deformation Problems

hi all, to start off I used to use Maya for all my work, that is of course until I discovered Blender!! Anyways, In Maya I’ve had the same problem as in Blender, but in Maya you can use objects to simulate muscle bulging to help correct deformation in areas such as behind knees, shoulders, etc… I’ve rigged this exact character in Maya and had some pretty good results using the technique described above. My problem is that regardless of how much I adjust weights, I can’t get good deformations, (normal in Maya too without some sort of tweaking) I’ve heard of “fan bones” but unable to find/figure out how use them, or if that would be best way to approach it. Also not certain if shape keys, can help me here, as I want to use it for cut scene animation, but also for an actual game engine. I’ve done great deal of reading/experimentation, and it’s slowly getting better I’ve Included file in my post to see what I mean. If anyone can help me, I’m sure you guys can.
thank you.

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I don’t know what you mean by using objects to simulate muscle bulging in Maya … though I did once see a bicep rigging tutorial for Maya that seemed to go on for ever …

But any how the standard “advanced” method in Blender used to be using driven shapekeys covered here : http://kokcito.tk/ .

Or somewhat more recently the use of an inordinate amount of bones with the stretch to constraint applied to a mesh … do a search on the forum on “Blendrig” .

The third bone option is to place a a third bone at the joint and angle it and weight it to some of the knee/elbow vertices so that when the joint is bent the third bone does not move so the vertices that are assigned to it also does not move … I think there is something about that in the link I posted …

Though if you like making your life easier you could just try and use the envelopes option and manually edit the envelope size etc … It is possible, I have fixed bad topology using this option …

But I said easier … The current Peach project has produced a few new mesh deform options which are currently in the SVN (the Peach team is using these for the project) The most major of which is the implementation of dual quaternion skinning which uses quaternion space and when parenting a mesh to an armature will also weight the mesh automatically based on “bone heat”, which in a word means very nice deformation with a few clicks on your keyboard .
The other is the new mesh deform modifier which lets you use a mesh object to deform another mesh object like a lattice . Which means you can model a high detail model and then animate it with a low poly “cage” mesh (which is rigged) .
(And come to think of it you could also use the lattice object to correct deformations too - make the lattice object the child of an armature bone and apply driven shapekeys to it)
If you want to try this out go to http://graphicall.org/builds/index.php and download an SVN build with all the goodies in it (including the amazing new particle system) . There is no install exe. for these it is just a zip file .

There are many different ways to correct the deformations on existing meshes and now we have very easy options that the kind developers have provided us … But if you are interested I recently switched my modeling method from patch modeling to box modeling and have started experimenting with trying get the proper topology for deformations . I basically explain it here : http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=112073 … there are two test files I worked on that are posted there (toward the middle). Not perfect or polished by any means but I think a pretty good start considering I didn’t even use weight paint on them …