Trying to get a more dynamic template...

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Kazerad
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Trying to get a more dynamic template...

Post by Kazerad » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:25 pm

Okay, here's my problem: I've done plenty of animation in Anime Studio before, but mostly things that are either very flat and cutout-y, or "low-poly" enough to do lots of point-by-point modification (example: http://foxmage.com/Yell.gif ). Most my experience is with Flash and Hash A:M, so 2D skeletons feel very constraining.

I have a project I'm undertaking and have been a bit torn between using AS or Flash - AS is undoubtedly faster, smoother, and less work, but it's always a pain to make characters seem "3D". Ideally, I want to be able to twist and turn my characters every which way to make them seem less "robotic". Also, the project I'm working on requires more complex character designs (example: http://foxmage.com/Robin.png ), where it'd be difficult to do large amounts of point modification for every movement. So, I've been experimenting around with some more complex bone structures that can do more of the work for me.

http://foxmage.com/RiggingTest.anme

So, here's what I have so far. At the moment it's a rough, low-poly, androgynous template, but I want to get a better idea if I'm on the right track before I fancy it up. Also, I want to avoid any tapered lines so I can get a nicer Flash export.

The five bones to the right of the character (try to) control the head tilt, shoulder twist, hip twist, and the angle of the two legs (not complete turns, but at least between various angles of 3/4 view). Also, shortening the forearm will (try to) make another line stretch out to kind of imply dimension (this needs work).

The shoulders are also being problematic. What I'm aiming for is both covering up the sloppy arm connection and automating realistic shoulder lifts, where the shoulder rises with the arm.

So, this is kind of a vague question, but how can I do this better? I have next to no experience with using scripts, so is there things they could automate? Anything I'm doing horribly wrong, or that other people have already figured out how to do better?

EDIT: Fixed the offset movement on the control bones. The leg ones are still a pain to work, though.
Genete
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Post by Genete » Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:46 pm

That's cool!.
Modify the skeleton position but maintain the kinematics. If you don't constraint the angle the bones still being able to be manipulated or angle modified. It was something that I knew but never realized to use to morph an skeleton...

Yeah!

Thanks for share! It is a new world to explore!!!
That's the first time I see this method...
-G
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Wed Jul 11, 2007 4:18 am

Yes... very cool rig. I'm impressed. I like it! There is some stuff going on in there I really like.

I think you are on the "right track"... I don't always know for sure what the right track is. ;)

You seem to have the same desire I have, an easy to animate character rig that gives you more options with out having to draw 10 different views of the same thing.

You should look at the thread on simple "3d" head turns using minimal bones. I think they got it down to 3! It is very similar to what you are doing with the head and I think you would have no trouble figuring out what those guys are doing.

I wrote a script that "flips" layers up and down in the z depth so if you put the arms and legs on separate layers they will flip up and down during the turn (behind/in front of the body).

I am very impressed with your rig so far. I don't know how long you have used AS but this is pretty good grasp of the power of constraints.

-vern
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Víctor Paredes
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Post by Víctor Paredes » Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:07 am

hi kazerad, welcome to the forum.
your rig is simple and great. i think you are actually in the right way and that your technique can be improved a lot in this forum (mainly if your first two positives answers are from genete and vern).

thanks for sharing, i will apply this technique to my characters. with this and the simply head turns treads, its definitively close the rig we all ned.
Kazerad
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Post by Kazerad » Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:26 am

Wow.. wasn't expecting this kind of reaction =P. Thanks.

I made a second version. I simplified things a bit; now you can turn his head by dragging his nose, turn his shoulders by dragging his chest, his hips by dragging his stomach, and his legs by dragging his knees. I also reduced his legs to two bones - his knee bends automatically when you shorten his leg. I also gave him some ears and a tail to make him less plain, and put the skeleton on a switch layer so I can potentially have him turn if I need to.
I haven't given him hands yet, but when I do I'll look into that Z-flipper script, Vern.

The new model: http://foxmage.com/NewRig.anme

Next to the old one for comparison:
Image Image

And here he is dancing poorly, done as a test to see how much I could animate without touching the point layer:
Image

Again, any advice on things I can improve would be greatly appreciated.
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Víctor Paredes
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Post by Víctor Paredes » Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:22 am

i really love what you are doing!
your rig is so flexible!

anyway, i have had the imprudence of modify a little bit your rig.
you can download it here


what i have changed


- i have duplicated the vector layer, but with the shapes in different order.
actually, i have send the right arm shapes to the top. so if you want to make that the arm pass from the back to the front, just switch it.


