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What I'm working on...

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Here's a little better test for the cloth on Bertram's sleeves...aiming for only slight cloth movement for a couple of reasons.

 

First, the sleeves are pretty form-fitting, so I don't think they should flop around too much. That also gives me fewer problems because I don't have to worry too much about interaction with the torso...I'm going to ignore any cloth penetration that isn't extremely obvious (there is no deflector on the torso, just the arm).

 

Second, I want the cloth to be something that I don't have to tweak too much...it would be ideal if I only have to set it up once and then ignore it, but I'll probably still have to mess with it in extreme circumstances.

 

Third, I want to make sure I eliminate any jittering in the cloth that I can.

 

The sleeve is set up so that it is anchored to the bicep "geom" bone that is attached to the shoulder with the least amount of rotation (there are now three rotating bicep bones in that location in the rig...I'll go into detail in the installation tutorial when I get there) with all of the CP's below the shoulder assigned to that bone with a cloth material applied.

 

Now, I need to go back and re-do some of the torso CP Weighting...I wanted to get the sleeves worked out first.

 

 

 

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EDIT

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I added a version of the test with the cloth portion of the sleeve hidden so everyone could see what is being reacted against and how much of the shirt is cloth.

 

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EDIT

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I've updated the test videos with some CP Weighting in the forearm fixed.

Bertram_12_09_2008_sleeve_cloth_test_Sorenson3.mov

Bertram_12_09_2008_sleeve_cloth_test_no_sleeve_Sorenson3.mov

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Thats a very subtle effect that should work very well.

I believe you have the right approach here. Until you hit the exceptions... less is better.

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Sorry for not posting for as long as I have...December/January is the busiest time of year for me at my job.

 

I'm starting to get an hour here and there that I might be able to squeeze some work on Bertram in. I've also started to put together some documentation on the rig...I'm trying something a little different, but I think it will be a lot better.

 

I'll be getting back up to speed sometime this week.

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I've got several things going on at once that I'm starting to get back to after a month of pretty much working and sleeping. This is an image for the header of the biped version of the rig documentation I'm putting together. It's loosely related to Bertram, because I'm using Bertram to iron out any problems and install additions to the rig before releasing the next version.

 

I'm just starting to get my legs back, but I'm going to put my head down and see if I can start getting something done again.

 

If anyone sees a problem with the pose in the image, or sees any other problem with it, let me know so that I can correct it before I get to a point where I can't go back.

squetchbipedbg.png

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This is an image for the header of the biped version of the rig documentation I'm putting together.

 

I'm drooling already. Way to build up the anticipation! :)

 

The banner looks nice.

My suggestion would be to bring Squetchy Sam down and to the right so that he isn't on top of the lettering.

This would let you increase the size of the fonts considerably and make the smaller words underneath more legible.

 

I figure you are wanting to have Sam be on top of the 'I' but perhaps the ball could be there instead?

Perhaps with the other 'i' over there above Rig it won't work as well.

 

Anyway... the pose looks great to me.

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My suggestion would be to bring Squetchy Sam down and to the right so that he isn't on top of the lettering. This would let you increase the size of the fonts considerably and make the smaller words underneath more legible.

 

I figure you are wanting to have Sam be on top of the 'I' but perhaps the ball could be there instead?

Perhaps with the other 'i' over there above Rig it won't work as well.

 

I'll make another version using your suggestions and post it tonight sometime. Thanks, Rodney!

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Here's the first thing on my to-do list this evening...an updated documentation header image using Rodney's suggestions (I also had to change the width a little to work better with the format I'm using). If anyone sees something that could be improved, let me know and I'll do some more tweaking.

Bsquetchbipedbg.png

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Hmmm... yes, I think it reads better.

What do you think?

 

Probably need to see it in context of its final setting.

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Hmmm... yes, I think it reads better.

What do you think?

 

Probably need to see it in context of its final setting.

 

It works for me, Rodney. I want to hold off a little before I show the final setting...I need to do a lot more populating. However, it will get a showing before it's finalized so that I can get input on it. The header image is just the top of the main page, the other material is going to be mostly videos.

 

Thanks for the help, Rodney!

