PDA

View Full Version : Advanced LW Character Rig



RebelHill
04-17-2009, 07:46 PM
So here it is... my Jerico rig for LW96... Its got all the bells and whistles you'd expect to find in a fully featured advanced character rig... What with the recent talk of setting up a CA section here (marvin... hello... marvin??) It would be helpful for some folks (those who cant, ahem, wont rig) to actually have something to start animating with... well, so I figure..

so download, check it out, and enjoy.

www.rebelhill.net/jerico/Downloads/J_rig.zip

IMI
04-17-2009, 08:52 PM
Wow, how generous of you, thanks! :)

hrgiger
04-17-2009, 08:55 PM
Thanks RH.

Oh, and that section you're looking for is here: http://www.newtek.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=276

Castius
04-17-2009, 09:14 PM
Very generous and very well done. :thumbsup:

sammael
04-17-2009, 09:14 PM
Looks pretty sweet! but I cant make it work :compbeati
Thanks though :D

IMI
04-17-2009, 09:43 PM
Looks pretty sweet! but I cant make it work :compbeati
Thanks though :D

Because of all the 3rd party plugins maybe. They're in the plugins folder in the zip file, but that folder also has a zip folder in it, so you'd have to unzip that too and then install them first.
Just my theory that is - I saw all those plugins and figured I need to wait until I have the time to deal with all that, plus make time to study it along with the video he included.
I take it also that all the plugins are for 32 bit LW.
Cute little character, though, it will be fun to animate him. :)

sammael
04-17-2009, 10:10 PM
Because of all the 3rd party plugins maybe. They're in the plugins folder in the zip file, but that folder also has a zip folder in it, so you'd have to unzip that too and then install them first.
Just my theory that is - I saw all those plugins and figured I need to wait until I have the time to deal with all that, plus make time to study it along with the video he included.
I take it also that all the plugins are for 32 bit LW.
Cute little character, though, it will be fun to animate him. :)

hehe your right, thanks I didnt bother to look in the folder I just set content directory and skipped the failed plugins :D

*note to self - must not be so impatient

Yamba
04-17-2009, 10:37 PM
Extremely generous, thank you very much. I'm looking forward to spending long hours digesting what's happening.

The added bonus is one of the the most enjoyable tutorial videos I had the pleasure of watching, both technique and humor wise.:jester:

Shane

jin choung
04-17-2009, 10:43 PM
tremendous rig that can (and should) be held up as an example of what lw is capable of in the right hands.

great job.

jin

JeffrySG
04-17-2009, 11:09 PM
Without having looked or tried yet (I'm downloading now), does anyone know if it will be possible to open the rig up in LW on the Mac? I wasn't sure if it has scripts you need to load or actual Win32 plugins. Just checking...

And yes, this is totally cool of you to share!!! It might be nice to use this rig for an upcoming animation challenge here where we all use the same model and try to animate the same action or scene.

Cheers!

geothefaust
04-18-2009, 01:09 AM
Hey man! Awesome. Thanks for sharing your rig. I've been looking forward to seeing this.

Now it's time to tear it apart and glean what I can. :D

dballesg
04-18-2009, 02:26 AM
Hey,

Thank you for the rig.

Going to use the scalpel on him this weekend! :)

David

mehetabel
04-18-2009, 03:32 AM
Wow, exactly on the right time. Thank you so much! I am starting to mess around with rigging/animation. But it doesn't really work out so far. A good example is exactly what I needed!

Thanks, downloading now :)

Oedo 808
04-18-2009, 04:25 AM
The past few weeks I've been trying to pay more attention to areas other than modelling, especially rigging, so this will be a big help. Even more so as I am so short on time lately.

Many thanks. :thumbsup:

OnlineRender
04-18-2009, 04:32 AM
Legend , love it when people share there data , excellent work

bobakabob
04-18-2009, 05:25 AM
RebelHill, thanks for this!

As someone with basic LW CA rigging experience I've been checking out the new joint bones in Lightwave but have much to learn about best practice. William's videos are a good intro but I'd like to learn how to build an advanced rig from the ground up.

I'm sure there would be a healthy market for a generic LW character rigging tutorial - have you thought about putting one together?

