Jump to content
Hash, Inc. Forums
TNT

Reference Books

Recommended Posts

I have come to the conclusion that I stink at rigging.

I get by with a lot of trial and error but it seems to take me for ever.

 

I have the TSM2 rig which works well up to a point.

It installs easy and controls the basic movements.

All the stuff I need to add like fans, smartskin, and other constraints, the face rigging, etc. is where it all goes south for me.

 

Are there any good reference books for rigging?

Howto build the geometry bones, and the control bones.

How to place and constrain bones to control a knee or a neck.

 

Is it a layered approach.

Pitfalls to avoid.

 

I've seen some books on Amazon but they are always for one of the other animation software.

Are any of them any good for getting a good grasp of what all needs to happen to make a good rig?

 

Am I looking for something that does not exist?

Any advise is welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have come to the conclusion that I stink at rigging.

I get by with a lot of trial and error but it seems to take me for ever.

 

I have the TSM2 rig which works well up to a point.

It installs easy and controls the basic movements.

All the stuff I need to add like fans, smartskin, and other constraints, the face rigging, etc. is where it all goes south for me.

 

Are there any good reference books for rigging?

Howto build the geometry bones, and the control bones.

How to place and constrain bones to control a knee or a neck.

 

Is it a layered approach.

Pitfalls to avoid.

 

I've seen some books on Amazon but they are always for one of the other animation software.

Are any of them any good for getting a good grasp of what all needs to happen to make a good rig?

 

Am I looking for something that does not exist?

Any advise is welcome.

 

Barry Zundel has a complete set of tutorials for sale, here that might help.

 

David Rogers' book is a good overall guide, here. His leg setup is located, here.

 

Jason Osipa's book is great for setting up a face for animation...it's for other software, but the principles apply, here. The Squetch Rig FACE interface uses the same principles and there is a standalone version that will work in any A:M rig...the link in my signature will get you to that (click the link and then go to the bottom of that page).

 

Here is a generalized list of things a rig should be able to do.

 

Matthew Krick has some tutorials here.

 

Patason Brooks has some tutorials here.

 

I made a face rigging tutorial about four years ago that shows how the first version of the Squetch Rig face rig was made. There have been a lot of improvements since then, but there might be something in there that is still helpful. It is located here.

 

Eggprops has a video on making a 2001-like rig, here.

 

The 2006 training DVD has a tutorial by Bill Young that shows "Creating a multi-dimensional pose slider based facial animation rig" that might be helpful...that is here.

 

There are some more...that is just what I can come up with quickly. Hope that helps, Tim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
All the stuff I need to add like fans, smartskin, and other constraints, the face rigging, etc. is where it all goes south for me.
You might post an example of trying to use a fanbone and get feed back on that.

 

 

 

I've seen some books on Amazon but they are always for one of the other animation software.

 

 

A now-out-of-print book "Character Animation in Depth" had numerous examples of using constraints to rig a character, including in A:M.

 

The book is obsolete for most purposes , but "Out of print" means you can get it cheaply used. I dont' quite recommend it at $10 for what it contains on A:M, but you might see it in a bargain bin for less.

 

Nothing he shows supercedes the rigs that TSM2 or Squetch or 2008 build but he does start out by showing the primitive rigs in use then (1998) and explains how clever use of constraints builds up to something more functional like the rigs we have to day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback.

I'll take a look thru the list from "itsjustme".

Sounds like there are lots of helps there.

 

I'll see if I can find a copy of the "Character Animation in Depth" Robcat mentioned.

 

I may try posting a how far I am on the rig but I have to say, I am a bit embarassed by it.

 

I'll look at all the good info you guys suggested first.

 

Thanks,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of these references are good. David's tutorials are very good and easy to follow. Barry's video have helped me understand a great deal more about rigging. I am in the same boat as you as I have modeled a great deal of items but never animated because I was afraid of the rigging process. I have made it point that this year, I will animate my own models. The only way is to dive into the rigging process. I am waiting for Davids tuts on the squetch rig.

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say there is more info around than I thought I would find.

 

I have links to the websites mentioned and have read thru some of the tutorial material.

 

I did download David's face rigging tut. It's great but I have been working on the body of my goat and that is where I have got stuck.

 

I ordered the Rigging DVD from Barry Zundel.

I recognize it is from 2005 but I think the biggest change has been the introduction of the NULLS.

