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https://www.youtube.com/embed/5WT7_F5wsQk

 

Saw this video from Animation Mentor about an upgraded version of their "Bishop" character. It has a bunch of switches and controls to allow it to change the character (al la Poser) into a multitude of characters.

It occurs to me that we could possibly make a similar character in A:M using the examples of Mechadelphias "Saucy" Rig and the pose based action objects shown by Shelton and Mouseman....

 

Thom 2.0?

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Most definitely! :)

 

I suppose this does beg a question of the community: are we ready to standardize on the 'Saucy Rig' or a further extrapolation of that rig?

A related question being: would others be willing to climb aboard and perfect the rig/model if this were the next 'community project'?

What might success look like?

 

I'd guess that step 1 might be to rig Thom 1.0 to Saucy Rig standard and then proceed to update Thom into a more modular/deformable format?

Thom20_sm.gif

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This is clever. While it's nice to create bespoke models, sometimes you need a quick and dirty way to get going.

 

I'd be up for helping but I'm not really sure what I can contribute.

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I'd be up for helping but I'm not really sure what I can contribute.

 

Ideas for one.

Those that are up to making props will find their contributions welcome as well.

I'm primarily thinking of props that Thom 2.0 might wear.

 

The primary thing I believe a Thom 2.0 will need is a proper head and hands.

The fact that Thom doesn't currently have those is actually something of a benefit (for those that are just starting out) but it's also a reason people quickly put Thom aside and move on to other characters.

 

A modular hand might have 200 or so preset poses to dial in and use as starting points when animating. This could be especially useful when blocking out shots.

It would also give 'known targets' as hand poses for props etc.

Thom20  w hands.jpg

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The primary thing I believe a Thom 2.0 will need is a proper head and hands.

The fact that Thom doesn't currently have those is actually something of a benefit (for those that are just starting out) but it's also a reason people quickly put Thom aside and move on to other characters.

 

A modular hand might have 200 or so preset poses to dial in and use as starting points when animating. This could be especially useful when blocking out shots.

It would also give 'known targets' as hand poses for props etc.

 

There is already a model of Thom with hands installed with the 2008 rig. But no face.

 

It is not necessary to have 200 or so preset poses for the hands. The 2008 rig comes with hand clench pose, spread fingers, fingers up/down. Even those aren't needed, as the fingers/hands are very easy to pose using the Finger controller. It is also easy to control the individual fingers without using the Finger controller rig, and just use the finger bones.

AMv13_2008_Rig_Thom_3.mdl

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decided to do rough play on idea used basic man model

 

 

added 3 poses to change colors

 

 

basic1.mov

 

basic1.zip

 

 

 

 

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It is not necessary to have 200 or so preset poses for the hands. The 2008 rig comes with hand clench pose, spread fingers, fingers up/down. Even those aren't needed, as the fingers/hands are very easy to pose using the Finger controller. It is also easy to control the individual fingers without using the Finger controller rig, and just use the finger bones.

 

I'm not entirely convinced...but the 200 hand poses is only an example. Facial poses would be another example.

There will always be purist who believe each and every pose should be constructed from scratch but that works against the very core of the longer term benefits of computer animation.

I'm not one of those purists. It doesn't make sense to me to recreate every pose from scratch especially if it's already created and readily at...um...er... hand.

 

I do understand the pitfalls of reusing poses over and over again but the benefits surely outweigh those.

Am I the only fan of the technology behind the limited animation of Hanna Barbera?

 

 

There is already a model of Thom with hands installed with the 2008 rig. But no face.

 

Yes, and we should have moved him into the limelight many years ago.

I'm not sure why we didn't do that except that it broke some of the exercises from TaoA:M.

 

Added: It might be a tall order but it'd be nice if Thom 2.0 was pre-constrained in to work with BVH actions.

I assume that a plugin to constrain same-name geometry to same-name bones might be required to make that happen.

In short, an automated process so that manual connection to BVH files wouldn't be required.

An alternate to that might be a method to translate BVH actions more directly into Thom 2.0 compatible actions.

Then Thom 2.0 would have more direct access to thousands of actions via motion capture data.

 

Added: Another thing we probably should do is survey the rigs/characters we currently have available.

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I'm not entirely convinced...but the 200 hand poses is only an example. Facial poses would be another example.

There will always be purist who believe each and every pose should be constructed from scratch but that works against the very core of the longer term benefits of computer animation.

I'm not one of those purists. It doesn't make sense to me to recreate every pose from scratch especially if it's already created and readily at...um...er... hand.

 

I do understand the pitfalls of reusing poses over and over again but the benefits surely outweigh those.

Am I the only fan of the technology behind the limited animation of Hanna Barbera?

 

Sometimes you just need to block something out. However, I do think if you're creating a performance there is a risk with relying on canned motions.

 

I'll see what ideas I can come up with but Thom really does need some kind of face.

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However, I do think if you're creating a performance there is a risk with relying on canned motions.

 

Agreed. There is always an associated risk and it's not going to be best to reuse anything where creating something from scratch would work better.

I'm thinking in terms straight out of TaoA:M which has many words of wisdom on the subject. Like...(page 49)

 

"Reusability is the foundation of Animation:Master"

 

I don't write the stuff folks... I just believe it. ;)

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I worked on a chacter for a while. I got as far as allowing size variations. But it included no rig. It basically was to give the user a base character that they could scale and morph. Much like the "make human" or other type systems.

Hash being a spline based system allows for much less geometry and has better "morphability."

 

But alas.......I never finished it.

