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Smartskin problem

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I did some very extensive smartskinning on a shoulder while the other arm was hidden. Apparently I had mirror mode on and it keyed the other arm anyway. I usually try to do all my smartskin keyframes at 45 or 90 degrees just in case there is a problem I know where to look. Well, I deleted most of the keyframes on the other arm but there is still some slight twitches I can't track down. Please tell me there is a fix for this without deleting the ss and starting over.

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When you are in muscle mode in a smartskin window you can use the > buttons to jump to next/previoust key.

 

You could use those to find blue dots on CPs and un key them.

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Is there a way to completely delete a smartskin? I had a problem with exporting a model with the Lite Face rig in, and Holmes suggested it would work better without smartskins. So I "deleted" them, the export worked just fine, but now I find there are still smartskins more-or-less intact but in fine-tuning them I'm just making a mess. How do I *really* delete them?

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I'm trying to retrace exactly how I did it. I believe I drilled down into the relationships folder. I had named them as I went so that helped. I found what I believed to be the smartskins, though they were in a folder with some TSM relationships as I recall. I only deleted the ones I had named.

 

The thing is, that fixed the export problem I'd been having with the LiteFace so I assumed the deleting worked. But they're still present in the re-imported model and I thought I could just recreate them and do them better the second time. But editing the current ones is getting messy. I just want to clear them.

 

What also is confusing is that when I close the Relationship window, the Relationship item disappears from the PWS.

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Smartskins are inthe "bones" folder inthe Relationships folder.

 

I'm not sure how you created them in a TSM folder. Perhaps you invoked "new smartskin" while editing a TSM relationship?

 

What also is confusing is that when I close the Relationship window, the Relationship item disappears from the PWS.

 

A temporary "action" exists while you edit a relationship (needed in case you must "show more than drivers").

 

The real relationship is in the model.

 

To delete Bone2's SS you would delete the "Bone2" that is highlighted.

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Sorry I can't retrace my steps more accurately. That was just my best guess. However I don't think I was editing an existing TSM relationship; my process is to right click the bone in the model window in bones mode and select "new smartskin". My recollection of just where I found them to delete them is a little fuzzy. But your screen shot is a big help. I'll go back and look at it again.

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I have come across a new ss question. Does mirror all ss not include bone rotations? My valkyrie's shoulder armor has bones which I moved in the bicep and shoulder ss but these did not mirror properly. All the muscle keys mirrored.

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Does mirror all ss not include bone rotations?

 

I tried a quick one. Apparently not.

 

One could possibly copy from one SS and paste mirror to another, but tricky to do.

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I have tried pasting mirrored from one ss to another and can't seem to get anything to work. I looked at the file in notepad++ to try and figure a way to transfer the rotations over. I can find where the one ss has a bones container and see the rotation and translation values there. I also see where those containers are absent from the other side. However, I do not understand the values well enough to know where to start transferring them over. Is the text editor a dead end? I guess I may just have to eyeball the other side :unsure:

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to manually paste mirror:

 

Have both your source and target SS windows open

 

In the source SS go to the first keyed bone position, set the key bone filter ON, CTRL-select all the bones affected by your SS bone, copy key frame

 

In the target window set the SS bone to the mirrored angle, set Key model filter ON, paste mirror

 

Repeat for each keyed position of the original SS bone.

 

 

 

It is possible to do this wrong.

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to manually paste mirror:

 

Have both your source and target SS windows open

 

In the source SS go to the first keyed bone position, set the key bone filter ON, CTRL-select all the bones affected by your SS bone, copy key frame

 

In the target window set the SS bone to the mirrored angle, set Key model filter ON, paste mirror

 

Repeat for each keyed position of the original SS bone.

 

 

 

It is possible to do this wrong.

Thanks Robcat. That is sort of what I had tried with a few variations. However, even following your directions I am not getting it to work. The first key frame on right side is 90 in Y. So, I select the bones like you say (ctrl clicking the ones that move but not bicep) and copy the key frame with key bone on. Then go to the left ss and set it to -90 in Y so each ss now has the arm straight up. I switch to key model and paste key frame but now the left bicep also moves. Since it moves 90 in Y it ends up at 0,0,0 and so the other bones just become the default position.

