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spline "popping" in Chor

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Hello,

 

I think this is what David refers to as "gamma popping" in his book. Sometimes when I am animating a character in the Chor, the arms in particular will look a little "planar" and concave along one spline (flattened-looking). If I switch to muscle mode and select what I think is the offending CP with its spline direction, it will suddenly go back to the way it should look. I understand what gamma does, but because this character is not a mechanical model, I haven't adjusted the gamma at all. All randomly sampled CPs have a (default?) gamma of 0%. It's as if occasionally a spline forgets whether it is to bend in or out. As I said, as soon as I touch a CP+spline that looks odd, it resumes its proper alignment.

 

I don't get this popping in animation, but I have wasted some time doing what proves to be unnecessary CP weighting. Is there an optimal gamma percentage for "organic" models or their more active joints, like wrists and shoulders? Is it a redraw thing, should I just run the Chor back and forth? I do that with constraints, but in this animation the character isn't holding anything, and she isn't constrained is any way (other than the TSM2 constraints so that she animates.)

 

I'm using 12.0n+ for Tiger (Mac) and I rigged my character with the TSM 2.

 

Thanks very much.

 

Seana

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I too have seen this a while ago. I think it was happening on cps that were animated in the chor. Can't quite remember. Can you send a stripped down project to the report forum? See the link in my sig. If you do, try to include steps to be able to replicate the problem.

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Sorry, I don't know what the problem is. But hey, how are you finding TSM2? I'm still fairly new to AM, at least to the rigging part of it (I spent most of my time learning to model). I bought the TSM2 disc, but really don't see what all the fuss is about. The results I'm getting lead me to believe its probably more straight forward just to build a rig from scratch. I didn't find the TSM2 initial tutorial much help (my results were nothing like their's) and it all seems pretty confusing. Any advice on getting started with TSM2?

 

The other Anzovin discs I ordered were great (Quick Start, Cristin's "Animate!").

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But hey, how are you finding TSM2? I'm still fairly new to AM, at least to the rigging part of it (I spent most of my time learning to model). I bought the TSM2 disc, but really don't see what all the fuss is about.
Without spending alot of time with other rigs you won't know the difference.

 

TSM1 was great, TSM2 is even better. However most animators are not at the level where they can discern the advantages of them. They don't understand what rigs really do. And most modelers are not at the point where they can properly assign CPs to bones for character animation. It's something you learn to do by experimentation. No rig, even one you make yourself, will do that correctly automatically.

The results I'm getting lead me to believe its probably more straight forward just to build a rig from scratch.
What step would you not have to do with your own rig that you have to do with TSM?

 

It is easier to make bad animation with simpler rigs. A lot of the stiff, floaty, weightless animation we've seen over that last 20 years is the result of rigs that make it hard to put the character where it needs to be.

I didn't find the TSM2 initial tutorial much help (my results were nothing like their's) and it all seems pretty confusing. Any advice on getting started with TSM2?
Show us the bad result. then we'll know what the problem is.

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Robert, you seem on the attack. All I'm saying is that there are users out there (you seem to be one of them) that sing praises about the simplicity of using the TSM2 rig. You're right, I'm new, haven't used a lot of different rigs, and I'm just trying to learn. However, I haven't found that purchasing the TSM2 helped at all. It seems to be a complicated procedure, and the results are less than satisfactory.

 

I didn't find the tutorial that came with TSM2 helpful. My model didn't move the way the guy's in the tutorial did. I also purchased "Weightmover" to try and help with the smart skin process, but to me, Hash's smart skin seems simpler to use that Anzovin's "Weightmover" (now just build a simplified geometry of your complex mesh... this is supposed to be easier??).

 

I didn't order TSM2 with the intention of slamming it. I have ordered their instructional CD's and they're great. It just seems that TSM2 is not that easy to use. Certainly to my mind they could do a more informative video. Why don't they go through the whole process properly, and show how they smart skin their character instead of saying "we'll just choose auto assign so you get the idea..."

 

I guess I'll be one of those animators producing bad animations such as the ones that have been produced over the last 20 years as you say. But if someone is going to sell me a product, and then just say "hey, the way to learn is just tons and tons of experimentation" then please, don't ever go into chainsaw sales.

 

I feel that the Anzovin website certainly doesn't pitch the TSM2 with "buy our software, after tons of experimentation, you'll see, its great!". I also know that I'm not the only one who has bought the TSM2 and found it difficult to use. They can say "too bad" or try to address the problem by improving the product or the instructions that come with it. But don't blame me for having an opinion about a product I bought in good faith.

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Slipin, I think the distinction we're all fumbling with here is that TSM2 is not an advanced rigging automator. It's an advanced rig. You don't have to build it, but you do have to install it. If you've never done any rigging before, you'll need to read some tutorials about how the process works, and then either do some rig experiments or jump in with TSM2 with one hand on the manual.

