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rigging my penguin

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I thought it would be best to place this in the rigging section -

 

I am doing a simple rig of my own for learning purposes. The penguin is not terribly complex and I think I can get by with fewer bones - flippers only have 2 bones, for instance.

 

I am noticing something odd, though. Currently, I have my hierarchy set up this way:

 

Head

Neck

Torso 2

Torso 1

Pelvis

Left thigh

Left femur

Left foot

 

Each of those bones in the list is a child of the one above it. However, in the properties panel when I turn on "attached to parent" I notice something odd in the case of the neck and head bones: when "atached to parent" is turned on for the neck, the base of the bone flips up to the top of the head bone. I am not sure if I am doing something wrong or what. This is happening with the other bones that make up the torso as well (but not the legs) - any clues what I am doing wrong?

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Head

Neck

Torso 2

Torso 1

Pelvis

Left thigh

Left femur

Left foot

 

Each of those bones in the list is a child of the one above it.

 

You can't really mean that. The head is the parent of everything else? I can't imagine a reason you would want that to be. Normally a bone like the pelvis is at the top of the hierarchy.

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Robcat is right.

Try this:

 

Pelvis

 

- left thigh

-- left femur

---left foot

 

- torso 1

-- torso 2

--- neck

---- head

 

torso 1 and left thigh will both be direct children of Pelvis.

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Robcat is right.

Try this:

 

Pelvis

 

- left thigh

-- left femur

---left foot

 

- torso 1

-- torso 2

--- neck

---- head

 

torso 1 and left thigh will both be direct children of Pelvis.

 

 

I think I see what you mean. I was looking at it again and it didn't seem right. Here is a pic of the hierarchy and the bones themselves. I will need to adjust the rest of the hierarchy to fix it.

penguin___bones.jpg

hierarchy.jpg

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Get rid of the Root bone for now. (you can add it back in later)

Make Pelvis the top level bone.

Left Thigh, left femur and left foot are good.

drag torso 1 onto Pelvis, to make it a direct child.

Left thigh and torso 1 will both be direct children of Pelvis

make torso 2 a child of torso 1. torso 2 will be *under* torso 1.

make neck a child of torso 2 (it will be under it)

make head a child of neck.

 

right now you have head > neck > torso 2 > torso 1

it should be torso 1 > torso 2 > neck > head

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One "rule" of animation is everything begins with the hips and that's why the hips tend to be the parent of everything in rigs.

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One "rule" of animation is everything begins with the hips and that's why the hips tend to be the parent of everything in rigs.

 

 

Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking. I have done a few tutorials in the past but never built a full rig, I'm going to chalk my hierarchy brainfart up to me being exhausted that night

and not having rigged anything in a while. I am still going to practice a little with my own rig, then try a version of the penguin w/ the 2008 rig. It will probably be simpler than I think,

the PDF that came w/ the 2008 rig just seemed daunting. Perhaps it is just the instructions are very detailed and I am used to the tutorials in The Art of AM (more concise)?

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I was a little afraid to read this post... 'rigging the penguin'...I thought it was some new slang for... anyways-

 

You might want to look for and consider using The Setup Machine for your rig as well.

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Have you watched my "Simplest IK leg" video? It shows why just a chain of bones in a character will be an inadequate rig for animation. It's not a complete rig solution, but if you are starting to think about why rigs need top do what they do, it's a brief introduction.

 

It's in the screencam tuts link in my signature.

 

 

For my own characters I'm still a fan of TSM2 because it's fast and fairly easy. But the other rigs on the forum are fine also.

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Have you watched my "Simplest IK leg" video? It shows why just a chain of bones in a character will be an inadequate rig for animation. It's not a complete rig solution, but if you are starting to think about why rigs need top do what they do, it's a brief introduction.

 

It's in the screencam tuts link in my signature.

 

 

For my own characters I'm still a fan of TSM2 because it's fast and fairly easy. But the other rigs on the forum are fine also.

 

Yes, I found that it cleared up some misconceptions I had about why bones were doing what they were doing when moved a certain way - the contraints explanations made a lot of sense.

I am working on assigning CPs and CP weighting right now - I will post a screenshot. I am unclear as to exactly which CPs to select in certain instances, because they overlap other areas.

For instance, in the area labelled "2" - do I select the ring of CPs immediately below the first ring that are assigned to the pelvis, or do I leave those to be attached to the leg bones, as they are

now? Same question w/ the flippers - area labelled "1". Falloff makes more sense, but do you just sort of eyeball it or is there a "formula" for calculating it?

