View Full Version : Medusa head with snakes, rigging technique...!!

10-01-2011, 12:32 PM
I am doing a research for a project we are bidding for at the moment.
The project involve some nice work with many challenges as I always love to put my self :-p
We have the sweetie medusa head shots..
1st thing went in front of my eyes is devi johns as good example of the quality of animation that I will try to achieve, also the medusa head I am referring to is the one on Percy Jackson movie.
Any heads' up or previous any one did before for this kind of rigging & technique.
I saw this script for max but it is for tinkles..
Very good & amazing flexibility..

10-01-2011, 01:21 PM
U got lil options in LW really.

U can either FK animate them (slow), use plg curve bone (no mac version, 64 version wonky, doesnt work transparently with LWs other rigging tools), Shift Spline transform (similar issues to plg)... or use IKboost (hahahahahahahahaha!).

So basically, its one of those 4, or nothing.

10-01-2011, 03:25 PM
I think the " Hahahahahahahaha " is my target :-)

Or start learning Maya or XSI better...

10-02-2011, 08:28 PM
Hey Craig, I can understand your reasons for not liking Ikboost and there are several reasons I would agree with. That being said I thing that the idea of working on a Medusa head with snakes that never have to leave her body would be a very good use for Ikboost. I just think that because of the circumstance of what he is trying to accomplish this would be the easiest way to get the job done.

So H_Molla if you have a basic version of your medusa head I would be happy to give it a try and show you.

10-03-2011, 07:58 AM
In fairness, you're probably quite right, and IKB is probably the best option for something like this.

Ofc, its really just another way to manipulate what is still an FK only chain, so keeping a close eye on tweens for intersections betwen individuals will be needed, but it should, overall, provide a method that works out a lil bit quicker to manage than just straight FK animating.

10-03-2011, 09:11 AM
i'd definitely use IKB for this...

10-03-2011, 08:53 PM
As much as I would love a good spline bone deformer in LW, yes, IKB it, it's ideal for any bone chain that doesn't have to stick to anything. Works great for fingers too.

Plus with IKB you can quickly exit out of IKB and still additively rotate your bones using selection sets or right clicking on a bone to select all children, then rotate again. You can switch back and forth between the two modes and use IKB to move the entire chain as many time as you like.

10-04-2011, 05:50 AM
Not wanting to derail the thread, but I was wondering about how it would be possible to have these medusa snakes kind of rolling off each other, or interacting. A bit like tentacles smooshing etc. Examples are: Pirates of the Caribbean, the Bill Nighy guy, or Monsters by Gareth Edwards.

I know IK Boost can do bone dynamics, but I've never had much luck with them, and wondered if it could achieve this.

Also, a cloth sim, on simplified geometry may possibly work.

Anyway, sorry for asking in your thread Hesham, just thought it could 'sell' your medusa snake work even better. :)

10-04-2011, 05:59 AM
I would use maya for this.

10-04-2011, 06:17 AM
I would use maya for this.

Helpful... thanks!

So by using Maya, it will make this easier? Better? Faster? Any constructive details on how to do it in Maya?

I'm sure this is possible in LightWave... using a clever rig of nulls on a cage of single-point poly chains as the tentacle/snake. Apparently Gareth Edwards, for Monsters, used rope objects in 3dsmax, which is fine, but max 2012 has just removed this ability :)

10-04-2011, 08:59 AM
To an extent, teh Id use maya/whatever argument is a good one, but not helpful if u dont have either... However, I guess if you have at least a rough idea of HOW to do it elsewhere, and what the different component parts/tools/data of the program you pull together to make it happen are, then trying to replicate that process as best you can with the analogues in LW aint a bad place to start thinking more deeply about the problems.

The reason something like that though is so much better suited is because not only can you have the control of each snake (though various types of spliney IK), but you can intermix that with a dynamics solution so as your manual work is easier to handle in terms of intersections... and not forgetting that you can also use procedural motion to drive each snake, saving you the laborious keyframing... I saw some details a while back on the medusa rig done for the crappy clash of the titans remake, and it was pretty freaking remarkable, but easy to use.

