Carrara Challenge #7: "CARDS FROM AN UNUSUAL DECK" - Work In Progress (WIP)

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Comments

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,919
    edited December 1969

    Varsel said:
    Maybe something is taking shape..

    For the flags I did use Wave and Linear Wave modifiers to get the movement in the wind.

    Varsel - I love what you are doing and wanted to pay you a little tribute.

    Out of jealousy, I have to quote Bugs Bunny. "You know, of course, this means war." The battle lines are drawn! Seriously, using the constraints to set up the figures instead of bones was a stroke of genius. I have wasted a lot of time with the weightmap brush when I could have avoided it with the ball constraint. I wish I had thought of it.

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  • MicioDueMicioDue Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Maybe someone wonders what I am doing with all my objects (nobody? oh well... ;) )
    The concept and the environment are a bit surrealistic: the cards are 2D objects, what could happen if they suddenly become 3-dimensional? The aces didn't know, earlier... the Joker probably knew, he's still 2-dimensional, he's observing and he's laughing. :-)

    In a couple of days my final render will be ready.

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  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,998
    edited December 1969

    diomede64 - If you want joints to bend, as in flesh, then you need bones. If you want a mechanical joint, as in a robot, then parenting with constraints is the way to go.

    MicioDue - great concept and I'm really liking the image already, the lighting looks great too.

  • VarselVarsel Posts: 543
    edited February 2014

    diomede64 said:

    Varsel - I love what you are doing and wanted to pay you a little tribute.

    Out of jealousy, I have to quote Bugs Bunny. "You know, of course, this means war." The battle lines are drawn! Seriously, using the constraints to set up the figures instead of bones was a stroke of genius. I have wasted a lot of time with the weightmap brush when I could have avoided it with the ball constraint. I wish I had thought of it.

    Thanks.... and bring it on.... :coolsmirk:

    Just bring enough money to the table.... :coolsmile:

    Everything (except the little crown on the flagpole.. thats Hex) is made in the vertex modeler.

    MicioFue : That's a great idea. Although my first thought was that diomede64's dudes where going skinny dipping. :-)

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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,919
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    diomede64 - If you want joints to bend, as in flesh, then you need bones. If you want a mechanical joint, as in a robot, then parenting with constraints is the way to go.

    I guess I wanted a robotic joint at the corners of the cards but a flesh bend at the wrists, ankles, etc. Hmmm, Can a mesh have partial bones and partial ball constraints? I will have to give this thought in the future. PhilW, when you get finished with your tutorial on realism, I think it is time for a tutorial devoted to character creation.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,919
    edited December 1969

    @Miciodue - I was wondering. I really was. I like the little details that you always add, such as the cuff and pinky of the Joker making it look like he is coming out of the circle. Great stuff.

    @Varsel - Yeah, the aces and the face cards are always goofing off at something like skinny dipping. But the number cards are ready for action, and I have a whole fleet of galleons carrying diamonds, so don't worry about the amount of money being brought to the table.

    If anyone is considering a last minute entry, I found a pretty interesting website devoted to playing cards.

    http://www.maxplayingcards.com/en/

    Might get some ideas.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,998
    edited December 1969

    diomede64 said:
    PhilW said:
    diomede64 - If you want joints to bend, as in flesh, then you need bones. If you want a mechanical joint, as in a robot, then parenting with constraints is the way to go.

    I guess I wanted a robotic joint at the corners of the cards but a flesh bend at the wrists, ankles, etc. Hmmm, Can a mesh have partial bones and partial ball constraints? I will have to give this thought in the future. PhilW, when you get finished with your tutorial on realism, I think it is time for a tutorial devoted to character creation.

    That should be possible - just add bones to the arm, but have that as a separate object which is parented to the card body.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,919
    edited December 1969

    Just an FYI that I substituted my final render. I had had an error executing save as so posted the current image even though some of the shadows and figures weren't what I wanted. Some tips from the friendly folks on this forum enabled me to save some of the non-scene settings. Now I've gone back and made a few changes. Hope this is OK.

