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pooby
04-21-2004, 08:33 AM
I'd be very interested to know if the new IK system has FK and IK blending or any new useful features..

Librarian
04-21-2004, 12:32 PM
That`s what I want to know, too.
Just replied to push your thread up in the list :D

Dr. Dardis
04-21-2004, 07:53 PM
Likewise :)

lets bump this one again

<bump>



:D

Chris

hairy_llama
04-21-2004, 08:53 PM
Yeah, and how much faster is it now? It used to bog down my system with a complex setup...

Zach
04-21-2004, 09:42 PM
That's the first thing i'm checking out for sure!

pooby
04-22-2004, 02:13 AM
Haven't any animators recieved it yet?

jeanphi
04-22-2004, 05:42 AM
not yet...
I hope next week in Europe.

I want to see if they removed rotations bugs with world/local coord-system, if there is still ik shaking on crytical extend, if there is still the problem with ik and gimballock (adding buffer bones/items for ik) , issue with "parenter" (and other contraints) on items which have record pivot... and if it's faster.

tudor
04-22-2004, 06:41 AM
The Gimbal lock is because of the Euler rotation system that most 3d apps use.. You get this in Maya aswell..
If we had quaternion interpolation as in max this would not be a problem.. But then we wouldn't be able to adjust curves in the graph editor.. Ah well.. :/

What I really want though is screen coordinates.. Not just the old rmb for Y, lmb+ x movement for X etc..
I want real screen coordinates. So much easier when rotating objects.

I also want Pole vectors.. If you have ever used Maya you know what it is..

DaveW
04-22-2004, 09:25 AM
You can edit curves for quaternions too. Motionbuilder uses quaternions to solve rotations but converts to euler for the graph editor. I think Messiah 4 also does this.

In one of the screenshots of the IKBooster tool there was a dropdown list and one of the items was quaternion. I don't know if it made it into the final release but it got me pretty excited.

claymation
04-22-2004, 09:54 AM
Animation Master also uses euler in the channel area or at least they are adjusted like Euler in the channel area.

jeanphi
04-22-2004, 11:44 AM
TUDOR, as far as I remember, I didn't have any gimballock problems with IK handles in MAYA.
I only had rotations solving issues in FK. When you are using world and local rotations sometimes you need to apply the "Euler filter" to have the "right" interpolation).

In LW, the gimballock makes your IK "block", you need to add "buffer bones/nulls" to separate axis drived by IK.
I don't want to have an additional bone at the top of all my IK chains, it's "ugly" :D and IK solving longer :( ...
For FK in LW, I use "pitch correction" plug and it works great.

For the adding of a "screen coordinates system" I'm with you TUDOR and I asked for it a long long time ago. We need this additional "coordinate system"!

SplineGod
04-22-2004, 07:27 PM
Ive never had major problems with gimbal lock.
I usually use two bones for universal joints like shoulders and hips simply because I can use 2D IK which is more predictable and stable. Thats the advantage of per channel IK.
Turn off unused channels speeds thing up too.
One of the new bone tools is a record pivot rotation that works properly in case you do start to see gimbal lock.

The new bone tools are very good.
IKBooster is a great addition but wont be replacing the normal IK system. You can turn IK/FK on and off and you can apparently switch to quaternians. Setting it up on a character is VERY different then the way its down now. In the current IK system you assume IK off for every channel and turn it on for the ones you want. In IKB you apply it and IK is on for EVERY channel. You
then have to go and turn off IK where you dont want it. Its more tedious to do this IMO. Theres apparently no way in IKB to pin rotations. You can pin nodes down but no way to keep rotations locked in place as well. What I found that works is to add a null and use match goal the normal way we do it now. I apply IKB to those nulls and they appear as typical IKB nodes. IKB seems to see the match goal fine. The dynamics and other goodies in IKB are fine. Right now I dont think I would use IKB for characters.
If I were to rig Doc Oc, I would go with standard IK on the body and IKB for the tentacles. For stuff like that its awesome. :)

jin choung
04-22-2004, 09:02 PM
speaking of maya ik,

in 8, is there a TWIST function for the IKs? in maya, twist is essential for actually PLACING the knee and elbow unless you're using a constraint.

also, for ikb, what exactly is the issue or the funkiness? if you have a knee and the handle is at the ankle and the ik terminates at the root of the thigh, what is going wrong?

thanks

jin

Dr. Dardis
04-22-2004, 11:29 PM
Originally posted by tudor
...I also want Pole vectors.. If you have ever used Maya you know what it is..

Amen, Absolutely!!!

I second and third that!

All in favour say "Aye!":D

jin choung
04-22-2004, 11:47 PM
actually,

how does anyone find iks usable WITHOUT a pole vector (constraint) and or TWIST?!

holy moly, and are we saying that lw 8 still doesn't have it?

argh....

jin

SplineGod
04-23-2004, 12:01 AM
My understanding of the purpose of a pole vector is to elimnate problems from gimbal lock or to prevent things like knees flipping when raised beyond a certain point.
Lightwave isnt maya but I find the per channel IK in LW very stable and easy to set up. I never have problems with gimbal lock or joints flipping.
As far as placing knees or elbows thats not a problem either.
Maybe you could explain what function those tools serve for you that make life easier. :)

jin choung
04-23-2004, 12:37 AM
hey larry,

actually, one of the things that i find distressing is the notion that you keep mentioning about turning iks off!!!

in maya, you NEVER do that! you never NEED to! and you'd never WANT TO!

wow lar, you really should check out even like a simple two joint ik setup in maya if you haven't! if you've never tried it, it will be a revelation.

and it is my earnest hope that the newtek people are hip to the functioning of maya.

as for placing the knees, if you have a pole vector constraint, you can actually have a CONTROLLER that always determines where the knee or elbow is pointing.

for me though, the TWIST function which seems to be a DIRECT ACCESS to the pole vector is extremely convenient because you can place the IK GOAL as well as orient the position of the knee or elbow with a SINGLE CONTROLLER: the ik goal.

i never deselect the ikgoal in maya when i position an arm or leg.

jin

p.s. looking forward to the meet this sunday! you gonna go over the new 8 CA stuff?

SplineGod
04-23-2004, 01:12 AM
The thing is that each app does things its own way.
I have some requirments that are pretty universal that good rigs need to be able to do. In a nutshell its revolves around poseability. If I plant a foot and orient it I dont want it to change orientation if I move the knee, hips or any other part of the rig.
I do the same for knees: I dont want the rotations in the foot or hips to change their orienatation either. After all if I pose something and then posting something else breaks the other poses then thats a bad rig. I dont position knees or elbows using IK goals either and when I orient them they keep their orientations.
I also dont want joints to flip out or pop. I also want the rig to be stable in between poses. Again this is a quick explanation of what, in my experience, is a major part of what makes a good rig no matter what app someone is using. The differences are that the technical aspects of HOW that is done in each app will vary but the end results will be similar.
Ive done a lot of character rigging and Ive done a lot of research into other apps. What I wanted to know was WHY rigs were setup certain ways and over time Ive come to understand what the requirements are for a good rig.
I dont have any problems setting up a rig in Lightwave that meets those requirments. I think its very straightforward and easy to do. My rigs never have popping joints, are stable and very poseable and I dont have a ton of funky controls or sliders hanging off. :)
Rob Powers and I will be demoing a few things. Im going to TRY and cover as much as I can and play it by ear and see what ppl want to see. That doesnt necessarily equate into being able to show everything off. ;)

jin choung
04-23-2004, 01:27 AM
yah,

of course, you don't want all these crazy cross influences... and SIMPLICITY is key.

