Little fellow for animation

Hey man, Musk thanks for the hint, Migero, thanks for the check and the update, I like how simple these things you added are to use. (checked mail after I’ve read your post, I’m hardly home these days).
I’ve contacted jpbouze as well, the creator of blenrig, and got a few hints I’m going to try out.
I’ve got a new version of my rig, it’s the one I posted last with a lot of helper bones in the fashion of blenrig. Those extra bones don’t deform anything yet, and when I tried, they didn’t deform better anyway, but I’ve got a few new tricks I’ve yet to try out. Updates coming later, won’t be today though, probably later this or next week, I’m busy with rl issues as well.
Thanks for the help so far, it’s usefull!

bleeh, weird day today, nothing going as planned, got “stuck” at someone else’s place, supposed to move some stuff, but that had to wait, so I went looking for some rig examples in general. I’ve changed some of the basics of my rig now. Still nothing works as it should. I still want the deformation to be well, so it will probably be driven by stretchy bones to certain extent, but it’s the controls I want to drastically alter.
I’m rather fed up with it for today, but here’s a small recap:
I’ve basically removed a number of IK constraints, and changed them to target to> elbowtarget.
I also figured out that the lower arm only rotates 90 degrees around its own “normal” axis(y in my character), and the max for the z rotation is something slightly under 180 degrees. The upper arm can rotate about 180 degrees, which gives the hand a rotation of slightly under 360 degrees.
Thanks for the small adjustments Migero, I noticed them and got me looking in the right place.
However, when I set those rotation limits, I can still either rotate them to much still, or they return to the original position if you go past the rotation limit, or something else screws up.
I suppose it’s constraints overruling something, so I’ve done these limits both in the “Armature Bones” tab and by adding limit rotation constraints.
I want to find some way of linking this to the elbow rotation and Ik for the arm in general. After all, if the bones in the arm (and shoulder) can only rotate so much, the elbow should have a certain point it shouldn’t be able to reach right? I want to be able to move the hand to a position, then be able to rotate the hand, the lower arm follows until it reaches it’s limit, THEN the elbow starts to rotate, rotating the upper arm with it until it hits its limits. Maybe even add the shoulder in the IK chain, and it has to be limited as well.

I’ll be checking the known blender rigs again soon…

By the way, what are these “rotation locks” called in cg? euler? gimbal? I dunno…

Okay, went round a circle a couple of times, basically I now have pretty much the same rig I started with, only cleaned up a little, some slightly better control, and I went back from a lot of deformation bones that didn’t really worked back to hardly no… ehm to no deformation bones at all. It’s not really the character for it maybe…
Anyway: UPDATE:
Shot at 2007-08-10
The rig is pretty much done, I’ll ad some helper objects that the control bones will use as display. Those will be simple, like from Migero’s example, I liked those…
The weighting isn’t. It deforms reasonably in most situations I’ve tried, its nowhere near perfect, but still quite decent.
Actually the only area I’ve yet to do are the hands, they are static at the moment, the fingers aren’t driven by bones yet, I just dumped them into the handgroup for testing. Once I’ve weighted the fingers and made some display helpers, I’ll call this one done…

No, still need a very simple facial rig… just for some very very basic facial animation…
Anyway, last image:
Shot at 2007-08-10

It’s nowhere near such a complete/complex rig as I imagined, but I think it’s still allright, it’s light and does what it is supposed to do. I may release the final version if you people are interested.

big thanks to Jpbouza, Migero, Calvin, for their help. And all the people who put their rigs online for others to study.
this rig uses calvins footrig technique, and mancandy’s handrig technique. It used to have deformationbones in the same manner blenrig has em, but they proved a big hassle to align and weight them properly, and a bit of careful painting did miracles as well.

nice work, wen this is all finished, ill be happy to allow u to post the blend

hey thanks man, sorry I didn’t reply untill now. Been busy mucking with a lot of things.
non blender related mostly. Thanks for the info in the lipsync thread by the way. I think it was a little harsh towards the guy that made the script, but you were probably right about it being faster to do by hand anyway.

made some facial shapes. Some mucky ones to try lipsync. got some fun results using half assed shape keys. I plan to remove or redo them, or I’ll just finish some basic animation, I dunno.
Either way, he has a number of shapes for facial animation and controls now, I intend to clean him up (unused bones and materials and some helper meshes) and upload the file for you people to look at/play with.
I’d like to think of the rig as-is as finished, but if you guys know of things I could do to improve it I’ll probably go at it to try and get these improvements done. It’s good for learning.
Shot at 2007-09-01
Shot at 2007-09-01
It’s not as simple and versatile as for instance Calvins cool peach character rig, but hell, I think it’s funny, and my next one will be better than my current one I hope…
Bwa, what I ment to say is, I think I bit of more than I could chew when I wanted to make an all round recycable rig out of this…

off topic but related: I’m back on windows for this character because I can’t get audio to record well on linux, using either audacity or the default soundrecorder.
Using audacity the best I can do is a very feint voice with a lot of high chirpy noise added.
When I bring the file to linux, and play the animation with altA, naturally the sound doesn’t play because it’s moved to a different location.
However, if I reimport the sound and place it the exact same location, I still don’t hear sound.
Does anyone know how I can relink an audio strip in the sequence editor? or blender in general? or howto get sound working alltogether? it worked with the scrub and sync buttons under windows… I’d like to be able to do everything in linux, as I want to switch anyway.

EDIT: image of rig:
Shot at 2007-09-01

not really something new, just had some fun with poses.
Shot at 2007-09-02
Shot at 2007-09-02
Shot at 2007-09-02
Shot at 2007-09-02

I have made a small lipsync animation. check it out and give some feedback please:

still working on this, some feedback would be nice, removed some bones, redid some constraints, going to redo a number of shapes and shapekey drivers.
Maybe put some more bones(or shapes) in the hand to see if i can make the thumb deform better.

having trouble reordering shapekeys, and removing actions/animations. I want to start fresh with the character and armature and constraints still there, but NOO IPO curves, actions and animations and driven shape keys.

Have can I get rid of all that?

home computer crashed, brought it to work and worked on it during lunch break.
Lots of cleanups, more flexible controls.

Did another quick render for fun.
Shot at 2007-09-21

I started this with the intention to release it to begin with. And except for RANKN67, there has been virtually no feedback at all. I know there are a lot of rigs around lately, but still, I think this one turned out allright.
It has IK/FK sliders for some parts, shapekeys named after papagayo’s default phonemset, a facial rig, something that “simulates” full body IK, reasonable deformation, and it’s packed within 127 bones.

Would anyone care to actually try it? I wouldn’t mind some kind of feedback anyhow…
Regardless, I’ll make some featurevid or a few animations with him soon.

OMG 127 bones. LOL now animate that is a nightmare ;] well im still wondering for fractal keys i need them a bit in my eiko ;p as i suck in face shape keys

Hey man, really nice to get some feedback. Heh, I thought 127 was all right, considering ludwig has 108, mancandy 269, and blenrig around 600.
I could probably lose around 8 or so in the hands, they aren’t doing much they there. You could animate some to give the palm some weird effects, so I let them in. hands and feet take up a lot of bones…
The body animation can mostly be done with 13 bones. Then is has a facial setup in another bone layer.
I’ll send you the file soon. Could you let me know what you think of it? If it’s easy enough to animate and such?