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Battle glove (building and rigging stage)
Posted: 11 February 2013 08:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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OK. I did some test rigging of the gauntlet and confirmed one of my concerns, as well as discovered another. First, the sheath does “bend” with the fingers when the hand is clenched into a fist. This is bad. The second thing I discovered is that I will have to make the claw extension and retraction a morph, rather than having it done via a parented prop effect. The reason is because, as a conforming piece of clothing, the battle glove alters its shape to fit whatever Genesis shape is wearing it, and this includes the claw sheath. In order for the claw blades to fit properly in the sheath, and extend properly they too need to adjust their shape with the rest of the glove. As such, they absolutely need to be a part of the glove as a whole, not parented as a prop. The grappling hook, however, can stay as a separate parented object. I definitely need the help of a rigging and morph expert here.

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Posted: 12 February 2013 01:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Glad you got it sorted:)

The problem is you are wanting to do a pretty sophisticated animation in an application that was never designed for this type of thing.  Unlike Carrara, for instance, when you import an object made up of multiple meshes, Studio reads it as a single mesh instead of keeping each component separate.

The way I see it, you have two choices as far as the blade housing and launcher are concerned - either import them as separate .obj’s - they will come in at the correct relative positions - and parent them to the glove.  That way they will not be deformed by any action of the glove, but will move with the glove.

The second choice is to keep them as a unit with the glove and exclude them from deforming by applying rigidity maps.

Anything you want to move as separate units, such as the blades and grappling hook, you would need to bring in as separate .obj’s and parent them to the housings.

Just thinking aloud here - I guess you could bring in the lot as a single unit, apply rigidity to everything that you don’t want to deform, rig the blades as a unit to move along only one axis and the grappling hook to move freely.  i’ll have a bit of a play when I get the time and see what comes up:)

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Posted: 12 February 2013 01:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Roygee - 12 February 2013 01:04 AM

Glad you got it sorted:)

The problem is you are wanting to do a pretty sophisticated animation in an application that was never designed for this type of thing.  Unlike Carrara, for instance, when you import an object made up of multiple meshes, Studio reads it as a single mesh instead of keeping each component separate.

The way I see it, you have two choices as far as the blade housing and launcher are concerned - either import them as separate .obj’s - they will come in at the correct relative positions - and parent them to the glove.  That way they will not be deformed by any action of the glove, but will move with the glove.

I could try that. Not sure it will work.

The second choice is to keep them as a unit with the glove and exclude them from deforming by applying rigidity maps.

Anything you want to move as separate units, such as the blades and grappling hook, you would need to bring in as separate .obj’s and parent them to the housings.

Just thinking aloud here - I guess you could bring in the lot as a single unit, apply rigidity to everything that you don’t want to deform, rig the blades as a unit to move along only one axis and the grappling hook to move freely.  i’ll have a bit of a play when I get the time and see what comes up:)

None of which I know how to do. The only “rigging” I know how to do is with the Transfer Utility. As I said, the grappling hook can remain separate. It’ll work better that way. I’ve tried playing with rigidity maps on other pieces I’ve done with no success, and have no clue as to more advanced rigging or creating my own bones from scratch. All I do when rigging clothes is run them through the transfer utility test it out using different Genesis shapes, save it, reload it, and test poses. That’s the total extent of my rigging ability.

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Posted: 12 February 2013 02:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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I have never used rigidty, but have seen a pretty good description in the very well hidden documentation that now escapes all searching:)

I know you are under a time constraint, so it seems that at this stage your only option (apart from learning at warp speed:) )is to import each part that you don’t want to deform as a separate .obj and parent them in a hierarchy.

You could import the blades as a unit, parent to the sheath - which you would already have imported and parented to the glove.  Select the blade item, and under the parameters tab, limit the translation to one axis - you’ll need to experiment which one - probably X - and limit the range of movement.

Same with the grappling hook, only give it a free range of movement.

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Posted: 12 February 2013 02:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Yeah, I was just testing that. If you slide the blades out using the X axis (even when parented to the sheath, in turn parented to the hand bone of the glove)), it slides straight sideways along the world axis, not along the “proper” axis it should. The same thing happens if I parent the blades directly to the hand bone of the glove. The other issue is even if I could get that to work, you have to open up the entire heirarchy in the scene tab just to get to the blades to move them.

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Posted: 12 February 2013 03:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Yes, I see the problem - using world and not local space.  It all needs to be aligned to the Genesis local space.  Sorry, can’t help - I just don’t see anywhere to do this.  If it was in Carrara, it would be simple.

