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Powerful Character Rigging Plugins?

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Hey, so I'm new to character rigging and animating characters is there any plugin out there that will allow me to spead of the process of animating and rigging a character in c4dr17? I know of bendy limbs, but are there any others out there you would recommend for a beginner who's actually getting into professional work.

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Hi

Aside from the Character tool that comes with your version of C4D there is a premium rig by Ace studios found here 

As for animating Mixamo is your easy choice as it can rig and animate.  You have the options to use the Non Linear Animation tools in C4D to put motion clips together for a complete animation.  If you head over to CGDreamsTuorials on youtube there is a video I made that shows you how to use this system in depth.

There is also a auto rigger that makes it a bit easier to rig called IKMax  from here.

You can store poses uses Nitropose from here.

Also to make weighting easier you can use what is now free a pluging called Deltamush from here.  This helps with the defrormation of limbs to smooth out the transition for areas that are hard to weight.

 

In R21 there is a new rig preset for mixamo which makes the process even easier as well as better weighting methods. In R21  you also get the PSD morphs which came in after your version you have.   If I think of anything else Il come back.

 

Dan

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I will reiterate Dan's first point above - The Character Builder is exactly the tool you need - it is easy character animation for beginners.

As actual character animation is one of the hardest things to do in 3D those skills are best left until last, but the Character tools very effectively bridge the gap.

 

I'd start with all the C4D cafe tutorials on our Youtube Channel for that. They're in the Animation playlist.

 

CBR

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agreed.^^ the c4d character object is as easy as it gets in rigging. the rig presets that ship with c4d are stable and provide enough functionality for a start.  once you're comfortable and get a better understanding about rigging you can start building your own rigs, you can even set those up to work with the character object then, so it's just as easy to apply to a character as the presets that come with c4d.

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I'd say get Blender and download Auto-Rig Pro.  The tools in C4D are horrid.  The Character Builder in C4D which is supposed to make rigging a character easier makes the complexity of the rig way beyond what is manageable.  Getting a masters degree would probably be easier than fully understands what is made when deconstructing the "easy" rig.    I shutter to think how bad the character builder rig would do if anyone ever tried to render with such a complex rig.  The speed of animating a character in C4D is super slow.  With R17 you don't have the improvement to the weighting so weighting will be a pain in the butt.  There is a reason no one uses C4D for character animation.  It's because it's a very uncomfortable experience.  Once rigged with tons of xpresso it doesn't render well as in a node will take 24 hours to get to frame 100 of the animation.  Rendering can be so bad using one computer can be faster.

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On 10/12/2019 at 3:10 AM, Fastbee said:

I'd say get Blender and download Auto-Rig Pro.  The tools in C4D are horrid.  The Character Builder in C4D which is supposed to make rigging a character easier makes the complexity of the rig way beyond what is manageable.  Getting a masters degree would probably be easier than fully understands what is made when deconstructing the "easy" rig.    I shutter to think how bad the character builder rig would do if anyone ever tried to render with such a complex rig.  The speed of animating a character in C4D is super slow.  With R17 you don't have the improvement to the weighting so weighting will be a pain in the butt.  There is a reason no one uses C4D for character animation.  It's because it's a very uncomfortable experience.  Once rigged with tons of xpresso it doesn't render well as in a node will take 24 hours to get to frame 100 of the animation.  Rendering can be so bad using one computer can be faster.

 i don‘t know what you are doing, but if it takes 24 h to get to frame 100 you’re doing something wrong (i suppose you’re talking about preparation times, right?)

 

i agree that deconstructing the rig presets is hard, but so is deconstructing any rig that was made by another person in any app. i would even say that similarly complex blender rigs are a bit harder to deconstruct, but maybe that’s just because i know c4d better.

 

if you use the rig presets as they are there’s no need to deconstruct anything, and the process of installing a rig to your character is fairly easy.  when i was starting with c4d it was one of the first things i tried, and i had a working rig within a couple of hours. 

 

regarding complexity: the advanced biped is quite complex, but the other ones are kept rather simple. 

 

while the viewport performance of character rigs in other apps like maya and blender is better than in c4d, it‘s not as drastic as you make it seem. 

 

also it‘s not true that no one uses c4d for character animation. in fact it’s getting more and more used for character animation, by studios like aixponza, blinkink, believe, nebula, just to name a few...  which certainly doesn’t fit with your statement that it’s unusable. 

 

while the character tools in c4d certainly could use further improvement, they are not that bad at all. and as a c4d character artist it‘s actually great times, since there‘s high demand of c4d character riggers and animators and not that many people are doing it. 

