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Pitcher

saving or exporting rigs or skeletons for use in other models

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I made a skeleton for one model, and have several other models that are similar. How can I save the skeleton and use it in another model. Is there a way to export just the skeleton?

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Hi Pitcher,

 

1.) Right-Click on the model with the rig you want to save in the PWS (Project Work Space).

2.) Choose "Save as" and save it somewhere on your harddrive.

3.) In the PWS at the model go to its properties and choose "File Info > Embedded" and set it to "On".

4.) In the PWS right-click on the "Objects"-folder and choose "import > Model" and choose the recently saved model on your harddrive..

5.) In the new model, delete in modelling mode all the CPs.

6.) Get rid of all the Groups in the PWS and delete everything you do not want.

7.) Save the model. It should now only containt of the rig and possible poses, etc.(you can of course delete them too, but I assume you do not want to)

 

To import the bone-structure to another model, just right-click on the model in your PWS and choose "Import > Model". Gett he model-file with only the rig in it on your harddrive.

This will import the model into the model you selected in the PWS.

 

That should do what you want to do.

 

See you

*Fuchur*

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6.) Get rid of all the Groups in the PWS and delete everything you do not want.

 

 

There seems to be something missing here and I want to make sure I fully understand the process.

Do we necessarily want to get rid of all the Groups when the rig will be applied to other similar models?

 

My thinking...

Those Named Groups won't be assigned to any geometry (in the rig Model because you've removed all geometry there) but the Bones will need to be reassigned to new geometry in the model you will import your rig into. In order to do this we'll have recreate those Named Groups again in the new Model.

 

(I understand the removed of Named Groups at this point to be simply to clean out elements not related to the rig itself)

 

 

In other words, those Named Groups are still being driven by the rig even though there is nothing visible connected with them.

 

Lets's say you've already got all your Named Groups in the new (rig-less) Model.

You'll still need to assign those to the Bones in some way or another.

 

Also, I don't know enough to say one way or the other but isn't this where the 'install rig' wizard can be leveraged to assign those named groups to the rig.

I should know this but I'm drawing a huge blank at the moment.

If it's not too far off topic from what John is trying to get at perhaps someone can outline the process that the install rig wizard goes through.

For instance, I assume that Named Groups might be attached to same named Bones when the process is launched.

I'm sure it's a bit more involved than that but...

 

Thoughts?

 

Regarding exporting the rig from a Model, Gerald outlines the process, the short form of which is, "To export your rig, save your model under a new name (i.e. myRig.mdl) and then delete all the geometry. Save again and you'll have the rig ready for import other models". The cautionary note being to save the model under a different name than the original model!

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AFAIK, Groups are about sets of CPs only, they have no knowledge of the bones those CPs might be attached to.

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AFAIK, Groups are about sets of CPs only, they have no knowledge of the bones those CPs might be attached to.

 

 

Understood. And I agree but acknowledge that it isn't the entire story that could be told.

If one doesn't exist already a plugin certainly could take full advantage of these Named Groups.

Such a plugin would run through an A:M Model file and match Same Named Groups with Same Named Bones similar to what Auto Assign Bones does with location but using the Named Groups instead of location.

 

I was under the impression that matching Named Groups with Bones was (basically) what the 'Install Rig Wizard did.

Namely:

 

(Upon launching the plugin)

All geometry assigned to the Head group is assigned to the Head bone.

All geometry assigned to the Neck group is assigned to the Neck Bone.

Etc.

 

Note that the order of assignment is important.

The order matters as (in the above) any geometry assigned to the Head Group would first be applied to the Head bone but then upon processing of the Neck Group the geometry of that group is assigned to the Neck Bone. Therefore any geometry assigned to both the Head Group and Neck Group would be in conflict and some geometry would lose it's assignment to the Head Bone and instead be assigned to the Neck Bone More intensive programming could check for duplicate assignments and then automatically weight that geometry to each bone (half and half for two bones... one third each for three bones... etc. A counter would have to keep track of each CP's assignment throughout the process in order to increment that weighting. Alternatively a count could be established for each CP during an initial pass then decrement downward until all assignments are completed. When all CP assignment counts are at 0 the program would know it was done.

 

This is the essence of the classic rigging method but in reverse in that after (or during) modeling Named Groups are given to each part of the Model to facilitate rigging later on.

Then when rigging one can hide all the geometry except that of the Named Group of interest so that no other geometry gets attached to that bone.

 

Maybe we need to brush off the old TaoA:M exercise on rigging and run through that. :)

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(Upon launching the plugin)

All geometry assigned to the Head group is assigned to the Head bone.

 

Assigned how? Rigidly with 100% influence?

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Nemyax said:snapback.png

(Upon launching the plugin)

All geometry assigned to the Head group is assigned to the Head bone.

Assigned how? Rigidly with 100% influence?