maya gives ya both. maya ik on leg goes from thighroot to ankle, there's a foot ik below that. you can move and orient each without any contamination - and with TWO controls (on for foot, one for leg) which you never have to turn on and off. and man, don't get me started on how quick the redraw is.

i guarantee you, if you try maya, you will discover that you have to [jump through a lot less hoops] to accomplish a pose.

and yah, i understand what you're saying about every app doing its own thing its own way. but there is an objective standard of simplicity... how many hoops you have to jump through to do any determined thing.

and in terms of character posing and animation, seriously, maya is right up there.

and again, my hope is that the lw developers are really really hip to how good maya (and other competition) is... otherwise they may never know how far behind lw is.

some of it is subjective... but some of it's not.

jin

SplineGod
04-23-2004, 02:12 AM
Again its funny. I think setting up a good stable rig in LW is dead simple. Then again Ive done it a lot of times and anything is simple if you know how to do it. Ive seen quite few posts on highend3d and other places where people think rigging in Maya was difficult too. I find LW very efficient when it comes to characters because of the ease of swapping characters in and out on the same rig while theyre being tuned and textured. I also find endormorphs and a variety of other things very easy to deal with. The new bone tools and rig files really take a big bite out of what was problem one fo the biggest hurdles that was in LW.
Not to start any LW vs this or that war. Its interesting that some of the things Maya users tend to find as strengths, others find as weaknesses. This goes for LW and any other apps as well. This was originally posted in the spinquads forum but thought some would find it interesting. This is from 3DWorld magazine and Im surprised that they printed it. I agree about much of it being subjective and personal preference.

Dr. Dardis
04-23-2004, 02:22 AM
Originally posted by SplineGod
My understanding of the purpose of a pole vector is to elimnate problems from gimbal lock or to prevent things like knees flipping when raised beyond a certain point.

Hi Larry,

Thats Part of it, however it is more importantly a way to control the swivel angle (theres a MAX term for ya :) )of a 2d IK Chain, and a much nicer way to animate elbows and knee's IMHO . Maya, max and soft all have it and it makes things so simple, yet for us it is missing. I have sent many requests for a long time asking for this feature, since 6.5 anyway.

We can currently mimic this by have a second Goal for the chain, reaching from the elbow, but this can be innacurate and is a messy solution.

Anyhow, they are useful rigging tool that I would like to use in LW.

Chris.

tudor
04-23-2004, 02:25 AM
Jin: I think that you are being a bit hard on LW now.. LW is not that far behind imo.
I would like a few additions to LW that Maya already have. But I would also like Maya to have some stuff that LW has.
I work just as good in LW as in Maya.
I slightly prefer posing and animating in Maya, and slightly prefer rigging in LW. With the addition of Ortho tools in LW8 I think I will very much be in favour of rigging in LW compared to Maya. Not just setting up the rigs, but the skinning part in LW is superior to Maya.

SplineGod
04-23-2004, 02:30 AM
Jin,
You get NO donuts this sunday! ;)

jin choung
04-23-2004, 02:37 AM
ummmm....

that was about the renderer....

anyhoo, that's cool that you like lw's character tools. i can't help thinking that you'd really like maya's rigging if ya gave it a shake but to each his own.

for me, the only thing that i think lw does better than anybody else right now is polygonal modeling and their uv mapping is right up there too for sheer speed and accessibility.

but i have kinda soured on the entire layout side of it....

yah, i don't want to start a lw vs. whatever thread either. but i'm just of the strong opinion of two things: 1. there are a lot of things that ARE OBJECTIVE and 2. difference for the sake of difference (and not empirical benefit) is not good.

but for the programmers in texas (and anybody really), it's better that they work from knowledge and not ignorance. so i hope they do have a copy of maya, xsi, max, houdini, etc at newtek central and they're super aware of the zeitgeist of 3d development these days.

jin

p.s. i am distressed beyond words that they still chose not address the whole 'construct', 'detail' tab thing... makes me sigh with terror... but what're ya gonna do....

jin choung
04-23-2004, 03:02 AM
d'oh!

mmmmmmm doughnuts.... aaaaaaaaggghhhhkkkuuuu....

anyhoo, as for sunday, i'm just looking forward to keeping my mouth shut and seeing what 8's all about. i'm one of the few that did not pre-order so i have much to learn about. so ya won't get any grief from me. :)

jin

SplineGod
04-23-2004, 03:15 AM
Hey, I would prefer you ask questions. Its always more interesting. :)

jin choung
04-23-2004, 03:23 AM
hey tudor,

well, when it comes to how far behind lw is, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

lw can do a lot and produce results as good as some of the other packages...

but it don't get ya there by keeping up with the technology!

software architecture wise, lw FEELS like a dos app! don't get me wrong, when i moved over from 3d studio v. 4 to 5.6, that was one of the things that ATTRACTED me to the app. but as of 7.5c, it's still very much that same dos feel app.

and for things like modeling, the 'primitivity' gives you very quick access to the mesh and certainly makes you jump through less hoops than the big boys. that's a great advantage.

but imo, it's like comparing a soviet T90 to an american M1A1 abrams. as many charms that the t90 may have, it's decidedly not a technological one.

but that's cool. that's what lw is. in that trade off, you get a VERY CAPABLE PACKAGE for an untouchable price. and everyone agrees that in terms of price/performance, it leads bar none.

i am not blind to lw's charms. but neither am i delusional to think that it's CUTTING EDGE either. but i'm really comfortable with that reality.

hell ak-47s are WW2 era technology but it'll still kill ya just as dead as the newest Heckler Kotch assault rifle.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

also note that in ALL of my critiques of lw, i'm NOT picking on its primitivity.

i accept that as part of the deal. some people don't, so a large amount of their requests focus on things that lw simply cannot handle in its current incarnation (such as HISTORY).

but my requests have to do with things that the current technology can (in some cases EASILY) accommodate under the current paradigm.

a TWIST or POLE VECTOR control would be one of them.

also, if you're familiar with maya - MAN!!! the first time i set up an IK CHAIN in maya... all i could think was THIS IS JUST NOT FAIR!!! in lw, you had to go through innumerable drop down lists and create your own goal objects but in maya, it was literally a 3 click deal!

these are the kinds of things that i think should be emulated in lw.

oh, and i'm also a big enemy of PRIDE.... that is, if there's something that's really good in maya (like ik set up), LET'S JUST COPY THEM!!!

and that dovetails nicely to my contention that difference for its own sake is no virtue.

jin

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
p.s.

