View Full Version : Clone Incremental Heierarchy

12-14-2006, 12:21 AM
Ok... I have a fairly complex IK rig, it includes multiple different objects, each with multiple different layers. I want't to take a looped animation, a walk cycle, and create an array of characters. The problem is, that when LW does a clone hierarchy, its not too intelligent in how it clones as it doesn't transfer the cloned goal IDs to the new hierarchy. Is there a way I can clone a hierarchy and preserve goals?

If this isn't the best way, is there a way I can bake an IK operation and then apply to the root object and save boatloads of time? This all seems like no brainer stuff which should be present without much digging.

Need help. I don't want to have to re-associate 42 hierarchies each with a lot of goals.


12-14-2006, 01:26 AM
Workaround attempt... headed off at the past.

So I tried saving an increment of the scene, and rename all of the goals, then reload the items from the new scene into the old scene, then I have two IK rigs. Well this doesn't work either, as renaming an object doesn't reassign its ID. When the object is reloaded, all the new goal nulls get assigned new IDs and the "cloned" objects are attracted to the original nulls.

There has to be a way of doing this short of baking the motion of the hierarchy and assigning the baked motion to every object within the hierarchy. I'm not entirely sure how to do this either.

Need help.



12-14-2006, 02:25 AM
try this one.


12-14-2006, 06:31 AM
You could save out a rig file which will save out IK Goals as well.
You could bake the animation as an mdd file and reuse that on similar characters. The playback speed can be varied. DPKit (a free plugin) has nodes to control the playback of mdd files using expressions or other motion modifiers. If you bake its easier to do it with everything in a single layer.
You could also use motion mixer to create hmot files. DStorm also has a couple of free plugins to extract and reuse motions as hmot files. :)

12-14-2006, 07:32 AM
One of the biggest issues I've been running into is that this isn't a bone driven IK but rather an object IK. I'll make an attempt with the other ideas, though.

12-14-2006, 09:04 AM
Thanks for the fast response.
Would it be worthwhile re-rigging this character as a bone driven character? Right now the arms, legs, etc are all seperate files/layers. I didn't really realize that this would become a problem/ nightmare until now.

12-14-2006, 09:18 AM
Probably. You can parent things to bones as well as have bones deform things directly. Just curious, what kind of character is it and why have it in so many layers? :)

12-14-2006, 09:23 AM
Its a robot... A pretty complicated one as well.


I have hydraulics targeted to each other, each appendage is a seperate file/layer, its all together, not a mess per se, just complicated. I think I might kill the IK engine if I push it in the direction i want to go.

Perhaps I'll dramatically simplify the cloned robots, and for the main actor, use the full IK setup, that might be a more efficient use of my time.

Thanks for the help, Splinegod, keep the ideas coming if you have them.

12-14-2006, 09:33 AM
I would do the basic character in a form that can be animated quickly without worrying about the hydraulics etc.
I would do those as self contained scenes you can load in and have them 'snap' to the right parts/appendages using relativity.
You can also assemble the whole rig but use relativity to do the parenting and hydraulics etc. Once assembled and everythings setup with Relativity you can delete the base rig and then save whats left as its own scene.
Later after you animate the base character you can do a load from scene with the hydraulics. Once everything sees what they need to they will automatically snap onto the proper parts. Relativity is great for stuff like that.
Alternatively you could leave the hydraulics etc in the scene parented/attached using Relativity. You could create a selection set for all that and hide/unhide those parts. At the same time you could create expression groups in relativity to turn the expressions on/off at the same time. This would allow you to animate more quickly and then turn all that back on when y ou need to see it.
The main idea is that you dont want to mix animating with deforming or moving a lot of expression controlled stuff at the same time.
You might want to check this video out as it gets the idea across. :)

12-14-2006, 10:53 AM
Right, relativity is the only way to do this sort of following because its an after IK motion. This simplifies my life a bunch, thanks!

12-15-2006, 12:53 AM
Question: Does relativity dislike the Match Goal Orientation setting. I'm not getting following to occur on any instances of this.

12-15-2006, 01:35 AM
Relativity or other expressions do not see match goal.It cant even be baked. Theres a 3rd party match goal plugin that can be baked. There are also other ways to get the same effect as match goal.

I believe LWs graph editor expressions do see IK now. The motion modifier expressions do as well as follower. The reason I recommended Relativety is because you can use load from scene and the items with relativity will automatically work when they see the reference item. LWs expression wont do that and will become a mess if you do try it.

If youre using IK on the hydraulics I would use another method instead.

12-15-2006, 03:18 AM
LW's graph editor expressions still do not see IK.

12-15-2006, 03:37 AM
You can use the motion modifier though, which has an 'After IK' toggle.
The Expression modifier in the graph editor, kind of does see the value (you can see the dotted line rise and fall as an IK item changes) but it doesn't actually affect the expression controlled object.

12-15-2006, 08:09 AM
For the Hydraulics, I'm going to use a point at in relativity then offset the target... if that works. Not the best way, but since these will be clones, then once its done I don't have to see my work.

12-15-2006, 09:05 AM
Once again, thanks for the help. Is there anyway to take a heigherarch and do a time offset globally for all of the child items? When I go in and edit the offsets myself, Relativity has been having problems reading them.

12-15-2006, 12:29 PM
Here is the walk cycle if anybody is interested.

12-15-2006, 05:47 PM
Are you talking about the offsets in realtivity itself using Dr Follower or in the graph editor?
The walk cycke is a decent first pass IMO. The feet are slipping some and he feels a bit more like hes trying to tread softly rather then something thats heavy. :)

12-16-2006, 02:49 AM
good point. Gravity needs to be my friend. Thanks!

12-16-2006, 02:53 AM
You need to make sure that the feet are being firmly planted on the ground and dont move when weight is placed on them. Make sure your goal strength is high enough to keep the ankle stuck to the goal. Make sure that you adjust set keys to linear when the feet should be planted to avoid 'spline overshoot'.
Once you get the basic walk cycle looking nice and solid then focus on adding some overlapping motion and secondary motions. :)