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View Full Version : man... ik is pretty bad in 7.5 still....



jin choung
09-18-2004, 02:25 AM
howdy,

just wondering if anyone else feels this way or if i'm doing something horribly wrong.

try this test:

1. set up a 3 bone leg/foot, set the knee to be ik'd only on pitch, setup your ik and animate the null around to give the leg a work out, moving in x,y AND Z... make a short work out anim. of course, add the bend in the knee....

2. they say that you can control the aim of the knee by using the top bone's (thigh) bank.

BUT BEHOLD....

in order to control the knee that way, you have to turn off ik control on the bank and set it to keyframe.... but if you watch your anim now, the leg animation is FREAKING OUT pretty badly. lots of POPPING.

it was pretty good when that thigh was being controlled completely by ik but you set that bank on keyframe and poporama.

and here's a REALLY bad thing: try actually ROTATING THE BANK on our leg.... the leg starts FLIPPING OUT ON FK ADJUSTMENT!!!

WTF?! that's hardly a ik/fk hybrid that i would call valuable.

and if you use an ik at the knee to control pointing it, the chain has a tendency to pull off and away from the foot goal.

ik is functional but it doesn't have good "COMMON SENSE" and i don't find it very intuitive or predictable and that's just bad.

you can make it work but man that's just bad behavior.

i am truly amazed that people have been able to get some of the truly excellent work that i've seen. it seems to me that they must've been fighting it all the way.

so howabout it? am i really wrong on this? is it any better at all in 8?

and so i come back to something that i've been thinking ever since i heard the assertion that ik booster is not a replacement but an accessory... a 'booster'....

well come on newtek, don't accessorize that which needs to be renovated itself. as i said many months ago: you don't accessorize crap. a bit harsh but is my experience.

this is not an unfocused shotgun blast. there's lots of stuff to love about lw and i discover things every day that compare favorably even against the likes of maya. but in all honesty, the ik still sucks. so get on it guys.

jin

p.s. and the default method of setting up ik is so very 1980s.... i might've been won over if all that manual control and ik/fk hybridization worked really well but it doesn't.

in maya, it's lame as hell that after you do one 'bevel' on polys, you have to hit that button again. in lw, it's lame as hell that you have to keep hitting 'draw child bones'! bad design... just let us tell lw when we're done cuz it's not likely we're gonna draw just one! this critique is circa 7.5c... any better in 8?

jeanphi
09-18-2004, 04:36 AM
Try this tutorial. There are files samples so you can try the behavior of the rig.

http://www.puffandlarkin.com/lightwave/tutorials/character_rigging/index_en.htm

html version:

http://www.puffandlarkin.com/lightwave/tutorials/character_rigging/html_en/content/html.htm

LW has an old way of using IK. So you need to add some additionals bones to get a better result. As there is no Up vector constraint you need to add a bone as a master oriantation chain. To avoid popping (the gimballock issue) you need to share IK with at least 2 bones... Just take a look at this tutorial.
But remember it's just a trick to get IK works just a bit better not an ultimate solution.
Next LW will need a brand new rotation solving engine to avoid gimballock, new constraints and integrate a fully IK/FK system.
XSI and Maya have great animations tools and are now cheaper than befor.

NewTek HAVE to work on a new animation package.

Castius
09-18-2004, 10:06 AM
Ya the "bank" method of controlling IK can leave many poses extremely difficult to manage. It's a method I avoid.

What you need to know is that it seems the main IK system in which LW was designed was not intended to be used the way most people have been using it including myself. IK Booster is a booster to the old design. This is NOT a bad thing. The original design was good. The problem is that fulltime is not always good to use and it needs a lot fo extra work to account for many circumstances. And it also requires alto of knowledge of how it works and how to control itís behaviors.

How limits effect helps
How the prebend angle helps
How buffer bones help.
How stiffness helps.

When you can master these setting you can use full time IK until then you must embrace the non full time system. IK booster is there to help bridge the gap. It also fixed issues of IK and lookat controller conflicts. And baking for situation where full time IK might be helpful but baking keys can be substituted.

jin choung
09-19-2004, 01:08 AM
hi guys,

thanks for the tips. actually, after playing around with it some more, i've discovered a few things that don't make the ik system better but at least usable and reliable enough to get work done (which is a relief).

it seems that for a common ik setup for arms and legs, it is IMPOSSIBLE to get manual fk pointing of knee or elbow without at least FOUR bones.

my setup of 3 with thigh, shin and foot makes fk bank on thigh unusable.

but if you do use 'buffer bones' like the tutorial and your comments suggest - such that ik only controls a SINGLE CHANNEL on every bone, you can use a thigh buffer bone (a little bone above the thigh that points either front or back in z) on the HEADING and you can control the knee facing without poporama. this bone is also ik controlled on its bank so that the leg can lift up sideways (the thigh bone itself i set to ik pitching)

weird thing is that the exact pointing of that buffer bone ends up not having much to do with the actual pointing of the knee itself. but if you ignore that, you get a pretty reliable knee control.

castius,

but that is the big problem with lw's ik... it DOESN'T conform to how most people use ik.