I ACTUALLY BELIEVE THAT PRIMITIVITY CAN BE A VIRTUE.

it can be closely allied with SIMPLICITY so i'm not saying that we should make lw as technologically cutting edge as possible for its own sake.

i can't help thinking that the space shuttle's BILLION PLUS PARTS are NOT A GOOD IDEA!

and especially considering newtek's non corporate budget, you couldn't expect them to go full on NATO with the tech anyway.

but they've got to find a way to keep the primitivity in some parts, while amping up the architecture in other core parts, black boxing everything off to keep everything nice and modular and keep it nice and clean and simple.

perhaps SIMPLE PRIMITIVE PARTS arranged in an advanced and flexible ARRANGEMENT is the right way to tackle it.

jin

jeanphi
04-23-2004, 05:56 AM
I got my LW8 this morning...
I made some tests...
I am so disapointed...:(

The IK boost tool is so confusing...
First, it doesn't use your selection setting, the "LMB select item" is disable but I can still select with LMB!!!
Then it's very hard to set a pose for a character. There is only "screen coordinates". You CAN'T use local and world coordinate sytem!!!! What a roll back!!!
So you NEED to be in front, left, top view to animate "correctly"!!!!
There is still the gimballock issue that bloking IK!!!!
The "quaternion" solving on IK boost allows you to set your pose a bit better BUT, when playing animation your IK chain rotate evry where!!! I can't make a complex character amimation with this tool! I fixed ankles of a charcter then tryed to adjust the oriantation of the knee and ankles keep moving around...
...:mad: ...

hairy_llama
04-23-2004, 10:00 AM
jeanphi, thats depressing news :(

"The IK boost tool is so confusing... "
Keep playing with it, maybe it will make sense in a few days :)

c i k l o n
04-23-2004, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by jeanphi
I got my LW8 this morning...
I made some tests...
I am so disapointed...:(

The IK boost tool is so confusing...
First, it doesn't use your selection setting, the "LMB select item" is disable but I can still select with LMB!!!
Then it's very hard to set a pose for a character. There is only "screen coordinates". You CAN'T use local and world coordinate sytem!!!! What a roll back!!!
So you NEED to be in front, left, top view to animate "correctly"!!!!
There is still the gimballock issue that bloking IK!!!!
The "quaternion" solving on IK boost allows you to set your pose a bit better BUT, when playing animation your IK chain rotate evry where!!! I can't make a complex character amimation with this tool! I fixed ankles of a charcter then tryed to adjust the oriantation of the knee and ankles keep moving around...
...:mad: ...

I wonder why Proton didn't mention it on SIGRAPH presentation and later. :o :confused:
Why the presentation of IKB wasn't explained more thoroughly....
Why they hiding that from as?:(

WilliamVaughan
04-23-2004, 12:11 PM
There is no "hiding" going on. IKB is a different way of working and once you get familiar with teh tool set then you can get up and going.

the help file explains all of teh settings and what they do...check out some of teh sampple scenes as well and see if they help.

jeanphi
04-23-2004, 12:37 PM
... for me it's not an animator who create this tool...
It trys to mimic Animanium and Misaw, two japanese animation software but I think they failed...
I think it's great for dinamics but not for a traditional animator...
I tryed all rigs in the 2 contents disk but it didn't help me more...
Same problems with all the rig I made with it. I didn't find how to apply it localy for one or two bones in a set up... Perhaps you can't. I will try more but for production I still work with the old way with extra buffer bones and the old IK.

As Jin said, LW is far away from Maya and XSI for character animation... ( I know, the price is diferent...)

Why Newtek didn't worked on the rotation solving engine and IK solving of LW instead of adding new tools half made... Story repeats itself again...:(

On the other hand, the Layout is a bit faster and new OpenGL option are great...but we still don't have those OpenGL display options in Modeler... or I didn't find them...
Deformations in Layout are faster than in 7.5X.
I tested an animation I made on 7.5 of a real time game character and my frame rate incrase about 8fps (from about 25 to 33) on the same computer (AMD pros 1.9 Ghz).

Have fun! It's a great software even if it needs more work on character animation.

tudor
04-23-2004, 02:42 PM
I just don't get what ppl's problem is!
I have been animating professionally with LW for 7 years, and Maya for almost 4 years. It took me about 2 days to get used to animating in Maya. 2 More days and I animated in Max. Moving from program to program is probably easiest for animators, as we just use a very limited number to tools. Saying that you can't animate in LW is just bull****. How the end result ends up does not depend on which program you use, but by you knowing weight and timing. The time you loose posing in one program compared to another you make up in ease of editing keyframes etc.

If I have IK that plants the feet, FK to move the rest, a way to create keyframes, and a graph editor (or dopesheet) to adjust the keys, then I am ready to go.

Playback speed.. Well. Use a standin! LW's dynamic bones may be a bit slower to work with than Mayas static solution, but they do the job fine.
IK jitter. Mostly a problem with viewport update. Some expressions seem to take time to calculate resulting in a bit of a lag. It renders fine. If you still have jitter, you should check your rigging. Getting gimbal lock? Well, that happens in most programs that use Euler rotational solving. Check your rigging and make sure you rig it so it minimizes it.

More and/or better tools is always good to have, but it is the one behind the keyboard that does the animation. I am not saying that newtek should stop developing the tools, but rather that ppl should learn to work with the tools there is and not fight them.
Jeez, Toy story was created with nothing but a graph editor. No fancy on screen manipulators.

I am looking forward to working with LW8 (when I get it...)
I won't make a judgement on LW8 before I had enough time to properly evaluate it.
We just got IKbooster. (hey, if there are bugs, I am sure they will fix it)
We got ortho tools.
We got a better morph mixer.
We got a dopesheet and the mini version in the timeline.
Who knows, relearning how to work when animating by using IKBooster might be the best thing ever, or I might just stick to the good old way.

Getting cranky now.. No LW8 in the mail today..

Jockomo
04-23-2004, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by proton
There is no "hiding" going on. IKB is a different way of working and once you get familiar with teh tool set then you can get up and going.

the help file explains all of teh settings and what they do...check out some of teh sampple scenes as well and see if they help.

Any chance you guys could put those help files online? It would be really nice for those of us who have not received L8 yet to start learning about it.

WilliamVaughan
04-23-2004, 03:14 PM
Tudor...I hope you get LightWave 8 soon...your going to love it. I also hope to see you at 3D Festival....that show is going to rock!

SplineGod
04-23-2004, 04:07 PM
I agree with Tudor. I dont see the problem with character animating or rigging in LW. EVERY app slows down at some point and getting around it in LW is easy to do.

IKBooster is VERY different from the way LW does its usual IK.
On a normal rig in LW IK is off for all joints and you have to turn it on for the ones you want.
An IKB rig has IK on for every joint so you have to turn it off for the channels you dont want.
Both terminate IK chains in similar ways. Unaffected by IK and IK Stop
You can FIX a node in IKB but not the rotations. This is easily done in LW via matchgoal.
You can do Match Goal with IKB by doing the standard way.
To get the nulls to be part of the IKB universe you have to apply IKB to them as well.

You can also set up a very basic IK rig in LW and apply IKB to tht as well and have both on the same rig.

