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NancyGormezano

Comparison of CP weighting, fan bones

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I did this test awhile ago, for my own education, to see what differences could result for a typically simple joint (such as elbow, knee) when using fan bones (3 bones total) and cp weighting, as well as for just cp weighting with 2 bones (no fan).

 

This assumes that there are three rings for the joint. I did not test different positioning for the fan bone, nor joints that were not 3-ringed, ie 2 rings, or only 1 ring. The fan bone also has a constraint to orient 50% like bone 2. I didn't experiment with different orientation % either.

 

The best choice would depend on the look that one wants. Just seemed simple to go with 2 bones and weight them for my purposes.

 

In the movie, left to right, the first 2 examples are with a fan bone, second 2 are without fan bone.

 

Hope this is useful for others.

1Comparefancpweights.jpg

2Comparefancpweights.jpg

3Comparefancpweights.jpg

4Comparefancpweights.jpg

4fansweightedh264loop_5.mov

CompareFansCPweighting.prj

comparebend.jpg

Edited by NancyGormezano

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Now that's the kind of example I like to see. It actually does help me a lot. Thanks Nancy!

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Slightly off topic - one of the very few things I know about rigging. People have a tendency to place bones in the middle of arms and legs, but we're not built that way. Check out your own arm. In Disney's golden age, their training for newly hired artists included the observation that most organic things have a bony side and a fleshy side. To my very untrained eye, that's one of the things that identifies Disney animation. From a rigging perspective, that means identifying the bony side and putting the bone nearer that side. At least in my limited experience, that helps movement look real.

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Thank you Nancy for posting that.

 

>The best choice would depend on the look that one wants.

 

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Would you say, the one with the fanbones would fit better for fat persons and the other two for skinny ones?

 

I hadn't thought of it with the perspective of fat versus skinny character. I was thinking of it as stylized versus realistic character.

 

I am not the expert in this area, by any means.

 

I am wandering in the desert looking for the holy grail of mindless simplicity

 

Since I only do stylized, I might like to use the first one for bending a torso, and have a roll of belly fat form on a skinny character, perhaps? So far, I haven't used it for that yet, but I might eventually.

 

I like the last one (2 bones, distributed weighting). So far, I've used that for all joints (or bend areas) including shoulder, neck, thighs, waist, fingers, elbow, knee, ankle, wrist. It's the one scheme I don't have to think about when modeling. I just plan for 3 rings wherever there is going to be any bending, and I want to maintain a smooth bend, and be able to isolate the movement. It also has the least # of bones.

 

I've not spent much (if any) time trying to do anything clever, like bicep bulging, or accurately simulating human physiology. I am waaay too lazy for that. I leave that to David and Mark, et al.

 

I am currently struggling with face rigging, weighting. By that I mean, I am trying to come up with a simple, easy to remember (for me) rigging, weighting & control scheme, that I don't have to rethink-invent every time I do a new character. Yes, others have done it, but tearing apart what they've done, is sometimes even more confusing for me.

 

From a rigging perspective, that means identifying the bony side and putting the bone nearer that side. At least in my limited experience, that helps movement look real.

 

Interesting comment, Mr. Phatso, sir. I shall have to consider that at some time, and see if I like it.

 

It's an elbow fan bone setup with two fan bones to help maintain volume.

 

Another interesting configuration/setup from the master. Thanks David.

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Fat people are tough no matter how you do it.

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I am currently struggling with face rigging, weighting. By that I mean, I am trying to come up with a simple, easy to remember (for me) rigging, weighting & control scheme, that I don't have to rethink-invent every time I do a new character. Yes, others have done it, but tearing apart what they've done, is sometimes even more confusing for me.

 

I'm working on a simple, generalized scheme for faces based on bone weighting. I did that for some of the secondary characters in Kevin Detwiler's "Boomer" DVD but I need to do some more R&D on the trade off between simple vs. useful.

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Robert's facial rig is the closest to what I've seen when animating for shops in the industry. The way the controls are set up allows for extreme flexibility. The most desireable part of this setup for me is how the mouth "corner controls" work. Most cg characters have the horrible linear look to how the mouth operates and produces a very un-natural look with pinches and stiffness. This setup on the other hand has a more "fleshy" result.

