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Meowx
Thanks for the help on face rigging! Now I'm running into some issues with cloth.

I'm having to move the top spline of the cloth group WAY far off for the simulation to run. Problem is, it looks ridiculous when it's like that because the top spline doesn't actually simulate, it just sits there (which I assume is what it's supposed to do). (2nd image is normal, 1st image is "safe" area. When I have the spline moved way out there, it works just fine.)

The "deflector" group is the legs. The cloth tutorial I've seen linked when I did a search is a broken .AVI link and a lengthy .pdf which is pretty hard to follow without the video (it looks to be just a word-for-word transcription of the video).

Any helpful advice?
Meowx
All right! So after working on this all morning, it seems that once again all I have to do is make a post on this board and then everything magically comes together.
I made a couple minor tweaks to the deflector group near the top of the spline, but more importantly turned the tolerance down to 0.5 I hadn't realized it could go below one! Both of my test animations have the cloth working properly, so I'll just hold my breath for now.
heyvern
QUOTE(Meowx @ Mar 24 2009, 02:26 PM) *
All right! So after working on this all morning, it seems that once again all I have to do is make a post on this board and then everything magically comes together.


Yes! There should be a name for this weird phenomenon. I encounter it ALL THE TIME. I even EXPERIMENTED with it. I had a problem and KNEW as soon as I posted a question here I would solve it. So I didn't post it and kept working. No solution. So I wrote down the question WITHOUT posting... still no joy.

As soon as I posted the question... bingo! Solution. It happens all the time to me here and on other forums as well.

wink.gif

-vern
3DArtZ
Why is the model legs mesh so dense? is that to aid in the cloth simulation?
Meowx
Yes, that's just an transparent "deflector" layer that surrounds the actual legs. The different layers of detail on the legs was making it a pain trying to figure out which parts should be deflectors... so I figured, why not just make some giant invisible sweat pants.
Meowx
Say, what's up with 20,000 blank rotoscopes?

As I'm working in a choreography, my main model just keeps piling on rotoscopes with no name under the actual rotos I've got in the model. I have no idea where these are coming from. Hell, I haven't even started putting decals on yet. This happens in every single choreography.

Nothing life threatening here, but rather annoying.
Meowx
Today's question: Can you change a bone to a null?
NancyGormezano
QUOTE(Meowx @ Mar 26 2009, 09:17 AM) *
Today's question: Can you change a bone to a null?


wellll...sure...but it involves using a text editor. Can not do it directly in A:M

The code is not very different for a null and a bone - this model contains 1 bone, 1 null only

QUOTE
<BONES>
<SEGMENT>
Name=Bone1
BoneColor=255 0 0 255
Start=0 -0.178804 0
Rotate=0.00447654 0.707093 0.707093 0.00447654
Length=18.8458
</SEGMENT>
<NULLOBJECT>
Name=Null1
BoneColor=0 0 255 255
UserMoved=TRUE
Start=-15.1535 1.32214e-008 -1.76877e-007
Rotate=0.308003 -0.18851 -0.0624038 0.930432
Length=10
</NULLOBJECT>
</BONES>


To see more complexity, create a model with only 2 bones chained and 1 null as a child of 1 of the bones - then examine the file in a text editor -

If your model is too complicated, you might want to change it manually in A:M versus in a text editor
Meowx
Cool! Thanks.
robcat2075
QUOTE(Meowx @ Mar 25 2009, 11:07 PM) *
Say, what's up with 20,000 blank rotoscopes?...

This happens in every single choreography.


in every project you've ever done, or just the chors in a particular project?
Meowx
No, just this particular project. I've never run into it before.
robcat2075
QUOTE(Meowx @ Mar 26 2009, 12:43 PM) *
No, just this particular project. I've never run into it before.


something got corrupted in the file. the excess items can be edited out in a text editor.


Try saving the model out separately as a model, then text edit out all the rotoscopes, then open it back in the PRJ and see what that changes.


Meowx
Question about constraints. Can kinetic constraints not be used with limiters?

Right now I have a "Constraints" pose which contains the Euler limits for all the bones. However, when I also turn on the "Leg Constraints" pose (which contains the kinetic chains and orient like constraints for animating the legs), the bones completely ignore their Euler limits. Is this because they're in separate poses, or does one overwrite the other?

It's not a big issue; I haven't had any problems with the IK chain besides an occasional Z-axis spaz. Just wondering!
Meowx
The front of a shield, shaped like a lion crest.

This was quite fun to model.
TheSpleen
nice stylized Lion!
robcat2075
Great looking liion thing!

QUOTE(Meowx @ Mar 31 2009, 06:14 PM) *
Question about constraints. Can kinetic constraints not be used with limiters?

Right now I have a "Constraints" pose which contains the Euler limits for all the bones. However, when I also turn on the "Leg Constraints" pose (which contains the kinetic chains and orient like constraints for animating the legs), the bones completely ignore their Euler limits. Is this because they're in separate poses, or does one overwrite the other?

It's not a big issue; I haven't had any problems with the IK chain besides an occasional Z-axis spaz. Just wondering!


