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Please help me ASAP. Rigging and Joint question


Poulet Poindexter
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So i have a extensive history with Maya and 3D rigging. Here is my issue. now i know moving the joints of the rig is fine before binding it. the problem im having is after i rig the character perfectly, i go to import it into secondlife, i connect it to my character, and im getting deformation. I know why I'm getting it., my joints are snapping back to there default area. see, my character is a reptile with a rather long neck and long arms. So when secondlife forces my rigs joints to scale back down, the arms are shorter and the neck just caves in on itself. any way i can fix this? Is it even possible for me to keep the joints extended? please help, ive been at this for 6 hours now.

 

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I haven't had that much experience with rigging avatar mesh for SL.  I played around with it a bit but I will give it a go.

From my experience you can lengthen or shorten the joints but you can not rotate them.  That means your mesh must be in a "T" pose.  So if say your mesh's back was very curved you have to straighten the mesh so that it fit the "T" pose.

I also know that if you do lengthen or shorten the joints of the skeleton you must "Freeze Transformations" and probably a good idea to "Delete History" before you weight or skin your mesh.  In fact probably good idea to "Freeze Transformations" and "Delete History" of your mesh as well before you smooth bind it.

I figure you are but just incase be sure to check "include joint positions" in the upload window.

Lastly you might want to delete the .slm file generated by SL when you upload a mesh.  The file is saved onto your hard drive with the same name as your mesh in the same location.  I have read that SL will sometimes keep loading the old SML file even though you modified your mesh and just exported it out with the same name as before.  So just to be sure SL is uploading your current version of your mesh I probably delete the SML file just to be safe.

Hope that helps.  Sorry if I am not making a bunch of sense it is 4AM here and way past my bedtime.

[ P.S. Since my original reply I have fount out that you can rotate the skeletons joints besides lengthening and shortening them in Maya.  The key is to zero out the joints rotations after you move them by doing a Freeze Transformation.  See my post on page three for more detailed instructions on how to do this with Maya.]

 

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well i just tried doing it again with the refresh and such and got the same result. i also tried doing it with the joint position included checked and the camera shot up into the sky and it was deformed even worse. bellow is a link to a pic of how it looks when i transfer it correctly. see where the head is, its suppose to be up higher. I moved the joint up there during the rigging process, buy SL wants to snap it back down like if it were a normal human rig.

 

http://s18.postimage.org/rmla2lmbt/Untitled_1.jpg

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You might want to try rebuilding the skeleton from scratch, and then use the joint positions option when uploading.  Chances are you've got some transforms in there somewhere that are interfering with correct reporting of the bone lengths.  As I'm sure you know, Maya can be picky about such things.  Building a brand new skeleton only takes a few minuts, and will likely be far quicker than trying to sort through every node to find the cause of the problem. 

Re-rigging to the new skeleton should only take a few seconds, since you can copy and paste the skin weights from the old rig.

 

If it doesn't work, you can always just say your lizard guy is wearing a really spiffy hat. ;)

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yeah im going to have to make it from scratch cause ive imported the rig from the actual second life folder and even once imported it with no changes to the rig at all, checked the joint positions option and it still flipped out. so if i make this from scratch should every single joint be 0 on all fronts transformations ad all. i mean i can really do it but is SL really going to be that **bleep**?

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If you've made zero changes to the skeleton, and it's still not working right, then there are only two possibilities.  Either something is wrong with the skeleton, or something is wrong with the model.

 

As for recreating the skeleton, that takes five minutes, so I'm not sure why you frowned upon the idea.

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this is ridicules. i just made the rig from scratch from scratch and when i check for it to include translations, it deformed again i don't know what to do seriously I'm stuck here. I hate to make this personal but i can't help but take it that way. i spent years doing 3d work, even for a studio and this lil program is wuppin my ass. yet some copywriter infringement **bleep** can download half life skins and throw them on his sl rig. reason i was so hard on bringing this into sl was because the guy i made this for, was gonna pay me extra if i could, that and it would have been nice to give a lil something back to the SL community after being  a part of it for so long. if yall wanna help me with this here is the rig i made below, I would give the model as well, but its property of my employer.  besides that im done, i give up on making anything mesh related for sl.

Requires Maya 2011 or higher: http://depositfiles.com/files/jg7cpzmym

 

 

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How about saving to .ma instead of .mb, so those of us with other versions of Maya can open it?

