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mccabejc
12-03-2007, 09:53 AM
I'm wondering if there is a general consensus on some of the preferred methods for rigging and animating in LW. Here are some questions:

I've heard that IKBoost is great, but in practice do folks use it when rigging and animating their characters?

Also, I've heard opposing opinions on whether it's necessary to impose rotation limits on a simple biped. The Essential LW v9 book says no, but I've seen others say yes. I'm hoping the answer is no, because it's a whole lot of work...

I've also heard some say that LW bones are preferred over skelegons, with some good reasons. Though I've always thought that saving the skeleton out as a separate object that could be applied to any biped seems to be a strong argument in favor. Thoughts?

Although probably what I'm gonna do is buy Larry's LW9 Rigging DVD and do what he does...:D

Thanks.

Giacomo99
12-03-2007, 12:56 PM
The unfortunate answer is: it all depends. The main problem with Skelegons is that the bones created thereby tend to rotate along unexpected axes, and fixing them can be a real hassle. The Bone Tools in the newer versions of Lightwave make rigging using Layout bones a little easier.

The best way to learn rigging is probably to just start doing it with simple forms--and when you run into problems, post them on the forums.

Surrealist.
12-03-2007, 01:28 PM
Although probably what I'm gonna do is buy Larry's LW9 Rigging DVD and do what he does...

It is definitely a good idea to get information from someone who has done it before. That is what I recommend.

To add to your choice of information I would also take a look at Timothy Albee's book on LW animation. There is lots of great info in that.

Also look at some of the threads on the PLG plugin (http://www.flay.com/GetDetail.CFM?ID=2307) package (free) such as this one (http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12458&highlight=plugin) that is getting rave reviews .

SplineGod
12-03-2007, 02:55 PM
IKBoost is awsome and can do a lot of things you simply cant do any other way.
The nice thing is that it can be combined with LWs older IK system and PLG IK all on the same rig.

I typically dont use rotational limits and instead prefer to pose the way I want when I want. Ive seen some rigs use rotational limits to fix twitching or flipping joints. My experience has been that its just better to fix the problem rather then trying to bandaid it.

You can reuse skelegons in another character but not the setup you had in Layout. Bones are just as easy to reuse in another character simply by saving out a RIG file or using the object replace command to swap characters. At least youre complete rig is intact that way. I use skelegons mainly for things I cant easily setup by drawing bones. I find it easier to draw and work with the bones directly on the character in layout.

tischbein3
12-04-2007, 04:06 AM
Ive seen some rigs use rotational limits to fix twitching or flipping joints. My experience has been that its just better to fix the problem rather then trying to bandaid it.

This can be ony underlined:
In fact all my rigs wich relied on the Rotation Limits to workout properly were those who finaly had the biggest problem (jittering / unreliable ik). So I would rather prefer to say: avoid them as long as possible.

Skelegons vs Imported Rig on the other hand is a difficult question:
Both do have advantages / disadvantages (I do rather prefer to use a predefined Skelegon setup) So I suggest you should try both methods and come to your own conclusion wich method fits you best.

SplineGod
12-04-2007, 04:51 AM
Probably the biggest reason I prefer to simply swap characters in layout is, as I said, because the rigs already setup and I can quickly test deformations and no jumping back and forth to test things. :)

Sande
12-04-2007, 05:04 AM
I've also heard some say that LW bones are preferred over skelegons, with some good reasons. Though I've always thought that saving the skeleton out as a separate object that could be applied to any biped seems to be a strong argument in favor. Thoughts?
I do most of my rigging in layout. As said, with bone tools it is pretty fast - also you can put in all the control nulls right away, you easily see that all the rotations work and you can test your rig and deformations instantly. You can load your bones to modeller as a skelegon with a plugin if you need to.

adamredwoods
12-04-2007, 06:07 PM
...and I setup skelegons in Modeler because of the UNDO and better position control. Then I use Dodgy's UpdateBone script in layout to update any changes I made. An endless debate, but having options is a good thing. :)

update bones plugin:
http://dodgy.ghostoutpost.com/Lscripts.html