Battle glove (building and rigging stage)

Tramp GraphicsTramp Graphics Posts: 1,758
edited February 2013 in Hexagon Discussion

OK, I'm planning my next—and, perhaps, most challenging—build to date: the armored battle glove my character, Delta Force CSM Steven Harrison Panther (AKA, the Night Warrior) wears on his right arm. The challenge is that, not only is it armored, but it has two specific built in functions I need to build into it and make work. These include a firing grappling hook with retracting line and a set of four "Cat claw" blades which extend from the back of the gauntlet over the first knuckles of the hand when the hand is clenched into a fist (and the mechanism is triggered) and retract when relaxed. (Night Warrior page 2 Night Warrior page 3 ).

Now, while actually shaping the meshes for these parts shouldn't be too much trouble, my question revolves around the best way to assemble them for rigging, namely, if they should be completely separate pieces parented to the main glove later, or built in from the start to be rigged, and, how would I rig them to function the way they're supposed to in either case? This is particularly important with the blades because they have to extend and retract within specific limits and as a single unit.

The grappling hook and cable have their own headaches attached to them, I don't even know where to begin with how to make a cable work.

I ask now, in the planning stages so I know how to proceed when I start building the meshes, so any suggestions and advice would be great.

Post edited by Tramp Graphics on
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Comments

  • GhostmanGhostman Posts: 211
    edited December 1969

    I would build them in separate pieces and then just import them one by one and rig it all together. The grappling hook and cable I really don't know.

  • RarethRareth Posts: 1,457
    edited December 1969

    Ghostman said:
    I would build them in separate pieces and then just import them one by one and rig it all together. The grappling hook and cable I really don't know.

    ideally you could probably make the claws as part of the glove, depending on the size you want them and if you want to animate them or not.

    grappling hook and rope, would have to be a separate prop(s) I would rig the rope similar to a snake or tentacle. should work ok for static shots. for animation, I don't really know the best way for that..

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,888
    edited December 1969

    I take it this is for Studio, not Carrara?

    If so, i would go for separate, import separately as Ghostman says. This to avoid the problem of keeping the claws etc. rigid.

    For the rope on the grappling hook, you can use a morph to extend it in a straight line. If it is for an animation to shoot out all wavy, then straight when fully extended, you'll have to get clever and use a combination of a long rope rigged with bones and a morphed rope for the straight extended part and switch visibility at strategic points. Some clever camera work can disguise the transitions.

    Good luck:)

  • PendraiaPendraia Posts: 2,524
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    I take it this is for Studio, not Carrara?

    If so, i would go for separate, import separately as Ghostman says. This to avoid the problem of keeping the claws etc. rigid.

    For the rope on the grappling hook, you can use a morph to extend it in a straight line. If it is for an animation to shoot out all wavy, then straight when fully extended, you'll have to get clever and use a combination of a long rope rigged with bones and a morphed rope for the straight extended part and switch visibility at strategic points. Some clever camera work can disguise the transitions.

    Good luck:)


    Just remember that if you use separate bits it can sometimes cause problems with smoothing. I've had that problem with some older outfits that I've needed to smooth.

    *Settles down to watch and learn....

  • Tramp GraphicsTramp Graphics Posts: 1,758
    edited December 2012

    The cable wouldn't be rope; that would be too thick to spool up inside the structure of the gauntlet. This would be a very thin, but extremely high-tensile strength cable (if it were real).

    As for the claws, they measure in at about three inches long and retract into armored sheaths that run along the back of the hand.

    And, yes, this is for Daz Studio 4.0 pro.

    Post edited by Tramp Graphics on
  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,888
    edited December 1969

    What I'm thinking of is that the claw, cable and grappling hook would be separate objects parented to the figure - not the glove - so that shouldn't affect the smoothing of the glove.

    The claws would be revealed by translating them out of the sheath. The grappling hook would also be shot out by translating.

    There is no way I know or have come across of spooling something like a long, thin cable. I have done an unrolling sleeping bag using bones in Carrara. This was bulky, there was plenty of space for the bones and it only needed a couple of rolls. Also done an unrolling reel of Sellotape, but that had to be faked.

    What I'm thinking of for the cable shooting out - tested this last night in Studio and it works fine - is to make a thin cylinder in Hex with no segmentation, move one ring of points so that it is almost touching the other, so it is very short. Send to Studio and close Hex. Then send it to Hex via the bridge. Expand to the required length by moving one set of points and send to studio as a morph. Parent to the figure and make invisible until needed. When it has to shoot out, use the morph at the correct place in the timeline.

    You'd have to time the shooting out of the grappling hook so that they seem attached.