WHY NOT?!?!?! does it conform to ANYONE'S opinion of what ik should be?

and the NON full time ik option just seems like an EXCUSE so that the lw ik is not as robust and intuitive as other systems.

so with the buffer bones, lw's ik is usable... but it should simply be more intuitive and reflect the most common uses for ik. especially if it doesn't seem to be designed to handle particularly well some non common usage!

cuz all things considered, ik isn't primarily used to control tails, tentacles and misc chains of bones where the facing of the chain is unimportant!

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anyhoo, discovered some things about lw iks and bones that i will post up in a separate thread about ik tips and tricks.

jin

jeanphi
09-19-2004, 07:42 AM
If we want IK to work in LW, the actual "per channel IK" have to be remove as the main issue with LW IK is gimballock and solving rotation engine. 3D IK have to be solve with all H, P and B. If you only use 2 of them you can't create a 3D IK pivot.
A customisable IK solver for each bone/item will be great, so we can define 1D/2D/3D IK type, solving plane, up vector... etc... With new handles, the addition of a "view coordinate system", IK/FK blending/swaping, new set of animation constraints and the ability to use it "ŗ la" IK Boost/Animanium, LW will be a great animation tool...

ericsmith
09-19-2004, 11:07 AM
It's been my experience that the best way to set up a good IK rig is to study physiology in the the real world. With my leg setups, I start with a small bone in the pelvis area that points forward. Then I have a thigh, shin, and foot bones. I set up IK on the pitch for the shin, heading and pitch for the thigh, and then I rotate the knee by rotating the pelvis bone on the heading channel. It's stable, and works the same way as a real human.

Often, when I rig, I'll get out of my chair and move around my limbs the way I'm trying to set up the rig. I discover all kinds of things that I never realized before. For example, there are actually two joints involved in rotating the arm upward from the side. The ball joint where the upper arm meets the body will only allow rotation from down to horizontal. If you want to raise your arm above the shoulder, a joint closer to your neck (the clavical) has to get involved. Understanding how a real human body actually works helps to make rigs more predictable, and the animated motions from these rigs much more lifelike.

Eric

SplineGod
09-19-2004, 11:30 AM
I dont get the popping problems on my rigs. While I was working over at Warner Bros I got to see first hand how several rigs were set up in Maya. I didnt see much difference between rigs. I also saw a lot of funky things that had to be done in maya to make particular rigs behave properly. Some of the things would have been easy to do in Lightwave. There are some things in LW that were probably easier to do in Maya as well.

My CG supervisor there knows Maya and Lightwave. Hes done rigging in both. I would say that I know LWs rigging overall better. We spent a lot of time comparing methods of setting up rigs and controlling them. If anything I came away more impressed with LW and so did Tom.

I do come across problems rigging in LW from time to time but its never been difficult to find solutions. This is no different in any app. I understand that no app is perfect...thats just a given. IKBooster is a great addition to LW. Its very powerful and can allow some really cool things to be done IF properly understood.

I would suggest taking a look at my IKBooster Video over at the KURV site.

Castius
09-19-2004, 03:46 PM
It really comes down to the animator. Rigging is still an art form that is rapidly evolving. When that happens some things can be forgotten easily. So when it comes to IK itís easily forgotten that most animators prefer to animate with FK in order to perfect there timing. Iím not talking about IK/FK blending. This is only helpful to an animator that has a body part pinned to another object in world space. IK Booster embraces the fact that ANY body part can need to be pinned in world space at any given frame, all the way down to each finger. While doing this giving the animator full FK keying so there timing can be perfected. With that being said it has its weakness much like the first version of Animanium pinning does not pin rotation. I checked out the new version of Animanium at Siggraph and they have fixed much of the first version weakness. I expect the same from IK Booster in the coming versions. But for now we have baking to help.

toonafish
09-20-2004, 02:00 PM
Yep, I agree Lightwave's IK is baaaad. There seem to be people out there that dare to compare it to Maya's Ik but it's a complete different ballpark in my experience. Personaly I gave up on hoping for any improvement, we've been waiting for such a long time and it seems Newtek has other priorities, or it's just not possibe without a complete rewrite.

