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Want to help with animation


Noisycricket
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Im happy to report that I've done a couple bouncing ball tut's already, with model deformation, also facial deformation and basic IK animation in a couple tutorials. I hooked up Maya's full-body-IK to a free model i downloaded last night (btw, is there some law that all sites offering free models must be plagued with advertizing, hidden and some with audio! :laugh: What a saga that was to find) Anyway, I'm now trying to figure out what tools and shortcuts in Maya i should be utilizing. Things like the Trax editor, that seems useful, but not sure about for character animation. Also, my model doesn't have the blue riggings all over it like I see in your tutorials, nor the bones sticking out of the legs. Speaking of joints btw, In your opinion, will TDM handle extra rib joints to simulate a breathing animation for the standing idle animation, or would it not be worth it in your opinion?

 

The trax editor is more an editing tool to composite animation clips/sound etc. Not really important for animating. If you have done some tuts i guess you've been introduced to the graph editor? I cannot tell people enough how important this tool is for doing animation in 3D.

 

I would leave the technical stuff and instead focus on animating in Maya. When you animate its important to know what IK & FK is and when to use them. Play with how to set keyframes for your poses and edit those keys using the grap editor. Animating in 3D is a combination of technical(using 3D app to animate) and art skills(applying animation).

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(Typo correction: That's graph editor, not grap editor. Just so you don't panic and start hunting around for the elusive editor of graps. ;) )

My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.
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I can't, that added bold h was someone else.

My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.
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Grrr, Im having nothing but problem just trying to get my model ready for animation. I keep going back and forth with a few different models. I really wanted my model to give off a dangerous, foreboding look, something akin to the guards, but im having trouble setting it up ( after having finally found one). I thought i finally got everything straight, but now the upper arms won't bend using the FBIK handles... The other model i have it a practice human model for students to make a demo with, but it has no eyes and looks weird. Its set up with two boxes for the students to use animating climbing. It looks pretty goofy and i'm worried it will look "high quality" doing a guard animation. Im wondering if i could get someones imput on what to do. I can either keep troubleshooting the first one, make the 2nd one climb up the boxes and maybe slip and fall off, or use the Moom cartoon model. I was hoping to stick with Thief related animations as they are what im excited about. How about using the rigged TDM model?

 

Ditto on the grapple editor ( :D ). I adjusted the curves for ball arc and travel many times and know a lot of time will be spent there.

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Ok, i am currently headed in the direction of using the odd looking human character to animate him climbing boxes.

 

Is anyone know of a way to "mirror" animation from one side of the body to the other?

 

Nevermind, got it.

 

To set a beginning pose that I can go back to in case i mess it up, would that be "set nuetral pose", "set preferred angle" or something else?

Edited by Noisycricket
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Im having technical issues. Is it normal in a FBIK setup for the mesh to come off of the joints for some reason? Right now they are doing that somewhat, but are following at least close to the IK handles I used to manipulate the skeleton with, but far away enough to screw up what i had going. I started over from scratch out of frustration (I've been trying to solve the problem all day) and it still does it, so Im clueless now.

 

The model im using is for job applicants of a company to make a short demo of. Its downloadable here if anyone wants to give it a look. http://www.bizarrecreations.com/jobs/character_animator.php

 

I cant fathom a reason why it would do what its doing on purpose, I'm wondering if its a "feature" of the trial code so people don't just hack the activation code and steal it.

Edited by Noisycricket
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I had a quick fiddle and didn't see any problems (got the mesh to twist up at the joints, which is normal if you over-rotate) so if it's something wierd thats only happening after a while, then maybe it's some kind of math error.

 

I can only suggest having as few key frames as possible... I'd advise sticking to FK for arms as much as you can, but since your anim has to be about picking up boxes, then I suppose most of it has to be IK anyway...

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Noisycricket, to be honest i wouldn't recommend using this rig. The maya FBIK makes it more complicated with it's stick mode to hold bodyparts and the way you have to set keyframes. It works different then our own rig or any other custom rig i've used in the past.