    Love to get some other ideas - i don't use Studio for anything other than rigging, so don't have much knowledge of its capabilities.

  • Tramp GraphicsTramp Graphics Posts: 1,758
    edited December 2012

    My computer can't handle animation, as far as I know (I doubt 2gb of RAM will cut it), and I don't know how to animate anyway. But I do plan to create a lot of action scenes with the cable being fired, wrapping around objects (and people), etc. and, eventually being able to use this in animation should the resources become available (and comic's success warrant it), so "faking" the spooling isn't an issue. I was only describing how the mechanism would work in real life, not in a 3d computer model, since the "spool" is completely inside the body of the gauntlet anyway, and thus not visible. The only real issue would be knowing how big the "spool" and "motor"would need to be because that would effect the construction of the gauntlet determining how much space it would need to take up, and account for it since you also have to consider the fact that a man's arm needs to fit inside as well.

    The reason I brought it up is rope was mentioned, and realistically, rope would be too thick , particularly given the total length of cable (100') spooled up inside of this weapon, so we're talking about something as thin as heavy-duty fishing line with breaking strength of several hundred pounds, (such as used for the "really big" fish, like marlin, swordfish, and shark). Think Batman's grappling gun from the 1989 Tim Burton movie, but built into a gauntlet. Perfect for jumping off buildings or cliffs without killing yourself, climbing, and pulling bad guys off of rooftops. So the real issue with the cable is making a very thin line that is both flexible, and variable in length up to 100', and could realistically fit on a motorized spool built into the body of the gauntlet that fits a man's arm, and (if it were real) actually support his weight and then some., even if used to catch him from a fall without breaking. In that sense, wouldn't the cable and grappling hook need to be one object?

    As for the claws, I don't think parenting to the gauntlet should be too much of an issue given that this isn't a skin-tight piece of clothing, but, rather, a bulky piece of armored weaponry. the only really "tightly conforming" part is the fabric upon which the armored pieces are built and within which the hand itself fits. That's the only part that really might need smoothing and collision with the wearer. The blade housing rises at least an inch from the back of the hand.

    The big question is, whether done through rigging as boned parts of the gauntlet or through parenting to it, how to limit how far the blades move forward and back, and only allow them to move (as a single unit) along that one axis.

    Post edited by Tramp Graphics on
  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,888
    edited December 1969

    OK - static illustrations make it a lot simpler:)

    For the grappling hook, all you would need to do is put it in the right place in the scene, then draw in the filament in post, using stroked paths. That will give you more leeway than doing it in 3D. In any case, I doubt that there is any 3D software capable of doing what you have in mind.

    The sliding out of the claws is also pretty simple - set the parameters on the axis you want it to slide out on and lock the other two.

    What I'm interested in finding out is how the rigid part of the glove works with the flexible part - such as in body armor - I've often wondered how the pro's do body armor to get it to move with the muscles, but not get deformed.

    Hope some guru pops in and reveals the secret:)

  • RarethRareth Posts: 1,457
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    OK - static illustrations make it a lot simpler:)

    For the grappling hook, all you would need to do is put it in the right place in the scene, then draw in the filament in post, using stroked paths. That will give you more leeway than doing it in 3D. In any case, I doubt that there is any 3D software capable of doing what you have in mind.

    The sliding out of the claws is also pretty simple - set the parameters on the axis you want it to slide out on and lock the other two.

    What I'm interested in finding out is how the rigid part of the glove works with the flexible part - such as in body armor - I've often wondered how the pro's do body armor to get it to move with the muscles, but not get deformed.

    Hope some guru pops in and reveals the secret:)

    you mean if and how the part on the back of the hand moves? simple it should not be rigidly connected to the part on the forearm.
    the connection should be through armored cables/tubes for power, fliament line, and compressed gass for the launching of the grabbling hook.

    the back of the hand part only needs to really house the claws, the selonoids to move the claws and the grappling hook housing
    all the rest, power pack, compressed gas container, motor for rewinding the filament can all be contained in the forearm.

    I couldn't tell from the pics you referenced just how big is this gauntlet thing supposed to be?

    heck you could always do something like this..

    17464__400x400_glovatrix-mk1-008.jpg
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  • RarethRareth Posts: 1,457
    edited December 1969

    Here is a quick and dirty example, you can use finger rings like brass knuckes or a strap across the palm to give the appearance of how it is held on,

    gauntlet-exp.jpg
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  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,888
    edited December 1969

    The part I'm interested in is not how it would work in "real life", but in how it would work in Studio - having the rigid parts and the flexible parts modeled in the same mesh and getting the rigid parts not to deform along with the flexible parts :)

  • Tramp GraphicsTramp Graphics Posts: 1,758
    edited December 2012

    Rareth said:
    Roygee said:
    OK - static illustrations make it a lot simpler:)

    For the grappling hook, all you would need to do is put it in the right place in the scene, then draw in the filament in post, using stroked paths. That will give you more leeway than doing it in 3D. In any case, I doubt that there is any 3D software capable of doing what you have in mind.

