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Time to learn smartskin?

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Ok, so I'm experimenting with simple walk with my penguin model, and the butt has some serious "junk in the trunk funk" going on. (see screenshot)

I'm thinking smartskin would help here but am not sure where to start. Ideas?

junk_in_the_trunk.jpg

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Ok, so I'm experimenting with simple walk with my penguin model, and the butt has some serious "junk in the trunk funk" going on. (see screenshot)

I'm thinking smartskin would help here but am not sure where to start. Ideas?

 

I would add at least one more spline ring and do a better job of CP Weighting before thinking about using Smartskin. However, you could just go the Smartskin route if you'd prefer, Roger.

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Where would you put the spline ring, another horizontal ring on each leg?

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Where would you put the spline ring, another horizontal ring on each leg?

 

The general rule is three spline rings per joint with at least one spline ring between joints to get a good looking bend. Even though the upper legs are inside the torso, it would still be applicable. So, I would add those rings like I would on a standard leg, but make them rings on the torso...yes, horizontal.

 

Hope that helps, Roger.

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Ok - got it. I'll try stitching another spline ring between the 2 rings that are on the thigh.

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Ok - got it. I'll try stitching another spline ring between the 2 rings that are on the thigh.

In case you don't know, there's a good shortcut for inserting a new cp at the exact midpoint of a spline: select just the spline segment, and hit "Y". Go around the model adding cp's, then just connect them all with a new spline.

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I'm not convinced that needs another spline ring. I think weighting it right will solve the problem.

 

Send me the bottom half of that penguin and I'll show you what to do.

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Thanks - its wending its way through the tubes presently.

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I haven't forgotten part 3. I found a possible bug in a plugin and got distracted with that. But I'll get to part 3.

 

In the meantime, here's a small goof fix tidbit:

 

Mirror_a_Bone_Manually.mov

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it's a little bit devastating how good these tutorials are. mountains of gratitude!

 

thanks Roger for sharing your problem and for a fun char to learn with.

 

these tuts are perfect for non-tech intuitive newbies

they're like an implant in your visual cortex;

information comes in comparative before/after chunks,

letting you continue working by eyes alone knowing the numbers will simply just be there.

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I have been working through TAOAM to bolster my weak areas. I know my modeling skills improved quite a bit after doing those tutorials.

 

Having said that, rigging is a real bugaboo (for me). TAOAM has the basic info but I feel the tutorials there are lacking. You could probably do a whole other companion manual just on rigging.

 

These videos have cleared up some misconceptions I had. Thank you Robcat.

 

(now I need to get back to implementing these fixes :) )

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Here's an alternate strategy for getting a foot bone at the heel without adding that extra Foot Control bone. Although I called the extra bone a "mistake" it's really a matter of workflow and there are advantages either way.

 

 

Kinematic_with_Offset.mov

 

 

This is not "Part 3" yet.

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The long-awaited conclusion, Part C, in which we create the baggy pantsed Penguin look. This is a case where our traditional tactic of rotating spline rings around a joint doesn't get the look we want and we need to look deeper into A:M's rigging toolbox for an alternate strategy.

 

This one runs a bit longer due to some unexpected bumps but you get to see me claw my way out of them.

 

 

Penguin_Rigging_C_Weighting_CPs.mov

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I guess i never answered Roger's original question... should we use Smartskin here?

 

We could. I think we could get the same fix with Smartskin, but since you're resculpting CPs in a Smartskin you have to know exactly what you want before you start.

 

I like the way the CP weighting dialog and constraint enforcements let me quickly experiment with different levels of results by just changing a percentage value.

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Very informative and nicely done, Robert!

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Having said that, rigging is a real bugaboo (for me). TAOAM has the basic info but I feel the tutorials there are lacking. You could probably do a whole other companion manual just on rigging.

 

TAoA:M main goal is to show you how to install a premade rig, AM2001 in that case. For most purposes a standard pre-made rig is the way to go. Lots of features for minimum effort.

 

But for curious users like yourself who want to make their own rig we should either do a better job of explaining why/how a rig works... OR do a better job of talking them out of trying to make their own rig. ;)

 

Your penguin is an example of how one-size-fits all never fits perfectly. I don't know that TAoA:M could ever be comprehensive enough that a new user would instinctively see that solution on his own. Every character has special cases that require some experimenting and trial balloons. Experience, either acquired or borrowed is the only way to navigate that, i think.

