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sammael
10-06-2006, 12:30 AM
Does anyone else find lightwave rigging a complete nightmare?...
I have wasted a whole day so far trying to rig a moderately complex character. I find that you can change your bone settings/weightmap settings a tiny bit and get massive diference to the effect on your model.
The only other software I have used for rigging is max but within half an hour I had better results using the character studio biped system than I have in day of rigging in LW. I dont like max much thats why im a LW user but rigging in LW seems overly complex and unpredictable. I have read plenty of tutorials and in the past have managed to rig less complex characters but right now its like im living a nightmare.
Does anyone have any tips for rigging a character witk 10k+ subpatches? Is there any hidden improvements for character setup that I may have missed in v9?
I have read things in the past about implementing a biped system and but I cant seem to find any such thing.

DiedonD
10-06-2006, 01:25 AM
I usually use skelegons, regardless what they say, it works fine to me, and then rig the rest in Layout. Depending on your character's limbs, it shouldnt take for a day. I usually do it for an hour tops. Unless your doing the hundred legged insect, dont know how they call it in english properly. In which case probably expressions would be the way.

toby
10-06-2006, 01:58 AM
I've just done a character with 18k subd polys, and I didn't use any features newer than skelegons. Sometimes I have to rotate the pivot point of a bone or something like that, but it's pretty straightforward. The only problems I have are things like forgetting to assign a weight map in a bone or something. What kinds of problems are you having?

cresshead
10-06-2006, 05:43 AM
maybe try meastro?

Phil
10-06-2006, 05:46 AM
Skelegons. Shame they don't roundtrip, or preview bone deformation in Modeler, but these are known and hopefully will get addressed in 9.x in the near future.

T4DRigger or Maestro would be good automation tools. Maestro is significantly more extensible, if you can find the cash.

sammael
10-06-2006, 07:18 AM
diedond - LW rigging in less than an hour :bowdown:

toby - the image below shows the sort of problems I am having, I adjust the weight/bone settings to fix the problem and then I rotate a limb only to find I have another problem with the opposite rotation... I just cant seem to find a happy medium.

cresshead, Phil - I dont realy want to have to buy an autorig solution.

cresshead
10-06-2006, 08:24 AM
don't take this the wrong way but 'show us your bones!'
i'd also subscribe to the splingod method of hold bones rather than weightmaps...

sammael
10-06-2006, 08:28 AM
bones

cresshead
10-06-2006, 08:54 AM
throw some 'hold bones' in there.you'll have a done deal in a few mins.

sammael
10-06-2006, 09:03 AM
some hold bones in where?

MiniFireDragon
10-06-2006, 10:07 AM
Also look into IK Booster. It has quar.. qua... it has a better solution then the current HPB solution, so if u reach gimble lock or a wierd rotation you can turn on the funtion and it alievates issues dealing with that. I only mention this because you said you had problems with rotation.

And IK Boost works better if you use in as a compliment to your rig system. It allows you to easily turn off and on IK, as well as limit it to how far up the chain it goes.

toby
10-06-2006, 01:00 PM
Oh so it looks like it's deformation of the clothes that you're not happy with? I have some of the same issues, but I'm going to fix them on a shot-by-shot basis, only what shows in the camera. Don't worry about making a rig that deforms perfectly everywhere in any possible position, even Maya rig programmers don't get it all the first time. You should expect to have to tweak the rig during animation anyway.

What are those 'rib' bones for? I'm sure they'll slow down your workflow.

DogBoy
10-06-2006, 02:04 PM
Also look into IK Booster. It has quar.. qua... it has a better solution then the current HPB solution, so if u reach gimble lock or a wierd rotation you can turn on the funtion and it alievates issues dealing with that. I only mention this because you said you had problems with rotation.

Well if he has LW[9] he can use Quatro to alleviate gimbal lock anyway. Just use it if you get rotation wierdness.

sammael
10-06-2006, 06:41 PM
What are those 'rib' bones for? I'm sure they'll slow down your workflow.

The rib bones are to hold out the geometry of the chest and back when i rotate the arms, I could probably get rid of a few of them but it definately needs some, without them I get excessive deformation in the sides of his torso.

SplineGod
10-06-2006, 11:07 PM
I dont think you need that many rib bones. The force field around bones are capsule shaped so you can sometimes get away with less bones if the orientation is changed.

I would also start out testing just the bone deformations first and then deciding to fix some issues with additional hold bones or weight maps. Weight mapping last is IMO a more logical workflow since bones in LW are already deformers. This isnt so in other apps like Maya where you must use WMs.

Use bones to resist rotations in some areas. Heres an example of a shoulder:
http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/examples/shoulder_rig.mov

For something with so many subpatches I would also add in a lower poly proxy character. Heres a demonstration:
http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/examples/char_rig_demo.zip

toby
10-06-2006, 11:42 PM
My rigging experience is very little but what bothers me about hold-bones is that I always find myself trying to balance out the different bone influences, and still get some deformation that I don't want. I'm a big KISS fan... Keep It Simple, Stupid, so I just bite the bullet and make wgt maps - even though it makes your model heavier. After the second character I pretty much had them figgered out, and I don't get any torso deformation when I bend arms. But then my character rigs will probably never get used professionally either...

sammael
10-08-2006, 12:19 AM
SplineGod - thanks a lot for the advice and vids, this helps me a lot.

I think I have this sorted now, its been about 2 years since I last did a rig so I had forgotten a lot of key factors that I learned previously, thanks all for the replies.

sammael
10-08-2006, 12:26 AM
...

SplineGod
10-08-2006, 12:30 AM
Cool! Glad its coming back to you. Its like riding a bicycle...once you fall off its easy to learn how to fall off again :)