Andrewstopheles
04-18-2009, 06:39 AM
thank you

RebelHill
04-18-2009, 07:14 AM
Well, all... thanks very much for your kind words...

HR... Oh, that forum.... lol. Like most things in my life, it was right infront of me, yet could i see it???

Jin... coming from you, thats quite a compliment, im so so pleased that u like it.

As for some of the questions... everythings pretty much detailed in the vid and readme, but just so as y'all can know in advance.

The rig is based entirely on PLGik... I avoid LWIK pretty much completely, and am a 100% plg user, and have been for a few years now. The main reason is that its just far, FAR more stable... Im not saying that LWik is completely useless, but for doing more advanced stuff, or using it for lookups, it just doesnt cut it... and even in 9.6 its still a bit twitchy... not completely useless... but id say LWik is 30% useless imo, and for my purposes.

PLG is free, and is available for win32, 64 and mac PPC... sadly NO mac UB version... so u either need to use the legacy mac version through emulation, or just install windows. So while thats a shame, its not a total loss.

The other important plugin is the match goal plugin... this was only ever available for win32 LW... no 64, and no mac version. Its not a total loss, as without this plugin the only feature that breaks is the autosnap rotational matching... the positional matching will still work without it. So that one lil feature is killed if u cant use this plug, but the rigs not a total loss.

As for the LNULLS... they're just some pretty nulls for asthetic reasons... totally unessesary as far as the rig goes... they're win32 only, but nothing breaks if u dont have them...

Facial rig... Its just a couple morfs to do the jaw and main eyelid shapes.... then the rest is done with joints for the real shaping... its a good system imo, and works fine for me... I find that i can get everything i need out of face animation using just joints like this... Look up my "eggface pitch" thread i posted last month here somewher if u like... a very simple face rig, but totally, totally versatile.

Going back to plgIK though... theres a few reasons why its SO good... first its its stabilty... no pops, flips, no gimbal issues, it lets u switch out control systems for bank rotation between a twist lookup or a pole, or both... but also, and best of all, imo... its applied as a motion modifier, which means it gets evaluated at a different point to LWik... meaning that with plg LW is still able to "see" certain things that plg is controlling, because they're happening BEFORE ik (as far as lw is concerned) and its this that allows u do to all the fun switching, repinning, etc, etc...

Bokabob... joints, bones, nulls... makes no difference when it comes to control rigging... they're just items that get controlled by ik, modifiers, ehatever... joints are no different to zbones in that respect... its with deformations that they make a BIG difference... hence why if u look at this rig up close you'll find that the control rig is built on zbones, and the deform rig is built on joints... with one targeting the other, so the transition between the two becomes transparent...

As for a rigging tut, etc... well, it takes me an hour in my vid just to explain how to use/pose the rig... I dread to think how long a tut on how to bild it would go on for, lol.

Id LOVE to do such a thing though, and had planned on doing so for a while... but itd eat up a bit of time to actually put together... and id probs have to put it out as a commercial piece for that reason.... and what with CORE being around the corner... part of me feels that even if i put it out tomorrow, itd already be out of date... at least to a certain extent... kinda like trying to sell a vhs repair manual or something...

I dunno though... as far as that goes... maye y'all can give us some thoughts and feelings toward such an end.,..

anyhow, thatnks again all... im so very pleased u like this thing, and i hope u get good stuff out of it... and if anyone puts out animations using it... ill love to see em.

RebelHill
04-18-2009, 07:16 AM
Oh and castius, geo, and cagey... I know u guys futz about with loads of other approaches to rigging, using DPs nodal and so on... which I havent touched on much at all... so if any of u can think of, or find ways to get some of my functions in different ways... or think u can add to it... go for it, it'd be great to see what extras you can bolt onto this.

CGI Addict
04-18-2009, 10:23 AM
Thanks RebelHill, I hope you don't mind my placing a link into the CA section. Great work all around.

Hopper
04-18-2009, 12:04 PM
Outstanding. That's quite generous of you to share some obviously hard work. I can't wait to get some time to play with it.

I don't know about the rest of you, but it is much easier for me to learn from complete examples and a base you can always refer to. Videos are always helpful, but more often than not, they are simple examples lacking the depth needed to do anything useful quickly.

Thank you very much for sharing.