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  • MicioDueMicioDue Posts: 0
    edited February 2014

    We are entering the last week-end before voting, the Entry Thread is waiting for the latest works! :)

    I would like to give some final details about my entry, in case somebody finds useful hints.

    The scene lighting is obtained using HDRI, no Ambient light.

    The Joker is a scan of a real card and is not applied as texture to the ground object; the scan is used as texture for a plane floating very close to the floor: this creates a faint shadow underneath, thus emphasizing the contour of the Joker figure and creating a more effective 3D feeling.
    The plane is a square primitive, all the work is done by the Joker image used as texture map. Using an image editor I cut the Joker contour and I saved the image as transparent PNG. When it was applied as Texture Map to the Color channel in Carrara, the transparency was inherited from the PNG Alpha Channel, so it required no additional work.
    In Render settings, I needed to check the "Light through transparency" both for Raytracing and Global Illumination; this increased render time but the final result was satisfactory.

    Now I'm going to post my official entry.

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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,919
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    diomede64 said:
    PhilW said:
    diomede64 - If you want joints to bend, as in flesh, then you need bones. If you want a mechanical joint, as in a robot, then parenting with constraints is the way to go.

    I guess I wanted a robotic joint at the corners of the cards but a flesh bend at the wrists, ankles, etc. Hmmm, Can a mesh have partial bones and partial ball constraints? I will have to give this thought in the future. PhilW, when you get finished with your tutorial on realism, I think it is time for a tutorial devoted to character creation.

    That should be possible - just add bones to the arm, but have that as a separate object which is parented to the card body.

    I'd still want the middle of the card to bend, like the Q of diamonds sitting down in the boat. I guess I could have done in three parts, (1) a bone - rigged base card, (2) bone rigged limbs, (3) ball constraints where the limbs attach to the boned card. Can you nest bones skeletons like that?

    @ Miciodue. Thanks for showing the settings for the Joker. I pick up so many tips by following these monthly contests. You did a great job running the show.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,998
    edited December 1969

    "Can you nest bones skeletons like that?" - I am not sure, you could be the first person to try it!

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,919
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    "Can you nest bones skeletons like that?" - I am not sure, you could be the first person to try it!

    Hmmm. Early tests with my Card-Soldier mannequin model are not working out the way I want. In order for the arm groups to move when the card's waist bends, the arm has to be parented to a middle bone. But the hot point for the arm moves off the model for some reason. Attempts to move the hot point back, or to otherwise adjust it, have failed thus far. I tried using caps-lock to move the Hot Point and tried the hp->obj, and the arm actually went to the hp (and yes, I made sure I checked the correct one).

    I might try with simpler models so I can isolate what is going wrong.

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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    Judging from you model, I'm not sure why you wouldn't just use the bone tool and draw out the arm bones from a shoulder bone? If there is unwanted bending, you can lock constraints on bones you don't want to move. You can also add or remove IK and IK terminators to help control movement. It seems to me that you're making it more complicated than it needs to be.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,919
    edited December 1969

    Judging from you model, I'm not sure why you wouldn't just use the bone tool and draw out the arm bones from a shoulder bone? If there is unwanted bending, you can lock constraints on bones you don't want to move. You can also add or remove IK and IK terminators to help control movement. It seems to me that you're making it more complicated than it needs to be.

    This is just a theoretical discussion now. The models in my final render are all boned and I got the poses that I wanted. But, with the rectangular shape of the torso, I essentially wanted very limited blending at the the shoulder and where the legs emerged. It was very tedious to edit those bone influences. The side edges of the card torso had default influences from about 4-5 bones each. After seeing what Varsel had done, I was just wondering if it would have been possible to have separately boned limbs, each parented to a torso that was boned separately. Then one can use robotic ball joints for part of the movement, and bone blends at the limbs. I agree that the same effect can be achieved by editing the bone influences. Just wondering if that tedious task could have been avoided with ball constraints for just a subset of limbs, but then that limb would have to have bones.

    Not sure if that makes sense, or if I am just rambling.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    Have you considered creating a group in the Assembly room where the card/torso are one object and the arms are another, then grouping them together and rigging that group? That way, you can go into the rig to weight paint by selecting the arms and only the arms will show up. The edit the torso and only the torso will be visible. This way it is very easy to remove joint influences on separate meshes without effecting the other parts.

