PDA

View Full Version : Open Wide!



Oldcode
10-10-2014, 09:57 AM
Hi everybody,

I've got an unusual problem here. I'm trying to stretch the model of snake in Modeler to make a morph target so it can swallow an egg many times the size of its own head.

I've tried just about everything I can think of to make the snake's mouth big enough using Taper, Effector, Spline Guide, Magnet with Symmetry, but nothing seems to work. The problem is trying to stretch the snake's mouth evenly so it is not distorted too much.

Any suggestions on which tool or technique might be best for this?

Thanks in advance,

124898
124899

ernpchan
10-10-2014, 10:02 AM
Have you tried using an effector in Layout?

Surrealist.
10-10-2014, 10:42 AM
Maybe have a look at snake anatomy to get some ideas:

Google Snake Jaw Bones or something.

And then make sure you have the geometry to do it. I think mostly the bottom jaw drops and opens up the hole. Could be you don't have enough poly flow in the right places.

If you do have good polyflow, I would do it totally by hand with move and rotate tools and use something like drag net for soft selection.

prometheus
10-10-2014, 01:57 PM
is that even possible within a real situation for a real snake with that size in relation to that egg size?

Dan_Ritchie
10-10-2014, 02:59 PM
It's sort of a scaling gag, so maybe normal displace in layout using falloff, but that's off the top of my head. It does sound like a challenge.

If you're doing cartoon animation, you have some options. Bugs bunny used to pull a mallet from behind his back to hit Daffy with. Where did it come from? Nobody cares, he just did. You can hide all kinds of cartoon problems by doing them quicker than the eye can see, or behind a puff of illogic. In the old days, you could hide them in the VHS. Do something off camera. Put it behind a rock or a tree. As long as the viewer knows what he thinks he sees, he doesn't have to see it.

Oldcode
10-10-2014, 07:59 PM
Thanks for the quick response guys.

Ernpchan, yes I have tried Effector. I works okay to a certain point, but the size differential is just too much and it distorts the head a lot.

Surrealist, you're right about the anatomy and I've been trying different approaches to stretching out the head and/or jaw. I think the geometry has enough polygons and I've seen less detailed models stretched out more. I'll just have to keep trying I guess.

Prometheus, yes actually. I saw a documentary once where a small snake swallowed an egg that was almost a large as the pictures I posted above. The narrator said it was the equivalent of a human swallowing a watermelon!

Dan, I'm not really doing a cartoon, but it's not going to be very realistic either. I do, however, need to show the snake opening its mouth and taking the egg in.

Thanks again,

jboudreau
10-10-2014, 08:31 PM
Hi everybody,

I've got an unusual problem here. I'm trying to stretch the model of snake in Modeler to make a morph target so it can swallow an egg many times the size of its own head.

I've tried just about everything I can think of to make the snake's mouth big enough using Taper, Effector, Spline Guide, Magnet with Symmetry, but nothing seems to work. The problem is trying to stretch the snake's mouth evenly so it is not distorted too much.

Any suggestions on which tool or technique might be best for this?

Thanks in advance,

124898
124899

Hi

Here is a video of a snake swallowing an egg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8glEwF63p6I

From what I can tell from the video it's the inside cheek that stretches around the egg which I don't really see in the model you have. The Head and the lower jaw hardly stretch at all. Maybe if you try adding the cheek area and morphing that you might get what you are looking for

Hope this helps

Jason

prometheus
10-10-2014, 09:21 PM
- - - Updated - - -

Yeah..I knew they can stretch a lot, swallow crocodiles or cows etc, if they are anacondas...or even getting a piece of jon voight:)
but I still get amazed when seeing this, you think they donīt even have skeleton that can work that way, but appearantly they do, they seem to have loos hinges so the jaw can be seperated from the skull ...but I am curious how much that hinge can stretch
since that would be the thing limiting it all.

