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Help: Clothing,modeling,Animation,Rigging,and robots and lights?


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#1 ageshero   Members   -  Reputation: 92

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 01:46 AM

Help: Clothing,modeling,Animation,Rigging,and robots?
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Hey peoples,if possible could anyone help me? Theres a few questions i have and i need to get familiar with it before moving forward on BLENDER 3D which is the program i work with. I know some really basic modeling and i have quite a bit of experience with art in general. but some things are driving me nuts and i dont know how its generally done.


1: Clothing in Games or as an attachment: How do you attach an object, lets say a big scarf or a trench coat with a kind of cloth like feel in the right places, because ive seen it in games because ever game has it from God of war to Mafia II, even Zelda. So how the heck do i add that to my character when i want to? Does it have to be part of the model some how? or an attachment? is the flexible cloth only part of the engine?
This question would also answer how i would go about attaching armor to, say a knight, or even swords and weapons, right?


2: Clothing in Animation: I'd imagine there's someway of doing this ,but its probably really difficult? how would you animate a guy taking off his coat.


3: Animation, Floor threshold? is there a way to do that? its viciously inconvenient to have you characters foot not hit the floor.


4: ROBOTS, how do they work!? haha, really though, i really want to make some robots, but see, how would you make him look robot like without all that annoying bendage that your organics would usually have. Also, if anyone has some painting or render tips to make something look like metal or brushed steel or chipped paint. (Big textureing photoshop madness tutorials, stuff that would really help)
As for robots, i figure theres gotta be some where to convert objects themselves to bone armatures or something?

5: Say my crazy new animation ready robot needs glowy light emitters in his eyes, and i dont know how to do it, how would i?

6: Symmetrical pipes and gears, is there some kind of way to make sure it gets done absolutely perfect? any ideas would be nice.


Alot of this stuff needs a good deal of info in my eyes before i can step out and go for it, the reason is, i dont want to model something that im going to have to scrap when i finally figure out how to do what i need to, because i built it up wrong or something.

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#2 JTippetts   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8159

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 09:48 AM

Help: Clothing,modeling,Animation,Rigging,and robots?
_________________________________________________

Hey peoples,if possible could anyone help me? Theres a few questions i have and i need to get familiar with it before moving forward on BLENDER 3D which is the program i work with. I know some really basic modeling and i have quite a bit of experience with art in general. but some things are driving me nuts and i dont know how its generally done.


1: Clothing in Games or as an attachment: How do you attach an object, lets say a big scarf or a trench coat with a kind of cloth like feel in the right places, because ive seen it in games because ever game has it from God of war to Mafia II, even Zelda. So how the heck do i add that to my character when i want to? Does it have to be part of the model some how? or an attachment? is the flexible cloth only part of the engine?
This question would also answer how i would go about attaching armor to, say a knight, or even swords and weapons, right?


2: Clothing in Animation: I'd imagine there's someway of doing this ,but its probably really difficult? how would you animate a guy taking off his coat.


Cloth simulation can be tricky. Blender allows for soft-body simulations that can help you to generate "canned" animations of cloth. However, if you want the cloth simulation performed in-game instead, well, that is highly dependent upon the physics engine of the game.

The attachment of objects to different parts of a character is a slightly different (if overlapping) problem domain. Typically, exporting animations to a game engine involves exporting the skeleton as a series of joints. In the game, joints/skeletons and meshes are segregated. You can construct a node that includes an animation and any number of separate meshes attached to the animation, and all will be animated by the skeleton. Exactly how this is done is, once again, highly dependent upon the engine in use.


3: Animation, Floor threshold? is there a way to do that? its viciously inconvenient to have you characters foot not hit the floor.


You can rig your Blender skeletons with IK that allows you to place the feet anywhere you like when animating. For the most part, though (at least in my experience) this is just a matter of being thorough and careful as an animator.

4: ROBOTS, how do they work!? haha, really though, i really want to make some robots, but see, how would you make him look robot like without all that annoying bendage that your organics would usually have. Also, if anyone has some painting or render tips to make something look like metal or brushed steel or chipped paint. (Big textureing photoshop madness tutorials, stuff that would really help)
As for robots, i figure theres gotta be some where to convert objects themselves to bone armatures or something?


For robots, the key lies in how you assign bone weights for the vertices. Organics use lots of soft blending between bones at joints in order to create a smooth blend. Robots, made of rigid metal, will typically use only a single bone weight per mesh segment. Of course, this too depends upon the robot. I suggest you study movies or images of industrial robots in action. some robots will have rigid bodies , but will have rubber or nylon sleeves over the joints that sheathe cables or that protect the joints and bearings from dust. These would be animated as soft organic-seeming meshes with careful boneweighting, while the structural pieces would be rigid.

Basically, just take care in painting your bone weights.

As for texturing, I found this post at CGTalk to be highly informative for industrial surface texturing.

5: Say my crazy new animation ready robot needs glowy light emitters in his eyes, and i dont know how to do it, how would i?