 

It's not that the Anzovins don't want to create a plug-in that can do all of a user's Smartskinning and fan bones automatically, it's just that, like texturing, some aspects of modeling can only be done by the artists themselves. You say you purchased Weight Mover to help with Smartskinning, but the fact is, Weight Mover is a tool for CP weighting, not Smartskinning. And even then, it's only for extremely dense-meshed models. I'm sympathetic to your frustrations, but if you don't find out what a product does before you buy it, that's what's going to happen.

 

I know Robcat might've seemed a little curt, but you did hijack someone else's help-request thread just so you could rant about how you don't like TSM2. If you want assistance with TSM rigging, start a new thread in the Anzovin section and we'll help you out. If you want to explore rigging on your own, try Sonofpat's tutorials, or download the Squetchy rig, which is the primary rig used on the TWO project.

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Dude, if you think my first post was a "rant' then you're really over reacting. I was sincerely interested to hear how he made out with TSM2. You guys seem very worked up about any critism of TSM2. If anyone's hijacked this post, its you guys who seem to be going "oh hey, no way are we're going let someone get away with making negative comments about TSM2!!". Since my original question was directed to either you or Robert, I'm wondering who is really hijacking and ranting here? As for Weightmover, I was just part of the CD package that TSM2 came with, along with the tutorials.

 

But ok, TSM2 is awesome and I should just shut up and agree. I wonder though, if its so great, why is there a whole thread dedicated to problems people are having with it?

 

I think that using the Hash rig and Smart Skin is a better option. That's my opinion sorry if that seems to offend you.

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Robert, you seem on the attack.

That's not an attack. That's offering to help. When I said show us the bad result, I really meant show us the bad result. Really. It's real tough to diagnose the trouble by words.

 

The problems you are describing seem not to be TSM problems at all and yet are attributed to TSM. :(

 

Here's a strong indicator of why TSM rigs are so good: They were made by people who need to put out fine animation, for paying customers, on a deadline. They use it themselves. They made it so it would be easier to animate characters well, not harder. (But they still have to do their own smartskin. No way around that.)

 

Here's one little animation example: TSM characters can raise their heel and leave the toe of the foot in place. AM2001 can't. You have to rotate the whole foot then reposition it so the toe looks like it stayed. And what are the chances of that looking good between keyframes?

 

Here's a big giant one: TSM has an IK spine; it controls all the spine bones with just two bones. AM2001 is FK spine; you have to rotate each spine bone individually in increments from the butt to the shoulders and hope you end up at the right place. Yuk.

 

Again, show us the problem. Then it can be figured out.

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Whoa. hi guys.

 

First, my 2p on the TSM2 (I wasn't around for TSM1, so can't comment). I suppose this is mainly for slipin. It's great, I especially like the finger controls, the extra foot isolation as has been mentioned, so you can animate the heel in a walk, the torso and pelvis controls, and the bit of spine stretch you can add to even a not very cartoony character just to get smoother arcs for bending. But the provided documentation isnt fantastic, but the CDs are good, especially the Animate ones or the one where Raf explains the ins and outs of the new rig. I had a few problems with it when I first started, most notably I get flipping at the wrists with lots of Additive actions. The solution seems to be to watch the roll handle and zero it out from time to time and if you are layering action objects you can actually turn off the contraints on some of them after you've animated (the data is still there, but it can have odd cumulative effects, according to Raf.) Certainly, check the Anzovin list and if in particular straits write to Morgan.

 

Also I find FK default arms are easier than IK, but that's because you can't really get nice arcs with IK, at least I can't. The elbows go akimbo and so I use FK arms mostly and the rotate manipulator.

 

I think the TSM is worth its weight in gold. Rigging is my least favourite part of 3D, crucial though I know it is. For me, it's one letter short of a bad word, and that's on a good day.

 

KenH, something about this "popping" I noticed: If I split screen the model and the Chor and select what appears to be an offending cp+spline in the model, it goes right immediately in the Chor. If I'm lazy and select it in the Chor, it will still go back to rights, but sometimes (about 50%) the cp will go blue, like it does when you make a muscle pose. And a Spline folder will be created, keyframed for the action, as might be expected. If however I delete the Splines folder in the action, the cp stays where it should.

 

Do you still want to see it or shall I just remember to "fix" it when it happens?

 

Seana

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Seana, thanks for your response. I was wondering if you could maybe out line how you got comfortable with TSM2. What elements of rigging and using bones do I need to understand so that I can get using the plugin effectively. Right now, I have a lot of weird stuff going on. Mainly, I went through the first tutorial where they rig a simple human character. I followed the steps to the letter, but my rig didn't work anything like the one in the tutorial. I've tried redoing it and either nothing happens when I move bones, accept the bones themselves may or may not move out of place (and yes I have the TSM2 constraints turned on) or my character will move, but distort horribly, with CP's being left behind or warped in all kinds of crazy directions.

