View Full Version : [sMax]Rigging a character, need some help to begin
01-08-2003, 01:56 PM
Hello again, This time I'd like some help with setting up my character for rigging.
I want to align the characters feet to the centre of the grid (some plugin needs the characters feet to be at z=0), but the problem is that as the eyes and clothes of the character is other objects I can't use the move tool and enter 0 in all fields, as all the objects won't move the same. Any ideas?
Also another thing that might be good to know before I begin, can the clothes and eyes be different models and just use the same bones and animations, or should I attach them to the body or something?
Finally, If anyone know some good tutorials for character rigging, that would be great. Is there any recomended methods for this?
01-08-2003, 03:02 PM
Theres a tutorial for character rigging here:
Rigging 101 By Sergio Muciņo (http://www.3dtotal.com/team/Tutorials/rigging101/Rigging101.asp)
01-08-2003, 03:08 PM
hmm your first question sounds like you just need to move a character that hasn't been rigged at all, ie, place it at a certain coordinate before you start adding bones. if that's the case, you can affect pivots of the other objects and align them to the master object and move them one at a time to exactly where they need to be.
your second question is about rigging multiple object. the answer is yes, multiple objects can use the same set of bones, however each object needs its own skin/physique modifier. you'll also have to weight/tweak each object separately, this can be a real pain for areas where there's a border of two objects, say where the sleeves meet the skin of the arm, if the clothing was different from the skin, then you'll have to tweak the skin value for the arm, then go and work on the sleeves and make sure as you tweak it the arm and sleeve move together.
i would recomend that a better approach is to get your modeling and texturing done and then just attach the objects and it will automatically create a multi material and maintain your texture coords and materiel ids. you'll have to use a uniform smoothing value ofcourse for a single object if you're empolying meshsmooth or nurms subdivision, but the character will look the same and you'll be able to see the all the vertices that need to be influenced at one time.
01-08-2003, 04:47 PM
Thanks for the replies! I'd rather start with the rigging before making the texture itself, but I guess you mean the unwrapping, right? So I can start rigging/skinning etc. as soon as it's unwrapped?
01-08-2003, 06:38 PM
cool man, when you texture and rig is obviously up to you
just remember to leave yourself an our with the rig- what i mean is this:
most people post their model in such a way that its very neutral, davinci like, or relaxed psuedo davinci as the illustrious mr. raitt would prefer, either way, that form makes it a bit easier to apply uv's, ie a single cylinder unwrap might just do most of the work for you in the arms when they are stretched out.
what i mean by an out is after you rig, before you pose, give yourself a pose in zero frame that is exactly neutral as if you didn't rig at all. this kinda zero frame neutral pose can come in quite handy for a lot of reasons which i won't get into, and you can always start animating at like fram 10 or what not.
this neutral inital frame in this instance will ensure you have your original pose when you start unwrapping. ofcourse you can always turn a rig on and off and drop and reply the modifier with saved weights, but in my experience rigging is still an unstable tenuous process where a lot of times undo doesn't work out, or other factors break. better to be safe than sorry.
01-08-2003, 10:18 PM
Ok thanks for the help kuman, I really appreciate it!
I found this tutorial and plugin and it seems pretty good to me, but as I don't have any experience, I need to ask you if this seems like a good method of doing it :) Cause I don't want to start it over when I'm done and later find out that that method stinks ;) Here it is:
(then the "rigging tutorial" link or the "tutorial" button, there is just one)
02-08-2003, 01:50 PM
Oh, another question on my mind. If I want to give my character facial expressions by morphing, would it matter if I make this after I rig the character?
