Solved...Whats the best shoulder set-up for a low polly character?

This isnt a true low poly, its got 1331 verts, not including hair and eyes. I am fighting with armature deformations.

What is the best shoulder vert set up for low poly characters. One that allows the arm to move in all directions without creating sharp point/edges etc at the shoulder.

There must be a formula for this. I looked at one site and followed it, for knees and elbows. Have three loops for those joints.

But the shoulder is different. Thanks for any help.

Forgot the picture with the bones and weight painting.


You might have better luck posting this on the GE section of the forum … But here is an experiment I have been working on : . Just tab into Edit Mode for the mesh, select all and then Ctrl-T to turn all the quads into triangles . This just an early example and the mirror modifier isn’t applied yet, but shows the basic deformations OK I think . The deforming bones are on bone layer 2 .

But the basics of getting good deformations in the shoulder especially is good topology, which you can’t really get using a model that is composed of tris . It is better to model the proper topology using quads and then if you have to use it for the GE just convert the quads in to tris . Just know that you will double the number of faces when you do that . My file converts into about 1700 tris when so converted … and I wasn’t even trying to model for the GE .

Thanks for the input. But its a no-no to convert to tris before using it in the GE. smile. Since the GE does that better.

so you think all the animators, only use subsurf here? Darn. I really thought I could get more advice here with bone placement, vert placement and painting.

Smile, glad you are so helpful.

Later: Yes, I agree that looks pretty good. So perhaps I need to give more verts to her shoulders for better bending.Thanks, again.

Oh, I didnt know about the ctrl t, lol. That was fun!

I’m no low-poly animator, but it seems to me that the issue with low poly skinning is the lack of verts. Blender can only distort the mesh around verts, and has to draw a straight line edge between them (I dont think NURBS can be deformed by bones). So, for example if there are only like two verts between the shoulder and the neck, you’re gonna get a very rough, pointy deformation. Like adding a circle with only 6 verts versus 32 - its not gonna be as smooth. Which also means more opportunity for crossing and collisions.

I think the best low poly animation I’ve seen was the movie Chemuyene (sp?) which accompanied a game for Xbox.

I’ve had problems with that kind of thing, but since raising the arms may be rare it may be acceptable to have intersecting faces at those times. basically what you have seems correct

PapaSmurf: you reminded me of something I already knew!!! duh. A light went off, and flashed back and forth across my mind… oh there it is again… wait.

Shoot I dont remember where I read that… ok, thanks very much…
Edit: in a tut (wiki?) someone said the best low poly character they remembered was laura croft…

bookeater: thank you… the distortion is ok when the arms go up to climb a ladder, or move forward in a walk or shoot action, but when they go back like in a walk, the top, the part over the shoulder bone gets an ungly edge in the back-top of it.

I have played with painting until I want to rip my hair out! And I supposed not many people would notice, but I do…

Its odd, cause everything else is ok, or actually great. I thought I was all done with this part of her.

Thanks for the help,

so you think all the animators, only use subsurf here? Darn. I really thought I could get more advice here with bone placement, vert placement and painting
Well ever since Catmull-Clark was developed, yes, I mean it is better then sliced bread as far as organic/cartoony animation is concerned …

And if the subsurf bothers you just turn it off in the blend I posted . The deformations still looks OK in my opinion even with the subsurf off, though there are some minor clipping issues with extreme poses . I just happened to have this uploaded a while ago because there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about bone influence and weight painting in the forum …

I have played with painting until I want to rip my hair out! And I supposed not many people would notice, but I do…
OK, I will go though and explain how I got the deformation to look decent and maybe get you to understand how weighting vertices work .
First make the deforming bones visible by hitting both bone layers 2 and 3 . Then select the mesh and Ctrl-Tab into Weight Paint Mode . Now select the upper arm bone (UP_ARM_R) . Notice that all the vertices under its influence is red (full or 1.0 influence) . Now go and select the THORAX bone (the big bone in the upper body) . Again all red and notice how the influence of this bone overlaps the influence area of the UP_ARM_R bone at the shoulders . Now select the SHOULDER_L bone (clavicle) . It is mostly also all red except where the geometry that describes the clavicle, where it is green (0.5 influence - you can set that up manually in Edit Mode - if you want to know how just ask) . And also notice that it also overlaps its area of influence with the THORAX bone .
Only in those areas of overlapping influence does weighting of vertices matter . If a vertex only has one bone controlling it, it could have an influence of 0.2 (light blue) and still move as though the bone had full 1.0 influence . So when you weight paint the only places that it will make any difference is when two or more bones overlap their influence . Then when you keep one bone at 1.0 influence and lessen the influence of the other bone to 0.5 the position/deformation of the first bone will be 75% more influential then the second bone .
So what happens when you just set the weights like I did to full 1.0 for each ? Well they both get to influence the bone at 50% where they overlap . Like I said I posted this more as proof concept then anything polished, and so I kept almost all the bone influence to 1.0 …
Another example : if you noticed that the arms and legs don’t have the “pinched straw” effect when bending, well that is because I used the same principles . Both the arms and legs have overlapping areas of influence at the joints . Both the upper and lower parts of the arms and legs still have 1.0 full influence . But since the area of influence overlap at the elbow/knees there the influence is effectively 50% for each bone and so prevents the joint from collapsing …

I didn’t concentrate on bone placement at all … though I did model the figure with box modeling techniques to get decent topology and didn’t have do too much vert placement either …

So if you want to get better shoulder deformations especially in a low poly context you should : 1) develop a decent topology (and with box modeling techniques you almost always do) and 2) realize that weights only matter when areas of influence overlap (this part is better done first in Edit Mode using the vertex group panel and then if you want to tweak it go into Weight Paint) .

Hopefully I was clear enough so that you won’t be going out in pubic wearing wigs :eyebrowlift2: …

LOL, thanks, very much.

The first thing I did was get rid of subsurf, then I pulled some bones around and watched the skin.

Then I looked at the weight painting. Then I went back and played with the bones some more, then the weight painting.

I havent fixed my girl yet. But I think I need to add more verts at the shoulders. I did play with the placement of the bones, farther in the chest, farther out etc.

Gave me a headache though so I just let it be…until tomorrow.

I tried the 50/50 approach with using green or yellow at the joint…but it didnt occur to me to just do it all red and overlap with red too…

Thank you, Im sure Ill be back her in a couple days with more questions, dont go too far away from your computer.

Next Day:
Ok, great, yes, atta girl, woopie! Shes got shoulders! Looking good…

Thank you