    There are drawbacks to this method as well. Going back and forth to check influences between different meshes is also the biggest weak point if you need a more subtle weight map.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,919
    edited February 2014

    Have you considered creating a group in the Assembly room where the card/torso are one object and the arms are another, then grouping them together and rigging that group? That way, you can go into the rig to weight paint by selecting the arms and only the arms will show up. The edit the torso and only the torso will be visible. This way it is very easy to remove joint influences on separate meshes without effecting the other parts.

    Thanks, EP. That is a good tip. I just gave it a try. It will be very useful in the future. I am attaching a couple of screen shots if anyone else is interested (and as discussed elsewhere, the unposed mesh pops back in the weightmap room in C8.5 - hope they fix that in the next update).

    On the theoretical side, Still musing on the issue of combining weightmap bones for different parts of a figure that are then joined using the movement constraints. I'm thinking of a machine that would have some parts that move mechanically, and some that are more fluid. Maybe a vaccuum cleaner and its cord - but more complex. It could definitely be done with the weightmap brush but editing the bone influences can get tedious depending on the complexity of the mesh. I'm wondering, how can combinations of bones and constraints be nested? My first try above suggests that there may be limitations, but there could be a lot of other things going on there.

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    Post edited by Diomede on
  • d-j-od-j-o Posts: 344
    edited December 1969

    Why not add two collar bones? Then have the card mesh in that area attached to them.

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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,919
    edited December 1969

    kashyyyk said:
    Why not add two collar bones? Then have the card mesh in that area attached to them.

    Good eyes, Kashyyk!

    Yes, I did set up the collars (and thighs) for my contest entry along the lines that you suggest. If you look closely at the queen, you will see her collar bones (within the frame of the card) bending inward so that her arms can come together. The skeleton you see in these recent renders doesn't have that because I was scrambling the mesh and the bones to experiment with EP's suggestion. I got careless. "Franken-mesh", so to speak.

    Unfortunately, even the inner-skeleton method has lots of bones influencing each polygon along the sides of the middle of the mesh. You can use the weightmap brush (and I did), but it seems using a ball constraint where the shoulder emerges from the card should be a lot easier. But then, I'd want to make sure that the waist of the card can still bend, and the elbows and the knees can still bend.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    Constraints for bones can be set up just like other parts with ball joints, etc. They will effect the underlying mesh, that is true, but I have had some nice mechanical effects using rigging and mixed constraints on the bones and grouping different meshes together. I'll try and find an example if I can...

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    So here's an example from a couple years ago. The handcuffs are from the Native Content in the Objects Browser. I had to make some adjustments to the model and tried various things for movement including just constraints, but found that I had more control with a rig and mixed constraints including some bones that were locked.

    The hinged ball joint was locked and I just moved the appropriate slider to open it at my desired point in the timeline. I then used an oscillate tweener with damping to help automate the swinging. The links in the chain were ball joint constraints.

    The finished render:
    http://youtu.be/hGtFqiKy3qU

    A draft render that gives a closer view:
    http://youtu.be/UHIqKHFLPyE

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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,919
    edited December 1969

    Fantastic videos, EP. Those cuffs have the effect I was thinking of. I'm definitely going to play around with it more. Not sure why I was getting that strange movement of the hot-point. It could easily be the result of something in my frankenmesh groups.

    Not really sure why I've gone off on this tangent, but I appreciate all the feedback.

  • SileneUKSileneUK Posts: 1,547
    edited December 1969

    diomede64 said:
    Have you considered creating a group in the Assembly room where the card/torso are one object and the arms are another, then grouping them together and rigging that group? That way, you can go into the rig to weight paint by selecting the arms and only the arms will show up. The edit the torso and only the torso will be visible. This way it is very easy to remove joint influences on separate meshes without effecting the other parts.

    Thanks, EP. That is a good tip. I just gave it a try. It will be very useful in the future. I am attaching a couple of screen shots if anyone else is interested (and as discussed elsewhere, the unposed mesh pops back in the weightmap room in C8.5 - hope they fix that in the next update).

