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So, I took a while off from animation:master and just recently started spending some serious time with it again. Here is a short clip of a character I have been working on for a couple weeks. She still needs a lot of minor work plus a face rig. She has a cloth skirt and cape plus dynamic braids. A huge thank you to Homeslice for the LiteRig and tutorials on cloth and dynamics, all of which made my re-learning curve much shorter and less frustrating.

speartest2.mov

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that's a very nice looking character, like the feel of it

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Great job! Very clean looking design!

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Vert nice charector,I like the cloth skirt andthat cloak behaves well

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A huge thank you to Homeslice for the LiteRig and tutorials on cloth and dynamics,

You're welcome! Glad you found them useful.

You might try adding the backs of the lower legs to your cloth deflector group. It looks like the cape gets caught in the leg mesh at the end of the video.

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Thanks everyone for the encouraging comments. I cleaned up a few joints on my valkyrie then started making the raven she will turn into/from in the little short I have planned. I thought I was just about done with the bird but when I put it in a choreography it wont let me go into skeletal or muscle mode. If I put another character in the scene, then I can use skeletal or muscle mode on either character. But if I delete the other character the raven goes back to not working. Any ideas what might be causing this?

 

Here is a render of the raven. I am not happy with the colors and such yet. I am trying to avoid decals for this project to get something in between cartoony and 3D. I almost gave myself a migraine rigging the wings. :lol:

post-1326-1266024882_thumb.jpg

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Check any poses, that you created, to see if the model bone is hidden.

That was it! Thanks so much.

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You are NOT going to get away with just posting a link to this character.

This character is meant to be seen.

 

Excellent work Hutch.

Superbly crafted character.

Valkyrie.png

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Here is another character for this short. I will start rigging him tomorrow. Will probably need to work on his hair a bit more too. He will have cloth sleeves, shirt tail and cloak.

post-1326-1266470834_thumb.jpg

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Here is another character for this short. I will start rigging him tomorrow. Will probably need to work on his hair a bit more too. He will have cloth sleeves, shirt tail and cloak.

 

The Popeye forearms bother me, but I like it none-the-less. :)

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Here is another character for this short. I will start rigging him tomorrow. Will probably need to work on his hair a bit more too. He will have cloth sleeves, shirt tail and cloak.

 

The Popeye forearms bother me, but I like it none-the-less. :)

 

 

Hey ... what's wrong with Popeye forearms?! ;)

 

Great models Hutch. You have a very clean and appealing style.

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Here is another character for this short. I will start rigging him tomorrow. Will probably need to work on his hair a bit more too. He will have cloth sleeves, shirt tail and cloak.

 

The Popeye forearms bother me, but I like it none-the-less. :)

Now that you mention it, they do look a little big. I will see how the look posed. I may have to alter them to get the forearm twist right anyway. Thanks Javier and Gene :)

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What is the best way to rig a big ass two handed hammer? The way the hands grip the handle would be similar to a baseball bat. The left hand would mostly stay in one spot on the handle but the right hand needs to slide up and down the shaft. Should I put a couple target nulls in the hammer for the hands to translate to and use IK arms? If I go that route is there a good way to make the target nulls only translate in the Y axis on the handle?

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Position the default Model Bone of the hammer (the Big Black Bone) - in the Model Window - so the base of the bone is where the back hand is likely to grip the handle. And the end of the Bone extends a little past the top of the hammer head. This way you can position and rotate the hammer more easily in the chor.

Add a child bone to the handle where the front hand will likely grip it.

With this bone selected, look in the Properties Panel for "Manipulator Options", and click on the disclosure triangle for it.

Turn "Limit Manipulators" to ON. Another disclosure triangle will appear. Click on it to see more options.

Set Rotate > X, Rotate > Y, and Rotate > Z to OFF

Set Translate > X and Translate > Y to OFF.

Now you will only be able to translate the bone along it's Z axis - which should be along the length of the hammer's handle.

Plop your character and the hammer into a chor.

With the character still in its default "T" pose, rotate the hand that will grip the back of the handle 90 degrees on its Z axis, so the palm faces forward.

Place the hammer so the hand is able to grip the handle at the appropriate position.

Close the fingers around the handle and adjust the position of the hammer until the character is able to grip the handle.

*Now* - turn on IK arms for this arm.

Constrain the IK hand controller to Translate To and Orient Like the Hammer (the model bone). Make sure Compensate Mode is ON - it is ON by default.

Position the hammer and the arms so the front hand can grip it in the appropriate place on the handle - hopefully it will be very near the base of the hammer's child bone.

Close the fingers of the front hand so it grips the handle and make adjustments as necessary.

*Now* - turn ON IK arms for this arm.

Constraint the IK controller to Translate To and Orient Like the hammer's child bone.

Now you can slide the child bone up and down the length of the handle and the hand will follow it.

If you rig it this way, you will have to move the hammer in order to move the arms, but I find it easier this way.

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Well, animating this guy swinging a hammer was a lot more difficult than I expected. I did it just to test the rig and his cloth and hair dynamics. The sleeves turned out to be a real pain and I think I may make them a bit shorter. Not sure what the deal is with the left sleeve but I can live with it. I am pretty happy with how the hair acted in this but I think I have too much specularity on it. I will also need to make a decal for his scalp. Oh by the way he has a whole new face. The old one was a recycle job but I decided it didn't quite fit.

post-1326-1266826283_thumb.jpg

hammertime.mov

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Very Nice animating, Hutch, when you get the cloth worked out it should be very, very nice. Hair looked good.