Some tips that might help: You should keep away from an IK chain with more then one goal which is hard sometimes. But as soon as you use more goals it could happen the rig starts to jitter. Donno how to setup an arm that should be able to stay fixed at the elbow while the body moves this way, but that's the way it is.

Pre-bend your bones ! When a simple IK leg-rig with one goal does not behave, bend both bones ( upper and lowerleg ) the way they should at frame zero. It works the same as the "preferred angle" in Maya.

hope this helps :-)

faulknermano
09-21-2004, 05:21 AM
Yep, I agree Lightwave's IK is baaaad. There seem to be people out there that dare to compare it to Maya's Ik but it's a complete different ballpark in my experience.

for some things i prefer lw's IK than maya. is that a problem?

i find lw's ik a bit more robust for things other than CA (and i still prefer its sytem for CA, but not its constraints), and more straightforward. i agree most with castius: it's really up to a rigger to make heads or tails out of any rig (and its app, for that matter).


but that is the big problem with lw's ik... it DOESN'T conform to how most people use ik.

who's "most people?"


WHY NOT?!?!?! does it conform to ANYONE'S opinion of what ik should be?

in some aspects it "conforms" to my expectations.

what we 'expect' is subjective: jin never expected popping just as i never expected maya could not do full time IK when the root IK is moved. lw's IK has been usable for a very long time, just as maya's.

SplineGod
09-21-2004, 12:47 PM
I have to agree with Lernie on this one as well.
Ive never seen anyone who had never done any rigging go in with any expectations. Those that do have expectations have done so based on having learned it in some other application. Those same expectations extend to pretty much the whole workflow of one app vs another.

I do have expectations when it comes to rigging but those are based on a set of requirements of what a good rig must be able to do. These requirements would be the same in LW, Maya, XSI and so on. The difference would only be the technical aspect of HOW each app allowed me to meet those requirements. If Lightwave didnt allow me to create rigs that meet those requirements I would be using something else. :)

jin choung
09-21-2004, 10:08 PM
by 'most people' i refer to people who have access to more than a single app. even in professional environments where lw is part of the workflow, lw is NEVER part of the character animation pipe!

well, i'm sure there are exceptions but you know what i mean, it's the exception not the rule....

hell, they even take pains so that lw is AVOIDED for animation duties when it was used to model and render! and even lw houses regularly default to messiah for character animation.

i'm also speaking in terms of common sense and reasonable expectations... let me elaborate:

1. WHAT, if anything, is an ik chain without a goal?! it was fine and dandy for lw to require such manual linking during the 5.6 heyday... but now it's pretty frickin' anachronistic.

2. the whole 'put a bend in the knee/elbow thing' basically assumes that you're gonna make a structure that is pretty much a knee or an elbow... now what rocket scientist made the assumption that most animators don't care where knees and elbows are pointed?!

and in order to address that need, you either have to do a 'nesting bones' thing or have another ik chain.

another series of hoops that you don't have to jump through in maya... they correctly assumed that one would care where knees and elbows are pointing.

3. the whole thing with people still using lines such as, 'you gotta set up smart rotation limits', 'full time ik is not the only way to go' and 'make sure you turn off all those channels you don't need'....

in 4 years of animating for computer games in maya, i never ONCE had to do any such thing to get fantastic results.

4. WHO draws ONE BONE AT A FRICKIN' TIME?! this is a BAAAAAaaaaaaaad assumption. why not let ME tell you when i'm done....

5. assigning ik on every channel on every bone.... wth?! to get a 'usable in real world animation' leg in maya is FOUR CLICKS and two bones (three joints).

i [email protected]#$ you not. i say this again and again but my first exposure to maya ik, i said over and over again in a dull drone, 'this is simply not fair'....

lw is no less than 4 bones (without an additional ik for knee pointing) and innumerable mouse clicks.

6. at the very least, maya has a much more robust ik that can handle a multidimensional thigh ball joint without a problem. we have to have 'nested bones, single channel only' setup to have a reliable setup.

7. when i'm animating a leg in maya, i grab the ik and i NEVER HAVE TO LET IT GO until i'm done. to get that same result in lw, i would've had to jump between numerous objects and bones.
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imo, that's a LOT of bad bad bad assumptions, implementation, technology.