RebelHill
04-18-2009, 12:38 PM
That's quite generous of you to share some obviously hard work.

Nah.... Im just sick of all the naysayers moaning on about how you cant do decent rigging or CA with LW, and ive always banged on about how untrue it is... sooner or later, you just gotta put your money where your mouth is imo.

Dexter2999
04-18-2009, 01:12 PM
Perhaps we could get a moderator to move this to our new CHARACTER ANIMATION SECTION!! :boogiedow

geothefaust
04-18-2009, 01:16 PM
Good idea. I'll flag it for the mods. :D


RH, I'll be sure to keep you posted when I'm done with what I am working on too. :)

akademus
04-18-2009, 01:33 PM
Heeey. Nice rig. Thanks a lot.

Hope we'll see CA section soon!

Cheers!

dballesg
04-18-2009, 01:41 PM
Heeey. Nice rig. Thanks a lot.

Hope we'll see CA section soon!

Cheers!

hrgiger posted the link to the new section:

Post #3 (http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=872514&postcount=3)

Character Animation Tips & Tricks (http://www.newtek.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=276)

David

geothefaust
04-18-2009, 02:02 PM
Hey Craig,

So I was just watching the video you did (awesome BTW!), and got to the part where you talk about stuff breaking. I recently had the same thing happen with the rig I'm building now, and thought I was just too noobish to realize what was going on. Glad it really just something LW doesn't like. It's pretty much the same actually, it only happens with my space switching system and offsets.

BTW, I really like the way you're doing the space switching/pins. I was trying to avoid using motion modifiers, and only using Same as Item to do all my stuff. But honestly, as great as Same as Item is it's still in need of some refinement. This is just a personal observation of course. But you are definitely right. Motion modifiers get executed differently then Same as Item.

Anyway, still ripping it up, great so far. :D

RebelHill
04-18-2009, 02:11 PM
The reason it breaks in my rig is because of the way im using the point and orient constraints... The repinning and space switching is done using them... but so is the hip lock, and the spine IK locks... Basically what happens is when those are turned on... LW is already using on set of pos/orient constraint... which makes it unable to see the second level constrints further down (or up I should say) the hierarchy...

I reckon if I could find a way to do either one or the other without using those specific modifiers, then both could be gotten to play together nice... was thinking of seeing if I could tease plg to do the pinning and switching somehow, which should fix the issue, and also give the mac crew an option for using those features... but ive used the constraints moeifiers for this sorta thing for so long now, i just fell back on it out of habit, and didnt do too much additional exploring...

PeteS
04-18-2009, 02:17 PM
Pent, will you just bust out your training vid already my friend!!! I fell it will be years before CORE is up to serious animation snuff.
As always, nice yob ;-)

geothefaust
04-18-2009, 02:27 PM
Yeah. Makes sense.

I've been trying to do similar stuff with DPKit and item info node.

But I'm not sure it's possible there either. I'm just now diving into that.


Anyway, all this talk about rigging tutorials... If you need another +1 on that, consider my vote in that pool. I'd pay of course for your advanced rigging knowledge. You sir, are light years ahead of what I can do. Any information I can get my hands on to help advance my rigging skills is certainly welcomed. Any LW tutes out there now are basic, at best. I'd like some intermediate and advanced rigging tutorials. :)

:thumbsup:

h2oStudios
04-18-2009, 02:48 PM
Nah.... Im just sick of all the naysayers moaning on about how you cant do decent rigging or CA with LW, and ive always banged on about how untrue it is... sooner or later, you just gotta put your money where your mouth is imo.

Rightly put! Whether you use LW-IK or PLG-IK, decent rigging & CA was and is possible in LW. People are just too quick to start debates on LW versus Maya, XSI, Max, Blender, and so on.

Very impressive. I agree with some of the other posts about you developing a commercial video tutorial on Rigging and CA, but I'm pretty sure you're busy enough. LOL... the video had me cracking up man!

Great work!!!

CHEERS!

kosmodave
04-18-2009, 03:04 PM
Many Many Thanks for this RebelHill. Very generous of you :rock:- Downloading now so will dissect later. you've got to love the LW community.:bowdown:

Larry_g1s
04-18-2009, 03:33 PM
Very cool, thanks RebelHill!

