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strato

Monkey Animation

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I am starting to delve into rigging (after many Years in modeling) and looking at all the different rigs from the 2001 to the incredible Masterpiece of the Squetch.

My question is rather simple, how do You animate a Monkey, and or, how do You move the pivots of your master bone in the model within a Choreography or action.
Or is it a separate master bone to set up that can move to the different hands, feet and tail to pivot the body? Just wondering what would be the correct or most sensilble approach?

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there is a monkey and an orangutan on an am extra disc not sure if its available

 

monkey.jpg

 

 

orangutan.jpg

 

pictures of them in bone mode

 

 

 

 

 

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I'd forgotten about the monkey. Thanks for the reminder. :)

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Welcome back, Strato!

 

 

 

... or, how do You move the pivots of your master bone in the model within a Choreography or action.

 

You can't see or move the model bone in an Action. You can move a model bone in a Chor when you are in Director mode :cho:

 

Typically animators position the model once in a Chor with the Model bone, and after that use Skeletal Mode to pose the bones that make up the rig. There really are VERY few character animation situations where you want to move all parts of a charter in rigid unison, which is what moving the Model Bone does.

 

 

 

Or is it a separate master bone to set up that can move to the different hands, feet and tail to pivot the body? Just wondering what would be the correct or most sensilble approach?

 

 

 

Most rigs do have dedicated bones for moving some large subset of the character, like everything from the hips on up, or everything from the torso on up

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Thanks for the response. Just as an example, a monkey which flies and twirls from branch to branch, holding on and releasing with his feet, tail and hands, than flies freely through the air to the next

attachment, would this all be done with extra nulls in the choreography and translate constraints of the monkeys IK goals to those, or should there be some other bones or nulls above the root level

in the monkey model to animate mid air twirls?

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Moving through the air and holding onto branches are two different tasks really.

 

As a bare minimum, a character with IK arms and IK legs would need five things you animate to move the body around: a hip controller that moves everything on the spine from the hips up and an IK target for each hand or foot.

 

Here is a thread that touches on many of the same questions you have regarding moving a character and some explanation and examples from me...

 

https://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=46635&hl=backflip&do=findComment&comment=399733

 

 

In a serious production situation I would want a rig with IK/FK switching so while the character was in the air, not touching anything, I could set the limbs to FK and then switch them to IK when they had to grasp something.

 

 

Holding onto branches with hands is indeed a "translate to" (and usually "Orient Like" also) operation, but you don't need to add extra nulls for targets. By creating the constraint while "compensate mode" :compensate: is ON the constraint can attache it self at any distance and direction from the target.

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Thanks Robert, a lot of good info throughout the above referenced thread. One last question. I noticed that IK switching had become available after V13 and is used in the 2008, the lite and the Squetch rig. Previous to that time, how was IK switching or blending done since the constraints within a IK relationship didn't create the mutual exclusive enforcement values. I heard of the use of separate Ik and FK rigs and blending the geometry between them, although I have never seen it anywhere other than in an old Jeff Lew tutorial. Is this even a valid choice?

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One last question. I noticed that IK switching had become available after V13 and is used in the 2008, the lite and the Squetch rig.

 

And there is a mod that can add it to the TSM2 rig. Mark Skodacek developed that.

 

 

Previous to that time, how was IK switching or blending done since the constraints within a IK relationship didn't create the mutual exclusive enforcement values.

 

 

Usually, it just wasn't done. When I was at AnimationMentor in 2005 I had a mentor who worked at ILM and he said he had never gotten a rig that could switch IK/FK. It was believed to be impossible at the time. :o

 

He said you pick your K and have to live with it for the duration of the shot!

 

In TSM2 at the time I could do it by carefully matching the pose of the FK controls and the IK controls on the frame I needed the switch to happen.

 

The work-arounds vary depending on how a particular rig handles IK/FK and what the controls are.

 

 

I heard of the use of separate Ik and FK rigs and blending the geometry between them, although I have never seen it anywhere other than in an old Jeff Lew tutorial. Is this even a valid choice?

 

 

 

Whew! that sounds insane. Glad we don't have to do that anymore.

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One of the classic ways to get a character/object moving through a given space and then rotating or doing some other action is to constrain the character/object to a Null and then animate that Null first to set primary positions. The secondary animation (what would normally be considered primary animation in classic terms) is then accomplished via Pose or Action (the latter being of either recycling Action or Chor Action varieties or layering in of any or all of the above). The point being that it is easy to move/position/orient that Null independently of the main Character/Object.

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Hi Rodney, This makes all good sense in a theoretic way. But what I am still not quite finding an answer to, probably because I am not stating it correctly, is how to animate the pivot of the character (model) to the different places within its own hierarchy like feet, hands and tails, which are also moving about. I understand I can

add additional bones at the root level to rotate the entire model, and outside the model in the choreography I can constrain it to a null, or a number of them. But just assuming a character jumps to a vine and I add a translate/orient constraint of the hands to a point on the vine. Some how the whole model needs to follow the vines animation as it swings, so keeping the hands attached to it, how can the body's pivot be constraint to a point of my choosing to follow. Or as a different example, I animate a character to stand on its toes in an action, but to twirl the whole body would require to follow up with all the isolated groups above the ankle. but if I had a

pivot of the model translated to the exact point I could easily complete as many rotations as needed. I understand that I can set it up as a singular event in the choreography but the relationship between the models interior IK targets to exterior nulls and the relationship of the whole model and its pivot within the choreography

needs to be animatable, but I cant find a set up or example of how to accomplish this.

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You might try Action Objects.

The thing with Action Objects is that anything added as an Action Object automatically orients itself to the main Model that the Action is applied to.

 

So for instance, if you created an empty model, then an Action from that model you have an empty model that doesn't do anything but...drop a bunch of other models into that Action and then everything contained in that Action will be applied to whatever Object/Model the Action is dropped onto.

 

The downside of Action Objects is that I don't think we can nest Actions within Actions so the main object will need to be the one you want to apply any other Actions to. This assuming you want to use other Actions at all and not just animate right in the Chor. And currently Action Objects don't play well with Netrender.

 

If this is all clear as mud...that's mostly because I haven't pinned down exactly what my approach might be because every scenario/setup is different.

The point being that with Action Objects you can set the pivot of your model to any place you want and then use the main model (even if empty) for major adjustments. Then fine tune those movements with the actual model.

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Here is an example of constraining one model to another....

 

attachicon.gifclip3807ModelToModelConstraint.mov

 

 

Here is the PRJ in the video you may practice with....

 

attachicon.giftrapeze03.prj

Hi Robert

 

That was really helpful, the concept of constraining his model bone to something in world space just eluded me some how. Really appreciate You took the time to create that

video.

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Thanks everybody for the input, I think I finally got the general idea to start thinking outside that boundary box I guess. That monkey video is great and really makes one think how to set up an interaction between the moving branches and the different body constraints.

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