 

Since I don't like working from sliders or controllers set away from the face, this is just my own preference. That is to grab a handle directly on the face spot. This way I can grasp what's going on in the graph editor more easily. I also attempt to create quick keys to set base keys on easier. Like a set of base poses to get with a click/ drag for (brow frown, smile, snarl...etc.) That will auto set a key without having to key all the controls each time. And this is editable from that base pose.

 

It's not easy to set this type rig up though....especially since each character is different and since the rig is not based on "one fits all" formula.

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Since I don't like working from sliders or controllers set away from the face, this is just my own preference. That is to grab a handle directly on the face spot.

 

Yes, I prefer grabbing a handle directly on the face. Mainly with the lips, brows. And that has been what I've done in the past. Easy & direct.

 

Sometimes I've done it with a string of bones, each of which translates to a null, aims (stretch z only to reach ON) to next null. Other times I've done it with just moving the face geometry bone. Other systems (squetch FACE, literig FACE) I've used have created poses (eg with mouth: wide, narrow, up down, or brows: mad,sad etc) just using geom bone, whereas the pose limits the movement (sometimes poses just manipulated cps's to the extremes). Then the pose sliders are controlled by null handles (placed off the face or could be anywhere). That is, the null handles/bones are smartskin controllers of the pose sliders.

 

I took a look at what "Duke" had for his face rig . Yes it worked beautifully! But gawd...what a mess of bones. My guess is that could be simplified with weighting. It was not obvious to me why it needed so many bones, other than it worked.

 

What I would like to see is some type of scheme to have the Handle (null) perhaps constrained to selected surface patches on the face. And have the face geometry bone (that pivots from a logical place) aim at the handle/null, so that the deformation of the lips, brows follows curvature. Surface constraints don't seem to work like I think they should, but are probably working like they were designed.

 

Mostly I'm finding I'm just falling into my old habit of false economy lazy, trying to cut corners with less bones, less weighting when in reality, biting the bullet, and doing the brain numbing tasks are what is needed. Eventually, I cave.

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I took a look at what "Duke" had for his face rig . Yes it worked beautifully! But gawd...what a mess of bones.

 

It's called "The Face Contraption" :o

 

That was the complex incarnation aided by custom scripts for TSM2.

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custom scripts for TSM2.

 

Ah yes. I should have guessed Tsm2 scripts.

 

It's a great idea to create custom TSM scripts, and I had toyed with it some (long time ago, so I've forgotten everything I knew). Perhaps I will revisit.

 

I wish there was an automatic way to change bones into nulls. Perhaps as a plug-in, similar to the INSTALL plug-in? Create bones with TSM2 with the name NULL as part of it's name, run the tsm2 script and then run a plug-in to convert those bones to NULL.

 

Probably more complicated than it seems, because if I remember, nulls and bones are similar in properties, but the nulls have less data, and would have to clean up some references in other areas.

 

One of the reasons I didn't pursue TSM2 scripts was because of the inability to specify creating NULLs.

 

But creating nulls manually after running TSM2 is another option.

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I wish there was an automatic way to change bones into nulls. Perhaps as a plug-in, similar to the INSTALL plug-in?

 

I just changed one little flag in a text editor.

 

A text editor with sufficient macro abilities could probably do them all in one swipe based on your idea of a naming convention.

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I just changed one little flag in a text editor.

 

A text editor with sufficient macro abilities could probably do them all in one swipe based on your idea of a naming convention.

 

Good to know. Another idea would be to position the control nulls after running tsm2 script to snap to the tsm2 control bone in an action, via action objects - similar to how literig installs things. And then have special constraints for the bone to follow the null. Tho I find it tricky sometimes in exporting models from actions. Things sometimes go wonky.

 

Another reason I don't usually consider TSM2 is because it's not supported, officially as part of A:M. It always seems that whenever there is a new version of A:M, there is inevitably the question "Hey, has anybody tried tsm2 to see if it still works". I guess keeping a special A:M TSM2 version handy could be the answer, but is tricky in this era of "subscription" when versions expire.

 

My brain is hurting again.

 

Back to pursuing simple.