IKB is definately a step in the right direction. I dont think its as completey robust as I would like but thats not saying its bad either. The rest of the stuff it does is great. Its going to take some time to wrap your head around it.

wacom
04-23-2004, 04:25 PM
It took me a full week to wrap my head around LW7's IK system, so I can't see how anyone who just popped in the LW8 disk could be an expert on IKB in a few hours if it behaves so diffrently. I'm not saying that's a good thing...but I'm waiting to see if it "really" sucks after the dust settles and people start understanding it.

jin choung
04-23-2004, 07:10 PM
hey tudor,

i don't think anybody is saying that they can't animate in lw. that is simply not the critique being levied here.

hey, if you're talented enough, you could illustrate a masterpiece with a piece of chalk in your teeth and hands and feet hog tied behind your back.

but that's hardly worth saying is it?

the criticisms here deal specifically with the new ik system (topic of thread) and whether or not that actually helped the lw ik situation. if people are inclined to go back to the original ik system... errr... i would venture that it did not.

and if people feel that it is found wanting... errr... well that's perfectly valid to say. dontcha think? when you get 8, if you find ikb is not your cup of tea, will you simply refuse to acknowledge that? console yourself that with enough blood sweat and tears it can work dammit!

come on... everything in lw is not perfect by definition simply because it's in lw!

before getting mad, consider if it's VALID. and if it's valid, targeted, specific, constructive criticism can only benefit in the long run.

and if you're so familiar with maya ik, dontcha think it would be pretty cool if lw's was like that at some point? like i said in a previous post - THREE CLICKS! and it works like a mofo without turning anything off. and again, i don't think emulating this is something that would break the bank. just a matter of knowing what to do, how to do it, then doing it.

jin

p.s. i'm NOT saying that everyone should rush to judgment either. sure, everyone should take a good while to get the lowdown but sharing first impressions ain't a sin either. but i do agree that perhaps we should state initial impressions without the finality of condemnation....

p.s.2 wacom... wow... taking a week to get comfortable with lw's ik is... ummm... not a good endorsement of its ik.... ahem. (cough three clicks cough)

wacom
04-23-2004, 08:54 PM
Originally posted by jin choung


p.s.2 wacom... wow... taking a week to get comfortable with lw's ik is... ummm... not a good endorsement of its ik.... ahem. (cough three clicks cough)

Well it was my first time EVER using IK and setting up bones, weight maps, etc. for any package. I guess I should have said that to put some perspective on it. A lot of people can put bones in an object and use "hot dogs" to get ok fall off, but if you're new to the whole thing I think a week (of about 2hrs a day) isn't bad. Most of that time was spent trying to find a good tutorial, not dicking around with LW IK. Maybe I'm a sucker though...

Do you mean to tell me Jin that you just dropped some bones into something and it worked like a charm the first time? You didn't read anything on IK first? You just understood every subtle part of rigging because it's writen in your genes? Someone somewhere had to take the time.

I'm not in anyway saying LW IK was easy and can't/couldn't be improved though...even MB takes time to get used to if you DON'T know what you're looking for...

jin choung
04-23-2004, 10:20 PM
hey wacom,

oh ok... you didn't tell us that you were diddling with weight mapping and bones and such....

i thought for some reason, the IK setup itself was taking you a week to figure out or get good results with.

and mine wasn't any comment on YOUR ability... i was thinking of it as a less than ringing endorsement for lw's ik.

as for my personal experience with lw's ik, i remember it as being painful and tedious and mysterious.

the same experience in maya was shock and despair at how easy it was... really, THREE CLICKS!

and it is pretty BULLET PROOF without further tweaking (turning channels off and whatnot). you got sure and reliable results from the word go.

and if ikb is NOT... well, then i believe that there's more to be desired then.

jin

SplineGod
04-23-2004, 10:20 PM
LOL! Thats true. IK can be setup very fast in any package. Making do something useful is a whole different matter. Like anything else if you have a clear vision in mind of what the rig has to do before you start then thing will go much more smoothly. This works the same for modeling, texturing and animating as well. :)

tudor
04-24-2004, 05:46 AM
Proton: I might show up at 3d Festival.. Haven't decided yet. I will have to make it a day trip though. Haven't got the money or the time for any seminars. Would be cool to meet you guys again though :)

toonafish
04-24-2004, 10:09 AM
I'd like to be able to turn IK off for certain channels in Maya, but you simply can't, you have to work with a IK rig that drives an FK rig. That will take much more mouse clicks than in Lightwave.

If you want a 2 click IK setup in Lightwave, there are some scripts out there that will automaticly create a goal an set the bones to IK.

But I have to agree, a pole vector in Lightwave would make my life a little easyer.

just my 2 cents.

Fish
http://www.toonafish.nl

actually, one of the things that i find distressing is the notion that you keep mentioning about turning iks off!!!

in maya, you NEVER do that! you never NEED to! and you'd never WANT TO!

wow lar, you really should check out even like a simple two joint ik setup in maya if you haven't! if you've never tried it, it will be a revelation.

and it is my earnest hope that the newtek people are hip to the functioning of maya.

as for placing the knees, if you have a pole vector constraint, you can actually have a CONTROLLER that always determines where the knee or elbow is pointing.

for me though, the TWIST function which seems to be a DIRECT ACCESS to the pole vector is extremely convenient because you can place the IK GOAL as well as orient the position of the knee or elbow with a SINGLE CONTROLLER: the ik goal.

i never deselect the ikgoal in maya when i position an arm or leg.

jin

p.s. looking forward to the meet this sunday! you gonna go over the new 8 CA stuff? [/B][/QUOTE]

Adrian Lopez
04-24-2004, 10:15 AM
It's a real shame that IKB doesn't work as well as Lightwave's regular IK. One of the things I like about IKB from watching the demo videos is the ability to manipulate items the IK chain without setting up goals. I was hoping IKB would be a worthwile replacement for Lightwave's regular IK, a system which I absolutely detest.

What I hate most about Lightwave's IK is the need to add extraneous bones/nulls at the end of an IK chain just so the damn thing responds properly to the goal object. Another thing I hate is the inability to use two or more goals per chain when "Full-time IK" is turned off, making it a lot more difficult to use IK as a posing tool for setting up bone keyframes (for use in games, where you don't want to drive bones by IK unless it's strictly necessary).

SplineGod
04-24-2004, 12:26 PM
You can add IKBooster on top of a Lightwave rig set up with the standard IK and it seems to work fine. I usually only use IK on the lower body but having IKB on the upper body allows some nice things. I think everyones going to have to really play with IKB for awhile before making a real decision on its usefulness.
As I said, its a big step in the right direction. Its not like suddenly that it got worse.
All I can say is that LWs IK and character animation tools have always been stable and reliable for me at least. That isnt to say that I didnt have issues. Every program has issues but it seems easy most of the time to get around those issues in LW. :)
Ive had to use LW under some pretty grueling circumstances for character rigging/animating and it held up great.

policarpo
04-24-2004, 01:42 PM
So far my tests with IKBoost have proven a little frustrating.

I find it great to use with long shapes like tentacles and such, stuff that doesn't have to be precise.

But I am still struggling with even doing simple poses with characters...it just feels like I am handling a wet noodle without very much precision. I respect what NT is trying to do with IKB, but the workflow should feel familiar to how one handles a rig, not something one has to completely reorient themselves to use properly.

The new Ortho tools which are integrated in LW are a worthy inclusion, so I welcome those. I hope the Ortho guys keep pushing the envelope with their tools and vision.