http://crescentok.com/staff/jaskew/isr/botzo/snakeswalo.jpg

bullet softbody might work, or perhaps put a lot of joint bones around the skull.
not sure if ik booster and bone dynamics could help here too?

prometheus
10-11-2014, 06:27 PM
I think you will need to set subpatch high at least for it to stretch good at that size, set subpatch order to last, I think you could use a dynamic collision object for the egg, and make the snake a cloth fx object, and use the rubber setting as a starter
you would need to crank up hold structure to 100% and since someone already mentioned it, the head skull and and the lower part is not so flexible ad the mid section that combines the skull and the jaw, so maybe painting weightmaps for either the flexible
middle part or the skull and the jaw part to make that destinction.

the cloth fx is only there to wrap around and get the body to react on the egg, you would of course need bones to adjust the open wide when the egg is swallowed.

Michael

jasonwestmas
10-11-2014, 07:51 PM
amazing, that snake's mouth opened up like a parachute!

Ryan Roye
10-12-2014, 09:07 AM
With a low-segment lattice deformer you could rig a lattice to make the snake deform evenly with the egg they are eating. There is a free lattice deformer out there and while I find it less convenient to use, it essentially does the same thing without the pricetag.

Alternatively, my RR_Tools_Pro (http://www.liberty3d.com/citizens/ryan-roye/ryan-royes-commercial-plugins/) set's translate average is perfect for usage with the free lattice tool (http://www.neko.ne.jp/~asagi/P2P/Plugins/lay/AS_Lattice_0102.zip) as it lets you spread out or contract points (which are bones) and adjust them in blocks. I do consider the free lattice much less user friendly, especially as there are no english docs nor tutorials on how to use it compared to the 3rdpowers version and setup isn't as quick so it all depends on what your preference is.

One of the few advantages the free lattice has over the 3rdpowers version is that you can constrain the points to items in your scene, and keyframes are placed into the native LW timeline rather than a separate one.

Oldcode
10-12-2014, 09:46 AM
Thanks for the info Michael. I'm already thinking of something along those lines. I've used cloth FX to do similar effects with a snake model.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM-53-HeUMA&list=UUSuvYu0iwMSoOF9pE6OeGHA

Thanks for the info on your plugins Chazriker. Not sure if I can make your plugins do what I want, but they look really cool anyway, especially the Translate Average tool. Which one of your tools do you think is best for this problem?

Thanks again! :D

jeric_synergy
10-12-2014, 10:48 AM
FWIW, speed is your friend in a gag (ha!) like this. The end of The Colbert Report has a very cartoony frog swallowing a heron (?) every night.

To accommodate the stretch the head will require a TON of polys. Perhaps some tweeking of the smoothing angle will help. Camera angle might help too. If you have a simple cell-animation program (even PShop can do frame-by-frame animation, although you'll hate it, it's terrible) you might mock up a quick version to clarify what needs to happen.

A camera angle from behind the egg, the snake coming at the camera, might be effective.

FWIW I believe the phrase is "dislocate its jaw" -- some snakes can dislocate that hinge to accommodate the girth of the prey. (yuck)

Please post screen grabs of your difficulties, as it would both be very interesting and get better suggestions.

prometheus
10-17-2014, 07:08 PM
Only the stretching part will need a ton of divisions, the skull and the jaw do not.

You might also try bullet..I myself havenīt wrestled with it to much ..jennifer showcases a head moving inside a body ala the movie constantine when the son of "s" is about to almost come through.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3q3p-5ld76o

RebelHill
10-18-2014, 05:28 AM
Don't bother with morph, too much of a pain to control... Just use a bone in the jaw so as you can pull it open (bit of careful weighting so you get the right stretch/falloff through the "cheek"), and then use an effector to distend the shape as the egg goes in.

prometheus
10-23-2014, 04:44 PM
there is new tutorials out..commercial at liberty3d, showcasing the use of the plugin(commercial) 3rdpowers tools cage and lattice, and it is actually showcasing a snake eating the egg.
At around 1.42 in the clip the snake opens wide....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKaO9YvZ17M

