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First attempt at character rigging
show user profile  mike_renouf
Hi all,

I have a small instructional animation to produce for a colleague and it involves some elements of max that I've not done before. I was hoping a bit of a nudge in the right direction so I can read up on the right things!

I need to rig and animate a wheelchair user. The person will propel the wheelchair with their arms, through some basic movements, and then lean sideways to reach out for an object, so their torso and arms will have to move.

The character bit is all a complete black art - Can you advise - should I look at using biped, or bones for the character?

I remember seeing a number of tutorials about synching wheel motion with the forward motion of a vehicle, so I'm going to check that out myself now.


read 746 times
7/2/2013 9:01:16 AM (last edit: 7/2/2013 9:01:16 AM)
show user profile  LionDebt
Definitely bones. Can't find the exact tutorial but there is are a few good ones on youtube.

Create the bones, create the hierarchies (select and link), create the IK/HI solvers etc.

Adjust the timeline say, 0 to 10,000.

Animate each bone through it's possible range of movement eg:

Frames 0-250, Foot (up, down, left, right)
Frames 251-500, Lower leg (forwards, backwards, tilt)
Frames 501-750, Upper leg (forwards, backwards, tilt)
Frames 751-1000, Torso (forwards, backwards, left, right) (I think) has a really good page for nailing the range of movement for every single joint.

Once you've animated all the bones, use the skin modifier to paint vertex weights, adjusting and tweaking the mesh, so that it looks 'good' Vs. the movement of all bones, ie: scrub that timeline a lot, adjust the weighting, scrub scrub scrub etc.

Once you're happy, then your character is pretty much good to go for animation.

read 744 times
7/2/2013 9:10:48 AM (last edit: 7/2/2013 9:11:30 AM)
show user profile  herfst1
If you have a tight deadline let me know, I might be able to help you out.
read 741 times
7/2/2013 9:16:07 AM (last edit: 7/2/2013 9:16:07 AM)
show user profile  mike_renouf
awesome chaps - thats a great starter for now.

Herfst - you're a legend. I might drop you a few questions - but I should try this myself. I need to learn.

Thanks again. Maxforums rocks.

read 735 times
7/2/2013 9:22:44 AM (last edit: 7/2/2013 9:22:44 AM)
show user profile  mike_renouf
Looking for another bit of advice -
Am I going to regret it if I try rigging this?:

 photo bloke.jpg

I found it for free and if it would be better to model my own figure then I could use this as a guide. If this would work fine as it is then I'd rather save myself a job though.


read 696 times
7/2/2013 9:51:05 PM (last edit: 7/2/2013 9:51:05 PM)
show user profile  herfst1
Yes, you'll definitely regret rigging that. Would take forever to skin nicely.

Make a low-poly version of it using max, zbrush or topogun. You can skin wrap the high poly after.
read 693 times
7/2/2013 9:55:59 PM (last edit: 7/2/2013 9:55:59 PM)
show user profile  mike_renouf
Thanks mate - will have a go at using the graphite tools to retopo for the first time. :)

read 691 times
7/2/2013 10:00:22 PM (last edit: 7/2/2013 10:00:22 PM)
show user profile  LionDebt
If you're struggling I'm free some of tomorrow - could probably give you a nice low poly (1500) retopo of that human mesh in a few hours if you're strapped for time!
read 677 times
7/2/2013 11:52:56 PM (last edit: 7/2/2013 11:52:56 PM)
show user profile  ccampbell
Couple quick ideas for a low poly are max to graphite modeling > geometry > quadrify it since it's triangulated from a poly mesh or zbrush > dynamesh it in about 20 seconds to get a super clean low poly mesh.

good luck

$Entrepreneur = if((Designer + Engineer)*Programmer){Problem Solver};

read 654 times
7/3/2013 6:40:09 AM (last edit: 7/3/2013 6:40:09 AM)
show user profile  mike_renouf
Only got your messages this morning - thanks for the help again chaps.

CCampbell - I found the quadrify tool just after posting - its fixed 95% of the mesh, so thats a great start - great tip thanks! Dynamesh is a Zbrush feature right? I don't have Zbrush (I've got mudbox but I haven't got around to playing with it, so that'll be one hell of a learning curve which I'll save for another day).

Liondebt - thats a really generous offer and I do appreciate it. I'm away from my home pc until tonight now, so I'll have a stab at the retopo tonight myself and let you know how I get on. If I really struggle I'll upload the file and ask if you can take a look in the coming days if you get some free time again?
Would it be sensible to kill half the mesh, add a symetry modifier and THEN retopo to save half the work?

I reiterate my earlier comment: Maxforums rocks.

read 648 times
7/3/2013 9:32:28 AM (last edit: 7/3/2013 9:32:28 AM)
show user profile  herfst1
Don't worry about deleting half your mesh, just make sure your retop lines hit 0 on the x axis. Only retop one side though, you can add symmetry later.
read 642 times
7/3/2013 10:04:24 AM (last edit: 7/3/2013 10:04:24 AM)
show user profile  LionDebt
Dynamesh will give you horrible, horrible edge flow.
Quadrify is good at reducing your poly count substantially, but again, doesn't leave you with the best edge flow/topology.
Yup, symmetry is a massive time saver, provided your mesh is symmetrical to begin with hehe.

read 641 times
7/3/2013 10:07:10 AM (last edit: 7/3/2013 10:07:10 AM)
show user profile  br0t
If you are looking for a retopo tool built into Max, I can only repeat myself and recommend this:

never get low & slow & out of ideas

read 637 times
7/3/2013 10:22:45 AM (last edit: 7/3/2013 10:22:45 AM)
show user profile  herfst1
Also, I saw Manny posted on FB about Zbrush 4R6's Zmesher. It's pretty much a 1 click retop. Unbelievable results.

[edit] found the vid.

read 634 times
7/3/2013 10:25:25 AM (last edit: 7/3/2013 10:31:25 AM)
show user profile  mike_renouf
Wrap-it looks good... and inexpensive. Do you know if it works on 2014? I'll be getting max at work soon if all goes well and it will be the latest edition.

read 629 times
7/3/2013 12:31:44 PM (last edit: 7/3/2013 12:31:44 PM)
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