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Boomba

1st rig - I think I'm doing it wrong

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Hey there,

 

so I am attempting my first animated character, and I would love a coupe broad best practices suggestions that I could then search for tutorials on.

 

My character is a peacock. I modeled him and I am more or less fine with how he looks. But I don't think I really get how to efficiently model for animation.

Right now he is in a subdivision object, and smooth, but tons of polygons when I convert.

When I watch character tutorials on the web/cineversity, they all seem to start with "Ok, so here's our model. Now when you want to build a skeleton..." and they just go into how to attach bones, but not how to make an efficient model, so when I am trying to paint weights, I get the monster you see below with hundreds of vertices. In their tutorials, they have an army man made out of what seems like 40 polygons, and he looks great.

 

Anyway, so my main questions are:

 

1 - General workflow for character modeling. Do you rig a low polygon model first and attach it somehow to the high res one, and if so, is it too late for my model to become low poly or can it be optimized somehow?

 

2- once I attach my main body mesh to a skeleton, how do you keep things like eyes and a peacock tail attached to the mesh so they can animate seperately? (blink, track eye target, tail open up etc)

 

3 - Similarly, how to attach a beak and animate that while keeping it fastened to the head?

 

4 - Any good intro to character animating tutorials you guys found helpful when you started? 

Thanks!

 

- Mike

rig.jpg

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10 minutes ago, Boomba said:

 

1 - General workflow for character modeling. Do you rig a low polygon model first and attach it somehow to the high res one, and if so, is it too late for my model to become low poly or can it be optimized somehow?

 

2- once I attach my main body mesh to a skeleton, how do you keep things like eyes and a peacock tail attached to the mesh so they can animate seperately? (blink, track eye target, tail open up etc)

 

3 - Similarly, how to attach a beak and animate that while keeping it fastened to the head?

 

4 - Any good intro to character animating tutorials you guys found helpful when you started? 

Thanks!

 

- Mike

 

1. why do you need a highres one? characters for animation should always be as low poly as possible. if you need more resolution, just stuff it in an sds object. and if you need more details, bake a map from a high poly sculpt and use it as sub-poly-displacement.

 

2. you can bind the eyes for instance to a separate set of joints which are children or constrained to the head joint. for the tail you would parent your tail joints to the pelvis.

 

3. see 2

 

4. i've learned everything i know about rigging in c4d from the cineversity ones, so i highly recommend watching them all. based on your questions i doubt you watched them yet ;)

 

hope that helps. rigging is a long journey, but don't get discouraged, once you understand the basics it's actually quite fun.

 

 

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  • 5 minutes ago, everfresh said:

    1. why do you need a highres one? characters for animation should always be as low poly as possible. if you need more resolution, just stuff it in an sds object. and if you need more details, bake a map from a high poly sculpt and use it as sub-poly-displacement.

     

     

    I don't know, honestly.

    If I turn off the SDS he looks blocky and his head geometry goes into his eye. 

    I guess I don't quite understand the basics of your explanation when you say " bake a map from a high poly sculpt and use it as sub-poly-displacement".

    You're saying my block guy can look like the SDS guy without the SDS?

     

    Sorry I'm not following you yet.

     

    Screen Shot 2019-03-12 at 2.39.40 PM.png

    Screen Shot 2019-03-12 at 2.38.49 PM.png

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    yes, your "block guy" can be subdivided and look smooth if you activate sub-poly-displacement in your materials displacement channel setting. but only at rendertime, not in the viewport. but for this one i don't see any reason to do so, since he just needs to be smooth rather than have a lot of granular detail. so the sds object is the right choice here.

     

    you usually just use spd when you need certain details, like the scales of the crocodile here: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/nkJL4

    then take a look at the unsubdivided mesh attached. all the detail of geometry in the final render are just through maps in the displacement channel.

    croc.jpg

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  • Damn

    your stuff is sweet @everfresh

     

    inspiring. Thanks

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    Boomba if this is your first rig I'd keep it more simple.  Try to rig and weight the figure primitive in C4D first.  Next, try moving him around and doing a basic animation.  Then, try adding him carrying something in his hand via having it attached to a joint and using a constraint tag.  If you do that most of your question you post here will be answered by yourself.  If you have any questions left after that come back and ask any questions you might still have.

