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3D World 3dsmax skinning tutorial

MoP
polycounter lvl 16
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MoP polycounter lvl 16
So issue #114 (March) of 3D World magazine has just come out, and I had a 6-page tutorial in that explaining the basics of skinning a character and exporting it into Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars.

The nice folks over at Future Publishing have put up the video tutorials I recorded, they're available here:
http://www.3dworldmag.com/page/3dworld?entry=3d_world_114_s_3ds

The model and texture are really quick and basic affairs, the focus was on the skinning and rigging, not on the model. I know I could have done a better job on the textures, mesh and sculpt, but I didn't have much time to polish them... that gets the excuses out of the way!

Chris Bull, an animator here at SD, also contributed an article showing how to use MotionBuilder to clean up and apply mocap data to this rig and model. The issue is a games-focused one and has an article on Killzone 2 shaders and rendering too, it's probably worth picking up. ;)

</shameless plug>

Hopefully this will be of help to some people if you wanna learn more about getting characters into games.

Edit: PixelGoat and Snefer also have their "pirate cove" image from the Unearthly Challenge printed over a whole page in this issue too!

Replies

  • Slum
    Cool! Congrats on the article :)
  • Mark Dygert
  • kodde
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    kodde polycounter lvl 16
    Sweet, now that's what I call an honorable mention!
  • arshlevon
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    arshlevon polycounter lvl 14
    sweet! we have a subscription here at the office, i should go see if its in the library.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    downloading the videos now. thanks for sharing MoP!
  • PixelGoat
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    PixelGoat polycounter lvl 12
    I think I will have to buy this issue ;) Polycount is taking over 3D World!
  • PixelGoat
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    PixelGoat polycounter lvl 12
    Is this out in stores now, or is it only for subscribers atm and stores will get them in like a month?
  • MoP
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    MoP polycounter lvl 16
    I think it'll be out in stores at the start of February. Magazine issues always have the month name after they're released for some reason (so March issue comes out in February, I have no idea why).

    I probably got my copy a bit early since it was a complimentary one from the publisher, but I imagine it should be available in stores in less than a week or so.

    Plus I guess if you're in Sweden it might take a few more days unless they print it locally too - most likely it'll get shipped from the UK, I think?
  • PixelGoat
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    PixelGoat polycounter lvl 12
    Yeah I think they will ship them in from the UK :)

    Guess I will have to wait a few more days hehe :P
  • diZzyWalnut
    cool ,
    downloading right now.
    Did You make a thread at etqw forum ?

    Thank You Mop.
  • FAT_CAP
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    FAT_CAP polycounter lvl 15
    Good stuff MOP!

    I'm downloading it here at work and will take a gander at it tomorrow. Looks liek I will have to pick up a copy when it hits the shelves as the rest of the content sound innarestin' too :)
  • Psyk0
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    Psyk0 polycounter lvl 15
    Thanks, should be very informative.
  • Japhir
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    Japhir polycounter lvl 14
    great tutorial! this should have been around when i first learned skinning :D. It not only taught me some new tricks, but it also made me look up the word "naught". (I only knew zero, null and nil ;)). haha

    EDIT: btw, do you need max 2009 for the scenes? somehow i get an error when trying to open them up in max 9.
  • TheSplash
    Nicely done tutorial, you moved at a good speed and were interesting to listen to which is great because its hard to learn when people mumble in a monotone voice.

    I remember in an older thread you said that in ETQW you used dual quaternion skinning for characters but it was just an afterthought. Is there anything you would you do differently to weight a character with dual quaternion skinning in mind?
  • MoP
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    MoP polycounter lvl 16
    Japhir: Max 2008 - sorry.

    TheSplash: Heh, I planned out some of what I was going to say before recording each video, usually I'm not very good at explaining things :(
    We do have a variable for enabling dual quaternion skinning in ETQW (it's off by default, I think), I haven't really considered weighting anything differently - it seemed like using the default weights worked pretty well after enabling dual quaternion.

    BTW, I only really touch on one or two elements of the Skin modifier in this tutorial - I don't really do anything advanced or powerful (not even paint weights at all), just some simple stuff to get a fairly low-poly mesh skinned. I don't claim to be an amazing rigger, this was more pointed at entry-level skinning so if you already know a bit about skin weighting in Max then you may not learn much... heh.

    DizzyWalnut: Whoops, great idea! I totally forgot, I'll get badman to put up a news post tomorrow.
  • Rob Galanakis
    MoP wrote: »
    BTW, I only really touch on one or two elements of the Skin modifier in this tutorial - I don't really do anything advanced or powerful (not even paint weights at all), just some simple stuff to get a fairly low-poly mesh skinned. I don't claim to be an amazing rigger, this was more pointed at entry-level skinning so if you already know a bit about skin weighting in Max then you may not learn much... heh.

    Yeah that's the problem I have with these magazine tuts, everything is always pretty simple... which is required because otherwise it'd be too niche, but it also makes them often not very useful (unless they are superior quality, such as yours, with its video). I'd like to see them touch on more in-depth stuff sometime.

    I think for next year's GDC I am going to try to do a talk on power-skinning in Max... or if not, I hope to make some videos of how it is one person can skin everything except faces (Cloward does those) in one of the biggest MMO's ever :) and see if others have other power methods.
  • artstream
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    artstream polycounter lvl 11
    Really nice tutorials MOP. I have a general question about the model's topology. You created the topology to flow with the muscles of the body, and the result is pretty nice. Is this a common practice for most characters, clothed or not? Most models I've seen that are clothed just have the usual topology.
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