Digital Art Zone

 
   
1 of 2
1
Creating controls for a rig
Posted: 31 October 2012 09:07 PM   [ Ignore ]
Member
Rank
Total Posts:  76
Joined  2011-08-12

Hi
I’d like to create a control rig in Carrara 8 But I’m experiencing some difficulty
normally to place the controls in a program like 3ds max I would create a object and align it’s position and orienatation to the bone I would then move only the object (leaving the hotspot where it is) to a position that is easy to click. I know how to align my objects position to the bones position in Carrara but I don’t know how to align orientation or move just the object and not it’s hotspot.
Does anyone know how I would do this?

Also are Control rigs used often in Carrara or do most users just animate the bones?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 November 2012 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Power Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  1825
Joined  2004-08-24

HI Son of Belmont smile

You can Release / Lock the hot point for an object by hitting Caps Lock for on and off.
this allows you to reposition the hotspot without moving the object,. but if you select the object the hotspot will still move relative to the object.

For an IK rig, you would either use the IK chain (which should create a cube “target helper” for you) or you can insert target helper objects and change the display size and colour in the effects tab, then use EDIT / Align,.. or position it manually, then add the target helper as the object to track in the Inverse Kinematics modifier,. in the modifiers tab.

Also are Control rigs used often in Carrara or do most users just animate the bones?

I think we’d need a poll to answer that one smile  ..depending on what I’m doing, I use both methods.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 November 2012 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Power Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  1065
Joined  2007-10-15
Son of Belmont - 31 October 2012 09:07 PM

Also are Control rigs used often in Carrara or do most users just animate the bones?

Depends on what you mean by “control rigs”.

Carrara is not nearly as advanced as some other animation apps when it comes to control rigs. If you’re referring to stuff like “set driven key” and “expressions” and sliders, Carrara doesn’t have them. But if you’re just talking about inserting an object which is used as a simple handle to grab and control an IK goal, then yeah, you can do that in Carrara. And yeah, you can translate and rotate that object’s hot point to match the location/rotation of a goal. And Carrara does have a few simple tracking functions. But if you’re talking about, for example, a single slider that controls multiple bones and IK goals, Carrara doesn’t have it.

So, for example, you’re gonna have a tough time setting up a standard “heel/toe/foot roll” control that animates the action of a foot contact and roll during a walk cycle.

EDIT: If you watch the first 30 seconds of this video you can see what I’m referring to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-rDyASHn3Q

My guess is that most people just use the standard IK rig that comes with the content, and either move the IK goals directly by hand, or just use FK. I doubt many people even worry about foot roll, etc.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 November 2012 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Power Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  1215
Joined  2005-04-12

In addition to the previous answers, another thing that could help you is Fenric’s Enhanced Remote Control (ERC) http://www.daz3d.com/shop/carrara-enhanced-remote-control

This allows you to set up relationships between one parameter and another - the controlling parameter can even be in a separate object, allowing you control one character from another, etc. Time delays are also supported, allowing some clever animations with a degree of simplicity (once you have set up the relationships).

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 November 2012 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Power Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  1065
Joined  2007-10-15
PhilW - 05 November 2012 07:00 AM

This allows you to set up relationships between one parameter and another

Yeah, I suppose that might help, though honestly I have no clue. If you’re anything like me you’ve given up trying to figure out what the plugin REALLY does, since there really is no decent documentation, at least that I can find. Unless you want to drop $50 and hope for the best.

Though after a lot of research I think I discovered that you can make sliders. Though I’m not sure. And I don’t think it has expressions. And I’m not sure if you can control multiple parameters with another parameter. And I have no clue what sort of relationships you can set up between parameters.