- i have added a new big bone at the right. it's the parent of the stomach and the legs bones. now, when you rotate the stomach, it won't rotate the entire character. legs are independent of the stomach movement.
if you want to move or rotate the whole character, make it with moving or rotating the new big bone.


- i have added two little (really little) bones before the thighs. now the thighs bones depends of this couple little bones. the little bones are the "controlled" ones now, and not the thighs bones.
the reason is complex (and my english knowledge too basic): if you lock the feet bones, and then move whole character with the new big bone, the legs chain of bones will work right. the feet will be patch to the floor.
before, with the bone thighs controlled, thighs weren't react to the chain movement and the lock bones became useless.

- maybe you could make the same with the shoulders bones, if you want to play locking the arms bones.

- i have added two bones to the feet. they are not working correctly right now, but they are useful to make walk cycles.



that's all. thanks again for share your file, i have learned a lot and i hope my modifications be useful.
Genete
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Post by Genete » Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:18 am

There are two keys in this model:
1) The initial explosion composition and its region binding.
2) The intelligent use of constraints.

Selgin improvements are also good and proper.

I think this rig is one simplification of initial Vern's 2.5D head rig.

Great job Kazerad!! (well done selgin!)

Maybe I'm a little obtuse today but I don't find more improvements. I've tried to fix the head to allow more turn but it is not possible with linear translation. Maybe Vern can do something.
I don't want to change your concept with a 3D rig for the head.
The current rig is good enough for the desired animation.

Congratulations.
-G
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Víctor Paredes
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Post by Víctor Paredes » Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:26 am

Genete wrote:Great job Kazerad!! (well done selgin!)
thanks :D. i should be working now (it's 4:24 am and i have to present some bored animations tomorrow to my boss), but i couldn't resist to play with this rig. i just couldn't...
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:06 am

Wow!

Where did this mysterious stranger come from? Where has he been hiding?

;)

Nice job! Great rig!


-vern
Kazerad
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Post by Kazerad » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:31 pm

Very nice improvements, Selgin! I fixed a bit of a shape order issue with your new arm layer (moving the deltoid in front of his arm and his arm in front of his waist). I'll upload it after some more improvements; I want to see if I can add some interpolated switch layers for things like a side, front, and back view.

As for more 3D head turns, you are right, Genete, about this being good enough for the desired animation; my main goal here is to minimize the point-by-point movement, not go to great ends to eliminate it. However, I could easily make the head turn a bit more "rounded" if the "position control bone" settings allowed for formulas rather than just numbers.
selgin wrote:- i have added two little (really little) bones before the thighs. now the thighs bones depends of this couple little bones. the little bones are the "controlled" ones now, and not the thighs bones.
the reason is complex (and my english knowledge too basic): if you lock the feet bones, and then move whole character with the new big bone, the legs chain of bones will work right. the feet will be patch to the floor.
before, with the bone thighs controlled, thighs weren't react to the chain movement and the lock bones became useless.
I noticed adding those bones restored inverse kinematics to the legs, but I'm not sure I understand why they did or what else they do - this is actually the first time I've done much with bones beyond turning them and moving them.
If your English knowledge is too basic to explain, I can understand Spanish as long as your sentence structures aren't too complicated.
Genete
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Post by Genete » Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:33 am

I could easily make the head turn a bit more "rounded" if the "position control bone" settings allowed for formulas rather than just numbers.
Yeah! It was my first feature request! formulas to the bone constraints!!!
OMG I'll be SO HAPPY when that day arrives!
-G
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Patrick McClintock
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Post by Patrick McClintock » Sat Jul 14, 2007 7:28 pm

You should look at the thread on simple "3d" head turns using minimal bones. I think they got it down to 3! It is very similar to what you are doing with the head and I think you would have no trouble figuring out what those guys are doing.

I think these guys are trying to create a simplified universal rigg, you know, for study, for beginners like me. I can't say that I understand position constraints, why are there two numeric input windows? Kazerad, I like your shoulder and hip solutions! Selgin has presented many simplified, elegent solutions too, and I think with a few (or more)switch layers a faux 360 could be achieved.
I like the muscle arrangements of your drawings. They seem to take best advantage of bone movement.
P.
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:45 pm

can't say that I understand position constraints, why are there two numeric input windows?
2 inputs for X and Y translation. You could have a bone constrained to another bone but it moves twice as much (2) in the X as the Y... or not at all in the Y (0).

-vern
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Patrick McClintock
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Post by Patrick McClintock » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:15 pm

Ah the X, and the Y! Now i just need a little practice.
Thnx Vern.
P.
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Patrick McClintock
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Post by Patrick McClintock » Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:47 pm

Kazerad,
If i may ask, where did you learn to make your 2-D meshes, they are outstanding.
P.
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