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robcat2075

Calling All Rigs

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Perhaps you've heard that Hash is starting a movie in 2006. One thing we'd like to have is a standard rig that can be used on all the characters.

 

If you've developed a rig that serves you well, the animation directors for Oz would like to see it! Particularly ones that offer solutions to common problems. Or maybe you've made some stunning advance in the art.

 

Post sample rigged characters in this thread. Of course, they will need to be non-proprietary rigs.

 

I'm not a rigging expert, so I'll be looking at them from the POV of someone who'd have to use one to do shots in Tin Woodsman of Oz.

 

And I invite all the other A:M animators to check these rigs out and post your insights here.

 

I know they'll all be "great" but what I'd really like to identify is the problems. For example, the AM2001 rig can't raise its heel independently of the foot bone. I bet that's responsible for a lot of weird looking walk cycles.

 

There is no "perfect" rig, so consider this rig "brainstorming." All ideas considered.

 

No timeline for this discussion, but animation on Tinman starts in 2006

 

thanks in advance!

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I hope nobody minds me adding some things that might be considered useful in the rig (wish lists posted by others):

 

1) simple and direct control over all aspects of the character

2) isolation of body parts as needed (i.e. heel and toe should be moveable independent of the foot controls but also be under the foot controls.)

3) easy switching from one set of requirements to the next (i.e. FK arms to IK arms)

4) the ability to turn off any portion of a rig at any given time.

 

* reliable, intuitive IK/FK switching.

* realistic, flexible shoulders that don't break in extreme poses (I know this also depends on the model and CP weigting)

* as much limb independence as possible (i.e. - head doesn't turn when torso does, etc.)

* feet that can roll on the heel, ball, and toes, as well as the sides. Hands with multiple pivots as well for IK.

* simple finger controls (like TSM's)

* squash/stretch (which can be handled in a few differnt ways. we'll have to discuss the best for this project)

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Why not just use the 2001 rig?

Wouldn't be difficult at all to put a heel raiser in the system.

Take out all the auto center gravity stuff too, as that doesnt really help in animating.....

 

Should be interesting to see what people come up with though.

 

Mike Fitz

www.3dartz.com

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Why not just use the 2001 rig?

The heel is just an example. But it might come to that. Let's see what's out there.

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Here's the rig I uploaded to the rigs thread of this forum. This was built in 11.1, there is a 10.5 version in the thread I mentioned. It's probably not what your looking for, but it has most of the things that Ken brought up. The other things can be added pretty easily. You would have to still have specialty add-on rigs (drag and drop) for the different characters.

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I think Mark's rig is great. The feet are particularly well done and it has poses that do all the IK/FK switching, has hand IK lock, etc. It is very similar to the 2001 rig, so it has the added advantage of a certain familiarity to most of us.

 

I watched Jeff Lew's video and he does great animation, yet has the simplest rig. I think a stable relatively simple rig will work much better over the long haul than some type of uber rig. It will also make project files smaller and less likely to get messed up. Additionally, the more bones, poses, etc the more channels in the timeline and the harder it may be to clean up animations. Also the more bones that have to be keyed the harder it will be to avoid overshoot due to a forgotten key.

 

Remember also how many bones a facial rig can add to a character.

 

These are my thoughts, purely from a newbie viewpoint.

 

This is a good thread to start thinking through a particularly thorny problem well in advance.

 

Scott

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I realize what is under consideration here is a full character rig.

However, since we are talking the Oz project here let me throw out another consideration.

 

For closeups of characters faces/lipsynce would it be advantageous to have separate head and shoulders models with more advanced facial rigging?

Or are the current systems easy enough to have both in without worry of overloading a rig.

 

By identifying the requirements that might help us understand what we are looking for. Having less in the basic character rig but additional specialty rigs for closeups might be worth investigating.

 

Hope that makes sense.

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Mark: Nice rig! The eye target doesn't seem to work for me though....

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Ditto on that, just played with the Rig Mark.

Very nice.

 

Mike Fitz

www.3dartz.com

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The eye target doesn't seem to work for me though....