There are some performance issues with IKBoost on my PowerBook and I hope that these speed issues will be resolved quickly in a 8.x point release (because I really do find it unusable in its current state on my current config--i know it's not my 1ghz PowerBook, cause Motion Builder and Cinema 4D behave well with similar long IK chains).

Anyway, the new tools are definitely a step in the right direction, but they do need some workflow optimization. I hope everyone using the new tools will submit bug reports and recommendations to NT so we can have some world class tools in the upcoming point releases.

Cheers.

claymation
04-24-2004, 03:03 PM
that is beginning to sound like animanium. it has the same kind of limp noodle whole body ik that is increadably hard to pose. it is not accurate at all. I had to roughlyget it in position then switch back to FK to get it exact.


After playing with it for a while I figured out that it needs to have huge chuncks of the body locked to keep it from squirming. Is there a way to lock areas of the body in place when using IK boost?

SplineGod
04-24-2004, 05:57 PM
You can fix areas and turn ik on and off. Its a different way of doing things and Im still not sure if ultimately it will be more or less efficient then the standard way. Right now its not quicker but Im willing to give it time to find out.
For me it seems more predictable when I use it with standard IK. As its name applies its an IK BOOST tool. :)

smh
04-24-2004, 07:08 PM
Policarpo, if you're asked to make some character animation, with heavy actor/scene interaction* which one would you opt to use, LW8 or Motionbuilder?

Have you defined tasks/areas in animation, where you'd use MB over LW8 and vice versa?

* character is hit by objects, picks up stuff...that sort of thing.


Thanks,

SplineGod
04-24-2004, 07:42 PM
While Policarpo is thinking about it....
I would still use LW. You do have some advantages in motion builder but I typically find that the whole going back and forth thing and so on tends to be more of a pain then its worth. Id still do it in LW. Ive done a lot of animations what had lots of characters in LW. Every package slows down at some point and typically theres never a convenient time when it does.
I like the spontaneity of being able to animate and tweak what I need to tweak right then and there rather then jump back and forth. I type of work I tend to do usually involved fast turnarounds.
I simply anticipate that there WILL be slowdowns in the feedback and plan accordingly. Heres some things I do:
Theres a couple of things I do to speed up my workflow:
Ill take my object and chop it into separate low rez pieces or use a low rez object composed of pieces. Each piece is in a separate layer. In layout I parent each piece to a bone. I do this to create an animation "mode" vs a deformation "mode".
Then I make a selection set for all the proxy pieces and make them invisible. My SubD object is visible.
When I want to animate I make the SubD character invisible, the proxy character visible and I will turn off ALL deformations using the enable/disable deformations button. This little button turns off ALL deformations (bones, endomorphs etc). Since the proxy character is just pieces parented to individual bones the whole rig animates very quickly since it doesnt have to calculate deformations.
When I want to check a deformation I make the proxy character invisible, the SubD character visible, and Ill enable deformations. I can also change the subpatch level and subdivision order.
I created a couple of buttons using lscript commander to allow me to do most of these functions with a click of the mouse making it easy.
Another thing I do if I have to have lots of characters in a scene is mdscan the first character and then turn off the bones. I leave the bones in because I can still reference them for parenting things or for expressions. I can also turn bones back on, tweak the animation and then use mdscan again. Once i do that I can
add in the next character, mdscan that one and so on. With only using bones on a character or two at once the whole scene reacts much faster. Subpatch levels can be raised or lowered at will to speed things up further.
Ive found that anticipating slow down and establishing a workflow to get around this definately makes life easier.
Theres other tools like Mdmetaplug which allows a low rez character mesh to drive a higher rez one, mdpulltoy which allows mdd files to be played back based on the speed of a null and displacmeent baker which allows mdd animations to be controlled via the graph editor to be very useful additions to this kind of workflow.

If things are separated into logical tasks in a certain order things get a lot easier. For example deformations and animation done as separate tasks. Once the animation looks good and character deformations look good, additional components can be added such as cloth or dynamics even if the character has been mdscanned. If the bones are still there they can be used to parent a coat to and the character used as a collision object. That way only the coat has to be worried about. Even a coat can be lower rez and mdscanned and applied to a higher rez jacket mesh. Its pretty common on large movies to have several different rigs for the same character. The lowest rez rig is for animating then the motions are applied to uprezed versions of the rig that is designed to animate additional things and so on.
Eventually the last detailed rig is so dense that it probably would be painful to try and do any more handkeyed animation to. Like I said, find a workflow that makes sense and allows you to get around problems by anticipating those potential slowdowns.

claymation
04-24-2004, 08:20 PM
I was doing an animation with a figure and made a proxy as you discribed Splinegod. I have one question though

If I weight each section to only be effected by 1 bone per part will this work as well? Reason I ask is because I saw a rig in which a proxy box model was used where it had one bone set to use the bones of the subd character. (it was the free rig with Proton's noodle and the yellox boxy proxy model) Don't know if you used it and can compare it to seperating the parts to each layer.

jin choung
04-24-2004, 08:32 PM
as for turning channels off in maya,

yah, that will take more than 3 clicks. as i said, with the pole vector twist controls, i personally have never found a need to do it - no unpredictable bending or slowdown....

but if you were hellbent on turning stuff off, that's more than three clicks but easy enough to do:

just select the bone, click on the channel in the attribute editor (actually, i think i'm thinking of the 'channel box') on the right of your screen, right click - turn it off (actually, i think it's called 'lock').

you can also shift-select multiple attributes and turn channels off en-masse.

jin

toonafish
04-25-2004, 10:39 AM
Well, I found myself needing to disable IK for my shoulder and hand setup. I always use 2 bones for the upperarm and lowerarm so it does not twist so much at the shoulder- or hand-joints.

How you get good shoulder or wrist deformations in Maya when the shoulder- and hand joint rotate over the Z-axis ?

Fish
http://www.toonafish.nl



yah, that will take more than 3 clicks. as i said, with the pole vector twist controls, i personally have never found a need to do it - no unpredictable bending or slowdown....

but if you were hellbent on turning stuff off, that's more than three clicks but easy enough to do:

just select the bone, click on the channel in the attribute editor (actually, i think i'm thinking of the 'channel box') on the right of your screen, right click - turn it off (actually, i think it's called 'lock').

you can also shift-select multiple attributes and turn channels off en-masse.

jin [/B][/QUOTE]

hrgiger
04-25-2004, 11:06 AM
Hey Larry, I appreciate what you're saying about now wanting to jump back and forth between applications such as Lightwave and Motion Builder but it seems to me that doing so would be a lot less work then some of the methods you are suggesting. By the time you do the proxies for your characters, mdscans, distribute things among layers, animated in Layout and replaced your stand-ins you could have easily animated your character in a real time application like MB and imported it into LIghtwave for rendering.

Don't get me wrong, my methods for animating are not unlike yours, mostly due to the fact that I can't afford to use another app like MB or messiah. I promised myself not to buy anything for a while after I bought FPrime. I do what I need to, to make animating in Lightwave less painful but it's just a shame that such workarounds are necessary to get a usable interface. Unfortunately, it means a lot of clean-up since you can't see what the character actually looks like as your animating, how it interacts with the environment and other characters around it. At least not as accurately as you'd like. Wouldn't it just be a dream to be able to see your full character as it will be when rendered?