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Other systems (squetch FACE, literig FACE) I've used have created poses (eg with mouth: wide, narrow, up down, or brows: mad,sad etc)

As far as i know, the LiteFace rig doesn't use poses for the basic face deformations, except for Phonemes and to get mirrored movement on the mouth corners. Each geometry bone is simply constrained to Aim At its Control Null. If you don't need/want Master Nulls that control both sides of the face at once, this is all the setup you need. But for controlling both sides synchronously, Liteface has special relationships (basically Smartskins) to control the mirrored movement. The mirrored movement is for speed. The non-mirrored movement is for times when you would rather have more intricate facial expressions and don't care so much about speed.

 

The E, O, FV, Control Null drives the E,O,FV Phoneme poses. Again, that is just for speed. Lip Syncing is so tedious, I usually go for speed. But if speed doesn't interest you, you should just manipulate the basic control nulls individually (asynchronously).

 

Another option that 3DArtz suggested, though he never detailed how he set it up, is to use Deformation Latices with bones assigned to various CPs in the Distort Box. But I did some quick tests and could never get satisfactory results.

 

Nancy, I went 8-9 years avoiding learning how to rig. It intimated the hell out of me. I basically just used TSM with no understanding of how it worked or how to modify it to fit my needs. That cost me a few jobs and also seriously hampered my ability to learn how to animate my own models. It was only on SO, when no one else wanted to rig any more models (understandably so), that I finally bit the bullet and learned how to rig from scratch. The SquetchRig confused the hell out of me and I couldn't modify it because I didn't understand it, so I just took about 100 hours and learned how to build the LiteRig. It was WELL WORTH THE TIME AND EFFORT. Now I can rig just about anything from scratch.

 

The most difficult part of rigging is creating a system that other people can install in a wide variety of models with a minimum of knowlege. That is a really tough nut to crack.

 

My most unsuccessful attempt was trying to create modular drag-n-drop mini rigs for different body parts that you could just drag into a model and position. In theory, it worked, but in practice ... not so much. That is what I did with Grasshopper in SO. You could animate him, but he had a few issues that made it kind of a pain.

 

But if you know how to rig from scratch, it is MUCH easier all around.

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What do you think is the main problem people have with TSM2 (aside from expecting it to do CP weighting or fan boning)?

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What do you think is the main problem people have with TSM2 (aside from expecting it to do CP weighting or fan boning)?

 

My main issues with TSM were that is was not easy for me to modify it after something was already rigged. I rigged many of my Greek statues with TSM. In that job, I didn't do any animating, but the poses had to be pretty exact. There wasn't much wiggle room. Only after rigging and posing, would I realize that the original sculptor made some limbs a little longer than others, or made other modifications to the body that I just couldn't have spotted before trying to pose the model. Just trying to make, for example, a left lower leg bone a couple inches longer was a serious PIA. I usually ended up going into Muscle Mode and modifying it. But when the client came back with suggestions to alter the pose (even a little), I would often have to delete all the muscle mode keys and do it all again from scratch. This difficulty was probably due to the fact I didn't understand rigging and didn't understand how TSM worked.

 

Also, it doesn't include a face rig. So you eaither have to learn how to create one yourself or learn someone else's face rig and how to integrate it into TSM.

 

Also, it just uses too many bones for my tastes. Place four fairly complex TSM models and a full set with props in a chor and real time frame rates drop to single digits on my computer. With only LiteRig-ed models, frame rates stay up in the double digits.

 

Also, it doesn't provide an easy way to squash and stretch. LiteRig has rudimentary squash/stretch, but if you want a ton of control over squash and stretch, the SquetchRig rules.

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What do you think is the main problem people have with TSM2 (aside from expecting it to do CP weighting or fan boning)?

 

I don't know what other people don't like about it, but for me I don't like that it doesn't use nulls for control, and that the standard rigging seems overly complex, and difficult to modify once installed, mainly because it's hard to understand what it's doing, and why. Easy for the developer of course. If the "black box" were flawless and did everything I wanted, then I wouldn't feel compelled to want to change it. I love it's system of modularity. I would love it even more if the script language was documented, so that one could create a "literig" install using tsm2 script language, with null controls.