 

Unless otherwise weighted the value of CP assignment is set to 100%.

This isn't the case with either one of the two methods of weighting (Falloff or CP weighting)*

I'm not sure how one would assign another percentage other than 100% if there aren't any other known influencing factors.

So to answer the question, yes, rigidly with 100% influence upon initial processing.

As long as there is only one influence it retains the whole 100%.

 

Falloff is set via the Bone Properties

CP Weighting via the CP Weight dialogue box

 

 

*There may be other ways as well but those are the only two that come to mind.

I'll note that the portion of text you quoted from comes from a theoretical plugin workflow... not necessarily from current workflow.

Ideally such a process might assign a percentage (initially) based upon the number of existing bones and/or groups.

Those weights could then be further adjusted via other methods (Bone Falloff, CP Weighting, etc.)

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I was under the impression that matching Named Groups with Bones was (basically) what the 'Install Rig Wizard did.

Namely:

 

(Upon launching the plugin)

All geometry assigned to the Head group is assigned to the Head bone.

All geometry assigned to the Neck group is assigned to the Neck Bone.

Etc.

 

No sir, the InstallRig plugin takes an installation rig (which is a rig that has had INSTALL bones added), re-parents bones according to the hierarchy using the INSTALL bones and then deletes the INSTALL bones. There is a tutorial on making an installation rig and using the InstallRig plugin at: http://amfilms.hash.com/video/466/Making-An-Installation-Rig

 

Hope that helps, Rodney.

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Thanks David,

My previous was obviously late night thinking. ;)

A little reflection would have led me to a better conclusion.

 

Still, it greatly surprises me to think that no one ever created a more direct means to associate Named Groups with Bones.

Especially since the groups consist of many of the same CPs that will have to be grabbed and assigned to the Bones anyway.

I did a few trial runs on what the workflow might be like and noticed a few potential pitfalls (I outlined at least one above with regard to multiple groups sharing the same CPs and how processing one might incorrectly strip the assignments from another).

 

I'll be looking in to the Transfer Weights plugin that doesn't directly related to creation of bones or named groups in quite the manner I envision.

The idea being to remove or automate a very tedious but necessary step in the rigging process.

If we've already got the bones it is (relatively) trivial to create associated groups.

If we've already got the groups it is (relatively) trivial to create associated bones.

Says me that is most definitely not a programmer. ;)

I certainly haven't accounted for all the potential gotchas such as decal assignments that wouldn't match bone assignments.

The workaround would be to name the groups in such a way to flag them for use with bones.

This is kind of the opposite of the (recently added) setting that allows us to prevent geometry from being assigned to a bone.

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It would probably be easier to use spline rings as named groups like "bicep_origin" and "bicep_end". That way, the plugin could use the pivot of the group to place the bones...but that wouldn't account for the roll.

The idea being to remove or automate a very tedious but necessary step in the rigging process.

 

 

I still think the present installations handle bone placement better. I doubt very many people have tried the Squetch Rig installation's present method...putting the bones in place is the least time consuming part of an installation. Where you spend most of your time is in CP Weighting, but that could be sped up by using a proxy character (Squetchy Sam would get you most of the way there for the Squetch Rig) and the Transfer_AW plugin.

 

Just my two cents.

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It would probably be easier to use spline rings as named groups like "bicep_origin" and "bicep_end". That way, the plugin could use the pivot of group to place the bones...but that wouldn't account for the roll.

 

I hear what you are saying.

That way would indeed work but also make the process more time consuming than just placing the bones in the first place.

I was thinking the size of the group itself might be tapped to set the initial bone length.

 

I'm hoping to run through the process of rigging (in it's various incarnations).

I've put understanding the process of rigging off for far too long.

I will be approaching this with a continual view of 'is this the best approach to use' because that is just the way I tend to dissect things.

Of course, there is something to be said for just following the instructions... I would do well to do that. ;)

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Going back to the original question... couldn't Pitcher just delete all of the geometry(CPs and groups) from his original rigged model... then copy the CP's from another(unrigged) model and paste them into the original, scale and reposition bones as needed, re-weight and (important) Save-As...? Any bones-based poses and relationships should carry thru- while muscle-mode CP based poses would need be regenerated.... or did I just say basically what Fucher did...

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You did ;).

Just the other way round... I do the deleting after saving to a new file just in case something goes wrong but other than that it is the same procedure ;).

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Another way is to:

 

1) SAVE AS SkeletonONLY.mdl. to be sure to not mess up original

 

2) then delete all cps, decals, etc in model that you don't want - leave just bones, relationships (and anything else you want to duplicate). SAVE (again)

 

3) start another new model, SAVE AS NEWMODELname.mdl

 

4) Right click on newmodelname. IMPORT skeletonONLY.mdl into the newmodelname (no copy/paste). Usually works better, less likely to crash than copy/paste sometimes.

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