must customize it with expression ?
( i saw a good tutorial , with terrific expressions ( very very long !!! ) on the newtek website )[/B]
In my opinion a rig that misbehaves without the use of expressions isnt a good rig. I havent seen the one you described but most good rigs Ive seen have minimal expressions and are very stable.

[B]what are the most useful expression in a character rigging ?

do you enter limit rotation for bones ?
( i don’t enter them, and it’s a “veritable catastrophe” to animate my character ! )

For fingers, i think sliders are the best…

in conclusion, i want to make a good rigging, and to understand expressions…[/B]
Probably the most common Ive seen are finger controls using sliders and muscle bones. I dont like using sliders to control fingers. It takes long to set up and it does limit what you can do. I prefer to use selection sets which are easy to set up and use and can be created as you go. I also rarely use rotational limits for bones. Again if the bones and IK are properly set up theyre rarely needed.

Larry, have got good CD on animation and expression ??
Both Tour CDs cover expressions in general. My Character Rigging CD is about 15 hours. You can see a list of what it covers HERE


#20

thanks very much for all your tips and reply Larry !

a good solution for fingers bones, is to use the “Follower” plugin, intead of sliders…

and follower ( great plugin ! ) can be used too, for spines, neck and head bones !

i’m very surprise that you don’t use rotation limit for bones !

i must have problem in my character setup…

i have too, a very strange pb with a weight maps, and a finger bone…

all is OK , but the finger bone refuse to use the weight map !