Rigging and Contortionism

I wasn't sure whether I should put this in 2d/3d or here, but I figure since I'm basically asking for critisism/advice, I'll put it here.

I'm sure everyone has probably seen this model before, say hello to newly rigged Katt:


What I'm looking for advice on though, is rigging, specifically the weighting and deformation part of it. Just how good is good? Getting weights perfect is about as fun and easy as jabbing your eyes out with a rusty icepick-- and while it is an admirable goal, so is a UV map with absolutely 0% distortion. In other words, it ain't happening.

So I've reached the point where I'm happy enough to leave it alone, but is it good enough? I'm especially dissapointed with the thighs, even with three bones to even out the twist, they still taper badly in the position I've put her in (which is probably a little extreme to be casting judgement on.... but that's why I'm asking.)




  • Thermidor
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    Thermidor polycounter lvl 11
    well , if you want rigging advice . lets see the rig?

    personaly i think the thighs are deforming great , if anything the shoulders need a little work when they are in the relaxed pose, in the extream pose they look great..
  • Asthane
    I've gone and updated the pictures with fixed lighting thanks to Whargoul, also tweaked a couple things. I'm not sure if you mean the left or right shoulder in the relaxed position. If it was her left, then yeah, I had an IK chain one link too high on that side. If it was the other, well... That's how I modeled them ¬_¬

    As for the rig, it's pretty basic. I'm going to build a second 'control' rig for IK and to automate the gradual rotation of the extra joints in the arms and legs, and things like that.


    And speaking of the control rig. I'm wondering how far I should go. As you can see, her top is connected to the collar and stretches when it moves. Should I go so far as to link neck movement to the breasts, or is that one of the things that looks ridiculously tacky anywhere outside of a DoA game? wink.gif

  • KDR_11k
    Secondary motion is secondary motion. Whether you think of it as tacky or not, adding that movement will help making her seem more alive.
    Is she supposed to look old (45-55)? If not you need to work on the face. Moving the mouth up and making the cheeks less "saggy" might help with that.
  • Scott Ruggels
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    Scott Ruggels polycounter lvl 13
    The rig seems a bit odd. and I would suggest a two sement neck. one segment at the top of the traps. (base opf the neck at the shoulders, and another pivot just below the ears in the center. You should rig for Breast moemet, but note that the movement pivots differently based onthe size of the breasts. The larger the breasts the farther forward from the spine the pivots wioll bee, as small breasts slide on the ribes, and large ones bob and pivot. If you want a redline on the rig, I can oblige if asked.

  • Asthane
    KDR: Saggy cheeks hm? I take it you're refering mainly to the (laugh?) lines around the nose/mouth area? Though they're not usually represented in anime and such (line art), they are a common and overlooked part of the adult female face. 'Course, I conceed that she actually probably shouldn't have them. I've been meaning to go over the face again, though mainly for the eyes.

    Scott: I guess it probably does look odd, since I don't know how it's supposed to look wink.gif I actually originally had another segment in the neck, but I removed it because it was giving me trouble with her collar. I thought I'd achieved fairly good flexibility with the neck, is it the stretching near the collarbones that looks out of place? Do you think that could be fixed with just less weight from the neck bone?

    As for the breasts, I was more refering to actually linking the pull from moving the neck to automatically move the breasts, than the actual rigging of breast movement (which I had planned to do). I guess I will take KDR's advice though, and do the full deal. As for your advice, it seems then that my breast pivots are too far back? I rigged them to be sliding more than bouncing, since she does have a shirt on and I don't really want them swinging around that much.

    I'm going to link these next image because... well, uhh, lets say its because this thread is getting pretty image heavy as it is. Yes, that's it. Not because I feel silly making animated gif's of bouncing boobs... err.. ¬_¬

    Bounce Side
    Bounce Front

    Would you say there's too much slide?

    Looking at those, actually, it looks like I missed some of the weights on the belt, I'll fix that right now.

    And finally, as if I hadn't just said something about bandwidth, here's a random image:

  • KDR_11k
    I know tht these lines are part of a normal face but either you're overdoing them or something else is off, she looks too old, no matter what the cause may be. Blanking out random parts of the face shows no improvement so it's probably the whole thing that's off...
  • Toomas
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    Toomas polycounter lvl 14
    Up down bounce is WAY off, the pivot is way too high, move the bone so it attaches to body at around middle of the breast.
    BTW i think breats dont go very much lower than their natural position. Maybe they dont in your gif BUT then their shape is off and should be something like in the upmost position, considering her top gives some lift and all.
  • Asthane
    KDR: Reworked the head yet again, I really should have changed the eyes ages ago. Not sure if I made her TOO perky, but I think it's definitely an improvement.


