View Full Version : Sk(hell)egons....

09-27-2004, 07:22 AM
Anyone else having problems with Skelegons in LW8?

1. I'm drawing out a hand, 'top down' to ensure the Pitch is on the Y axis.
2. (just to check) Edit Skelegons to confirm the 'up' position for Pitch
3. Export to Layout & Convert, record rotation, etc etc

Then I discover: The Pitch controller is no longer orientated correctly on the right axis anymore, making the joint compensation tools unless because it only works on the pitch channel.

I can''t twist the heading of the bones, because those tools don't work on a mac :-(

Just to check - I go back to Modeller and check the 'Up tags' for the original Skeletons for the hand...

here is where it gets weird...

...the up tags for each finger bone are now centered in top of each bone - (not pointing in any direction - I guess) . It 's then impossible to drag the tag up down sideways - any from the top of the Skelegon.

Look at the attached pictures and you can see the score

This is doing my head in.

Any suggestions?

Just in case you were struggling with it like me, I spotted a bug in Ikeda's KungFu Tools with means that Mirrored Weight maps don't get renamed properly. See flay comments for details.

David is working on a fix :-)

09-27-2004, 07:32 AM
Dont use skelegons?

09-27-2004, 07:37 AM
har har...I should have guessed you would say that :-)

Anyone else care to be a bit more constructive?


09-27-2004, 08:30 AM
is this bug only on a mac?
also are you using lightwave 8.0 or lightwave 8.0.1?

steve g

09-27-2004, 08:38 AM
is this bug only on a mac?
also are you using lightwave 8.0 or lightwave 8.0.1?

steve g

Hi - sorry had my signature turned off!


09-27-2004, 08:43 AM
does lightwave 7.5 work okay in drawing skelegons then opening them up in layout... in lightwave 7.5 or lightwave 8.0.1?

if so..do that!...draw in 7.5 modeler then load into lightwave 8.0.1...better than waiting for a patch in the meantime or drawing bones in layout if your not wanting to draw bones in layout.

also see if it's a new bug that 8.0.1 created...lightwave 8.0 maybe okay..

09-27-2004, 09:27 AM
I'm not sure what's happening between the "good" and "bad" images of your skelegons, but I can say that record pivot rotation is most likely the culprit in re-orienting the pitch.


09-27-2004, 10:26 AM
having watch splinegod's bone lightwave 8 videos i think i remember that there's new tools in there to re orintate a bone's pitch as he said the record pivot can mess up your bones...when i get chance i'll run thru the video and let you know what he used to edit the pitch in layout in lw8.0

steve g

09-27-2004, 04:16 PM
It a BUG!

Everything works fine until....

...you cut and paste the Skelegons back into a separate layer (when grouping them for easy selection order in Layout)

When you cut and paste Skels, LW seems to LOSE rotational information associated with them

and worse still corrupts them - making them Non-editable.

Great!...way to go NT!

So, what with the non functional bone tools, and flakey Skelegons, why don't I just forget LW8 ever happened?

09-27-2004, 04:53 PM
Blabby mate, what are you trying to do?

I think you need to work with it rather than fight it's more crummy shortcomings.
Just because there are some dozy new tools, it doesn't mean you have to use them.

I would seriously recommend learning to set up a skeleton rig solely in layout.. it's far more straightforward..

I'm starting to come round to Lightwave again after a few months of vowing to go over to XSI....

09-27-2004, 05:09 PM
I think the Skelegons get their rotation from their parent bone, so If you select the bones you want to gopy, and then grow your selection (if it's the end of a chain) or manually select the parent bone to the ones you want to copy their rotations should remain .. thought I'm not 100% sure about that. I have no idea about the corruption, that's a bit weird :\

09-27-2004, 07:43 PM
Skelegons should be given some more love. I'd much rather do my setup in modeler than layout. If modeler could treat them more like bones than "special" polygons we'd be able to do a lot more with them. I still prefer them over bones in layout as they are now, simply because I hate layout for any kind of setup work it's horribly clunky and unforgiving for setup work.

