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Rigging quadrapeds to the SL avatar armature


Nacy Nightfire
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4 or 5 folks have contacted me in-world asking for individual help with rigging their quadraped meshes as a result of either seeing or hearing about the small success I've had so far getting my house cat mesh rigged.  I would very much like to help everyone with this however I cannot as yet do this for a number of reasons. 

First and foremost, it would be premature since I've only managed to make my mesh appear somewhat convincing in a walk animation.  Due to my inexperience with rigging, animations and weight painting, I've not been at all successful in making all other the animations that would be important to go along with quadraped meshes, particularly if one plans to sell them. 

Second,  it would require my explaining a the very difficult topic of designing mesh for animation. I don't think I qualify to teach this and I have some time constraints.

Third, just my getting this cat mesh to the point I've reached so far required that I set aside an entire  week of RL responsibilities to  worked on this project exclusively (12 hours a day) yet I've still barely touched the surface of what I need to learn to finish the rigging and animation.  Part of my success was due to pure dumb luck and I can't explain exactly what I did to make it happen, and due aspects relate to my specific mesh design, only. 

By the time I do finish this to the point and I can teach someone something useful on this topic, I'm guessing someone else much smarter and more experienced in 3d animation will hopefully have chimed in here and beat me to the punch,  In the event I do go back to the project, and later have something concrete to teach on the topic, not already posted here by someone else, I will share it with everyone right here on the Mesh forum so everyone can benefit. 

Please also note  I don't own a shop or run a business in SL, and I only do all this for personal relaxation and fun,  I can't guarentee I'll invest more time in on this rigging project as there are many more pressing things I want to learn and spend my time on here, but if I do, I'll share my knowledge here.

Edited to correct

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Thanks Lynda, and it is the truth.  I think the thing that prompted me to write this post is my gut reaction to having  individuals, unknown to me and not my established friends ask for one-on-one help with such a detailed mesh creation skill. 

 If someone asks me a very specific question I'm always glad to either help with the answer if I know it, I'll research to get an answer (I'm always interested in learning new things) or I'll give them a link or two to a tutorial that would be beneficial. If they are not forum users, I encourage them to follow this forum.  But other then requesting that I post a tutorial to the forum, itself,  for EVERYONE'S benefit,  or asking a very specific question, I'm not interested. I've stated this more then once in response to people asking for mentoring help with mesh and other design topics. If the information will help a broad range of people, and I'm able to provide it, why would I spend time teaching it to one person?  

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Well I don't know about smarter or more experienced, but I can explain how this should all work in Blender.  The problem is, bone offsets not working as they should from Blender 2.59, I can't really do much in the way of a tutorial.  I don't want to go back to 2.49 just to export rigged avatars with offset bones, so I'm stuck waiting for the Lindens to arrange a solution.  I've tried tackling the issue on my end a bit, playing with the COLLADA file to figure out what needs to be done to arrange everything correctly, but so far no luck.  If I can figure out what needs to be done to the COLLADA file, I can maybe write a converter, or better, patch the import/export script so it doesn't do this wackiness.

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That's very generous of you Feynt.  I agree it's best to wait with your instructions here until things straighten out with the Blender Collada export and the SL uploader as relates to bone offsets.  It's a difficult topic to teach with alot of fussy steps along the way.  It makes sense to put the effort in when you are certain things with Blender 2.59 are settled so you don't waste alot of your  time on a previous version of Blender that everyone will drop as soon as they can. 

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just in reading the LL overview of mesh  http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh/Creating_a_mesh

apparently you can use daz 3d version 2 and up , i have version 4, but no idea how to use it lol

other links..  http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh/Upload_Model_UI_reference

                    http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh/Sample_Content

for those of you who didnt get the links when they came out..

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I rigged the mesh in Blender 2.49b and uploaded it successfully into SL a while back and a few animations (walk ones mostly)  right out of my inventory (female sexy walk types) work well, but for the avie to be useful it needs a whole ao of animations which I can't easily do in blender. 

I'm more familiar with Poser for animation.  I dislike the Poser interface, but tonight (after about 8 hours of mostly frustration) I was able to transfer the bones groupings from the SL avatar poser model (which was confusing since it has 19 bones and not 26)  to the cat mesh and get a rather rough kitty sit pose. 

This highlights the mesh reworking I need to do now which I'm not looking forward to.  A more experienced 3d artist would have anticipated these problems. 

I've never worked Daz, so i don't know if it's similar to Poser.  PoserPro 12 comes out in a few weeks and has vertex weight painting and collada export, so I'll report back if it seems to work out for both rigging and easy set up for animating after I get a bit used to the new version.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for sharing this on the mesh forum.  Your mesh attachment is adorable! 

 

From time to time I go back to trying to re-rig my cat avie.  I even upgraded to Poser 12 hoping for a miracle.  The best I think one can achieve is what you and I both discovered, which is a walk, run, dance enabled avatar, but nothing too detailed, like a proper sit animation or many animal behaviors.  I hope someone will prove us wrong here.

 

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  • 7 months later...
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