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but again, the conclusion that i reached is that lw ik is FUNCTIONAL and i was really wondering for a while if that was indeed true. it does work. it takes a HELL of a lot longer to setup and work with but it works.

i'm not being a maya chearleader. my app of choice is still lw. but i mention it because it is an app with which i have experience and can make comparisons too.

and if comparisons between the poly modeling workflow in maya and lw can be made and it can be said that lw's is superior (which it objectively is), then it is not at all unfair or unreasonable to say that in the area of ik, lw is woefully primitive (if not dangerously incompetent).

jin

Karmacop
09-21-2004, 10:48 PM
Jin, I think this is the best you've ever described what is wrong with LW's ik. This has finally made me understand why you hate LW's ik so much. :)

SplineGod
09-21-2004, 11:05 PM
If nothing its interesting. I find LWs IK to be easy to setup and stable overall. :confused:

jin choung
09-21-2004, 11:39 PM
four clicks larry.... four clicks.... :)

jin

SplineGod
09-21-2004, 11:52 PM
LOL! Since rigging involves much more then setting up a simple IK chain there are always other "gotchas" down the road. Using match goal in LW to keep a foot or hand locked is a lot easier to set up then something comparable in maya. :)

Castius
09-22-2004, 12:12 AM
How many times do we have to mention the free auto IK scripts and plugins for you to use them Jin?

jin choung
09-22-2004, 12:12 AM
yah,

at the other end of the spectrum, where you have extremely detailed and convoluted rigs, things are indeed equalized somewhat between iks of different systems.

but just as you are in favor of just grabbing all the finger bones and rotating instead of setting up sliders and expressions, i've found that you get a LOOOOOooooooot of mileage from the 4 click leg ik in maya that i describe.

and yup, as a matter of personal preference, i would've rather that the rotation of the goal control elbow/knee facing on a 3d ball joint (an integral attribute of the ik chain itself) than control the hand or foot (which is external to the ik system).

jin

jin choung
09-22-2004, 12:22 AM
hey castius...

i repeat... 4 clicks... FOUR CLICKS.... no menus... no dropdown lists... no turning off channels.... no buffer bones.....

FOUR... CLICKS....

i've been avoiding the scripts because i'm not doing real character anim work in lw yet... just getting a feel for the existing system.

i've no doubt that if i had to do real work, i would use the scripts....

but even then, i get the feeling that getting a usable ik chain will still be more than 4 clicks.

jin

p.s. and before i sound like a caricature, 4 clicks is not that big of a deal... but my point is that if it CAN be done... if there IS a better way that makes better assumptions about usage... well, admitting it is the first step in getting better.

:)

lw's ik needs to join a 12 step!

SplineGod
09-22-2004, 12:51 AM
How many times do we have to mention the free auto IK scripts and plugins for you to use them Jin?

YEA! What he said! :D

faulknermano
09-22-2004, 02:44 AM
hiya jin, just some points i'd like to respond to:


by 'most people' i refer to people who have access to more than a single app. even in professional environments where lw is part of the workflow, lw is NEVER part of the character animation pipe!

but as it also occured to you that the reason for that might not be LW's IK, per se? it could very well be constraints, connections to attribs, set driven key, etc etc...


1. WHAT, if anything, is an ik chain without a goal?! it was fine and dandy for lw to require such manual linking during the 5.6 heyday... but now it's pretty frickin' anachronistic.

i think, comparing to maya, for instance, where the effector is part of the IK chain, this makes switching from one goal / effector to another just a tad bit more complicated than simply switching goals. this is straightforward-ness, (or primitive-ness, if you'd like) is something i personally like.



4. WHO draws ONE BONE AT A FRICKIN' TIME?! this is a BAAAAAaaaaaaaad assumption. why not let ME tell you when i'm done....

yeah, well... bone drawing is pretty :eek: let me tell you that. :p


5. assigning ik on every channel on every bone.... wth?! to get a 'usable in real world animation' leg in maya is FOUR CLICKS and two bones (three joints).


in my lw setup takes two bones, one click to bring the script up, several clicks to set whatever options, and another to run it.


7. when i'm animating a leg in maya, i grab the ik and i NEVER HAVE TO LET IT GO until i'm done. to get that same result in lw, i would've had to jump between numerous objects and bones.

i dont understand what you mean here.



then it is not at all unfair or unreasonable to say that in the area of ik, lw is woefully primitive (if not dangerously incompetent).

i'd let you go on whatever definitions you make, but to me parts of the whole that you describe as "primitive" is, for me, what makes lw's IK transparent and in many cases 'robust' (e.g. flexible in application), and with the help of custom scripts, easy to set up.