 

If I'm remembering correctly, Mark set up the eye target to be rotated instead of translated. Rotating on the 'Z' axis opens and closes the eyelids and the 'X' and 'Y' rotates the eye.

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Mark: Nice rig! The eye target doesn't seem to work for me though....

Ken, David is right. I did it this way so you could aim the null at a target and it's always in front of the face. The roll handle works the eyelids as David said.

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Ah. Interesting way of doing it.....

 

Although the other way has an advantage in that you can just position the target on the subject and his eyes won't move from it even if you turn the head. It seems to mean less moving of the eye direction.

 

Also, when you turn the roll handle to do the blink, the eyeballs rotate round the z axis.

 

Aside from that niggle for me, it's a very nice rig to work with. (It'd be perfect with finger controls like TSM) Is it a revision of the 2001 rig? Or totally new?

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Well I used the 2001 skeleton and got rid of the rest, including the relationships, except the balance setup. There are no hinge bones in the arms and legs like the 2001 rig.

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Ken, I fixed the eye rotating problem. Added head lock on/off pose and I'm working on the easy fingers for you.

 

Ken, what do you thing about adding the rotating camera rig I have? Maybe a nice thing to have a camera always following each model. Just a thought.

 

Anymore requests while I'm at it?

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I'll take a look. The camera in the rig would be up to the directors to decide....

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Ken I didn't upload it yet, I want to do the fingers first.

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Maybe a nice thing to have a camera always following each model. Just a thought.

If the Camera Defaults to the Face for Facial Animation that might be nice.

But if it makes the Rig too Heavy, I'd say NO.

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The camera rig is a drag and drop. The camera model could also be used in the choreography as a seperate model and translated to any model.

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Here's the rig I uploaded to the rigs thread of this forum. This was built in 11.1, there is a 10.5 version in the thread I mentioned. It's probably not what your looking for, but it has most of the things that Ken brought up. The other things can be added pretty easily. You would have to still have specialty add-on rigs (drag and drop) for the different characters.

Hey, I like this rig!

 

My Tarzan never moved so good before. I haven't had a lot of time to use A:M lately, but I plan on studying this rig a bit more when I have the time.

 

Thanks,

Jim

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Here's an update to the rig. Minor things fixed and add. I have not had time to do the easy fingers yet. The problem I'm having and see with other rigs is that when you roll the finger control bone the finger tend to move back and forth. Anyone have any suggestions. I have a few ideas, but have had the time to do them. Been a little busy with the 2005 CD.

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I just uploaded my rig with instructions here:

 

 

HERE

 

I thought it best to start a new thread to keep things tidy.

 

I am looking forward to seeing what people think.

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Hey Mark,

 

Will your rig work with actions/poses created for the 2001 rig?

 

Greg

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I'm working on making them compatible. They do somewhat, I think, I have to check.

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Here is my shoulder Rig.

 

I know it is Insanely heavy, but it works for my model.

 

Aim at Null constraints are used with "Scale to Reach" on "Z Axis Only" on Pectorals and Trapezeus. The Up/Down & Back/Forward are 2 Separate Pose sliders (-50/50) that Drive the Shoulder Bone.

 

ALSO, I used bones with "Falloff" Weighting. "Edit CP Weight" in some cases for difficult point assignment.

 

Mov files at these Links:

 

http://www.mikesanderson.net/animation/Sho...ones_BxSor3.mov

 

http://www.mikesanderson.net/animation/Sho...ones_CxSor3.mov

 

Cheers

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If there are going to be alot of weenies(?) or munchkins then I think an "uber-munchkin" would be the way to go. Kind of like how Soulcage did some of their crowd scenes.

 

BUT in order to do that, the rig needs to be finalised. For example, if munchkins are to have different length arms, then the bones need to move with the cps in the pose.

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How do people feel about FK spines?

 

I'm beginning to think they aren't such a bad idea.

 

More tedious to pose but better to animate with.

 

How do people feel about FK spines?

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Some sort of FK in arms and legs is a must.

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Only talking about the spine.

 

Not the arms and legs.