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I got a little side-tracked the past few days working out some things in the rig documentation formatting. It has been a while since I've messed with any HTML or javascript and embedding Quicktime videos has changed a little. I'm happy with the results, so the time wasn't wasted.

 

I've also gotten back to working on Bertram's shoulders...hopefully, I'll have something to show in a few days.

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I decided I needed to embed the Quicktime videos in the Squetch Rig tutorials differently...I wanted the option for multi-language subtitles. I found a solution that uses VLC, but I needed to change it some. It works, but I need to do a little more Internet Explorer testing with it (Firefox runs it without a problem on my laptop, but I might have cut out some code that IE needs).

 

It usually works out like that though...I end up spending a lot of time on something I don't want to know about. I think it will be a good set of tutorials when I'm done though (we'll see).

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Me too. I understand how much time and effort goes into good documentation.

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After slogging my way through several subtitling solutions, I've decided that the best way to provide subtitles is outside of the embedded versions in the interface for the tutorials. I'll list off a few of the reasons, in case someone else is looking to do something similar.

 

First, I like Quicktime video...with it encoded using the H.264 codec and AAC audio, it looks very good, is small in file size (by comparison) and is easy to scrub through. The problem with Quicktime, there isn't a built-in multi-language subtitle solution. Quicktime can do closed captioning, and has a non-standard way of providing a single subtitle, but won't satisfy what I think is necessary at this time.

 

Second, I think non-embedded multi-language subtitles are a big plus for anyone hearing impaired or non-english speaking. I've been kicking myself a little because I haven't provided them up to this point in the other video tutorials I've made.

 

Third, I want to try to avoid requiring the installation of additional software to view the tutorials. If there is the need, I want the additional software to be free and not require a lot of different programs/plugins. The best solution to the multi-language subtitle requirement that I've found is to use VLC...and the best solution for embedding that player in a web page (while using multi-language subtitles) is at Revolunet (here is a zip file containing examples...the advanced example is what I modified in my testing...I got rid of the unnecessary controls and changed the subtitles from on/off to a pulldown menu of languages).

 

I did a lot of reading and testing and ended up deciding that if I went with the Revolunet solution, I would have to rely on nothing changing between Internet Explorer, Firefox, and VLC...which has happened several times recently. So, I decided the least breakable method would be to embed the videos for use inside the tutorial interface with the Quicktime plugin while providing Subrip (.SRT) subtitle files so that they could be used with an external player like VLC. I would have preferred to make it a seamless part of the interface, but every embedding solution had something I thought would be a problem.

 

So, that's where that stands at the moment in my head. Maybe this post will save someone else a little time...at the very least, it dumps it out of my head to make room for what I really want to get done.

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A little more of my trials and tribulations...maybe it will also help save someone else some time.

 

I was using TiddlyWiki as the interface for the tutorials until a day or so ago. I thought it would be a good way to have something that could be easily edited by anyone after what I'm doing is finished...and maybe provide a template for future similar tutorials.

 

I had things working fine using TiddlyWiki in Firefox, but came across some problems with Internet Explorer. I hadn't done it previously because I didn't have the latest version of IE installed, I use Firefox and really like it a lot. It turns out, the increased security features in IE didn't like some of the strange things I was doing from inside of TiddlyWiki...which the more secure Firefox had no problems with. What I was doing, was opening an HTML file with an embedded Quicktime video in a window. So, I decided I would knock together an HTML interface because the same thing would work fine with IE outside of TiddlyWiki.

 

I also got some recording of actual portions of video done this week and did some subtitling. Still a long way to go, but I'm whittling it down...very slowly. I haven't gotten back to Bertram, but he'll have to be completely rigged before the tutorial can be finished.

 

I've been bogged down in this seemingly unrelated stuff...but it is part of the whole.

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Here's the first thing on my to-do list this evening...an updated documentation header image using Rodney's suggestions (I also had to change the width a little to work better with the format I'm using). If anyone sees something that could be improved, let me know and I'll do some more tweaking.

how about that ?

index.jpg

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Here's the first thing on my to-do list this evening...an updated documentation header image using Rodney's suggestions (I also had to change the width a little to work better with the format I'm using). If anyone sees something that could be improved, let me know and I'll do some more tweaking.

how about that ?