SplineGod
09-22-2004, 02:56 AM
Another thing is that its easy to save whole rigs or parts of rigs. This means I can load in a leg already setup the way I like with one click. ;)

jin choung
09-22-2004, 03:41 AM
howdy lernie...

ugh... this is the second time i'm typing through this from scratch... first time i accidentally navigated away and then boom... i lost it! ARGH!

ok....

1. yah. it might be other things. but i see no reason imo that its ik would not be on that list.

2. how in the world is switching maya iklocators harder than switching nulls? especially with maya's selection hierarchy where if you have a bunch of things on top of each other, ikgoals are selected first, then bones, then polys, etc.

and since an ik effector is part and parcel an ESSENTIAL COMPONENT of the very identity of an ik chain, i can see no reason why its manual creation provides any advantage.

granted, just in your personal preference, you might find that using the arrow keys to pop up and down a list to your null is better.... you're welcome to your preference of course.

but such a manual, primitive task has no other significant advantages to trade for such manual labor.

3. :) we agree.

4. yah but the thing is - maya is 4 clicks. no options. it JUST WORKS.

no bone nesting.

no going and turning channels off.

the thigh bone is a full ball joint.

5. what i mean is that i can select the iklocator and position that leg EXACTLY how i want and NEVER have to select another object.... i can get the bend in the knee, position in the leg and very importantly, the FACING of the knee without having to let go of that ik effector.

in lw, this is IMPOSSIBLE. to face the knee inward or out, you need to use another ik goal or you fk on a bone.
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don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things in maya that are wretchedly clunky.

i would DEFINITELY put their render globals panel on that list... it has proved time and again to be a never ending time sink that has sucked countless man hours and destroyed armies of able young men.

the way it handles nodes is not particularly pretty either.

so what i'm saying here is that essentially, lw's ik can be MUCH better than it is. my argument is that in some cases in maya and in lw, it is not just a matter of preference or DIFFERENCE... it is a value judgment better or worse.

i consider lw's ik to be worse and in need of refinement.
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and larry,

yah, it's definitely a nice feature to have rigs.

but i also consider lw's modeler to be really excellent and although i have a catalog of meshes for different types of creatures and stuff, i frequently just do things from scratch because the process of modeling in lw is such a joy.

i find the same thing in creating skeletons in maya and rigging them with ik... it's actually fast and fun so i end up doing them from scratch for the fun of it.

i just can't say that about lw's ik and rigging process.

jin

Castius
09-22-2004, 08:36 AM
No one is saying LW's IK is perfect but it's clear you need to understand it and master it more before you can fully critisize or compare it to other systems. Have you tryed LW 8 IK Booster? It still uses LW's IK but it has many options to speed up rigging. It doesn't mean you still don't need to learn all the trick of masting LW IK.

ericsmith
09-22-2004, 10:11 AM
I'm not speaking for every FX studio out there, but I think that LW's IK is not the primary reason that LW is avoided for character animation. There are other aspects...

1. Speed. There are tricks to optimizing LW's feedback with character structures, but no matter what you do, it's not going to give you the real-time feedback of Messiah or Motion Builder. I'm not sure exactly how Motion Builder can solve IK so fast, but it's a huge difference over LW.

2. Modifying a rig. Version 8 has made great strides to correct this, but before, editing bones in a rigged character was a huge hassle. My typical workflow if I decided I needed to add another bone (especially in line between two other bones) was to go back to modeler, create new skelegons, and start the rigging process over from scratch. Not a very pleasant prospect on a complex rig that took a day to set up. Also, transfering a rig from one character to another was pretty much impossible, so if you had ten characters, you would have to build the complete rig ten times.

3. Deformation correction. Creating corrective joint morphs for things like elbows and muscle bulging is pretty akward. LIke point #2, there are some new tools in 8 to make this better, but it's still a difficult process. Unfortunately, my feeling is that the only way to really make this process easy is with an integrated app, where modeling an rigging happen in the same space.

Of course there are workarounds for a lot of these issues. I use LW for character animation and overall am very pleased with the results, so I'm not bashing here. But I imagine that if Maya doesn't have these difficulties, than it would look like a good choice to a studio for character animation. Not because it saves time in the actual animation process, but rather in the setup process.

Eric

SplineGod
09-22-2004, 01:48 PM
1. I chop up my characters and parent those to bones. In Layout you can turn off all deformations, lower the subpatch level and change the bounding box threshold.
The high rez version of the character can be made invisible while the chopped up character is made visible when animating. Doing these things allows me to animate and playback the character animation in realtime.

