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Old 29-12-2009, 07:45 PM   #1
Rhetoric Camel
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Default animating a robot type character

a while back (about a year or so ago) I was working on a flash drive with arms and legs that pop out (http://srv01.simply3dworld.com/showt...ht=flash+drive) and was going to do some matchmoving and put it in a video I had made. Well I'm revisiting this flash drive and I was wondering how do you go about rigging a robot skeleton? I barely know how to set up a human skeleton how much more difficult/simpler is it going to be to do this?
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Old 29-12-2009, 09:52 PM   #2
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I think it is somewhat similar, I do thing that you have an easier job when starting the actual animation, because when you animate a human people see more quickly when it's " off" .
You will have a tad more freedom with robotic animations
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Old 30-12-2009, 04:13 AM   #3
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with human, u have to manually paint the skins where as with robots, u can assign skin weight of one bone onto one part of the body. u don't have to really care much about the fall-off of the skin weight of the bone in mechanical rigs.
i guess that's it. anyone, who can add more??
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Old 30-12-2009, 07:57 AM   #4
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i put a small bit of detail into how i would do it in my transforming clock thread over the the WIP area

but the way i see it no parts ever deform unless unless you have something like wires and pipes showing

the rigging of a robot (from what i can tell) is fairly different to rigging a human in the sense that you don't need to soft skin it, just use the old 3D heirarchic rigging ways
that is, you'd parent stuff to the bones rather than soft or rigid bind them

of course, it might be best to use parent constraints instead for something that is transforming. because if you translate those bones you don't know where their old position was when you move it. (at least i couldn't be bothered thinking of a way to do that. i'd just animate the parent constraints)

i think doing stuff with skeletons and constraints will be the best way to rig the robot. you'd probably want to use set driven keys and expressions as well

..yeah i was wondering what happening to your USB robot
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Old 30-12-2009, 08:25 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies, parenting definitely seems like the way, it's what I was thinking also but figured I could use extra brains to figure it out.

Chirone, I haven't opened Maya much since before summer time so I'm pretty rusty going back into it right now. After taking that much time away from the USB drive I am now trying to figure out a way to make better legs, and possibly arms... just a better overall transformation. My idea for it is still the same putting it in a live video and having it transform on my desk get up and run away. Time to rethink my method of this project a bit more.

I like the arms I have made for it but the legs... man the legs are weak and pretty lame looking. Both the arms and legs need a better way of breaking out of the body though instead of compartments opening and them sliding out.
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