Stretching Man Animation Test

Here’s a test render I did of a model I’ve started working on. It’s based on the excellent MakeHuman figure with a bunch of extra rigging by me. Let me know what you think about it in terms of realism, stiffness, natural motion, etc.
[Divx encoded]

BTW, I’ll post the armature for this once I’m done with it. I’m trying to aggregate a bunch of different motions, like the spinal vertebrae and fingers, into actions that are controlled via an action constraint by independent bones. It (should) make the spine and fingers bend more realistically.

This is very cool…

It looks like the shoulder/arm socket “pop’s” into place for the arm extension OUCH!
The movements are very fluid an believable otherwise.

Although simple, I like the spandex “clothes”.

WOW!! It look very mocap like. The toon shading gives it a unique look too.

I agree about the arm seeming to “pop” into place; it moves too quickly at that point. His shoulders don’t relax enough between switching halves of his body either. Also, his fingers should relax when switching sides. It doesn’t look like he’s stretching out his outher thighs very much; I know that I can stretch mine at least ten degrees more than that… Unless that’s not the purpose of his leg stretches. But if it isn’t, then I can’t tell what is.

Other than that, though… Amazing!

Great job on the rigging, really. :wink:


This is great keyframed animation. I probably would have guessed mo-cap if you hadn’t said otherwise. A great rig can make all the difference for something like this. I’d love to see it.

good work! In addition to what has been said already, pay attention that you don’t have his arms and legs all moving at the same time.

If he used the make human model isn’t the rigging already in place? I agree though that this looks really nice and I like the toon shaded look.

Yup, and they did a pretty good job of it. I did add a few things, though, and I’ll post it once I’ve gotten it all worked out:

  • Null bones and IK Solvers for the arms and legs (still need to get the 3-null-bone setup working on the feet)

  • An Action Constraint for the fingers where I can control the middle, ring, and pinkie curls with one floating bone, the pointer curl with another bone, and the spreading of the fingers with another. (need to duplicate my work for the right hand–anyone know if there’s a way to copy constraints?)

  • Another Action Constraint for the spine that uses another floating bone to bend each of the three “vertebrae” in the back with equal, even rotation.

I’ve tried to get the rig as close to the MakeHuman one as is possible so that the vertex groups can remain the same and can be reused for future MakeHuman meshes. The one big problem with their rig is that they didn’t name the bones/groups properly, so flipping the pose won’t work. That’s been taken care of in my rig by naming the IK Solvers properly, though.

Thanks to all for your great comments! The shoulder thing is kind of weird–in the future, I might try building a rig that includes a “scapula” that is somehow constrained and will keep the shoulder from popping. I saw that tip, plus those ideas for the action constraints, in “Digital Character Animation 2,” which is absolutely loaded with really great tips and tricks like that.

Oh, also, I discovered that getting a much more realistic motion can often be achieved by making the moting “bounce” a little bit. After I did all the keys for the major motion, I went back into the IPOs and tweaked them so that the motion overshot it’s ending key position by a little bit, then bounced back into place. That and keeping the arm/leg motion asymmetrical (by nudging the keys by a few frames) seemed to give me really good results for not that much effort. slikdigit is right, though, and a little more differentiation in the timing of the arms and legs would make it even better. Also, the times when the bones seemed to fall into place too neatly are areas where I didn’t put in any bounce or didn’t bounce enough to get a realistic effect. Thanks for the good observations by everyone who caught that.

I think I read the “bounce” and asymmetry tips in another animation book, though I can’t remember which one.

Thanks again to all! Any more ideas and criticisms are greatly appreciated.[/list]