Steering on a car I built (I gave up, so we can close this)

AabhnormalAabhnormal Posts: 81

I'll start with: I got the tutorial on how to make mechs and vehicles... but... I already imported my model, mapped it, set all the joints' limits, renamed the dials, resized everything, hid the extra dials... and all I want to do is tie the front wheels to the steering wheel... maybe make the car sway a little on its gimble. The tutorial starts with rigging the character in Blender and importing the rigged character, then doing what I already did... Am I screwed? Do I have to just wipe all of that out and start over because I didn't rig the model first or is there a way to make a dial that turns three other dials? Thanks guys...

Post edited by Aabhnormal on

Comments

  • hansolocambohansolocambo Posts: 593
    edited September 23

    "the tutorial" : which tutorial ?

    Please be precise when asking anything. Screenshots. References to bundles used, etc. etc. etc.

    Or how anyone can help ?

    a dial that turns three other dials

    For that, check tutorials about creating character morphs. Head/Body and a third slider "Character" that controls the two other sliders.

    By following that tutorial, even if not related at all to a car, you'll get answers to your question :

    In a nutshell :

    1/ Create your three sliders.

    2/ Set the three of them to 100%

    3/ Parameters Tab > Right-click > Edit Mode

    4/ Parameters Tab > Right click > Create New Property. Name and label this new slider. Float Attributes > Min > 0.00. Click Create.

    5/ Set this new Slider at 0% > Right-Click > ERC Freeze.

    6/ in the ERC Freeze Properties list, you should see your 3 sliders ony. Click Accept.

    7/ Get out of Edit Mode.

    8/ Now you can slide this 4th slider and it'll control the 3 others.

    Post edited by hansolocambo on
  • Apologies, you are correct, I didn't give a lot of info because I was downstairs and my computer was upstairs :) 

    Here we go: I purchased the Daz product: #46905  Rigging Vehicles And Mechs In Daz Studio

    It has a series of videos, in Video one, he sort of drinks a lot of soda... but in Video 2 he talks about rigging a figure.  As you can see in the picture below, I have already set the figure up in Daz with textures and I've already resized everything and assembled everything and even set dials... but it's not a rigged figure.  They are in a hierarchy, but only in the scene itself. Now I may build rigged figures in the future, but for this project, I'm on the clock, so time is of the essence, so I can't really afford to jump back and throw everything away if I don't have to (I will if I have to, but I have to not bill my client for it).

    Now I can go back to Blender and rig the figure, but it's really simple and all I really need is for the steering wheel to turn and the wheels to turn via dial... I think what you are suggesting may just do that. I'll give it a try. 

    But if not, I've put all the information here :) 

     

    Thanks!

  • hansolocambohansolocambo Posts: 593
    edited September 23

    I think what you are suggesting may just do that

    I didn't have a computer handy. Only my Daz notes on a mobile phone. But yeah, give that a try.

    I'm pretty confident that's what you need.

    Cheers.

    Post edited by hansolocambo on
  • Use the Joint Editor to set the centre points and alignments, if you haven't, then try using ERc Freeze to cotnrol the steering - turn the steering wheel and adjustable wheels to one of their extremes, then right-click to put the Paarmeters pane in Edit mode, then right-click on the steering wheel rotation and select ERC Freeze - you should see the wheel turns listed as sub-compenents. Assuming that works in scene try saving as File>Save As>Support Assets>Scene Assets - I think that is the option that will preserve ERC links. You could also try saving a wearables preset.

  • Alrighty! I've tried it, and it SORTA works... some questions:

    1) When I go into ERC freeze, is there any way to Uncheck all? It literally gives me every. single. option and I only need "Yrotate" on three things.

    2) When it set it to "All the way left" I had the option for the steering wheel but when it set it all the way RIGHT, the steering wheel was no longer on the list... thus it didn't get included... the wheels turn now... but the steering wheel doesn't turn...

    3) I set the dial for 100% and "ERC Freeze"d, and then set it for -100%, turned the wheels the other direction and "ERC Freeze'd", but once out of edit, the wheels only go from 0%-100% and "straight" is 67.4%, not 50%... so it "favors" going to the right... that's okay as the end result is animation and I can just "remember" that number... but it IS weird... Did I do something wrong?