 

Holmes - I hope you weren't thinking I was bashing the literig - I LOVE THE LITERIG - because I can understand it and modify it. I found your documentation excellent. I love how you used actions with action objects to automate rigging. I have just found that exporting a model from an action sometimes acts wonky, and creates problems that have to be fixed manually. So I am doing it manually.

 

I am using the LITERIG and the LITEFACE as my starting points. I like many things that were done with the liteface, and I am implementing parts of it. Mainly I am simplifying, modifying, expanding for my own purposes. I am exploring different methods. I usually come back to something similar to what was done in liteface. Just like you had to learn, so do I.

 

I have also gone thru the 2008 rig, and made it into modular units - because I prefer it's legs (without the balance stuff). Later on I will upload the different parts (legs, arms, torso) - so that others can mix and match if they want. Mark's instructions for installing were excellent as well.

 

I liked using the TWO squetch, but also found it impossible to understand in order to modify, simplify, install. The SO squetch became more complicated even, but undoubtedly has wonderful control.

 

I had rigged everything myself before TWO and squetch came along. Before TWO, I used my own scheme (a modified 2001 variant). That was 3? 4? years ago. I'm having to relearn everything. That's partly why I started on my lion project. To relearn how to model, rig. It's taking me way more than 100 hours. I'm old and slow. And yes I'm like an A:M dog with a bone. (yuk yuk)

 

The most difficult part of rigging is creating a system that other people can install in a wide variety of models with a minimum of knowlege. That is a really tough nut to crack.

 

Most most most definitely difficult. Thats the beauty of the tsm2 script system.

 

My most unsuccessful attempt was trying to create modular drag-n-drop mini rigs for different body parts that you could just drag into a model and position. In theory, it worked, but in practice ... not so much.

 

I am finding that I have to redo the constraints if I drag & drop - and reset the offsets. And that's what I've done.

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Since I don't like working from sliders or controllers set away from the face, this is just my own preference. That is to grab a handle directly on the face spot.

 

Yes, I prefer grabbing a handle directly on the face. Mainly with the lips, brows. And that has been what I've done in the past. Easy & direct.

 

If I get some time, I'll see about adding that option to the Squetch Rig, Nancy.

 

Other systems (squetch FACE, literig FACE) I've used have created poses (eg with mouth: wide, narrow, up down, or brows: mad,sad etc) just using geom bone, whereas the pose limits the movement (sometimes poses just manipulated cps's to the extremes).

 

From this description, I'm thinking that the poses could have been set up better on the character...if the movement didn't get to the extremes you were after. Only two TWO characters had a version of the bones rig from the Squetch Rig installed (TinWoodman and TinGirl...TinGirl's face was a little limited by the geometry), the rest were mostly done with muscle movement.

 

In the FACE setup, all of the poses are built from very basic movements that you have the option to use instead. For instance, the mouth is divided into twelve individual controllers that can move a small portion each...the poses that do things like raise the upper lip (or whatever) are for convenience so that you don't have to move every part individually, but you can if you want.

 

What I would like to see is some type of scheme to have the Handle (null) perhaps constrained to selected surface patches on the face. And have the face geometry bone (that pivots from a logical place) aim at the handle/null, so that the deformation of the lips, brows follows curvature. Surface constraints don't seem to work like I think they should, but are probably working like they were designed.

 

Surface constraints are processor intensive and will make things sluggish to handle if you use more than a couple of them...I found that out in the beginning stages of building the bones rig for the Squetch Rig. The bones in the brows and mouth generally operate in the Squetch Rig the way you are describing, but would need some modification to be manipulated directly.

 

 

I wish there was an automatic way to change bones into nulls. Perhaps as a plug-in, similar to the INSTALL plug-in?

 

I just changed one little flag in a text editor.

 

A text editor with sufficient macro abilities could probably do them all in one swipe based on your idea of a naming convention.

 

jEdit could do it using a macro.

 

 

The most difficult part of rigging is creating a system that other people can install in a wide variety of models with a minimum of knowlege. That is a really tough nut to crack.

 

Yessir.

 

But if you know how to rig from scratch, it is MUCH easier all around.

 

Absolutely.

 

 

What do you think is the main problem people have with TSM2 (aside from expecting it to do CP weighting or fan boning)?