 

I am really at odds whether I should use the TSM2 or 2008 rig. I purchased the TSM2 software a while back, but then they discontinued it for AM. I still have a copy of it and know I can DL another,

if need be - but I can't find my original documentation for it.

 

As far as roll handles - do they all need to face a certain way? Like to the front for the legs, and to the back for the spine and head?

penguin___rig_questions.jpg

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I am working on assigning CPs and CP weighting right now - I will post a screenshot. I am unclear as to exactly which CPs to select in certain instances, because they overlap other areas.

For instance, in the area labelled "2" - do I select the ring of CPs immediately below the first ring that are assigned to the pelvis, or do I leave those to be attached to the leg bones, as they are

now?

 

The "2" CPs look like they would be weighted 50/50 to the cyan bone and the red bone

 

 

The CPs below that seem like they should be weighted 50/50 to the nearest leg bone and the cyan bone

 

 

 

 

 

Same question w/ the flippers - area labelled "1". Falloff makes more sense, but do you just sort of eyeball it or is there a "formula" for calculating it?

 

That looks like another 50/50 situation. If you know the proportion you want, manually editing CP weights is fastest.

 

To manually weight CPS, go to modeling mode, lasso a bunch you want to weight the same, RMB>"edit weight CPs". The TECHREF covers that starting on page 196 for more detail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am really at odds whether I should use the TSM2 or 2008 rig. I purchased the TSM2 software a while back, but then they discontinued it for AM. I still have a copy of it and know I can DL another,

if need be - but I can't find my original documentation for it.

 

As far as roll handles - do they all need to face a certain way? Like to the front for the legs, and to the back for the spine and head?

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Second thought... that joint on the flipper... since a "wrist" like that needs to bend much more than a spine bone, I think that's a job for a fanbone.

 

Make a copy of the green hand bone, make it a child of the brown arm bone (a sibling of the green bone), That's your fan bone. Attach the CPS to it. and then constrain it 50% to the green bone.

 

A fan bone keeps the CPs from squishing too much at severe angles.

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I'm using the mirror bone plugin to attempt to copy the flipper bones on the left hand side. Any reason it would only copy the upper bone? The lower bone is currently set w/ "attached to parent" on.

 

I guess I can just manually put the other bones in, but given that the legs worked fine I am curious.

 

I'll keep that in mind about the fan bone. Does it sit in exactly the same orientation as the lower flipper? Do I need to do this before I assign CPs, or can it be done after?

I haven't computed CP weights yet, just assigned the CPs.

 

I wasn't sure what to do w/ the points on the spline that make up the crotch, since both legs share those points. So I assigned them to the pelvis. Will this be a problem? Is there a better way to do this?

assigning_cps.jpg

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I'm using the mirror bone plugin to attempt to copy the flipper bones on the left hand side. Any reason it would only copy the upper bone? The lower bone is currently set w/ "attached to parent" on.

 

I guess I can just manually put the other bones in, but given that the legs worked fine I am curious.

 

The mirror bone plugin always surprises me.

 

I'll keep that in mind about the fan bone. Does it sit in exactly the same orientation as the lower flipper?

 

Lower? Its a copy of the green bone. same time, same place.

 

 

 

Do I need to do this before I assign CPs, or can it be done after?
You wont' be able to assign CPs to it if you haven't made it yet.

 

 

I haven't computed CP weights yet, just assigned the CPs.
Computing weights is only for if you have used fall offs. It considers only visible bones and CPs.

 

 

I wasn't sure what to do w/ the points on the spline that make up the crotch, since both legs share those points. So I assigned them to the pelvis. Will this be a problem? Is there a better way to do this?
I'd do 50% pelvis and 25% each leg. Or 33,33,33. Or 20, 40, 40. Weighting between more than two bones needs experimentation.

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I'm using the mirror bone plugin to attempt to copy the flipper bones on the left hand side. Any reason it would only copy the upper bone? The lower bone is currently set w/ "attached to parent" on.

 

I guess I can just manually put the other bones in, but given that the legs worked fine I am curious.

 

The mirror bone plugin always surprises me.

 

I'll keep that in mind about the fan bone. Does it sit in exactly the same orientation as the lower flipper?

 

Lower? Its a copy of the green bone. same time, same place.

 

 

 

Do I need to do this before I assign CPs, or can it be done after?
You wont' be able to assign CPs to it if you haven't made it yet.