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Well, I figured a way to do it. I am going in and copying the rotations from the properties of each affected bone at each key frame and pasting them into the other one. It is tedious but it works.

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I guess I spoke too soon. That is a real pita and I have too many keys. So, I started looking at the text editor again. Here is a small sample of what the text editor has for a bone (I added indentation to make the structure easier to see):

<OBJECTSHORTCUT>
MatchName=Left Shoulder Armor
<EMPTYDRIVER>
	MatchName=Transform
	<RELATIONSTORAGEDRIVER>
		MatchName=Rotate
		ValueDim=4
		Key=0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 
		Key=0 -0.707107 0 0.707107 0 -0.596213 0 0.802826 
		Key=0 -0.382683 0 0.92388 0 -0.139173 0 0.990268 
		Key=0 0.382683 0 0.92388 0 -0.0282362 0 0.999601 
	</RELATIONSTORAGEDRIVER>
</EMPTYDRIVER>
</OBJECTSHORTCUT>

I believe each bone has a set of keys like 'Key=0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1' with the first 4 digits being the quaternion rotation of the bone being smart skinned, followed by four digits for the quaternion rotation of the affected bone. Can anyone verify or correct this?

 

So, If it weren't quaternion I would make X rotation values the same and Y and Z rotations opposite. Since it is quaternion (or at least seems to be), I don't have a clue. I have tried reading about quaternion rotations but it is too technical for me. Can anyone break down what I need to do to mirror the rotations?

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This is what i have so far, it's a little different than what i described...

 

MirroredSSBones.zip

 

There's a swf in that zip. Drag the swf into a browser window to play it.

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This is what i have so far, it's a little different than what i described...

 

MirroredSSBones.zip

 

There's a swf in that zip. Drag the swf into a browser window to play it.

I just get a loading bar.

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I just get a loading bar.

 

You did extract the swf to your drive first, right?

 

Try double clicking on it

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PC, it opens in chrome and ff but just shows the 'loading...' My flash player is up to date.

 

Edit: downloaded a free stand alone player and got it working.

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ok. Guess I won't do any more SWFs.

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Robert, thanks for your help. I really do appreciate it. It still doesn't work for me the way it does for you in your video tho. When I paste mirrored, the ss bone goes back to default but the other bones move to the mirrored key. Moving the ss bone does not then move the other bones the way it should. Adding another mirrored key makes that the new position for the bones, apparently just over writing the previous one. I am getting frustrated now so I am just going to leave it and come back to it later.

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I seem to recall reading recently that smartskins should only be attached to geometry bones, not control bones. In the TSM rig I'm using the Foot controller to drive ss for the ankle bend, so when the foot is raised or lowered the ankle deforms. If I were to attach the ss to the foot bone itself, and then the foot raises using the controller bone, there's no "rotation" on the foot bone, so it wouldn't drive the ss. Am I understanding this correctly?

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I seem to recall reading recently that smartskins should only be attached to geometry bones, not control bones.

 

generally true

 

In the TSM rig I'm using the Foot controller to drive ss for the ankle bend, so when the foot is raised or lowered the ankle deforms. If I were to attach the ss to the foot bone itself, and then the foot raises using the controller bone, there's no "rotation" on the foot bone, so it wouldn't drive the ss. Am I understanding this correctly?

 

 

Smartskin on the foot bone will work even if the foot bone is not animated directly.

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Thanks Robcat. I guess I'll eventually have to buy you something! One of these days when you least expect it...

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Playing around with this it appears that the constraints have to be off when creating the ss. However this also appears to disable cp weighting. Will the cp weighting conflict with the smartskin when it's all done? Or are they designed to play nice together?

 

EDIT: SECOND QUESTION: Can I "mirror smartskin" one section at a time, like do the foot/leg, then mirror just those ss's, then move onto the arms, etc.? OR is it preferable to mirror them all at once when I'm finished?

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Playing around with this it appears that the constraints have to be off when creating the ss.