I'm really hoping they can correct some of the bottleneck in Layout in near future releases.

jr_sunshine
04-25-2004, 02:04 PM
Larry,

I am very disappointed to hear you feel IK Booster is not a "better" IK for Lightwave. It was certainly promoted as such. It was certainly a key factor in my buying LW [8] and not dumping any cash into Messiah or MB.

I know you are a big proponent of using LW's IK as is, but please elaborate why IK Booster doesn't make the cut if it was all we had in LW.

Thanks,
Roy

jin choung
04-25-2004, 09:35 PM
hey toon,

oh yeah, there are lots of bones that you would want to lock out certain channels on a complex rig.

my point of contention was turning ik on and off during the work process in order to speed up the response time! this should not be necessary....

[that said however, i have NEVER found a need to lock a knee or simple elbow joint to a single axis... it just naturally WORKS THAT WAY!]

i just got back from the los angeles lightwave users meeting where they showcased 8.

it inspired me to come back and try lw's ik at home in 7.5.... holy cow man. this is tedious! seriously, it is this that made me first set up a rig in maya and despair, "this is just not fair!"

so for you lw ik gurus, how the hell do you guys point the knee or elbow?! say you just have a simple knee setup of 4 bones... one bone is a foot, the other an immobile pelvis...

how do you point the knee?

jin

p.s. as for ikb... to me, it looks like working with a wire armature in real life... essentially, EVERY joint has an ik goal and you work with it by moving one goal of the noodle where you want it, locking it, placing another goal in its proper place, locking it... until you've posed your whole figure. should be fine for POSE TO POSE animation and it does have a lot of options.

but this is indeed a whole different way to work and not a version of IK that most of us are used to working with.

but it still remains that the existing ik system has to be revamped imo. revamped with extreme prejudice. read - MAYA....

jin

claymation
04-25-2004, 10:18 PM
Jin,

For a wire armature/ikb where do you start? the root bone?

where to start sounds like the key to this kind of setup.

DaveW
04-25-2004, 10:19 PM
Originally posted by jin choung


so for you lw ik gurus, how the hell do you guys point the knee or elbow?! say you just have a simple knee setup of 4 bones... one bone is a foot, the other an immobile pelvis...

how do you point the knee?


I use a bone between the pelvis and thigh that is perpindicular to the thigh; IK is used on Bank and the knee is pointed by rotating Heading. I also have the foot bones seperate from the leg bones, and they're kinda glued together by the IK goal (which is the last item in the foot hierarchy) because LW couldn't save rigs before 8. So by making the majority of the rig dependent on the hierarchy rather than a bunch of competing IK goals, it makes reusing a skelgon rig much quicker. You get faster feedback too.

I've been doing this for 4 years now and it works great. I've tried to spread the love but for some reason most people prefer to deal with a bunch of competing IK chains to point toes, knees, elbows, ect.

jin choung
04-25-2004, 11:20 PM
hey guys,

claymation-

it seems that there is no start... there is no root per se....

it really does seem like a different kinda workflow than standard ik... i guess one way to think about it is it's almost like FK but instead of rotating bones, you grab and joint and move it... like a wire armature or a stiff noodle or perhaps a stiff clay.

and like i said, although there is no root, you can 'pin' down joints that have been placed 'correctly' so that you can play with the joints after that pinned joint or before without screwing with the correctly placed joint.

actually, i keep trying to think of accurate analogies and perhaps another way to think about it is as an action figure.... true ik is a kinda automated process but IKB is very very manual... you are literally grabbing your figure and moving every joint into place....

davew-

actually, i tried that method before i posted and a problem seems to be that the bone that controls HEADING, or the aim of the knee, doesn't have a very good one to one correspondence with the orientation of the knee....

what i mean is that initially, it feels like it's aiming the knee pretty good. but then, after i move the ik goal to somewhere different, the connection of that 'heading bone' seems to have a mushy connection to the actual aim of the knee. so i may have to rotate that heading bone 120degs to get the knee to rotate 50degs... is this your finding as well?

and if that is the case, i can imagine interpolations through an animation resulting in some pretty unpredictable results....

oh man... please oh please newtek... give us a pole vector twist on the ik!

jin

SplineGod
04-26-2004, 02:04 AM
Originally posted by jr_sunshine
Larry,

I am very disappointed to hear you feel IK Booster is not a "better" IK for Lightwave. It was certainly promoted as such. It was certainly a key factor in my buying LW [8] and not dumping any cash into Messiah or MB.

I know you are a big proponent of using LW's IK as is, but please elaborate why IK Booster doesn't make the cut if it was all we had in LW.

Thanks,
Roy
I dont believe that IK Booster is designed to absolutely replace Lightwaves native IK. IKBooster applied by itself to a rig isnt as easy to setup and is less stable IMO. Locking a node in place as well as its rotation is important to make things stay rooted like a foot on the ground. This is easy to do in LW using Match Goal. This has to be done in IKB by basically baking the node in place. This isnt that hard to do because you can do it directly in the dope track. I just dont like that method of doing it. Some people may like doing it that way but Im not one of them.

IK Booster gives me more predictable results if I apply it on top of a normal LW IK rig. It makes the rig into a sort of hybrid setup.
Usually theres debate as you whether to use IK or FK on the upper body but I can use standard LW IK on the lower body and IKB on the upper body which allows the user of IK and FK. The nice thing about this approach is that I can use LWs match goal and not have to bake the positions and rotations of a node.
IKB sees the native LW IK and the match goal.

I also like the bone dynamics available thru IKB. This opens a great deal of possibilites. I can see the need to experiment alot with this. I also like the fact that IKB on ropes or tentacle type setups behaves vastly better then LWs native IK. Its far more stable and predicatable in that situation. Also IKB can be applied to ANY heirarchy of items, not just bones. You can use it with plugins like Shift Spline Transform.

Lightwaves IK assumes that IK is off on every joint in a heirarchy. IKB assumes that IK is on for every joint in a heirarchy. It takes more time IMO to turn off all the channels, set IK stop and pin what you dont want to move then the way LWs standward IK works. I do like the nodes and the ability to switch between rotation and translation as well as being able to edit the node conrollers and easily make them proxy pickers. I hate LWs item shapes and proxy picker. Both are tedious to set up.

Applying and adjust dynamics in IKB seems pretty easy and straightforward. It seems pretty easy to use. I dont like that its not realtime and has to be baked. Baking is done on every keyframe like mocap so if you want to animate on top of it you might have to filter the keyframes. Even with this I like it more then I dont. :)

All in all its a good first attempt at this type of addition. IKBooster IMO is just that, an IK BOOSTER. Its not a better system in a the general sense just an addition to it. For some things its better and for some things the native IK is better. Id rather have it then not have it.

