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Roygee said:All theory is ultimately judged by empirical observation - in other words, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. After a few years of coming to this forum, I have yet to see anything done by you that makes me think - "wow, this guy really knows what he's on about, maybe his advice is worth taking to heart".
Show and tell, mate, earn some creds.
Show and tell, mate, earn some creds.
Well, I agree partly with what you said. The proof is in the pudding. But what matters is content, not some childish game of internet "creds". If you or anyone else can find fault with any advice I've given over the years (aside from personal opinions of how it was delivered), then I would be more than happy to discuss. I'd love to have a good healthy discussion of the issues. Because the content of what I've presented is what's important. But you can't. Nobody ever can.
And even though I can guarantee that virtually every bit of technical advice and opinion I've given is legitimate, correct, and based on many years of experience working, supervising, managing, and giving training in the industry, and I can direct you to references for just about every bit of it, it doesn't matter. It doesn't make any difference whatsoever in whether people accept what I say. It's just one on a long line of excuses people use to deflect things they don't want to hear.
Roy, I'm not here to impress you, I'm here to help anyone who wants it. I stopped caring about impressing people decades ago. If you're going to ignore what I say just because I don't post images that impress you, then go ahead and ignore me. It makes zero difference to me. I give my advice free of charge. Take it or leave it. If parts of what I say don't apply to you, then discard them.
But just because you don't like how I present things, or disagree with some of my opinions, there is no reason to get angry and offended and attack me. If you REALLY care about learning the art and the craft, then weigh the content of what I post, check it with external references, read some of the books on basics that I've suggested, and then come back and tell me whether my advice is worth taking. Because you'll only REALLY know whether it's worth taking to heart if you've learned the basics and can test what I say.
And if you don't really care about learning about the art and the craft, which is what I've been consistently promoting, then just accept that it doesn't apply to you and ignore it. That's fine, there's nothing wrong with that.
But whatever the case, you (and others) should at least be appreciative that I spend my time posting detailed, thoughtful, and informative posts, instead of getting angry and attacking and arguing.
Joe, please, don't get me wrong. I fully agree with most of what you post - if only because what you expound are normal, universally accepted principles.
Attack, you? never - not my style. Ignore you - no, you're much too interesting.
What I can't agree with are the broad generalisations and unfounded assumptions. Quite possibly, I don't know and nor do you, what the background is of folks who come here to ask questions - but assuredly they didn't come to CG in a vacuum. Maybe some of them, or the majority of them, are very aware of the basic principles.
Maybe they are fully capable of expressing themselves in other media and are looking for answers on how to accomplish their visions in a very technical medium.
I fully agree that hobbyists should do as much as they can to familiarise themselves with the basic techniques - but no amount of Jeremy Binns is going to tell you where to find that illusive tool in the GUI, or what that mysterious setting does. This is why folk come here and ask questions - questions on how to do things in Carrara, on how to get the effects they are after in Carrara.
As for credibility - it has to be earned - no amount of writing about it will suffice - folk want to see with their own eyes.
I used to be an archery coach, but it was only after winning a national championship that my services became in great demand - nothing in me changed, but people want proof of success. That is just how people are.
An old axiom - he who would teach, must first learn. Learn about human nature, learn how to make the learning experience pleasurable and productive. Be supportive, be sympathetic and understanding, lead by example. But most of all, try not to generalise and make unsupported assumptions about hobbyists.
That is all I ask.:)
Roygee said:An old axiom - he who would teach, must first learn. Learn about human nature, learn how to make the learning experience pleasurable and productive. Be supportive, be sympathetic and understanding, lead by example. But most of all, try not to generalise and make unsupported assumptions about hobbyists.
That is all I ask.:)
And that's fine. If I was being paid to be here, I'd have to do things differently. In my career I have taught classes to professionals in this stuff. And I was paid to do it. Paid very, very, well. But here I do it for free. Which means I do it however pleases me. I owe you nothing. I don't owe you credibility, I don't owe you awesome images, I don't owe you supportive, sympathetic and understanding behavior. I owe you nothing.
Like I said, I give what I give for free. Once again, I don't care if you take my advice. I'm not your teacher, I'm not your mentor, nobody here pays me, I use my own free time, and in fact usually all I get from people is anger, argument, and rudeness. And in return you expect not only that I take my time providing some really good advice and information on skills and techniques which I've learned and taught over my lifetime, but you also want me to spend many, many hours of my own time to also improve my "creds" with you, and also you want me to work at being supportive, sympathetic and understanding? And you also want me to make your learning experience "pleasurable and productive"?? You've gotta be kidding.
