Today was the first day with Josh. He broke down the brief so we could fully understand what we would be doing this term. We will be identifying a role to choose for a r & d project. For the rest of the lesson we were asked to research ideas for the role.
I designed and made my own Gantt chart. As I wanted to make it clear but also personal by adding deadline notices and workshop days etc. Above you can see how drastically clearer this schedule is. Using this Gantt I will be able to utilise this time and hopefully if I follow it meet the requirements for this unit.
The website above has a really nice simple explanation of the different Iks.
In maya there is 3 different types of IK you can choose.
SC – Single chain
Single chain can be chosen to create the motion of a characters limb. Using the single chain, means it will calculate any rotations in the joints applied in the IK Chain.
RP- Rotate plain
Rotate Plain can also be chosen to create the motion of a characters limb.
“The rotate plane solver is ideal for posing joint chains (such as arms and legs) that you want to stay in the same plane. For example, the shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints of an arm driven by a rotate plane IK handle all stay within the same plane as the elbow rotates. The plane itself can be rotated from the shoulder joint by the pole vector.”
Spline handle can be used differently to create motion for curvy shapes/twisty characters. For instance spines, tails or snakes.
A parent is similar to a real parent, child relationship in the fact when a parent has a child it will always be the child of that parent no matter the future. (The relationship being the important aspect). A parent can be a child of another parent. Selection is different for the both too.
Child + Parent + P
A parent constraint creates a connection between assets to follow position, rotation and translation. The relationship of a parent constraint differs from a parent, imagine a parent constraint more like a parent figure such as a teacher or a boss. The child must follow the instructions, the relationship isn’t as important. Selection process differs from the parent by doing the following.
“Parent is selected first + shift-selecting the child + command (Constrain >> Parent).”
To further explain with the analogy from the above’s blog page, when using the parent the child is placed directly into the parent’s object hierarchy. The relationship is clearer. However when you use the parent constraint the child remains as a separate object. Like a separate citizen or student following a teachers instructions.
A Point constraint is used so that you can constrain one objects positions to another.
Orient constraint can be used as a way to keep objects aligned. Meaning it makes it easier to make multiple objects and having them orient at the same time. Orient constraint also allows you to control the rotation of objects and used in the joints for the rigging process.
Pole Vector Constraint – The last constraint we looked at during this workshop was pole vector constraint. Using this constraint allows you to point IK to an object. Point Constraints are a really good way to control the direction of a joint chain.
Above you can see some diagrams and drawings of the leg. Sanjen emphasised how important it was to make sure the joint was in the right place. The left image above shows how the hip and the knee go round in a sort of curve. Anatomy is really useful in order to create rigs that actually work well.
Demonstrating the spine abilities above. So rigging really determines the capabilities of movements. System of connections that twist or rotate, formed with hierarchy!
Above you can see the rig completed from the first workshop, the part I found most difficult was the arm and hand, just because it was the most fiddly bit. But overall it was simpler than what I thought!
Workshop 2 – Rigging continuation 28/04/16
After doing the initial rigging class we had this continuation workshop. We were able to look a little more into some of the tools we could use when rigging and how to make the rig clearer and easier to interact with when animating.
The workshop looked at the following:
SDK – Set driven keys
Skinning – Painting Weights
SDK – Set Driven Key
Set driven key is very useful when rigging and can help speed up the animating process for animators. The attribute controls another attribute using a driver and a driven. We do not need an FK for every element of the rig. Some other examples where we could use SDK is on a tail – wrap and unwrap. Another point to make is you can affect the way the SDK movement using a graph editor meaning as riggers we can drastically change how it moves this could be a nice conversation with animators as well. We do this action by doing the following:
Driver selected>Windows>Animation Editors>Graph Editors (Make sure SDS is located in channel box)
For instance look at the example we did in the workshop below. We added SDK on the index finger in order to make it curl the way we wanted it to. Instead of the animator going in one at a time animating the index joints using SDK will create a sort of hierarchy that controls one joint that the others will follow. It is different from parenting as you can edit the difference in values for joints.
Blend shapes are a very useful tool which can be very helpful to riggers. A blend shape essentially is a way of of making one mesh look like another, if they have the same topology and vectors. If the blend shapes are identical in vectors you can duplicate the original shape. Make sure these duplicates are well named.
For instance : GEO (for original shape) and BS, BS2 (Blend shape)
Making sure you are on Rigging menu go to deform>Blend shapes click the option box ensuring the local is ticked. Going to the channel box we can see under input, there is a new node which allows you to edit numbers and consequently mimics the two other blend shapes.
There is no limit to the amount of blend shapes you can have on maya. Meaning organisation is the real key to successfully working with blend shapes. You can carry out an organisation process by going to blend shape window.
Skinning and Painting weights
Refresher from last lesson* Sanjen forgot to mention how to reflect the joints from last lesson. This is done by reflecting them. Make sure the Rigging menu is on go to skeleton> mirror joints. A box will appear where you can write the degrees to reflex. And it will give you the option to rename the opposing side. you can search for “l” to replace with “R”. This is another reason why to include clear names.
