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Old 22-04-2009, 06:37 PM   #1
rsc
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Default how to use multiple characters ready for animation into a scene

Basically I am new to maya (duh) and i have created 2 individual characters which are rigged with controls and ready for animation in 2 separate projects, the thing is that i want to then create my scene (Im not making things too hard for myself, it is a square room with a door and a window) in yet another project and then im hoping to animate them both in the scene.

I believe im doing this wrong, the more im looking into it the more im thinking that this is just a dumb way to work. If anyone could enlighten me how im meant to be doing this please step up as Im stumped. :headbang:

Perhaps i should be using layers? Oh and the other thing is is where i have created the two characters from image planes straight into maya they are the same size, whereas i want one of them to be smaller - is there anyway to vary that?

Thanks in anticipation of a useful answer,

Rob
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Old 22-04-2009, 08:16 PM   #2
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I don't know too much about this, but I believe the simplest way to do this is to add a reference to each of your character files in a new scene. Then you are able to scale each character and furthermore, you can change your original files and the animation file will update itself with the changes.
Make sure your character files are nice and cleaned up and then I believe there's a file > add reference or something like that.

Maybe someone can elaborate on this or correct me, but hopefully that gives you something to go on.
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Old 22-04-2009, 09:06 PM   #3
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What you are doing isnt far out of the pipeline techniques that we have implemented at the studio Im at. In a nutshell, you create an asset as a separate file and each one is then referenced into the scene for animation. This way you can make a change to your original file and its updated in the scene automatically.

So if you want to get your dudes into a scene and animate them and as you've stated you need one smaller, simply create a group node and put the character in the group, you can then scale the group node, but just dont freeze the transforms after, it will screw the rig. Its a quick cheat if you dont wanna re-rig it. You should then see the character scaled in the referenced scene.

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Old 22-04-2009, 11:54 PM   #4
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Ah thankyou for quick responses, yeah that sounds like what i want to be doing.

I played with the resizing and it warped the rig making it much bigger than the geometry guess thats what you meant, so unfreezing transforms will fix it? how do i go about doing that? Sorry if that is an obvious question,

Thanks again,
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Old 23-04-2009, 02:17 AM   #5
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if the model and the rig are under the same group (ie, you selected them all, pushed the up arrow on your keyboard a couple times to make sure you have all the object's existing parent groups, or just select the parent node in the outliner or hypergraph, and then pushed ctrl+g) then resizing the group node will keep everything proportional

you can't 'unfreeze' transformations unless you undo
because to 'freeze' transformations is to reset translation and rotation in the channel box to 0 and scale to 1 with the current model
you can't go back unless you hit undo
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Old 23-04-2009, 11:00 AM   #6
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Hm, yea that makes sense. Thankyou, but im still having problems with the rig staying inside the geometry, i think its because ive just made a mess of it, as im new to this im not sure how to prepare my nodes for things like this, also not sure if my hierarchy is correct - perhaps someone could take a look at what i have?

Ive attached my current hypergraph, im testing with just my rig and basic geometry to try and get it working. (it is a four legged character, but it is quite simply put together). Again any advice or if you can just give me some understanding of what im aiming for it is much appreciated.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 23-04-2009, 11:06 AM   #7
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oops here is attachment
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Old 23-04-2009, 11:15 AM   #8
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does it work better if you take your 5 nurbs circles and group1 and group those together?
and then resize that group (which will be called group2)
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Old 23-04-2009, 11:30 AM   #9
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Yea sorry i did try that, the nurbs are my controls for the legs. Perhaps it is something to do with how ive set it up. Just realised as well that im trying to resize the character while already animated, will that cause problems?

The problem seems to be that the rig scales at a different pace to the model, attached image of my attempt at resizing after ive got them all grouped how you suggested. But the joints at the bottom (the 'feet) Seem to be fixed to some extent. Hope im making sense...
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Old 23-04-2009, 04:57 PM   #10
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From your first image of the hypergraph, it doesn't look like the rig is grouped with the model. You've got your rig in with your nurbs circles, then your group1 separate. I can't see quite all the grouping in the second image, but try grouping your rig into one group (name it rig or something), then rename your model group1 to model, then group those two groups together and name it master or something.

I could be misinterpreting the problem, but it's probably worth a try.

PS Back to your original plan, I read a tutorial on adding an animated character to a scene by using a reference, and they scaled the character in the scene that was referencing the original, so you could see exactly how big you wanted it compared to other things in the scene. I don't know if that's a better way to do it or not, but that might help with this issue too.

Last edited by stwert : 23-04-2009 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 23-04-2009, 10:16 PM   #11
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Originally posted by stwert
From your first image of the hypergraph, it doesn't look like the rig is grouped with the model. You've got your rig in with your nurbs circles, then your group1 separate. I can't see quite all the grouping in the second image, but try grouping your rig into one group (name it rig or something), then rename your model group1 to model, then group those two groups together and name it master or something.
he said he already tried that, and he showed it in his second picture :p

i know i managed to do it once before but i didn't have time to look for the file to see what the rig was

i think in the end i just played with a whole lot of freeze transformations

the rig wasn't at the same scale as the model, so that might have been the problem
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Old 23-04-2009, 10:25 PM   #12
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oh ok, I couldn't tell from the second picture where the model was grouped.
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Old 23-04-2009, 10:44 PM   #13
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Yea thanks anyway Stwert, thanks for trying. The image wasnt clear but it was in answer to what Chirone had suggested previously.

My rig is the same size as my model (or did you mean when you encountered the problem?) It was just an example of how mine is messing up.

Thanks a lot guys for your efforts, i will attempt to play around with it. As ive said where im new to all of this it is a job sometimes to know where to start even 'playing around' with things. Ill look into the freezing transformations like you suggested. If you find a solution it would be appreciated,

The referencing thing is just what i wanted though, worse comes to worst ill just go back a few stages with the character that i want to scale and tweak it earlier.

Thanks again!
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Old 23-04-2009, 10:54 PM   #14
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to let you guys know, ive looked through my previous save files (i make them at various stages due to these sort of noobie mistakes) It appears that the problem with the resizing happens once the model is skinned to the rig
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