The nice thing is that its easy to write a script that allows me to swap these two versions of the same character....basically an animate mode and a deform mode.
When I animate I dont care about the deformations at that time since animating has nothing to do with that. Youll see rigs all the time in Maya that are simple chopped up versions that are strictly for animating so the animator gets realtime feedback. Usually once the animation is done the motions are uploaded to a higher rez version of the rig where Techncial animators then worry about making the deformations look good and work properly. The rig may actually go thru several such teams.

Its easy to do the same thing in Lightwave and is something that is not foreign in any 3D app. Lightwaves problem is not that IK is slow but that the deformations will slow it down as in any app. Even motion builder, maya, messiah etc will experience slowdowns and some point and it never happens at a good time. I just plan for it in advance.

One cool thing that LW does in Layout is allow you to turn all deformations off at once. I created a script at Warner Bros that allows me to swap in a chopped up character (make it visible) that is parented to the bones and turn off deformations at the same time. It also make the subpatch character invisible. In this mode I can animate very quickly and play the animation back in realtime. If I want to check the deformations I have another button (script) that does the opposite.

2. I agree, the new rigging tools in LW8 are excellent. I never found working with bones in layout to be that bad. Skelegons were quick to layout but then they had their own set of 'gotchas'. Reusing rigs in earlier versions of Lightwave was fairly easy if you rigged with the idea in mind that you were going to reuse the rigs. When I was at Foundation Imaging we had to reuse rigs all the time and many times I had to rig many characters in a day. I even created a template rig that was easy to load and reuse with different characters. The rig also had IK applied to it and could also have motions attached. The trick is to separate the rotational bones at the joints from the hold bones. The rotational bones are the ones that had IK applied to them, expressions etc. The hold bones only were used to move the geometry in the character and were parented to their own rotational or joint bones. The hold bones could be stored as skelegons in each character then applied into layout on top of the template bone setup (the joint or rotational bones). From there it was simple to quickly parent the hold bones to the rotational bones.

3. Theres so many ways I go about doing this. Ive used minimo to move points in layout and create corrective endomorphs for joints this way. You can also use SoftFX/Edit FX to do the same thing. Endomorphs can be created directly in layout.
Ive use bones and Shift Spline Transform to create muscles. Muscle deformations can be done using muscle bones, cycler or cyclist by hand keying how the muscle bones will behave. Sometimes Ill pick points in modeler around a joint. Ill copy those into another layer and then covert the points to single point polys. Extrude those slightly and convert to skelegons. In layout I can use these tiny bones to correct joints by applying cyclist to them or creating joint endomorphs with them.

I dont look at things much anymore as workarounds. Its just a workflow and once you get that workflow established things go pretty quickly.

cresshead
09-22-2004, 02:16 PM
splinegod sure does know his stuff, be it ik, rigging, modeling or lighting...
you could level the same or similar arguments to 3dsmax and the way it envelopes it's bones with character studio with physique...very time consuming
to get a usable deformation out of a character studio character..it's do able but you have to "understand" how and why it does what it does...you just can't jump in and make it happen...

a quick fix way is usually "okay" but not really suited to final output for tv or film...you'll need to spend "time" on setup and rigging.

no doubt maya is the same in other regards..same goes for messiah or xsi

all have some great points but none is "the one"...just find which app suits yourself and is the LESS irritating to work in...

..found mine!...lightsnack 3D

though i'm trying out wings 3d, xsi foundation and messiah when time allows...

jin choung
09-22-2004, 02:19 PM
hey castius,

well what you said is true but that doesn't nullify my argument.

what of my criticisms is INACCURATE?

and i'll say it again... i'm not bashing. lw ik IS functional... but there's a lot of stuff that you have to go through to get a functional ik chain... hell, even's larry's description sounds involved right?

and...

in maya, it's four clicks.

a further argument is that learning lw ik was/is tough. when i FIRST confronted maya ik... my response to the completely alien app was 'this is just not fair'.

you can disagree on the odiousness of the procedures and items involved in lw ik setup... but the procedures and items are all still there to be compared with other systems.

and unless we feel that lw ik is perfect as is, we can all agree that it needs refinement. or don't we want it to be better than it is?

jin

cresshead
09-22-2004, 02:45 PM
same with max...

click click click...ohh i have a usable ik chain...
great!
now...apply skin to the mesh
add the bones...
Hmmm...not really working as i hoped!
...well let's spend several mins/hours tweeking painting the influence of the skin
or play with the envelopes...