RebelHill
04-18-2009, 03:47 PM
So being the great doofus that I am, I hadnt anticipated the number of downloads this thing would get... adn with the 40mb video included... im right on the edge of going over my monthly bandwidth limit for my site (in just less than 24hrs, lol)...

Anyhow... so Ive edited the zip and removed the video file... but fear not... Ive signed upto utube... and slapped it up there, so noone has to miss out :thumbsup:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=P41O0pouNn4

geothefaust
04-18-2009, 07:13 PM
Awesome idea. Glad to say I have the video on my machine too! It's worthy.


So it looks like lots of people are clamoring over your video there... Thinking about producing a commercial one? ;)

sammael
04-18-2009, 09:39 PM
Id LOVE to do such a thing though, and had planned on doing so for a while... but itd eat up a bit of time to actually put together... and id probs have to put it out as a commercial piece for that reason.... and what with CORE being around the corner... part of me feels that even if i put it out tomorrow, itd already be out of date... at least to a certain extent... kinda like trying to sell a vhs repair manual or something...

I dunno though... as far as that goes... maye y'all can give us some thoughts and feelings toward such an end.,..


I can understand that... my thoughts would be to hold off for Core, pretty safe to assume things are going to change in a fairly major way considering all the complaints over the years about LW CA.

Excelent video and rig by the way although the complexity of it reminds me why I hate rigging so much :) I hope they can automate a lot of the processes in Core.
Its a huge ammount of knowledge you have shared there and will be very helpful for a lot of people. :king:

The little morph thing you set up for the facial expressions is very cool, I had no idea you could do that in LW any quick tips on how to go about setting it up? is it a plugin or native? (the box with the controls not the joints, although that is very cool too) also can you blend multiple morphs with a single control object or is it one per morph?

RebelHill
04-19-2009, 05:54 AM
Well... heres my quandry....

Tings are DOUBTLESSLY going to change in Core... but of course HOW is anyones guess atm (with the excepion of the dev team at least)...

Things we know for sure... Jay has said that core will be THE place for CA, even though 9x is still gonna be in the LW game as a support act. We also know that Core's environment will be fully transparent (in a object space, values, and returns sense) So thats gonna make lil gotchas that pop up like the space switching/repinning issues just vansih... but how you will go about setting up these features in a rig is still anyones guess...

What Im thinking though is that although we will get a fully transparent co-ord system, I VERY much doubt we're gonna see anything in the way of a really automated CA setup system.

You say that the complexity of rigging like this is something you hate, and hope that core will be able to automate a lot of it...

No chance...

Theres just too much... too many variables. Theres not gonna be some "click, click, done" solution like that. I mean look at my rig here... Ive got 3 control methods for the head, IK, FK, and targeted... plus Ive had to link the neck rotation to switch to each system too, otherwise you'd have to be maually turning the neck to keep the geometry tidy as you switched the nead... but Jericos got a long neck, what if it was short, different controls Id have to build...

Then what if he had a trunk, or a tail, or 6 arms??? Hows all that gonna play in??

People see the superfly rigs done in maya (like victor vinyals) or xsi (like characteranimator.com)... but these packages dont set up all that stuff for you. it still requires a lot of knowing WHAT you want and how to use the included tools to make it happen (for instance in maya... lots of scripting).

Sure xsi and maya have some quick setup stuff... add spine, draw bone, draw bone, apply IK, done... But these still only give you BASIC setups that are only good for basic animation tasks... and to that end LW is just as good imo... draw bone/joint chain, aplly handle... DONE... Or even Ikboost... boom basic rig... done.

The closest Ive seen to a real in depth auto character setup system is CAT for 3ds... its an incredible tool, but something like that is gonna take months... or even years to develop... its virtually a package all by itself... and theres NO WAY core is gonna have something like that.

So on the one hand... if i take the time to show folks "open motion options, add this modifier"... then thats 9x workflow, which is soon to be outdated... BUT the actual ADVANCED stuff... which there is NO training for in LW available anywhere is about the THEORY behind rigging control... how to handle co-ordinate systems in tadem, how to use poles across multiple space systems to keep things in line... how to use this kind of control along this one to create a whole new type of functionality, and although the buttons that need to be puched to get there are application specific... the THEORY, the math... the engineering way of thinking is the SAME across ALL 3d packages...

