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T-Dogg

What's the best way to rig a cape?

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I'm working on a superhero character, and I'm not sure what is the best way to handle his cape. I don't know if I should use cloth or some kind of bone setup.

 

I like the realistic way cloth behaves, but I also like the idea that bones will give me more direct control.

 

So I ask all the rigging gurus out there... how would you do it?

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I would say... start experimenting with cloth! Doing it with bones is always kinda clunky.

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If you really know what you are doing use bones.

 

If you really know what you are doing use cloth.

 

 

Bones will let you control the shape exactly, but it's all up to you then.

 

 

Cloth might handle itself, but you'll spend lots of time testing and simulating before you get what you want.

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I rigged and animated a long scarf for someone not long ago and I used Dynamic Constraints with targets (which were a couple of nulls). Anything dynamic, such as a dynamic constraint, requires some futzing. It is never as straight forward as simple bone animation, but in the end it saved a bunch of time over cloth and straight bone animation, and didn't look too bad.

 

Here's a tut on dynamic constraints. Look at the section about how to control the end of a dynamic chain.

Collision detection on Dynamic Constraints can be problematic. I avoid using collision detection whenever possible.

http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=29914

 

You may find that you also need to control the middle of the cape too (not just the end) in order to prevent it from passing through the body.

In that case, also check out the section in the tut about controlling the Middle of a bone chain.

 

You may also need to place bone chains down each side of the cape in addition to down the middle.

 

Regardless of how you rig it, it is going to be a bit of work.

 

... and if you are really adventurous, here is a tut on cloth

http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=29731

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