 

Apart from personal preferences, some sort of face rig maybe? Although you could add one of several that already exist...so maybe that's not the issue.

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My main issues with TSM were that is was not easy for me to modify it after something was already rigged. I rigged many of my Greek statues with TSM. In that job, I didn't do any animating, but the poses had to be pretty exact. There wasn't much wiggle room. Only after rigging and posing, would I realize that the original sculptor made some limbs a little longer than others, or made other modifications to the body that I just couldn't have spotted before trying to pose the model. Just trying to make, for example, a left lower leg bone a couple inches longer was a serious PIA. I usually ended up going into Muscle Mode and modifying it. But when the client came back with suggestions to alter the pose (even a little), I would often have to delete all the muscle mode keys and do it all again from scratch. This difficulty was probably due to the fact I didn't understand rigging and didn't understand how TSM worked.

 

 

Yes, you were doing it wrong. :P

 

If you did your CP weighting and fan boning before you ran rigger (as the manual instructs), that bone change would have been simple. Just go back that rigged and weighted version (which you saved because the program prompts you to) , scale the bone (there's a key you hold down to make the mesh go with it) then run rigger.

 

I have done this. I changed leg lengths on one of Kevin Detwiler's characters when I was rigging it with TSM 2. Having that version-before-rigger saved made it easy. I know it works.

 

 

 

 

Also, it just uses too many bones for my tastes. Place four fairly complex TSM models and a full set with props in a chor and real time frame rates drop to single digits on my computer. With only LiteRig-ed models, frame rates stay up in the double digits.

 

 

i recall testing whether bone counts affected realtime fps much and found they didn't.

 

that was back when we were starting TWO though.

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If you did your CP weighting and fan boning before you ran rigger (as the manual instructs), that bone change would have been simple. Just go back that rigged and weighted version (which you saved because the program prompts you to) , scale the bone (there's a key you hold down to make the mesh go with it) then run rigger.

True, I didn't understand rigging very well at all, and TSM even less....

But I didn't want to alter ALL instances of the model, just *particular* instances. For example, one part of the job was to reconstruct the metopes (bas relief sculptures) of the twelve Labors of Herakles. So that was twelve sculptures where Herakles is interacting with different creatures or whatever. Herakles was basically the same in all the metopes, but the proportions of a few body parts would change from metope to metope.

 

For other tasks, many of the figures were very similar, so I just had muscle poses to alter certain features, so I could reuse a base model without having to re-rig a dozen or so individual models.

 

 

 

Also, it just uses too many bones for my tastes. Place four fairly complex TSM models and a full set with props in a chor and real time frame rates drop to single digits on my computer. With only LiteRig-ed models, frame rates stay up in the double digits.

i recall testing whether bone counts affected realtime fps much and found they didn't.

that was back when we were starting TWO though.

 

Maybe it is the complexity of the rig then, not necessarily the number of bones. I don't really know the cause, only the effect.

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But I didn't want to alter ALL instances of the model, just *particular* instances. For example, one part of the job was to reconstruct the metopes (bas relief sculptures) of the twelve Labors of Herakles. So that was twelve sculptures where Herakles is interacting with different creatures or whatever. Herakles was basically the same in all the metopes, but the proportions of a few body parts would change from metope to metope.

 

I would save the leg-changed version under a new name and then swap that in the chor for the instance that needed the change.

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I would save the leg-changed version under a new name and then swap that in the chor for the instance that needed the change.

That would have been a solution. But I didn't know exactly how much to scale various body parts until I had all the elements in a sculpture posed and interacting with each other in the chor. The sculptures had to be as accurate as possible, so I couldn't just fudge it. Since I couldn't do any actual scaling in the chor without my models getting distorted, I would have had to estimate it, save out the model, replace the instance with the new model, see how close it was ... then rinse and repeat until the measurement was right.

 

What I ended up doing on later models in that project (since there was no animation) was just leaving out the rig entirely and posing everything with FK. It would be much easier for me today since I have a much better understanding about how to build a rig to suit my needs.