 

right now there’s more jobs for character animation in c4d than there are for blender i‘d say, this might change though as more and more studios are picking up blender for their pipeline since 2.8 came out. 

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On 10/12/2019 at 2:10 AM, Fastbee said:

I'd say get Blender and download Auto-Rig Pro.  The tools in C4D are horrid.  The Character Builder in C4D which is supposed to make rigging a character easier makes the complexity of the rig way beyond what is manageable.  Getting a masters degree would probably be easier than fully understands what is made when deconstructing the "easy" rig.    I shutter to think how bad the character builder rig would do if anyone ever tried to render with such a complex rig.  The speed of animating a character in C4D is super slow.  With R17 you don't have the improvement to the weighting so weighting will be a pain in the butt.  There is a reason no one uses C4D for character animation.  It's because it's a very uncomfortable experience.  Once rigged with tons of xpresso it doesn't render well as in a node will take 24 hours to get to frame 100 of the animation.  Rendering can be so bad using one computer can be faster.

 

Hi There!

 

I disagree with Fastbee's opinion in almost every aspect he mentioned. In my opinion c4d is a great tool for character animation and even rigging. It's far away from being perfect but it handles really well and i build all my rigs from scratch. I've also used character builder and it works ok , besides being a lot more "messier".

And if you (Fastbee) think c4d is bad let me tell you about rigging in other apps: 3ds max: a total c r a p with a conection system called wire parameters that is a  total insanity. Completly dependent of third party plugins.

Maya: the king of riggers. Pretty cool but unless you know MEL or python you don't go very far. You can't even create  an IKtoFK seamless transition without a sh*** line of code. Very good software for pipelines full of TD's and code writers. Awfull for freelancers and generalists.

Houdini: the big guy on the block right now. No one dares to say bad things about it, but unfortunatly not very good when it comes to control object axis. You need quite an amount of coding for simple operations because apparently CHOPs (channel operators) are not that well developed. When it comes to control mesh thats another thing.

Blender: that one i really don't know much about it. There is a lot of fuzz around it and it seams to be a good soft, but in my opinion people work there mostly because it's free. And by the way u were talking about rendering in c4d , well blender doesnt even have a decent plugin for network rendering (i guess there's one you got to pay 😛). 

 

Actually i think it's pretty easy to rig in cinema 4d, comparing with other 3d apps. Obviously there are some tricks to master as like any other app. 

I recommend you to begin with some basic tutorials to understand some rigging basics that are the same in every 3d app. Once you start learning these basics you'll need to learn some xpresso wich is a very eficient tool to create object/axis  relations.

With xpresso you can go very far without the need for coding. You can build a rig from scratch with lots of options. Although xpresso it's almost like some sort of code.

Then another think you need to master and that is a tricky one, are the priorities. C4d reads information from top-down(objects)  left-right (tags and constraints)

Last, if go into coding you'll see most of your tasks will speed up a lot.

 

Plugins

Cactus dan Plugin. Oldie but goldie. There are some nice tools there. Worth to check it. and its free.

 

Sorry for the big text, but i think it's nice to expose the pros and cons of a soft. instead of just roasting. Every 3d app has it's good tools and bad tools. I think you have to check those like i did and then you build your opinion based on your experiences. However, i can say that c4d is quite capable for rigging, animating etc. Just watch tutorials, and build a lot of rigs just to learn good practices. Maya or others tutorials are also good because sometimes you just need to learn about rig structure (and that is similar).

 

good luck

Joao Batista (former character td from Nebula Studios)

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completely agree with what joao said.

 

i worked on a couple of projects with a TD from holland, he rigs in maya, max, houdini and also recently a bit c4d. and he actually likes c4ds rigging tools.  in every app the tools have pros and cons, but i always find saying x is better than y problematic, since it depends on so many factors which is actually better for your specific needs and mindset.

 

he doesn't use blender though, but blender also has its pitfalls. for a start there's no equivalent to xpresso to my knowledge (correct me if i'm wrong). all the relations between bones are defined through drivers, which get applied directly to the bones that get driven. i suppose that makes setting up complex rigs a bit confusing and hard to manage. haven't digged very deep into blenders rigging tools yet, so i might prove myself wrong at some point. 

also just because there's a good add-on which makes it very easy for a person knowing nothing about rigging to rig a character doesn't make it a great tool for rigging in general. not saying that it isn't, just saying that this fact is not an indicator.

 

 

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Before I get started on quotes I'd like to say, if C4D had tools enough for character animation (CA) so we could use very little xpresso it would be good for CA.  It's so lacking in the tools that xpresso constantly has to be used in any rig.  Anything beyond simple xpresso is going to make the rig a nightmare.