A lot of olks have asked me how I learned to rig the way I do... theres NO training for LW out there on it... Guess what... i learned from how its done in maya, xsi, etc... and i applied those approaches and theories to lw.

So to that extent... a lot of what I could show will apply to core, or any other package, even though the interface itself would be different...

Gah... I dunno... whattaya yall think?

RebelHill
04-19-2009, 06:00 AM
For example you ask about the "jaw box"...

Its 8 different morfs... close, open, push left, push right, tip left, tip right, push forward, push back...

The box itself... hey look Im using 8 co-ordinates... Y+, Y-, X+, X-, Z+, Z-, B(ank)+, and B-, linked 1to1...

see thats the THEORY bit... and that applies to any package.

As for how to set it up... open ur graph editor, go to experssions, oen expression builder. look down the utility functions, find "morf link"... explains itself.

sammael
04-19-2009, 07:57 AM
You say that the complexity of rigging like this is something you hate, and hope that core will be able to automate a lot of it...
It's not the complexity itself its the extreme manual way its all set up in LW. Also as you said yourself you dont use the native IK because its problematic. I just dont think the whole setup side of things is very intuitive and a lot of it could be made a lot less tedious but just as effective if a bit of thought went into it. Its basically the same to set up as it was in LW 5 while other applications have evolved new and easier approaches over the years.

Ideally I would like to see some sort of biped/quadraped setup where the bones are all named and you can adjust various perameters (like the nubmer of bones in the chain) for the initial basic setup then add bones/chains to your hearts content afterwards. Maybe with a sort of proxy cage you use to get the bones in the right places before you generate the skeleton or something you know?... just ideas but whatever, I think it could be made a whole lot quicker, easier and more fun than it is currently at least for the initial basic setup.

Some tools like in the xsi videos Pooby posted would be cool... quick, easy and fun with instant visual feedback as you adjust the deformations.

Mind you, I personally am more concearned with a quick and easy rig for displaying characters and testing general geometry deformations. I have no real aspiration to be an animator but I love designing characters and I would like to be able to pass then along up the chain knowing that all of the geometry is rigging friendly. Also when you make a character its nice to be able to display it in a decent pose rather than having it standing there like a stunned mullet.

I get what your saying about the principles of LW9 rigging being easily applied to Core but I think as a commercial venture a Core rigging tutorial once Core arrives would be more sucessful. I dont know how many people would bother to buy LW9 training at this point despite the fact the skills are transferable. As you said 'kinda like trying to sell a vhs repair manual or something' pretty much sums it up. Thats just my opinion though.

Thanks just going through the video to the jaw box part so I can locate it and check it out.

jasonwestmas
04-19-2009, 08:11 AM
How long would it take an experienced rigger to set up a rig this involved in lightwave?

RebelHill
04-19-2009, 08:13 AM
Ideally I would like to see some sort of biped/quadraped setup where the bones are all named and you can adjust various perameters (like the nubmer of bones in the chain) for the initial basic setup then add bones/chains to your hearts content afterwards...

Some tools like in the xsi videos Pooby posted would be cool... quick, easy and fun with instant visual feedback as you adjust the deformations.

..I would like to be able to pass then along up the chain knowing that all of the geometry is rigging friendly.

These things are ALREADY in LW... U got the .rig format, which lets u load bone chains complete with their targets/goals... Take even the jerico rig... swap the mesh for a diferent character, deactivate the deformer bones, use joint/tip move on the control bones, reposition goals as necessary, rerest the deformers... done.

With the exception of the spine, the things pooby showed in that xsi vid are in LW now... make joint/bone chain, apply handle/pole... done... just as quick, just as easy.

Or as has been said, Ikboost.. draw some bones in quick, apply ikboost, done...

But again, these quick setups are only good for basic posing, which is gonna suit your needs fine, but arent much cop when it comes to doing more serious/complex animation.

As for knowing if somethings gonna deform well, theres no need to go anywhere near a rig or pose... if u got the right edgeloops and topolgy at the right places, in the right direction, u can be sure that itll deform correctly, and again, thats the same for any package.