I will make any generalizations and opinions about hobbyists that I feel like, or for that matter anything else that the DAZ folks allow me to post. If you don't like it, ignore me. On the other hand, if you want to learn some really good stuff, pay attention to what I say. Because as much as you and others act like the stuff I post is obvious, and "normal, universally accepted principles", the vast majority of people here have absolutely no clue about any of it. Though I'm sure you're an exception.....
And to steer the discussion back onto walk cycles, here's a screen capture of the leg/foot rig I used for some of the stuff I posted. I think I described it previously, using three IK goals (target helpers/aka nulls) for each leg. I added in some cubes to highlight the location of the nulls. Basically, the one in front of the knee "pulls" the knees to bend as the hip is lowered, as well as allowing you to direct the position of the knee to either side, open the legs, whatever. The toe goal, located in front of the foot, keeps the front of the foot from rotating below the ground plane. And I've parented those two to the main foot goal, so when you move the main goal the others follow.
This is pretty much a standard leg rig used by many riggers, with the exception of the feet, which often require a more complicated rig.
Oh, and as with any character rigging, you have to be very mindful of the rotation limits that are needed. If you want the feet to remain planted flat as you bend the knees, the rotation limits must be set to allow that. Which means either removing or expanding the limits. Unfortunately the ankle bending gets pretty "garden hose-y" when you remove limits, and normally what you'd do is add some bones to maintain the shape of the mesh. But that's something for another person and another day.
A complete foot rig might also include some more bones and controls to make the foot "roll" correctly, as when you're standing and go up on the balls of your feet, then roll back to your heels. But I'll leave that for someone else to figure out how to add bones and controls to a V4 or whatever....
Roy, you up for it? :)
By the way, has anyone ever modified the skeleton of a V4 or M4 or whatever? I'm talking about adding bones and additional rigging to make animating a bit easier. I'd probably add 4 to 6 more bones in the foot, but I worry that Carrara would explode and shower particles all over my desk.
And here's the shin goals in action. You can rotate the main foot goal, the shin goal follows, and you'll open the stance very easily.
BTW, notice how the ankles get "garden hose-y". Normally you'd re-paint the weight maps for the foot and shin bones, or modify the bone falloff (can you even do that in Carrara?), or add some more bones in the area, but that's not some place I want to venture right now....
You can detach the rig from V4 or whatever Poser style model by choosing the model under the hierarchy and using the smooth objects command under the edit menu in the assembly room. Then selecting the hip and choosing the detach skeleton command under the animation menu. ....And I just put Carrara in Zombie mode doing the above, while in the process of a big render under the batch queue.... :shut:
But usually you can go into something like "bone edit" mode or something like that where you "de-energize" the bones and can modify the skeleton, add bones, modify falloffs, assign areas of influence, etc., then jump out of that and "re-energize" the bones in animate mode. I assume you can do that with Carrara, I just worry about doing it with a pre-rigged V4, and adding bones when all of the mesh is already assigned to existing bones.
Actually what put Carrara in Zombie mode was moving the rig and the model out of the figure hierarchy. If I move just the model out of the hierarchy then Carrara doesn't go buggy. If I try and delete the rig from within the hierarchy or move the rig out of it, then Carrara has a seizure. I can delete the figure hierarchy with the rig once the model is moved out of the hierarchy, thus allowing me to create my own native rig in Carrara for the model.
I'm not familiar with the term "de-energize" in relation to the rig. I could see no way to jump into the rig and edit it at even the most basic leve aside from painting influences on the meshl. I did see the lines that indicated the IK, but no wireframe bones.
I have access to weight painting on DAZ/Poser figures straight out of the Browser without any added steps, but that's about it.
A trick we used way back when - version 6 or 7? - was to borrow M4 bones to rig our own home-made figures. Made it quick and easy to use .bvh. So I was surprised to see that this seems to be no longer possible. The rig vanishes when detached. Possibly Daz caught on to our trick and didn't want us distributing their rigs?
However, it is a piece of cake to re-rig, and keep morphs, using the CCT in DS. This is a V4 figure I converted to Tri-Ax and added two bones to the feet, just as a demonstration. In fact, it took longer to load the .duf into Carrara than it took to make the mod.
The bones aren't weight-painted to the mesh, but can be used to control other bones. So it's pretty easy to re-rig to make the figures more suitable for animation than what they are out the box.
Roygee said:The bones aren't weight-painted to the mesh, but can be used to control other bones. So it's pretty easy to re-rig to make the figures more suitable for animation than what they are out the box.
So the bone influences are assigned solely by named areas of the mesh (like foot, toe, shin, etc.)? That's kinda what I recall from the D|S tool. There's really no way to modify the influence area for each bone by weight painting, or modify bone falloff? That's kinda poopy. Without it you really can't improve the joint bending much. But at least you can throw some more bones in there easily to make a nice rig.
No, not at all - I didn't assign weights to the extra bones, although I could have.