Try the Daz Studio forum - lots of experts there who could help solve it:)

EDIT:

Silly me - it doesn’t matter how something gets into place in an animation - it is where it ends up at each keyframe that determines how it gets there in the animation - the tweeners take care of the rest..  After all, animation is just a series of poses, with the software taking care of the in-between positions.  You can maneuver the blades and grappling hook into position using X and Z translations until they in the correct position.

Just tested this in an animation and it works perfectly:)

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Posted: 12 February 2013 05:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Roygee - 12 February 2013 03:36 AM

Yes, I see the problem - using world and not local space.  It all needs to be aligned to the Genesis local space.  Sorry, can’t help - I just don’t see anywhere to do this.  If it was in Carrara, it would be simple.

Try the Daz Studio forum - lots of experts there who could help solve it:)

EDIT:

Silly me - it doesn’t matter how something gets into place in an animation - it is where it ends up at each keyframe that determines how it gets there in the animation - the tweeners take care of the rest..  After all, animation is just a series of poses, with the software taking care of the in-between positions.  You can maneuver the blades and grappling hook into position using X and Z translations until they in the correct position.

Just tested this in an animation and it works perfectly:)

Getting it properly rigged and working isn’t so much for animation, but for ease of use by the person using the figure when building the scene (i.e. me) Having the blades move along their proper path (and within their proper limits) with a single, easily accessible slider (without having to go through the entire bone hierarchy to get to it) would make it much easier to use while building scenes.

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Posted: 12 February 2013 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Per your PM request for info:


You’ve chosen a challenging but worthwhile project, and that is a nice base mesh.  I like it.


You are not going to get the results you want using rigidity, smartpropping, or plain TU rigging.  You’ve already found out why smartpropping is not a good solution on parts of a conformer most of the time.  Rigidity actually has no effect on base rigging and bends; it only affects application of full-body morphs, and its uses are more limited than most people assume.


What I think you need here is to use your weight mapping tools after Transfer Utility, to paint the section on top of the fist 100% to the hand so it stops bending with the fingers.  Then do the same to the blades.  You can then use a morph to extend the claws.  I honestly don’t know if you’ll still get prohibitive distortion on FBMs, especially very large or small ones; in those cases I personally would do custom FBMs, and I can show you how to do that, too.


For now, the weight mapping:


This will be easiest if the claws and that top section are each on separate material zones.  This way they can readily be selected in the polygon group editor.  If you click on your rigged item and turn the editor on, you can see what I mean in the tool tab.  It has a small plus and minus sign next to each face group and material group for easy selection of those faces.  Double-clicking a plus sign selects all of the faces in that group.


This pic shows the weight map tool selected, which you need next, but the PGE tool is right to left of it on that top bar, so you know what that looks like.  That’s a Tool tab I’ve created on the left.  (This is a pic from a fairly old rigging tutorial.) 


Pic


Once the faces you need are selected, then click the weight map tool.  You need to make sure that the claw’s hand group is selected in the Scene tab, too, so that you’re not accidentally rerigging bits of Genesis.  (Why yes, I have done that.)


Here you will see the x, y and z rotations for that bone.  If you click one you can see that there are pink or purple areas near the fingers, indicating areas that are not rigged completely to the hand.  Right-click in the viewport and choose “fill selected faces” and drag the slider to 100%.  This should fill the top and claws polys that you already selected 100% to the hand, turning them bright red.  You will need to do it three times, for x, y and z.  You may also need to do it for the bulge subgroups of each.  I would just delete those for some items, but on a glove that might be a bad idea for general bending.


Now your top section and claws should bend only with the hand, not the fingers.

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Posted: 12 February 2013 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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SickleYield - 12 February 2013 10:41 AM

Per your PM request for info:


You’ve chosen a challenging but worthwhile project, and that is a nice base mesh.  I like it.


You are not going to get the results you want using rigidity, smartpropping, or plain TU rigging.  You’ve already found out why smartpropping is not a good solution on parts of a conformer most of the time.  Rigidity actually has no effect on base rigging and bends; it only affects application of full-body morphs, and its uses are more limited than most people assume.


What I think you need here is to use your weight mapping tools after Transfer Utility, to paint the section on top of the fist 100% to the hand so it stops bending with the fingers.  Then do the same to the blades.  You can then use a morph to extend the claws.  I honestly don’t know if you’ll still get prohibitive distortion on FBMs, especially very large or small ones; in those cases I personally would do custom FBMs, and I can show you how to do that, too.


For now, the weight mapping:


This will be easiest if the claws and that top section are each on separate material zones.  This way they can readily be selected in the polygon group editor.  If you click on your rigged item and turn the editor on, you can see what I mean in the tool tab.  It has a small plus and minus sign next to each face group and material group for easy selection of those faces.  Double-clicking a plus sign selects all of the faces in that group.


