View Full Version : Seeking Bones, Skelegons, Rigging Advice

09-15-2008, 09:25 PM
Hey. I was wondering if I could get some general tips on where to go next with this character rig. I'm following the chapter in Essential Lightwave 9 on rigging. My goal is to build some poseable figures for stills. The figure is relatively low subpatched type. After posing I may export a mesh for sculpting in ZBrush. So far its just skelegons->bones. No weight maps. Subdivision set to After Bones. Using 9.5. Questions:

I've got some pretty extreme bends at the elbows. I've fiddled with joint compensation and 100% is the best looking (shown). The shoulder bend is pretty good by itself for some reason. Not sure why. Maybe that little bone at the shoulder?
Is the shirt geometry sufficient and/or placed correctly for a full range of motions? Is there any modeling trick I could use to help with the elbow squishing?
Is it realistic to assume that one T-posed figure will be able to assume the full range of arm and leg motions? I remember some advice a long time ago that seems to suggest I might be unrealistic here.
Reading some posts here and in the 9.5 manual hasn't told me much about joints. I'm using all z-axis bones. Anyone care to explain whether I should be considering joints?

Thanks in advance.

09-16-2008, 01:36 AM
1. Use joint compensation, muscle flexing, corrective morphs. extra bones etc. etc.
2. Hard to say. It depends as you said on the range of motions. Use the same techniques as in #1 to get things right.
3. Its never realistic to assume that youre character will look great in every pose. Thats why you use what deformation tools are available to make a character look good in a particular pose.
4. Joints have some extra abilities that zbones dont have such as twisting control, compensation etc in other channels beside pitch.

Dont feel like you are bound to any one particular way of correcting deformations. You would be surprised at some of the hoops even big studios jump thru to make things work. In the end you do whatever it takes to make things look right.
Heres some videos I have that might be useful along these lines:

09-16-2008, 02:15 PM
Hey. I tried to view the videos but the page says I do not have permission to view the media.

09-16-2008, 02:36 PM
You might have to register. www.vfxcast.com

09-16-2008, 04:34 PM
Also, get Jonny Gorden's "Lightwave 3D 8 Cartoon Character Creation" books (especially Vol. 2, but both were enormously helpful to me). The "Essential Lightwave" book is good, but Gorden's is in my opinion much better.

09-16-2008, 05:56 PM
Grrr... I hate signing up but the videos showed some good techniques built around hold bones which I admit I never was really clear on what they were. I was also surprised to find bones in rigging that was not connected. I never thought about that.

I guess I've always thought that if I just strung out the bones and fiddled with the settings something good would eventually happen. Maybe a weight map or two. Now I'm finding out that there's a lot more subtlety and just plain work. :foreheads

RE: Jonny books. Yeah I've heard mention of these several times. If I get more serious into this I'll definitely check that out.

09-16-2008, 07:42 PM
Glad the videos were helpful. Signing up isnt so bad. Theres a ton of great stuff on vfxcast and I decided to sign up and start uploading a ton of videos that Ive had for quite awhile. Many are videos that Ive done in the past for 3D World Magazines DVD, specialized training for clients that Ive done and so on. So far the sites been pretty good and its nice to have a site dedicated for VFX people. BTW I also have a ton of courseware which comes with support on the topic of rigging.
Heres some of it:
In terms of content its many many hours worth of material and as I said comes with support.

BTW heres another video you might find useful:

Ive got about 25 videos up at the moment with more on the way. :)