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FK spine is the standard in the 2001 rig, correct? I did find a problem with my rig, which I fixed when turning the body orient off (2 of the bones did not go to 0 % enforcement). It's in the next update. trajcedrv asked for an installation method, and I will have it this weekend. And it will have some updates (rig only) less steps to install in your own model. It would be nice if the ANIMATORS would tell us what they want, then maybe we can show them something. Plus we haven't heard what is good or bad with the rigs that have been posted. Haven't seen all the other rigs yet. Curious to see. I'm sure the animators have a rig in mind, and it hasn't been show to the community yet.

 

Since you started this thread, what do you think so far?

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I'll throw the Squetch rig into the fray. It's located here. At the moment it needs a good going over, so, feel free to critique it.

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How do people feel about FK spines? 

 

I'm beginning to think they aren't such a bad idea.

I've only used FK spines up until now. Generally they're just fine for simple, upright (for humanoids) activities, such as walking, but I find them a pain when fine tuning a situation in which arms have to be in very definite places.

 

For example, a recent test animation of mine had a character crouched down on the left knee, right arm resting on the right knee, and the head resting on that arm. From there the character had to stand up, with realistic shifting of weight to make it look natural. It took me ages to get the pose right, as any change in the lower spine required corrective positioning in the upper spine, resulting in a slight wobble in the shoulders. An IK spine would have been so much easier, as the upper spine would stay where it was while I tweaked the pelvis.

 

I'm working on a new rig at the moment that has both FK and IK spines. Blending between the two has been bothersome, but I think I have a solution that uses pseudo-FK - there's an FK spine to control, but the geometry is carried by an IK spine that (when required) does its best to align itself with the FK spine. It's still in an early stage, so I'm not prepared to release it until I've had the opportunity to test it out to my own satisfaction. Don't expect to see it for a couple of months or so.

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Mark Skodacek (mtpeak2) wrote:

Here's an update to the rig. Minor things fixed and add. I have not had time to do the easy fingers yet. The problem I'm having and see with other rigs is that when you roll the finger control bone the finger tend to move back and forth. Anyone have any suggestions. I have a few ideas, but have had the time to do them. Been a little busy with the 2005 CD.

 

I started looking into it again. So the problem with the AM2001 rig is that:

1. a single control bone is used

2. that bone's ORIENT and ROLL properties are used for two different purposes -- ORIENT is the orientation of F1 (and children F2 and F3), and ROLL is the roll of F2 and F3.

3. however, ORIENT and ROLL are both stored in one set of values, ROTATION. They interact in undesirable ways.

 

The two possible solutions I can think of are:

1. Use two bones.

I tried this. I got rid of the finger control bone, and just used the ORIENT of the F1 bone and the roll of the F2 bone. It worked, but it's a little awkward to control.

 

2. Use one bone, TRANSLATE and ROLL.

TRANSLATE and ROLL do not interact badly. They are stored in two separate sets of settings. But which bone? I'm looking into using the F2 bone. With constraints on the F1 bone, this might allow relatively easy movement and rotation with a single bone. I'll let you know if I come up with something.

 

It would be nice if the ANIMATORS would tell us what they want, then maybe we can show them something.

 

Lots of people complain about IK arms, but I use them a lot and like them for interacting with things. (Okay, I'm still a beginner, so a "lot" might be overstating things.) There are two issues I come across with it.

 

First, it is annoying to get a hand exactly where it should be, and then move the torso, and all of a sudden the hand is not where it should be. It would be nice if the hand targets were higher up in the bone hierarchy.

 

This problem exacerbates the second problem. Here's an example of problem 2. I create a key frame at frame 0, go to frame 20, lock the hand target to something (a door handle, as in The Door Is Stuck, with translate to + compensate). I move the time slider back to 19 and lower, and the hand suddenly jumps to its old position. So I go back to frame 20, create a key frame for the transpose channels of the hand target, and I get smooth motion up to the door. I might even tweak it. Then later on, I move the body and everything is off. The key frame I had at 20 is relative to the old body position, so now the hand gets kind of closer to the door handle and then at 20 jumps to the door handle.

 

The principle is that I want to do something once and only once (translate to w/ compensate mode), and have the freedom to adjust other things afterwards.