I'm not sure why any of us should bother, though, since you just announced you've given up.  Do you want help, or don't you?

 

I also have to say I understood virtually none of what you said in your last post.  What did you mean by "the imported rig from SL files?" for example?  What skeleton are you using, and where exactly did you get it?  I also don't get what you meant by "imported it to a new scene and attached it to the rig".  What exactly did you attach to what, and how did you do it?  Further, what does "import it into an actual scene" mean?  What constitutes a non-actual scene?

If you'd care to be a little more clear about what you've been doing, it's likely we can pinpoint the problem.  I understand that your'e frustrated, but we do need you to help us to help you.  That is, unless you really have given up, in which case there's no need for us to continue trying.

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to be more clear here is everything that happened. i started off with loading up the scene with my character mesh already in it. when i imported the rig that way it seemed to pic it up fine in secondlife. for some reason though when i made a new scene, like a empty maya file, and imported the rig first then the mesh sl wouldn't pic up the rig. as for the rig, at first i was taking it from a file i had found online, after seeing that it was a terrible file, i found the MEL script that allowed me to import the rig directly from the game. that's when i had actually got the import into sl and it actually work. problem was i go the head distort effect.

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OK I got your rig to work but I had to do a few things first.

I am using an older version of Maya so some of the things I had to do may have been because the file was originally written for a newer version.

I first just opened your file.  First problem is your rig appears to have been built with Y axis set to up.  In SL Z axis is up so you need change your "World Coordinate System" to Z.  Maya's default is Y.  It is under Window + Setting/Preferences + Preferences + Categories "Settings".

I then opened up my avatar mesh and imported your rig.  I then had to rotate your rig 90 degrees and position it so that Y and X translate were 0 and Z translate was 1.0440129 which is what Y originally was.  I then did "Freeze Transformations" and deleted History.

I had to rename all the bones because importing your rig added my_rig: in front of the name of each bone.  No big deal I just deleted "my_rig:" from all the bones names.

I then smooth skinned my avatar mesh to your rig and exported it.  Since I am using an older version of Maya I had to open the DAE file in Microsoft Word and manually edit it to say "<up_axis>Z_UP</up_axis>".  You may not need to do that but I check just to be sure.  I do know SL has a problem with Collada 1.4.1 for weighted or skinned avatar mesh at least that is what I read.  I use Collada 1.4.0.  This is also something you can check for in Microsoft Word just to be sure but you can't edit the file to say 1.4.0 if it says 1.4.1 that won't work.  (UPDATE: I recently helped a friend who uses Maya 2012 and I was able to help her get a weighted avatar mesh successfully exported and imported in SL.  So it appears that SL supports Collada 1.4.1 for weighted mesh now.  My friend has only exported mesh with a single face so far.  I have recently read that Maya 2012 has a problem with exporting mesh with multiple faces.  In that thread my reply was to suggest using plain lamberts without any texture files associated with them and upload the textures separately and apply them to the mesh in world.  This has worked for me in the past.)

I then uploaded my mesh with your rig to Aditi the beta test grid and it worked just fine.  It took forever for the Calculate weights & fee to finish calculating it and I did try a few avatar meshes that I had previously uploaded and it took forever for them as well so I don't think it was your rig that caused the delay.  I don't know why I always seem to have to struggle with getting the upload window to just calculate the weights and fees.  One minute everything uploads just fine.  Two minutes later and the same DAE file just won't upload.  

One tip that seems to work is first try calculating weights and fees with not including skin weights or joint positions checked.  Then after it calculates the fees to check those two boxes and calculate the weights and fees again.  For some reason this seems to work for when I am having a problem.

I hope that helps. :)

 PS Something really really weird is going on at beta test grid Aditi!!!  After wearing your rig I took it off and yet my avatar default mesh was stretched with a long neck as if I was still wearing the mesh I had just uploaded with your rig.  Basically as if I took the mesh off but the rig or skeleton was still on.  No matter what I did I couldn't get my avatar back to normal.  I then logged on with the Beta Viewer and thank goodness I was back to normal.   I then tried on a few of my own meshes I had just uploaded like a week or two ago and they where not working correctly!!!  Some parts of the mesh were acting as if they had not been weighted!  So I logged off and log back on again with the standard SL viewer and while my avatar meshes I had uploaded week or so back where working fine I had the same problem I had with the mesh I had just uploaded using your rig.

