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Author Topic: Dynamic Joints in Maya  (Read 3501 times)

Amanda_Brooks

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Dynamic Joints in Maya
« on: Jul 30, 13, 02:43:45 PM »

Has anyone here used Dynamic joints in Maya for creating cloth/hair animations, and if so, what's your opinion on their practical use, especially in the HE?
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Re: Dynamic Joints in Maya
« Reply #1 on: Jul 30, 13, 03:39:07 PM »

Well, you could certainly use them to create animations within Maya.  You couldn't, of course, expect to export a dynamic joint setup and have it continue to be dynamic in the engine.
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Amanda_Brooks

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Re: Dynamic Joints in Maya
« Reply #2 on: Jul 30, 13, 07:07:23 PM »

We're just looking at various ways to speed up the animation process, rather than hand keying every single part of our rig.
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Re: Dynamic Joints in Maya
« Reply #3 on: Jul 31, 13, 09:46:07 AM »

Well, let me put it this way:  I really wish they had that feature the last time I animated hair!  It still takes some manual keying at either end to craft a good loop, but the hair motion tends to be MUCH more believable!  The same goes for cloth.

It is actually particularly well suited for creating game assets, since pure animation work could just use the hair system, nCloth, etc.  The Dynamic Joints thing is basically just a way to take those nice dynamics tools and apply them to the kind of skeleton chain you can actually export for use in a game engine :)

There is a slight learning curve to produce the results you desire, but after that you'll likely find you can create higher quality and more believable motion in the same amount of time or less as pure hand-keying.
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Amanda_Brooks

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Re: Dynamic Joints in Maya
« Reply #4 on: Jul 31, 13, 06:29:26 PM »

The thing we're concerned about is how well the animations would flow together if we didn't use the total control that hand keying would give us - as a comic book game, we're anticipating quite a high volume of cape usage, so a fluid and believable look for them is pretty important.
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Re: Dynamic Joints in Maya
« Reply #5 on: Aug 01, 13, 09:50:24 AM »

Hmmm, well I would personally quote Edna here...



But all kidding aside :D . . . Regardless of using the dynamic joints, you'll have to create a setup of animations and sequences, likely additive and heavy use of blending, to create a believable flow in a cape as your characters move around.

Actually, I'm pretty sure that you can have all the same control as hand keying.  Once you've created a dynamic simulation you like, you can bake that animation to key frames on the joints and then modify it as you like. 

Since animating on bones directly is a PAIN, what I would do is create 2 copies of the same joint chain.  One would be used with the dynamic joints system and have the animation baked onto it.  The other would be an actual part of the character rig, with controls and control groups set up.  To transfer the baked animation on dynamic chain to the rig chain, you could parent-constrain the control group for each joint's control to the relevant joint in the dynamic chain.  Obviously, the dynamic chain would not be part of the character skeleton exported for HeroEngine.  It's just a tool to aid in the creation of the animations.
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JoshHalls

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Re: Dynamic Joints in Maya
« Reply #6 on: Aug 16, 13, 01:56:57 PM »

Still never quite sure why you guys took out cloth physics :-).
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Amanda_Brooks

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Re: Dynamic Joints in Maya
« Reply #7 on: Aug 16, 13, 03:30:50 PM »

Still never quite sure why you guys took out cloth physics :-).

According to the wiki, "the amount of overhead and server customization to make use of client to server PhysX systems like this and cloth simulation is too high and too complicated to be used without access to Source Code" - so it's still available, but at a higher price than the normal engine license.
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