It sounds like it will answer some of the WHY and WHEN questions I have about rigging.

 

I have the book "Stop Staring" by Jason Osipa. I'll have to get the Squetch Face Rig for people.

Right now I am working on my goat charater and I think I'm going to have to work that one up myself.

 

I also really liked the list of "what a rig must do".

 

I will have to keep looking for the "Character Animation in Depth" book Robcat mentioned.

$13 with shipping is the best I can find on Amazon.

 

Thanks again for the help.

This forum is really great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's great but I have been working on the body of my goat and that is where I have got stuck.

 

Post an example of what you are having trouble with. You dont' have to post your model, but post a shaded wireframe-with-bones movie of a part that doesn't work. Really.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found my copy of "Character Animation in Depth." It's over 900 pages! It probably tries to cover too many topics and too many programs, but it puts A:M out there on an equal footing with all of the other programs. The demonstration of constraints is about 120 pages and is almost all in A:M, since, at that time, some of the other programs could only do very basic constraining. This was back in A:M v6. There was even a demo version of A:M on the CD.

 

It doesn't cover CP weighting as that didn't exist yet.

 

But it probably doesn't have much info for you that isn't in the tuts already mentioned here. If you see one for $5 (with CD) that might be worth it for the rigging stuff. As a historical time capsule it's quite interesting, with some work by A:M names we don't see much anymore like Armando Afre and Jeff Lew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, at the risk of showing just how bad my rigging is I am posting the goat model.

I don't know how to show the stuff I am fighting otherwise.

I am using AM14.0c.

 

I had one eye done and simply wanted to copy the constraints and smartskin to the other eye.

I wanted to create two sliders so that I could control each blink individually (wink), and one to control them together (blink).

I also wanted a slider to control the eye line where the lids close.

The basic eye rigging is from "Rigging a Face with Raf Anzovin".

 

I can't figure what I have different between the two eyes or what I have done wrong.

I seem to get random problems. One eye blinks but the other won't. One eyeline works but the other won't.

I really want to understand what I am doing wrong.

 

I also don't know how to get rid of the extra Pose1, Pose2, etc. controls that are empty.

I don't know how to reorder the sliders or group them onto logical tabs.

 

I have not tried much with the rest of him.

I have only roughed in the knees and neck movements.

The rig seems to need a way to swing the knees so he can lay down with his knees beside his chest and belly.

I have not attempted that yet.

 

I really appreciate all the help you guys have given.

If you have time and can get me moving again I would really appreciate it.

 

Here is the goat.

8LilBoyGoat_TSM2RigStage2.mdl

 

Thanks again,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that's a good looking character.

 

A quadruped is a bit of an advanced topic in rigging. None-the less...

 

I had one eye done and simply wanted to copy the constraints and smartskin to the other eye.
A:M has a copy smartskin command , but copying constraints would need a plugin like Stefen Gross's. I'm guessing you've done something like that since there are left blink constraints there.

 

I can't figure what I have different between the two eyes or what I have done wrong.

I seem to get random problems. One eye blinks but the other won't. One eyeline works but the other won't.

I really want to understand what I am doing wrong.

 

I notice the the enforcements for the constraints are not the same for both eyes. The right has some that go from 0% to 100% and the left's were all 100% to 100%.

 

I got the left upper lid to work by making the left enforcements like the right. Not sure why that didnt' fix the left lower lid. The actual smartskin that controlls that lid seems to work. My first guess is that some constraint somewhere is taking precedence over whatever the blink slider is trying to do, and stopping that lower lid control from moving.

 

now with working upper left lid: 8LilBoyGoat_TSM2RigStage2_RCH.zip

 

 

I wanted to create two sliders so that I could control each blink individually (wink), and one to control them together (blink).

I also wanted a slider to control the eye line where the lids close.

 

My own personal preference is to control each lid directly with a bone right there on the face and not go with any sliders. You can pose them to close at any angle you want and you can make a pose to hide those bones when you don't want to see them. I find this much simpler (and faster to animate) than trying to make blink angle constraints that are cross influencing each other.

 

Raf's face rig ideas are interesting, but not the only way to get it done.

 

 

 

 

I also don't know how to get rid of the extra Pose1, Pose2, etc. controls that are empty.

 

select them in the properties window and hit delete. Then delete the folder in the PWS.