    The sliding out of the claws is also pretty simple - set the parameters on the axis you want it to slide out on and lock the other two.

    What I'm interested in finding out is how the rigid part of the glove works with the flexible part - such as in body armor - I've often wondered how the pro's do body armor to get it to move with the muscles, but not get deformed.

    Hope some guru pops in and reveals the secret:)

    you mean if and how the part on the back of the hand moves? simple it should not be rigidly connected to the part on the forearm.
    the connection should be through armored cables/tubes for power, fliament line, and compressed gass for the launching of the grabbling hook.

    the back of the hand part only needs to really house the claws, the selonoids to move the claws and the grappling hook housing
    all the rest, power pack, compressed gas container, motor for rewinding the filament can all be contained in the forearm.

    I couldn't tell from the pics you referenced just how big is this gauntlet thing supposed to be?

    heck you could always do something like this..


    The part on the back of the hand only houses the blades and the mechanisms to operate them. The grappling hook and cable is fully housed within the forearm section of the gauntlet. only the trigger for it would be in the hand, along with the trigger for the claws.

    The part I'm interested in is not how it would work in "real life", but in how it would work in Studio - having the rigid parts and the flexible parts modeled in the same mesh and getting the rigid parts not to deform along with the flexible parts :)

    The best way I've found to avoid that is to make sure the rigid parts don't extend over a joint.

    Post edited by Tramp Graphics on
  • PendraiaPendraia Posts: 2,524
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    The part I'm interested in is not how it would work in "real life", but in how it would work in Studio - having the rigid parts and the flexible parts modeled in the same mesh and getting the rigid parts not to deform along with the flexible parts :)

    They would need to create rigidity maps or morphs for certain actions. I was doing the tutorial for rigging by Blondie yesterday and the rigidity maps are in the polygon editor but that's about all I know. : (

    Wish I knew more myself.

  • Tramp GraphicsTramp Graphics Posts: 1,758
    edited December 1969

    Pendraia said:
    Roygee said:
    The part I'm interested in is not how it would work in "real life", but in how it would work in Studio - having the rigid parts and the flexible parts modeled in the same mesh and getting the rigid parts not to deform along with the flexible parts :)

    They would need to create rigidity maps or morphs for certain actions. I was doing the tutorial for rigging by Blondie yesterday and the rigidity maps are in the polygon editor but that's about all I know. : (

    Wish I knew more myself.

    I have yet to figure out how to get rigidity maps to work so I typically don't bother.

  • Tramp GraphicsTramp Graphics Posts: 1,758
    edited December 2012

    I just thought of something that might be a problem with the whole using Translate to move the blades forward and back. Someone with more experience with this sort of thing correct me if I'm wrong here, but...

    In the basic T-pose, the hands and forearms are not perfectly in line with the X axis; they tilt about 30° or so towards the Z axis (Maybe a little less). If I parented the blades to the glove, (or the hand) and then tried to use the X axis translate to slide them in and out, wouldn't that cause them to go straight along the X axis, and thus, "off center" and slide through the sides of their sheath instead of following the angle of the glove? If so, is there a way to prevent that?

    Post edited by Tramp Graphics on
  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,888
    edited December 1969

    In every app there is a "world space" and a "local space". When you do something like this, it translates along its local space, so regardless of how it's orientated, it translates correctly. Otherwise animation would be impossible. Just tried a mockup and it works fine - also reminded me of why I don't use that clunky app much!

    Something you need to bear in mind if the spikes are all going to be separate blades and not a single entity - you will need to parent them to a "master spike" - any of the spikes will do - or all to a nul object - so that they move in unison and don't need to be translated singly.

  • Tramp GraphicsTramp Graphics Posts: 1,758
    edited December 2012

    Nope. The blades (not spikes) will be a single entity mounted to a base plate which would be what's connected to the [simulated] actuators used to extend and retract the blades.

    Post edited by Tramp Graphics on
  • Tramp GraphicsTramp Graphics Posts: 1,758
    edited December 1969

    Well, I began working on the gauntlet over the holidays, and have come pretty far. In fact, I think I'm almost done with modelling (still needs the grappling hook though) I might need to make some adjustments to the blades' positions, but it's turning out. I also need to figure out the best place to locate the trigger and rewind buttons for the grappling hook and cable; one that is easily accessible but won't be accidentally triggered by the wrong movement or getting hit. My only real concern is if there'll be any deformation the front of the sheaths when his hand is clenched in a fist.