This pic shows the weight map tool selected, which you need next, but the PGE tool is right to left of it on that top bar, so you know what that looks like.  That’s a Tool tab I’ve created on the left.  (This is a pic from a fairly old rigging tutorial.) 


Pic


Once the faces you need are selected, then click the weight map tool.  You need to make sure that the claw’s hand group is selected in the Scene tab, too, so that you’re not accidentally rerigging bits of Genesis.  (Why yes, I have done that.)


Here you will see the x, y and z rotations for that bone.  If you click one you can see that there are pink or purple areas near the fingers, indicating areas that are not rigged completely to the hand.  Right-click in the viewport and choose “fill selected faces” and drag the slider to 100%.  This should fill the top and claws polys that you already selected 100% to the hand, turning them bright red.  You will need to do it three times, for x, y and z.  You may also need to do it for the bulge subgroups of each.  I would just delete those for some items, but on a glove that might be a bad idea for general bending.


Now your top section and claws should bend only with the hand, not the fingers.

OK, Got that. There is still some distortion in the sheath (and I presume the claws), particularly along the top, (as seen in the attached pictures) but they no longer bend with the knuckles. How do I fix this remaining distortion?

I also adjusted the weight maps for the grappling hook launcher and barrel to get them all in the forearm (the tip of the launcher, and the entire barrel were weighted to the Hand bone).

Next step is getting the blades to extend. In the Hexagon file, they are a separate grouped object, so they can be selected and moved as a group on their mount in Hexagon to make a morph, but I’m not sure if that’s the way to go or trying to rig them to their own “sliding” bone in Daz Studio 4 (however you’d do that).

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Posted: 12 February 2013 05:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Save to library so you have a backup before playing around, then delete the bulge morphs from the hand group in the gauntlet and see if that does it.


Sliding is probably easier and more logical to do with a morph than a bone.  Export the extended version as an obj named “ExtendClaws” (or whatever you would like the name of the morph to be).  Start Morph Loader Pro and change the name of the group from Morphs/Morph Loader Pro to basically anything else (just plain “morphs” is fine) by using right click/create.  The other settings should be okay at default.

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Posted: 12 February 2013 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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SickleYield - 12 February 2013 05:32 PM

Save to library so you have a backup before playing around, then delete the bulge morphs from the hand group in the gauntlet and see if that does it.

OK. How do I do that?

Sliding is probably easier and more logical to do with a morph than a bone.  Export the extended version as an obj named “ExtendClaws” (or whatever you would like the name of the morph to be).  Start Morph Loader Pro and change the name of the group from Morphs/Morph Loader Pro to basically anything else (just plain “morphs” is fine) by using right click/create.  The other settings should be okay at default.

OK. I’ll try that after the distortion is fixed.

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Posted: 12 February 2013 06:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Sorry, not bulge morphs, I meant the bulge groups.  These are found in the weight map brush tool tab.  If they’re there under the hand, you will see the xrotation, yrotation and zrotation but also XBulgeLeft and XBulgeRight.  Delete everything with a Bulge in the name so that only Xrotation, Yrotation and Zrotation are left.

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Posted: 12 February 2013 06:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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SickleYield - 12 February 2013 06:02 PM

Sorry, not bulge morphs, I meant the bulge groups.  These are found in the weight map brush tool tab.  If they’re there under the hand, you will see the xrotation, yrotation and zrotation but also XBulgeLeft and XBulgeRight.  Delete everything with a Bulge in the name so that only Xrotation, Yrotation and Zrotation are left.

OK. I tried that, it didn’t help. There was no X bulge, only Y and Z bulges.

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Posted: 12 February 2013 06:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Hmm.  Check if it still does it with smoothing off vs. on.


If it does it either way, you might have to select the claw/top section verts and do the same fill as earlier at 0% for each of the first finger joint groups.  Setting another group to 100% is supposed to avert this necessity, but sometimes it does not.


If it only does it with smoothing on, it may be a base geometry issue, but I don’t think that’s likely to be it.

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Posted: 12 February 2013 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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SickleYield - 12 February 2013 06:14 PM

Hmm.  Check if it still does it with smoothing off vs. on.


If it does it either way, you might have to select the claw/top section verts and do the same fill as earlier at 0% for each of the first finger joint groups.  Setting another group to 100% is supposed to avert this necessity, but sometimes it does not.


If it only does it with smoothing on, it may be a base geometry issue, but I don’t think that’s likely to be it.

I don’t have smoothing applied to the glove. I also checked to make sure all of the weights for the claw mechanism were set to the Hand and not the fingers of carpal bones. Everything is good there.

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