Now... in LW... we do got spliney IK... there's plg, IKB, and you can even use LWs native IK with multigoal to get some effects (a lil twitchy, but tweakable... see the vid in my RHR set... or the free demo of). SO maya's spline IK... yeah its better, but we're not completely bereft in LW.

Now collision dynamics... there again... theres IKB. If you did as lard suggested, using bone dynamics you could get the snakes to just slosh about, without intersecting... You could also as he suggests, use proxy cloth strips. Now thats hard to transfer to a nice snake model, but check out cagemans vids on linking cloth to bones via DPs node motion... clever stuff, so thats an option too.

If, in either of these situations, you made gravity positive, the snakes would fall up, and with the introduction of a lil turbulance/wind, could be made to swish and sway around one another... which would begin to give you something with an appearance at least passably similar to procedural animation of each snake... not forgetting that they'd still collide of one another properly too.

Now if you got this nice dynamic on bones in either way... then with that animation looking nice, and BAKED... you could have a second copy of all the bones, with your FK/IK/IKB hand keyed motion, and use the constraint system to blend them onto the dynamically animated chains... even on a per snake basis easily enough (there's not gonna be more than a couple dozen at most afterall), then you could blend back and forth to get manual keying/direction where you want it, and more automated action in the "background actors", even just leaving a small percentage of the dynamic blended in to give some quick variation to your hand keyed motions.

All in all, it might be a bit of an ugly hack compared to other softs abilities, but in the hands of a good animator, with a good eye... it could provide something that looks almost as good in the eating.

10-04-2011, 09:26 AM
That was a another thing I forgot to mention, using procedurals to displace the geometry and make really wiggly snakes. Of course I never had good luck with collision detection in Lightwave but I don't think I dove into it deep enough.

I guess the collision detection of Clothfx would work putting some strips of geometry around each snake and then meta linked to each snake.

10-04-2011, 10:08 AM
I've been wanting to give this a go... so might have an attempt this week. I saw Dodgy's examples of sausage-like cloth objects interacting, and it can be done... and not be twitchy.

As I said previously, Gareth Edwards used reactor rope in 3dsmax, and that isn't an ideal solution... but it looked awesome. And I know for Pirates of the Caribbean, the tentacles had many passes of dynamics etc going on, to make the nice sticky effect etc.

Well, anyway... I'll give it a go using a couple of methods, and try and post my findings. I've had success, on a smaller scale, with a slug animation using procedural displacements and it looked lovely :D

10-04-2011, 10:39 AM
I saw this script for max but it is for tinkles..
Very good & amazing flexibility..

one thing to note though is that those tentacles stretch quite a lot...

10-04-2011, 10:51 AM
p.s. if using IKB, try to use as few bones as possible, (to avoid "hard" angles)

another approach, using PLG, (PConly) http://forums.newtek.com/showpost.php?p=955974&postcount=9


10-04-2011, 11:03 AM
http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/007.gif http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzUhRrqA97w

10-04-2011, 11:12 AM
http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/007.gif http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzUhRrqA97w

Jeezes, that's sweet.

10-04-2011, 11:50 AM
http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/007.gif http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzUhRrqA97w


I wanted him to rotate the shoulder to see the CVs rotating along =P

10-04-2011, 12:08 PM
haha, love that emoticon... :]

saved! :]

10-04-2011, 03:34 PM
http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/007.gif http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzUhRrqA97w


10-04-2011, 03:40 PM
yep, but not sure how good it would work for tentacles...

10-04-2011, 03:53 PM
one thing to note though is that those tentacles stretch quite a lot...

That plugin is absolutely awesome!!! Something that LW could really do with!!

Impressive stuff!!

10-04-2011, 04:05 PM
well true, there are ways to fix the stretching, (make the motion drive another motion)
so i'd absolutely welcome it... :]

Mr Rid
10-04-2011, 04:12 PM
How to have dynamics, procedural wriggling, and keyframing, like Davy Jones?

Have yet to find a practical use for bone dynamics, but heres an old tentacle test- 98512 A vortex wind provides wriggling, and a negative explosion wind attracts. Like too many LW features, BDs start out as a good idea but then are never developed. The biggest drawback is bones wont collide with bones, and I wish there were bounce and gravity values per object. BDs also ignore collision properties like stick, friction or roughness.