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MattWBradbury

Rigging a Fish

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I'm working on a model of a trout, and I've got the model and texturing down. Now I need to rig it so that I can start animating. I'm not very good at rigging, so if anyone could give me some pointers, I would be very appreciative.

 

post-7957-1197593341_thumb.jpg

 

I want to animate as few bones as possible to make animations smoother. The current problem I have is that, whenever I turn a bone along the body, there is a noticeable crease that forms. I've worked a bit on it with bone falloff and CP weighting, but I just lack the experience in this area to make it look believable. I tried looking for a good fish bone system on the CDs, but I couldn't find one.

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Fan bones will solve your problems.

do you know about fan bones?

 

Post a shaded wireframe so we can see what you have to do.

But on first glance of the control points I can see... it looks like you could probably

take some splines out.

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Try increasing the spine bones and then create three control bones to control the head, body and tail motion. Then make some poses extreme L/R bends, slight Up/Down and slight twist CW/CCW. If the spine bones are constrained to orient like the body bone at varying percentages it gives you a simple but effective rig. You can hide all the geometry rig after you have setup your constraints.

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I'm not sure what fan bones are. Is there a tutorial on it somewhere? I'm pretty sure I can get away with fewer splines, but I want to get the bone positions down before I start cutting them down.

 

Paul, are you suggesting making 15 or so bones along the spine, and then controlling those bones based off of three bones? I'm almost certain that I'll need at least 4 bones along the body: one for the pectoral fins, one for the major dorsal fin, one for the minor dorsal fin, and then one for the tail. The head will still have a bone. I'll need to learn how to create poses. It would probably make my job easier, seeing as how I'll be making this guy swim for about a minute doing different things.

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This is pretty basic, I used translate and aim at constraints, I could've added roll like constraints as well. All you do is animate the nulls.

fish.mov

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That looks really simple. Could you upload the project file so I can take a look at it?

 

One thing I'll need to do is make sure that that the whole body moves like it were bending, instead of a few pieces on hinges that swing.

 

I'm glad to see that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

 

Do you guys think it would be better to put the bones along the spinal cord, or right in the middle of the fish? A trout has a lateral line, which is mostly in the middle, but it might be better to go directly through the middle.

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Sorry about the delay guys. I had all of my wisdom teeth taken out, and I'm just now getting myself back together. I guess you could say I'm ready to take a bite out of this rigging stuff. Haha... boy, my teeth really hurt. Anyway. I will have to take a look at this rig tomorrow when the medication has worn off.

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If you take splines out, the ones to take out are the ones where the bones join. Try it, anyway, I find that this is where the magic of spline modelling is.

 

Bones should generally be placed where they are in a real animal - in this case, that means the spine should be nearer the top of the fish than in the middle. Since a fish's motion is mostly side to side, not up and down, this isn't as important as it would be with some models.

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I need to model and rig a fish soon; I would be very interested in the outcome. Get well soon mate!

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