 

You guys should also check out the features of the "Genesis" character by DAZ. They have targeted making a single model that can morph into a large number of things.

 

AS FOR THE Animation Mentor character, their students have to be able to stand out. What they found was that all the demo's began to look the same since everyone was basically using the same character. Bishop 2.0 as well as the other characters have been expanded and added onto in order to give the students a larger range of styles. ALSO.....and most importantly.....THE RIG in the Animation Mentor characters is designed and based on the rigs in use at MAJOR STUDIOS. This is just as important as the model because when you are hired by a studio, you are already familiar with how their rigs work. The limitations and abilities of modern rigs take some getting use to. Animation Mentor prepares their students for the least amount of culture/ rig SHOCK if they are hired by a major shop. AND to Animation Mentor's credit, large numbers of their graduates get hired by the Major Studios. A studio doesn't have to spend as much time and resources getting them to learn the rigs.

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Can you give us a comparison rig-wise between the Bishop rig and TSM, Squetch, or Saucy? What is easier about it, or what is not as good as some of the rigs we have?

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Although there are differences all around..... The majority of the differences are how the controls on the face work.

 

The high end rigs on studios go beyond a "slider face"... Handles on the facial features are like "nulls" set up to morph...push... pull...giving the animator

maximum control from the eyebrows to the lips.

 

Another key feature of top rigs that is doable in Hash are "Quick Keys".......This takes selection sets to the next level. Allowing the animator to create a library

of general or specific pose keys for all sorts of this.....Hand, eye, brow, phoneme, shapes can be set up and placed like buttons in a separate window.

 

Lets say on a frame you need the character's right hand to point........Just click your r hand point pose in the library/ pose window and it jumps into that pose.....

which of course can then be tweeked for your needs. THIS is a huge time saver.

 

Lip sinc is done frame by frame on the feature level unless the rig has an advanced mo cap like "Face Shift." The idea of having phoneme shapes to sinc to the sounds

won't give you the detail that hand crafted keys will.

 

I could go on and on, but those are the biggest differences to me.

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Although there are differences all around..... The majority of the differences are how the controls on the face work.

 

The high end rigs on studios go beyond a "slider face"... Handles on the facial features are like "nulls" set up to morph...push... pull...giving the animator

maximum control from the eyebrows to the lips.

 

There are other differences. Depending on your needs (or preferences), they can be dramatic differences.

 

I don't know anything about studio rigs, so I can't comment on them.

 

Have you tried the "5" setting on the "FACE off/Joint Controls/Split Controls" Pose in Squetchy Sam? I'm sure it is not as versatile as a studio rig, but it is beyond just sliders (although I have no problem using sliders). Of course, anything can be modified to suit the needs of a project and every rig has limitations.

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Hey Big Dave,

 

You are right. It is really a preference issue and what you're use to.

 

A:M has the same ability....even more so than most other software.....to produce the "smooshy", organic mesh with handles/ nulls.

 

For my "Boomer" project, I think the best example character we developed was "Sir Gilbert" also effectionately known by

Robert and I as "Larry"...

 

I contracted Robert to help in developing him. I would say that "Larry's" face rig is about the closest to what I like. The controls are all handles sitting on the face.

 

What's more is that I set up "Quick keys" for extreme poses like smiles, frowns, etc. From the PWS in the object panel, you drag and drop these out onto the character and it

keys it into place. And those keys can be altered afterwards to fit the specific needs.

 

 

ALSO......I haven't tried out the squetchy Sam rig. I'm sure it works great. Is that your rig? I normally build my rigs lower body with the TSM2 system and then I construct my own upper body from

scratch.

 

William

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Yessir, it is all dependent on what you like or need, William. Every rig has its' emphasis and trade-offs.

 

Squetchy Sam is the example character for the Squetch Rig...which was worked on by a list of people in the community (I have done a fair amount of work on the rig as well).

 

The latest Squetchy Sam is located at the link for the latest Squetch Rig in my signature. Some of the capabilities of the Squetch Rig are outlined in the Squetch Rig videos link in my signature (in a couple of months, I plan to make more).

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I'll have to check them out.

 

How much work does it take to place a bvh(mocap) onto the Squetch Rig?

 

For future reference...DAVE....do you build custom rigs for characters via contract?

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How much work does it take to place a bvh(mocap) onto the Squetch Rig?

 

For future reference...DAVE....do you build custom rigs for characters via contract?

 

If you make a rig with the bone names needed for the BVH file, set everything in the Squetch Rig to FK and then set the corresponding bones to "orient like" the BVH rig, it should work fine.

 

For facial motion capture, currently the rig needs to be updated for the latest version of "A:M Track". I was in the middle of doing that when the flood hit...I should be able to get back to that in the next couple of months.

 

I've only done a few small requests for special case rigs (small add-ons and such). Unfortunately, my time has been extremely limited...I haven't been able to get my own work done. If you have something you need help with, I could take a look at it (if it's quick, I'll knock it out, if it's not quick, I could make some recommendations).

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Josh Sobel is in the process of releasing a rig (Kayla rig) and he goes into some detail on operation via video.

Of interest to me was his 'age slider':

 

http://vimeo.com/116219314

 

Obviously, there is a lot that doesn't directly apply to A:M but the basic approach remains the same.

 

*Sorry, Media/Vimeo tags still aren't showing up.

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I see that with 15 days left Malcolm 2.0 is funded via kickstarter:

 

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/malcolm-2-0

 

Malcolm is one of the primary rigs/models used at Animschool and was similarly funded for release for the 1.0 version.

 

The primary goal of the upgrade is to make him more accessorizable and customizable.

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