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View Full Version : Electric power cord rigging: need some help, please



UltraViolet
10-19-2010, 04:59 PM
Hey guys.

I made a model of electric power cord and I would like to use on multiple appliances in the same scene.

However, I NEVER used any bones at all (no rigging experience whatsoever) so I need help (most likely a lots of it :().

Power cord will not be animated or have any physics involved, just posed differently for different copies (clones) throughout the scene.

What would be the easiest way to achieve this (without going too deep into art of rigging) ? :D

nickdigital
10-19-2010, 06:38 PM
Model the cord down Z.

1. Bring it into Layout.
2. Hit the "=" key to add a bone.
3. Adjust the rest length as you see fit.
4. Repeat setps 2-3 as you see fit.
5. When you're done, select your first bone and hit the "r" key to rest and activate it. Arrow down through your chain and continue to rest the rest of your bones.

You should now be able to deform your model with bones.

UltraViolet
10-20-2010, 11:27 AM
Thanks Nick, I appreciate it.

That is simple but I have a little problem, my mesh bends weird, bending is not smooth enough ...

Deformation happens in a small area and rest of the cable (between deformation areas) is straight. What I'm trying to say here is that influence falloff I set is to inverse distance and it still does not affects geometry enough :help:

One more thing ...

How I switch to local coordinate system so my gizmos stay where they were ?

nickdigital
10-20-2010, 11:34 AM
Is your object sub'd? Is deformation order set to "Last"?

Under your Modify tab there should be a drop down for Coord System. You can pick between the different options in there.

Nigel
10-20-2010, 11:37 AM
That is simple but I have a little problem, my mesh bends weird, bending is not smooth enough ...


*edit* Late to the party :) What Nick said.

UltraViolet
10-20-2010, 12:08 PM
Thanks guys :D

Ok, I got some better results with subdivided mesh, how I stop part I circled on image below to be deformed ?

How is my bone placement in regard to what I want to achieve here ?

BTW, here is the model ...

nickdigital
10-20-2010, 12:13 PM
Add another bone to grab that outlet end. Adding another bone should lock it down, if not you could also add a weight map but I doubt you'll need to.

I noticed two things with your extension cord:

1. It's not modeled down Z. Not a huge deal but it doesn't let the bones line up automatically unless you rotate the first bone 90 degrees.
2. Your model has some odd pivot info, I wasn't sure if that was by design. I try to avoid messing with pivots in Modeler. I leave all that to Layout or using nulls to place items.

Here's a quick and dirty rig. I modified your object to be down Z and with a zero pivot. There are more bones in the cord part than what you have but it gives greater control.

If you wanted you could look into some of the spline control deformation plug-ins too.

Nangleator
10-20-2010, 12:18 PM
You know, for something like this, with no animation and just a few copies (or poses,) I'd probably remodel just the cord, for each one. A simple rail clone and subpatching and you'd never need even two bones.

UltraViolet
10-20-2010, 01:17 PM
Thanks Nick, I really appreciate this man :D

I will examine your version tonight and learn from it but now I have to go work ... is there a free spline def plug-in for this kind of thing ?

BTW, problem is (well, not really a problem, lol) that I do not model in LW modeler, I do it in Silo and import all my models into LW modeler to convert it to LWO and possibly add morphs, that is why pivot and some other stuff could be messed up :hey:

@ Nangleator

Well, that's all fine and dandy, but I'm trying to build a 'lil library of my own prefab objects to use in my interior renders, so I want to use this cord (and few others I want to model) in different projects :D

nickdigital
10-20-2010, 02:19 PM
Try this plug-in:
http://erikalstad.com/Thank_You_Shift/Shift_SplineTransform.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aozfc57R4WA

Dodgy
10-21-2010, 01:39 AM
I definitely recommend the Shift_Spline_Transform plugin.

UltraViolet
10-21-2010, 11:45 AM
Nice plug-in, at least from what I see in the video, problem is I do not see it in my Deform tab, looks like its only 32 bit plug-in, I run 64 bit version of LW :(

nickdigital
10-21-2010, 12:06 PM
You can run 32bit along with 64bit. It's good to run both in case you run into a situation like you are now.

UltraViolet
10-21-2010, 12:39 PM
I know ... Should of think about that earlier :(

Anyways, Nick, I tried regular SplineControl in the deform tab and result was not too shabby so I ended up staying with this cuz I have to continue with my project.

Thank you so much for helping me with this, I really appreciate it.

I think I'm gonna seriously try to learn rigging when I get my free DVD which I was suppose to get after purchasing CORE :D

nickdigital
10-21-2010, 01:44 PM
Hey, you got a solution to your problem. It's all good.
:thumbsup:

UltraViolet
10-21-2010, 02:42 PM
Yep, here it is in action, lol :D

JeffrySG
10-21-2010, 04:47 PM
Nice scene!

[email protected] frack earth

UltraViolet
10-21-2010, 09:34 PM
Lol, thanks Jeffry ...

Funny thing is that I was re-watching entire Galactica series recently, and that was one of the graffiti on the wall of the ship when they found out that Earth sucked :D

JeffrySG
10-21-2010, 09:43 PM
Lol, thanks Jeffry ...

Funny thing is that I was re-watching entire Galactica series recently, and that was one of the graffiti on the wall of the ship when they found out that Earth sucked :D

That's funny... I'll have to look for that. I just started to re-watch it in HD on Netflix streaming. Only up to season 2 though.

UltraViolet
10-21-2010, 09:55 PM
Long ways to go for ya, that was in season 4 ;)