Carrara Challenge #62 "Clowns and Other Circus Stuff" -

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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 13,111
    edited May 15

    Figure Prep for Animation - Joint Constraints and IK Chains

    Joint constraints.  In properties tray, under motion tab/constraints.  I went through my first clown model and edited the joint constraints.  For rotation order, I used ZYX for vertical bones like the chest and thigh.  I used X ZY for horizontal limbs like the shoulder and fingers.  For the most part, I used ball joint limits or locked the bone.  End bones were generally locked, like the top of the head or the tips of the fingers and toes.  Hopefully, the limits to the ball joints I chose make sense.  I may have set the ranges a little to large, but I am hoping exaggerated movements are OK for a toon clown.  I saved the constraints to my browser hoping to be able to use the same constraints for the 2nd clown, and as a starting point for the other figures.

    IK Chains.  Planning on extensive use of IK chains applied to one of my custom figures in Carrara is a first for me.  Hope it works out.  To set up the IK chains, select the inner bone first, click the IKChain tool from the left menu, then select the target bone in the assembly room.  For example, for the arms, the shoulder would eb the inner limb and the wrist/hand would be the target.  The target is giant for some reason, so I reduced its scale.  rename the IK chains so you remember which one goes with which limb.

    Here is my clown with joint constraints applied, IK chains set, and a running pose created by moving the IK targeted feet and wrists.  I am also attaching some screen shots of the joint constraint and IK chain processes.

    00 Joint Constraints.jpg
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    01 start an IK chain by select base limb.jpg
    1909 x 986 - 289K
    02 select the IK Chain tool left menu.jpg
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    03 select target limb hand or wrist then IK appear in instance tab and giant blue box for IK target.jpg
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    04 reduce scale target and rename target.jpg
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    06 running pose created by moving targets.jpg
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    Post edited by Diomede on
  • Bunyip02Bunyip02 Posts: 5,654
    edited May 15

    Diomede - looking good !!!

    Me - am reusing my Aiko 3 scene for my animation.

    Animation is a BVH file from cgspeed. Downside is that there are 25 frames per second for over a minute of animation, may be biting off more than I can chew for the adjusting of feet, hands and arms !!

    CC62 HarlieKins 2 WIP.png
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    Post edited by Bunyip02 on
  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 13,111
    edited May 15

    Bunyip - Yay for Aiko 3.  Classic.  I have confidence you can manage it.  The various Carrara tutorials should be up to date for classic Aiko 3 rigging.  Let us know if you get stuck and we might be able to find some vintage help resources.

    ** Apply Clown Joint Constraints and NLA to RingMaster  **

    Recall that my circus models start from a few bases, along with matching bone skeletons.  Sort of like my own Genesis Male, Female, and Kid.  The Fat Clown and the RingMaster are derived from the same base.  Here I applied the constraints from the clown to the RingMaster and applied the same NLA clip for a running pose.  Appears to be off to a good start.  Something strange happened to the left eye, so I better check to see if I inadvertantly attached that eye to the skeleton instead of parenting.  Overall, I'd say the saved joint constraints worked out OK.  Should save a lot of time for the constraints/rigging of the other characters.

    - PIC 1 - Ringmaster Figure loaded in scene.  Thigh selected, notice no constraints yet in upper right properties tray.

    - PIC 2 - Figure after dragging and dropping the ThighL constraint from the browser tray to the Constraint tab in the Properties Tray.  See rotation order, ball joint and limits all load.

    - PIC 3 - Apply same clown running pose that was saved as NLA clip to the sequencer for the RingMaster.  Adopts running pose.

    ee01 RingMaster figure loaded and thigh selected misc browser open to my constraints.jpg
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    ee02 RingMaster ThighL constraint loaded drag and drop.jpg
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    ee03 RingMaster after constraints use pose clip.jpg
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    Post edited by Diomede on
  • UnifiedBrainUnifiedBrain Posts: 3,243
    edited May 16

    Stezza - that is one creepy clown.  Him in the duck prop makes me think of a classic line from Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, which I can't print here.

    HW - neat looking cannon scene!

