Digital Art Zone

 
   
2 of 2
2
Creating controls for a rig
Posted: 06 November 2012 01:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Member
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  95
Joined  0

Thank you for the reply faba,  and of course you’re right ... it is a Fenric plugin.  My mistake, Sorry Fenric! 

I have all of your articles from sharecg, but I guess I’m so used to video tutorials (step by step instructions) that I find it difficult to wrap my brain around the concept you are trying to relay. 

As for my characters,  they are all human characters created by me in Carrara—well all two of them, and I have been considering Genesis and MakeHuman for my “people needs” cause mine really don’t look that good.  But for now it’s the rigging process that I’m really focusing on at the moment.  I could learn and use Blender, or Modo (nice rigging tools in that one), but then how do I get them back to Carrara fully rigged?  In short, I can’t. 

I think Carrara has a lot of potential as far as rigging is concerned.  Watching a ton of blender tuts on the topic and then seeing some of your examples such as the face rig and full body rig, makes me say “I’d like that type of rig for my characters”.  “Fenric’s ERC” I think goes a long way rigging a lot easier in Carrara, but as of yet, I haven’t been able to successfully implement your “ERC hand control” on my models. 

I play around with a lot of different software, but I’m no expert at any of them, but Carrara is by far my favourite because of its versatility. I can model a character in Carrara, I can attach a skeleton to that mesh, it’s the controls that I wrestle with. Face control rig, a decent foot rig,  So what I would like for Christmas ..... 

Thanks for all your input Faba (here and elsewhere) and all the Others

 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 November 2012 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Active Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  383
Joined  2008-08-29
Fenric - 05 November 2012 09:50 PM

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.

I get the set, add, subtract, multiply and divide, but what is the “reflexive” function? The only other operator I can think of is mod, but testing it to see if that is what it is is tricky given the nature of things. (If ‘reflexive’ isn’t mod then I’d like to have mod.)

 Signature 

Swamp Living Never Felt So Good

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 November 2012 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Active Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  282
Joined  2009-03-09

Reflexive sets ERC so that the value source and destination are the same, where you want to modify a value based on itself rather than based on something else.

I hadn’t added Modulo.  That would not be difficult to add.

 

 Signature 

Come visit my store!

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 November 2012 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Power Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  1104
Joined  2007-10-15

Fenric,
Some free advice, for what it’s worth…

I’ve used similar features in other applications. However, I can’t figure out exactly what ERC does. Imagine someone who is coming into it cold, with no experience. It must be confounding, to say the least.

I realize you’re a programmer, not a documenter. However, keep in mind that your customers probably have no clue what you’re talking about.

ERC means nothing to most people, including me. Nobody knows that “reflexive” means “equals”. Nobody knows what “modulus” means, or what it does. Most Carrara users are unfamiliar with terms like “sliders” or “expressions”.

So my suggestion is that you somehow develop some very simple documentation that shows, graphically, what features your plugin has, and how the average person would use it. And put it all in very simple terms.

For example, sliders are very cool and very useful. If that’s a feature, then show a very simple animated GIF with a slider controlling the grasping and opening of a character’s hand, for example. And list the features in terms people can understand.

Most people aren’t going to make very much effort to try to understand what a product does. With your ERC plugin, aside from being turned off originally by a name I didn’t understand, I’ve tried very hard to figure it out, and I’m still unclear. Few people would make nearly the same effort.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 November 2012 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Member
Rank
Total Posts:  30
Joined  2003-12-29

I have setup a test scene to show what the different functions will do:
 
This is a basic coordinate system. It has a range from -100 inch to 100 inch. Horizontal is x and vertical is z.
I have set up an ERC-modifier that way: x is the driver and z is the driven parameter.
x values start with -100 and end with 100.
I have set up a few examples to show the effect of the modifier:

1. “Set”:
The z value is driven by the x value with the “set” control.
The corresponding graph function is Z = X
Input values x: -100 to 100
Output values z: -100 to 100

2. “Add”:
The z value is driven by the x value with the “add” control.
the corresponding function is Z = Z (old) + X
Input values x: -100 to 100
z (old) value : 50
Output values z: -50 to 150

3. “Multiply”:
The z value is driven by the x value with the “multiply” control.
the corresponding function is Z = Z (old) x X
Input values x: -100 to 100
z (old) value : 0.5
Output values z: - 50 to 50

3. “Reflexive”:
The z value is driven by the x value with the “reflexive” control.
the corresponding function is Z = Z (old)
Input values x: -100 to 100
z (old) value : 25
Output values z: 25

Image Attachments
set_function.jpgadd_function.jpgmultiply_function.jpgreflexive_function.jpg
Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 November 2012 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Active Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  383
Joined  2008-08-29
Fenric - 07 November 2012 08:38 AM

Reflexive sets ERC so that the value source and destination are the same, where you want to modify a value based on itself rather than based on something else.

So it only does something if the modify does something other than add zero. So would modify of multiply and providing a value of 0.5 result in the actual value being half of what was set?

Fenric - 07 November 2012 08:38 AM

I hadn’t added Modulo.  That would not be difficult to add.

It would be nice to have, effectively allows looping over a set of values. Modulo is inherently integer math though the notion can be extended to floating point. Would your implementation coerce operands into integers? Or do floating point modulo? Or something else?

