Game character #2 - how do shoulder pads work?

So,I modelled another game character(no head yet,suggestions on the body and the type of head fitting to the body are welcome) and added a quick FK rig to test deformations(there is some IK on the arm where I needed the
pole targets-those have something funny going on too…).
Everything deforms correctly,but when I try some extreme poses,the shoulder goes crazy,which can be understood,the twisting is causing all the bad stuff,but I have no idea how can it be avoided.
If I move the pole to a point where the faces don’t twist at the shoulder,then the faces at the hand twist too much.Is there any kind of solution to this?
Rig setup:
Normal pose:
Extreme pose:
Blend file in the attachment,please do not use it in personal projects.



alzaxfinal.blend (574 KB)

There’s a certain amount of compromise in game models that would be unacceptable in a still image. Pinches around joints are less noticeable in a moving figure. I’ve notice even in an advanced game like Oblivion, the shoulders of models look bad in some extreme poses.

One thing you can do is simply avoid extreme poses in your game.

Also as an arm reaches about level, further raising of the arm involves rotating the clavicle (between the neck and the shoulder). This tends to reduce the amount of bend right at the arm/shoulder joint.

If a figure will wear armor, the arm can be a separate mesh. This generally avoids the whole issue of twisting and pinching the shoulder. You could make it a separate mesh even without armor but the seam between the arm and the shoulder will sometimes be visible.

Finally, as the arm is raised to the side, the shoulder muscle grows shorter. You can create a bone controlling the shoulder muscle and scaling that bone smaller as a part of raising the arm high. it also has the advantage of being able to pull the shoulder muscle up the way a real muscle stands out as it is flexed. Further, it can be rotated to pull some of the ‘kink’ out of the arm/shouder joint.

Thansk for the answer,that really helps!Well,looks like I will have to make characters with armor for the game,but will that look realistic(the arm being a separate mesh)?I will do some tests today and post the results.Once more,thanks,it was a very helpful comment!

Edit:The arm being a separate mesh works great with a metal armor,but when the character wears cloth armor,this sadly cannot be done,so I figured out that these characters will be magicians an such,so no extreme movement at all.Bobg,you might have just saved our team’s game :smiley: !You have a place for yourself in the credits :slight_smile: !

Edit No.2:Can someone explain to me how shoulder pads work?(the type that is attached to the chest armor).I mean how does it rotate,because if it cannot move,the movement of the wearer would be limited greatly,so I figured they must move somehow,but how?

Thanks in advance!(And BTW,do you like the model itself?Suggestions on the head type are welcome!)

This separate arm mesh didn’t turn out well,maybe I will experiment with it later,now I am studying the mancandy rig.

Edit:The mancandy rig has the same issues as well…guess I will just avoid extreme poses.

I have an idea about making a shapekey at the shoulder, that is driven by the arm bone.

I haven’t tried it yet, but it should work. Don’t know if such blender specific things will export to a game engine though.

Do you mean adding shapekeys to the extreme positions?Well,it could be done but I am not really experienced with them.Could someone try it?
The game engine thing will be a problem,because no engines use .blends(except for BGE),the one that we plan to use(Irrlicht) accepts MD2(Quake format) and .max.God I hate 3DS Max!
I hope that our programmer will figure something out…

I would say that in your case, Make maximum use of the clavicle to reduce the arm/shoulder pinch. Even if it means raising the shoulders more than seems normal, it will be less noticeable than a severe pinch.

Also, you need to be aware of the three axis of each bone in the armature and how they affect the mesh. The long axis is the ‘Y’ axis. Rotation around the Y causes rotation of the arm rather than bending of the joint. You want most joint bends to occur on the ‘X’ axis due the order in which x/y/z calculations are made. That means you should generally orient the bones in edit mode so that in pose mode, primary join bending will be around the ‘X’ axis.

I don’t know how much precision you will have in exporting the armature and pose sequences to another game engine but I’m assuming you can create keyframe sequences in Blender and then export them to your engine.

BTW; I would consider it an honor to be mentioned in your game.

There is a .md2 exporter in blender by default. I’m pretty sure there is also a .md5? exporter around somewhere. It shouldn’t be much of a problem to get blender into irrlicht I think.

@bobg;thanks for your help,I did know about bone axes before,but I dind’t have an idea what they are for,so thanks again!
@FreakyDude:thanks for the help,we will check out the possibilities,.md5 would be suitable,it doesn’t have the limitations of .md2.I tried using 3DS max(in fact I tried almost every 3D modeling package,but their controls are so complicated when comparing them to Blender),but I didn’t get the hang of it and it also costs zillion dollars,so it is out of our budget.I will check out what other options we have regarding to filetypes.

I am going on holiday for one week,I don’t know if I will have internet connection there,so I won’t be able to reply on the next week. -the supported filetypes are here.No .md5 :frowning:
I will have to talk about this with our programmer.I think blender can’t export an animated mesh in .3ds format,but correct me if I am wrong.The best thing would be for me to use another engine.(.blend files should be supported in ALL game engines!)