i hate sholder rig's!

i am trying to make a good shoulder rig for a clothed characture, witch is able to cope with extremes of what’s posable. i have finaly managed to get somthing resnable, using a simple mesh.

avi of test
blend file

what i dont want

this animation with captain blender is using 4 keys, the same as my test. but it goes very badly twisted up. main isue seems to be ceeping the z acsis of the arm bone pointing up. i havent found a way to do this besides manually.

any suggestions are gratily appreciated:)

one solution is to use ipo driven shape keys. it’s a bit complicated, but i think there are a couple of tutorials on it in the tutorials section. one is fairly recent, so should be near the top of the stack, and i recall an older one by toloban. another solution would be to use an extra, free floating bone, and model the shoulder in a way, that the middle portion, is sort of a seperate island, and so, more easily controlled, by the extra bone.

I usually put a lot of care on:

-wire flows. The direction of the quads.Even often I just “rewire” it after I end, or even after a fast rig test, which I do before uv mapping, and usually in parts I know to be problematic: shoulders, knees…

-position of bones joints. takes a lot of practice, tho usually the places are pretty similar from character to character. It does a lot good positioning.In Max I was able to rearrange those after uvmapped textured and rigged with no probs, with some tricks.

-weights: key thing. While other stages are important, this one can do magic. Patient and per vertex even, or per area careful weighting, can do wonders. You can force an area to do really what you want. Don’t trust only on envelopes. While them, and maybe better solutions like bone heat (eager to try) , in every anim tool I use, tweaking with careful selection of vertices and/or weight painting, spending quite time on that, is key for me.

-In your avi, I may did look at it wrongly, but seems you need weights on top of shoulder to be quite harder, more influenced by clavicle/spine.there are ways to do it and still have no weird bending when pointing the arm vertical up.

Still, the extra bone help is a great thing to do to, tho in mid pol and even some hi pol game characters, I didn’t use it, just did a lot of tweak of vertices weights.And they still could bend in extreme positions , even being anatomically realistic, or almost totally.

It is possible but painful.

Yeah the shape keys method is the one to use. The Introducing Character Animation in Blender book show you how to do it on Captain Blender’s mesh, pg 234

Another solution is strechy bones. But using driven shape keys will have the same results.

i know how to use shape keys, but i still wasent getting good results. the topolagy is good. i am only using wait painting and no envelopes.

i have managed to get reasonable results, a test video on my character.