02-08-2003, 05:59 PM
i have not checked out that script rig help
from the tutorial they posted it looks like essentially the script is creating a scripted (and free :) ) version of the biped from character studios. from the tutorial it seems that they have already worked out an ik solution as well.
i think its a great tool but rigging really is two veined :
the first vein is the actual creation of the bones themselves and in this realm, also the setting up of ik and links and different ways to establish control of the bones in such a way to make animation easier
the second vein is the tedious part of applying this rig to the goemetry, this usually involved tweaking envelopes, deformers and the weights of the vert influences itself.
so the bottom line is that it appears this script takes care of vein one and you take care of vein two. while this is no doubt a great and useful tool, i feel that if you have no experience setting up skeletons then dont' use this script, do it yourself to learn, there's a great tutorial about setting up ik legs from my good friend mike rickard on 3dtotal, you can find it in the tutorials section.
but let me say again i don't think there's anything wrong with using biped or this tool, i use it all the times its great when you need the rig fast for work or what not, but i think its important to try to set up the skeleton yourself just to learn and know how to do it, in case one day these tools aren't available to your for some reason.
your second post mentioned using facial morphs to do expressions. mostly likely using the morph modifier. my answer yes you can sit it on top of the stack after skin. or you can sit it on the bottom and then apply skin on top. personally i've had disagreements with other artists who believe it should either always be on top or below the skin physique modifier in the stack, ie which is applied first. however i've found that either way works out ok for me. but i totally do not claim to know solidly that this is true, so if any of you reading this feel that i'm wrong and that it should be in a specific place and know the reason, please reply back.
ok that was long winded (as usual now it seems) :)
02-08-2003, 08:45 PM
Thanks again kuman :) I will make the bones manually as I agree that the experience is needed. I just remember that I haven't modelled the eyes and teeth/tounge yet so I guess I better wait with the rigging until that is finished. Will be gone on vacation for a week now, well, Thanks for the help!
14-08-2003, 07:07 PM
Hello agian, Ii finally started the real rigging, of course I got stuck right away. First, I'm reading this tutorial: http://www.3dtotal.com/team/Tutorials/rigging101/Rigging101.asp
The problem is that my characters neck isn't anything like in the example, and now i wonder, should i build the spine like in the picture below (from the tutorial) , to me it would seem to be a better idea to try make it more like a real spine if you get what I mean.
Here is a picture of my character form the side, It would be very nice if someoen could point out on it (by painting i mean) how the bones could be placed (also about how many bones that are recomended for the spine). I'm only asking a about the spine and neck bones, so don't care about the arms etc. Thanks in advice :)
Your model looks great, but can I suggest you try moving the arms further towards the chest... unless you planned the character this way. :o
It's just a suggestion but the arms look too far back and the characters back sticks out slightly, IMHO?
Anyhow... 4 bones in the spine will be fine. Follow your instincts m8, you obviously have an idea where the bones should go.
'to me it would seem to be a better idea to try make it more like a real spine if you get what I mean.'
Follow the tut but bear in mind the shape and position of your character when you create the bones... if you make a mistake, you learn! :)
15-08-2003, 12:22 PM
Ok, thanks jbw :) Hmm, hadn't noticed the thing about the arms before you pointed it out, I agree that looksa bit strange, I might try to move them as long as it doesn't mess up the uvw unwrapping. Anyway the problem isn't as clear in perspective view so I don't think I'll spend too much time on it ;)
Edit: some questions:
1. Fins. I decided to use the Joan or Arc tutorial instead as it seems easier. In this tutorial fins aren't used for the bones, though I wonder if it's improtant that the front of the bone (that is the side of the front fin) is pointing forward?
2. The tutorial (uses max 4 i think) says that when I mirror-copy the legs and arms I should check a box called "mirror bones". This option isn't avaliable in max 5, does that mean that the option is active by deafualt?
3. Erased this question. After some reading I found out that this one just didn't make sense :p
EDIT: 4. I read in the rigging 101 tutorial at 3dtotal about the end bone of a chain, you know when you create a chain of bones it creates an extra small bone at the end, in this tutorial called 'nub' and also named as a terminator. Does this bone have special properties or is it just a normal bone? In max help the terminator is described as a setting that could be applied to any bone.
Thanks in advice for answers ;)
16-08-2003, 08:29 PM
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