    Philemo - glad to see you entering!  Animation looked interesting, like interpretive dance.  Good music choice.

    Bunyip - wow, you are way ahead of me.  I haven't watched any more of Phil's tutorial since my last post, unfortunately.  But the story I want to tell is now getting clear.  Probably way too ambitious, but WTH.

    Diomede - Thanks for the blow by blow.  A lot of steps. I don't know half of what you are doing yet, but hopefully headed in that direction. :)

    Post edited by UnifiedBrain on
  • StezzaStezza Posts: 6,838
    edited May 16

    Philemo_Carrara said:

    First wip: first half of the animation

    Main animation is scary clown walk and Thriller 1 from Mixamo

    Public has some sitting animation also from mixamo

    Octane is used to render

    Animation of the dance needs to be redone (hands entering body, for instance, which can be handled with the arm space parameter in mixamo).

    Characters are organized with "regular" replicator. Grid for the dancers, circle for the spectators.

    I'll be on the road next week, so don't expect any improvement before 2 weeks :-)

    circus tent and stuff are from the carnival products here in Daz.

    Carrara setup:

    Carrara setup for first wip

     

    how good is that! yes 

    Diomede said:

    Free Stuff.  Figures, Bone Skeletons, and Hair Caps

    Thank you for the comments, UB, HeadWax, Stezza, Wendy, and Bunyip.  I am just plodding along, but I hope I get more than half of my entries from these base elements.

    Speaking of base elements, I am attaching a ZIP file with my generic Male, Female, and Kid meshes and bone skeletons for the Circus/Clown challenge.  Feel free to use for any use.  When I say generic, I mean generic.  I detach the skeletons, work on the meshes, adding and deleting vertexes, modeling clothes into the meshes, or whatever.  That usually means they have to be UVMapped and it isn't worth making morphs at the generic stage.  Similarly, it isn't worth doing the skeleton constraints or weightmaps until the meshes are complete.  They have basic UVMaps, but the UVMaps are usually redone after playing more with the meshes.  Then I reattach the skeletons and do any weightmap editing, joint constraints, etc.

    See 2 attached ZIP files, one for the generic figures, and one for a set of sample joint constraints which you 'should' be able to apply.

    dowloaded and deboned and then reboned again on my body! thanks @diomede wink  

    Headwax said:

    Welll here's a few hours work - an it's just the middle.

    This works with Rowen Atkin's philsopy of comedy.

    He has some great lectures on the thory of comedy on youtube - worth a wacth

    that bear! lol.... some great animations happening... good luck with yours @Bunyip02

    thanks for the comments on my images... mine pales into insignificance watching all you Carrara'ist works heart 

    Post edited by Stezza on
  • UnifiedBrainUnifiedBrain Posts: 3,243

    What is the point of using Mixamo?  Is it simply easier to animate with it than using Carrara?

  • WendyLuvsCatzWendyLuvsCatz Posts: 33,155
    edited May 16

    UnifiedBrain said:

    What is the point of using Mixamo?  Is it simply easier to animate with it than using Carrara?

    if you don't mind handkeying the entire "Thriller" choreography go for it cheeky 

    Paid options for DAZ figures also exist in DAZ store but need AniMate Carrara plugin or bake to key frames in DAZ studio and save pose

    Mixamo free

    I own the Chriller Aniblocks though too

    Post edited by WendyLuvsCatz on
  • UnifiedBrainUnifiedBrain Posts: 3,243

    OK, thanks, I assume that you are talking about this.  I bought the pro bundle years ago in anticipation of eventually doing animation.  Maybe soon. :)

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 13,111
    edited May 21

    Adding a female clown.  

    Screengrabs attached of modeling the costume in the vertex modeler after detaching the mesh from the generic skeleton, painting the face using Carrara's 3D paint tool, posing the figure using the IK target helpers, and a test render.  The hair is 3 pieces.  The main hair is grown on the generic hair cap.  I used the brush tool to pull the hair towards the sides.  I then modeled two cylinders to grow the pigtails from.  Not sure I am satisfied with the hair.  My next task, and my first entry, will be trying to animate a short dance routine with the 3 clowns.

    ww01 paint clown female face.jpg
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    ww02 clothes for female clown.jpg
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    vv01 clown female screenshot.jpg
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    vv02 clown female test render.jpg
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    zip
    zip
    Female Clown 01 ZIP.zip
    374K
    zip
    zip
    Clown Girl Reboot Face Color ZIP.zip
    15K
    Post edited by Diomede on
  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,492

    Diomede said:

    Example of Use - RingMaster

    I used the generic male as a starter to create the ringmaster.