 

On 10/13/2019 at 2:10 AM, everfresh said:

 i don‘t know what you are doing, but if it takes 24 h to get to frame 100 you’re doing something wrong (i suppose you’re talking about preparation times, right?)

It was prep time.  It was not my rig it was a clients.  I trouble shooted it till I found it was the xpresso on the rig that was making the prep time sky high.  I went on to find recently even with only joints in a scene that are not moving the prep time will become progressively more as the frames progress.  Which brings me to how bad the baking can be in C4D.  Many baked objects can still be super slow in the viewport.  There is so much that should be improved and very little that gets improved every recent release.

 

On 10/13/2019 at 5:27 PM, jbatista said:

I disagree with Fastbee's opinion in almost every aspect he mentioned. In my opinion c4d is a great tool for character animation and even rigging. It's far away from being perfect but it handles really well and i build all my rigs from scratch. I've also used character builder and it works ok , besides being a lot more "messier".

 

Blender: that one i really don't know much about it. There is a lot of fuzz around it and it seams to be a good soft, but in my opinion people work there mostly because it's free. And by the way u were talking about rendering in c4d , well blender doesnt even have a decent plugin for network rendering (i guess there's one you got to pay 😛).

C4D can do some character animation (CA).  It just has to be a single character with not that many frames.  More than that and it's slow city.  Make sure very little to no xpresso is used.  More than little xpresso and low frames and hard to impossible to render on a farm.

 

I am comparing C4D to Blender.  Blender does do network rendering really well out of the box.  I've not done extensive testing, but it might even be better than C4D team rendering.  Even though network rendering is in the Blender install, network rendering does have to be enabled as an addon in the User Preferences.  It's easy and free to do.  Here is a link in case anyone would like to make a Blender render farm.

I never said '"messier"'.  I'm not sure who you are quoting.

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On 10/13/2019 at 11:55 PM, everfresh said:

i worked on a couple of projects with a TD from holland, he rigs in maya, max, houdini and also recently a bit c4d. and he actually likes c4ds rigging tools.  in every app the tools have pros and cons, but i always find saying x is better than y problematic, since it depends on so many factors which is actually better for your specific needs and mindset.

Pros are not going to say it's bad.  That just reflects bad on them.  I never said the character tools were bad myself.  They are ok.  When going to render is where most of the problems pop up.  Though the viewport can become super slow pretty easily.

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Hi

 

Well actually you said the character tools in c4d are "horrid". I would classify that as bad. But it is your professional opinion.

Pros use the tools that are better for their skillsets and project demands. If you have to rig and animate characters extremely complex (hollywood production level) then perhaps you have to choose a different tool and learn a different set of skills .

The performance issue with c4d is well knowed  but it affects everything, not only character animation. So since it's a soft issue there are tons of workarounds to make it a little easier. 

1 . Use and organize your projects with layers. Use SOLO layer to increase performance while you are working. If there's no need, dont turn everything at the same time.

2. Use Xref. Many users say many bad things about xrefs, but it's just a matter of good methodology. It will work fine  if you dont mess up object hierarchies.

3. Proxy heavy scene objects. There is a tool in the download section that i developed called Power instance . Creates a proxy instance that switches when you render or in viewport.

4. Activate character deformers when needed.

5. Xpresso might not be very fast but right now it is essential for rig creation. Along with constraints , drivers , a few python lines you might get a little more performance.

 

And these are just a few topics to maintain scenes well controlled and fast. You can have many characters in scene and animate them with some performance. Sometimes not real time but enough to animate decently. 

Now the big question is, if you like to work with c4d try to help the community. Try to bring some good stuff to help instead just saying it's not good. You can say it as an advice for others, but pushing other people to go to other softs doesn't help the c4d community.

 

cheers

I worked as a rigger and animator in this movie and there were shots we had 10 to 16 characters in scene plus environments. It handled just fine. xref characters and a lot of scene management. 

 

 

Some xpresso based plugins that might help

 

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3 hours ago, Fastbee said:

Pros are not going to say it's bad.  That just reflects bad on them.  I never said the character tools were bad myself.  They are ok.  When going to render is where most of the problems pop up.  Though the viewport can become super slow pretty easily.

it was a private conversation between friends, so if he would think it's bad he would have told me. there was absolutely no reason to sweet talk things.

and again, i agree with the post above, if you apply a few "tricks", scenes can be handled pretty well so there's actually decent performance (not saying that i don't wish it was faster)... 

 

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