RebelHill
04-19-2009, 08:17 AM
How long would it take an experienced rigger to set up a rig this involved in lightwave?

depends... this new version jerico rig took me 5 days, but i did a fair bt of experimenting along the way, try this, try somehting else... settle on a final approach, etc...

If I were to just take a single rig design, that had this sort of control for a fairly standard biped, and i stuck to my tried and tested design, without doing any kind of character specific stuff to it... a few hours.

jasonwestmas
04-19-2009, 08:18 AM
depends... this new version jerico rig took me 5 days, but i did a fair bt of experimenting along the way, try this, try somehting else... settle on a final approach, etc...

If I were to just take a single rig design, that had this sort of control for a fairly standard biped, and i stuck to my tried and tested design, without doing any kind of character specific stuff to it... a few hours.

Sound pretty good. :)

sammael
04-19-2009, 08:21 AM
Cool I'm not going to argue with you... I get the feeling you just dont like me much :) I dont like the LW current LW implimentation for a lot of the CA tools and I'm hoping we get a system where the workflow makes a bit more sense to the general dumbass artist. As far as I'm concearned if the tools are there they are not very well documented and/or implimented.

RebelHill
04-19-2009, 08:33 AM
Cool I'm not going to argue with you... I get the feeling you just dont like me much :) I dont like the LW current LW implimentation for a lot of the CA tools and I'm hoping we get a system where the workflow makes a bit more sense to the general dumbass artist. As far as I'm concearned if the tools are there they are not very well documented and/or implimented.

no... i likes u just fine...

ur right though... DOCUMENTING... thats the issue here, cos its not very thorough or such... lemme see what i can do about that.:p

evenflcw
04-19-2009, 10:31 AM
These things are ALREADY in LW... U got the .rig format, which lets u load bone chains complete with their targets/goals... Take even the jerico rig... swap the mesh for a diferent character, deactivate the deformer bones, use joint/tip move on the control bones, reposition goals as necessary, rerest the deformers... done.

The *.rig system was a big waste of time/money(?) and a loss of prestige imho. It's just the kind of thing NT shouldn't be churning out/including. It's as halfassed as it gets, and this must've been apparent already at the design stage.

It can't handle plugins (motion modifiers, channel modifiers, etc etc) which makes it useless for anything but the 123-step-instructional rig you learn from a beginners ik tutorial. Who ever heard of a production rig that used no expressions and no modifiers. It really makes users feel that NT are completely void of any understanding about what their users are doing and how they are using LW or that NT simply doesn't care what they feed us as long as it lengthens and sounds somewhat good on the feature list. Add to that the fact that the rig format becomes yet another thing that needs to be maintained and updated for any new motion feature.

But what really brings it over the edge is that there already was a format that supported everything - the regular scene file format (LWS) - and functionality to load partial scene data - the "Load from Scene" function. They reinvented the wheel! And made it square! Imho NT should have spent their time on allowing partial scene saving, and improving partial scene loading (even more). It would have made much more sense, had no inherent limitations (plugins can edit/set other plugins data), and possibly even been the first big step towards scene referencing.

I hate the *.rig format and everything it stands for with a passion! :devil:



Sweet rig. Thanks for the thorough video (and rig). I especially liked the context sensitive-ish controls. Concerning the other stuff. It certainly looks on par, both featurewise and in ease of use, with many of the maya rigs I've seen demoed (I'm a rigging reel addict). I'm also impressed with how much stamina it must have taken and how methodical you must've been to not miss a beat.

RebelHill
04-19-2009, 04:58 PM
Ur well right evenflcw... .rig is a bit rubbish... but as a quick placeholder for simple stuff it did more or less serve its purpose, but yes... doing it all via lws is far superior... and thanks for your comments...

Also... specially for sammael, and any others who are interested... heres some quick rig setup tips n tricks, here.... www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=97899

jasonwestmas
04-22-2009, 10:37 AM
no... i likes u just fine...

ur right though... DOCUMENTING... thats the issue here, cos its not very thorough or such... lemme see what i can do about that.:p

That's been the cause of most of my problems with lightwave. I'm glad there are third party tutorial creators out there. I probably would have abandoned LW years ago otherwise.

kfinla
04-22-2009, 11:28 AM
Nice Share.. will have to download this tonight.