 

This is the first thing I've received from Anzovin that I haven't been thrilled with. The Quick Start tutorial disc and Cristin McKee's "Animate!" series have been awesome. My sentiments are the same as yours about rigging, but I just would like some direction, if possible, on what to focus on so I can understand how to gain the benefits of TSM2.

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Hi SL, sorry I haven't looked at this. Christmas. film. New Year. film. Russian (old) Christmas. film.

 

Happy new year. Use it wisely, you only get one 2006 to play with. :)

 

Your problem might be with fan bones you added to the TSM, make sure they are also turned on, but turn on TSM constraints first.

 

 

The biggest problem I had was with wild wrist flipping. A top down approach in FK solved it (rotate upper arm first, then lower, then position hand, particularly for opening pose). Also, the other thing I had to learn was what bones I was using to move things (control vs. "straight" bones). Make sure you are grabbing the right ones, usually control bones unless you have certain user properties turned on. If you can invest in 1 more CD, get Raf's one about the TSM2. It has lots of pointers that the documentation doesn't.

 

It took me about 3 weeks to get comfortable with the TSM2, it's not intuitive at first, but then it will click. Write to Morgan if needed. I don't know how up to speed the office is yet, given the sad events over the holiday, but I would be back with plasticine and wire if it weren't for the TSM.

 

cheers,

S.

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Slipin,

 

when you get TSM2 to work the way it's supposed to, post a long blog on how you did it, cause I'm still trying to figure it out.

 

"Certainly to my mind they could do a more informative video. Why don't they go through the whole process properly, and show how they smart skin their character instead of saying "we'll just choose auto assign so you get the idea..."

 

Deja Vu...

 

Don't mean to stir the pot, but there are very valid points on both sides of the issue ;)

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"Certainly to my mind they could do a more informative video. Why don't they go through the whole process properly, and show how they smart skin their character instead of saying "we'll just choose auto assign so you get the idea..."

First of all, that's a demonstation video, not a tutorial. Its purpose is to summarize the features of TSM as quickly as possible.

 

Second, Smartskin has very little to do with TSM. Every A:M model/rig is different, and things like fan-bones, CP weighting and Smartskin have to be handled by the individual artist on a case-by-case basis. TSM works in conjunction with whichever combination of those techniques you care to use.

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Yes, luckbat's right. I still don't really get smartskinning. I use fan bones (added at the point the TSM says, and labelled accordingly, not to be confused with their nomenclature) and CP weighting. Every character is different, but the TSM is an excellent general rigging system. One size doesn't fit all, but it can be tailored to most.

 

This was about spline popping (which I still get sometimes...)

 

should we move to a new topic/area?

best,

S.

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Yes, luckbat's right. I still don't really get smartskinning. I use fan bones (added at the point the TSM says, and labelled accordingly, not to be confused with their nomenclature) and CP weighting. Every character is different, but the TSM is an excellent general rigging system. One size doesn't fit all, but it can be tailored to most.

 

This was about spline popping (which I still get sometimes...)

 

should we move to a new topic/area?

best,

S.

 

 

Popping due to gamma is an issue that hash addressed i think around 10.5 (but it could have been earlier or later) you can get popping in the model window but it should remain stable and 'locked' during animation. I think you might just be seeing a re-draw glitch, especially since you say it goes back to normal when you enter muscle mode.

 

I'd render to file (final quality) to make sure that this shows up. if it does you might need to file one at http://www.hash.com/reports

 

-David

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It's not just a re-draw glitch. I've been getting the same spline popping in my renders, around my character's wrists. I'm also using TSM on a Mac--dunno if it's a coincidence.

 

Like Seana said, it's not entering muscle mode that fixes it. You have to click on the offending CP before the spline will "snap" back into position.

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Great to hear, so you've reported it and submitted data then?

 

-David

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No, I can't get it to be reproducible. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't.

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Yes! that's my problem too. You can go in, click the CP, it smartens up, a Spline folder might be created (if you just do this in the Chor yes, if you split screen the windows and do it in the Model window, probably not.) You can delete the Splines folder and it will remember. Until the next time. Also mainly around wrists affecting lower arm, rigged with TSM2. I have 1 character with the CD rig. She's "on" next week (God and techno pixies willing).. but I don't think she has this issue. I'll post if she does.

 

If you don't select the CP, the twist/concave spline will render in final.

 

Not consistently reproducible, but when ity occurs, it stays till you fix it. All the gammas on the affected CPs are at their defaults. I don't mess with gamma much.

 

Thanks for chiming in David. I wish it was a gamma thing. Then it could be reliably sorted, but I'm a little stumped, other than to keep an eye open.

 

 

S.

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