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Everything posted by HomeSlice

  1. HomeSlice


    That's awesome Gerry. Congratulations and Good luck!
  2. I'm not sure the LiteRig is the best rig to install into a dragon. A dragon is more like a quadruped and the basic LiteRig is designed for humanoid type characters. Unfortunately, the only alternative that I'm aware of (aside from creating your own ) is the quadruped option in The Setup Machine. Good Luck and let us know how it goes.
  3. That's a great start Chris. Getting from a position sitting on the floor like that to a standing position is difficult to do. When I sit in that position and try to get up: I place my hand on the floor I rotate my hips toward the hand I continue rotating my hips until I am on my hands and knees I walk my hands back toward my body while standing until I can get my center of gravity over my hips. Then I stand up. Of course there are endless variations...
  4. HomeSlice


    I'm pretty sure everyone who has ever created an INSTALL rig has bumped up against this. All the rigs share a similar basic philosophy; the user adds the geometry bones and the installation process adds the control bones/constraints/relationships etc. The problem I ran into with the LiteRig is that I had to add a bunch of extra bones just so the install process could automatically place the control bones in the correct positions and add the constraints/relationships without user intervention. I believe anything which adds an "automation" layer to a manual process will complicate the resulting product significantly. I have the same issues as Nancy regarding analysis, customization and modification of INSTALL rigs. I then tried to create a series of drag-drop modules for different types of bone structures, but that didn't pan out either. Grasshopper in SO was rigged with this approach and even though it was possible to animate him reasonably well, the rig definitely had issues. That's why I pretty much build every rig from scratch now. It is difficult to break the process of weighting a complicated area down into a methodical set of steps. When I was planning out my Face Weighting tutorial ( http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=34473 ) I re-rigged the same face mesh 6 or 7 times while keeping notes in order to try to figure out a no-brainer set of steps, but in the end I didn't quite achieve my goal. The user still has to understand a little about the process and philosophy of weighting in order to apply the concepts covered in my tutorial to his/her own models. What might work better is a simple tutorial with a 100x100 grid. Place a bone at the center CP on the grid and assign the central CP to the bone. Then guide the user through the process of making all the other CPs in the grid move in a fluid way in response to the rotation of the bone. That pretty much gives the user all he/she needs to know. ---------------- If we had a javascript or python interface to the sdk (and decent documentation on how to use it) we *might* be able to create scripts to install animation rigs without adding that extra layer of complexity to the resulting rig, but I'm not going to spend the next five years learning C++ just to create an install script when I can rig my own character in a couple of afternoons. Actually, I would LOVE a way to interface with the sdk using AutoHotkey. AutoHotkey is by far the easiest way to create simple Windows desktop applications. AutoHotkey_L will also interface with Windows COM objects. But there does not seem to be a viable way to run complex AutoHotkey scripts on a Mac. The version for Mac (IronAHK, seems to have stopped development). However, having said that, TSM has a scripting environment and that rig still seems pretty complicated when I try to modify it to suit my own wants/needs.... --------------------- In the end, it seems the best solution is a series of tuts to teach the user how to build his/her own rigs. 1) basic humanoid rig (with IK/FK arms and legs) 2) hand gizmo 3) foot gizmo 4) face rig 5) squetch components 6) quadruped rig 7) insect rig
  5. Whatever structure you work out for yourself will probably be the best one for you. A couple of things I've noticed during the few large projects I've worked on. * If I have several actors and many props, it is easier to find what I'm looking for if I have a separate "Actors" folder and "Props" folder. * Have a top level folder for Sets, and in each set's folder include only a "base model" which is specific to that set (can be an empty model) and an "assembly" Action (where you assemble the set). The assembly action will pull in models from the Props folder. *Even though you may use the same animation rig for all your characters, each actor's actions are often unique to that actor. An example would be that a walk cycle for a tall or fat actor will look horrible if you apply it to a short or skinny actor. I've found that it is easier to keep track of my actions if I put each actor's actions in an "actions" folder within the actor's folder. If I don't want a bunch of unique actions for each actor, then I lump them all in a top level Actions folder, but I use a consistent naming convention to make it easy to find what I'm looking for. I use a fairly simple folder structure FWIW:
  6. This doesn't help you right now, but when you get back home, take a Sharpie and write the serial number on your AM disk. I can't count the number of times that simple act saved my bacon in the past.
  7. Not that I am aware of, but it is pretty easy to manually rotate those two sections how you want them. About half way through Emelio's fourth tutorial, "Modeling a Suspended Highway", he covers the "Keep Y Axis Parallel" option. Maybe that will help.
  8. Here are Emelio Le Roux's original Flash based tutorials on Sweeper. They are very good. (Emelio created the plugin). http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=41179 For those who like to go at a slower pace. Here is a pdf tutorial I made. http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=30336
  9. Next time you get a successful render, I wanna see a Screenshot of the Render Panel!
  10. The only two that seem really useful are "Wife's Birthday" and "Your Fly is Open".
  11. I don't think that would be possible. You can assign one CP to several groups, so what happens to the CP when you show some of those groups and hide some of the other ones?
  12. HomeSlice


