Incompetent Secret Agent. Experiment in bone rigging

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jahnocli
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Post by jahnocli » Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:01 am

Great characters!
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bupaje
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Post by bupaje » Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:19 pm

Yes, nice job with the characters!
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artfx
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Post by artfx » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:25 pm

This is truly incredible stuff! The setup loks a bit complex but if it can easily transferred from one character to another this could have phenomenal potential.
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:27 pm

I created, and rigged this guy in about 12 hours using the pre-exiting rig. Doing this sample animation took about 30 minutes.

Is that a lot of time? It doesn't seem like it to me considering the time saved during animation.

I think this work flow is going to work out perfectly. I can adapt nearly any character to this rig with some tweaking and adjustments.

http://www.lowrestv.com/moho_stuff/technician_bones.mov

-vern
Genete
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Post by Genete » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:42 pm

Amazing...

Did you still using compound bones technique? Or have adapted the last Rasheed script for copy the rotation of a bone into translation...?
It will be incredible when you an make a side to side head turn with new rotation to traslation thech....

Cheers!
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:51 pm

This is still my original rig using translation and constraints only.

I am still adapting that rotation spring trick with Rasheed's script.

The results and ease of rigging will be better than this one but the development is not as straight forward and a little trickier. The results are SOOOO much better. It is more... "3D" instead of just distortion. Things like eyes that go around the back and curve to the front, are handled better.

As you mentioned, this particular rig I used here could NEVER EVER do a complete side to side turn. I honestly believe that a hybrid rig using your springs and Rasheed's script CAN do a complete side to side head turn.

In the meantime I plan to use this rig to go forward with my Incompetent Secret Agent project. It will be a good test project for this rig.

The next step will be adapting this rig to my Happy Bear project. this may prove tougher due to the "snouty" animal shape type heads. Funny, it was THAT project that prompted this whole thing in the first place.

I will probably use the "new improved" rig for that project.

-vern
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:04 pm

artfx wrote:... if it can easily transferred from one character to another this could have phenomenal potential.
So far it has been fairly easy to transfer the rig.

There are several key spots that may require some bone changing.

eyes/eyebrows
Mouth/lips

These spots have groups of individual bones that follow the shape of the mouth or eyebrows. For the technician I had to move the bones of the eyebrows since they were much smaller.

The mouth for some reason didn't require any bone changes... even though the mouth is completely different in shape and structure I just lowered it into place and it worked with just a few tweaks of only some points. (the mouth and eyes are moved away from the face so those bones only influence those specific areas.)

I think this is because the bones stay put and influence the mesh as it is drawn. So as long as the basic shape of the mouth fits in the bones influence area it just works as it should.

I have found a new thing I call "Point Offset". Similar to bone offset but it must be done on frame 1.

Here's what I did:
The lines on the forehead are actually being controlled by the eyebrows slightly.

On frame 0 I lowered those lines just above the eyebrow bones. Just enough so they are influenced somewhat but not completely. I shortened them slightly so the ends don't catch the extreme end bones.

On frame 1 I moved those points BACK UP where they belong and where they were when originally drawn.

As I animate those forehead lines move with the eyebrow bone movement based on their original location but up higher on the head. It worked like a charm! this allows bones with a small influence area to control points in a totally different spot. I am going to use this A LOT. I think I will put that frame 1 point motion in an action so it won't "get lost" if I clear the animation. Otherwise I would have to redo those points on frame 1 each time.

It would be great if AS had POINT OFFSET on frame 0 just like the bones. This would be an EXCELLENT feature.

-vern
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:49 am

Here's another test animation. The sound bite is from the matrix:

http://www.lowrestv.com/moho_stuff/male_agent2.mov

-vern
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jahnocli
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Post by jahnocli » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:18 pm

Great stuff vern!
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Mikdog
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Post by Mikdog » Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:09 pm

Incredible stuff man.

Love it.

It's got such a nice elastic feel to it too. Almost looks 3D - really quite unbelievably cool.
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Post by DarthFurby » Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:43 pm

vern I think with this 2.5D rig you're on the verge of an animation revolution. If LostMarble/e-frontier can incorporate this technique as a feature in the next version of Anime Studio, or finds a way to market it for the current version, then say hello to a huge boost in sales. This is the stuff of which new intellectual properties are launched. My jaw is dropped.
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Rasheed
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Post by Rasheed » Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:34 pm

I always knew the Vern was an animator with great potential. However, I think this only scratches the surface of what is possible. I think fluid anime is surely a possibility, and with the proper automation tools, the animation can be sped up even more than with the current standard tools of AS. This would mean that what currently has to be done by a team of animators could be done by a lone animator.

If you know how much need for quality animation there is, to be consumed by the online community (YouTube, video podcasts, etc.), this is actually is good thing. AS could be a powerful tool for the new media.
Genete
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Post by Genete » Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:41 pm

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Post by human » Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:44 pm

Yes, clearly, this is what we the users would like to see embedded in the bedrock of AS : Vern's technology, refined for simplicity and for application to general-purpose characters.

I suppose I've been watching these developments from a unique perspective, though: does anyone else here have iClone?

http://www.reallusion.com/iclone/

I bought iClone a couple of weeks before I bought AS.

It, too, will knock your socks off--but in full 3D.

I want to use both products in making a vector movie.

Anyone who wants some inspiration about the future of AS owes it to themselves to check out iClone.
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Rasheed
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Post by Rasheed » Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:08 pm

Errr, that technology is already embedded in AS. Only no-one seems to have discovered it until now. Okay, it's not ready-made, but with enough training, the setup and animation is doable.

What I would like to see is that third-party tools are being developed to speed up character design, because that seems to be the bottleneck at this moment. It would be nice if this could be done from inside AS, but an external designer that uses the technologies used in AS would be fine too. Of course, because AS is commercial software now, those third-party developers should be reputable and sign a NDA to be able to use the knowledge of what goes on inside AS.

Twelve hours design time and 30 minutes animation time seems a bit of a mismatch to me. That design stage should be made much easier, and much more intuitive.

Unfortunately, iClone is Windows-only, so I can't say anything about that, but I reckon since I'm such a poor draftsman, this program is of no use to me.
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