     

    Thanks for helping on this! Clearly we are on the right track :)

     

    ---G

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  • Aabhnormal said:

    Alrighty! I've tried it, and it SORTA works... some questions:

    1) When I go into ERC freeze, is there any way to Uncheck all? It literally gives me every. single. option and I only need "Yrotate" on three things.

    Memorise the items (Edit>Object>Memorise>Memorise Element(s) with all selected - sorry, that is a vital step that I should have included as ERC Freeze is looking at the difference between the memorised state and the current state.

    2) When it set it to "All the way left" I had the option for the steering wheel but when it set it all the way RIGHT, the steering wheel was no longer on the list... thus it didn't get included... the wheels turn now... but the steering wheel doesn't turn...

    If you freeze it all the way left then it should work, with negative values, to the right.

    3) I set the dial for 100% and "ERC Freeze"d, and then set it for -100%, turned the wheels the other direction and "ERC Freeze'd", but once out of edit, the wheels only go from 0%-100% and "straight" is 67.4%, not 50%... so it "favors" going to the right... that's okay as the end result is animation and I can just "remember" that number... but it IS weird... Did I do something wrong?

    You set everything as you want at one extreme (usually) then you right-click on the proeprty you wish to be the controller. ERC Freeze links one control property to any number of slave properties

     

    Thanks for helping on this! Clearly we are on the right track :)

     

    ---G

  • Aw man... this is so frustrating... I'm SO close to having this under control and it's just being bizarre at the finish line.

    So I have the three properties linked (Steering wheel Y Rotate, Left front wheel Y Rotate and Right Front wheel Y Rotate) I had to manually add them to the property "Normal Steering" but they are there. 

    Here's the problem: I can't seem to get anything to travel correctly: If I set it to -35 the RIGHT wheel turns from 0 to -1, but the LEFT wheel only turns from -0.11 to +1  The Steering wheel also only turns for about 60% of the range.

    If it would turn from "0" to -1 or 0 to +1, that would make some sense... but it elements start moving at weird places, like "-0.11" or "0.39" or something... 

    Thoughts?  I could simply start all over.  But the ERC freeze thing seems to do the same thing (with weird ranges).  This seems like a "You need to add 47.28374 to the number" sort of thing... 

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  • When I go into ERC freeze, is there any way to Uncheck all? It literally gives me every. single. option and I only need "Yrotate" on three things.

    ERC Freeze Options window opened > Freeze Properties.

    Ctrl+A to select them all. Then Right Click > Toggle Selected.

  • Do you have limits on the wheel rotations?

  • Yes! I built limits on all of them! Should I remove them?

  • Aabhnormal said:

    Yes! I built limits on all of them! Should I remove them?

    Make sure they match - having limits is usually quite a good thing in itself.

  • So by match...  the front wheels turn +/- 30 degrees but the steering WHEEL turns +/- 45 degrees.  They won't match..  do they have to match?  The limits are set at 30 and 45 respectively.

    This is for a driving school animation, so it is kinda important that they be somewhat accurate :D  I mean, if I HAVE to, I can make them two seperate sliders, one for the front wheels and one for the steering wheel.

    But the next slider I want to make will include leaning the car (To show a more dramatic and comedic turn because driving school doesn't need to be boring :) ), so the body will lean +/- 3.5 degrees and the little guys head needs to tilt in response.

  • MattymanxMattymanx Posts: 6,743
    edited September 25

    Hey Aabhnormal, having modeled and rigged several cars, I can help you out.


    I found out while I was building one of my cars that ALL cars and trucks can rotate the steering wheel 540 degrees to the left and right which is 1.5 full turns (360 + 180).  The front wheels however usually turn 30 degrees or more.  In the automotive industry, the relation between the two is referred to as the "steering ratio".  So when you go to rig the car, set the limits on each part accordingly and then after they are memorized in the joint editor, you can create a pose control dial to link them.  When it comes to making custom dials in Daz Studio, the "Property Hierarchy" tab is your friend.

