Mesh Modelling and Rigging Tips Needed

Animation tools, character animation, non linear animation

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meloblends
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Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:48 am
Location: Laguna Beach, CA

Mesh Modelling and Rigging Tips Needed

Post by meloblends » Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:59 am

Hello animators,

I am new to Blender and new to Animation. I have recently developed an interests and passion for character animation. as i now feel iI have some compelling stories to tell. I also wanted to find a form of artistic expression which would combine my love and interest in engineering, and my passion for figurate drafting and sculpting. Characer animation appeared to be the right medium.

After I learned how to navigate within Blender, I felt ready to tackle the tutorials on Character Animation.

QUESTION: In my haste to learn animation and tell my stories, I delved right into character animation. Was this a miscalculation? Did I skip some foundational knowledge? If so is there a recommended path to follow for a new comer. Would "3D Noob To Pro" tutorias. do it?

The first tutorial "Manual: First Animation in 30 plus 30 Minutes" went smoothly, other than when my Ginger bread man started walking, he was walking in place. Did I miss somehing?

Despite this, I felt encouraged to delve into ""Introduction to Character Animation" tutorial. It has given me enough tools to built a character far more complicated than what the tutorial called for. Until I hit the the rigging sections, things went smoothly enough. It was as if I had electronic clay in my hands, I kept shaping and reshaping him by edding more and more edge loops. Here is my first born character:

< oops I am so new i could not figure out how to insert an image >

After investing one month into playjng with my electronic clay -while feeling estatic that with two tutorials I could do as much. Once he looked enough human like. Then he would learn TaiChi and Shaolin Staff with me, I hoped. No such luck!

I built his armature with unfortunately 66 bones, 40 of which went into his hands. Then I came into rigging, associating every bone with the mesh vertices it will move, using 'automatic rigging' and "weight painting'. Then I was satisfied that he was correctly rigged.

Now comes the fun part. I am raeady to pose my character and start with animation section of the tutorial.

Oh NOOO! When I moved some of his bones, vertices in other unrelated body parts started jumping out of his mesh surface.

Of course, I immediately assumed those vertices jumping out might have been accidentally assigned to the bone I was moving. Then I did my bone to mesh vertex assignments many many more times, both in "Edit" and "vertex paint" modes to invetigate whether there were any misassignments. Luckily I learned ALT-B trick to investigate very carefully to find a connection between those misbehaving vertices and the bone rotated. Connection meaning (a) if misbehaving vertices were accidentally assigned to the bone in question, NOPE! I could not find any, (b) if misbehaving vertices and correctly assigned vertices were on the same edge loop. I broke the connecion in one place, and valla! He no longer had bump coming out of his left shoulder.

One problem however remains. After all my attempts to chase the wild goose. Interestingly, after each of my rigging attempts, the problem vertices are always the same. The attached screen snap shot shows how rotating his right arm causes his left wrist to get dislocated. It appears the left wrist vertices move in the direction of rotation, and the size of dislocation is associated with how much I rotate his right arm.
I don't have a wrist bone. around his wrist I tried hard to keep his lower arm and hand assignments separate.

I like to incorporate screen snap shots of problem vertices. Once I figure out how? Please someone tell me how!

I started a thread on this problem at "Blender Artists Forum". Feedback I got were mostly about how to correct mesh to bone assignments. By then however after redoing rigigng many many times and closely investigating mesh vertex assingments for each pone, I was sure there were no misasignments.

One person mentioned how he noticed topological errors in my mesh based on the following rendering.

<[Again I need help on inserting images in this Forum >

I now wonder how and where I can get help on "mesh modelling pitfalls". Please help

As for joint deformations I already resigned myself not expect too much. Those darn elbows, shoulders, hips, and knees. Not to forget hands with 20 bones each. AUCH!

I want my first born to walk, talk.. after 2 months of wrestling and playing with "Intro to Character" animation I feel stuck. Please help! Oh please!!
Last edited by meloblends on Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
A 3D modeller/animation artist wanna be, who believes both art and science can be used to heal the earth and all life forms it sustains.
Awed by Blender and its business model as it offers tools that would allow me to express my values and passions.

LetterRip
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 7:03 am

Post by LetterRip » Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:45 pm

Switch to Blender 2.46 it will make your deformations far easier to do, etc.

Also you might want to ask questions at blenderartists.org animation forum, many users there, this is more a developer forum,

LetterRIp

meloblends
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Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:48 am
Location: Laguna Beach, CA

Post by meloblends » Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:59 pm

LetterRip wrote:Switch to Blender 2.46 it will make your deformations far easier to do, etc.