 Signature 

Swamp Living Never Felt So Good

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 November 2012 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Active Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  383
Joined  2008-08-29
faba - 07 November 2012 11:09 AM

I have setup a test scene to show what the different functions will do:

Thanks for the illustration. I should’ve thought of just using coordinates to simplify matters…

 Signature 

Swamp Living Never Felt So Good

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 November 2012 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Power Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  1226
Joined  2005-04-12

The essence of ERC is simply “When I do X, I want Y to happen”.  So - when I turn one wheel, I want all four to move the same; when I bend the arm, I want the biceps morph to be applied automatically. Half the issue of explaining it is that once you get your head around it, it can be used for so much.  And with delay function applied to chains of objects, you can make results that would take ages to do manually.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 November 2012 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Power Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  1104
Joined  2007-10-15
PhilW - 07 November 2012 01:44 PM

Half the issue of explaining it is that once you get your head around it, it can be used for so much.  And with delay function applied to chains of objects, you can make results that would take ages to do manually.

And now you can see why advertising firms can have such a difficult job sometimes. The challenge is distilling it down to simple, understandable phrases and images. Yeah, you can do a ton of stuff with it, but you can say the same for Carrara. You can do an infinite amount of different things with Carrara, and the challenge is to explain the features with images and concepts so that people can understand it. And IMO, it’s far easier with something like ERC.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a well done picture is worth an entire book.

IMO, it’s basically an “Animation Controls” plugin. One thing controls another. You show an anim of a mouse cursor moving a slider, which causes a character’s hand to open and grasp, and you’ve explained the basic concept.

Then you explain that it includes Motion Controls, Morph Controls, Shader Controls, Light Controls, whatever. And you provide simple graphic examples of each category in operation. I doubt there are more than a half dozen general categories, so it shouldn’t be too tough.

And then you make it clear what its limitations are for those who may be familiar with similar functionality in different applications. Which is why I suggested you post user manual that includes examples of stuff you’d want to do and how to do it. 

 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 November 2012 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Power Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  1104
Joined  2007-10-15

And Fenric, some more free advice…

I looked in the store at your plugin, and honestly the accompanying image doesn’t tell me a thing about what the plugin does. It shows an Aiko or whatever and a list of some parameters, but gives no clue about what it all means. Again, if you could insert an animated GIF like I suggested it might make a huge difference. 

And the writeup doesn’t add a lot: “The Enhanced Remote Control suite is a set of behavior modifiers and scene commands that work together to add much needed functionality and control to your animation workflow”

I just scratch my head after reading that, and that’s from someone who has a pretty good idea what it does.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 November 2012 04:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Active Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  356
Joined  2007-07-31
PhilW - 05 November 2012 10:53 AM

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

I saw a video tutorial on how to make a plane (using Carrara) and this demonstrated the ERC in action to control the ailerons etc.
Danged if I can find it now - Was that your video Philw ?  Can anyone provide a link ? Its well worth watching.

 Signature 

http://bond3d.wix.com/carrarators#!home/mainPage

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 November 2012 06:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Power Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  1226
Joined  2005-04-12
0oseven - 08 November 2012 04:50 AM
PhilW - 05 November 2012 10:53 AM

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

I saw a video tutorial on how to make a plane (using Carrara) and this demonstrated the ERC in action to control the ailerons etc.
Danged if I can find it now - Was that your video Philw ?  Can anyone provide a link ? Its well worth watching.

Yes that was mine - it is part of the Advanced Carrara video training package by Infinite Skills (and available on the Daz store).

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 November 2012 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
Power Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  1104
Joined  2007-10-15

By the way, a question about ERC for Fenric…

Does ERC handle Angles rotation (ie, greater than 90 degrees), or just Quaternion? I seem to recall that the Track modifier in Carrara doesn’t recognize if you have both objects set to Angles.

It’s a big deal if your animation has a controlling object turning past 90 degrees, but the controlled object just jumps around because it doesn’t recognize anything over 90 degrees.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 November 2012 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Power Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  1104
Joined  2007-10-15

And by the way, I have a completely off topic editorial comment about Carrara…

It is absolutely mind boggling to me that Carrara has virtually nothing in terms of animation controls features like we’re discussing. Seems to me that would be an extremely easy set of functions to program. Just the motion controls alone seem to be a no-brainer. An object’s position/rotation is a function of another object’s position/rotation. Heck, they’ve already got the Track function, which matches one object’s position/rotation to another object’s. Just take that code and expand it. And allow the user to insert expressions in there.

Heck, they already HAVE an expressions/‘formula’ feature in the Modifiers, which allows the user to input their own expressions. And supposedly it already affects motion (tweeners). Although I don’t think I’ve ever been very successful in getting it to work. How difficult can it be to apply that to some simple motion controls?

Anyway, there’s a long list of missing features that boggle my mind, but there ain’t much you can do about it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 November 2012 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Active Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  356
Joined  2007-07-31
0oseven - 08 November 2012 04:50 AM
PhilW - 05 November 2012 10:53 AM

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

I saw a video tutorial on how to make a plane (using Carrara) and this demonstrated the ERC in action to control the ailerons etc.
Danged if I can find it now - Was that your video Philw ?  Can anyone provide a link ? Its well worth watching.

Just remembered its on the Infinite skills site
PhilW kindly made a few of his Advanced Carrara tutorials available for free


http://www.infiniteskills.com/training/advanced_carrara_techniques.html

 Signature 

http://bond3d.wix.com/carrarators#!home/mainPage

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 2
2