Jin the easiest way to point a knee is to rotate the that channel via FK. In the example at the meeting I only have IK on the bank of the first bone and on the pitch of the thigh and lower leg. That means i have two FK channels that I can rotate by hand.
Again, I think LWs native IK works great and its predictable/stable. IKBooster is a definate plus that has some drawbacks but is very useful. Ill be the first to admit that Im not an expert with it and I may be off on some of my views about it. :)

jin choung
04-26-2004, 03:21 AM
hey lar,

actually, that seems to work really well!

essentially, rotating the axis perpendicular to the length of the bone gives you a 'pole vector' or at least a TWIST control... only thing is that there is no VECTOR that points toward the knee so that you can constrain the knee to just point at something.

but i guess the way to emulate the controls that i'm familiar with would be slave the bone's twist to the null... then i can do the same kinda positioning without letting go of the goal object.

ok... so i'm getting pretty good results. i'll give you that. but it's still a pain to setup.... not debilitatingly so but merely comparatively.

also, since there's no joint/vert snap in layout, it really bugs me that i can't place that null right there at the joint without start copying numerics....

oh well, i guess i can use modeler to generate null placers eh?

ok... so we're in the land of doable... just with a wee bit more pain. but considering the price discrepancy, that could be considered the price of affordable software.

thanks much.

jin

tudor
04-26-2004, 03:25 AM
No need to copy values by using numerics.
Just hit reset while in translate mode.

Another way is to turn off parent in place, parent all nulls, turn on parent in place, and unparent them.

jin choung
04-26-2004, 03:49 AM
hey tudor,

good idea about the parent in place thing.

what do you mean about the first thing though? how does resetting the null snap it to the joint i want?

thanks.

jin

Dodgy
04-26-2004, 04:04 AM
Jin if it's really a one click setup you want there is an AutoIK plugin, you select the top of the IK chain, and the end, and run it. Sets up each bone in between to have IK on pitch and adds the goal and sets the IK terminator. One click. This was done by Mark Brown and was free, but I can't find it now. This sort of thing should be in LW though for beginners :)

Then I usually set IK on the thigh's heading and use the bank to determine knee pointing. All done in 2 secs...

http://mapage.noos.fr/samuelLK/Plugins/Plugins.html#RopeRig

Also allows you to do a IK setup with more options than AutoIK and is still available.

Something similar should be simple to knock up in Lscript...

jin choung
04-26-2004, 04:23 AM
thanks dodgy,

oh, too bad that autoik thing isn't still around... does indeed seem to be mia at flay....

oh and speaking of ropes, one thing that IKB would be PERFECT for is TENTACLES, TAILS and CHAINS/ROPES....

that's actually a perfect application....

jin

tudor
04-26-2004, 04:38 AM
Jin: The first method still requires you to parent the object.. parent in place on.
Sorry about that.

I want an easier way to parent stuff.. Select 2 objects, and hit 'p' or something..
p is busy though.. Hmm..

toonafish
04-26-2004, 05:19 AM
check out Flay for MultiParent, its a set of 4 plugins to parent the first or last selected null(s) to the last or first one. Or chain parent a whole bunch of Nulls with the click of a mouse.

Fish
http://www.toonafish.nl


Originally posted by tudor
Jin: The first method still requires you to parent the object.. parent in place on.
Sorry about that.

I want an easier way to parent stuff.. Select 2 objects, and hit 'p' or something..
p is busy though.. Hmm..

tudor
04-26-2004, 05:28 AM
This is turning out to be a thread full of great tips :)

DaveW
04-26-2004, 09:33 AM
Originally posted by jin choung


davew-

actually, i tried that method before i posted and a problem seems to be that the bone that controls HEADING, or the aim of the knee, doesn't have a very good one to one correspondence with the orientation of the knee....


That only happens when the leg is at an extreme angle, I've never run into that during an animation, just when testing the rig.

I originally did it the way Larry said, rotate the thigh with fk, but I ran into some problems early on (this was the LW6 beta days) and the heading trick I used worked, so I've stuck with it. I guess either it was a bug that was worked out or I was just setting up something wrong, but I just tried it out and it works fine. The principle is the same though, rotating the perpindicular bones heading just causes the thigh to twist along bank.

If you really wanted the bone to point at an object you can use IK goals like so many people seem to do, but I find that harder to setup and it slows down the feedback. If you really put your mind to it I'm sure there's some crazy parenting scheme you could come up with that would let you use both methods together, but I doubt it would be worth the headache.

wacom
04-26-2004, 01:14 PM
Please keep this IK thread going! It's proving useful to everyone- even those who don't have 8 yet.

I wish there was someone who moderated these threads JUST to pick out the good tips and then sort them into a "semi official" kind of "advanced side manual". A section on IK tips would be a good start. Maybe it could be as simple as the little tip followed by a scene file download link for that tip? I learn a lot from just looking at HOW something was done, not just reading about it. Programs are getting way to complicated these days just to use a manual or two, and one solution doesn't fit every situation. I read a lot of threads that I "think" have no value to me, only to discover little tid-bits that help greatly. Many don't have this time luxury though...

SplineGod
04-26-2004, 05:44 PM
The biggest part of this isnt HOW its done but WHY its done. A good understanding of WHAT are the requirements for a good rig will drive the "how" part. IK and expressions are simply tools to help someone make a rig meet those requirements. What constitutes a good rig and what is a bad rig? Both types of rigs can have IK, expressions, sliders, controllers etc but what sets the two apart? Once you understand the WHY part then the HOW part is much easier. :)

toonafish
04-27-2004, 05:02 AM
Sounds nice, but I think for a lot of people the how part is the biggest problem. We all know why we want a good rig, great character model or amazing texturing. But figuring out how, or practicing enough untill we are able to achieve what we want is the biggest issue.

Personaly very often I understand why something is done after I know how it's done because the how makes me understand the problems involved I could not even grasp before. But that's me...

Fish
http://www.toonafish.nl


Originally posted by SplineGod
The biggest part of this isnt HOW its done but WHY its done. A good understanding of WHAT are the requirements for a good rig will drive the "how" part. IK and expressions are simply tools to help someone make a rig meet those requirements. What constitutes a good rig and what is a bad rig? Both types of rigs can have IK, expressions, sliders, controllers etc but what sets the two apart? Once you understand the WHY part then the HOW part is much easier. :)

pooby
04-27-2004, 07:10 AM
If you want a nice easy to use arm Ik rig (7.5) that works has the natural movement of FK (nice arcs of motion) but the convenience of IK (Hands solidly resting on tables etc) try this...

Make two goals for the arm. Elbow and Hand

Parent the hand to the Elbow.

Move the hand along the Z to the appropriate distance

On the bones, make the elbow point to the elbow and the hand very Strongly to the hand on match goal

you only ever Rotate the hand null. never move. and you only need pitch and a little bit of heading. Bank is controlled by the elbow.

Then control the positioning of the forearm using the elbow null on move and rotate.
This results in the forearm rotating naturally in an arc rather than the strange linear movement of IK alone.
If you at any point leave the elbow still and move the body, the hand is conveniently locked.

With a more complex version of this rig you can also have the hand rotate around the finger base as well as the wrist (for when it is resting on or holding an object). plus you can also set it up to have automatic IK driven twist back down the forearm.

toonafish
04-27-2004, 10:17 AM
sounds like a vey nice setup, gonna give it a try.

thanks.

Fish
http://www.toonafish.nl


Originally posted by pooby
If you want a nice easy to use arm Ik rig (7.5) that works has the natural movement of FK (nice arcs of motion) but the convenience of IK (Hands solidly resting on tables etc) try this...