Skinning or also known as binding is the process of binding the joints to the mesh. In order to speed up the process of binding naming joints appropriate will save you time.
For instance Sanjen named all his joints with _bn_ to identify which were to be bound.
A quick way of binding all the joints is to search *_bn_* in the top right area in the maya interface. The * means you are telling maya to select everything with _bn_ in its name and go to skin>bind skin.
When we are skinning we are telling the vertex of the mesh to be bound to the joint. To see the mesh go to wireframe mode *4*. Select joint then shift select flesh . Skin>Bind Skin> Options box. You can instruct the binding to follow joint hierarchy. Its important to test at every stage to ensure nothing goes wrong in the workflow.
If you want to change the influence on each joint you can paint skin weights. Maya on default will see which one is close to each other and dictates the influence.Painting the weight after binding gives the control back to you.
Skin>Paint skin weights. Looking in the tool settings will tell you the influence. This can be by colour or shading. Using colour you can see how the influence of the joint is determined. Blue – Not a lot, Red – a lot and white 100%. Another way of seeing the influence of the joint is to go to the component editor. Here it shows your the contribution form and the influence of joints written down.
Joint 1 Joint 2 Joint 3
0.002 0.439 0.400 = The joints full contribution is 1
In todays workshop, we were introduced to substance painter. A software which speeds up and textures sophistically. Some of the benefits to using substance painter is the fact you can create and reuse smart materials, masks and bake your maps!
This workshop was focused on Topoligy. But further than that it took a look at trouble shooting, identifying the problems and correcting them. I was a bit worried as to whether I could correct, but as Josh explained some of the principles I was able to understand how to fix the problems.
The last task we were each given a different model from the people next to us. I was given a bus. We were asked to write down all the problems you thought was wrong with it and to start correcting them.
Some of the problems I noticed:
Too many unnecessary edges– I simply Identified the edges to delete and tried to make the topology simpler.
A lot of random Vertex – I clicked on a face and it said 1 face 6 tris. I knew there was something wrong her so selecting the vertexes I realised there was loads of random vertexes. To correct this I selected the whole bus in vertex mode and backspace to delete any isolated Vertecs.
The wheels have been really overcomplicated considering they are just cyclinders.
There was a face dragged out near the wheel. I needed snap and merge the Vertex.
The other promblems which people from my bus group/Josh pointed out was:
There was information in the faces of the wheel if you pulled them out you could see.
There was a lot of history – Make sure it was cleared
Josh also pointed out that there was reversed normals.
Josh gave us a file as you can see above, it opens with default the Red wax so I change for white mat cap so that it is visible in the zBrush.
We discussed what was wrong with the model if we was to export it out. This being it has been painted, has no Uvs and a very high poly count at around 2.5 mil.
What have you noticed that is wrong with the model?
Another problem with the model is the fact there are three separate sub tools, we need to merge them. We do this by going to Subtool> Merge visible> New subtool.
The next step, we want to make the polycount low but keep all the detail. We do this by Decimation.
Pre current Predesimation > Zplugin and change the Percentage of k polys to 200k. Tgis will consequently put the poly count down! As you can see the count is no longer 2.5 million but instead 480k!
Photoshop is per pixel colour (per vertex colour) You need higher divisions to make nicer marks. When you take the model in Topogun in comparison All those vertexes all 2.5 millions are numbers we can assign a colour to each on. Maya will not read this.
Here is the interface of Topogun.
We load the file by File> Load Reference
Some hot keys to remember:
‘x’ – Symmetry , Orange dot shows it will snap to centre point, Right click determines draw tool or move tool , Cmd to say which point is the start and make a line round. The navigational system is the same as maya.
We begin the drawing process by right clicking, you switch from the drawing tool and the move tool by right clicking. With the symmetry on we defined the line. To clear the start line right click. You can then determine the start with Cmd. After recreating the line below it we can you use the bridge tool.
We are going to draw over the arm, using the tube tool. When you use the tool DO NOT MOVE THE CAMERA.
Click and drag over the arm, If I move the camera the lines will no longer line up So click and drag. Do it from the same direction, if you don’t do this you are telling topogon to start the order of the polygons the opposite way. Click drag, click drag and it will give you tubes around the arm. To confirm right click once. We have weird looking arm so the tool will not give it the shape that matches the curve. To correct this use we need to relax this. (Brush tool, relax).
If a point does get missed the hot key to add a point – Shift. Hold down shift and select.
Turn off include materials, it will do weird things. Connect maps to shaders, after baking process. If you continue to bake normal maps you will get truck loads of materials. World space – So maya can determine what space it is looking at. Filter size you want an element of blue so it dosen’t look rasturise put it on 1. Fill Texture seams will prevent you have black seams so it will fill the gap. Make sure its on surface normals otherwise you will come back with a weird map. Geometry normals have each edge and they split out. 12 gives you a bit of leave way so it can go 12 percent over and inside.
Above are some of the settings and why we chose these settings.
After baking the transfer map when we view our model in the viewport it has that original detail again.