    As you see from my screen shot, my dial labeled "Steer Left Right" has 3 dials connected to it and you can see also the "Scalar" value which is where the math is used to control how much the node moves in relation to the dial that controls it.  I kept the math simple and made the pose control dial match the steering wheel value so that I only needed to calculate the wheels turning (32/540 = 0.5925)

     


    A note on rigging in Daz Studio - in relation to scale:

    While reading your OP, one thing concerns me.  You stated you "resized" everything.  This makes me believe that your model or parts of it where NOT at 100% scale that they should have been when you imported it.  If this is the case that I can tell you from experience that this can cause issues with rigging and when you tell Daz Studio at any point to reset the figure to its defaults or Zero Figure, that the scale of the model will return to 100% and NOT the scale you set it to.  THis also messes up the rigging because ALL rigging values are in relation to scale and Daz Studio treats each nodes rigging as though it was done at 100% scale.  So things may not rotate correctly or move correctly if you have scaled it down or up.

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  • Ah! Thank you Mattymanx! (Actually, thank you to everyone here who helped!) I feel like your last warning about scaling is the nail in the coffin for me re-importing the car. :D 

     

    I'll go on ahead and reimport the pieces without scaling them.

    As for the turning of the wheel, that's totally interesting! We tell the kids to return the wheel to "home" when we teach them.  And I knew it was 1.5 times each direction on our schools cars, I didn't know that was a uniform thing! :D 

    Alrighty, I'll redo this and get back to you all! Thank you all again!

    ---A

  • MattymanxMattymanx Posts: 6,743

    Imoprting piece by piece is not a good idea for vehicles.  Its will be far easier to deal with if its a single figure.  Below is a basic write up i did for someone else:

    Just to clairify the basic method and order of operation for setting up rigged models in Daz Studio:

     

    Before you begin, if the model is not to the correct scale in Daz Studio, scale it in Daz Studio to figure out how much it has to change and then go back to the modeler and make the change there and follow the steps below.  Always make sure the model is 100% scale when you rig it, otherwise the rigging will not work.

    1. In the modeling program, make sure that each item that is going to be a seperate node in Daz Studio, is its own seperate item in the modeler (not seperate pieces as one item can be made of multiple pieces welded together)

    2. Export the entire model as an OBJ in its default position/pose

    3. In Daz Studio, open up the Figure Setup tab and on the left side, import the model.

    4. Drag it to the right hand side and organize the bone nodes hierarchy as well as the XYZ orientation.  You can rename things here if you need to.  Then click on the Create button

    5. Once its in the scene, select the figure in the scene tab, choose the Weight Map brush and right click and go to "Weight Editing > Fill by Bone Selection Group".  Do this before the next setp or you will NOT see the nodes move when testing your joint set up during the next step.

    6. Open the Tool Tab and select the Joint Editor Tool and adjust your center and end points.  And then choose Memorize figure rigging in the menu.  This is still needed so that you dont loose the center and end points you set up if the figure gets reset in Daz Studio when you choose the "Restore Figure" or "Reset Figure" options.

    7. Proceed with everything else.  Make sure to save as "Figure/Prop Asset"

  • Still working on this problem.  Sorry guys.  I just re-imported the entire model again, but because of the way I built it in Blender, I can't import it as one thing... so we still have a lot of different objs that I'm putting together in the hierarchy. I did reimport them so they are not scaled, though.  They are "natural" in size.

     

    I'm now starting to rig them.  I'll report back. :)

  • Alrighty... so here's the newest issue:

    I made a slider for EACH tire and the steering wheel (So: Three sliders), I was then going to link those three sliders together...

    BUT.

    I did the ERC freeze on the steering wheel backwards (So left turn was 0 and right turn was 100.  I needed it to be right turn 0 and left turn 100). No problem... but I can't figure out how to edit this, so I just delete the slider and start over...

    Except the steering wheel property is no longer on the list! I can't select it anymore! (As in: YRotate is no longer on the list of everything in the scene that can move). 

    Any ideas?

    I have now spent 6 hours on this problem (Since I'm logging my time for the job)... it would have been easier to manually animate them in every animation I have to make.  To DAZ: If you ever want to change this, Could I recommend a "Link a slider" function and "Set Min and Max" boxes so we can manually fix wonky sliders? 

  • The Property Hierarchy pane will show links, so find the property in th wheel and look at its cotnrollers under Attributes - you can delete the links there, by right-click, or edit their attributes. A proerpty won't appear in the Scene list so I am not quite sure what has disappeared.

