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tuna

Spaceman Rigging WIP

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Well it's the 3rd time I've rigged this guy (in 3 different applications, you can see what he looks like rendered back in softimage HERE), all in experimentation and, well, fun. (apparently I'm a masochist).

So here is a small step I've reached in Houdini. I've built in the animation logic part (ik/fk switching, twistspline OTLs which i will probably upload at some point, IK/FK twistspline spine, and a bunch of other controls for shrugging/orientation/explicit joints, etc.) But now comes the part where I've attached all of the deformers in their own little subnet and actual viewport interface construction begins (which I find fun, because as an animator I touch this part the most for the rest of the project).

So here's the video: http://www.puppetstring.com/hdn_rig_ui.swf

I still need to add colours for left/right/middle/disabled controls. I also need to change some of the groups I'm using, because things like the explicit knee, you can see I have trouble grabbing it at the end of the video (although it's not really a control you use loads of).

There are also lots of other controls for things like the layered IK clavicle (for elbow plants) and noodles for the bendy twistsplines that drive the arms and legs (to make curved shapes) that will have to be toggled on in the animator's controls. Those will simply have to be floating controls, much like a conventional rig, because I ran out of places to shove things on the mesh itself.

I also wish there was a better display option for pre/selection highlighting (show name on hover option), as the obnoxious wireframe is very clunky and actually obtrusive. I can't think of how it's possible to change this. Anyone have any suggestions? Can I beg SideFX to add in some options? :)

Anyway, this is early yet. The performance is good. The video is a bit slow because I have a subdivide node being cooked + screen recording. However as you can see when i turn it off towards the end of the video, it's a lot faster and perfectly animatable.

So has anyone used a rig control display like this before? Pros/cons that I haven't yet seen? Tips? I'm all ears as I've only been using this fantastic software for 3 weeks now and it's incredibly deep. Every day I'm learning some awesome new things.

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Really interesting stuff!

I like the highlighted preselection...didn't know this could be done with houdini. I really like that kind of selection.

I used similar rigs in maya and I think it's probably the best way to work for an animator, it's super clean and it's the best to only see the character and nothing else. My only concern would be speed from what I see, I'm a freak about real time feedback. do you know approximatly the kind of frame rate you get?

Looks cool man, It's always good to see people interested with character animation in Houdini, I wish there would be more!

Cheers!

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Thanks!

The speed isn't bad at all, and definitely over 24fps at least. In the video I've got a subdivide node turned on for most of it, so obviously that doesn't help, and makes it look a lot slower than it really is, without it. I haven't done too much optimization yet either, such as removing nodes that don't need to be there, being more efficient with deformers, and just generally cleaning up and locking. I have transform caches turned on for almost all of the rig as well, so that definitely helps once it's played through. I also need to delete a lot of the expressions that come built into objects like nulls and bones, linking the parameter interface with the nodes inside as I can bang out a few extra FPS there as well. I also need to benchmark Windows7 Vs Ubuntu for this. Ubuntu definitely feels snappier, so if I get another couple of FPS by that, animating in that OS will be fine. Also I've read apparently using ' quotes instead of " for object references is a bit more efficient. So, tons of areas I can get some speed from.

The pre/selection highlighting is cool, I just wish it didn't have to be wireframe. In fact a slight shade or outline would be perfect. It definitely needs to be turned on for this sort of rig, otherwise you wouldn't know where the hell the controls are :)

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Hi,

your Rigg looks very cool. I like it a lot. Also didn't know about the preselection highlighting. Looks like a really useful addition for an artist friendly interface. I searched for about an hour now and couldn't find a place where to enable / implement this in Houdini. Could you just give me a hint on this?

Greetings.

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Sure, it's called "Show Name on Hover" and its an option in the object selection mode icon on the left of the viewport in the default build layout.

selectionhighlight.png

Edited by tuna

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Sure, it's called "Show Name on Hover" and its an option in the object selection mode icon on the left of the viewport in the default build layout.

Thanks a lot. That's like the only place I didn't search for this option. This will be very helpful.

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