View Full Version : Kiwavers (NZ) meeting, 30th Apr 2003

05-01-2003, 05:33 AM
We just had our April UG meeting - Here's the break down for anyone wanting to know...

I had a few cool videos - Some Scandinavian animation, some new TV promos for the Latest series of Reboot (www.reboot.com) and a few short segments from the French CG film 'Kaena'. I also had a very nice piece of character animation by ZeroGravity in Aussie, created for a Newtek contest...


Petrik showed us a few renders and creature model that he and his team were doing as an Assignment at AUT. Nice subpatching work, and eyelid morphs! :-)
I also had a few items to show - I even bought some old animation from back 1995-1996 era! (My first ever character animation, and a short sci-fi flick)
I followed up with some lipsync work I was playing with (Work in progress) as well as some sketches I'd been making for Spaceship texturing and detailing design (since I hadn't updated the model since last meeting - At the same time proving that I am indeed a trekkie-geek type with my explanations of the ships 'forward shield array generator' plan I'd drawn up! Doh!).
I ended my display of show'n'tell with my latest Plugin - 'Unclog that Log' (www.kevman3d.com/lightwave.asp) - Use LightWave to manage your web site! A tool to analyse web log files and turn them into detailed reports... The response to that was, eh, silent! :)
I had also prepared some tutorials on how to create cool effects using a mixture of HV sprites and particles, but didn't really cover this at all (I did a few minutes at the end for a couple of curious users who stuck around). However I did install the ParticleIllusions (www.particleillusion.com) demo player and PromeatheanFX (www.dam-ent.com) demo to show how sprite-based particle effects could create some outstanding effects...

Next meeting, I'll do the HV tutorials in detail...

The rest of the meeting seemed to become one looonnnggg Rigging workshop! I had decided to wing my way through the tutorial without much preparation, so I was lucky some people piped up and hinted on things I'd slipped over... :-)

Rule # 1 - Never start to learn rigging with your OWN models (unless you're a great modeler that is!)

I recommended starting out learning about bones and rigging using a professionally built model - Why? Cause its easy for a badly built model to introduce non-rig related problems, making learning about bones and rigging a frustrating task! I used the model 'HumanMale.lwo' which comes with the LightWave CD (a modified version that I had built a head onto! (yes, its originally headless!)) - It seems to be very easy to rig up and use.

I started with a step-by-step look at how to lay out bones - Thinking about how many bones I needed, and explaining along the way WHY I was making certain bones. I avoided Weightmaps completely - Because I believe that more headaches are caused by mass Weightmapping by people then bones! :-)

I did show the fantastic 'Skelegon Editor' by dstorm (www.dstorm.co.jp, or just search on www.flay.com) - This is one nice piece of tool for everything to do with Skelegons! Its free too! Note that Fiori Ichikawa, author of the cool 'FI_BezierBend' has also created a Skelegon plugin that adds a few more features for peple who use Skelegon Editor

We then loaded the model into Layout, I converted the Skelegons and then went through the skeleton, looking at how it performed, and tweeking things such as the bone falloff and restlength (and NOT scale) to get areas deforming nicely. We looked at joint compensation and muslce flexing, and how combinations of bones could be used to twist joints. In some places that bones caused some headaches, I showed how a few simple 'hold' bones could be added to fix issues, and how you could set up bones with a bit of targetting to get a 'deltoid' muscle flex effect.

I finished up with how to set up basic IK in the legs. All good stuff, and I got PLENTY of questions along the way!

Started around 6:00pm, finished just after 10:00pm - Not a bad meeting - Back again for May's in a couple of weeks! :)