BONES - groups and switch layers

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AngryMonster
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BONES - groups and switch layers

Post by AngryMonster » Sat Aug 25, 2007 4:19 am

Hi

Two questions...

1. Can you bind a bone to a group... that only affects that particular group?

2. What are the benefits of putting bones on a switch layer?... why would you? ... I ask this because I have seen some anime files with bones on switches.

Thank you in advance!
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:43 am

1. Can you bind a bone to a group... that only affects that particular group?
I think I know what you mean. You want to have a group of points only effected by certain bones but in a "flexible" way correct? I wish! No sorry. You could bind a group of points to a bone but it isn't flexible. The points move as a complete unit.
2. What are the benefits of putting bones on a switch layer?... why would you? ... I ask this because I have seen some anime files with bones on switches.
There are a few cool things you can do with bones on a switch. I use it currently for hands. I can "flip" a hand front to back by having a switch layer with the shape orders changed.

I use the bones to change the position of the bones for the fingers. I use the switch layer to create the illusion of the hand flipping from the front to back.

That is just one example. Another would be to have a leg or some kind of limb that changes shape. By having the bones on the switch you can control the same mesh but have a completely different layer.

-vern
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AngryMonster
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Post by AngryMonster » Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:55 am

interesting... thanks for your reply.

Arranging the character (bones, layers, shapes...etc) is where I get lost. There seems to be so many ways of doing it !?

I get the feeling everyone does it differently ... depending on what sort of character or animation they are going for... ??

My background is in Flash so I tend to separate everything into layers (eyes, nose, tongue, rt forearm , rt upper arm...etc)

...is this common?

or is the trend to have separate shapes on one layer?

thx
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:21 am

My background is in Flash so I tend to separate everything into layers (eyes, nose, tongue, rt forearm , rt upper arm...etc)

...is this common?
Whatever works for you.

I tend to sort of do both. I will keep many elements on separate layers, then later I may paste them all into one layer to simplify the project. This is not necessary although all those layers may make the file "bigger" or "slower". I've never really tested that.

Another benefit for multiple layers is using z-depth for animated layer order. You can have an arm for instance, move over and under the body by changing the z translation and using depth ordering.

If the arm were on the same layer this would not be possible.

You can even extend this further. Currently I have a face of a lion type character. I have many elements on different layers so I can "flip" them up and down for head turns.

Sometime it is difficult to break apart a shape to put on different layers. I've found a way around this by duplicating the whole layer with the mesh but "splitting" the shape into sections so it is only filled on parts. You still have the exact same shape but not it can be split up and put on different layers and still "appear" to be one continuous shape. I did this recently for the mouth of a character so I could flip layers as the head turns. I have the ENTIRE shape of the mouth on both layers but it's on filled on opposite sides of each layer. It looks continuous and connected but I can change the z-depth order of each side that gets "hidden" as the head turns.

This only works well with bones. The shapes are identical and effected by the same bones in exactly the same way so they move the same. If you do point motion this is not going to be easy to keep the layers "lined up".

-vern
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AngryMonster
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Post by AngryMonster » Sat Aug 25, 2007 10:25 am

thanks vern!
Genete
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Post by Genete » Sat Aug 25, 2007 3:31 pm

AngryMonster,
regarding to question number one you can make a group of points only affected in a flexi bind mode by some of the bones of the mesh although there are more bones around the points.
Let's say for example that there is only tree bones on the layer and two group of points you can make one bone (#1) to affect to one group (#2) and the other two bones (#2 & #3) to affect to the other group (#2) in a flexi bind mode if you do following:

The original model have group #1 & #2 very close all them in the same area.
At frame 0 place group #1 so far away to the group #2. There can be lines connecting both groups. Don't worry about the points, they'll come back. Also place the bones #2 & #3 (that affect to group #2) on its final position. Then place the bone #1 to the proper position (far away) to affect to the group #1.
THEN using Offset tool recover position of bone #1 to its correct position in the model. Points would follow the bone.
Then if you move bones #2 & #3 they only would affect to the group #2 and none of the points of group #1 would move (if you placed them enough far away at frame 0).

Hope the explanation was not so confusing...
-G
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Sat Aug 25, 2007 8:02 pm

Good grief!!!!

Bone offset!

Thanks Genete.

Yes, check out the tutorial and help regarding Bone Offset or the Offset tool.

What was I thinking, I use it all the time.

It is a bit... strange to work with because on frame 0 your character or drawing will look a bit "wonky" with the points and bones in odd positions.

I'm use to that myself. All of my characters have their lips down here... the teeth over there... the tongue over that way... the eyes up there.... etc etc.

This will only work well with Region Binding on a bone layer.

-vern
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