The CCT is in some ways similar to the old FST in that bones are assigned to named poly groups. The improvement is that you don't need to cut the model up into mesh groups in a modelling app. You keep it as a unimesh and in DS you create the bones, or copy them from a donor figure, then use the group editor to assign poly groups to each bone. Then use the weight map brush to assign weights to each bone. You can have different weighting and fall-off per axis.
Adding, subtracting or reparenting bones is simple -no need to detach the figure. Simply do what needs being done, edit the poly groups and re-assign weights. Makes character creation a lot easier and clothing is a snip - simply import the fitted .obj, hit the transfer utility and its done. No worries about Poser proportions or Runtime structures.
So has anyone here fixed the garden hose problem with the ankle joints? Seems like a prime area for some modification and tweakage since the bending is so horrendous.
Or maybe the new Genesis does things better? Now that might be a reason for me to consider buying it.
Here's a pic of both with both feet bent to the max - 1 is M4 and 2 is Genesis male - you judge which deforms better.
You don't need to buy Genesis - only all the add-ons which give it character. DS4.5 Pro, which includes Genesis and a whole bunch of cool stuff which should be in Carrara is still free - will only cost you 500Meg download time.
Thanks. But what I was referring to was the image of the character in jeans, where I was describing the garden-hosing of the ankle joints at an extreme angle, like when you have the character squatting.
I realize it's an unrealistic scenario, and the standard ankle X-axis rotation limits are correct right out of the box, however....
Since it's such a chore to get the ankle/toe coordination with the limited toolset, where you'd have the character going up on the balls of his/her feet in a squatting position like that, I was hoping there would be an easy way to tweak the joint bending to fake it.
I dunno, maybe making a good heel-toe rig is easily do-able in Carrara with some of the modifiers and some bone additions and I just haven't explored it enough. I just always assumed that Carrara didn't have much in the way of useful rigging tools.
Hmmm...I'm always up for a good challenge. I'll see if I can make a really nice foot/leg rig. On the other hand, it's supposed to be gorgeous tomorrow and I may have to go sailing.
Hold on Roy, it just hit me...sometimes I'm real slow on the uptake...
It sounds like you're saying that the only way to modify the rigging is using the tools in D|S, then exporting that to Carrara. Which means if I have a scene and character all set up in Carrara and decide I want to tweak the rigging I need to start with a fresh character in D|S, modify it, then send it into the scene and transfer all morphs and textures and everything else to it. Is that the case? No way to just make the tweaks directly in Carrara?
If so, then ackk......too much work. And I dread having to get back into D|S and figure it out again. It's always a chore with that thing. Heck, just finding my content and stuff is a challenge with that content management thing. D|S and I just don't get along at all.
Okay, instead of complaining I tried it in DS, and really the tools are pretty cool. Once you figure out that it's the Joint Editor under Building/Scripting you need to use to add a bone. I guess they changed it a lot since the last time I used the whatever-it-was-called tool to rig characters. Still haven't figured out the details, but it's pretty sad that those tools aren't included in Carrara. I mean, come on guys, Carrara should have that and then some.
There ya go!
My sentiments exactly - Carrara rigging is probably the world's easiest to set up and the world's most frustrating to use. Could never figure out why they have this so-called Flagship and all the good character tools are in the free version. Carrara is set up for animation, with the better keyfraning of the two, but the best animation tools are in DS, which is not set for fast rendering of animation.
Don't know about that Building/Scripting you mention? I'm using the Darkside UI - up on the top row there is a bone icon - select that, then all you need do to edit bones is right-click in the scene and get the menu.
There is a quite a lot of documentation and a few vids on YouTube to help out, but Daz has hidden them pretty well and they need some searching out - easier to Google than try to find them through the site. They are pretty shallow, but with some reading between the lines and experimentation it becomes pretty straightforward.
the aniblock importer for Carrara going really cheap today for the PA sale!
and there is a Poser plugin too!
I love to do animation in Carrara but it lacks some of the tools that makes CA a lot easier to do. I am not saying it is impossible. It just takes more time to do it.
Here is an animated character done in C6 I think.
on Youtube the promo for it
It took about 20 mins to come up with this for a start to a walk cycle and it has a ton of work still to do to. In fact I would most likely start over. I started out using target helpers but they were more trouble than I wanted so I stopped. The tools I used were Puppet Master and Fenric pose helper. I rushed it a bit. It would not be as jumpy if I had setup poses better and such. I made a list of poses and created a new puppet master dot for each one, Contact, pass position, contact. (I should have made it like Contact, down, Pass position, Up, and contact. This would have given way better results.) I added some in between frames to help the legs pass through points and then used Fenric's plugin to reverse the poses from PM.
It is an animated gif. It is not playing back very well in the forum. Have to click on it to see it better.