 

 

I haven't computed CP weights yet, just assigned the CPs.
Computing weights is only for if you have used fall offs. It considers only visible bones and CPs.

 

 

I wasn't sure what to do w/ the points on the spline that make up the crotch, since both legs share those points. So I assigned them to the pelvis. Will this be a problem? Is there a better way to do this?
I'd do 50% pelvis and 25% each leg. Or 33,33,33. Or 20, 40, 40. Weighting between more than two bones needs experimentation.

 

What I was getting at, was if I have already assigned cps to the lower flipper, do I need to unassign them first before adding the fan bone?

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What I was getting at, was if I have already assigned cps to the lower flipper, do I need to unassign them first before adding the fan bone?

 

Oh :D ... no. Assigning them to the fan bone will unassign them from the other bone.

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I am attempting to do more rigging today. I am not sure I completely understand falloff, and have a few questions:

 

I see outer and inner falloff referenced when talking about rigging, but what is the difference between pivot outer and end outer and pivot inner and end inner?

I am guessing Pivot refers to where the bone is actually pivoting around (the fat end of the bone) and end is the skinny end of the bone - but what exactly is

outer and inner fallof? The outer falloff envelope is easier to observe when adjusting it, and I gues if a bone is affecting its neighboring CPs too much its the

place where you would start adjusting. I am not sure I under stand what the inner falloff is. Can someone explain the difference between these?

Do I need to be concerned about pivot scale or not at this point?

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I am attempting to do more rigging today. I am not sure I completely understand falloff, and have a few questions:

 

I see outer and inner falloff referenced when talking about rigging, but what is the difference between pivot outer and end outer and pivot inner and end inner?

I am guessing Pivot refers to where the bone is actually pivoting around (the fat end of the bone) and end is the skinny end of the bone

 

yes

 

 

- but what exactly is

outer and inner fallof? The outer falloff envelope is easier to observe when adjusting it, and I gues if a bone is affecting its neighboring CPs too much its the

place where you would start adjusting. I am not sure I under stand what the inner falloff is. Can someone explain the difference between these?

 

"Inner" is the envelope within which the bone tries to attach itself to the CP at 100% weight. The exception would be if two or more "inner" envelopes intersect and happen to contain the same CP.

 

Outer" is where the bone Attaches itself to the CP in a percentage proportional to where teh CPS sits between the edge of the Inner envelope and the Outer envelope. A CP just out side the Inner envelope might get 98% weighted to the bone (the other 2% being whatever the CPO belonged to before, probably the default black bone). A CP just inside the Outer Envelope might get 2% weighted to the bone.

 

Inner size is affected by Outer size so it's best to set Outer size first then set Inner size

 

 

Do I need to be concerned about pivot scale or not at this point?
You can use pivot scale to stretch or flatten the hemispherical ends of the envelopes in any axis direction. The better to make them contain or exclude certain CPs that a perfectly round envelope would not.

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Other than the tutorials you mentioned - do you know if anyone has done one that explains fan bones? Or other general rigging tutorials, such as for arms?

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I have not read this one, but it seems to be about fan bones. Let me know if it's any good! :lol:

 

http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials/3d..._complex_joints

 

 

I found this by searching the web for "Hash" and "fan bones". You might pursue that some more.

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I have done google searches for tutorials for AM but came up with a lot of defunct stuff (broken links, missing content, etc) or stuff for the really old versions of the program.

I did some searching through the forums and found some more stuff. I think I am going to purchase the video tutorials by Barry Zundel on rigging, that should help quite a bit I"m hoping.

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That one seemd to explain fan bones. They haven't changed since v5.

 

He uses alot of them but fan bones are fan bones.

 

A fan bone is a bone that 's constrained to bend half way as much as some other bone and you attach CPs to it that you want to move half as much as CPs attached to that other bone.

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OK - I think I am starting to get the hang of this rigging thing (somewhat) - I've gotten my issues with the way the flippers were affecting the points on the torso fixed by reassigning the points. I figured out how to use a translate contraint to get the flippers to follow the torso2 bone when moving it, and I'm going to try roll like constraints so that they also match its rotation. And, I am using lock IK to make the torso/spine easier to manipulate.

 

I have been creating actions to test the way things are working, then deleting them. When I do that, though, all my constraints disappear. Should I be creating one master "dummy" action that the constraints appear under, then when I want to test how things are moving, make another action and then delete that when I'm satisfied that things are moving correctly? Or is there another way I should be doing this? Am I missing something?