09-27-2004, 08:41 PM
I agree, I'd like them treated as bones, and have the ability to set every bone setting you can in layout to a skelegon in modeler, and even be able to put goals in the setup. Skelegons use much of their usefulness because once you get them into layout you still have to set them up.

09-27-2004, 10:24 PM
You shouldn't even have to worry about setting rest lengths, RPR, or anything else like that. It should all happen automatically when the bones are brought over from modeler. There should be no conversion required either. This would make modeler a TRUE setup environment much more inline with how messiah works for setup. Change a bone length by dragging the joint, or modify the pitch angle by actually rotating the skelegon around it's own axis. Playing with bank handles is silly.

I also don't understand why they need to point perpendicular to the view they are created in. It would be much more intuitive if they were parallel. Then you could draw legs and such in a prebent state and they'd just be ready to go. This is how XSI works. If you draw a bone chain in a view, then the primary rotation angle is set to be parellel with the view.

There should also be no need to assign bone weight maps in modeler. Skelegons should automatically exert influence in modeler which also forms an associated weightmap that can then be tweaked either using falloff settings for the bone itself or through paint edits. Vertex Paint needs to be integrated fully into modeler as well. Right now it's like an entirely separate app within modeler.

Setting up joint morphs would also be easier if you could just rotate a skelegon tweak the mesh to fit the deformation at that angle and then store the morph target. I'm not talking about the Rotate Skelegons plugin either. That buggy POS doesn't work properly as is, and requires that all skelegons in a chain be joined or it breaks at unmerged joints. Which reminds me - there'd need to be actual parenting of skelegons without the need to merge them for this to really work.

In short, just give us real bones in modeler that are easy to setup and change, and help automate some of the more tedious aspects of character setup. An intelligent bone system would know that if a joint were selected, it should automatically be draggable, and a bone is selected, it should be able to be rotated automatically.

This would also give us a much more Mirai-like approach to building characters since you could pose them while you build and tweak weights on the fly, not to mention being able to pose them and fire them off to layout for renders if you aren't interested in animation or fighting with layout to get a decent character setup.

I could go on and on about this stuff, so I'll just shut it right now. =]

Edit: sorry, I posted as [email protected] earlier, since, well, I was at work, and for some dumb reason I have 2 user accounts. :rolleyes:

09-27-2004, 11:10 PM
I completely agree. Don't think of skelegons as skelegons though, it's just a marketing name (that I think Peebler made up ..) for bones in modeler. TYhe only problem is that these bones in modeler are a very very limited version of layout's bones. But I totally agree with what you say Gwot, skelegons should be just as functional as layout's bones.

09-28-2004, 01:12 AM
I could go on and on about this stuff, so I'll just shut it right now. =]

Thanks for nailing it.

I couldn't agree more - particularly about setting up bones in layout. Clunky as hell.

This issue really highlights the lack of proper integration between the two apps, as well as the unnecessary hurdles we are forced to jump to do stuff that's EASY in other apps.

09-28-2004, 01:30 AM
To be honest if the bone tools worked properly on the mac I dont think you would find drawing bones in layout to be that klunky.
I also understand that rigging for video games is a bit different then rigging just to create animation.

I prefer to rig where the animation takes place - in layout. Its very easy to draw bones in layout and then tweak using tip mover/joint mover. Fixing the pitch is also very easy and fast, even on a lot of bones.

I tend to pose my character and then tweak the bone settings and so on to make the deformations behave. I realize that everyone has their preferred approach to all this but I have found that if you set up the rigging tools in a logical way, getting thru the process is relatively quick and easy.

I also have never really had problems with rigging in layout either before bone tools or skelegons. The trick was to model so that it made adding bones easier.
I made sure that arms and legs were more or less in the same plane. The same for hands/fingers. This would insure that bones only needed to be rotate around the xy or z axis rather then try and get the bones to follow off axis angles on limbs. With the new bone tools I have a lot more lee way with this since bone twister makes it a snap to fix even really screwy bone setups.