 

I like it, Sebastian...the lettering was too clunky before and I like the resizing of Sam. I'll re-render it and go with that. Thanks!

 

Once I get the interface close to done, I'll post it with a dummy video so that I can get more feedback on it.

 

 

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EDIT

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Oh, what fonts did you use, Sebastian?

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it´s "helvetica neue lt std" , light extended and bold extended... if you don´t have it i can send it to you, no problem...

 

If you can point me at a link where I can download it or throw it at me, I'd appreciate it, Sebastian...it might save me some time.

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I haven't posted in a couple of days, so I figured I should give an accounting of where I'm at on what I'm concentrating on for the moment.

 

In thinking about the font, I found out a lot that I didn't know. It made me consider just painting something for the lettering in the banner. I'm still thinking about it...I might end up using an OFL (Open Font License) font. There are more things to consider than I initially thought. Here are a few links with some reading on the subject that is shaping my thinking:

 

Do you know why you need Public Domain fonts?

 

Font Licensing

 

Are fonts copyrightable?

 

Font legalities

 

OFL (Open Font License) FAQ

 

I've also managed to get the navigation look I was after...I just have one more javascript thing to do that I'll need to research.

 

I've rendered most of the buttons for the "Animating" section of the document...I still have to figure out how to represent "Other" (which is where I'll show the overall body squetching, on-character switches and anything that isn't covered somewhere else).

 

I'm hoping to have the interface done soon...I'll post it for review when I get there.

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Here is a free font website that I had bookmarked:

dafont.com

There are plenty of free fonts there, with descriptions of their scope and visual examples, all categorised for easy searching. I'm not sure if I have actually tried any of them but they look okay. There is also a link to this free font maker on th dafont site: FontForge

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Here is a free font website that I had bookmarked:

dafont.com

There are plenty of free fonts there, with descriptions of their scope and visual examples, all categorised for easy searching. I'm not sure if I have actually tried any of them but they look okay. There is also a link to this free font maker on th dafont site: FontForge

 

Thanks, Paul. I'll include them in my searching.

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Sorry I haven't posted much in a while...it's been a very rough couple of months. This week I got a little time to do some updating on the Squetch Rig biped neck setup which I'm going to get a peer review on and I also got a couple of peer reviews on the tutorial interface before posting it here. If the neck updates work out, I'll add them to the installation rigs that will get released once I get finished rigging Bertram...and probably close to when the Squetch Rig tutorials are released. There may end up being a big explosion of stuff all released at once...I just need to get a little free time.

 

I'm still pedaling...when time permits.

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Hang in there David.

Just drop us a note when you can.

 

If you don't have a lot of time maybe you can just post a random pic of Bertram.

We have yet to see him from every angle. :)

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I've still got at least one more week of almost no free time to go...I did squeeze in a few things in the past week or so.

 

I made an upgrade to the biped Squetch Rig neck...which had a lot of mistakes and problems in it (lack of sleep and working in ten minute bursts will give that kind of result). Mark Skodacek did a peer review of it, fixed all of the crap I broke, improved the design and dealt with my mental sluggishness throughout the process. The new neck setup is FK, IK, IK with auto squetching and has adjustable bowing...it will be in the next release of the rig. I really appreciate Mark's help and understanding. Thanks, Mark!

 

Sebastian Pfeifer re-worked the look of the interface for the tutorials. Thanks, Sebastian! I'll be working on implementing those changes sometime this week as time permits.

 

I did some work on the Quad version of the rig so that Marcos Rezende could use the latest version on a dog character he's using for his "11 Second Club" entry. I put the neck update that is in the next release of the biped version in for him because that character would benefit from it and fixed some things. I need to do some more work on the Quad for longer necks that uses something similar to the new setup...it's one of the things on my to-do list. I'm hoping to release the Quad update at the same time as the biped update.

 

Lastly, I did a little scripting for one of the tutorial videos. If I'm lucky, I'll get that video done this week.

 

Once I get some free time, I'll be getting a lot more done...and I'll be awake. ;)

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I'm finally starting to get a little free time, so I should be getting things rolling again on Bertram soon.