    I think it is the Soft Reflections that are killing your render times. You might try using a blurred environment/reflection map on the sax to see if that gives you something acceptable, but the soft reflections do look really nice.
  13. This might have something to do with the fact that A:M does it's internal calculations in centimeters. 37.5 cm = 14.8 inches. So the model was just converted to centimeters when A:M exported it.
  14. Post Extrapolation was available since v9 or v10 I think.
  15. HomeSlice

    Hey Guys

    After learning those other products and realizing that something is hard, *not* because you don't know how to do it, but because the interface is a clunky prehistoric mess, you're going to beg your professors to allow you to use A:M.
  16. I use to model them in separate windows then put them together in the choreography. Indeed .. wheels account for more than 60% of the patches in the model. If anyone is interested, here is a program that will convert a Choreography to an Action file http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?s=&am...st&p=344331 It is much easier to assemble things with a lot of parts in a Choreography, but Actions are reusable and more versatile. So this was my answer to that dilemma. It worked well back in January, but I haven't used it much since then. It is mostly javascript with a few special api calls to open/save files on the computer. If you want to look at the javascript code, it is in the "Resources" folder after you install the program.
  17. I spent quite a few hours with it about a year ago. At the time it was quite a job just to get it running. Then there was an issue where it would not let you set the location of your project files. The location defaulted to the root of the drive and there was no way to change it. And the file import/export options were very limited. And it required proprietary Matrox codecs, which didn't always play nice with the rest of the system. It may have improved since then though.
  18. LiteFace does work with AM's dopesheet feature. You have to edit each phoneme pose (in User Properties > Face Controls > Face Rigging > Phonemes) and shape the mouth into the appropriate shape for the phoneme. You can manipulate bones, control points or a combination or both. But the dope sheet creates choppy movements and I usually have to spend a significant amount of time in the Channel editor to smooth out the animation. So, like Robert, I have gotten better, and faster, results by doing it manually. (I have had a lot of practice lip syncing though, so at first it may take you quite a bit longer to get the hang of it) Some issues I have noticed with the dope sheet: *The keyframes it generates are often only 1 frame apart, or less (a fraction of a frame apart). Occasionally you may want some keyframes only one frame apart, but not often, and I have never found a desire to have them less than 1 keyframe apart. (fix: delete keyframes until there are none left that are closer than 1 frame apart. Then go back through and remove/move keyframes that are closer than two frames apart unless there is some very fast talking in a particular segment.) *The keyframes are all zero sloped by default. I always want spline interpolation, even for very fast talking. (fix: Select all the keyframes (in the Channel editor) and convert them to Spline Interpolation) *After I convert all the keys to Spline Interpolation, the splines (in the Channel editor) quite often travel over the 100% mark or under the 0% mark during their transition from keyframe to keyframe. This effectively clips the animation, contributing to the choppiness. (fix: Move control points (in the Channel editor) down until the apex of the offending curves are just a tad under the 100% mark. And move control points up until the nadir of offending curves are on the 0% mark (not below it).
  19. I'm not sure exactly what you are asking, but here are some tutorials that might help: Modeling with Distortion Boxes http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=29735 Animating with Distortion Boxes http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=29730
  20. HomeSlice


    I really enjoyed that Gerry.
  21. In addition to TAoA:M, there are a few tuts on different particle systems here: http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showforum=207
  22. Also make sure you have a defined a Frame range or more than 3 frames.
  23. You and liveimpact may be having different issues. In your case, make sure you actually have an alpha channel in your image knocking out the areas you want to be transparent. I've had the best luck with tga images, but 32bit png images work for me too. It sounds like liveimpact has proper alpha channels in his images, but there may be a bug which renders black triangles when certain patches intersect. But we can make a better diagnosis with 1) an image showing the problem and 2) a *very simple* project file (with all models, images etc included in the zipped file) which consistently displays the problem.
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