    OMG.... it that what it is! I have Pro 8.5 I thought it was just a Genesis figure problem. My clunky way of getting around it is by unticking the 3D sphere brush and it reverts to my posed figure. But I don't see "weight" as a choice, even if left as 3D sphere brush. I have scaling, and x,y,z rotation and x,y,z, bulge. I must be doing something wrong, but I get the same screen shot. And of course my bones/bits are named like the Genesis character skeleton tree. Thank you for pointing this out. You probably have discussed this in another thread when 8.5 came out and I missed it. My learning process has been hit or miss this last year. Hope to catch up soon.

    I love all these WIPs...it's going to be hard to vote. I hope I can enter one in the future!

    xx :) Silene

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,919
    edited December 1969

    laurenwbr said:
    diomede64 said:
    Have you considered creating a group in the Assembly room where the card/torso are one object and the arms are another, then grouping them together and rigging that group? That way, you can go into the rig to weight paint by selecting the arms and only the arms will show up. The edit the torso and only the torso will be visible. This way it is very easy to remove joint influences on separate meshes without effecting the other parts.

    Thanks, EP. That is a good tip. I just gave it a try. It will be very useful in the future. I am attaching a couple of screen shots if anyone else is interested (and as discussed elsewhere, the unposed mesh pops back in the weightmap room in C8.5 - hope they fix that in the next update).

    OMG.... it that what it is! I have Pro 8.5 I thought it was just a Genesis figure problem. My clunky way of getting around it is by unticking the 3D sphere brush and it reverts to my posed figure. But I don't see "weight" as a choice, even if left as 3D sphere brush. I have scaling, and x,y,z rotation and x,y,z, bulge. I must be doing something wrong, but I get the same screen shot. And of course my bones/bits are named like the Genesis character skeleton tree. Thank you for pointing this out. You probably have discussed this in another thread when 8.5 came out and I missed it. My learning process has been hit or miss this last year. Hope to catch up soon.

    I love all these WIPs...it's going to be hard to vote. I hope I can enter one in the future!

    xx :) Silene

    The problem of the unposed mesh appearing in the weightmap room has come up in a few threads, but I don't know if there has been a thread dedicated to it. Unfortunately, it is not just Genesis. For example, it came up in a thread on fixing poke through. http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/29483/P15 I'll have to try your suggestion regarding the 3D sphere brush.

  • SileneUKSileneUK Posts: 1,547
    edited December 1969

    diomede64 said:
    laurenwbr said:
    diomede64 said:
    Have you considered creating a group in the Assembly room where the card/torso are one object and the arms are another, then grouping them together and rigging that group? That way, you can go into the rig to weight paint by selecting the arms and only the arms will show up. The edit the torso and only the torso will be visible. This way it is very easy to remove joint influences on separate meshes without effecting the other parts.

    Thanks, EP. That is a good tip. I just gave it a try. It will be very useful in the future. I am attaching a couple of screen shots if anyone else is interested (and as discussed elsewhere, the unposed mesh pops back in the weightmap room in C8.5 - hope they fix that in the next update).

    OMG.... it that what it is! I have Pro 8.5 I thought it was just a Genesis figure problem. My clunky way of getting around it is by unticking the 3D sphere brush and it reverts to my posed figure. But I don't see "weight" as a choice, even if left as 3D sphere brush. I have scaling, and x,y,z rotation and x,y,z, bulge. I must be doing something wrong, but I get the same screen shot. And of course my bones/bits are named like the Genesis character skeleton tree. Thank you for pointing this out. You probably have discussed this in another thread when 8.5 came out and I missed it. My learning process has been hit or miss this last year. Hope to catch up soon.

    I love all these WIPs...it's going to be hard to vote. I hope I can enter one in the future!

    xx :) Silene

    The problem of the unposed mesh appearing in the weightmap room has come up in a few threads, but I don't know if there has been a thread dedicated to it. Unfortunately, it is not just Genesis. For example, it came up in a thread on fixing poke through. http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/29483/P15 I'll have to try your suggestion regarding the 3D sphere brush.