My conclusion is that your original mesh you uploaded, the one you took the photo with, may be just fine.  Try logging in with a different viewer and wear it.  

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well i tried what you said and it still didnt work. only thing i can think it could be is the export settigns im using for Collada. maybe its also that im using version 1.4.1 as well. I tried looking for a download of version 1.4.0 but couldnt find it anywhere. i did the trick you told me but it still freaked. Don really get why its doing this. i wanna give up but i cant help but wanting ot push on. :catsad:

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OK got a few links for you to check out.

1. Autodesk plug-in and converter archive:

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/item?siteID=123112&id=10775920

2. Maya mesh best practices forum archive:

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Mesh/Mesh-Best-Practices-Maya/td-p/182772

3. Wiki tutorial on how to rig and export a mesh in Maya for SL:

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

It very well could be that your exporting with 1.4.1 is the problem.  I have both 1.4.1 and 1.4.0 plugins installed.  I can export non-skinned mesh using 1.4.1 just fine but if I use it for any mesh that is weighted it won't upload.  But you did get your mesh to upload and most of it looked like it weighted correctly except to the top of the head and face.

Could you send me that mesh on the Beta Aditi grid?  I will wear it and see if it does the same thing on me.  I got like 3 or 4 viewer loaded on my computer I can try it with.  No copy. No mod and No transfer of course.

I hope that helps. :)

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My someone imperfect memory leads me to believe that there was a notice sometime in the last quarter of 2011, that said that the importer did not support  bone positions out side of the default.

I've had the deformation problem and another thing yu may want to check your measurment units.  The default in Maya is Centimeters, but import into SL should be Meters. If everythingis default,you are going to get a crumpled piece of paper. pulsing as the 1/10th scale skeleton moves within.

I envy the Blender folks with their ability to import skeletons with bone positions changed.
 

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Karl Reisman wrote:

 

I've had the deformation problem

[...]

I envy the Blender folks with their ability to import skeletons with bone positions changed.

 

If I understand what you mean by deformation problem, I'd say the first of those two remarks means you can do the second.

3ds max can do it, Blender can do it. I don't believe Maya can't. You do need to check the box in the uploader, "include joint positions" or something like that.

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Hi Karl.  You will be happy to know that Maya can indeed change the joint positions and import them into SL.

I remember reading someplace that you can't rotate joints but that you could only lengthen or shorten the joints.

This turns out not to be entirely true.  

You can rotate the joints and put them anywhere.  I haven't tested all the joints yet so there may be some limitations but none that I can find so far.  Anyway it is true that if you rotate a joint it will just export with zero rotations anyway but this turns out to be the key to placing your joints any place you like with Maya.

First rotate the joints and lengthen or shorten them till you get the skeleton in the position you need.  Then you need to "Freeze Transformations".  Basically what you are doing is making all the joints have zero rotations in their new positions by freezing them.  First time I tried this on a joint that wasn't the pelvis bone I got this error "Error: Freeze Transform was not applied because my_rig:mTorso.translateX has incoming connection.".  If you get that error what you have to do is the following: 

In the channel editor you will see all your channels Translate X, Y Z, Rotate X,Y,Z etc.  If they are all highlighted with like a pink or orange color or grayed out then they have connections to them. 

Click the top on then hold shift and click the bottom one "Scale Z" to select them all. Now right click on them a menu pops up select "break connections" The highlight color should disappear. 
Now you can select the Pelvis joint and "Freeze Transformations" and all the joints will have zero rotations.  At this point I delete history for the skeleton and mesh.   After that you can "Bind Skin" with  "Smooth Bind" and export your mesh and skeleton as normal. 
I hope that helps. :)
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  • 3 years later...

Hi there,

I did exactly as you wrote.

I did move the L_CLAVICLE and mCollarLeft bones as you can see in this image:



Then I did break connections of all the bones, freeze transformations and delete history.

But when I upload it here is the result:



The L_CLAVICLE and mCollarLeft bones seem to snap back to the original position.

I watched video in which they use Avastar to rig Quadrupedes Avatar. They rotate, move and lenght every bones and it all works fine. Why can't we do the same on MAYA?

I'm stuck. Don't know what else to try.

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