You mean "kinematic", right?

constraints have a precedence based on the order they appear in the PWS. I forget whether Higher is higher or higher is lower, but you can drag them up and down to reorder them.

I'm not sure what the precedence rule is for constraints in separate poses, but I bet there is one.

I bet you don't need those euler limits. It's pretty rare for a character rig to need euler limits. It's so rare that TSM2 never uses any. I dont' think Squetch or Lite or 2008 do either.

What rig are you using?
Meowx
Er, yeah, kinematic. When I was a kid and first learned 3D, I always called it "inverse kinetics." It sometimes still haunts me to this day.

The limits are more for reference than anything else, that and they make animating the hands a hell of a lot easier.

I'm (a bit regrettably) using my own made from scratch rig. I wanted to get some experience creating it from the ground up... which I am. But I'm running into a few things from time to time.

Another issue I'm having with it is that the thighs bend outward at a 5 to 15 degree angle when crouching. While it looks fine and natural, it's not the behavior I was expecting. When the feet leave their targets, the legs "snap" back into pointing forward.
robcat2075
QUOTE(Meowx @ Apr 5 2009, 04:52 PM) *
I'm (a bit regrettably) using my own made from scratch rig. I wanted to get some experience creating it from the ground up... which I am. But I'm running into a few things from time to time.


That's something you should do after you've used a good one quite a bit. In A:M. Maybe you already have. Ok then. But if you haven't, then you are starting out with some mistaken goals.

QUOTE
Another issue I'm having with it is that the thighs bend outward at a 5 to 15 degree angle when crouching. While it looks fine and natural, it's not the behavior I was expecting. When the feet leave their targets, the legs "snap" back into pointing forward.


Without knowing how they are rigged, impossible to say.

I'm going to guess it's the lack of a knee control. Have you watched the "Simplest IK leg" video on my tuts page? That shows a knee pointer or knee target. Which is something already built into the rigs I mentioned.


BTW, there are zero animation posing situations in which you leave the feet targets away from the feet or let them stretch the legs absolutely straight. Never get into that situation and you'll never have to undo weird rig behavior because of it.

robcat2075
Other possibilities are that some joint has bones where an end point and a origin point aren't exactly in the same spot. But I'm just guessing.
Meowx
Cool. Your tutorials are always very helpful!
I was studying the awesome 2008 rig and trying to figure out how everything worked, so I was using "orient like" constraints for the thighs with thigh targets nested in a leg hinge instead of a simple knee target. KISS to the rescue.

Oh, and you were right on about the joints not being perfectly in-line. The starts of the foot targets weren't properly lined up on top of the ends of the calves.
mtpeak2
It sounds like the thigh orient bones are not in a good position in the modeling window. There are probably other bones out of position as well.
Meowx
Alright, semi-related-but-not-really issue.

I'm trying to open up another project file to take a look at some rigging; however, it looks like I last saved this one with a smartskin window open. Normally I try not to do this since A:M seems to sometimes spaz when opening something that has a smartskin window open, I'll close the window and re-save afterwards. Must not have here.

ANYway. What happens is once the window opens, the program just hangs. Cursor sits there spinning but never does anything. This is not uncommon for me in pose/smartskin windows when there's a lot of patches on-screen, I typically have to hide parts of the model to get the window to open. When it hangs, I can click on the Finder or another program in the background and the pose/ss window will draw some patches at random... but I'll never be able to do anything. I always end up having to force quit. I've let it sit and spin for a good 10-15 minutes, too.

Anyone experience anything similar/know any workarounds?
robcat2075
Open up the file in a text editor

delete everything between the WINDOWPLACEMENTS tags


<WINDOWPLACEMENTS>

delete stuff here.
</WINDOWPLACEMENTS>


then save the file under a new name like

nomorewindows.prj

Meowx
Sweet, thanks!
Meowx
Every time I simulate spring systems, "Calculate on the fly" gets turned on for every single dynamic bone. In the base models, not just the action. It's getting really annoying going back and turning them all off every time, is there a way around this?
HomeSlice
Not sure if this will solve your specific issue, but I always add all my dynamic and spring system type constraints in a separate ON/OFF pose named "Dynamics".
When I'm done animating, I make sure my chor length is the proper length (it sometimes stretches beyond the number of frames I am rendering).
Then I Simulate Spring Systems in the chor.
Then I go back to frame 0 in the chor and set the Dynamics pose to OFF for all the models that have such a pose.
robcat2075
QUOTE(Meowx @ Apr 11 2009, 07:38 PM) *
Every time I simulate spring systems, "Calculate on the fly" gets turned on for every single dynamic bone. In the base models, not just the action. It's getting really annoying going back and turning them all off every time, is there a way around this?


Another thing you could do is save your model just BEFORE you simulate. Then you can just reload it if you need to get back the non-on-the-fly state.
Meowx
I actually do have a pose for all the dynamics, I hadn't thought to just turn it off after simulating. Good call!

New question: is there a way to "refresh" a decal without reloading the project? Like, if I'm editing in Photoshop, can I force it to reload the decal file rather than closing and re-opening the project file every time I save a change?
NancyGormezano
QUOTE(Meowx @ Apr 13 2009, 06:58 PM) *
I actually do have a pose for all the dynamics, I hadn't thought to just turn it off after simulating. Good call!

