Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Proof Of Tech Working Notes

- Decided on topic (Quad IK Leg)

- Opened my rig and tred messing around with the IK tools

-Built a working leg but does not wok at all after i bind the skin.

-Went on Digital Tutors and youtube to find IK tutorials

-Found 3 possible usable tutorials

-Just found out my rig skeleton needs to be redone, the reason i was having issues was my joint orientation and position.

-Edin recommended i look at more anatomy pictures to help me correct joint location

-After redoing the skeleton the IK leg seems to be working.

-Something still seemed a bit off so i grabbed a Quad rig from online and compared it to my own, turns out i need to create 3 IK chains down the leg to give me more control over the ankle and foot.

-I also noticed under the example quad rigs leg controller it had attributes that could control the knee/foot, i will have to look into adding that later.

- for some reason im still not having the same kind of control as the example rig and i cant get the toe to bend properly.

-After doing some research online and a few form posts i figured out i needed to add a Null joint to the end of the foot and add a 4th IK chain

-So after adding the Null joint the foot seems to be working for the bend and the knee.

-Now that the bend is working im going to try and parent a controller in.

-After spending 20 min on messing up parenting i now have a control on the foot.

-Never mind the control is scaling weird with the base node.

- well i feel dumb, the reason it had scaling issues was because i dident freeze controls and delete history.

-After fixing that the control on the leg is working and i Finally have a bending leg (that needs alot of weight paint)

-Going back to the idea of the attributes im going to now look online and see what information i can find. i currently know how to add and connect attributes but not how they will act with the leg ik.

-After about 2 min i found a perfect tutorial on how to set this up. the part i was missing was i needed to set up the IK chains in groups and connect the attributes to the leg controller in the rotate X axis.

-After a bit of messing around with the connection editor i now have working attributes connect to the foot controller. i think i may almost be finished this leg set up.

-...nope after re binding the skin i found out the mesh freaks out when the leg bends up to far, i think i might have an idea on how to correct this, if i create a knee controller it might help move the mesh.

- so after i looked online for a bit i found bout to make a knee controller i need to create a poll vector on the IK and Aim constraint it to a locator.

-For some reason my IK chain wont let me add a poll vector.

-After a few quick emails with edin i found out my IK handles are wrong and need to be set to rotate (one small option box i missed)

-So after redoing all my IK legs (again) i can finally connect my poll vector and aim constraint.

-All thats left to do is get the parenting right an i should be good to go.

-So i finally have a working IK quad rig, i can even copy it to each other leg (just have to swap out the IK chain and re connect the attributes.

-After learning how to use the poll vector i though i might be able to do something similar to making moving eyes. in the end all i had to change was the type of constraint to a aim constraint and it works great.

-to make it a bit more user friendly i parented the eye controllers into a single control to move both eyes at the same time.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Proof Of Tech Quadruped Rig Part 3 Poll Vector Knee

Proof Of Tech Quadruped Rig Part 3 
Poll Vector Knee

In this final part of the IK leg tutorial we will be looking at creating a knee control using a basic poll vector set up.

the first step is we must create a locator Create>Locator 
make sure you have it visable under Show>Locator
Then you need to position the locator in front off the characters knee 

Next we need to constrain the locator to the IK chain.

Select Locator> Select Top IK Chain> Constrain > Poll Vector 

If done correctly the knee should fallow the locator.

Next we will create a Nurbs Circle to act as our controller 
Center the controller on the locator and freeze transform delete history and name controller. 

You can then parent the locator to the Controller, if done correctly the controller should now control the knee.


For a final step i prefer to parent the knee controller to the foot controller just to keep it organized but that is just my preference. 

Proof Of Tech Quadruped Rig Part 2 IK Leg Set Up

Proof Of Tech Quadruped Rig Part 2
IK Leg Set Up

In this second installment we are going to focus on building a basic Ik leg set up for our Quad Rig
Our First Step is to build our IK chain, we will start with Shu’s back leg as our first example.
I personally prefer to hide the poly while working with the joints, if you wish to hide the poly/geo go to Show>Polygons and unchecked the box

 Now we must start building our IK chain go to Skeleton>CreateIKHandle>OptionBox
In the IK handle options we want to make sure we are using Rotate-Plane Solver under Current solver. This will allow us down the line to use pole vectors to make our elbow joint.

 After that has been changed to Rotate-Plane solver we can start building the chain. In the rear leg our chain will be made up of 4 ik chains. Make sure under show that IK handles are visible. To make a chain you must select the top joint and then the lower joint in the chain, if done correctly a line will be seen between the two.

Hip joint – Ankle Joint

1Ankle Joint – Paw Joint
1.)  Paw Joint – Toe Joint 

   toe Joint – Null Joint

Now with our Ik handles in its time to get into the Hypergraph. Go to
Windows>Hypergraph Hierarchy

At the end of the page you should see your 4 IK handles 

Now select all the IK Handles are group them together (CTRL-G)

You are then going to grab the last three Ik handles and group them together 

We now need to move the pivots of the groups so they effect the leg correctly. Select the second group and move its pivot (SelectJoint>Insert to move the pivot) to the Paw-Joint (CTRL V to snap to joint). This will later act as the heel

Next we will group the last 2 ik handles together and move the groups pivot to the Toe-joint, This will later act as our Toe

Now we must select the first IK and Second IK and group them together. We will then move that pivot onto the Paw_Joint. This will allow the paw to stay on the group but still bend the ankle

Now we will select Group1 and create another group. We will then move that groups pivot to the end of the foot to act as a toe pivot.

