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ScottSullivan
08-29-2006, 10:15 AM
Up until now, I haven't done much in the way of character animation. Mostly camera flyby shots and mechanical type animations. Now that I'm getting into character animation, I'm curious how others animate.

I'm trying to use Maestro and just started to dig into Larry's excellent rigging tutorials. But here's what's happening...

When I move the feet forward in a basic walk cycle, the "object" box remains static and the character walks "out" of his bounding box, if that makes sense. So in the picture below, he's a few meters away from his bounding box.

Is this normal? Or do you guys move his bounding box around. From other tutorials they move the bounding box around in stepped animation on key poses. Then they refine until it looks good. But doing it this way, I have a hard time locking the feet.

How are you guys doing this?

Thanks SO much!
Scott

Surrealist.
08-29-2006, 07:21 PM
I leave the bounding box behind, other than to set the initial orientation for the begining of the scene. This way you are only concerned with the controls for your character and are fee to move him about with the bones only. Depending on your rig set up you can move most of the character from say the root bone at the base of the spine which moves all of the object but the feet and then you can leave the feet planted, then fine tune with all of the other motions to make the walk look natural.

I am a bit of a novice at this but I learned from Timothy Albee's book which is an excelent book on rigging and animation.

SplineGod
08-30-2006, 12:16 AM
Hi Scott, thats normal because when you animate using the bones it deforms the mesh. Since the mesh itself (based on its pivot point) is being moved it appears to stay. I usually parent the character to a null and move that to move the whole character and then use the IK Goals to pose the legs.

Theres a few ways to do a walk cycle:
1. Make the character walk forward one cycle then use the graph editor to repeat and offset the motions.
2. Make the character walk in place then use the cycist plugin to automate the walk based on the speed of a control null (like the one the character is parented to).
3. Use some expressions to make the character autocenter between the feet goals so that all you need to do is step the goals forward and then the whole character will walk forward. Once youre done bake the motions and remove the expressions, filter the keys and start finessing it some more.
4. Animate pose to pose. Get the poses right for each step. If the feet are sliding check the curves on the Leg Goals in the graph editor to make sure theres no spline overshoot causing the slippage. You can fix that using tension or setting those keys to linear,

ScottSullivan
08-30-2006, 07:35 AM
Ok. I feel better! Thanks for the tips guys. Larry, by the way... GREAT course. I'm on the 7th or 8th video (working on adding the controllers to the feet). I really like adding the bones in Layout. Though I'm still mixing and matching technqniques since I'm using Maestro as well and that needs bones installed in Modeler.

Thanks, Larry and Richard! I'll be posting some WIP animations soon thanks to your help!

Scott

SplineGod
08-30-2006, 04:54 PM
Thanks Scott. :)