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That would have been a solution. But I didn't know exactly how much to scale various body parts until I had all the elements in a sculpture posed and interacting with each other in the chor. The sculptures had to be as accurate as possible, so I couldn't just fudge it. Since I couldn't do any actual scaling in the chor without my models getting distorted, I would have had to estimate it, save out the model, replace the instance with the new model, see how close it was ... then rinse and repeat until the measurement was right.
.

 

I must say that this is an unusual case, not one that I would typically judge a rig's merits by. Rigs are for animating characters, not for remodeling them and altering their dimensions in irregular ways.

 

What rig would have solved this problem automatically?

 

I like TSM2 because I find it easy to install, and easy to add things to when i need them, and easily adaptable to different characters.

 

I'm always baffled that people say they can't figure it out. But I shouldn't be because they're not following the directions that come with it.

 

That guarantees failure.

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You asked, so I answered. I'm glad you like TSM. No need to get defensive.

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Yes, you were doing it wrong. tongue.gif

 

If you did your CP weighting and fan boning before you ran rigger (as the manual instructs), that bone change would have been simple. Just go back that rigged and weighted version (which you saved because the program prompts you to) , scale the bone (there's a key you hold down to make the mesh go with it) then run rigger.

 

I have done this. I changed leg lengths on one of Kevin Detwiler's characters when I was rigging it with TSM 2. Having that version-before-rigger saved made it easy. I know it works.

 

Robert,

What do you do when you want to modify a textured character that has already been rigged, and you don't have the original? I had to modify the "Larry" character that I think that you had made or rigged for Kevin in an earlier project... And I've had to create variations of characters that were already "done"--It required that I become familiar enough with the TSM naming conventions, to pick my constraint targets out of the list of bones!

Everyone recommends texturing AFTER rigging, because sometimes you have to modify the mesh to get it to pose the way you would like--but do you texture it BEFORE you run rigger?

 

Not knocking TSM ( I am using it on TAR right now), but I can't say that it is a time saver(for me)....the rigging,weighting,smartskinning process is just tedious, no matter what rig you are going to animate with.

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You asked, so I answered. I'm glad you like TSM. No need to get defensive.

 

Sorry, I was just explaining where I was seeing it from.

 

 

Robert,

What do you do when you want to modify a textured character that has already been rigged, and you don't have the original? I had to modify the "Larry" character that I think that you had made or rigged for Kevin in an earlier project... And I've had to create variations of characters that were already "done"--It required that I become familiar enough with the TSM naming conventions, to pick my constraint targets out of the list of bones!

 

Well, that would be the wrong workflow. It's almost like wanting to add textures to a model after you've rendered the movie. Much better to get the original pre-rigged model, which certainly could have been had, make the changes and then run Rigger on it. Running Rigger takes a minute so I've never felt that going back to the pre-rigged version to make changes was a huge step backwards.

 

My position is there's nothing in the proper workflow that stops anything from getting done. The wrong workflow will make things unnecessarily complicated.

 

If you're missing the original that makes it complicated, but that's an unnecessary complication.

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CURRENTLY I am debating how long TSM2 will survive for A:M. If the trends/ rigs move further and further away from TSM2, I may need to spend time on other riggs...Scary for me, since I am so familiar with TSM2. HOWEVER....with several projects in the works, I may be looking to hire more contract artists who are A:M proficient and familiar with available riggs. ;)

 

Robert -- That issue with William was probably more my bad, with the version he worked from....It already had the face rigg you had done for me and I was trying to maintain it's function without him having to re-work it. It worked soo well, I was also trying to keep it the way it was because if it was damaged in any way, I doubt I could have fixed it at the time.

 

Home-Slice -- You are so right with projects like the "Greek" statues... I have found that rigging becomes a project, and even a shot by shot need. Sometimes what works 90% of the time, totally fails in certain instances(Very frustrating cases). Having that perfect rigg still requires additions/ changes from time to time. I can totally see how TSM2 can lack in certain ways.

 

FOR ME, I am just more familiar with TSM2, so it is an easier option for my own pipeline. Tight schedules and even less budget has kept me to what I'm familiar with. BUT as William mentioned, the collaboration of work on a project carries a need for more artist to add/ make changes. It's an ongoing process as you Masters know.

