Most efficient way to use bendy limbs in built in character rig


Quick fix so my OCD doesn’t cause a stroke?

EDIT: Couldn’t take it. Driving me nuts. Went back to last saved. I see now that it’s tough to see sometimes if all selected since all outlines. Need to make sure each has little plus.


yup… in r21 there’s finally snapping in UV edit mode, so it would have been a quick fix. pre r21 there’s just zooming in real close and matching it by hand… or opening the model in another app and fix it there.


OK thx. R20 for now, so will just keep an eye out now that I reverted. Returning to nose tip now, and trying to look up / parse what you meant by “scale it up with magnet function activated.”

I see a scaling tool, and a magnet tool in top bar, but clicking on one deactivates the other. Are you referring to magnet tab in attributes manager for scale tool? Seems like when I try that and scale only certain polys at center, they enlarge by breaking off from surrounding polys (UV poly mode). If I try just enlarging a point, nothing happens (UV points mode). Does it need to be in certain mode?


sorry, mixed terminology up… it’s actually called soft selection…


Got it. Very handy indeed.

Seems more direct in some cases to just grab the points and move them individually to even things out. Any particular downside to doing that? (No image textures being applied… so really only conceerned about resulting normal map.


no you can do that. i just would try to avoid producing any uv polygons that are stretched too much and differ too much from the original polygon shape.


Moment of clarity (or possibly insanity… who can tell?)

I may have been going about this all wrong. The more items I attempt to fix, the more ways I realize my mesh needs to be rebuilt. I didn’t even know what a symmetry object was when I started, and let’s just say all those asymmetries and other irregularities make it exceedingly difficult to simplify or add features to. Just trying to half the poly count, I’ve already nearly needed to rebuild it from scratch… and I still don’t have a working mouth.

It may be much easier to start with a base mesh that has the basic features that work with your rig (eye and mouth movement), and just alter the geo of the nose, snap points to my head shape to get my low poly, then wrap that go get my high poly with wrinkles.

Is there a suggested base mesh that is just the simplest version of optimal topology with the basic features to take full advantage of the rig?


just go to turbosquid and search for a head base mesh, make sure you find one with enough clean edge loops around the mouth and eyes, clean quad topology and that it’s not too dense.


or take this as a chance to practice and retopo your high res mesh manually from scratch. that will probably get you better results than pushing points around based on another base mesh.


I’m 2/3 done with manual retopo. No idea what optimal setup looks like for mouth cavity geo if it matters, though… and should it have eyelids, or do the eye sockets just get pulled down.


regarding the eyes: depends on the look. if you want really defined lids you can model them, but usually it’s sufficient to have enough close together loops immediately around the eye socket, so it can form a lid wehen pulled down. for the cavity, just extrude the mouth loop inwards a couple of times and push points so it forms a proper mouth cavity.


FINALLY got something workable here after over 60+ attempts at various mappings / projections. The following is now my newly built low poly face with high poly normal / displacement applied.

Ended up with combo of your advice and my instincts about splitting out islands for most pixelated areas to fill map. Still looks pixelated in areas with choppy and otherwise obvious seams in vp, but good enough in render:

I had skipped over developing mouth because of how long everything else was taking, and a bit complex in this case due to how head was created, but I’ll take a fresh look and see if I can find a quick way to add. He doesn’t need to talk in this vid, but it’d be nice to not have to go back and figure this all out again if I reuse him at some point.

Currently, I’ve got 3 poly painted areas (skin, lips, area around eyes). This seems to mean that I need to apply the normal and displacement maps for each poly group / texture even though each occupies only it’s own portion of the same map… so that’s a total of 6 8k maps being applied to the face alone… and the hair and eyebrows will need maps too.

It occurs to me that this is inefficient. What’s a better way to configure?

Should I also somehow combine the hair and eyebrows into single map for similar reasons?

I notice vertex normals is disabled in VP options, yet it’s displaying normal (but not displacement). Seems like wasted resources. Is it possible to show tex, but not normal maps in vp?


regarding your multiple materials issue: you could paint the differently colored areas into a texture as well, then you‘d only have a normal map, a displacement map and a color map, all in one material. as for normal maps displaying in the vp, i don‘t think they swallow much resources. i don‘t know if and where their vip display can be deactivated, but i wouldn‘t worry about it, if you‘re concerned about performance when animating you can always turn off material display all together…


Any downside from animation perspective to combining the hair / eyebrows into a single object so they can share map?

As for teeth, I’m assuming they’re just separate objects fitted to contour behind lips. Combined into on set? Top and bottom separate? Anything else I should know about teeth before adding them to rig? Just want most basic possible setup that doesn’t looks roughly passable.


doesn’t matter. you can have everything together or everything separate, makes no difference. nothing special about teeth, just model them, bind lower teeth to the jaw and upper teeth to the head.


Wasted too much time already trying to get mouth going. Exceedingly difficult due to construction method.

Getting him wired up as is now.

To replace poly selection paint job with paint on UV map, Is that done on high poly versions only like other maps, or on low? Both?


you can just do that in your low poly uv map, i see no reason to paint colour on the high res map :wink:


Have you guys seen eyedesyns Bendy Limbs rig?

(sorry–I re-read and looks like you are trying to tackle on your own)


i have. don’t know about kanicki…but i don’t think it’s suitable for his character, since the limbs need to be separate geo in EJs rig preset. also my rig preset is just as easy to install and has more functionality built in. and it’s free :wink:


I’ve fired up Bodypaint twice and regretted it each time. I don’t remember how to do any of it, but I remember it being a pain, and it seems to me that creating a bitmap image to define color is counterproductive when I’m just trying to match existing poly selection paint by numbers.

Isn’t a bitmap just LESS precise (pixelation) with MORE resource usage (Map loaded into RAM)?

If I just want the same material everywhere… same diffusion, reflection, normal and displacement map… yet want ONLY the color to change, and only according to poly selections I already have… isn’t there some way to just do this without introducing additional downsides of bitmap color map?

Sort of like Mix Textures… but REPLACING the color with that from top material rather than adding them.