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Rodney

General rig exploration

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This is a branch off of John (aka Pitcher)'s topic about exporting rigs as I don't want to take that one off topic.

 

In that topic I was exploring the thought of using Named Groups to drive Control Point assignments to rigging.

To be honest I thought this was a really old methodology but in my review of the exercises from TaoA:M etc. I can't find any reference that actually uses that approach.

 

I ran a few tests and in my effort to explore more deeply (exploring the idea of having image settings drive CP weighting) ran afoul of using features I've never used before (resulting in a crash to the desktop). Ah, now we are getting somewhere! :)

 

So this topic is a placeholder to remind me of a topic I want to explore further.

If other newbies to rigging (like me) want to explore please feel free to join in.

I'm sure we can learn a ton in the process.

 

I will start by saying that upon review of TaoA:M Exercise #13 I had thought that Named Groups were used in that exercise.

I was wrong and the CPs were manually selected at the time of assignment to the Bones that had been imported into the Model.

Hmmm... now that makes me wonder where I got that memory of using Named Groups to assign Control Points to Bone Hierarchies.

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that makes me wonder where I got that memory of using Named Groups to assign Control Points to Bone Hierarchies.

Have you ever read the Blender docs? For binding meshes to armatures, Blender uses vertex groups with names that match bone names. (That's one of two methods, the other is bone envelopes, aka capture regions.) Each vertex can be a member of multiple groups, and have an influence value in the range 0 to 1 for each of the groups.

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would be a little faster some times (since you have to rename bones and groups not always) but it would create two possibilities to set cp weights which could lead to confusion. i would prefer a plugin wizard for that.

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Have you ever read the Blender docs? For binding meshes to armatures, Blender uses vertex groups with names that match bone names. (That's one of two methods, the other is bone envelopes, aka capture regions.) Each vertex can be a member of multiple groups, and have an influence value in the range 0 to 1 for each of the groups.

 

 

I haven't read anything worth mentioning.

That sounds like something close to what I'm suggesting could be driven by Named Groups.

That'd be a lot of programming though.

The good news would be that most of the data to drive the creation and assignment of bones/weighting would already be there.

Right now I suppose I'd settle for the abilty to Right Click on a Group and select 'Create Associated Bone'.

What that would do is create a Bone with the geometry assigned to the Named Group with the same name as the Group and assign it values based on that Named Groups settings; Pivot, Transforms, etc.)

To work fluidly though each Bone would need a similar option to Right Click and 'Update Named Group'.

The primary issue with this would be that Named Groups have historically been used for more exclusively for decaling etc. so for many folks this would constitute a workflow change.

 

i would prefer a plugin wizard for that.

 

A wizard could use groups of Control Points (Named Groups) and assign them to Bones with the same names (it could even create those bones in place if Bones without those names weren't yet created).

The settings of those Named Groups (pivot, rotation etc.) would drive the Bones location and orientation.

We already have these Named Groups why not leverage them?

 

Ostensibly, by marrying Named Groups to their respective Bones we might never have to weight those Bones again in a non-intuitive way.

Need more fidelity... add a new group or two or three to further distribute the weight.

Need less fidelity... rename a group or separate it into smaller groups temporarily

Then run the wizard again to update/recalculate/assign all the weights.

 

There are other things marrying Bones to Named Groups would further facilitate to include extending boneless animation (muscle mode animation) and deformation (distortion).

 

it would create two possibilities to set cp weights which could lead to confusion.

 

The process is confusing enough already and if I recall correctly CP weighting wasn't the preferred approach originally.

(I'd have to research this assertion but that is what I recall from memory)

As far as CP weighting is concerned I'd prefer a completely automated way if such a thing could be created.

For those forward thinking folks... marrying Bones to Named Groups would also relate them to groups of patches (or as desired to single patches or any number of arbitrary CPs).

 

Of course this implies more exploration is needed of what we have available already! :)

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that makes me wonder where I got that memory of using Named Groups to assign Control Points to Bone Hierarchies.

Have you ever read the Blender docs? For binding meshes to armatures, Blender uses vertex groups with names that match bone names. (That's one of two methods, the other is bone envelopes, aka capture regions.) Each vertex can be a member of multiple groups, and have an influence value in the range 0 to 1 for each of the groups.

 

 

This is similar to using Bone Falloff in A:M. In the Properties of each bone, set "Has Falloff" to "on" and adjust the falloff in that menu. There is a Tech Talk here: http://www.hash.com/ftp/pub/movies/BobCPWeights.mov

 

 

As far as CP weighting is concerned I'd prefer a completely automated way if such a thing could be created.

For those forward thinking folks... marrying Bones to Named Groups would also relate them to groups of patches (or as desired to single patches or any number of arbitrary CPs).

 

Of course this implies more exploration is needed of what we have available already! :)

 

 

You could make a proxy character and use the "Transfer_AW" plugin. The instructions are here: http://www.sgross.com/plugins/plugin24/index.html

 

Hope that helps.

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This is similar to using Bone Falloff in A:M.

No, bone falloff is A:M's implementation of what's called envelopes/capture regions elsewhere.

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If someone could kindly point me to some good information on A:M's bone falloff that would be much appreciated.

At one time I thought I knew the ins and outs of it fairly well.

I just messed around with it a little and see that I need to learn of it again.

(I'm checking out the Tech Ref now)

 

Edit: The main part I was missing with Bone Falloff was the need to Right Click and 'Compute All CP Weights.

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(That's one of two methods, the other is bone envelopes, aka capture regions.)

 

 

 

This is similar to using Bone Falloff in A:M.

No, bone falloff is A:M's implementation of what's called envelopes/capture regions elsewhere.

 

 

Sorry, I should have quoted just that section.

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I've played with Bone Falloffs just recently. I remember there was a trick to make it work... what was it...? AH YES! My text should read 'RMB on bone and select Compute Weights'...

tempry4.jpg

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