    - detach the skeleton  (don't delete the skeleton, just select both the skeleton and the mesh and go to animation menu and detach the skeleton.  Keep the skeleton for future use.

    - ungroup the animation group

    - select the mesh for the generic male.

    - Creating pants and shirt.  in this case, I added edge loops at the sleeve and pant cuffs near wrists and ankles.  I selected an edge loop, scaled it up larger than the limb, and pulled it over the wrist or ankle.  Edit to taste to give the appearance of clothes.  I also added geometry at the waist to give illusion of pants and can add a belt buckle.  In this case, I wanted a jacket.  So I repeated the addition of more edge loops on the arms to create a second cuff for the coat over the shirt.  I also added geometry in the mid chest so I could extrude the middle divide of the jacket.  I added some more geometry so I could extrude the lapels on the coat.  I inserted new cubes to make the shoulder pads.  In the mid-shirt, I added diagonal edges so I could create shader domains for a vest.  I added an edge loop at the neck to create a collar using same method as cuffs.  I added geometry in the back so I could extrude the tails of the jacket.  I did some minor edits to body shape and face shape, but I planned to have thick hair and beard so was not too concerned with face detail.

    - Shader Domains - I created separate shader domains for the coat, the shirt cuffs and collar, the vest, the pants, the boots, and the gloves.  The head has separate domains for the skin, the lips, and the inner mouth.

    - UVMap.  I started the UV map from scratch, which meant slecting everything and hitting the - in the UV unfold tab editor.  

    - Hair. Normally I use a hair cap.  But this time, I grew the hair directly on the RingMaster.  Don't know why.  It did mean I had to wait until I was done with mesh editing and UVMapping.  There are separate hairs for head, brows, and beard.

    - Skeleton.  The generic skeleton still matches, but I had to add bones for the coat tails.

    - The hat is a separate model.

    Bottom line.  There are not separate clothes so I don't have to worry about poke through.

     

    wow Ted, that's very kind of you to run down  your work flow! And thans for the figures!!!

     

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,492

    Diomede said:

    Adding a female clown.  

    Screengrabs attached of modeling the costume in the vertex modeler after detaching the mesh from the generic skeleton, painting the face using Carrara's 3D paint tool, posing the figure using the IK target helpers, and a test render.  The hair is 3 pieces.  The main hair is grown on the generic hair cap.  I used the brush tool to pull the hair towards the sides.  I then modeled two cylinders to grow the pigtails from.  Not sure I am satisfied with the hair.  My next task, and my first entry, will be trying to animate a short dance routine with the 3 clowns.

     

    rilliant looking character (still cant type capital bee) cute and suites the part - looking forward to the animation :)

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,492

    Stezza said:

     

    dowloaded and deboned and then reboned again on my body! thanks @diomede wink  

    Headwax said:

    Welll here's a few hours work - an it's just the middle.

    This works with Rowen Atkin's philsopy of comedy.

    He has some great lectures on the thory of comedy on youtube - worth a wacth

    that bear! lol.... some great animations happening... good luck with yours @Bunyip02

    thanks for the comments on my images... mine pales into insignificance watching all you Carrara'ist works heart 

     

    thanks Stezza, sorry to be tardy I have been up the coast :)

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,492

    UnifiedBrain said:

    Stezza - that is one creepy clown.  Him in the duck prop makes me think of a classic line from Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, which I can't print here.

    HW - neat looking cannon scene!

    Philemo - glad to see you entering!  Animation looked interesting, like interpretive dance.  Good music choice.

    Bunyip - wow, you are way ahead of me.  I haven't watched any more of Phil's tutorial since my last post, unfortunately.  But the story I want to tell is now getting clear.  Probably way too ambitious, but WTH.

