Walking forward..need some help


#1

Well the animated mech project is continuing and with the help of another forum member i have an excellent rig ( i won’t mention the name just yet in case he/she gets flooded with rig requests !!)

The aim of all this is is for a no-brainer like me to be able to build, rig and animate a rig…if i can do it then anyone can. To that end i plan to make a full tut along the lines of the excellent 3d palace MAX Mech Tut

OK so i have the beasty doing a full step over 125 frames, don’t laugh this is just a very quick setup to see how to do the cycle, i will refine the steps…a lot !!

http://www.black-and-white-to-color.com/stuff/cdan/step1.avi 128 kb DivX

The only things keyed are the foot controllers and the cabin-base controller all else is driven by IK on bones

Now how would one go about extrapolating this to have the mech walk across the screen ? If the steps were in place i suppose you could just cycle them then move the whole rig but that is not very elegant

As with each step there is movement in the z axis and the cabin also moves in the z axis a cycle just rocks the mech back and forth from it’s starting point

For the Max project i simply set this step and then used an “out of range” relative repeat which moves the mech forward naturally

Does anyone have a good and easy suggestion as to how to accomplish this in C4D ? i am not that clever with fcurves and am making a real balls up of it so far !!

As I said earlier this is for a tut and not for a private project, there is a lot of stuff here, the MAX vids come in at about 250 MB and the C4D rigging is much more complex, the end result will cover alot of C4D ground and will, I think, make an excellent tut on all aspects of C4D from modelling to rigging to lighting and animation - ooh and some xpresso thrown in !!

Perhaps this sort of thing should be left to the experts but no one seems to be doing anything on this scale so i thought hell if i can do it in MAX i can do it in C4D, then if I can do it…well anyone can !!

If anyone has any suggestions as to how to proceed with the walk i would appreciate them ( in realtively simple explanations !!)

cc c4dcafe forum


#2

Well, I’m NO expert, but…

I would maybe watch some footage from some of the RoboCop movies. I think they had a mech with a similar leg set up. Also (believe it or not) I think the second Tremors movie had a creature with a similar leg set up.

Although it is a mech, it still (in my opinion) has to follow some laws of nature. The “hip” area would probably go up and down a bit. Show some weight when each foot falls (looks like a pretty heavy machine) Pause slightly at each step bringing the hip down on the foot falls.

I’m learning all these things as well and I know these places are where I have problems.


#3

here is a ref for walk cycle…

  1. if u want the character walk forward, normally i’ll do a walk cycle on the spot first (make it looping for 3 or 4 time, depens how far would u like to walk), 2) then add a spline or path for the character’s track, or just animate the null that contented the whole character to move forward, 3) adjust the f-curve…

f-curve is very easy, not difficult that u think, i lerned from just playing around…


#4

Thanks for all the input, i actually know how i want to do the weight shifting and timing this is waht i did in MAX :

http://www.black-and-white-to-color.com/stuff/mech3.avi

The problem in C4D is that the steps i have created are not “on the spot” the whole body is moving forward on each step so if i cycle this the whole mech just moves backwards and forwards, if i then animnated the whole mech, say along a spline this would cause a rocking motion

What i need to do is work out how to take the keys i have now and extrapolate them over time so the positions ( say z ) increase at a standard rate. Maybe xpresso ?


#5

I would remove the Z keys on the hips, place the character in a null, and animate the null for the forward movement. I know that’s not what you’re after, but it’d be the easiest way for sure. Otherwise, maybe you could use the Momix object? I’ve never messed with it so I don’t know.


#6

You might want to try Fabian’s Key Selector Xpression…it’s free and makes selecting keys sooo much easier. It will select all the keys in a range (rather than lassoing around them all) and then you can copy them to where you want.

He also has a Loop to Keys plugin you might be interested in. I haven’t tried that one yet.

http://www.studio-fabian.de All his stuff is free!

You can probably take what you have and select all the keys and move them ahead in time and sort of form a cycle that way. Just keep selecting the keys of your cycle (not repeating the first key in the cycle each time) and add them until you have it walking for a while. then you can go back and twekk some of the upper “body” section so it doesn’t look cycled.

If I understand you correctly…


#7

Ok progress :

http://www.black-and-white-to-color.com/stuff/cdan/cdrigani1.avi 698 kb Divx

This rig is gorgeous it is so easy to work with, moves smoothly and accurately, with the makers permission i will put it up for d/l

A couple of issues, maybe the mech drops down too low, the cabin was a rush model job and the whole thing is modelled in max so i have to work on recreating it in c4d

Once all that is done i can start on a tut !!!


#8

It may be a little late for this at this stage of the game, but it would look cool if the hydraulics of the lower legs (if they ARE hydraulic) would actually slide up and down as it walked. The walk and behavior might be starting to look s little too organic, and that would give it more of a mech feel. Just a thought…

Coming together nicely, though.


#9

yes you are right, funny i was thinking of you when i looked at the render and thought “hmm this is more suited to one of bobzilla’s dinosaurs” when i get a chance i will try it on a TRex


#10

Looks excellent Paul. I’d love to have a look at that rig (crosses fingers).


#11

The rigging Guru, cactus Dan designed the rig it uses his free ik solver plugin which you can get here :

http://www.cactus3d.com/Plugins.html

When animating i set the foot controllers keys to linear curve and the others to soft interpolation

It also uses another free plugin which allows mutiple target objects :

http://www.bensj.com/Plugins.html

As yet i haven’t worked out how to extraploate this one step ( in max you just hit a button to relative repeat the keys) cycle will not work as it would simply rock the mech back and forth

So it may be that each step has to be individually keyed

Anyway here is the setup have fun…and if anyone has any improvements

http://www.black-and-white-to-color.com/stuff/cdan/animechRig2.zip 709 kb

It may be a while till i can get a tut going as i have to completely remodel it in C4D…of course anyone care to volunteer ?


#12

I get a “file not found” on the ZIP file link.


#13

sorry…fixed


#14

Yep…Dan’s the man! I just rigged a quadruped dino with a beta version of CD IK Tools and did a quick walk test (quick, as in terrible!) and it’s so easy to work with, Very responsive. And if you want to add more than the standard controls (I usually add a foot roll and/or toe roll controller) you can without the rig falling apart or having to start over.

Nice animation, too, BTW…


#15

Anyone had any joy with “cycle with offset” in Fcurves ?

If I select all the keys and do this it goes crazy, if i start with the base controler and do just the x then the y it seems fine but when i go for the z position ( which is moving towards negative values) the cycles leap to the correspomding positive next value

Does this mean that cycle with offset cannot be used with negative values ?


#16

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