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Old 08-04-2008, 05:08 AM   #1
Fuzquia
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Default Rigging for first time....

I have modeled a penguin, with the body and head being made from one polygon.

I am now attempting to rig for the first time! I have placed a spine in the penguin with separate bones for the head part, neck and body.

However, when I use the bones to move the penguin, the whole body moves (obviously) very static. I presumed I could use the separate bones to bend the head slightly etc.

So is there a way to get the bones to do this with one polygon? Or is it best to cut the polygon into separate pieces for each bone?
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:20 AM   #2
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When creating the skeleton for rigging a character, the spine should have multiple bones for the back, then neck, head etc...

Start at the top of the penguins legs and that can be your root bone, then put in as many bones as needed up the spine, dependant on wot your requirements are for animation will help stipulate that. But you should put a joint around the shoulders areas to allow collar bone and the arm joints for the wings.

Have a look at:

http://www.simplymaya.com/movie_page...html?tut_id=36
and
http://www.simplymaya.com/movie_page...tml?tut_id=115
and
http://www.simplymaya.com/movie_page...html?tut_id=47

For rigging/weights advice also look at:

http://www.simplymaya.com/movie_page...html?tut_id=47

Good Luck
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:39 AM   #3
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Hey R@nSiD, thanks for the reply.

I have a video tutorial that takes me through the process of building the bones/joints etc, and I have the spine in place.

My problem is down to the movement of the body when I move the various joints. In the tutorial the body seems to bend naturally and twists just as a human does with the waist staying in place and shoulders twisting nicely. It looks very natural.

However with my penguin the body is made up of only one polygon, therefore it does not 'bend' in the same way. I have tried splitting the body into several parts where each bone starts and ends. i.e. have split the polygon into sections such as head, neck, body etc. But each part still moves in a very rigid way and does not 'bend' in the way the human figure does in my tut.

Apologies if I sound confusing as I am not sure how best to explain this! Hopefully someone understands what I mean! Thanks in advance for any advice...
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:28 AM   #4
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rather than try to explain - it's better to just post a picture - you know, a 1000 words and all that nonsense.

it sounds like you need to do a smooth bind and also experiment with painting weights - try hitting f1 and doing a search.
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:51 AM   #5
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Hi arran, thanks for giving me some terminology to search. I think thats half the battle being a newb, not knowing what the terminollogy is!

Anyway, here is an example of what I am talking about.

http://www.mattscanvas.co.uk/MayaExample.jpg

The top example is my terrible penguin! The middle and bottom are the tut examples that bend and turn nicely. I want my penguins rig to act in a similar fashion to make it more natural, but as you ill see it aint working?

I am also having problems attaching the fet and mouth etc. I can attach the bone structure of the feet, but it does not move the actual polygon foot.
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:30 AM   #6
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From your images I would parent each seperate item to the main body or to the relevant joint(s)...

But... TBH I would combine and merge each body part onto the main body, and skin and rig the animal from that. It will make the process a little longer, but you will get a better model in the end and a better and more controlable rig.
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:25 PM   #7
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As R@nSiD mentioned, It doesn't appear that your penguins parts (beaks, wings, etc) haven't been connected to the rig, so they would not be moving.

If your talking about the curve in the back of the lower images not being seen in your penguin, that is because your joints are still straight (in the middle picture, notice the angle of the second joint compared to the one before it, then look at how all yours are aligned perfectly straight) . Try grabbing several joints along the spine (or right click on the root joint and select "select hierarchy". you don't want to select just one), and rotate on one of the axis (if you have multiple joints selected, as you rotate one, they will all rotate by the same amount on the same axis (this is why making sure rotation axis are set proper, but thats another story)). If it's still not working as you'd like, take another picture and let us see.

Last edited by Kratch : 08-04-2008 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:27 AM   #8
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Ok I have now attached all pieces to the rig which I was hoping would solve my problems. But this is where I am now...

As you will see in this example, when I move the model from the root of the rig, the head piece seems to want to go off on its own for some reason? I have also tried combining the eyes to this head piece, which when selected seems to be one object, but when moved the head and the eyes separate?

http://www.mattscanvas.co.uk/example1.jpg

I also tried moving from the root and using the 'select hierarchy' option as advised by Kratch. But not sure if I am doing this right? As you will see things really start to go all over the place!

http://www.mattscanvas.co.uk/example2.jpg

So as advised by R@nSiD I would like to combine all body parts to one polygon, but how do I do that correctly? As I have failed trying with the eyes/head pieces already.

Thanks again for any advice given, I don't know what I would do without it!
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:17 AM   #9
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To combine them, start by deleting history (Edit > Delete by type > history), Note: this will unskin your character, but you want that since your geometry is going to change.

Next, Select all the pieces you want to combine, and in your Polygon modeling menu set (F3), Select Mesh > combine, Note: this makes everything one mesh, it still does not make it all one piece.