 

I have to say, having done a little rigging now (and I stress little) I have a newfound appreciation for TSM2 and the 2008 rig - if all that has to be done with those is assign points to the geometry bones, then that will save me a lot of time. I think where my confusion came in was that it was not always clear to me how points should be assigned near joints. I guess its just something you have to play with.

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I have been creating actions to test the way things are working, then deleting them. When I do that, though, all my constraints disappear. Should I be creating one master "dummy" action that the constraints appear under, then when I want to test how things are moving, make another action and then delete that when I'm satisfied that things are moving correctly? Or is there another way I should be doing this? Am I missing something?

 

Make your constraints in a pose. A pose is saved with the character, but an action is not.

 

I have to say, having done a little rigging now (and I stress little) I have a newfound appreciation for TSM2 and the 2008 rig - if all that has to be done with those is assign points to the geometry bones, then that will save me a lot of time.
of course, "all that has to be done" is not a minor task, but yes, they do the constraint stuff for you.

 

Also, TSM2 doesn't have any pre-made fan bones in it. You add those as you need them. It was presumed that every character is so different that fan bones appropriate for one would not be appropriate for another. But in actual practice, most elbows are pretty much the same.

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I am adding fan bones to the spine now - and only one of them seems to be working correctly. I am using "orient like" constraints and have them set at 50%. So, the first fan bone is set to orient like torso2 50%, the 2nd is set to orient like the neck bone 50%, and the third is set to orient like the head (noggin) bone 50%. Did I do something wrong to still be getting the creasing I am getting when bending the spine? I am not sure what I did wrong and have included some screen shots.

penguin_constraints.jpg

penguin_constraints2.jpg

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Also, I am wondering if I should be adding control bones just slightly offset from the geometry bones, and then hiding the geometry bones (after setting the geometry bones to orient like the control bones 100%) - Zundel seems to use the 3 types in his models. In a character as simple as mine I didn't feel it necessary to add a bunch of control bones - perhaps I should.

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I am not sure what I did wrong and have included some screen shots.
.

 

It looks like you are still doing those in an action. Any reason not to use a pose?

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Not really - but I am trying to find the "new pose" command and can't seem to. It doesn't seem to be available from the right-click in either bones mode or action mode, and it is not under File > new - am I missing something? I stumbled across it last night but didn't save the project and whatever I did I can't seem to duplicate.

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Ok...figured out what I was missing - right click the model then choose New Pose -I went w/ on/off as opposed to percentage as this is not meant to be a pose slider (I think this is correct?)

 

Now my question is, what did I screw up in the spine that things are not bending correctly? I'm not sure I got a single one of the fan bones right on that.

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Now that you've made your constraints in a pose... have you put your character in a chor or action to test him out, AND turned the pose on?

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I have an action, and pose is on. Spine still seems to bend incorrectly (or rather it bends correctly but the skin still kinks)

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If you dare post it I'll look at it, or you could email it to me.

 

theguy at brilliantisland.com

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It doesn't look to me like you are doing anything wrong. You just need to experiment with CP/bone assignments and CP weighting. Try assigning the problem control points to different bones and observe the results. That is the best way IMO to get a handle on the process of assigning CPs to bones.

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Should I be assigning control points to the fan bones? Is that what I'm missing? That's the only thing I can think of.

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I think that's what I was missing - at least it seems to be making a change when I assign the points that make up the affected areas - now all I have to do is figure out how best to assign them to the fan bones.

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I am also thinking that I need more spine/torso bones to make up for the fact that the chest area has way more patches. The lower half of the body seems to bend fine without any creasing, while the upper part develops multiple kinks. Hopefully this won't take too long to figure out.

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Well, its better but still a little fubar. I can't bend it too far before the areas in red start causing problems. Also, when I grab the bones from the ends as opposed to anywhere else, I seem to get better bends out of the torso. Is there a reason for that? Should I only be grabbing them at their ends?

penguin_constraints3.jpg

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The lower spline ring in each of your red circles doesn't look appropriately assigned/weighted to a bone.

 

 

 

The best place for a spline ring is to be in the exact middle of a bone and weighted 100% to it.

 

The next best place is to be exactly at a joint and either 100% on a 50/50 fanbone or weighted 50/50 between the two bones at the joint.

 

Wandering away from there, the solutions get trickier.

 

I'm not sure you really need every spline ring you have there and judicious thinning could simplify your rigging/weighting effort.

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I think I'll try getting rid of the rings in the chest. If they do not continue all the way across the chest, is that ok (if they end nearer the flippers, for instance)?

Or, do I need to cull those completely?