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    You have to try to find the sweet spot between the volume the low poly model holds and the final detail your aiming for.  If the model is super low poly (as yours is) and you put it into a SDS tag it will shrink and hold no volume or be at the mercy of what the SDS smoothing does, if it does not have enough structure, then your need displacement maps to get back that volume, thats not the best way to go about it, try to get the model to hold its own volume as much as possible, then if needed make up the rest from displacement maps.  Ideal would be when you add the SDS tag the silhouette looks how you intended, then you bake high surface details into a normal map for best performance and render times.

     

    This does assume you have a high poly version, maybe you dont?  The tutorials your referring to are rigging tutorials, not modelling, this is why they start with the model done.  Modeling low polygon is certainly the way to go but you can if needed have it set at one subdivision higher than what you have now if it means you can hold more silhouette volume and get enough loops in the places you need them as the rigging process only takes into account the lowest polygon base mesh not the SDS tag you put it in.

     

    The process is...

     

    1: Model to hold its own volume with enough loops to articulate when animating.  

    2: Rig it, test it, and add and take away loops to make it deform  better.

    3: Make the best Uvs posible.

    4: Sub divide the model higher to add sculpting detail if needed such as surface detail like skin, feather detail.

    5: Bake the higher details into a displacement or normal map.

    6 Add the low poly version to a SDS tag set it up for how you wish to see it in the view port and for render time.

     

     

     

    In this picture of a wolf I did a while back he was one sub d level lower than this, I subdivided it once to get to this point. 

    wcOcNEr.jpg

    LJG4Ydn.png?1

     

    Everfresh had pretty much covered it.  Cinivercity is your route to rigging for C4D  there is enough there to rig from beginning to end, but it sounds like character modelling may be worth a look at too.

     

    Dan

     

     

     

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    Also would be helpful to see your polygons, Turn them on so people can see how you modeled him and the flow of polys. That will make or break your spirit when learning character stuff. My first try I had a triangulated mesh and it was a big mess.

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  • 17 hours ago, BigAl3D said:

    Also would be helpful to see your polygons, Turn them on so people can see how you modeled him and the flow of polys. That will make or break your spirit when learning character stuff. My first try I had a triangulated mesh and it was a big mess.

    thanks guys, this is helpful.

    so @Rectro , is this model too low/crappy to animate well?

    I built it so it looks ok as a SSD but I know he's got some weird points, like his hips in polygon mode.

    Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 10.01.30 AM.png

    Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 10.03.49 AM.png

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  • also, if you were modeling a bird for animating (it will speak, god help me), would you model the beak from the same piece as the body, or make a separate piece? The wolf and gator have great mouths, but I feel a beak might be better built as its own piece? The issue I am having with modeling it separate is, I don't want to see the "head" popping through the inside of the mouth when open. But I figured it would be easier to texture and animate lip sync with it separate?

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    10 hours ago, Boomba said:

    thanks guys, this is helpful.

    so @Rectro , is this model too low/crappy to animate well?

    I built it so it looks ok as a SSD but I know he's got some weird points, like his hips in polygon mode.

    Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 10.01.30 AM.png

    Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 10.03.49 AM.png

    Its down to the usage.   how low you go is down to what you expect it to do, how close you get at render time and what its being made for.  I would not go that low unless I was asked to make it for a low end phone app/game.  As I mentioned before SDS tag will simply smooth the mesh, but its the cage mesh that the weighting get applied to and does not take into account how smooth it looks from the SDS tag.  If I was to make a bird, even for personal stuff I would add enough loops to allow a dynamic set of wings using dynamic joints, maybe use a Random effector on it to flap them.  I would make the beak separate as its of a different material surface to the body.  I would not push the beak into the head but make the beak flush with where the face finishes as if the beak is more of a mask over the muzzle.  You can rig that but it will have limited movement, and maybe if you need 100s of them all walking about at distance then yea stay that low.

     

    Dan

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  • thanks Recto. I am rebuilding now, and the beak tip makes so much sense I am embarrassed I didn't think to do it that way.

     

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