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Author Topic: Query: character rigging basics  (Read 3394 times)

MsSarrene

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Query: character rigging basics
« on: Jun 04, 14, 05:36:05 PM »

Hello, I am very new to organic rigging, and would like to know a few questions if anyone is willing to help out with some advice.

Note: I have experience in modeling itself as well as non-organic/static animations, just never done any rigging, texture weighting for organics (ie: characters). I have done armours, clothing and such as well in the past.  So this is all new to me. I have watched and read TONS of tutorials, though for best practice, I am not sure of. Hence why i am posting here.

Static tests went well. So now I am delving into the dynamic characters. This has brought me a few more questions.

Now for my first set of queries:
    1) Best practice for texture weighting?
    ... a) Is it best to rig and adjust the envelops then break the mesh into parts?
    ... b) If so, will the new parts keep the weights?
    ... c) Keep the parts separate and adjust each weight separately?

    2) Max's default biped has a hidden bone(?) called 'Bip01 Footsteps'. For HE, this stays as it is created or do I need to do something different to it (naming, etc)? (I know it says to keep them hidden- i just want to make sure there is nothing else to do).

    3) SRB when added is HUGE. My model is set for 1.8m tall total. Is this normal? (I have already done a static test in the engine, so size of the model is correct.)

    4) Basic default clothing: should this be rigged with the main character mesh, or done separately? (We are using the parts system)

Thank you kindly, and be ready for a few more later on once i get past this point.
Sarrene'
« Last Edit: Jun 05, 14, 12:56:47 PM by SarreneGrant »
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WorldWideZ

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Re: Query: character rigging basics
« Reply #1 on: Jun 06, 14, 01:15:53 PM »

A pic of the SRB might tell us more about the size.

You can probably just delete the footsteps , although i have never noticed them on my rigs to have to delete them myself.

With my dynamic characters i rig them using the mixamo auto rigger. Just pass in the full model with all parts to rig them all together. This also takes care of weighting , unless you feel the need to edit them. I would suggest turning off any lower layers that are hidden (say legs under trousers) to avoid any meshes popping into view before export.
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MsSarrene

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Re: Query: character rigging basics
« Reply #2 on: Jun 06, 14, 06:44:23 PM »

Here is the image. The character is 1.8m tall. I am not sure why it is so large. I am still trying to figure this thing out.

What I am used to:
Boss: "Make this armour/clothing"
Me: "of course!... Here you go!"

WorldWideZ

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Re: Query: character rigging basics
« Reply #3 on: Jun 07, 14, 12:00:12 AM »

that SRB looks pretty normal. The size can be really handy , as it shows any twitching really clearly. Twitching is where you load up a animation / mocap and while the animation plays out fine in max but the animation has a poor Z pos (i normally find it with static in place animations) and the SRB will twitch or spin round , showing the animation will not work correctly in hero without locking off the z axis (which i always forget how to do).

Its also really important for blending animations , 2 radically different SRB positions will lead to very odd results later if used together.
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MsSarrene

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Re: Query: character rigging basics
« Reply #4 on: Jun 10, 14, 09:51:41 AM »

I still have some of the same questions. I would really like to get moving on our project.

...<snip>...
    1) Best practice for texture weighting?
    ... a) Is it best to rig and adjust the envelops then break the mesh into parts?
    ... b) If so, will the new parts keep the weights?
    ... c) Keep the parts separate and adjust each weight separately?

    ...<snip>...

    4) Basic default clothing: should this be rigged with the main character mesh, or done separately? (We are using the parts system)

Thank you kindly, and be ready for a few more later on once i get past this point.
Sarrene'

HE-BENNETT

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Re: Query: character rigging basics
« Reply #5 on: Jun 13, 14, 02:40:18 PM »

I can't speak for max as much, but I don't believe a skinned mesh can be split apart into several meshes and maintain the skinning information in Maya.

You want to make sure that your character's body parts don't interpenetrate the clothing above it.  The best way to do this, of course, is to design your parts such that you don't ever HAVE boy geometry present under the clothing.

My approach to skinning is to keep a copy of the basic figure/body mesh before I split it into parts.  The initial skinning and weighting pass is done on the copy - where the whole body is still one mesh.  Then, when I'm happy with the weighting, I skin each of the pieces of the body mesh and use a "copy skin weights" tool.  For all the clothing and other parts, I also copy over the basic skin weighting to them and then modify as needed.
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MsSarrene

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Re: Query: character rigging basics
« Reply #6 on: Jun 13, 14, 05:36:40 PM »

Thank you Bennett! As far as parts go, that is the main goal always. The more you can replace, the less polys added up as well.

I will try that with the rig and a single mesh and see what happens. I will let you know later on in the up coming week how that works out. I plan on making an attempt by mid week again. So much to do, so little time! heh

Again, Thank you! Wish me luck!
Sarrene'

keeperofstars

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Re: Query: character rigging basics
« Reply #7 on: Jun 17, 14, 11:51:11 AM »

We found that when dealing with clothing / gear it was usually best to almost forget about the base mesh for anything other than a reference for armor / clothing.

So we make the model get the size portions and such correct. Then slice them up for the parts, then start replacing the whole mesh piece with just the model of the part, IE boots. So we delete the feet and just model the boots in place. Weight them as needed. Rinse and repeat. We found overlaying just always had poor results. In regards to having to fight with the mesh below not trying to push through. Also it lets us reuse the parts on a wide range of different models. So we got much more reuse out of them. As long as the rough portions worked out we were able to reuse. IE can't take a huge leg and slap tiny boots on it, but for the most part, works out. Also don't forget to model the item closed. What I mean is like with gloves that go up an arm or such. either make it thick with depth on the arm cover and uv the inside, or put polys to close the item around the arm. So you don't get any single sided polygons that become see through, when the player looks down the arm and sees through the backside of their glove.

For times when you need to show skin there is instructions in the parts piece of the wiki, on ways to do that, and the default character if you break it down has a few good example pieces. In general they treat the skin as a subpart that gets grouped so any skin layer data is combined and gets even skin tone changes. I forget the exact details though. But they cover it in the wiki pretty well.



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