Incompetent Secret Agent. Experiment in bone rigging

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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:11 pm

I made a totally new character by offsetting bones on frame 0 and adjusting on frame 1.

A few point tweaks. took about 20 minutes.

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-vern
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dreeko13
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Post by dreeko13 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:30 pm

there are about 3 or 4 people on this forum who i tune in regularly to see if they have posted anything new

, and you my friend are right up the top

would your bone rigging set up be simpler if you had multiple bone levels rather than all bones on one layer?
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:47 pm

Thank you for the wonderful comments. You guys will make my head swell... but I don't care. I think I'm channeling some highly intelligent "bone constraint" alien from Venus anyway. ;)
dreeko13 wrote:would your bone rigging set up be simpler if you had multiple bone levels rather than all bones on one layer?
I thought about this a few times as my bone list grew and grew. ;)

I could put parts that are "separate" from the main face on a different bone layer (eyes, mouth).

The only trouble I see at the moment are areas that need to be part of one shape but influenced with another:

The mouth and eyes for instance. On the shading I have points under the nose and around the mouth and eyes that are pulled away from the face (bone offset) and influenced by the mouth and eye bones. The rest of the points on these shapes stay in the main face and are influenced by those bones. If the mouth were on a separate layer, I wouldn't be able to do this.

If it was a simpler face without any interior shading shapes it would work.

At the moment all bones on one layer is the only way this works. It isn't that bad though. I've found that I only need to access or change a few set of bones that are easy to select when adapting a new character.

The really cool thing is, I have been improving and updating the bones for each character. Making the rig better. All I have to do is drop the vector layer of an old character in the new bone layer to update it (making the minor bone tweaks required of course).

Another benefit for me anyway... all my characters are THE SAME SIZE! I always get that messed up. This guarantees all my characters based on this rig are the same size. I can tweak slightly if needed with layer scaling.

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Note on that last example:
Using Rasheed's script that converts bone motion to point motion, you can actually create completely new vector versions from the bone modifications.

-vern
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:04 pm

HOLY COW!

I just had an inspiration!

I have a project that uses switch layer lip sync with papagayo. I have a ton of work already done so I can't go back and change it now... but..

I was thinking how can I use this head turn bone rig with papagayo switch layer lip sync... BONES ON THE SWITCH LAYER!

I put the main head turn bones (not the mouth bones) on the switch/head layer. I can turn the head while the switch layers are... well... switching!

This means you can use a single switch layer lip sync for head turns! Yeeehaaaaa!!!

-vern
Genete
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Post by Genete » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:22 pm

heyvern wrote:HOLY COW!

I just had an inspiration!

I have a project that uses switch layer lip sync with papagayo. I have a ton of work already done so I can't go back and change it now... but..

I was thinking how can I use this head turn bone rig with papagayo switch layer lip sync... BONES ON THE SWITCH LAYER!

I put the main head turn bones (not the mouth bones) on the switch/head layer. I can turn the head while the switch layers are... well... switching!

This means you can use a single switch layer lip sync for head turns! Yeeehaaaaa!!!

-vern
I cannot imagine why did you not use switch layers from the begining... If really only a vector layer is needed to composite your character, then use switch layers!!. For example you can change customs or clothes of the character easily with switch layers. And also the ordeing of the shapes of course will help you to make head turns and tonge tricks, scars... wow!
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:32 pm

I have a version of the rig setup in a switch layer for my "ear" experiments.

You are so right. The switch layer idea can be used for much more than just that.

The problem I have with bones in switches is you can't use the "G" shortcut tool (multiple bone selection) to select multiple bones! I don't know why. This is probably a bug. I use this A LOT! For instance while animating, I will drag select all the mouth controls and key them at one time, or change rotation on frame 0 etc, etc.

To select a whole pile of bones all on top of each other requires being able to drag select. There is no other way... I've tried. ;) (there is a way but I have to move each bone slightly so I can shift select the ones underneath... pain in the arse.)

So in order to do all this experimenting and modifying I keep it as a plain bone layer so the drag select bone tool works. If I do the switch bones thing, I have to do it at the end. Change it using a text editor.

