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Kiowa Rain

Help! Fitted Mesh for Custom Avatar -- (Maya)

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THIS problem has been affecting me for years (literally) and I've never figured it out. Many hours of testing and seeking info online. It's about time I ask for help.

Collision bones and the SL shape sliders.

I want to use the shape sliders with my custom mesh body. It's a regular bipedal human.
The rigging/weight painting part isnt the problem. I have a lot of experience, but I need to test the collision bones inside Maya after I'm done.
However, SL shape sliders scale the mesh in a way that I cant seem to replicate, so it's been an absolute guessing game. Trial and error to get anything right.

I purchased Mayastar because it has features that replicate the SL sliders. Then I could see that the joints weren't actually being moved on the Mayastar fitted mesh skeleton.
The BELLY joint (for instance) would move AND scale.
Translation
X +0.70
Y 0
Z -0.01

Scale
X +0.156
Y +0.4
Z +0.3

It also moves/scales the PELVIS joint. I thought this would be the solution,  and it worked better than just scaling up the joints, but when I uploaded a copy and tested the sliders in SL, the result was still different

I dont want to work blindly on each collision bone and do 8000 tests, as it turns out lol. So, if anyone has any idea how this works, please... PLEASE offer advice. I tried my heart out and still failed. 

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First of all, what Maya version is it that you're using? Older versions have a little tweak to do (pre 2010 anyway) before things work in SL.

Collision volume bones not only scale and move, they also rotate a little if not already rotated in their bind pose.

A little set of screenshots both in Maya and SL (on beta grid so it's free) would be useful to try and see to figure out what might have possibly gone sideways. I've made my own avatar and many other rigged products on many different mesh bodies, and all has always worked with no flaw. Also, a bullet list of your procedure before exporting would also help to spot missing steps

Edited by OptimoMaximo

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15 hours ago, OptimoMaximo said:

First of all, what Maya version is it that you're using? Older versions have a little tweak to do (pre 2010 anyway) before things work in SL.

Collision volume bones not only scale and move, they also rotate a little if not already rotated in their bind pose.

A little set of screenshots both in Maya and SL (on beta grid so it's free) would be useful to try and see to figure out what might have possibly gone sideways. I've made my own avatar and many other rigged products on many different mesh bodies, and all has always worked with no flaw. Also, a bullet list of your procedure before exporting would also help to spot missing steps

Thanks for the response Optimo :) 

I use Maya 2018.
Does this mean you get accurate results when you move/scale the collision joints in maya?

I'm not sure what part of my workflow would helpful, but I'll try to mention everything.
I start by importing the fitted mesh skeleton into a Maya scene, followed by my character model. 
Modifications are then made to the skeleton, removing joints I dont need, like collision joints i dont plan on using. 
I adjust the position on joints a bit to match my character model, then do a test Bind Skin. I'll attach a screenshot of my bind skin settings.
At this point, I always upload to SL to make sure it recognizes the joints/skeleton, and to ensure nothings oriented improperly. 
Back in Maya, I start painting & refining weights, and this is basically the stage I'm stuck at now, unable to figure out what the SL shape sliders do to the collision joints to increase/decrease the size of the mesh. 

Belly Test
I'm attaching a screenshot to show the difference between SL and Maya. I added the values mentioned in my original post to the BELLY joint. I'll show the channel box for BELLY as well.
The weights applied to the belly are just for testing, so they're really rough but it showcases the problem. I'm having. Hopefully this helps!

What do you do to test your collision joints?

 

Channel_Box_BELLY.png

Belly_Comparisons.png

Bind_Skin_Settings.png

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Yes, sliders always match 100% between Maya and SL.

What is happening is the lack of collision volume data , as you say: 

1 hour ago, Kiowa Rain said:

Modifications are then made to the skeleton, removing joints I dont need, like collision joints i dont plan on using. 

Don't remove collision volume bones, just let them be and don't weight paint those you don't want. At the end of your weighting process, before you export, make sure to remove the unused influences: Skin menu -> edit influences -> remove unused influences

This way the skin cluster won't include the joints names that you didn't want, keeping Mayastar's system intact

Max influences in the skin bind option can go up to 4, no more (another reason for weird deformations), maintain max influences checkbox is better to be ON. Allow multiple bind poses is useful to have ON if you know how to take advantage of it, otherwise it's pretty irrelevant

NEVER EVER freeze transformations on any joint, move them around with no rotations involved and you'd be fine

Edited by OptimoMaximo
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Fascinating!

I'm not using Mayastar, by the way. I only purchased Mayastar to observe the Mayastar shape sliders and what they were doing. 
Mayastar seemed made for rigging clothes instead of characters, and it also seemed best to learn how to rig fitted mesh from scratch.
So, does the part about removing unused influences only apply to a Mayastar workflow? 

I'll try again, though, keeping all of the collision joints and using the settings you recommended :)
Thank you

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1 hour ago, Kiowa Rain said:

does the part about removing unused influences only apply to a Mayastar workflow? 

No, that applies to any content to upload to SL since Bento was released. Mayastar can also be great for character development if you plan on using the default shape as starting point with fitmesh, which is not limited to copy the default avatat's weights. if you edit the joint positions, do not expect the shape sliders to work exactly the same. when you edit some sliders, notice how the normal animation joints stretch by using their scale, their location in space results from this

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Wow, it works!

I restored all of the collision joints and did another tests. Now the result is near identical! 
Don't really understand how that all works, but as long as it works I can finally move forward.
Can't thank you enough! I should have sought help longggg ago.

 

SOLVED.jpg

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