Now that our Leg IK is working we should rename all our groups

Next we need to create a Foot Controller, create a nurbs circle and move it to the back foot. Make sure to freeze transforms delete history and rename the curve L_BackFoot_CTRL  

 We can now parent our grouped IK chain under our foot Ctrl

Our next step is to add attributes to our leg Controller.
Go to Modify>Add Attributes
We will now create attributes for each group we made in the hypergraph with a default of zero

All Attributes should now show up in the channel box for the foot controller.

Now we must connect our new attributes to the correct groups. To do this we must go into the connection editor.
Windows>General Editors>Connection Editor

Next we want to load our foot controller on our left side (Have it selected and hit reload left). At the very bottom you should see the attributes you created. Now you can load each group into the right side and connect the rotate x

You can now repeat the same process for each group   

In the pics my IK chains were in the wrong order here is the correct order

If all done correctly your attributes should now be able to drive your leg IK

Proof Of Tech Quadruped Rig Part 1 Aim Constraint Eyes

Proof Of Tech Quadruped Rig Part 1
Aim Constraint Eyes

In this tutorial we will focus on doing a simple quadruped rig with an IK leg set up and Aim Constraint eyes. We will be using the Shu Rig for this lesson which I have provided a link for. To make this tutorial easier to fallow I have also included a basic skeleton for you to fallow along with. Feel free to use your own rig if you have one ready.  

To start open the Maya file Shu_Rig_Lesson.mb

When this files opens make sure you have the X-RAY joints visible (this allows you to see the joints under 
the base mesh)


 Now that the joints are visible we will start with the Aim Constraint Eyes. Make sure you are under your rigging Set in the top left Corner.

First we need to set up some controllers for the eyes. Make sure to set your eye Geo back to zero. We then want to go to our Curves/Surfaces tab and create a circle. (Make sure curves are visible under your show tab) We now want to bring the circle up to her eye (like she is wearing glasses) we will then duplicate the controller (CTRL-D). We now want to name each controller (Left_Eye_CTRL) (Right_Eye_CTRL). Next we want to drag both eye controllers out a bit so they arnt right in front of the face. Make sure to freeze transforms and delete history at this point.

Now to connect the controllers to the joints. We first select the Controller and then the eye joint, with both selected we go to Constrain>Aim. What this does it is makes the joint fallow the controller with its rotate.

Next we want to parent each eye to the matching joint (Make sure to freeze Transform and delete history on the eye Geo). Select the Eye Geo First and then the joint you then hit P to parent the eye to the joint. If you have done this correctly the eye should fallow the controller.

We will now repeat this process for the second eye.

At this point both eyes should be fallowing their controllers

Now depending on the rig you are making you could end at this point. This will allow eyes to go in separate directions (think like a chameleon or fish rig). But for this cartoony fox rig we want the eyes to stay together
To do this we will create another circle curve and have both eye controllers inside.

We will now freeze transforms and delete history of the new curve and name it Eyes_Ctrl

The final step is to parent the eye controllers under the Eyes_CTRL joint. First select both eye controllers then the Eyes_CTRL Curve then hit P to parent.

If you have done everything correctly you should be able to select the Eyes_CTRL and the Eye Geo should fallow

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Inari Shrine Main Gate (Street Corner)

(Hand in link at bottom)

Rather then doing a traditional street corner for this assignment i decided to take a head start on the most detailed environment for my capstone short film. The setting of this environment is the Inri Shrine in Kyoto Japan. to date i can say this was the most difficult modeling experience i have ever had to endure for many reasons. The biggest issue i had to face was because this is a shrine photography is limited at the location so finding proper reference pictures was very difficult.

Here is a look at the final project, i added a quick toon shader over the basic blinn textures to try and give it the Okami type style that i am aiming for. 

During the modeling process majority of the shapes came fairly easy and it wasent until i hit the supports that i ran into issues. Due to the lack of close up pictures i had to zoom into a front view of the shrine gate and try to deconstruct the supports.   

My next steps for this project are to finish the layout of the shrine grounds and to add more details onto the shader to really push the heavy black lines that im looking for 

Here is also a look at at a few screen shots i have taken over the past few weeks 

Hand In link

Here are some final screenshots from the shrine imported into Unreal 4 

Post Mortem 

After completing this project my overall workflow has changed drastically. The method i have been using to build modular assets has not been the most effective and thus wasting a great deal of time. i was forced to re place most assets after i re uved them rather then uv the assets first. Now when im modeling any object i uv before i do final placement. another point i came across is that in rhe case for my short film Maya rendering will be more effective then Unreal 4. So as i move forward i have changed my pipeline to be more stream line and plan to move forward with Maya and its toon shaders for the final renders.