  • MattymanxMattymanx Posts: 6,743

    Aabhnormal,

    Right Click on the "Parameters" Tab and go to "Preferences > Show HIdden Properties".   That should make a hidden property visable again, while still being hidden.

     

    Question for you: Are you importing the model via the standard import option or are you doing it through the "Figure Setup" tab? 

     

    In regards to sending models between Daz Studio and Blender, in the screen shots below please refer to images 6-8 for exporting.  If everything is to its correct scale in blender, then also make sure you apply the scale in Blender before exporting (image 5).  This could be causing the scale issue in Daz Studio

     

     

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  • Standard Import.  So I saved the entire thing as a bunch of .objs and then deleted the original Blender file (Because I thought this was a one-off thing... I have so many models now that if I don't do that I end up with gigabytes of random crap)  I know it was a boneheaded move, but every time I learn this lesson I end up spending days cleaning out directories... I don't know which is MORE of a time-suck...

    Anyway, there are about 10 or so pieces: The body of the car, the suspension of the car (without front wheels), two front wheels (one model, though) a steering wheel, the person's body, the persons' head, a lower hand and an upper hand (which are duplicated).

     

    Thank you all for helping me.... this has been remarkably frustrating. I'm grateful you've put so much time into it. :)

  • AabhnormalAabhnormal Posts: 81

    I'm about to give up and just manually animate all the individual pieces separately... At this point my company has paid for way too many hours for me to just bash my head on this... I'm clearly missing a step somewhere and it's just insanity.  This should be so easy and it's not. I don't know why I can't just make a wheel and connect another wheel and set it so when the master wheel is at 100%, Wheel #2 is at 35%... This whole "ERC Freeze" thing is backwards for me... I just can't conceptualize it.

    So, one last try on this.  Assume I'm a complete idiot (Because right now I'm certainly FEELING that way).  Assuming the model is NOT rigged, is a bunch of separate .obj files that are connected only in the Scene Hierachy.

    We are set up like this:

    CarA (This is actually the suspension piece, I want that to be where the car's primary setup is)

    |-->Body (The main body of the car)

         |-->Person (The cartoony guy in the driver seat)

         |--> Steering Null (Because the steering wheel can't seem to turn normally if rotated X AND Z)

                |-->Steering Wheel

    |-->Left Front Wheel

    |-->Right Front Wheel

    ----------------------

     

    If someone could just give me a step-by-step on this one thing so it works once, I can deconstruct the process and do it for everything else... So I need to make a parameters wheel on the Car A figure (The root figure of this car-It's the suspension piece) called "Light Steering" set as such that when it's at 100% (Or "1"... I don't care how it goes), then the Right Front Wheel is at YRotate is at -35, Left Front Wheel is at YRotate +145, and the Steering wheel is at ZRotate +75;  When "Light Steering" is at -100% (Or "0" or "-1") then Right Front Wheel is set to YRotate +35, Left Front Wheel is at YRotate +210 and Steering wheel is at ZRotate -75

    I should note that the Left front wheel is a cloned copy of the Right front wheel, that's why its numbers are backward. 

     

    Thanks guys, I'm sorry I'm getting frustrated... there is pressure to do this from the company and I feel like it's my own impcompetence that is causing this issue...

  • MattymanxMattymanx Posts: 6,743
    edited October 6

    Aabhnormal,

    You cannot rig something in pieces.  That is not how it works.  You will need to import the OBJ files in to Blender, assemble the car there so that it has everything in the right spot, wheels included, and then export it using these options - https://www.daz3d.com/forums/uploads/FileUpload/22/54334a97b99e01348c548e5137da7c.png - with OBJ Groups checked instead of OBJ Objects.  If the model is NOT exported this way, you will just make more problems for yourself

    If you have time, go over the video tutorial you bought, DarkEdgeDesign knows his stuff and he goes over how to set up everything in Daz Studio so you can connect things together and make new dials.  Alternatively, look over these brief instructions - https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/comment/7725541/#Comment_7725541 - but the videos are better because you can see where to go and what options to select instead of trying to find it your self.

    As for connecting the steering wheel to the front tires, please refer back to this post - https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/comment/7722876/#Comment_7722876
    Don't try to make 100 = 540 degrees of rotation for the steering wheel, just make it 540 degrees both ways.  That way when you connect the wheels you just need to do some simple math and adjust the "scalar" value in the Property Hierarchy.