-vern
Genete
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Post by Genete » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:55 pm

heyvern wrote: The problem I have with bones in switches is you can't use the "G" shortcut tool (multiple bone selection) to select multiple bones! I don't know why. This is probably a bug. I use this A LOT! For instance while animating, I will drag select all the mouth controls and key them at one time, or change rotation on frame 0 etc, etc.

-vern
Sorry, but what is the "G" shortcut tool?
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:31 am

It's that multiple select bone tool... you know.. maybe it is a custom tool from somebody... I can't remember not having it though for selecting multiple bones by dragging a marque or using the lasso.

-vern
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Post by DarthFurby » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:10 am

Heyvern, you are the man.

I was skeptical at first because the rigging process looked ridiculously convoluted, but now I'm convinced the technique can be refined and simplified enough so that anyone can build their own rig without having to reinvent the wheel.

To LostMarble/e-frontier: Want a customer to buy Anime Studio on the spot? Showcase a refined version of heyvern's rig on the website. It has that WTF factor. Maybe give the feature a fancy name like "2.5D Emotion Engine", send out some e-mails, demo it at a trade show, let the media see it in action and watch what happens. People won't believe their eyes. Neither will the competition. This is not a tech demo. It's a weapon of mass destruction.
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:27 am

Here's what I would like to do...

Finish tweaking the rig; the eyes are still a problem. They don't move properly in relation to the face on turns. I want to fix this with the springy bones trick from Genete.

Document and clean up the bones (renaming descriptions etc).
Draw up a whole bunch of cool characters and put this rig on them along with bodies and rigging for that as well. Include some bone "actions" for expressions to get things rolling.

And offer this at an affordable cost through efrontier. I don't know, $20 a piece? $10?

I would love to just give this away... I really would... but I do that so much in my life. I have no money. Seriously. I'm broke. Hand to mouth. I asked for food for Christmas (got a case of instant noodle soups from my sister).

Needless to say if you buy one you get the rig anyway and it is "relatively" simple to adapt your own characters.

-vern
human
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Post by human » Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:43 am

For heaven's sake, you ought to be selling these characters for at least $50, if they're reasonably: reliable, easy to use, and properly documented.

Why doesn't e-frontier hire you and Genete and Rasheed and some of our other maestros to do this up right?

It would be a stellar investment.
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:45 am

I plan to be at the New York Comic Con http://www.nycomiccon.com/ in February to check out efronier's booth (and of course Hash's booth. Have to go there.)

I will probably wear a custom T-shirt with "I am Vern!" on it. I did that at another show years ago where I was only known by my user name. (One of the Hash guys asked for my shirt so I gave it to him. Have to make a new one.)

Maybe they can let me show off how this thing works during the show. It is fun to watch live. ;) I'm always just posing these faces just for the fun of it. It is so easy.

I've got to figure out how to get a tongue in there. I really want to make a pose with the tongue sticking out, but can't figure out a simple approach. A tongue is hard. It has to stay inside the mouth (unless I use a mask which rules out switches) and it has to be able to go over and behind the teeth to be practical. Maybe that can be in version 2.

-vern
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jahnocli
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Post by jahnocli » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:48 pm

I'd buy it for $20. Definitely.
You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
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jahnocli
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Post by jahnocli » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:54 pm

Rasheed wrote: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.
iClone doesn't involve any drawing skills. If you can manipulate virtual thumbwheels, you can use it. I had a look at the trial, and it IS very impressive. But I wanted to use my own characters, and as far as I could make out, the only way of doing this properly is by using a 3DS Max plug-in. As 3DS Max costs megabucks, I lost interest at that point...
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rplate
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Post by rplate » Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:50 pm

heyvern wrote:I made a totally new character by offsetting bones on frame 0 and adjusting on frame 1.

A few point tweaks. took about 20 minutes.
-vern
Vern,
I have a serious question; I noticed that all your demos don't have backgrounds or other objects or characters in the scene. Won't the bone setup effect those as well as the main bone character? I tried putting a movie behind a character using one of your trail downloads and everything around it went berserk when I went to frame one. The use of bones is so hard for me to understand. Especially the way you use them. You are truly a bone specialist. You say, " A few point tweaks." But, one MUST know what to tweak. And it's so critical where the bones fit in relation to the point drawing. It's driving me crazy. I see the potential as a positive attribute but my bone skills and understanding are not.
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