    Toomas: Haven't worked on the breast deformation yet. As for the up-down bounce image, I believe it's from -20 to +20 of bone rotation, so yeah, the lower end is probably not going to be used. As for the pivot itself, I kinda question it being too high. Any lower and they'll start going in as they go up, which is not desirable. Care to elaborate on what you see as wrong?
  • Toomas
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    Toomas polycounter lvl 14
    Looked the up-down bounce anim again, and maybe you are right about the pivot but then the base shape is off, could you post a side view in the position you modeled it?
  • Asthane

    They are a little "puffy" on the upper edge. That is to say that they lack the usual inward curve, if that is what you're going after, it's actually somewhat intentional. With her sculpted build, soft and natural looking breasts actually look rather out of place. Perhaps that was a mistake, but it is one I'll likely stick with. As long as they're going to be as large as they are, they may as well look like implants ¬_¬

    I realize I always seem to defend my work against critisism, I don't mean to, but as I say, they're usually conscious decisions I've made (Face excluded)
  • Toomas
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    Toomas polycounter lvl 14
    I would change the shape, cause right now it looks like a hanging sack and when its animated it gets stretched and looks rather horrible.

    Might not be very accurate but i hope it helps to illustrate what i find wrong with the face.

    BTW i really dig this mode.
  • Thermidor
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    Thermidor polycounter lvl 11
    you know the bone you have between the clavicle and the arm on your rig , do you find this the best way? and where do you start/end your ik chains ?
  • Asthane
    Toomas: Not sure I'm really following you. The breasts kinda are "hanging sacks" of fat which are connected/glued to the torso. I think then the issue here then is that the shirt material shouldn't be stretching, and the example animation as a whole goes too far in both directions? I'll keep that in mind.

    Thermidor: Well, as I've said, I'm not the most experienced when it comes to rigging, but they do what I intended, which was the large scale movement (tilting etc) of the shoulders. I only wish I'd done something similar in the hips, though I should be able to make up for it in the control rig (Which I haven't started yet.)

    As for the IK chains, right now I have only the most basic. Wrist to the lower shoulder joint, ankle to the lower hip joint, and one for the neck/head joint which I don't use often. At the moment, the IK chains don't produce very good results as I don't even have controllers for their pole vectors, nor does their movement affect any of the twisting bones. The IK chains especially hate the hips, because the lower joint is forward/back, while the upper is what accounts for the left to right movement. I'll likely end up with only basic IK as I have now, with better controllers for the rest of it, we'll just have to wait and see how creative I can get wink.gif

    <Totally Random Image>

  • Toomas
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    Toomas polycounter lvl 14
    Breasts are not sacks filled with fat, more like half spheres held in place by the skin. Unless you wanna go for the old and saggy look.

    I will assume that you cant follow my face crits.
    1st the so called laugh lines dont go from bottom corner of the nose to the corner of the lips, instead the go from where the wider bottom part of the nose ends (sorry not very good with english anathomy :P ) to slightly away from the corner of the lips.
    2nd they dont curve the same way as the forehead (they curve this way on old people who have lost most of their face fat) but the other way.
    3rd the part where the base of the nose meets cheek isnt as sharp, the nose part of the skull is widest there and skin gets stretced over it, the skin starts to rise from about middle of the eye.
    4th the face goes wider from the chin to about eye height then it goes narrower and then wider again, if you dont do this part the face looks too triangular.

    I understand that its a heavily stylized model but you still have to do the base anathomy right.
  • Asthane
    [ QUOTE ]
    more like half spheres held in place by the skin.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That is exactly what I said. Sacks of fat which are connected/glued to the torso. Though 'sacks' is more appropriate with larger breasts, since the overlap which creates the fold makes them more 3/4 spheres.

    As for the face, I can't agree with you. I just don't see much of a difference in your pictures except for the temple, which I've tried but makes the larger upper head look too bulbous. The laugh lines are all but gone except in the side view in which they do flow as you display (Not to be mistaken with the smaller fold at the corner of the mouth). The nose really isn't as sharp as the shadow makes it look (I blame vertex lighting). Etc. So you see why I didn't respond specifically to the face, as I don't really like to nitpick people's suggestions.
  • Thermidor
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    Thermidor polycounter lvl 11
    ok , ive gota be certain about this ....
    the one with the ? is the bone that controls large scale movement of the shoulder??? not the clavicle? im not saying this is the wrong way , i know about as much on this as you. just want to understand how your rig is gonna work ...
  • Asthane
    Oh, sorry about that, I skimmed your post a little too quickly. Yes, the clavicle is for large scale movement, the shoulder bone is used mostly when the arm reaches up above the chest and in general to avoid too much pinching. It's not terribly important, but it's nice to have since I'm making this as a psuedo-game rig, which means no blendshapes allowed. Though most of that bone's movement will likely be automated into one joint on the control rig, having two joints gives a lot more options for joint rotation so you can get it right.

    That's my excuse anyway ~_^
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