New question: is there a way to "refresh" a decal without reloading the project? Like, if I'm editing in Photoshop, can I force it to reload the decal file rather than closing and re-opening the project file every time I save a change?


weird - I just answered this here:

http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?s=&am...st&p=298299
Meowx
lol, nice! Unfortunately, that never works for me.
Meowx
Just occurred to me that I haven't really posted any pics of the whole WIP yet. Well, here it is.

This is my first serious model in about four years, so I'm a bit rusty. Between that and the fact that I was going for maximum model detail, it weighs in a bit hefty - just shy of 15k patches. The other characters I'm working on will probably be quite a bit lighter.

The model and rigging itself is almost done, I'm still tweaking things here and there. The animation test I uploaded was just that, a test, so you'll see that the movement gets a bit robotic at the end. Was mostly to make sure cloth and dynamics were functioning properly.

Now I'm working on the textures!

ps - no, the back of the shield is not modeled in the movie. that's just the back of the front (if that made sense)
steve392
Prety groovy charector ,nice animation I like how the sword work's with the camera
NancyGormezano
very impressive - very good portrayal of "heavy, tired" movement. Looks like you've got rigging resolved.

Whats going on at the very end - with stray hair? or something? (never mind - I see its hair attached to end of sword - need better lighting perhaps, even for a test?)
MJL
Very Well Done!
Meowx
QUOTE(NancyGormezano @ Apr 14 2009, 03:42 PM) *
Whats going on at the very end - with stray hair? or something? (never mind - I see its hair attached to end of sword - need better lighting perhaps, even for a test?)

Yeah, there's a couple bands on the end of the sword. I really should have used a white background for that test.
I was thinking of making them a bit wider; more noticeable.
robcat2075
That's the biggest cell phone antenna i've ever seen.

Looks good!
Paul Forwood
That's very impressive! What rig are you using?
Meowx
QUOTE(robcat2075 @ Apr 14 2009, 05:12 PM) *
That's the biggest cell phone antenna i've ever seen.

Reception is important, right?

The rig is one I made from scratch, mostly because that's how I'm used to doing it (and I kinda wish I had just used the 2008 rig). The IK legs are based off Mark's 2008 rig with leg hinges and thigh orient bones. I put IK arms in too, but I don't really like them. The face is just a jaw bone, eyelid bones and muscle poses.

Ok, this is driving me nuts - is there a key to toggle full res/half res on real-time decals? I saw the decal full res for a second, but now it's just 1/2 resolution.
Paul Forwood
Try right clicking on the "Images" icon, at the top of the Project Work Space, and then select "Clear Cache". You may have to Save and reboot before you see a change, not sure. Ken Heslip offered this solution in a recent thread which you might find using the search engine, (top-right of these forum pages). I believe that there was another step to this in Ken's description but try that and see if it works.
Meowx
Started working on a dragon today, I'm quite liking how its face is turning out!
Not a friendly talkative dragon, just a wild beasty dragon.
Meowx
Had a chance to work on beasty some more today. Now just needs some legs and wings... can't wait to start rigging this guy, should be fun!
robcat2075
I like the design of that. I like the bony plates. I presume they are bony.
TheSpleen
incredible work! Love it!
Meowx
Started working on wing and leg... I was shaking my fist a bit at the hand/fingers joint and ended up using no less than FOUR five-point patches per finger. Any suggestions on cleaning this up?

(No toes yet!)
robcat2075
QUOTE(Meowx @ Apr 27 2009, 04:25 PM) *
Started working on wing and leg... I was shaking my fist a bit at the hand/fingers joint and ended up using no less than FOUR five-point patches per finger. Any suggestions on cleaning this up?


You are going to have five pointers whenever you have a structure like a finger.

this might be cleaner, might not, depends on the contour of the object

Click to view attachment
Meowx
Cool, ty. Attaching legs now!
HomeSlice
Nice! Remember to model your characters in a pose that will be easy to rig. Of course, you really don't know what poses are harder or easier to rig until you rig a few. A general rule of thumb (very general) is, model things like the back, neck, hands, arms, fingers etc as straight as possible along either the X, Y or Z axis. Then you can add any permanent deformations in a pose that you just turn on before animating. You can't really do that with things like quadruped (or dragon) back legs and stuff though, so you just model them like they're supposed to look.
Also make sure the model's feet are at 0 on the Y azis and the center of weight is at 0,0 on the XZ axes.
Meowx
Yeah, I may straighten those legs out. I wasn't sure how I would want em when I modeled it, so I'll experiment when I start rigging!
Meowx
Sat down and finished the dragon model. I'm not quite satisfied with the legs, it feels like they're missing SOMEthing. Just can't put my finger on it.

I'll also be making a saddle for him, but I'll probably get him rigged up first.

edit: annnnd just noticed that after I re-found the normals, it flipped his hair patches around so I have to re-do all that. oops. Good thing he only had that little bit behind his jaw!
Shelton
Hi David

I don't know how I missed this thread, but really great stuff going on here. Love both models.

Steve

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