Oldcode
10-26-2014, 09:21 PM
Thanks for the info guys. I'm taking a serious look at Lattice. Cage is a bit too expensive for me, so I'm hoping they used Lattice to do the snake in the demo. There's another project that it could be a big help with.

jeric_synergy
10-27-2014, 09:38 AM
there is new tutorials out..commercial at liberty3d, showcasing the use of the plugin(commercial) 3rdpowers tools cage and lattice, and it is actually showcasing a snake eating the egg.
At around 1.42 in the clip the snake opens wide....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKaO9YvZ17M
Holy sh!t!!! 3rdPowers owes Ryan some money, I reckon....


Thanks for the info guys. I'm taking a serious look at Lattice. Cage is a bit too expensive for me, so I'm hoping they used Lattice to do the snake in the demo. There's another project that it could be a big help with.
Oldcode, a quick look at the screen in HD shows that Lattice is being used.

prometheus
10-27-2014, 09:55 AM
Holy sh!t!!! 3rdPowers owes Ryan some money, I reckon....


Oldcode, a quick look at the screen in HD shows that Lattice is being used.


Itīs a twosome or threesome, ryan bougth the plugin, and makes a tutorial going in detail, ryan gets the money from someone else who purchases the tutorials.
ryan has a very distinct way when talking without hesitating it seems, sort of similar to william vaughan, so based on how ryan seems to instruct..I am not worried over the quality of the tutorials,
it is only a question if I really need it or not..and can afford it when there are so many other stuff I could spend the money on, such as actually purchasing the plugin first :)

Michael

Ryan Roye
10-27-2014, 10:04 AM
Holy sh!t!!! 3rdPowers owes Ryan some money, I reckon....

Its a symbiotic relationship... my content could not exist had they not made the plugins; I simply decided that their tools were worth covering given the benefits they provide to the user. Plus... I'm a Lightwave animator, so it's a total shoe-in considering that's my area of focus in Lightwave in the first place.


Thanks for the info guys. I'm taking a serious look at Lattice. Cage is a bit too expensive for me, so I'm hoping they used Lattice to do the snake in the demo. There's another project that it could be a big help with.

Lattice is used, but that specific scenario is only used in my content as a quick visual to demonstrate that it can be used for that purpose. The techniques shown in the other content of course can be applied towards that scenario just as easily. For detail work that demands full control over the snake (ensuring that the snake's head/body deforms with precision), you'd need cagedeformer for that scenario.

I'm going to be publishing some freely available cage/lattice content over the coming weeks so everyone can at least see these tools being applied to situations without having to buy into anything beforehand.

jeric_synergy
10-27-2014, 10:44 AM
One might save money by purchasing the tutorials FIRST (!) , before the plugins, to get a solid feel for what is possible in the hands of a dedicated animator.

Some of the things Ryan comes up with have been laying in front of me for years, I just never saw the potential.

Anyway: any encouragement/business we can send to 3rdPowers can only be good for LW animators.

Oldcode
10-27-2014, 06:25 PM
Thanks Ryan,

I just bought Lattice and am looking through it. Don't know if I'll splurge and get your tutorial. It pretty much doubles the price of the plugin and money is tight. I'm just a hobbyist and can't buy every cool tool that comes out. The 3rdPosers guy is apparently Japanese and its pretty obvious that English is not his first language, so the intro tutorial that he wrote is a little murky. We'll see.

Ryan Roye
10-27-2014, 06:45 PM
Don't know if I'll splurge and get your tutorial.

No worries, and the content is really aimed towards folks who have both the cage and lattice deformers, and the cage content is the most valuable segment that the training offers anyhow. Cages, lattices, and Lightwave displacements can all be used on top of and with eachother.

Some tips for you regarding the lattice deformer:

- Set your object subdivision level to "Last" when using the lattice; the results are almost always better because it's using the base cage of the object rather than the subdivided mesh. It also optimizes viewport performance.

