View Full Version : LW8 - how do I setup the elastic girl ?

Alessandro P.
05-26-2005, 01:15 PM
it's me again :o,

I converted the morphs of my old characters (many thanks again for your help). Now I have another issue. I need to setup a character so that she can stretch her body during the animation. I'm wondering what's the correct/best way to do it in LW.

In my old modeller I was using telescopic bones, floating bones, deform cages, or a combination of them, depending on the animation I needed to do.

In LW I see there are splines that can deform a character. It's not clear to me if I can use them together with bones, or if I can float and/or scale/stretch a bone during the animation. I'll do some tests. Meanwhile any advice is very welcome and needed please..

best regards, Alessandro

05-26-2005, 02:05 PM

You want stretchybones :) Select the bones which you want to make stretchy, and run Make StretchyGN.ls and this will sort out the finicky stuff for you.

Once you've done that, you'll be able to select those bones and scale them in any manner and it'll be compensated for so their children won't become deformed. This also works for objects.

Alessandro P.
05-27-2005, 11:39 AM
thank you very much !

Actually I'm exploring the manual. From what I can understand it seems possible to build a spline structure to drive the character. Using maps to define the splines influence area, and rest positions to define the starting shape of the splines so to fit them to the character. Another interesting tool is Shockmonkey, if the placeholders can be moved other than rotated, it could be possible to do floating/stretching effects. As far as I can see deformations should work together with skeletons too. I have to get the time to do some tests..

Anyway, at the end I feel that your plugin will be the best way. In my own opinion it should be included in the standard LW distribution. Telescopic bones are great to work with. Your plugin also shows the amazing power of Lscript. I am stunned.

As for floating bones, that is, bones that can be moved other than rotated. Do you believe it is possible to do the effect ? I also would like to hear what do you think about splines and Shockmonkey to animate "elastic" characters.

best regards, Alessandro

05-27-2005, 12:36 PM
I think when Pixar animated ElastiGirl they would have used different rigs for different scenes.. Depending on what she needed to do.

05-27-2005, 03:48 PM
Aww blush, twurnt nothin'. You can do all this in LW, it just makes it easy to set up is all.

As Carm says, they'll have set up EG multiple different ways to get the effect they wanted in a particular scene.

05-27-2005, 10:40 PM
rigging that level ( Pixar ) every scene would have had a different rig

I know in my own work
1 standard rig may Cover 90% of the scenes
But at other times, It seems best to mak rigs on shot by shot level
rigging custom character rigs for each scene that's needed

Fine tuning one SUPER rig to do everything would take Alot longer then to just
make 5 or 6 different rigs ready for set scenes.

Alessandro P.
05-28-2005, 09:50 AM
I agree,

I wasn't meaning to build a super-setup. Of course that makes no sense. I was just trying to get some advice about what LW tools are better to stretch a character during the animation. When I buy a new modeller (this is the case), I find it very unvaluable to listen to the opinion of advanced users about the right way to do things.

To me it seems that splines (obj properties->add displacement), possibly used together with bones (setup->general->enable deform) could be a good way to go.

For example to do a scene when Elastigirl stretch her arms to create lazo rings to catch the kids, while running and shouting to the them. Normal bones could be used to rig the lower body and torso. Splines could be used to rig the arms. Endomorphs for the head. Softbody dynamics for hair and the chest (but I'm wondering if lazy points could be enought for this).

Actually I'm just wondering if this could be the right way to do it in LW, or if there's a simpler or better way.. As far as I can see using splines together with bones is not that easy since it needs to setup maps to isolate the splines area (allow stretch and scale by weightmap options in the spline control panel).

There are so many tools in LW that figuring out what's the best way is a hard task. I'm trying to grab some experience from you.. Ok, ok.. I'll stop blabbing and start reading some more tutorial :o

Thank you very much indeed for your replies, I do appreciate them all.