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very very nice, though I have a question, how are you rendering and/or texturing this to give it that nice look. It's almost like AO without the fuzziness or brightness

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Thanks everyone. I have been doing my renders with AO and a key light set for diffuse and specularity only and no shadows. However, I just found the MatCap shader and threw it on my raven with the cannonball sample those guys generously provided. I already like it better than what I had from just specularity on it. I am going to play with it some and see if I can't get a sort of fake AO on the other characters. If I can it will really speed up my renders.

matcapraven.mov

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Good lookin stuff!

 

The guy with the hammer... it would be cool if in your animation you treated that hammer with more weight... like it is REALLY heavy. Right now he is snapping it back really quickly like it is feather-lite.

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ok, how'd you get that cannon ball matcap working with movement, I coincidentally tried it this morning and it just remains stationary on my object, no matter where it goes and where the light is

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Thanks nino. Thank you for the feedback too Matt. I see what you mean about the hammer. I originally had only animated until the hammer came down but when I added the snap back it seemed like it gave it more impact. Actual animation is something I have only done in short tests like this so I have a lot to learn. I had so much trouble maneuvering the hammer and keeping the IK arms from doing crazy things I sort of got to a point where I just said good enough for now. I would be glad to hear any thoughts on how to make it look better for future reference!

 

Darkwing, I didn't do anything special with the matcap shader. Just slapped it on a group. I wonder did you make your character move its limbs or just move the model around? I think if I just left the raven in one pose and moved it the shader would not change regardless of the lights.

 

I have a question about cloth. In the process of getting my cloth to work I had to change things around several times. Like adding and removing splines from groups and changing the mesh. I was saving the project a lot and now I notice my models drivers folder is loaded with repetitions of my cloth and deflector groups. Is there any harm in deleting all those drivers? It seems like if I keep saving projects while simulating cloth that folder will become huge.

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Also, in the hammer clip, his front foot should make contact with the ground earlier, like just as the head of the hammer is coming out of the apex of the swing. Great characters, though. I'd gladly volunteer to do some animation on this project, just to play with them!

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Also, in the hammer clip, his front foot should make contact with the ground earlier, like just as the head of the hammer is coming out of the apex of the swing. Great characters, though. I'd gladly volunteer to do some animation on this project, just to play with them!

I may take you up on the offer later! I have one more character to make and polish them all up a bit then start on my set.

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Darkwing, I didn't do anything special with the matcap shader. Just slapped it on a group. I wonder did you make your character move its limbs or just move the model around? I think if I just left the raven in one pose and moved it the shader would not change regardless of the lights.

 

You are right, matcap will be the same regardless of lighting (or lack of). Matcap isn't really "glued" to the model. The shader doesn't rotate with the model - but it will translate with the model - so be aware, if you have any pattern on your image that you use for matcap, it might not give you what you expect, when you animate. Probably works fine for the crow.

 

 

Nice characters!

xmasballthomh264loop.mov

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Not sure what the deal is with the left sleeve but I can live with it.

 

Good looking test.

 

When you start the simulation, is the arm shrunk so it's not contacting the sleeve?

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Not sure what the deal is with the left sleeve but I can live with it.

 

Good looking test.

 

When you start the simulation, is the arm shrunk so it's not contacting the sleeve?

Not shrunk but there is no contact at the start. Both arms are the same at the start but the left sleeve sort of got stuck a few frames in. I didn't render from frame 0. I wonder if it may have something to do with my earlier question about the multiple cloth drivers. Maybe there is some sort of conflict happening. I think I will delete all those drivers and see if it still happens.

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This is pretty rough but I wanted to see if it is conveying what I want to others before I try and refine it. So, does this look like I am on the right track? Any feedback would be appreciated.

raventovalk.mov

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I think with a disolve transition in there it will work a treat.

Cheers

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I think with a disolve transition in there it will work a treat.

Cheers

Thanks. How do you mean dissolve? Like the raven fades to transparent over a couple frames while the valkyrie fades in?

 

I went ahead and added some to it. Trying to get her arms to mimic the flapping wings some. Does it give the impression that she is changing or just like the bird disappears and she appears?

raventovalk.mov

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The arm flapping helped.

 

There are many others on this forum who are more qualified to speak on this than I, however, I would suggest at frame X, keyframe the raven model's transparency at 0%, and Valkrye's at 100%. then at X + 20 (or whatever interval you choose), keyframe the raven's transparency at 100% and Valkrye's at 0% and that should give you a smooth dissolve.

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Looks great!

I would make a fast puff of smoke during transition.

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Hutch, I agree that a dissolve would really help. Don't animate the transparency of the models. If you have editing software, do a dissolve there. If not, it can be done in A:M, probably using layers, but I'm no expert on the compositing tools available in A:M.

 

Also, my e-mail is llazzllo@gmail.com so you can contact me whenever you want me to help. If you don't have editing software, I do, and I'm glad to do whatever you need to get this project done well. I have school to deal with until mid-may, but even so, I can help between now and then. After about May 12, I have nothing, so I'm free full-time to help.

 

Bear in mind that I'm finishing up an associates in Communications, and I've got several short films under my belt, plus I've been a teaching assistant for Motion Graphics and Intermediate Filmmaking. I'm well versed in Adobe Premiere, and After Effects.

 

I just really like the look you're developing, and I want to do whatever I can to get this short completed.

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The transition looks too sudden to me.

Try making a pose slider for both models where the geometry mutates into roughly the same shape, for simplicity let's say a sphere. Then, in an Action or Choreography, have the first model transition between default and sphere over a few frames. Then swap models and have the second model transition between sphere and default over a few more frames.

 

Alternatively try hiding the sudden transition by including some effect like a light flash, smoke particles or whatever.

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you could perhaps even animate a bit of a colour transition too.

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