Has anyone used it to build a fairly complex control rig, like a foot roll?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 November 2012 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Power Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  1215
Joined  2005-04-12

I agree that ERC can be a bit mind-bending!  You can certainly control multiple parameters from just one - I remember setting up the ailerons on a biplane so that rotating one controlled the other three, with those on the left going in the opposite direction to those on the right, as it should be.  And you can use maths (or as you Americans would have it, math) in the expressions.  So yes, complex but potentially very powerful for animation.  There are some good tutorials on ShareCG by Fabaone.
http://www.sharecg.com/pf/full_uploads.php?pf_user_name=fabaone

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 November 2012 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Member
Rank
Total Posts:  30
Joined  2003-12-29

I’ve created many rigs in the past with basic Carrara built-in methods and also with ERC advanced methods.
I have attached a screenshot from an experimental Carrara-ERC-Rig, which was created to find out
the limits of ERC and if it can be used for character animation.

A foot roll controller like the one Joe posted, is in a basic form even possible with Carrara built-in methods.
but if you want to have create some more advanced controls inside of Carrara, you need ERC.

Another way to use advanced animation controls inside of Carrara is to make yourself familiar with the creation of CR2or DUF characters. I had several experiments to include my controllers inside a CR2 with quiet good results.

The major disadvantage, which Carrara had compared to other software packages, is that not all effects do show up in real time, but only after releasing the mouse button. This is for all 3 control methods: Carrara-built-in, ERC and CR2-built-in controls.

Image Attachments
carstenrig2.jpgsylvester2.jpg
Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 November 2012 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Member
Rank
Total Posts:  30
Joined  2003-12-29

And a screenshot of the animation controls build into of a CR2/ poser file

Image Attachments
Sylvester_controls.jpg
Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 November 2012 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Power Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  1065
Joined  2007-10-15

Faba, is there a simple instruction manual posted anywhere that explains the features and implementation of the ERC plugin? I’ve seen a lot of videos and images along the lines of “look what I’ve accomplished with ERC”, but nothing that explains simply what features it has.

DAZ used to have a feature in the store alongside the item on sale where you could take a look at the instructions. Unless my memory is off on that. It sure would be nice to see something like that. It’s a bit mind boggling that you have to run all over the place just to find out what features a product has.

Though the lack of realtime response you mentioned is real painful, and for me is a nail in the coffin. so to speak. I’ve experienced that before with other apps and it was dreadful.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 November 2012 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Member
Rank
Total Posts:  30
Joined  2003-12-29

Basically it does what Phil already said:

It allows to link parameters.
You have a “driver” parameter and a “driven” parameter.
The driver gets an influence on the driven parameter.
For example these can be a translation driving a rotation, a rotation driving a morph, a translation value driving a color value.

On the first glimpse this doesn’t sound very exciting.
“Why should I buy an expensive plugin if i can do all of this by hand?”

Because when you do animations or other repeating tasks it can be a lot faster to set up such a driver relation once
and then never have to care about the driven parameters again, because it works automatically.

Another reason to use it might be that the Carrara interface is spread about several tabs and rooms.
For example if you want to animate a shader parameter you have to switch to the shader room each time to animate it manually.
With ERC you can link the shader parameter to an object in the main view or a slider modifier, which is also part of ERC.

If you are familiar with other 3D packages you possibly have seen similar features there too.

I would not recommend ERC to someone who is completely new to 3D. Especially with Carrara’s internal handling of units it
can be complicated to set up.
For example until Fenric explained me that Carrara is internally using radians and not degrees I had had to look first what the hell a radian is red face
It doesn’t have a “Make Art”-Button either, but once you wrapped your mind around it, it can definitely can make repeated tasks
much easier.

Edit: typo

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 November 2012 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Power Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  1065
Joined  2007-10-15

Again, I get the basics, I’ve used many professional apps with features such as “set driven key” and expressions and equations.

I’m just trying to see if you can, for example, set up expressions using, for example, math functions like sin, cos, square, etc. And how many variables can you have in an equation. And does it have internal constants like gravity, etc., and does it include standard equations for falling objects under the influence of gravity (s=0.5*g*t^2). There’s a bunch of other stuff I’d need, but I think you get the point. The devil is in the details. Just take a look at what’s available with some of the pro packages (LW expressions, Maya set driven key, etc.)