 

You usually need to turn your rig constraints OFF because if you don't you can't move your geometry bone that you are doing a SS on. There is a "Define Relationship" button at the top that you turn off before you turn your rig off (so as not to create an ON/OFF key for that pose that would be activated by the smartskin doing its thing), then turn back on to resume your smartskinning.

 

 

However this also appears to disable cp weighting.

 

I'm doubtful. More likely you are moving a bone the CPs are not really attached to or not moving the bone the CPs are attached to. You'd have to show an example to know more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will the cp weighting conflict with the smartskin when it's all done? Or are they designed to play nice together?
I've not had a problem.

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I was unaware of the significance of the Define Relationship button though I know the one you're talking about. I've noticed that it's on by default when I do the SS'ing but I'm not at my animation computer at the moment. I'll check on it tomorrow.

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I'm looking at this now and I'd like to know more about the Define Relationship button. So if I click "New Smart Skin" on a bone, and the relationship window opens and the model constraints are off by default, what's the next step before smartskinning? I unclick the button?

 

Does leaving it on do something bad or create problems later?

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I'm looking at this now and I'd like to know more about the Define Relationship button. So if I click "New Smart Skin" on a bone, and the relationship window opens and the model constraints are off by default, what's the next step before smartskinning? I unclick the button?

 

Does leaving it on do something bad or create problems later?

 

There are constraints and then there are constraints.

 

you probably want a constraint for a fan bone on a knee ON while you smart skin since that fan bone has CPs attached to it and you want that fan bone to do what it will do while you apply smartskin based on the calf bone rotation.

 

You want a constraint that makes the leg bones follow the IK foot target OFF because you need to move the thigh and calf bones individually to apply smartskin to them and you can't if they are being pulled by the IK foot target.

 

All the constraints that TSM2 makes are of that second category. All the fan bones you add to TSM2 are of the first. Fortunately you probably didn't add your fan bones to the TSM2 constraint poses so you will be able to have one on and the other off when you want.

 

For other rigs, you'll need to ask the maker for the specifics, if fan bones were included in the default installation.

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Thanks Robcat. That's a lot to take in (for some) so I need to give it some thought and I'm sure it will eventually be clear.

 

But how does that button come into the process? That's not clear. If there's some documentation on the button I'll be happy to try to educate myself about it, but for now it's a completely new element in my feeble understanding of rigging.

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Thanks Robcat. That's a lot to take in (for some) so I need to give it some thought and I'm sure it will eventually be clear.

 

But how does that button come into the process? That's not clear. If there's some documentation on the button I'll be happy to try to educate myself about it, but for now it's a completely new element in my feeble understanding of rigging.

 

The button (OFF) allows you to do anything you don't want to get built into the relationship you are building, but need to do to get your relation ship done. Temporarily turning a constraint ON or OFF is the typical use.

 

If your TSM2 constraints are on by default in your model, and you decide you want to do a smartskin on the wrist joint...

 

you pick the bone you want to smartskin (probably a hand bone, but not the hand controller or IK hand target) and create new smartskin

 

At this point TSM2 constraint are on and you won't be able to move your hand bone because it is constrained to follow a hand controller or IK hand target.

 

You need to turn your TSM2 rig off to free the hand bone.

 

But if you do, that OFF is going to be hard wired into your relation ship and probably make TSM2 impossible to turn on when you use the character.

 

So, Turn "Define Relation ship" OFF and then turn TSM2 OFF, then turn "Define Relationship" back on and proceed to do your smartskin by rotating the hand bone.

 

 

Remember the "A" button that is such a danger? "Define relationship" is like that. Anything you do while it is off is forgotten.

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In practice, Smartskin windows seem to automatically "forget" constraint ON/OFFs so it may not be an issue in this case.

 

 

There's probably a better example, but i'll need to think of it.

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Well, in what I've done so far, either the smartskin or the cp weighting is being cancelled out. The only possible culprit seems to be that the button was left on. I want to try to create a screencap movie to go through the steps to demonstrate it but that could take some time, and I also want to absorb the steps you've laid out (and redo the smartskinning from scratch to see if it's "user error").