Ive mentioned before that I have certain criteria that my rigs must conform to. Mostly it has to do with poseability and stability.

I agree that theres room for improvement (esp on the Mac) but what we have now is a huge improvement.

09-28-2004, 02:52 AM
That's my point Larry, everything you say is true (as usual) about the bone tools ...

...if they worked.

Look at these examples and you see what I mean.

I get an error about LW finding a 'Non Zero Pivot position in the bones to edited,' This happens when I attempt to move the use the tools without a bone selected. I which is meant to enable you to move combinations of bones in the hierarchy at the same time.

All the bones have had their Pivot Rotation record at frame 0 - (checked many times)
If I use the Steup>Modify>Orirentation>remove RPR, I get a dialogue that seems to do something, but still I can't edit the bones en masse. I also tried removing Piv Pos, too.


It may be me, but can help on that would be appreciated...

09-28-2004, 04:18 AM
On Window LW Modeler there is a tips to "unlock" bank handles when you are not able to use them or if they are not displayed.
On perspective view when you use edit skelegon tool, try to midle or left clic without moving on the pivot of the skelegon. The bank handle will be displayed correctly now, but I don't know if it is working on MAC LW Modeler.

09-28-2004, 11:14 AM
Larry: I prefer to do my actual setup in a modeling environment. Bones, weightmaps, mesh tweaks, joint morphs etc. All of that stuff should have full access to modeling tools. For control rigs (which relate far more to actual animation) I have no problem doing that in Layout, even though I still feel it is a clunky environment to work in compared to any other app I've used. I also prefer NOT to model according to any forced position due to bone or ik limitations. I usually go for a more characterized look with my base model, and then if needed, create a bind pose from that (this should never be necessary though IMO).

I used to be full on in support of integrating modeler and layout completely in order to provide a better setup environment for all types of character work rather than a Layout-only way. This is more inline with how other apps work. Theres less distinction about what process occurs where, and it's a lot less 'linear' than in LW. By no means would I want to eliminate layout for setup as it is. I just want an alternative, as I feel it doesn't meet my needs for my character work.

These days I'm more in favor of keeping them separate (it would be less work for newtek), but only on condition that I have more options for doing my setup work in modeler. I much prefer to layer my rigging process by laying down my deformers first and making sure all that stuff works - even better if I could do that while I model since animation doesn't really play a part in this phase. Only after that do I worry about slapping a control rig on top of that. To work this way would make more sense to have real bones in modeler. I'd still do all my actual control rig stuff in layout. I'm convinced that this is all you really need to justify keeping modeler and layout separated. For weight map work you absolutely need to have full control over your bones, and since weight maps are done entirely in modeler that's where I want my bones too. Joint morphs would be easier too so that would be an added bonus.

Think about it... if you could make your changes to your skeleton in modeler and have them update accordingly in layout, without having to reload the object and reconvert skelegons again, and they came over to layout with RPR, rest length, pos, etc already established, you'd be able to make changes to your setups at any point - even during animation. This is why messiah rocks over lw for doing character setup (not counting the fact that it doesn't do weight maps) - because it actually separates setup completely from animation. You'd also never have to worry about messing up your setup pose because it is kept safely in the lwo file rather than on the timeline. Modeler is a much safer environment for experimenting with setup and tweaking as you go.

I have other issues with layout and the way it works in general. It is not an elegant environment in my opinion for doing finer tasks that modeler is already quite good at. From viewport control, to manipulator functionality, to grid size affecting transform sensitivity! WTF is that about?! That should be zoom dependent! Anyway, lots of little things that need to be ironed out for me to change my stance on layout for setup or animation work. I think I just have too many other experiences with other apps where this part of my job was more enjoyable.

I only complain about this stuff because I can see a lot of potential in this app to be so much better, and I really do like a lot of what is there already. I only want a better LW in the end so I kinda have to spew this stuff till then. :p