 

 

I don't know how to reorder the sliders or group them onto logical tabs.

 

Drag them by the cross symbol to a folder name (or "User Properties" the main folder) and they will get sent to the bottom of that folder

 

right-click on a folder>New Property>New Folder to make a new folder

 

 

The rig seems to need a way to swing the knees so he can lay down with his knees beside his chest and belly.

I have not attempted that yet.

 

you can slightly rotate (blue ring) that knee controller bone to splay the knees out or in. Moving the feet outward slightly will help too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I checked Robert's updated version and found the problem with the left lower lid...it was the left blink Pose. I just copied the right blink Pose to the left and it worked the same. I also made the lowest setting on the blink Poses ".01"...if you don't do that, the blink will diminish in its' effect as it gets "baked" each time it crosses "0". Here is the goat updated from Robert's update.

 

Hope that helps, Tim.

8LilBoyGoat_TSM2RigStage2_RCH_update.zip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys.

Unfortunately work is getting in the way and I can't evaluate everything you both found until tonight.

I appreciate the fixes. I was not totally headed the wrong direction it seems.

I really want to understand what I did wrong so I can get better.

I will try comparing yours to mine to see the changes.

 

Thans again,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks guys.

Unfortunately work is getting in the way and I can't evaluate everything you both found until tonight.

I appreciate the fixes. I was not totally headed the wrong direction it seems.

I really want to understand what I did wrong so I can get better.

I will try comparing yours to mine to see the changes.

 

Thans again,

 

For the lower left eyelid, it was the "Rotate offset" on the "Orient like left eye line anchor" constraint on the "left lower blink" bone.

 

It never hurts to tear another rig apart to see what makes it work. You might want to tear apart Steve's Head Gizmo, Mark Skodacek's AM_face, Holmes Bryant's LiteFace or the Squetch Rig face rig that's installed in Squetchy Sam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks guys.

Unfortunately work is getting in the way and I can't evaluate everything you both found until tonight.

I appreciate the fixes. I was not totally headed the wrong direction it seems.

I really want to understand what I did wrong so I can get better.

I will try comparing yours to mine to see the changes.

 

Thans again,

 

For the lower left eyelid, it was the "Rotate offset" on the "Orient like left eye line anchor" constraint on the "left lower blink" bone.

 

It never hurts to tear another rig apart to see what makes it work. You might want to tear apart Steve's Head Gizmo, Mark Skodacek's AM_face, Holmes Bryant's LiteFace or the Squetch Rig face rig that's installed in Squetchy Sam.

 

Thanks for telling me where to look for that lower lid.

I'll give these rigs a good look and see what I can learn.

There seems to be a lot of ways to setup a rig.

I'm trying to learn from my mistakes without getting terminally frustrated.

I assume, in the end, everyone has to try a lot of solutions and find the one that works for you??

 

I'm hoping I can get my little goat working well enough for the "pass the ball" gig.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TNT, one thing to keep in mind is that no one is good at rigging over night. you have to get intimate with the material.

try things, make mistakes, remember what works, combine, try, fail, repeat.

Its an evolution, if one truely wants to get ones brain around rigging.

Just keep at it, and always think about how things might work.

 

There are a lot of good riggers on the forum so dont hesitate to pick thier brains:)

 

Mike Fitz

www.3dartz.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TNT, one thing to keep in mind is that no one is good at rigging over night. you have to get intimate with the material.

try things, make mistakes, remember what works, combine, try, fail, repeat.

Its an evolution, if one truely wants to get ones brain around rigging.

Just keep at it, and always think about how things might work.

 

There are a lot of good riggers on the forum so dont hesitate to pick thier brains:)

 

Mike Fitz

www.3dartz.com

 

Of course you are right.

Patience is not my greatest strength.

 

I marvel at the capability within the forum members but most of all I marvel at the never ending willingness to help the rest of us learn.

I hope some day I can be as helpful as so many of you have been.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spent tonight going over the errors that David and Robert found for me.

 

I took my model and re-made the corrections for myself to learn what I did wrong and how to fix it.

 

Your explanations were just what I needed to find my way.

 

I got them all! GO ME! B)

Hey, it's a big deal for me. I got to celebrate a little.

 

I also used Robert's instructions to group the sliders onto tabs.

 

I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the help and encouragement.

 

I'm going to post a picture in the WIP area with his eyes working.

 

Thanks again,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...