I believe I asked Fenric about this long ago and he said no to some of the stuff I wanted, but I’m not sure where it is now.

Anyway, thanks for the help.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 November 2012 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Member
Rank
Total Posts:  30
Joined  2003-12-29

Add: I forgot a list of features:

- ERC modifier (adds a modifier which allows simple or advanced driver relations)
- Slider modifier (adds a slider in the modifier section, which can be used to drive another parameter or used in conjunction with other components of ERC)
- ERC chain command(adds several ERC modifiers to objects within a hierarchy, like a tentacle or a tail)
- Property explorer (enables you to have a look at the Carrara internal values of a parameter and not the ones that Carrara shows you in the interface, which might bring some light into how to use it, like how many radians (internal) 90 degree (interface) are or how many inch (internal) a meter is.
- change rotation controller command ( enables mass change of rotation from quaternion to angles, so you don’t have to do it one by one)
- ERC tweener, which does the same things as the modifier but within the tweener section of Carrara

I hope I didn’t forget any feature.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 November 2012 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Member
Rank
Total Posts:  30
Joined  2003-12-29

Fenric might correct me here,
but to set up a complex expression within one modifier is not possible (as the formulae modifier).
Though I was able to create some more advanced relations with the use of helper objects.

You can do basic operations +,-,*,/, with one value,
you can set, add, substract, multiply, divide the controlled parameter’s value
you can use limits for the input and the output
you can use time based operations like decay, grow, oscillate, delay

I don’t know Maya or Lightwave, so I can’t tell you how ERC is compared to those.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 November 2012 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Member
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  79
Joined  0

@ FABA

Those are some pretty interesting rigs you show here.  What’s the chances of seeing a Tutorial or two on how to create some of these rigs and controllers.  I’m with JoeMamma2000 on this one, I bought your ERC plugin on the first day of its release hoping to achive some of the things you illustrate here, but I have yet to make heads or tails of the darn thing.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 November 2012 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Member
Rank
Total Posts:  30
Joined  2003-12-29

Hello Propose,

like Phil already posted there are some ERC tutorials and examples over here:
http://www.sharecg.com/pf/full_uploads.php?pf_user_name=fabaone

About your tutorial wish, what type of characters are you using?
Custom Carrara native characters or Genesis, Victoria and friends? Or do you create your own Poser/ DAZ chars?

In case you didn’t know it:
Carrara ERC belongs to Fenric only. I neither own any part of ERC nor do I earn money from it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 November 2012 09:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
Active Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  268
Joined  2009-03-09

I thought I had posted a reply, but apparently DAZ decided to eat it.

- Faba has covered all of the major points.  Yes, the ERC plugin is limited to very simple operations - it does not allow for scripting or advanced formulae.  “Oscillate” is a basic sin(x) function, but that’s the fanciest it gets.  I would entertain other basic operator-style functions as a free extension, but it will never be like the function modifier or PyCarrara, no.

- The documentation has disappeared from DAZ’s site.  But the basic function is a simple association of one value on one object to one value one one other object.  There is a convience feature where you can link x,y,z on one thing to x,y,z on another - but that’s it.

- It is certianly true that most of the things that ERC does could be done without it.  You might have to create a Poser-style CR2 and edit the links with a text editor, or use a combination of modifiers and tweeners, but there is very little that you CAN’T do without it.  But it makes it easier!

- I do not pay Faba any royalty, and she does not earn anything from the sales of ERC.  She is my most trusted Carrara functional advisor, and often tells me what I’ve done wrong, but she does what she does on her own time.  (I try to make it up to her, I really do, but I have never paid her a dime for her help.)

 Signature 

Come visit my store!

http://www.daz3d.com/fenric
http://fenric.com/wordpress/store/

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 2
1