    Post edited by Mattymanx on
  • MattymanxMattymanx Posts: 6,743
    edited October 6

    if this will help you out, here is a saved scene from Blender wth a simple modified cube.  The cube points towards the front of the scene so you can use this as a guide to orientate your car so that when its exported it can face the right direction.

     

    On a side note, if you try out my dark theme for Blender, I have posted it here: https://www.deviantart.com/mattymanx/art/MMX-Dark-Gold-Theme-for-Blender-924726197

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  • Okay, I had to work on another project last week, so I'm back on this.  I didn't want to risk losing the UV mapping, that's pretty time consuming, but I think it'll be fine.  I'll report back in a few and tell you how it goes.

  • So... here's me reporting back :)

    First of all: Thank you all.   I think we are on the right path.   The things I've learned are: 1) Blender doesn't make Vertex groups by default, you pretty much have to manually set them up.  That was... unplesant, but I got there.  2) Exporting needs to have "Objects as:" Set to "OBJ Groups" because I got nothing in the bones or rigging area when they were set to "OBJ Objects"  3) Watching the video is good... provided you aren't livestreaming your work (As I do) and thus it's virtually impossible to find text web pages on this. 

    I use livestreaming as an accountability tool, but the drawback is that I can't watch video tutorials without (rightfully) incurring a copyright claim... so it's really hard to watch the videos... though ultimately I did break down and mute the audio and just watch them on my other monitor. But I think I missed some steps because he SAYS some instructions. 

    That said, I think we are properly rigged now! It took two more hours but we have it under control!  Tomorrow I'll begin the process of following the instructions to see if ERC freeze will work.  I'll report back to you all :)

     

    Thanks again!

  • Alright... I give up.  I did everything we've talked about here, but clearly I am missing the same step... something we all assume I know but I clearly don't....  I spent three hours last night redoing the model and making a rigged figure so it'll work...  and I still have the exact same problem...  I click "ERC Freeze" and it literally gives me Every. Single. Option....  (see screenshot)  Frustratingly, every one EXCEPT the front steering wheels...They aren't on the list... so I cannot "freeze" them.  People here have said that I should only see the parts I have selected, but I never do... it's always a MASSIVE list of options AND a "reset figure"... with all of them checked (Which has disasterous results if I don't uncheck them every time).

    When I manually add them into the Hierarchy editor, the wheels do something bizarre... in the latest case, they are stuck going right... Doesn't matter what I've set the property to, everything is now stuck hard right. This probably has something to do with the scalar... but I've tried "0" and "1" and neither of these work... so it must be some weird number that I'll have to calculate.

    So I'm just going to delete the new property and manually animate each part of the car for the animations.  It'll take a little longer for each animation, but I can't imagine it'll take more than 9 hours total... which is what I've spent trying to get ERC freeze to work.  Maybe I'm just so frustrated that I can't see the problem.  Maybe after a year or two of manually animating each part I'll get tired of it and revisit this and see if I can't get it to work again. 

    Daz... if you ever get around to it, please add the ability to "tie" property sliders to each other with a "When the master slider is at Max/Min, what do you want the other sliders to be at?"... I'd even take two text boxes in the property hierchy, one for max and one for min... I can remember the wheel needs to go from -35 to +35.... but trying to freeze it and when that fails trying to figure out what multiplyer it is... that's too much for my feeble brain... I'm sorry. 

    I really appreciate everyone here trying to help me. I am 100% sure this is on me... My frustration is because I can't see what I'm doing wrong. I do know how to work without it, though, so I will just do that. 

    Thanks again!

    --A

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  • It looks as if you are missing a final step in the figure setup - from the Joint Ediitor right-click menu, or Edit>Figure>Rigging, you need to Memorise Figure Rigging - as it is it is seeing all the adjustments you made to the centre and end points whjile lining everything up as changes from the zeroed psotion, and so seeing them as candidates for ERC Freeze. With that done, and the figure zeroied, it should be in a clean state - turn the steering and the wheels, then do the ERC Freeze.