 

This week (so far), I did a little more tweaking to the Biped installation rigs and (finally) worked out the remaining issues with the Squetch Rig tutorial interface. I posted a new topic here for the interface. Thanks to Sebastian Pfeifer designing a layout, color scheme, font selection and putting together the header image! I'll be adding him to the "Credits" section of the tutorial along with Mark Skodacek (in addition to the long list of other things he'll be thanked for, he also did some testing on the interface) and Rodney Baker (for his input on the header image).

 

The interface took way too long to put together because I had to get up to speed on some CSS and I had next to zero free time. I had only used a little CSS the last time I did any HTML...and it wasn't as well supported at that time (tells you how long it's been).

 

If I'm lucky, I should start to show some progress soon...barring any roadblocks.

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This week so far, I've finished another video for the tutorial, started a second video and did some tweaking and fixing on the biped Squetch Rig. I found one of the things that needed fixing while working on the second video...that's what this process is partly meant to do. Hopefully, I'll find everything that needs attention by the time the process is finished. Still a long way to go, but it's getting whittled down.

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This week I fixed another little problem I found in the Squetch Rig...very minor. I also saw an area that might be improved upon. I don't think it's an absolutely necessary upgrade, but it would make one thing a little easier. I've spent three or four days tearing a few things apart and experimenting (with some minor victories), I'll probably spend a few more days seeing if I can get what I'm after.

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It took a few days, but I think I got what I was after for the upgrade I was working on...it hasn't been peer reviewed yet, so it might need a little more tweaking. What I was working on was improving the squetching of the feet. The way it was before worked, but you would have to re-position the foot if you used the foot squetching Poses. I didn't want to have to do any re-positioning and I didn't want to lose any of the functionality...ideally, I didn't want to have to change what the controls look like.

 

Here's a quick video showing the results...it'll probably need a little more tweaking.

 

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EDIT

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I updated the naming of the file.

 

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EDIT

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I added a Quicktime exported from Quicktime instead of SUPER...it has "new" in its' name.

foot_squetching_upgrade_H264.MOV

foot_squetching_upgrade_H264_new.MOV

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another blank file for me - but I was able to see your video in the other thread when you exported from qt pro

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another blank file for me - but I was able to see your video in the other thread when you exported from qt pro

 

Hmmm, I'll have to set up a test so that I can figure out what's causing this...I'd hate to have the tutorial videos cause people problems. I'll post the test stuff late tonight. Thanks Nancy!

 

I added a Quicktime Pro exported video with "new" in its' name to the same post.

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I added a Quicktime Pro exported video with "new" in its' name to the same post.

 

yes - I could see it.

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I put together five test videos to see what works for everyone and put them in my online storage...I didn't want to add to this forum's storage, and these are only going to be around until I get the results. The videos are located here (1.5MB).

 

All of the videos are H264 compressed with no audio and last about five seconds. The videos with "SUPER" in their name were converted using SUPER and the videos with "Quicktime" in their name were converted using Quicktime Pro. The source file compression is either "MS1", "Camstudio" or "uncompressed". In order to get the video into Quicktime Pro, the source couldn't use the Camstudio lossless codec, unfortunately. I've used MS1 compression to transfer from the Camstudio codec to something that Quicktime Pro would recognize without using a huge uncompressed file, but there is some noise added to the video when I do that. The cleanest, smallest files have come from the Camstudio losseless codec being converted to an H264 encoded Quicktime movie using SUPER, but that might not work for everyone.

 

I have been able to play all of these videos without any problems using Quicktime Pro v7.5.5 and VLC v0.9.8a. If I can get an idea of what works and what doesn't for everyone, it would be very helpful. Please mention the player and player version if possible. Thanks in advance for your help with this!

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Theye all worked very well ,I didn't notice any diffrance in quality,QT pro 7.6

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Camtasia was slightly better. I have used their lossless codec for years.

 

Steve

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Camtasia was slightly better. I have used their lossless codec for years.