 

Other issues: the heel thing that other people are mentioning as a desired addition sounds interesting and probably useful, though I haven't tried a rig with it yet.

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I guess you didn't try my rig yet then. There are three arm setup in it, FK, IK and IK lock. Using pose sliders you can blend between the setups (you can set the arms in 3 different positions on frame 1, and using the sliders move the arms to where you want them, using the IK lock to keep them where you want the hands, and blend them on what frame you want them to move to, legs have 2 setups, with these setup you can create 2 or 3 actions within 1 action file). As for the hands I came up with something for a single bone but never posted it.

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I wrote:

 

2. Use one bone, TRANSLATE and ROLL.

TRANSLATE and ROLL do not interact badly. They are stored in two separate sets of settings. But which bone? I'm looking into using the F2 bone. With constraints on the F1 bone, this might allow relatively easy movement and rotation with a single bone. I'll let you know if I come up with something.

 

(This is all with the AM2001 rig.)

 

Okay, I tried this out. Here's what I changed:

 

F1 (model) made the bone invisible, moved it to the side of the finger

F1 (Basic Setup Relationships) removed the ORIENT LIKE constraint, added some other constraints to make it behave well -- limit translate to none, and set some reasonable spherical limits.

F2 (model) "Attach to parent"=ON, made it span the width of the knuckle.

F2 (Basic Setup Relationships) got rid of the ROLL LIKE constraint, added SPHERICAL LIMITS constraints to reasonable values.

F3 (Basic Setup Relationships) changed ROLL LIKE target to be F2.

 

And ... IT WORKS! It seems to be usable. I'm going to do it on all the fingers. If you're really interested, I'll email you a copy of my model so you can play with it, just let me know.

 

mtpeak2 wrote:

As for the hands I came up with something for a single bone but never posted it.

 

I'll be curious to see what you came up with, though I'm going on vacation soon for a week; feel free to post the latest and I'll actually have a look at it this time instead of being a lame-o ("lame-o", can you tell I grew up in the 80s?) and just reading posts.

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As always I'm late to the party.. yet I wanted to post the rig I am using.

 

You can download a model rigged with it in THIS link.

 

Sorry, I had to remove parts of the face geometry, since it's a specific character I'm working on.

 

Also consider that most bones are shown. I was going to hide some, but i prefered to leave it to you to see.

 

It's a long way modification on Skeleton 2001. So it's better if I make a brief about its major points.

 

I don't like to set too many rig switches and sliders, so I made this rig in a way I like to use always as default. (With IK for arms, legs, spine, feet and hands, etc).

 

The model is easily poseable by using:

Chest target

Left and right feet, hand targets.

Elbow and knees orient bones.

Upper body (Should be called "Body" but I kept the former name)

Hips target

 

Head target.

 

 

Some highlights, in the order of which I like most:

 

No smartskin, so it's completely reusable.

 

Spine:

The spine uses a ridiculously simple and effective system and is driven only by moving and rotating the Chest Target. Doesn't have cogs: I just had the different spine bones aim to different child targets of the Chest Target.

 

Feet:

The feet targets point to the FRONT (i dont really like them pointing down). The heel can be raised by rotating the Left/ Right Heel Handle bones.

The feet stay on their tips trying to reach their targets. (try picking the UPPER BODY bone and raising the model above the floor).

Also, it's possible to pose the toes in several ways only by manipulating the Toes bones (children of feet targets).

 

Shoulders:

The left and right "Shoulder Orient" bones follow the arms automatically and should remain hidden. Their children bones Left and Right "Shoulder" are the real parents of the arms and are shown for further manual shoulder adjust. There is a slider to set how 'stiff' are the shoulders following the arms orientation.

 

 

The eyes:

Muscle bones keep the eye contours and eyelashes oriented in a natural way together with the eyeball, yet it's a simple feature with just one bone, one orient-like for each eye. Try moving the eyes target.

 

 

Fingers: I didn't like to use the finger main bones' ROLL to curl the fingers, so I put a little bone on the tips on the fingers that do this. This way the fingers main bones are free to roll and rotate at will. (with the former method, posing the thumb was very painly).