 

The moon rig is a cartoony character but that doesn't mean i can't be used for subtle acting. The controls are easy to use and the IK/FK mode is simple to set.

 

This is a small animation test i did a year ago with this moon rig.

Moon test

 

I'm not trying to push you if you do want to use your current animation rig, but i had a lots of issues using FBIK in maya myself, just to let you know ;)

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I actually didn't read all the directions, I was just having the guy jump up on the small box, regain his balance, then turn 90 degrees to the left with his whole body involved in trying to maintain balance while turning. I made a bunch of video of myself from the side and front jumping onto my tool box and used Windows movie maker to cut and edit segments, very useful program by the way (although I assume theres a better open source program). I've got one more thing to try to fix the problem, but I'll try using the Moom model if that doesn't work.

 

Thanks for taking the time to look guys!

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Heres an older version of what I had for what its worth. I had tweaked the legs and body during the entire jumping process and also the made the arms continue swinging properly until he landed. I also tweaked a few other things before Maya started its LCD binge.

 

http://www.mediafire.com/?nhnjyt25xti (click "click here to start download")

 

Moom, here I come...

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In your animation you don't move the origin control (between the feet) to move the entire character, you animate each limb individually moving through the world. That's going to make it hell for you to animate with, and is also bad because Doom (our game engine) uses the origin to know where the character really is and centers the collision box around it.

 

So whenever the entire body has to move, you should animate the origin control, and then animate the limbs to look right (well you will be back and forth but hopefully you get the idea).

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Heres an older version of what I had for what its worth. I had tweaked the legs and body during the entire jumping process and also the made the arms continue swinging properly until he landed. I also tweaked a few other things before Maya started its LCD binge.

 

http://www.mediafire.com/?nhnjyt25xti (click "click here to start download")

 

Moom, here I come...

 

Eh looks pretty good. I like the anticipation before he jumps.

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Sorry for the delay, i've am being kept very busy with work at the moment. Its coming along but i want to learn as i go, so i've been reading up on all kinds of topics as i climb this learning curve.

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Wow guys, i have been through war with Maya in the last few days. Blood, sweat and tears i tell ye! I could'nt get the Moom model to work with the jump animation i wanted to do. Moving the whole model slowed the framerate down to about 1 fps (literally) which made it impossible to view the jump motion over and over. However, using the Moom model led me to read up on ik/fk switching, which gave me an idea to fix the Full Body IK model i was using previously. It worked, but it turned out to be a bandaid, if anything, for whatever was going on. I was able to refine the jump animation almost to completion, but spent more time fixing weird behavior than animating. Eventually after saving it one day, the animation just went crazy and somehow the last 4 file saves were corrupted as well. Thats where the blood i mentioned came in, something about trying to throw my monitor out the window but the window being stronger than i thought ...and quite springy... i blacked out after that.... :laugh:

 

But anyway, I found another model to use and i've already got a rough out. Only took about 4 hours to do after all that experience doing stuff over and over... Turns out it not a very complex model and so i won't be able to rotate all the joints i'd like to, but you should get an idea of what i consider "satisfactory". Im aiming some some where between satisfactory and "perfect", as you guys said thats what you really need at the moment. Should be done in the next day or two, hopefully.

 

Want to see some pretty fast animation? http://www.vimeo.com/1224900

Seeing this video in the beginning is partly the reason i tried using Maya's FBIK for so long. I remember using 3ds's Biped rig what seems like a decade ago and just assumed Maya's version would be just as usable.

Edited by Noisycricket
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Does that mean i can start working with the guard model? Heres what i had so far, just a rough up. Hadn't touched the curves yet and still needed to add a return-to-relaxed segment. I was fighting the arm movements the whole time, for some reason they wanted to go off in a different direction when the arms were swinging. Only through adding tons of keys was I able to steer it properly. Its hard to see, but if you slow it down, arms are all over the place. Ugh. Probably would have been totally done by now.

 

Less than 1mb this time.

 

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?zwttgmzjr4n

Edited by Noisycricket
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I think contributor status is definitely warranted. Domarius, what would he need to create animations for the new skeleton other than the file for the proguard rig?

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