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That's a strange issue Gerry. As far as I know, CP weights are always ON. In other words, I don't think there are any circumstances where it would even be possible to de-activate them. I *think* you could de-activate a smartskin if you define it in an ON/OFF relationship, then turn the relationship OFF either in the User Properties or in the Pose window, but not sure. Make sure you didn't accidently turn some Pose OFF when you were working in a different Pose window. I've done that before ...

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That could be it too, Holmes. I got into the practice when smartskinning of turning "off" everything that was "on" in User Properties without knowing what I was doing (like I do everything else!) and I should probably know just what's in there before I continue that practice.

 

Actually all that's "on" are the TSM constraints, all the LiteFace constraints (including "Show Face Bones" or is it "Hide Face Bones"), AND something called "Pose 2" which is adjacent to the TSM constraints. Maybe that's where all my cp weights are? How do you check the contents of a pose?

 

When I create a smartskin, I right click the bone in the model window in bones mode, and select "New Smart Skin". In the window that appears, I make sure all the constraints are off (as I describe above), then smartskin at rotations of 15 degree increments. As I mentioned, I've noticed that the Define Relationship button is on during this but until Robert explained it I didn't understand what it did. But I'm not selecting an On/Off setting, I just go about smartskinning.

 

Then I open a chor with the model in it, turn on all constraints, and test the elbows and knees. At that point it *appears* the joint movement is responding to the smartskin but the cp weighting is not doing its thing, so the resulting deformation is pretty nasty.

 

As for the cp weighting, I know it's there because when I select the bone at the first step I can see the colored cp rings that indicate weighting.

 

Something in this process is obviously wrong, but I don't know enough to know what that is.

 

EDIT: I think I'll try some tests with a simple tube or stick figure and mess with constraints, cp weighting, ss'ing etc. to try to grok some of this stuff in a simpler environment.

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Maybe that's where all my cp weights are?

To echo Holmes, CP weights are always there, always part of the model at the most basic level. A pose can't turn them off or make them change.

 

 

 

How do you check the contents of a pose?

 

you can expand it in the PWS to see what channels have been created, much like an action.

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you can expand it in the PWS to see what channels have been created, much like an action.

Geez I forget sometimes that some of this is actually simple.

P.S. Pose 2 contains all my fanbone constraints.

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At that point it *appears* the joint movement is responding to the smartskin but the cp weighting is not doing its thing, so the resulting deformation is pretty nasty.

 

not quite sure I understand what you might be doing - but it would make sense that if you are modifying how a bone influences a cp (in the smartskin relationship) then the cp weights would appear to be overridden ...no?

 

EDIT - model on right has cps on 2nd from top spline ring weighted 50/50 between the 2 bones, model on left has 50/50 weighting and also has a smartskin relationship that modified how the cps react to rotation of top bone

smartskin.jpg

Edited by NancyGormezano

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...hey, I think this is working out! I may have a test to post later in the week.

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I'm pretty sure I asked this question and got an answer just a short time ago, but I've been scouring the forums for about a week and have not found it.

 

How do you edit a smartskin? I created ss's for the knees bending (at 15°, 30°, 45° and 90° I think) but now I find I need to have it bend further. I've tried right-clicking the bone in both a model window and an action window and I get a "new smart skin" option but no option to edit an existing one.

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How do you edit a smartskin? I created ss's for the knees bending (at 15°, 30°, 45° and 90° I think) but now I find I need to have it bend further. I've tried right-clicking the bone in both a model window and an action window and I get a "new smart skin" option but no option to edit an existing one.

 

Right click on Relationships/Bones/bonename/smartskin/ - choose edit

 

or select bone in window, right click - and select the ss relationship - in this case Smart skin1

editss.jpg

ssedit2.jpg

Edited by NancyGormezano

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And when you're in Edit Smartskin you can use the > buttons to jump to actual keyframes without needing to try to guess the exact bone angle they were on.

 

You need to be in the mode the keyframes were set. If you moved CPs you need to be in muscle mode.

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