 

Hips:

The hip target bone helps positioning the spine and pelvis in a flexible way. The hip joint 'smoother' bones are 4, and not particularly elaborate, but i didnt want to smartskin the hips.

 

Arms and legs: there are several 'twist' bones to simulate the way the skin rolls progressively along the limbs. But their can be removed for simpler solutions.

To avoid smartskin in elbows and knees, there are little bone that stretches and acts like tendons. They use some of the twists bones above as targets.

Also, there are biceps and thigh muscles that bulge by bending the arm. Of course these are accesory.

 

The head target:

I prefer it pointing to front so I can add a target for it. To do this I added a child of this target who points up, and have the head be oriented like it. (I use this 'children-targets' method a couple of times on this rig)

 

About balance:

I never used it. I was keeping them in case I wanted to use them some day, but now after some 5 years I'm about to remove all the balance bones.

 

I hope you like some of the solutions.

man_.zip

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Can you post a QT to see how it behaves? If I understand correctly, you are using the f2 bone to translate the finger and roll the knuckles?

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Nice setup Emilio. I'll have to play more tomorrow, it's late. Love the way the chest target works. The one thing I did notice is maybe setting up left and right shoulder constraints. Raising the right arm and adjusting the shoulder constraint the left shoulder drops.

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Nice setup Emilio. I'll have to play more tomorrow, it's late. Love the way the chest target works. The one thing I did notice is maybe setting up left and right shoulder constraints. Raising the right arm and adjusting the shoulder constraint the left shoulder drops.

 

The setting for shoulder could be split for left and right - but I didn't feel the need to add this complexity to the setup, at least for my own use.

 

Human clavicle's (shoulders) have a natural trend to follow the arm's motion. This is more noticeable in more 'flexible' or relaxed people, while others (like us computer geeks) use to have more stiff, ungraceful shoulders while we walk :). This Shoulder setting reflects this character 'flexibility' on the shoulders.

 

(To make this I had to remove the Arm Hinge from the Shoulder bone and parenting it to the Chest indeed, so the shoulder orient bone can freely follow the arm hinge orientation without circularity)

 

Now, If the human wants to intendedly extend his arm, as to reach something that's beyond the arm's reach, it's natural that he extends also his shoulders. This should not be controled using the Shoulder settings, but by manipulating the Left / Right Shoulder bones themselves. (NOT the Shoulder Orient bones. They should stay hidden). Shoulder shrug and other intentional shoulder movements can also be done this way.

 

I've built this rig along years to best suit my needs - of course these need will change from one user to another, so feel free to play with it and see what you like. Don't forget to take a look on the feet :)

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mtpeak2 -- yep, you're right. F2's translation is used to change the orientation of F1. F2's roll is used for F2 and F3's roll.

 

See the attached rig (42KB zipped). Left hand is the new scheme. Right hand is the original 2001 rig.

testfingers_2001rig.zip

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Feedback on the Tarzan rig (NEWRIGTARZAN2):

 

1. Under hands, do you need to display the finger fans? When would you ever want to?

 

2. Same as #1 for "Fan Bones On".

 

3. By turning "Hide Fingers" off, there is a lot of flexibility to controlling the fingers; however, it's a lot of work. It would be nice if there were a one-bone-per-finger control for quick everyday movement. But I think you said you had a different setup that you had not yet uploaded, so I'll have to look at the next version.

 

4. Left Hand IK Lock going from 0% to 1% has a jump if things have been moved. I think it happens when the Left Hand Target Lock has moved to be different than the Left Hand Target, when switching control totally over to the Left Hand Target it jumps.

 

5. The Left/Right Thigh Orient bones have a lot of flexibility to do weird things. Perhaps more constraints on it would be good.

 

6. What does the Head Controller Lock do? Just makes the head stay straight up (even when the torso moves)? It would be nice to have it stick to the position it is in instead of just straight up.

 

7. The Body Orient seems interesting, though I don't really understand it. Is there more information on it?

 

Maybe you could start a howto document similar to the ones linked from:

 

http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=11507

 

(Although the eggington site seems to not be working right now.)

 

Overall summary -- I like the rig a lot. 1.2MB is pretty big, though. Just sayin'.

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Hi Mouseman.

