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John Keates

Does anyone use autobalence?

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When I first saw the autobalence feature in the egg rig, I thought "cool, that's going to save me loads of work" but when I started to use it I found that I spent half my time trying to edit what it was doing.

 

What situation is it usefull for? Does anyone use it much? Do I just need more practice with it?

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Thanks for bringing this up John - I've been wondering the same thing. I also found I couldn't use it.

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Hi Nancy, glad I'm not allone on that one.

 

One other thing that I should ask is whether there are other auto-balence rigs that work differently (Anzovin?) and whether expressions could improve the chances of such a thing being usefull.

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I think that the autobalance feature of the rig is most useful if you are animating directly in the choreography. That is the only time I leave it on. Anzovin is the creator of this feature of the rig--the 2001 rig is a blend of Eggington's and Raf's rigs+ Hash. It is a nice rig, I like it !

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Ooops, I meant the 2001 rig not the egg rig - didn't realise the distinction.

 

Yeah, it is a nice rig. I have made my own rigs but they all owe a lot to the 2001 rig. The 'scale to reach' bone in the leg for holding the knee pointer is simple genius.

 

What is the difference between using auto-balence in the chor. as opposed to in the action? Is it the way that the movements add together?

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I don't use it.. just for the reason you stated John. It gets in the way more than it helps and seems to limit the over emphasis on some motion that "sells" a movement sometimes.

 

I also don't use Arm Ik either, but I see more uses for it over Auto Balance.

 

I thought it was cool when I first tried it out, but after a few minutes of playing saw that it was harder to animate with (at least for what I was trying to do).

 

The guy to ask would be Raf. He came up with it I think.

 

C

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I think more new users would succeed in getting their characters rigged if they didn't feel they had to incorporate that autobalance thing.

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I too agree with John - it's the type of rig feature that actually seems to create more work than it does for you. There are only 5 kinds of features that I like to build into my rigs these days.

 

1 - control simplification AND optional complexity - something that enables you to control a group of things with a smaller number of channels whilst maintaining a large amount of flexibility in that control OR to work with a larger amount of control and channels when you want them.

 

2 - Bone/body part isolation - The ability to isolate an area of the body so that it maintains it's own rotation etc.

 

3 - Squash and stretch - Ideally I like to use both simple non targeted proportional scaling and IK targeted squash and stretch. I've found the latter invaluble when animating legs, it gives allows you to build much stronger poses and easily tidy up those fiddly knee pops.

 

4 - Advanced blenders/rollers or fan bones - eg. a rig that correctly maintains the roll of a bicep and direction of the elbow so that you have complete freedom in how you animate the forearm and upper arm. These things are just there to make the mesh deform nicely, they are there to make animating less limited. I think of them as a good antidote to the excessive use of rotation limits to keep a mesh looking pretty. This way - the animator moves what he wants to get the arm to the position he wants it in, and the geometry finds a way to make it work. It's nifty.

 

5 - The ability to individually TURN OFF any of these things when I need to.

 

I've been rigging characters for more than just myself to animate recently and have found that, in these circumstances, the best rig is the one that allows flexibility. Having the ability to select exactly which control features you want and which you don't not only gives each animator freedom to choose how they work generally... but also allows them to pick the best setup for each individual shot.

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I'm actually opposed to auto balance feature. It just uses up valuable CPU cycles while detracting from the quality of the animation. The idea is nice, but it just doesn't work when put through the test. You spend more time counteranimating the automatic hip movement, than you would animating it in the first place.

 

I find many automatic features tend to get in the way. They may make it easier to do fast and rough animation, but get in the way when you want quality.

 

I agree with most of Parlo's points. A rig should be flexible and relatively simple.

 

The other day I did a quick test with a very basic rig, only IK for the feet and just bones for the rest, and because of how the AM bones work (manipulate with IK, save keys as quaternion FK) I had no problem animating with it.

 

Which brings me on to some thoughts on spines, I shall start another thread....

 

Ragnar

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The IK targeted s+s has gotten my interest piqued. Could you explain more? I always have trouble with popping knees.

 

5 - The ability to individually TURN OFF any of these things when I need to.

 

Yeh, I would agree with that. I would also add that it can be usefull to be able to slide features in and out so that transitions can be made easily.

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At this point, I think I should really go on record and say that I hate autobalance. And I INVENTED the damn thing.

 

I'd never use it. I'd never advise anybody else to use it. It does nothing but get in the way. The only reason it's still in the Setup Machine is because we didn't want to remove a previously existing feature, just on the off chance that somebody out there is actually using it.

 

What can I say? I was young and stupid, and it sounded like a good idea at the time. :rolleyes:

 

--Raf

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At this point, I think I should really go on record and say that I hate autobalance. And I INVENTED the damn thing.

 

I'd never use it. I'd never advise anybody else to use it. It does nothing but get in the way. The only reason it's still in the Setup Machine is because we didn't want to remove a previously existing feature, just on the off chance that somebody out there is actually using it.

 

What can I say? I was young and stupid, and it sounded like a good idea at the time. :rolleyes:

 

--Raf

It takes a big man to admit something like that :D

 

I too never used the auto cg feature for anything I animate, BUT, when I reveresed engineered the AutoCG setup waaaaaay back when, It really gave me a nice understanding of how one could use constraints to do cooooool things.

So, I wouldn't say it was a total bust of an item for me.

 

 

Mike Fitz

www.3dartz.com

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Don't beat yourself up too much Raf, it makes it easy for inexperienced animators to get an almost half decent looking animation done relatively quickly ;)

 

Cheers

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At this point, I think I should really go on record and say that I hate autobalance. And I INVENTED the damn thing.

 

I'd never use it. I'd never advise anybody else to use it. It does nothing but get in the way. The only reason it's still in the Setup Machine is because we didn't want to remove a previously existing feature, just on the off chance that somebody out there is actually using it.

 

What can I say? I was young and stupid, and it sounded like a good idea at the time. :rolleyes:

 

--Raf

That clears that up then!

 

Thanks Raf. I can stop considering it now. I can see how it would have seemed pretty damn cool at the time of invention.

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