In game, this is highly dependent upon the game engine.

6: Symmetrical pipes and gears, is there some kind of way to make sure it gets done absolutely perfect? any ideas would be nice.



Do you mean modeling them or animating them? For modeling, you can use low-resolution circle primitives in Blender, with number of vertices determined by number of teeth, and use selection and scaling to move some of the vertices outward, some inward, and try to create a good profile for the gear. Then you would extrude the whole profile into a solid shape. The animation is highly dependent upon the physics engine of the game.

Alot of this stuff needs a good deal of info in my eyes before i can step out and go for it, the reason is, i dont want to model something that im going to have to scrap when i finally figure out how to do what i need to, because i built it up wrong or something.



Here's a little hint: you absolutely will have to experiment with these things. These are very complex subjects, and the only way to really master them is to experiment. You will have to scrap models. Many, many models. I do not believe that you will be able to just fill your head with a bunch of tutorials, then jump right in to building perfect, game-ready models immediately without discarding and trying again. Sorry, but that's just not the way the world works.



#3 ageshero   Members   -  Reputation: 92

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 01:19 PM

Here's a little hint: you absolutely will have to experiment with these things. These are very complex subjects, and the only way to really master them is to experiment. You will have to scrap models. Many, many models. I do not believe that you will be able to just fill your head with a bunch of tutorials, then jump right in to building perfect, game-ready models immediately without discarding and trying again. Sorry, but that's just not the way the world works.


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Thank you for the awesome help and links, one more thing.

I obviously want to cloth my model with armors and Jackets or whatever. So if the flexible objects are added in Engine, i guess it would be proper to sculpt them as the same model, and i take it there mind be a kind of painting tool to get the cloth to fall and look right....

i suppose for attachments, all i can see for the time being is to sculpt them directly into the mesh or add them as other objects and combine it, i dont think there will be any mesh problems, but again maybe the uv map will hate it, im not even sure how to work with or fix a uv map. but im sure there's a point where i will need to learn to.

That whole texturing tutorial thing looks amazing, i think i will enjoy looking that over for art in general.

As for the robots, Im trying to think of how really it could be done because i was certain that when useing the painting thing that it makes the mesh stretch in place. and thats just not very robotic, you know? so maybe if the limbs are each totally separate models and then some how attached thorugh rigging. even then im confused.
Rigging doesnt seem that complicated, but i do want very expressive and vibrant characters, robot or not in the future, and ive seen some tools people dont normally use like the Eye tracking glasses marker. I tried and downloaded a rig of the maya Norman animation guy, but it required me to use some other version of blender that was newer and i was uncomfortable with the whole set up of how the camera worked and everything.

Also in adding key frames it didn't do the smoothing in between so i could really see how it worked.

Sorry if i sound really ignorant or incompetent, im learning, haha.

I just want to intake all the info and experience i can, and i will hopefully do that eventual in blender, its just like navigating a complex maze, and if your a baby in the world how do you know what an IK or a UV is or even the concept of walking and running in this new world of tools.
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A problem just recently actually if you could incline me to an information, i have a low poly cat model, but iwant to delete his leg, and i know how, but when i do i discover he has 5-6 points, not 4, and i can reface the object, how to i reface something like that?

Is there an opposite of CTRL R loop cut that will give me more possibilities?

#4 JTippetts   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8159

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 01:55 PM

In Blender, you can attach multiple meshes to a single skeleton. Meshes are attached by creating vertex groups within the mesh that are named identically to the bones in the skeleton that will animate them, then assigning groups of vertices to each group at a specified weight. So you can easily model a piece of robot arm that has a RightArmBone vertex group to which all of the vertices are assigned at weight 1.0. Then if an Armature deform modifier is applied to the skeleton Armature, as the skeleton is animated the whole arm will move to track the orientation of the RightArmBone bone in the armature. If you attempt to model the entire robot as one single connected mesh then, yes, there will be stretching at the joints. The solution as you guessed is to do the parts as separate models.

As far as attaching all of the components together in-game, then ideally the game engine will be set up such that you can have a given Node representing the character. This Node would have attached to it a Skeleton and a list of sub-entity meshes. Each mesh could be modeled separately then you could mix-and-match pieces by adding component meshes to the list of sub-entities, each of which would be deformed by the Node's Skeleton. This is all highly subjective depending on the exact engine used, so any kind of content export pipeline will depend very much on the final game engine, making it difficult to describe this in other than generalities.

And you are right that this is a complex world. It's also one that is impossible to learn via a series of question lists posted on a forum. Anytime you run across an unfamiliar term or acronym you need to Google it. You will also need to learn how to apply your own creativity to solve problems if the available documentation seems unclear. And if you are a complete beginner, then it seems to me that trying to dive right in and do complex rigs and facial animation might be a recipe for discouragement. You'd be well advised to start simpler and work your way up to the final models, hence my statement that you would have to discard plenty of experiments.




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