 

Q 1&2- That is there so you can turn the fan bone constraints off if you want to do it manually.

 

Q 3- Yes next version will have it.

 

Q 4- It's making its initial move to the other target, so why wouldn't it move. And why would you want to go to 1% if you are blending between setups.

 

Q 5- They are there to make any adjustments if needed in extreme poses.

 

Q 6- I'll look into it. I see I did not unhide the locking bone for further adjustment.

 

Q 7- It's pretty basic right now, geometry back bones orient like the control bone at different percentages. turning this off allows you to use the geometry bones. I plan on changing this to a percentage slider to blend between the setups.

 

The rig itself is only 213 kb and growing with the changes. the rest of it is the model.

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Q 1&2- That is there so you can turn the fan bone constraints off if you want to do it manually.

Q1&2: So why would you want to do fan bones manually? I don't see where it is useful. One of those "you can do it and it's neat, but why do you need it?" kind of things. It has the feeling of being needed for 1% of cases.

 

Q5 is pretty much the same. The basic question is how much support should be provided for fringe cases.

 

Q 4- It's making its initial move to the other target, so why wouldn't it move. And why would you want to go to 1% if you are blending between setups.

 

Q4: It's good that it moves, but bad that it jumps. A smooth move would be better.

 

Looking forward to the next version. I'm on vacation all next week (until the 28th). "See you on the other side, Ray."

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I must be misunderstanding the jump you are talking about. I just don't see it. Post an example please.

 

If the thigh orient wasn't there, someone would complain that there wasn't enough adjustment.

 

As for the fan bones, it's an on/off pose to turn the constraints on, where else would I set it up? I'll be glad to remove it, just for you, so you can set the constraints yourself, better yet, maybe remove the fan bones, then you wouldn't have to worry about them at all. :D

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Clarification on the fan bones -- it sounds like you're saying that if the fans are visible then the constraints are OFF, if they're not visible then the constraints are ON. That sounds cool, except that I can't imagine a case where someone would actually want to modify the fan bones (or animate them explicitly). That is, I can't imagine when the default fan constraints would do something unreasonable, and therefore it doesn't make sense to me why you'd ever want to make the fan bones visible/animatable. Maybe my brain isn't big enough. :> My experience in playing with the fan bones was "oh, look, I've made the model's hands look totally wrong in 2 seconds flat".

 

The thigh orient thing -- I still can't imagine why someone would want the adjustment, but maybe that's just my limited experience. It sure lets you do lots of bad things easily. :>

 

For the jump, here is a ZIP with 3 images. One with Left Hand Lock at 0%, one at 1%, and one at 100%. Note that I moved both the Left Hand Target Lock bone (while at 100%) and the Left Hand Target bone (while at 0%). The jump between 0 and 1 is kind of extreme. I also put an action in the ZIP that demonstrates exactly that. Hope this helps.

lhlock.zip

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I did misunderstand. I thought you were talking about the arms jumping from setup to setup, it's the hands. I'll look to see if I can fix it. Thanks.

 

Now for that thigh orient thing, you could just hide the bones so you are not tempted to use it. :D

 

Now for the fan thing again. What if someone wanted to edit the constraints or even add more fane bones, they can find them easily. Second point, if the on/off pose is not there, guess what, the fan bones do not work. So where would you like me to setup the fan bone constraints?

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And I'm back from vacation.

 

Hands jumping: Yay!

 

Thigh orient: Yeah, I'd probably keep it turned off most of the time.

 

Fan thing #1: From my perspective, fanning is part of rigging, not so much part of control. The reason I keep asking about this is that I'm assuming that the purpose of the rig is to aid in controlling and animating the character, not in doing further rigging. I think this is the philisophical difference that led to questions dealing with the first point. So then the resolution is where you stand philisophically (since you're the one putting the rig together) based on the input you've gotten, and does it make sense to enforce that philosophy for everyone. (The answer may be yes!)

 

Fan thing #2: Fan bones don't work without some other pose to set them to 50% enforced? This is an area I don't understand very well yet how A:M works. I'll play with it and then see if I have any intelligent suggestions after that.

 

Catch you later!

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