    Here's some WIP pics:

    Gauntlet-05.jpg
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    Gauntlet-04.jpg
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    Gauntlet-03.jpg
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    Gauntlet-02.jpg
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    Gauntlet-01.jpg
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  • GhostmanGhostman Posts: 211
    edited December 1969

    On this one I would make the blade sheat a separate figure that conforms to the glove and the blades would be smartprops parented to the sheat.
    This way you will get less deformation on the sheat when the hand is clenched into a fist.

  • RarethRareth Posts: 1,457
    edited December 1969

    Ghostman said:
    On this one I would make the blade sheat a separate figure that conforms to the glove and the blades would be smartprops parented to the sheat.
    This way you will get less deformation on the sheat when the hand is clenched into a fist.

    best way is to make a copy of your work, send the copy to DAZ to parent and conform to your character, and go through some hand poses to identify the problem areas.

    or send a genesis toon with a clenched fist into Hexagon and see how the things line up there..

  • Tramp GraphicsTramp Graphics Posts: 1,758
    edited December 1969

    Ghostman said:
    On this one I would make the blade sheat a separate figure that conforms to the glove and the blades would be smartprops parented to the sheat.
    This way you will get less deformation on the sheat when the hand is clenched into a fist.
    Yeah, my only concern is where the sheath extends over the knuckles a bit. If I can ever figure out applying rigidity, that wouldn't be an issue.

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,888
    edited December 1969

    If you had it as two separate props, with the sheath parented, but not conformed to the glove and the blades parented to the sheath, they would move where the glove goes, but not deform when the fist is clenched.

  • Tramp GraphicsTramp Graphics Posts: 1,758
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    If you had it as two separate props, with the sheath parented, but not conformed to the glove and the blades parented to the sheath, they would move where the glove goes, but not deform when the fist is clenched.
    That's an option, but not necessarily the most ideal. I haven't done any test rigging yet, so...

    The next step right now is to make the grappling hook, and make it look functional, including whether it should have articulated prongs or not. Once that is done, then I can go and make my UV maps and material zones, and then rig this weapon using whichever method will work best. Then, of course, there's the issue of squeezing any sleeves (such as the that of a jacket) the character's wearing into the gauntlet, but that's an issue for the piece of clothing, not the gauntlet.

  • Tramp GraphicsTramp Graphics Posts: 1,758
    edited December 1969

    Got the grappling hook modeled and position. I ended up going with a fixed four-pronged design. I tried three prongs, but that placed the vertical axis off center. This made positioning it extremely difficult.

    Gauntlet-06.jpg
    1373 x 814 - 261K
  • Tramp GraphicsTramp Graphics Posts: 1,758
    edited February 2013

    Well, I'm UV mapping it now but, I'm having a very curious artifact appear when I try to UV map the sheath, but can't find where the problem is on the mesh itself. I'm attaching a screen shot of the artifact on the UV map view (after collapsing geometry). I've looked for where the geometry might be broken on the mesh, both with smoothing on and off, but can't find any problems in the mesh. When I clock on any of the lines in the artifact on the UV Map view, nothing "lights up" on the main mesh either. I could email you the .hex file if you want to see if you can find the problem.

    Gauntlet-07.jpg
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    Post edited by Tramp Graphics on
  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,888
    edited December 1969

    When I zoom in real close I see a few suspect edges - I don't think the PM will take a file attachment - suggest you place it in 4Shared or similar and PM me the link.

  • Tramp GraphicsTramp Graphics Posts: 1,758
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    When I zoom in real close I see a few suspect edges - I don't think the PM will take a file attachment - suggest you place it in 4Shared or similar and PM me the link.
    Yeah. PM isn't even allowing me to attach jpg images, which is "supposed" to be allowable up top 250 KB,

  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 19,808
    edited December 1969

    Yes that is connected with the inability to change avatars, or even attach one if you don't have one.

  • Tramp GraphicsTramp Graphics Posts: 1,758
    edited December 1969

    chohole said:
    Yes that is connected with the inability to change avatars, or even attach one if you don't have one.
    Well, I hope it gets fixed soon. I used to be able to upload attachments in PMs.

  • Tramp GraphicsTramp Graphics Posts: 1,758
    edited December 1969

    Thanks to Roygee's assistance, I've fixed the error in the claw sheath's mesh and have completed UV mapping and setting the material zones. I also had to make some adjustments to the shape of the sheath, as well as the position and shape of the claw blades and blade mounts so that they'd fit properly when both extending and retracting. It's ready for rigging...

    I think.

    Gauntlet-09.jpg
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    Gauntlet-08.jpg
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