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I think I'll try getting rid of the rings in the chest. If they do not continue all the way across the chest, is that ok (if they end nearer the flippers, for instance)?

Or, do I need to cull those completely?

 

if you don't need it to define the shape of the chest, end it in a hook.

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I think I'll try getting rid of the rings in the chest. If they do not continue all the way across the chest, is that ok (if they end nearer the flippers, for instance)?

Or, do I need to cull those completely?

 

if you don't need it to define the shape of the chest, end it in a hook.

 

 

Here's the thing, though: if I take the two dangling splines from the flipper and end them in a hook, then I have a problem w/ the 2 areas circled in red. They used to be 5 point patches, now they are made up of 4 points and one corner is the hook. Not to mention, the location of the CPs on the flipper causes the hooks to jump to the spot on the chest that they want, not where I'd want them to be (I think its the 1/2 and 3/4 mark). How do I close off these former 5 point patches, and is there a better way to do these hooks?

problem_patches.jpg

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I would redo the splines where the flipper attaches like my attached image. That will reduce your chest splines and use no hooks. Hooks are fine but really should be avoided if there is another solution. Hooks are best in places that will be seen less often or do not deform much.

post-1326-1266379177_thumb.jpg

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and is there a better way to do these hooks?

 

Carry them thru to the next spline and hook them there.

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and is there a better way to do these hooks?

 

Carry them thru to the next spline and hook them there.

 

 

The only problem with that is, the 5 point patches are no longer a problem but I still have the problem with the hooks wanting to attach at their "ideal" attachment points - I realize this is how its supposed to work but it mkes for a messy looking model. Also, won't I still have a problemwith too much detail in the chest, just not in the center of the chest? ( I haven't fixed the other side yet)

chest_reduction.jpg

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The only problem with that is, the 5 point patches are no longer a problem but I still have the problem with the hooks wanting to attach at their "ideal" attachment points - I realize this is how its supposed to work but it mkes for a messy looking model. Also, won't I still have a problemwith too much detail in the chest, just not in the center of the chest? ( I haven't fixed the other side yet)

 

Two hooks on a spline are usually not ideal. Try carrying the one that wants to go to the center thru to the next spline and hook it there.

 

I know that means when you do the other side you'll have two hooks running into each other, but try that rather than making them a normal CP in the center of his chest

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The only problem with that is, the 5 point patches are no longer a problem but I still have the problem with the hooks wanting to attach at their "ideal" attachment points - I realize this is how its supposed to work but it mkes for a messy looking model. Also, won't I still have a problemwith too much detail in the chest, just not in the center of the chest? ( I haven't fixed the other side yet)

 

Two hooks on a spline are usually not ideal. Try carrying the one that wants to go to the center thru to the next spline and hook it there.

 

I know that means when you do the other side you'll have two hooks running into each other, but try that rather than making them a normal CP in the center of his chest

 

I'll try that - although it looks ugly now, it seems to be working ok. As far as my bones, I am wondering if I should just not reassign them, except for the flippers.

Here is a currenty screenshot of what the bones in my model look like. Currently the pelvis (light blue bone) is assigned to the belly ring, but I'm thinking maybe it should go lower, nearer the legs? And get assigned to the patches that make up the crotch and a portion of the ring that the leg bones are assigned to now?

Then Torso1 could go to the first belly ring, Torso2 to the chest are, the neck stays where it is, head is fine - what do you think? Is there anything wrong w/ the placement of my bones as they are? It seems to me like logical places for fan bones are rings 2, 3, 4, and 5, but if I assign those rings specifically to fan bones, doesn't it take over the assignment that the geometry bone had? Do you see any where else I can remove detail? I'm thinking I could probably get rid of ring 4.

 

I don't know, maybe I'm making this harder than it has to be?

bone_assignments.jpg

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I like Hutch's splines.

 

In general, to diagnose these things I gotta be watching how it moves when I test it. It's hard to know just seeing a screen shot.

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I don't know if this will help (not sure exactly what problem you are trying to solve) - but here is a project that I did for myself to see the differences between using fan bones versus no fan bones with cp weighting versus a combo of both versus using different weighting percentages.

 

In the movie the leftmost cylinder has 2 bones plus fan bone (weighted as shown), and the rightmost has just 2 bones (no fan bone) weighted as shown. The 2 inner cylinders have different weightings than the 2 extremes.

4fansweightedh264loop.mov

2bonesfanweight.jpg

2bonesweight.jpg

FansCPweighting.prj

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