    Once you untick it, you have to actually put the brush into the scene then it reverts to the posed figure and stays that way, even if you choose other bones, etc. Am still puzzled why I don't see "weight", though.

    xx Silene

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,919
    edited February 2014

    I started a new thread for the weight painting discussion. I thought it might be of more general interest.

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/37592/

    @SileneUK, because the little brush in the modeling room's animation mode is called the weightpainting brush, I call the modeler that pops up when you click the brush the weightmap room. Sorry if I led you to believe that you should be seeing the word weight as the label for the room. I'm sure you are fine. :)

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    diomede64 said:
    Have you considered creating a group in the Assembly room where the card/torso are one object and the arms are another, then grouping them together and rigging that group? That way, you can go into the rig to weight paint by selecting the arms and only the arms will show up. The edit the torso and only the torso will be visible. This way it is very easy to remove joint influences on separate meshes without effecting the other parts.

    Thanks, EP. That is a good tip. I just gave it a try. It will be very useful in the future. I am attaching a couple of screen shots if anyone else is interested (and as discussed elsewhere, the unposed mesh pops back in the weightmap room in C8.5 - hope they fix that in the next update).

    On the theoretical side, Still musing on the issue of combining weightmap bones for different parts of a figure that are then joined using the movement constraints. I'm thinking of a machine that would have some parts that move mechanically, and some that are more fluid. Maybe a vaccuum cleaner and its cord - but more complex. It could definitely be done with the weightmap brush but editing the bone influences can get tedious depending on the complexity of the mesh. I'm wondering, how can combinations of bones and constraints be nested? My first try above suggests that there may be limitations, but there could be a lot of other things going on there.

    That middle shot looks like a bug to me. I don't have that happen in C7.2 Pro, and when I beta tested C8.0 I didn't see that issue either. If you and Silene are having the same issue I would file a bug ticket.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,919
    edited December 1969

    For those following the nested rigging question, I was able to successfully combine ball constraints where the limbs attach to the torso, and preserve bending bones for the elbows of the limbs. See here.
    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/37592/

  • MicioDueMicioDue Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Folks, please remember that the Voting Thread is open! :-)

    The final week has begun, enter and choose you favourite entries!

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 9,919
    edited December 1969

    Wow, I am really taken aback. I greatly admire the other entries, and honestly believe they were superior renders. My goal was to be improved, which I think I was, so I suspect I got the benefit of the doubt.

    Thanks to Miciodue for picking a great theme and running the challenge smoothly. Your render was fantastic and deserved to be a winner, so it was very selfless to take yourself out. Similarly, a big thank you to PhilW for his support of the Carrara community in general, and these monthly challenges in particular. Daz was amazingly generous this month, so thanks to them. Don’t forget to check out prior contest sponsors. They do great work.

    I do have some ideas for another challenge, but am open to suggestions. I will post a couple thoughts in the WIP thread, where people can give feedback and we can gauge interest.

    I thought I would check here on the level of interest for some ideas that I have.

    a) "The Great Race" = theme, with a requirement to use the terrain modeler. Also, if a human is involved, the human must be either riding, directing, etc. something else (like a car race, or chariot race, or a pod race). But, any nonhuman racers would be OK, like the tortoise vs the hare, or the Wacky Races, orif you have seen Stalag 17, you could even have rat races.

    b) "Made in the Shade" = theme, with a requirement that at least one simple object be a simple geometric object (from any modeler) that is "made" into something by using the shader channels. For example, a cylinder could me made into a barrel, or a cube could be made into a building with open windows by using the alpha channel.

    c) "Winter of our Frank-content" = theme - with a requirement that at least one piece of "content" be used (could be freebie from Daz, ShareCG, etc. or purchased) but that the content be edited either in a modeler or shaders or whatever so that it is substantially re purposed. For example, the free Daz cats could be combined with M4 to make a sphinx. A house could be turned into a houseboat.

    Feel free to comment on these ideas or to suggest others.

    So I guess we need to check to see if Daz is willing to continue these contests, and what the level of interest is in the community.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,998
    edited December 1969

    Interesting ideas, I think the Great Race theme is the one that I am leaning towards the most, but it will be interesting to see what others think.

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