- Using more segments does not equate to more overhead in your scene; use as many (up to 16) as you like. Less segments, however, is easier to control and manipulate using the lasso/move/scale tools. If you need more than 16 segments, you need multiple lattices.

- If you enable studio live, then expand the middle of a lattice, pushing the lattice null around using Lightwave's regular move/rotate functions will cause it to deform the object relative to the lattice's position. Studio Live mode is only necessary for interactive feedback if you are moving the lattice null. Studio live is not needed when pushing the object around affected by the lattice. Alternatively, you can assign IKBooster to the lattice and move it around that way as it forces updates to the scene to operate.

- The group name is important if you have more than 1 object in the scene using lattices. Each object should have a unique group name if you want to ensure the lattices aren't trying to influence objects they may not be affecting (which slows down layout unnecessarily).

- In many rigging scenarios, the only lattice keyframe you create is at frame 0... the shape of the lattice. You can use this shape and move it around your object. So long as the entry and exit parts of the lattice are "rested" (not moved), your object will conform smoothly into and out of the deformation.

- You can still select lattices even if they are set to unseen. This is necessary when you're using a lot of segments and this makes it hard to see your object.

- The rotate and stretch tools operate relative to where you click on the screen.

- Know the difference between movement via displacement, and movement via Lightwave's move/rotate functions. Basically, when you use the lattice tools to move/rotate your object, your are displacing it, not moving it, which "moves" it away from its pivot point. This can sometimes be beneficial... either for achieving effects, or moving your object in certain ways that layer over the motions in the normal Lightwave timeline. You can actually animate the pivot rotation of an object knowing this, by the way.

jeric_synergy
10-27-2014, 07:52 PM
A reasonable outlay that enables me to use a tool to its full potential sounds like a good investment. Especially since A) I've got a history of under-comprehending a tool's utility and B) the original dox may be from B1) a non-native speaker and B2) a programmer.

Frankly, being a programmer is, on the evidence, a bigger handicap than not speaking a language natively.

People may have noticed I have issues with most documentation.

Oldcode
11-05-2014, 12:02 PM
Hey Ryan,

I bought your tutorial using your Halloween coupon and it was definitely worth it. I did have a few difficulties figuring out the quirks of the Lattice plugin, but those are more of a reflection of the how they laid out the GUI than your tutorial. The video was great in showing how to setup the basics and then the advanced stuff is really interesting, giving me a few ideas for future projects. I just finished one project that I wish I had had this plugin 6 months ago, but didn't know about it then.

I've been able to stretch snake's head and body around the egg quite easily now although I have to continue tweaking and practicing to get the results I want, this plug in is like a quantum leap forward! :D

Thanks again. I'll try to post a shot of the snake swallowing the egg so everybody can see how well it works.

Cheers!

Ryan Roye
11-05-2014, 01:11 PM
I've been able to stretch snake's head and body around the egg quite easily now although I have to continue tweaking and practicing to get the results I want, this plug in is like a quantum leap forward!

It is indeed! CageDeformer would require less keyframing than the lattice by letting you be very selective on how the geometry gets displaced, but if it's out of your budget the cage videos should at least allow you to have the option to bill a client for the price of the plugin should you need its capabilities. For me, the ability to animate aquatic creatures along a spline without sacrificing control has paid for the plugin several times over. This same idea could apply to a spline-controlled snake rig, by the way.

Oldcode
11-05-2014, 01:57 PM
Hey Ryan,

I'd love to get the second plugin, especially now that I have your tutorial on both, but 200 dollars is very steep for a hobbyist like me. The only plugin I've paid that much for is Star Pro. Definitely worth it, but it hurt! I do a lot of work with Real Flow in Lightwave and the entire program for Real Flow LE only cost 99 dollars.

Maybe later if there is a need and I've saved a few pennies. My next big purchase may be your Pro package. :)

Thanks again.