 

NANCY -- I'm with you all the way as for as remaining simple...I wish this stuff was more simple. It's a real jungle for me to try and hack through. I'd get more sleep at night..:) Hat's off to Robert and how he can crunch through that rigg with all the bones.

 

Anzovin created a face machine for other softwares(as you probably know) after they stopped supporting later versions of A:M....... For those of us who like working with it, we can only think with wishful thoughts how cool that would've been to have it in A:M....

 

William "Kevin"

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If there's ever a "Boomer II" we should talk about workflow. B)

 

 

 

I recall on the Incredibles or Monsters DVD they make the comment that it takes a year to rig a new character.

 

That may or may not have been a joke, but if you guys are getting something done in a few days or weeks even, you're doing well.

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I saw a presentain on one of their characters and they have what looks like "modes" for every possible situation/ emotion. Like having 4 or 5 riggs on just the face at the same time. After seeing that, I totally understand how it could take a year.

 

HOWEVER... I imagine they put each stage through an exhaustive trial and error process to make them "pipeline" ready. They test animate everything more than likely. That probably takes a while.

 

Sorry CG, 3D, Pixels, riggs and Textures..... I'm afraid the 2nd Boomer will be about 60% live action and only about 40% animation. Well....unless there is a huge change in the script. Not the 95% CG required for the 1st episode. ;)

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Yes. They have the time and money to pursue those very detailed solutions. If you ever see a video of such a demonstration available on the web, point me to it. I'd be curious to see that sort of thing.

 

But as mostly solo artists we need to pursue generalized solutions that will economically get us to our goal.

 

 

 

My guess is that could be simplified with weighting. It was not obvious to me why it needed so many bones, other than it worked.

 

One reason for all the fan bones is that they will arc around a pivot point in a way that CP weighting won't, and the movement of fanbones is more predictable (to me) than smartskin.

 

For example, when lips smile they slide in an arc over the teeth underneath them rather than morphing straight from neutral to smile. Fan bones would simulate that arc for me in a predictable way.

 

The more complicated face rigs I did for Kevin were the result of having seen exactly one "professionally rigged" character, which was AnimationMentor's Bishop and regarding that as an example of what a full face rig was expected to be able to do.

 

I reproduced that functionality for my version of Bishop for when i was doing my AnimationMentor assignments and that became the baseline in my mind of what a "face rig" was. Even though i have Maya and have the Maya Bishop I don't know enough about how they put that together other than to observe what happens when a control is moved and think "how do i get this same result in A:M?"

 

In some way the AnimationMentor Bishop seemed rather primitive because so many of the controls were off screen sliders. When i made my Bishop i ditched that notion and put them back onto the face.

 

 

It would be interesting to see other Hollywood face rigs to see what it is that they think they have to do and to know how they do it. It can probably be done in A:M too but not knowing how they did it at all makes it more mysterious.

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You should see the new Bishop.... It can change sizes, shapes, everything. A dream character for creating just about any acting role.

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watching Shrek IV, i found the facial expressions beyond belief. commentary said, in Shrek 1 they had about 400 controls and now there's a little over 1000 controls for a face. how do you navigate those controls?!

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watching Shrek IV, i found the facial expressions beyond belief. commentary said, in Shrek 1 they had about 400 controls and now there's a little over 1000 controls for a face. how do you navigate those controls?!

 

My first thought relates back to me roots as a software developer. There you work in a development environment (say something like Eclipse or Visual Studio) You work with an interface, which makes life easy. The more familiar you get with that interface, the easier your job. Liken a rig containing 1000 or more controls to an interface to a dev environment. The more comfortable an animator is with it, the easier his life becomes. I'd say that the 1 year development life cycle for new characters at Pixar is part of the familiarization process. As noted before, us independents don't have the luxury of time or budget to spend a year on a rig (I sadly still do!) so we generalize. All the rigs mentioned so far are capable of doing the job, we simply need to pick one (or create our own), get familiar with the interface environment, and run with it. There are a lot of moving parts to a rig, and getting that level of familiarity with them is like nirvana (haven't gotten there myself yet), but I sense it is worth the journey to attain it.

 

my two cents!

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how do you navigate those controls?!

 

Folders, i bet. And lots of Visible/not Visible switches.

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