From here you need to do a little clean-up by merging the vertices's where the different pieces were separated, you can see where the edges are by going Display > Polygons > Border Edges, Note: this makes your edges that are not connected to 2+ faces appear thicker, and will help you find where the vertices's that you need to merge are.

Select the verts around the edges that need merging (the thick border edges), and in your polygon modeling menu set, select Edit Mesh > Merge [Option Box], turn your threshold down low (0.001 is usually where I start) and hit merge. Note: your threshold measures the distance between vertices's that will be tolerated in order to merge, if your turned your thresholds up, you will start merging vertices's further and further apart, and if turned high enough, could merge your entire mesh into a single vertices's. Note: You don't need to merge vertices's on everything, you just don't want any holes in your mesh.

After cleaning up your mesh, delete history again and freeze transform (Modify > freeze transformations).

Now reskin your mesh (in the animation menu set (F2), Skin > Bind skin > Smooth Bind [Option Box] and set to default for learning purposes).

Hope this helps.

Mark Neil

PS, your skeleton looks like it has a lot of extra, unneeded joints. Can you provide a screen shot (or Maya file) of just the skeleton?
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Old 10-04-2008, 02:36 AM   #10
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Hi Mark,

Firstly thank you for such a detailed description of what I need to do. If I can get a break from work today I am going to give this a go.

In the meantime, I have a screen of just the skeleton. I wasn't sure which angle was best for you to look at, so if you need another shot from a different angle then let me know and I will do this.

http://www.mattscanvas.co.uk/penguinskeleton.jpg

Because the human model in my tutorial (first screen shot) was split into 3 or 4 pieces, I presumed this was needed to get the natural movement of the model. So I split the main body of the penguin into different pieces, however now that I am joining everything back up, I know this was the wrong thing to do! This is prob where you see all the extra unwanted joins! Any advice on the model or suggestions are greatly appreciated. I will also report back on how I get on with this next stage.
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Old 10-04-2008, 06:08 AM   #11
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I've just realised the last screenshot was not of the skeleton, but the wireframe! Sorry! I am not sure how to show just the skeleton, but here is a screenshot showing as much of it as I can...

http://www.mattscanvas.co.uk/skeleton.jpg

I have decided to start again as I seem to be getting lost! I had a copy of the penguin before I started rigging, so I will combine this and then take it from there I think.

Could I just ask though, when the model is combined to one mesh, how do you parent certain parts to joints? i.e. the wing to it's own joint? Because when I select the wing it selects the hole penguin now as it has been combined?

Any help greatly appreciated...
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Old 10-04-2008, 09:21 AM   #12
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I'll try to cover everything you asked here, and a few things that may be confusing you...

The tutorial having separate pieces for the mesh:

This is typically done for low rez representations of a character (though the tutorial mesh doesn't look low rez). It allows you to parent constrain the different pieces of the mesh to the joints so that you can get a "feel" for how the mesh will move once it is skinned. this is often used by the animator, as it gives a good visualization of the characters movements without the heavy calculations involved in working a skinned mesh (which can really bog down a computer).

Showing just the skeleton:

There are two methods of doing this that are both very easy. The first (and easiest for quick views) is, in the viewport menus, select Show > none, then Show > Joints. this will display only joints in that viewport. You can then go Show > All to see everything again. This is a very useful tool when rigging (IMHO), I often Have my viewports set up in 3 panels, one large hypergraph in the bottom, and 2 perspective windows side by side in the top, with one showing just the skeleton and rig controllers and the other showing the mesh without joints.

The other method is to use your layers. place all your polygons (edit >select by type > polygons, or hand pick them in the viewport, hypergraph or outliner) and place then on a new layer, you can then adjust the visability of the layers content (I'm going to have to direct you to the docs for learning more on layers and how to use them.

Your Skeleton:

It was just the angle your previous pics were on that confused me (It looked like one of your arms joint chains was a second spine. I was mistaken), The skeleton looks fine (could use a few more spine joints though).

How to get the mesh to move:

Smooth bind skinning will actually deform the mesh based on the joints that are influencing it. An easy example to demonstrate. open up the script editor Windows > General > Script Editor. In the bottom half, copy paste the bellow script into the box, highlight the entire script and select Command > Execute. you can rotate the joint thats already selected and see how the mesh bends with the skeleton.

polyCylinder -r 1 -h 5 -sx 20 -sy 5 -sz 1 -ax 0 1 0 -rcp 0 -cuv 3 -ch 1;
joint -p 0.0549451 -2.472527 0 ;
joint -p 0 0 0 ;
joint -e -zso -oj xyz -sao yup joint1;
joint -p 0 3 0 ;
joint -e -zso -oj xyz -sao yup joint2;
select -r joint1 ;
select -tgl pCylinder1 ;
SmoothBindSkin;
select -r joint2 ;
setToolTo $gRotate;

Skinning is done by selecting the root joint, the mesh and (in the animation menu set) Skin > Bind skin > Smooth Bind [Option Box] and set to default till your more confortable with skinning. At this point, I will need to direct you to tutorials and the docs for more information on skinning and weight painting.
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