Make two goals for the arm. Elbow and Hand

Parent the hand to the Elbow.

Move the hand along the Z to the appropriate distance

On the bones, make the elbow point to the elbow and the hand very Strongly to the hand on match goal

you only ever Rotate the hand null. never move. and you only need pitch and a little bit of heading. Bank is controlled by the elbow.

Then control the positioning of the forearm using the elbow null on move and rotate.
This results in the forearm rotating naturally in an arc rather than the strange linear movement of IK alone.
If you at any point leave the elbow still and move the body, the hand is conveniently locked.

With a more complex version of this rig you can also have the hand rotate around the finger base as well as the wrist (for when it is resting on or holding an object). plus you can also set it up to have automatic IK driven twist back down the forearm.

wacom
04-27-2004, 10:32 AM
WORD!

Some people have to take things appart to understand them. It's a chicken or the egg type of senario. I need to know what has been done to expand upon it or use it for my own stuff. I do discover manythings, but it's mostly from "mistakes" that don't work at the time for what I'm trying to do, but will have a purpose later. There is a fine line between asking why and WTF. I like asking why...

I also think some people look at part of a software package and take what it is called as what it is only good for. Take prodedural textures like "ripple2"- is it only good for "ripples" in liquids? I think haveing scenes to tinker with helps break down this thinking.

Larry your site and teachings are full of this good stuff- examples to play with and things that are "out side" made with of the thinking to mess with. You understand this way of thinking better than almost anyone...

Sorry to get kind of OT...just my 4.2 euros to the cent or something like that


Originally posted by toonafish
Sounds nice, but I think for a lot of people the how part is the biggest problem. We all know why we want a good rig, great character model or amazing texturing. But figuring out how, or practicing enough untill we are able to achieve what we want is the biggest issue.

Personaly very often I understand why something is done after I know how it's done because the how makes me understand the problems involved I could not even grasp before. But that's me...

Fish
http://www.toonafish.nl

:)

Red_Oddity
04-27-2004, 10:34 AM
Can't say i've had much trouble with LWs IK...then again, all setups differ per character, and offcourse what you want the character to do...

OT : Toonafish?...Ronald ? of zitten er meer mensen bij Toonafish? (Ik ben die gast waarmee je bij Metropolis ooit iets voor Audi hebt gedaan), hoe gaat ie

Tonton1
04-27-2004, 11:10 AM
Is there a new book/tutorial/DVD being made about rigging and animating in LW8 the right way ?

SplineGod
04-27-2004, 12:03 PM
TonTon,
I have a complete character course thats over 60 hrs of quicktime movies. Just the rigging module is around 15 hours or so. I cover rigging in LW in far greater depth then any other book or video out there for LW. I also provide unlimited online support. Theres no way youll go thru that and not get it. Anyone signing up gets updated to material covering and new LW8 specific rigging info for free. Everything in the rigging module is still pertinent. What I am updating is the information on the new bone tools and IKBooster. :)

mechis
04-27-2004, 08:06 PM
Hey Splinegod,
How are you distributing the updates? via download? Are you sending cd's?
Thanks- your course and the support you provide have helped me so much.
~Mechis

SplineGod
04-27-2004, 08:19 PM
Hey Mechis,
Thanks!
Probably both. :)

pooby
04-28-2004, 12:39 PM
Has anyone managed to get good results from Ik boost yet?

I can see that it might be ok for tentacles or tails, but my efforts to make a walk have been plain embarrasing so far.

I can't find a way of keeping the feet from slipping about everywhere and, Checking the sample scenes, none of them seem to be able to either.

I can't quite see the point of it yet. I imagined it to be better than the Ik that's already there but unless there's some secret way of locking feet down easily and rotating the ball of the foot etc, it's not looking good.

I'd really like to know if anyone's found a way of doing this.

SplineGod
04-28-2004, 02:32 PM
I can get IK Booster to work more or less reliably. If you use it as is its nowhere near as useful for character rigging IMO then it could be. I find the current IK system much easier/better/faster for basic character setups.

Lightwaves assumes IK off on every joint in a heirarchy. You go and setup IK on the channels you want it on. You define an anchor (unaffected by IK) and an end effector (The goal handle).

IKBooster is the exact opposite. Its easy APPLY it but then it assumes IK is on for every joint. You then have to go and turn off IK on every channel you dont want it on. You also have to give it an anchor (IK Stop) but every node is essentially an end effector and goal object combined. You dont have to add null objects since theyre basically built into the joint. Locking channels and all that is pretty quick though because lots of controls are available at each joint or node but it still can be tedious.

With LWs IK you lock the position of the end of the IK via the Goal object. In IKB you have to FIX the node. To lock the rotation of the end effector in LW (say the ankle for example) you simply turn on Match Goal orientation. In IKB you cant lock the rotation so you have to BAKE the position in the Dope Track but selecting a range and telling it to back that range. Its pretty easy to do but this is very alien to the way I like to work and not very spontaneous. I also tend to animate from pose to pose where I need very precise control of each pose and where each pose is very stable.I also need the rigs to be stable as they animate in between key poses. This seems difficult to do with just IKB.

Problems I see with IKB alone is that joints seem to kind of drift and the rigs arent as stable was what I would like or am used to.
I dont like the fact that you cant multiselect bones while IKB is applied and do the additive rotations wth them. This means that animating fingers, spines etc quickly and easily via selection sets is not possible with IKB or I simply havent discovered how yet. The link controller is fine for simple stuff but useless for animatng hands. The idea is cool but the implementation needs work.

IKBooster doesnt appear to be supported by the new Rig file format yet. It also doesnt appear to be editable from the dopesheet either. You can save poses out of IKB which is cool but I havent run it thru its paces yet. You can also switch to a quaternian rotation system I guess to avoid gimbal lock.

On the plus side (and yes there is a plus side) is that for tentacles as you mentioned its great. The bone Dynamics is cool and potentially useful. I dont llike the fact the its baked. Im not sure yet how to animate on top of this or how to add some bone dynamics to a character thats been animated. Im not sure if thats possible or if I need to continue searching. Even with the baked information Im not sure how to go about easily editing it other then to filter out keyframes in the GE.

I also like that you can easily move the control nodes away from the joints. Its like having built in proxy pickers. Thats very nice.
I hate LWs native proxy picking and item shapes. Its a big overly tedious pain to setup.

Now for the good news...
After thinking about the name IKBOOSTER I decided to do match goal the normal way. I added nulls and turned on match goal for some bones and it works. To make the nulls feel and behave like IKB nodes I simply applied IKBooster to the nulls and used the controller edit tool to move the handles out to where I can use them. I set them to be rotational controls and The feet stay locked the way I expect them too and the rest of the rig still has the IKBooster controls.

I also decided to take this a step further and applied IKB to a character rig that has the standard LW IK controlling the lower body. This works like a charm. This creates a fairly stable rig that has the best of both worlds. I can still position knees via the IKB nodes but have the stability of LWs IK.

Another nice thing about IKB is that you can switch between IK and FK. This makes it more useful to me on the upper body of my character because sometimes I need IK but most of the time I need FK.

On the other plus side is that the new bone tools and rig file format is great.

Ill have some new CDs ready towards the end of this week or early next week giving a basic going over on this stuff. :)