05-28-2005, 11:13 AM
usually exist many rigs, depend from scene to scene, to do an elastic girl, you can do bone that change its lenght with a null, with simple expression vmag you can apply to bone a distance between previous bone and null that controll hand.

if you see on sample did from splinegod, you can found a rig that use this kind of setup, when it build something like spline deformer like messiah deformer with bone and a series of null that control lenght of bone via expression.

05-28-2005, 07:21 PM
Sorry Alessandro P. i jump over the Elastigirl problem :o

to do it in LW would be very HARD and if you new to LW Hmm....... what were you using before ?

Honestly I would love to try to do Elastigirl in XSI
but in Lw not so happy to dive in

not knowing the job I would work from each storyboard and build everything on a per scene base

So Not do the rig with the character at standard pose I'd rig her in the pose she is at frame 1 for each scene

Bones first get the basic shape animation done then tidy the deformation with some endomorphs ( try to create these using Layout but addding a cloth deformer and edit the cloth effect and create endo's from there )

other then that have to say Elastigirl would be a hard job in LW ( layout/modeler spilt makes it hard ) but it could be done For sure :)

Alessandro P.
05-29-2005, 04:48 AM

your idea is excellent. It does make sense and sounds pretty easy. Thank you so much !

p.s. since you ask it, I come from Truespace. It has good modeling tools (easysplit on selective SDS, full NURBS..) but it's not excellent on animation and rendering (no softbody, no caustics..)

Alessandro P.
05-29-2005, 04:49 AM

it sounds very interesting. Please could you point me to that resource ? I searched for Splinegod, and I found many interesting topics, but nothing about what you're talking about. Also, there's a link in the Splinegod's site that could apply, but it's broken..

Alessandro P.
05-29-2005, 04:51 AM

to anyone interested, I did a quick search on flay.com, and I found many other interesting tools that I guess could help with this topic. I mean, other than the very powerful plugin that Dodgy already pointed out. I didn't test those plugins and I'm relying on what I understand from their description.

rv rigtools
- similar to IK booster in LW8, but allowing to stretch bones too

shift splinetransform
- similar to spline displacement in LW8, builds a skeleton made up of splines

- animated extrusions in Layout

05-29-2005, 08:55 AM
you can add sg_fertilizer which is powerful and more confortable than shifter.

the site of splinegod is on, but i see that rig part is off line, i'm afraid.

Alessandro P.
06-05-2005, 06:31 AM
Just another very easy way to do the telescopic bone effect..

Look at the new IK booster example worm_rig.lws that you find on the contents folder. It uses simple bones that are positioned in a "spring way" /\/\/\. This is a clever and effective way to do the telescopic bone effect. No extra plugins, no splines :) :) ..

bye, Alessandro

06-05-2005, 06:50 AM
Discussion about Elasti Girl Rig and how Pixar did it:

06-07-2005, 05:58 PM
This is one tricky rig to get right, and obviously PIXAR have almost infinite resources. If you get animating soon Alessandro i would love to see the different results you achieve.

I know for a fact that they used a clever spline system to drive the stretch deformations on Elastigirl, but the most amazing thing to me was how they swapped rigs. They had two rigs directly on top of each other, one with the spline deformations, the other with regular. While there was no need for the stretchy bits she was animated normally, but the stretchy rig would follow identically. Then as soon as they wanted an arm to fly off -------> that way, or a leg to fling about <------ in that direction they would switch the visible rig.

I was amazed because i thought they would have done it in a way that i couldn't ever imagine, but i actually thought this would be the way i would do it.

Just realised someone posted a link to how they did it... i'll have a read of that, cheers.

Alessandro P.
06-08-2005, 07:53 AM
hi Lardbros,

sorry I haven't any animation to show yet :o. I am new to LW and I plan to do some practice for almost one month. It is important for me to uderstand the tools and how they work, and the good way to do things, before including LW in the pipeline and plan an animation job.

The tutorials out there are great, the manual too. And the help I get from this forum is amazing. Many thanks to all of you :).

bye, Alessandro