    Diomede - Thanks for the blow by blow.  A lot of steps. I don't know half of what you are doing yet, but hopefully headed in that direction. :)

     

    Thanks Ub :) 

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,492

    Bunyip02 said:

    Diomede - looking good !!!

    Me - am reusing my Aiko 3 scene for my animation.

    Animation is a BVH file from cgspeed. Downside is that there are 25 frames per second for over a minute of animation, may be biting off more than I can chew for the adjusting of feet, hands and arms !!

     

    looking forward to this one - I'm sure you;ll do a good jonb - if the feet slide just crop them out :)

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,492

    Diomede said:

    Figure Prep for Animation - Joint Constraints and IK Chains

    Joint constraints.  In properties tray, under motion tab/constraints.  I went through my first clown model and edited the joint constraints.  For rotation order, I used ZYX for vertical bones like the chest and thigh.  I used X ZY for horizontal limbs like the shoulder and fingers.  For the most part, I used ball joint limits or locked the bone.  End bones were generally locked, like the top of the head or the tips of the fingers and toes.  Hopefully, the limits to the ball joints I chose make sense.  I may have set the ranges a little to large, but I am hoping exaggerated movements are OK for a toon clown.  I saved the constraints to my browser hoping to be able to use the same constraints for the 2nd clown, and as a starting point for the other figures.

    IK Chains.  Planning on extensive use of IK chains applied to one of my custom figures in Carrara is a first for me.  Hope it works out.  To set up the IK chains, select the inner bone first, click the IKChain tool from the left menu, then select the target bone in the assembly room.  For example, for the arms, the shoulder would eb the inner limb and the wrist/hand would be the target.  The target is giant for some reason, so I reduced its scale.  rename the IK chains so you remember which one goes with which limb.

    Here is my clown with joint constraints applied, IK chains set, and a running pose created by moving the IK targeted feet and wrists.  I am also attaching some screen shots of the joint constraint and IK chain processes.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    wonderful thanks again, I'm amazed at what a mine of information you are

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,492

    Bunyip02 said:

    Diomede - Circus visitors looking awesome, thanks for the freebie & rundown on the ringmaster !!!

    Stezza - that Duck looks like it could make one hell of a splash !!!

    Headwax - nice render of your animation !!!

    Philemo - you beat me to the clown thriller dance, looks great !!!

    Me - back to the drawing board....

     

     

     

    thanks  Bunyip02 !

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,492

    Philemo_Carrara said:

    I've decided to enter this challenge.

    Whenever I do, I always try something new and take the opportunity to learn something.

    This time, as there is a possibility to submit an animation, my take was to try to build a workflow to import animations from Mixamo. My first tests were disappointing as FBX importer/exporter in Carrara are really out of date. Therefore, I had to use a third party software. It happens I have a nice plugin for Carrara called Daz Studio.

    It works up to Genesis 2. G7 and G8 have double articulations for thigh and shoulder and Mixamo has trouble with that.

    So, this is how it goes.

    • From the latest version of studio, export your base figure (in my case Genesis) as FBX using the latest version of the exporter.
    • In Mixamo, upload a new character using this export.
    • Apply the animation you want. Tune it the way you want. In Genesis, you can fiddle with the Arm space slider.
    • Export it still using the latest version of FBX.
    • Back in studio, import the resulting FBX and save it as a scene subset.
    • Now, in Carrara, create a new scene and add the scene subset from your content.
    • select the figure
    • In the NLA tab of this figure, click on "create master clip"
    • Drag the resulting clip in the clip tab of the browser
    • You're done with this scene, you may close it.
    • in your project, drag this saved clip to the clip tab of the project
    • drag it from there to the NLA line of your figure in the time line. It's done.

    Carrara expects translation to be on the model or on the hip. Mixamo export translation on the figure. So, if you're looping an animation, you have to use the override master clip option. The offset from previous clip part doesn't work.

     

    terrific you are entering, your first half wip is mesmerising !!!! and thank you for that workflow!!

