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TomAlex

Elle my elephant

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TomAlex    1

Hi guys, this is Elle my elephant character. I originally intended to make an animation for my Grand Daughter last Christmas but had problems building the rig. I did however build a penguin character and successfully rig it, in doing so I worked out how to rig Elle. 

I have used sliders to control the trunk and in-fact got some help here on the forums for the trunk rotation. The rig is basically a copy of the quadruped rig in C4D but obviously not built in the Character builder system. After looking at the things that C Motion offers in the way of walking, running, jumping and everything else I am thinking of trying Elle in C Motion. However as far as I can see I wont be able to use the sliders to control her trunk and would therefore have to rebuild her trunk with simple rotational controllers  which would work in C Motion. 

Please tell me if I have this wrong and if it is possible to use the sliders in C Motion.

All of this is new to me, I have a full-time job working as a Floorlayer in the construction industry and basically have only really used C4D to make models over the years I have been using it.

I have included a walk-cycle anim so you can meet Elle, its not perfect by any means but I am getting there.

It loops better in Quicktime.Elle Second New Walk Cycle-1.m4v

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everfresh    125

nice work. the feet are slipping a bit and the trunk moves a bit too fast, like it has no muscles at all in it, somewhat like a wet sock ;) you should try to make it look way heavier. but overall nice work. i know nothing about c-motion, never used it, so i can't answer your question.

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TomAlex    1

Thanks everfresh, at this stage I'm just so happy Ive managed to get her to move. Ive taken onboard your advice on her movement and will make the necessary adjustments to improve it, though I do want her to be a bit quirky. Ive just watched a tut on youtube and now know how to access the user data in CMotion which is a relief. I do have Elles eye blink movement work with a pose morph, Im not sure if I can access the sliders but will try dropping the body mesh into CMotion to see if I can access it there.

Dropping the body mesh into CMotion dosent give me access to the pose morph  sliders. I'm  not sure on this but wondering if I can somehow link the pose morph with the head_con expresso to gain access to the slider there. Yes it works!

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Simmy    51

It's looking nice. good work on the weighting, the deformation at the top of the legs look really nice. I always struggle getting it to look as good.

 

you can add user data sliders to C-motion if that is what you after?

add the object with the user data on to the cmotion list then click on action and find your user data name. add it .... then done

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TomAlex    1

Thanks Simmy, yes I didn't realise I could access them but you are right, click on the action button and they are there in the drop down list.

Ive managed to get her legs moving along with her head, chest and hips so far. At the moment CMotion feels very awkward to use, after all I built Elle's rig to work with degrees and percentages which is what you use when you keyframe. No doubt Ill get use to it and CMotion offers such a lot it will be worth it. 

The weight painting took quite a while to do, I blocked out the legs by using polygon selections and selecting the joints and letting C4D do the work with the auto weight tool, it dose a pretty good job. I then rounded up the point value (C4D always likes to use ?.? and never whole numbers) after that it was tweaking the point values between the joints where necessary such as shoulder, elbow & spine. There is some spine influence on the front legs between the elbow and the wrist on the forward facing side, it stops the elbow joint pushing the mesh too far forward. And there is a pose morph correction deformer on the top of the front legs so they behave themselves when Elle's front feet lift off the ground if she was to jump up onto something. I took my time with the weighting and hoped it would look okay and I am quite pleased with the results but Elle Mk 2 is already going on in my mind, I can see where little changes can make a big difference. But as my Daughter told me " You can't keep going until its perfect otherwise no one else would ever see it."  

 

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TomAlex    1

A little update. I still feel like I am struggling with CMotion  on the leg movement. Working between the leg lift and foot roll feels awkward, it would be better if I could work on them at the same time, but only one editor at a time so it seems. End result so far:

Elle CMotion.mp4

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everfresh    125

looking really good... :) but yeah, you've got some issues with the foot roll movement.

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TomAlex    1

Thanks for your observations and crit, taken on board, hopefully this looks better.

This is my final walk for now, its not perfect, where the heels dip below the floor then come level as the foot moves back creates what looks like a bounce, which really isn't there, a dusty surface or grass would certainly hide it. I want to get back to key-framing to work on Elle's expressions using her eyes, ears and trunk mainly, as her mouth opens with just a simple jaw controller.

I had thought about replicating the CMotion walk cycle with key-frames which would allow me to have her look around whilst walking, flap her ears, move her trunk and generally all the things that don't work in cycles and the eye blink certainly needs a bit of attention. Then I could save out motion clips from CMotion and key-framing and combine them together in the motion clip editor I think. 

Elle CMotion_2.mp4

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