same goes for physique...and CS
spent some considerable time making the biped fit the mesh snugly
apply phisique....
test...opps!
it's edit time! as the head folds or the bum creases or the fingers or toes get "left behind"
....several mins/hours later

xsi...has rigs you apply to a mesh...click click...ahh done...
and animates pretty well right off the bat..not bad deforms
if it needs a tweek well you can paint weights...pretty simple
looks cool!...hey neat!
now then lets surface the model...
ahhh....mental ray shaders!
....several hours/days later!
...render!

so is maya perfect in EVERY regard?
...Hmm 4 renderers?...but not all tools/effects work in all renderers
so before you start you need to have a think...what renderer can cope with all
the things i'll need in this shot...

i do GET your point with ik in lightwave and it's quite valid...i held off looking into ik for quite a while..then bought t4d rigging tools and whilst it's a comprehensive rig that's created with loads of selection tools i've found it very sluggish in operation in comparison to a 3ds max character studio rig or a rig in xsi...

i was having my doubts about lightwave's ik at this point...

so...dug out larry shultz's intro to lightwave cdroms and actually sat down and made a rig for an imported girl model that i exported from xsi...i wanted a "control" to see how lightwave's ik held up against xsi ik so i wanted to rig up the same mesh as i had in xsi..but in lightwave...

went thru larry's cdrom training and made notes for future reference...
rigged up the model from xsi and it's as fast and stable as the one in xsi...

game over...lightwave is very capable and it's ik is fine...the t4d rigger whilst pro and comprehensive must be using several scripts or expressions as this seems to slow down my system way too much for interaction on my dell 700mhz...it may well be fine on a faster system [i'm getting a new one soon] but larry's rig is fast and stable and fun to animate as much as xsi on the same system or that of 3dsmax 4 and character studio..actually CS is a bit slower than xsi and larry's lightwave rigged xsi character.

that's my 2 cents anyway

steve g

SplineGod
09-22-2004, 04:30 PM
Thanks Steve!
Im glad its been working out for you. Dont forget to use the forums ;)
One thing I am working on is an advanced rigging course. This is something Ive wanted to do for awhile and I want to really push LWs envelope with it. Ive
seen a lot of information put out on the internet about rigging that is just plain wrong. Regardless if its free or not it doesnt do anyone any good to be lead down the wrong path. Theres some materials out there that are good but its sure difficult to figure out the good from the bad sometimes. :)

Castius
09-22-2004, 08:23 PM
http://www.steelronin.com/index.php?page=downloads&content=rigging&tmenu=TMgames

Try my rig for yourself.

Improvments to this rig are in the works. As well as scripts that will make it usefull for high res meshes.

faulknermano
09-22-2004, 09:14 PM
I'm not speaking for every FX studio out there, but I think that LW's IK is not the primary reason that LW is avoided for character animation. There are other aspects...

...



Eric

leaving the IK aspect for awhile if i may, i can say, just as i've been pointing out from the start, lw's follower / contraints / cyclist have certain quirkiness that you dont find in maya. if there's one improvement that i've not seen echoed around the forums is for lw to have a much more robust constraint system. when lw came out with SimpleConstraints, i had this reaction that there had to be, somewhere down the line "AdvancedConstraints". :) i mean it's only natural, right?

Castius
09-22-2004, 10:17 PM
I would agree. There are plenty of areas of LW that need Improving. Many issues with pivots, expressions, baking, you can go one for some time about all that is in need of improving.

There are more contructive way to handle suggestions for improvements. Maybe thats just me, I don't know.

SplineGod
09-22-2004, 10:21 PM
I agree about the constraints system and expressions. Id love to see Newtek work out something with Prem to get Relativity. His expressions system has been around for a very long time and has been battle tested. It doesnt have the problems that LWs Expression system has. :)

jin choung
09-22-2004, 10:43 PM
hey steve,

if you read my posts, i come to the conclusion that lw's ik works... and if setup properly, it may even work well.

my point of contention is VERY SPECIFIC... it has nothing to do with the overall app, not with weights, not with deformation, etc....

my criticism has to do with the pains that one must take in order to get a usable rig in lw.

i DEFY you guys who have not to TRY maya's ik to setup a simple bipedal skeleton with iks on arms and legs.... with the help of the online help, it's less than an hour... probably much less if you're at least familiar with the maya interface. as a reference, for me it's less than five minutes from a blank scene.

and i would wager that those who try, those who have setup their own rig in lw... it will be a revelation....

and you will be mumbling, 'that's just not fair'....

this is not to encourage that we all just jump ship to maya! it is to make my point. in this very thread, i have pointed out many of maya's weaknesses. all apps have weaknesses right? lw does things better than other apps right?

is it soooooo very hard to admit that other apps do things better too? and that our way might be found to be lacking in certain areas?

again... with lw, you have to have to know and do lots... set limits, lock channels, nest bones, 'non rt ik is a good option too', ad nauseum.

maya's JUST WORKS. and i'm saying ours should too.


jin

UnCommonGrafx
09-23-2004, 01:36 AM
Sounds like you mean 'a lack of knowledge is a good thing.'