  • ed3Ded3D Posts: 1,355
    edited May 17

    ~  and then ~  

    2MAN-HOLS 1.png
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    Post edited by ed3D on
  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,492

    coming along nicely - mysterious indeed :)

  • Bunyip02Bunyip02 Posts: 5,654
    edited May 17

    Bunyip02 said:

    Diomede - looking good !!!

    Me - am reusing my Aiko 3 scene for my animation.

    Animation is a BVH file from cgspeed. Downside is that there are 25 frames per second for over a minute of animation, may be biting off more than I can chew for the adjusting of feet, hands and arms !!

    Update: Glitches caused by the BVH file on Aiko have been corrected. There is a bit of foot sliding but not too noticeable.

    Next up to render out the animation in Carrara (probably a weekend job), then into Pinnacle Studio to add Titles, Credits etc.

    Post edited by Bunyip02 on
  • ed3Ded3D Posts: 1,355

    Headwax said:

    coming along nicely - mysterious indeed :)

    ~  thanx kindly

    _ do'nt guess , will make  any  Animations  but , alrite then thanx 

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 13,111
    edited May 17

    Sorry for appearing not to acknowledge some recent comments or reply to recent issues.  I wrote a long post which got boinked by the forum hiccups.

    Request for Info

    How do you get a keyframed animated figure to follow a motion path?  I have been working on a walk cycle for my fat clown.  Mixed results so far, but making progress.  I see there are motion paths, but that is a different animation setting from keyframe.  So I thought I would get around that by inserting a target helper, moving the target helper along the motion path, and then parenting the figure to the target helper.  Instead my walking clown loses it walk cycle when parented in this way.  Not sure what is going on.  The alternative of keyframing each step doesn't seem correct.  The dark recesses of my mind remember a walk cycle motion path tutorial, but I think that was for Dork and Posette in Poser 4.  The manual (Carrara 7) did not not clear it up for me, but I could be looking in the wrong place.  I got some good tips from a Carrara 5 Pro Handbook (Chapter 15) on walk cycles in general, but the example of forward movement did not use a motion path.

    aa01 walk cycle start.png
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    Post edited by Diomede on
  • WendyLuvsCatzWendyLuvsCatz Posts: 33,155

    I use a target helper and create a path for that and parent it to it.

    you can then duplicate the paths and put other things at different points along it too

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 13,111

    WendyLuvsCatz said:

    I use a target helper and create a path for that and parent it to it.

    you can then duplicate the paths and put other things at different points along it too

    For some reason, I my animation keyframes became inactive after I parented my figure to the motion path.  It is a mystery.  angry

  • WendyLuvsCatzWendyLuvsCatz Posts: 33,155

    Diomede said:

    WendyLuvsCatz said:

    I use a target helper and create a path for that and parent it to it.

    you can then duplicate the paths and put other things at different points along it too

    For some reason, I my animation keyframes became inactive after I parented my figure to the motion path.  It is a mystery.  angry

    yes they will because you changed the motion type, that's another reason to use a null object or target helper

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 13,111

    I meant parented to the target helper. 

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 13,111

    To clarify.  I inserted a target helper.  I set its motion to the path.  I parented my figure to the target helper.  Is that the wrong way to do it?

  • WendyLuvsCatzWendyLuvsCatz Posts: 33,155
    edited May 18

    Diomede said:

    To clarify.  I inserted a target helper.  I set its motion to the path.  I parented my figure to the target helper.  Is that the wrong way to do it?

    well that should work 

    I have no ideas, I have parented cars to target helpers on paths, animated the wheels and people parented to and sitting in them, maybe it's a setting somewhere?

    Post edited by WendyLuvsCatz on
  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,492

    Hi,

    try this, dont parent figure to the target helper

    instead

    take your figure and group it to itself, add a track modifier to the group.

    choose target helper as the object to track in  xyz 

    should work

    ps can't add a modifier to a figure i don't think - hence the grouping

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 13,111

    Thanks for the suggestions, Wendy and Headwax.  I bet the second grouping, or 'supergroup' is what I was missing.  That is how the newer Daz figures are configured, an animaiton group within a larger supergroup.  Fingers crossed.

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