  • lukon100lukon100 Posts: 642

    Richard Haseltine said:

    It looks as if you are missing a final step in the figure setup - from the Joint Ediitor right-click menu, or Edit>Figure>Rigging, you need to Memorise Figure Rigging - as it is it is seeing all the adjustments you made to the centre and end points whjile lining everything up as changes from the zeroed psotion, and so seeing them as candidates for ERC Freeze. With that done, and the figure zeroied, it should be in a clean state - turn the steering and the wheels, then do the ERC Freeze.

    Oh ya. The ERC freeze dialog box could be listing all those Joint Editor adjustments of center points as things to move with the slider control. That WOULD be a mess. So ya. Doing the Memorize Figure Rigging would be the way to prevent that.

    But what about those check boxes at the bottom that say things like "Restore Figure Rigging"? Should any of those also be un-checked? Just curious.

  • lukon100lukon100 Posts: 642
    edited October 15

    Aabhnormal said:

    Alright... I give up.  I did everything we've talked about here, but clearly I am missing the same step... something we all assume I know but I clearly don't....  I spent three hours last night redoing the model and making a rigged figure so it'll work...  and I still have the exact same problem...  I click "ERC Freeze" and it literally gives me Every. Single. Option....  (see screenshot)  Frustratingly, every one EXCEPT the front steering wheels...They aren't on the list... so I cannot "freeze" them.  People here have said that I should only see the parts I have selected, but I never do... it's always a MASSIVE list of options AND a "reset figure"... with all of them checked (Which has disasterous results if I don't uncheck them every time).

    When I manually add them into the Hierarchy editor, the wheels do something bizarre... in the latest case, they are stuck going right... Doesn't matter what I've set the property to, everything is now stuck hard right. This probably has something to do with the scalar... but I've tried "0" and "1" and neither of these work... so it must be some weird number that I'll have to calculate.

    So I'm just going to delete the new property and manually animate each part of the car for the animations.  It'll take a little longer for each animation, but I can't imagine it'll take more than 9 hours total... which is what I've spent trying to get ERC freeze to work.  Maybe I'm just so frustrated that I can't see the problem.  Maybe after a year or two of manually animating each part I'll get tired of it and revisit this and see if I can't get it to work again. 

    Daz... if you ever get around to it, please add the ability to "tie" property sliders to each other with a "When the master slider is at Max/Min, what do you want the other sliders to be at?"... I'd even take two text boxes in the property hierchy, one for max and one for min... I can remember the wheel needs to go from -35 to +35.... but trying to freeze it and when that fails trying to figure out what multiplyer it is... that's too much for my feeble brain... I'm sorry. 

    I really appreciate everyone here trying to help me. I am 100% sure this is on me... My frustration is because I can't see what I'm doing wrong. I do know how to work without it, though, so I will just do that. 

    Thanks again!

    --A

    If there's still some advantage in having the car rigged the way you want, and you can legally share the car model with me, and you can wait a day, I could rig it for you for free. I actually like rigging car steering systems in Daz.

    Here is my resume: a car model I modified in Blender and rigged in Daz: https://sharecg.com/v/99077/

    Oh, and if you notice that the front wheels are not parallel with one another when they are turned to their maximum in either direction, that's not a mistake. That is deliberate. That's how real cars are, too. It is called "Ackermann" steering. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ackermann_steering_geometry

    Post edited by lukon100 on
  • lukon100 said:

    Richard Haseltine said:

    It looks as if you are missing a final step in the figure setup - from the Joint Ediitor right-click menu, or Edit>Figure>Rigging, you need to Memorise Figure Rigging - as it is it is seeing all the adjustments you made to the centre and end points whjile lining everything up as changes from the zeroed psotion, and so seeing them as candidates for ERC Freeze. With that done, and the figure zeroied, it should be in a clean state - turn the steering and the wheels, then do the ERC Freeze.

    Oh ya. The ERC freeze dialog box could be listing all those Joint Editor adjustments of center points as things to move with the slider control. That WOULD be a mess. So ya. Doing the Memorize Figure Rigging would be the way to prevent that.

    But what about those check boxes at the bottom that say things like "Restore Figure Rigging"? Should any of those also be un-checked? Just curious.

    Those options reset everything to the default state, otherwise the changes made (and now linked to the controller) would still be set locally too. There may be occasions when you want that, for example if you have more than one controller making broadly the same changes it may be easier to start from there rather than default, but usually you would want the boxes all checked.

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