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It's helpful to consider rigging when you're designing and modeling your characters, too. (As Robert indicates at the beginning of one of the videos, citing Buzz and Woody.)

 

For a no-neck character, consider making the head a separate mesh from the body. I did this with my Ballast character:

 

Screen_shot_2011_07_23_at_1.18.33_PM.png

 

I think this could work well for your penguin, too, allowing him to turn his head as much as he needs to and greatly simplifying the rigging.

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I'll give that another try. Played around with it after work today but could not get it looking right. Looked odd. I think I'll need to experiment to get it looking right.

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Doh posted the same comment twice - deleted

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it's a little bit devastating how good these tutorials are. mountains of gratitude!

 

thanks Roger for sharing your problem and for a fun char to learn with.

 

these tuts are perfect for non-tech intuitive newbies

they're like an implant in your visual cortex;

information comes in comparative before/after chunks,

letting you continue working by eyes alone knowing the numbers will simply just be there.

 

Something about that disturbs me - like I'm going to see security cam footage of my penguin holding up a 7-11. :blink:

Hopefully the model is only residing with myself and Robcat for now.

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He just means showing it. I haven't given it to anyone.

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Great vids for fan bone basics; that's something I've never really played around with! Learn something new every day!

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He just means showing it. I haven't given it to anyone.

 

I didn't think you would have - I guess I was just being paranoid.

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Wasn't sure if I should start another thread but since my questions are related to this I figured I would just tack them onto this one.

 

1. From the side, the bones which make up the leg should be straight up and down, but from the front it doesn't matter if they are a little off-center (for this particular character) as long as the roll handles are pointing forward, right?

 

2. How do you make sure the roll handles are pointing straight forward? In the video it looks like you're just kind of eyeballing it.

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Also when using the mirror bones plugin and using the pelvis as the parent (and not for instance, the right thigh) shouldn't it mirror ALL the bones that the pelvis is a parent of and not just from the thigh down? Because that is what it did with mine. I deleted the extra bones, but I'm not sure what I did that was different.

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Wasn't sure if I should start another thread but since my questions are related to this I figured I would just tack them onto this one.

 

1. From the side, the bones which make up the leg should be straight up and down, but from the front it doesn't matter if they are a little off-center (for this particular character) as long as the roll handles are pointing forward, right?

 

They can follow whatever the shape of the leg is. In your case that looks straight up and down from the side but a little tilted inward from the front.

2. How do you make sure the roll handles are pointing straight forward? In the video it looks like you're just kind of eyeballing it.
I eyeballed it but you can look from the top to get the best view for such a bone.

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Also when using the mirror bones plugin and using the pelvis as the parent (and not for instance, the right thigh) shouldn't it mirror ALL the bones that the pelvis is a parent of and not just from the thigh down? Because that is what it did with mine. I deleted the extra bones, but I'm not sure what I did that was different.

 

I'd expect it to. I don't recall whether iit did or didn't in my vid. Possibly I deleted the extras when the cam was off?

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Wasn't sure if I should start another thread but since my questions are related to this I figured I would just tack them onto this one.

 

1. From the side, the bones which make up the leg should be straight up and down, but from the front it doesn't matter if they are a little off-center (for this particular character) as long as the roll handles are pointing forward, right?

 

They can follow whatever the shape of the leg is. In your case that looks straight up and down from the side but a little tilted inward from the front.

2. How do you make sure the roll handles are pointing straight forward? In the video it looks like you're just kind of eyeballing it.
I eyeballed it but you can look from the top to get the best view for such a bone.

 

Ok - from the side view should the thigh line up with the spine? Because currently the spine is a little forward of the legs. Also, should I be zeroing out the spine from the side along the Y axis? Or is that not as critical as the X axis?

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Ok - from the side view should the thigh line up with the spine? Because currently the spine is a little forward of the legs.
My preference is that, from the side view, the origin of the thigh bones and the origin of the hips/pelvis/spine appear to be at the same point. That way it's possible to tilt the pelvis forward and back without moving the legs.

 

 

Also, should I be zeroing out the spine from the side along the Y axis? Or is that not as critical as the X axis?

 

In real life spines are curved, in CG people tend to simplify by making them straight.

 

The front to back placement of your spine depends on where the mesh of your character is, it doesn't have to be at zero.

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