I know that's not what you mean but... I have played with other systems. None of them worked like lw. I thought it was odd. Now, it just does what I want because of the time invested and knowledge gained.

I'm not saying that things shouldn't be better. But I am saying that your 'proclamation' seems a bit louder than needed.

As you said, it works if you have the right knowledge. And number of clicks isn't the point.


Yes, I, too, want power the likes of XSI. Until that happens, it's still mine to know or not.

jin choung
09-23-2004, 02:40 AM
actually,

if you haven't gotten sick of my '4 clicks' diatribe, THE NUMBER OF CLICKS DECIDEDLY IS THE POINT.

(!!!)

or at least the point i'm making here. it's the theme of the ENTIRE thread. my conclusion is that lw's ik is functional which i doubted previously. it IS useful.... but it's ungainly, unseemly and inelegant in implementation.

the facts of the length and quantity of the procedures is non controversial.... we know what's involved... i've listed them as being offensive... those same procedures have been then listed again by others with a decidedly less offended tone. the sticking point is whether you feel that length and quantity to be offensive or not. unintuitive or not.

many of you come down on the side of not. fine. truly mystifying to me but fine.

if i sound like i'm ringing the bell a bit too loudly, i do apologize. 'but me thinks that that others object too much' as well... and i'm just trying to keep from being swept under the rug.

jin

pooby
09-23-2004, 07:34 AM
Castius... I'm impressed with your rig

Your Knee Point-constraint works excellently. My knee nulls usually end up all over the place.. Thanks for that.. I'm going to use it all the time from now on.

Castius
09-23-2004, 09:38 AM
Thanks pooby.
I really can't wait to improve on it.

dzogchen
09-24-2004, 10:47 AM
i DEFY you guys who have not to TRY maya's ik to setup a simple bipedal skeleton with iks on arms and legs.... with the help of the online help, it's less than an hour... probably much less if you're at least familiar with the maya interface. as a reference, for me it's less than five minutes from a blank scene.

and i would wager that those who try, those who have setup their own rig in lw... it will be a revelation....

jin

Tried Maya PLE. I agreed.

pooby
09-24-2004, 11:20 AM
Castius..

Seeing as you seem to be a whiz with rigging, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my spine rig and see if you can find a solution to my arm IK problem.

It's in the Tips section.

SplineGod
09-26-2004, 12:39 AM
Pooby,
I would suggest using Colin Cohens IK Key and FK Goals plugins. Its a very simple and elegant solution to animating arms. Basically its a simply way to mix IK and FK on them. :)

NanoGator
09-26-2004, 05:03 PM
. It doesnt have the problems that LWs Expression system has. :)

*grumble grumble grumble*

Putting together the words 'expression' and 'problem' basically describes the week I've had.

SplineGod
09-26-2004, 08:47 PM
LOL, I hear that! :)

faulknermano
09-26-2004, 11:44 PM
*grumble grumble grumble*

Putting together the words 'expression' and 'problem' basically describes the week I've had.

how did lscript expressions work for you?

i find them more flexible, certainly more flexible and easier to understand than a one line expression. the problem with them is still the inherent slowness. but i compared it once and LW expressions and lscript expression run about the same rate. i just wish the interpretter was faster.

NanoGator
09-27-2004, 12:21 AM
I haven't done the lscript functions bit yet. (Saving that for Monday.) I can share with you an odd bug in LScript regarding functions, though:

If you create an expression in LScript, then immediately after assign it, it works. *But* if you create two expressions, then assign the first, Graph Editor CLAIMS to have installed it, but nothing happens. If you look at the scene file, it doesn't put anything regarding expressions. It's like GE doesn't put the expression in until a refresh or something happens.

I discovered this while loading in a expression library and using LScript to assign them. No workie. So I came up with a workaround: Load in the expressions library file, store them in an array, and when it's time to assign an expression, create it first THEN apply it. (It pulls the info out of the array.)

Pffptptpt.