 

Steve

 

I probably should have used a qualifier in my statement. Of the codecs in this testing, the best quality and smallest file size came from converting the Camstudio lossless codec encoded AVI's to H264 encoded Quicktime movies using SUPER. I have never used the Camtasia lossless codec, so I can't say whether it is better than the Camstudio lossless codec...Camstudio was $299 cheaper though.

 

Theye all worked very well ,I didn't notice any diffrance in quality,QT pro 7.6

 

Thanks Steve! I'm thinking I should ask whether people have problems with the videos in a more traveled part of the forum...I'll add the question in the Off Topic section as well.

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It's been too long since my last post here...sorry about that. For the last two weeks or so I've updated the biped installation rigs with the foot update and I'm almost finished with an update on the Quad rig to catch it up to where the biped rig is. I've also done some remodeling on Sam's feet so that the squetching will look a little better. Once I get everything with the rigs caught up, I can catch Bertram's rig up and then get back to work on him.

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A lota lota work ,glad its going ok David

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I had a pretty busy week again last week...I think it's a trend. :) This week I had a little time and got the opportunity to do a lot of work on the Quad Rig, which also added some fixes to the biped version. I've done a lot of tweaks, but a short list would include improving eyelid bone placement, improving mouth bone placement, added ankle fan bones to the Quad Rig (I haven't ever needed them in the biped rig, so I'm still debating whether to add them there), updated the chest_IO and stomach_IO Poses, changed the stomach_IO Pose in the Quad Rig to a mid_section_IO Pose because of the normal differences in anatomy between a quad and biped, updated the on-character chest and stomach/mid_section switches (placement, parenting and such) and added eyebrow bone controls to the Quad Rig.

 

I think I might have a normal upcoming week (as far as I know right now), so I should be able to get a few more things added to the Quad Rig and maybe get a video or two recorded...if things go right. Then, I can get back to Bertram's gut and shoulders.

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Hi David...I just saw this topic, you are working hard on this project ..greetings :)

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I started this week by adding the eyebrow controls to the Quad Rig, that prompted me to add some controls for moving the brows around the face (the eye sockets already had that ability). I then added that ability to Squetchy Sam as a step toward adding it to the biped rig, which prompted me to bring a few more parts of the face into the setup...so, lots of testing and thinking about what can be pushed. I added the ears, nose and mouth to the setup with some adjustable automated movement and then added some manual movement controls. Then, since it was easy to add and might be necessary when moving the brows around, I added a setting that unhides the eyebrow control bones...so they can be animated using either the FACE controls, Pose sliders for the FACE controls or directly.

 

I'm still working on the setup, but here's a quick video clip showing some of the testing. I didn't do any scaling in the test, but that should be possible as well. Sam's face could use a little more CP Weighting tweaks and there's still a lot to work on. I'm thinking it could turn into something to add more toon movement to facial animation using the rig...we'll see how it pans out.

face_test_05_29_2009.mov

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Wow thats a lot of control there ,great movement David .Must be a hell of a settup

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Since my last post, I did a lot of work on the face rig update, but it still needs a lot. I got to a point where I needed to do some thinking about the setup, so I decided to work on a couple of videos for the tutorial. I put two more videos together, but I did a lot better job on the audio on them than the previous videos, so, I went back and re-recorded everything else...I'm much happier with the new audio. Tonight I did the re-recording and clean-up on the new audio, tomorrow I'll edit it into the previously made videos...at least that's the plan. Then, it's back to the face rig update...I think I've got a few of the problems worked out, at least in my head they work.

 

Once I get the face rig update done, I can knock out three more videos for the tutorial, update Bertram's rig with the latest updates and then finish the gut rig using Bertram...which will make it possible to put together another video for the tutorial. Still a long way to go, but I'm slowly chipping away at it.

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I finished updating the audio on everything last night, so now I have tutorials for how to use the controls for the legs, arms, hands and spine finished...total running time is around 33 minutes. Once I get the face rig updated, I can work on the videos for the neck, face and on-character switches.

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Free time has been hard to come by for the past couple of weeks, but I did get a few things accomplished. I updated Bertram's rig to include the fixes up to this point and I relaxed both Bertram and Squetchy Sam's shoulders (mostly modeling, but some arm/shoulder rigging adjustments as well). When I get a chance, I'll post some images to show the differences.

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