Also you might want to ask questions at blenderartists.org animation forum, many users there, this is more a developer forum,

LetterRIp
Thank you LetterRip. I had started a thread about this at blenderartists.org animation forum. There were many helpful recommendations, however none of those has helped me to solve my rigging problem as of yet.

I was just trying to get exposure to as many knowledgeable people as I could locate within Blender User Community.

My apologies for not understanding the goal of this forum.
A 3D modeller/animation artist wanna be, who believes both art and science can be used to heal the earth and all life forms it sustains.
Awed by Blender and its business model as it offers tools that would allow me to express my values and passions.

LittleShaun
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Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:40 pm
Location: Greater St. Louis

Post by LittleShaun » Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:04 pm

Hey MeloBlender I am having very similar problems, except mine have more to do with weight painting,:? I Understand what you are going through If I ever know how to help I will waste no time in doing so!

-Little Shaun
"It won't work," he said, glancing at Oengus. "He's dead."

meloblends
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Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:48 am
Location: Laguna Beach, CA

Post by meloblends » Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:32 am

LittleShaun wrote:Hey MeloBlender I am having very similar problems, except mine have more to do with weight painting,:? I Understand what you are going through If I ever know how to help I will waste no time in doing so!

-Little Shaun
After months of going around circles, and trying this and that, the problem boiled down to one vertex, that i could not see, having been missassigned to an unrelated bone. I had looked for it. However my visual perception problems prevented me from finding the obvious offender.

Also, I could not work with weight painting alone. It was not precise enough for me, and i accidentally hit a few unrelated points here and there causing in correct assignmets. So as painful as it was. I switched to edit mode and selected each face, vertex for each bone.

i also had another problem where I would move one bone in the pose mode, and the vertexes assigned to it would be lagging behind. Then one very helpful member at the artist forum noticed that I had assigned the same armature modifier twice to the same mesh by accident.
A 3D modeller/animation artist wanna be, who believes both art and science can be used to heal the earth and all life forms it sustains.
Awed by Blender and its business model as it offers tools that would allow me to express my values and passions.

LittleShaun
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:40 pm
Location: Greater St. Louis

Post by LittleShaun » Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:03 pm

Hey Meloblends!

Sounds very frustrating! :(

The problem about the vertices lagging behind sounds exactly what I'm dealing with, if you explain a wee bit more about how you fixed it and what the problem was that would be great!

Also, what is an "armature modifier" ??

Thanks

-Little Shaun
"It won't work," he said, glancing at Oengus. "He's dead."

Master Letch
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 8:15 am
Location: Keswick Ontario, Canada

Post by Master Letch » Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:44 am

hey...

If you can sit down and read a book without going insane (don't pull any faces... alot of people can't :lol: ) I think I have a moderately cheap solution for you...

I believe Chapters has a book called "Indroducing Character Animation With Blender" its a great book and it really blows the "gingerbreadman tutorial" out of the water.

If Chapters doesn't have it... check online or in other bookstores in your area...

its 40.00 US , 48.00 CAN and 26.99 UK

so its not a bad investement :D
M. Letch

silvester
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Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:18 am

Post by silvester » Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:39 am

Hey MeloBlender I am having very similar problems, except mine have more to do with weight painting, I Understand what you are going through If I ever know how to help I will waste no time in doing so!

=======================

silvester

WideCircles

silvester
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Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:18 am

Post by silvester » Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:41 am

Thank you LetterRip. I had started a thread about this at blenderartists.org animation forum. There were many helpful recommendations, however none of those has helped me to solve my rigging problem as of yet.

=====================

silvester

WideCircles

silvester
Posts: 0
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:18 am

Post by silvester » Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:45 am

After investing one month into playjng with my electronic clay -while feeling estatic that with two tutorials I could do as much. Once he looked enough human like. Then he would learn TaiChi and Shaolin Staff with me, I hoped. No such luck!
========================
silvester
WideCircles

tblagden
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:47 pm
Location: USA

For humanoid characters evolver may help

Post by tblagden » Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:00 am

There is a new tool called evolver that is quietly launching in Q1 2009.
The User Interface lets you design from the outside. The mesh and the rigging are all done for you.
The software outputs in Collada format (as well as FBX and Maya)
So if you just want to design the look and get right into creating animations this might be a solution.
www.Evolver.com
Where you can design a fully rigged 3D character in minutes.

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