MonsterMaker534

Hey all,
In-Summary Question for This Post: How to best split 1 limb (arm or leg) into layers (or leave it in 1 layer) to best animate its bending in Spine while keeping the arm outlined in black? Specifically in a skin-compatible way?

I am having a hard time with this, and thus decided to ask about it here.
I want to animate arms/legs while keeping a neat outline for that limb. However, I am having a hard time figuring out the best way to do so while keeping a neat outline on each piece of the body. I also want to create multiple skins, so it would be best to do this in a skin-compatible way.
My arm image for reference here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4vin4dttp58wvd8/Screen%20Shot%202020-06-28%20at%207.33.17%20PM.png?dl=0

I have created an arm in Photoshop.
For it to bend in a natural way (while keeping its outline), should I
—split it into 2 pieces (from wrist to elbow, and from elbow to shoulder) and use rotation for bending animation (like the arms of a bionicle toy)? If so, should I make sure that there is an overlapping part for both halves of the arm so the arm itself can bend naturally (Sort of like a hinge)? I tried this, but it was hard keeping all of the arm outlined on all parts without the outlines being messed up when I bent the arm.
—keep it one layer, but bend it only by using meshes/bones?
—another option?

Thanks for your help. If anyone has any clarifying questions, feel free to ask,
MonsterMaker534
MonsterMaker534
  • Bài viết: 23

stikkanimate

It depends a lot on what you intend for the end result. If your animation is going to look more full (less like a puppet) then you should really segment them at the joints (shoulder, elbow, wrist) and either weight the joints (shoulder to arm, arm to forearm, forearm to hand) or segment them at the joints like previous example and place patches beneath the elbow and hand joint so that the wrists and elbows have freedom when swapping image attachments.

You're more likely to regret trying to making something as versatile as a more realistic arm as a single piece than to use a combination of objects that can be re-weighted super fast. Especially when you start re-introducing objects or need to reset your weights.

My experience for the past few months have been: rig it as though you'll have to re-weight each object 3 times. If one weighting will take as much time to do once as having a separate piece - then break it down farther. Resetting weights and meshes are common as you find you want different motions, so you should spend as little time applying highly particular weights as possible. For parts that are more fleshy like the shoulder, you can use extra bones set to IK in order to hold a better silhouette. See the tree hierarchy here to see how I set this one up.

treehierarchy.png


Weight the inner armpit to follow the bone and weight the outer shoulder bones to defer more to the IK-bound bones. Find a blend you like - for this example, all I did was auto-rig, hit smooth, and left it as is. It could use work but it functions. With this kind of rig, you can also animate the IK_Target as well as the translation of the first controller bone. I've gotten very nice effects with an almost full range of motion using this on shoulders, biceps, hip shapes and calf muscles. However things like forearms which rotate with the hands, you'll want to switch between images and so don't want them bound to an entire arm rig.

shldr_armRig.gif


This can be greatly improved with additional weighting and vertex placement fixes- but this is a result you can get with no adjustments to the mesh other than auto and smooth (on the shoulder)

GOOD LUCK!
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stikkanimate
  • Bài viết: 27

MonsterMaker534

Hi stikkanimate,
Thanks so much for the very helpful explanation, especially the visuals!
MonsterMaker534
  • Bài viết: 23

Erika

I think we also have some useful tips at the tips page here:

Spine: Tips: 28 moustache lines


Spine: Tips: 29 moustache front


Spine: Tips: 4 shoulder


I think splitting the image in 2 pieces is the best option for when they'll have to overlap!
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Erika

Erikari
  • Bài viết: 2548

MonsterMaker534

Hi Erika,
Thank you for all of those useful tip images!

I have a question about the cartoon outlines. I saw that in the moustache example, sometimes the black outlines are on a different layer than the yellow fill.

I was wondering if you could explain that a little more because in the final product, it works really well.
Would you recommend using some black outlines in different layers than the fill color for cartoon-like animations, especially for bending limbs? Would that work well with skins? It seems like it could either work well, or be tricky.
Thanks for your help!
MonsterMaker534
  • Bài viết: 23

Erika

Hello MonsterMaker534,

Basically, the lower-arm had the problem that when rotated too much, the lines were not showing anymore, but drawing these lines on the same layer would break the continuity with the upper-arm. So the upper arm is sandwiched: above goes the arm as it should appear when connected to the upper arm and when overlapping with it, therefore some lines are present. Below it there's a lines patch that completes the lineart but shows only when a part of the arm that doesn't have it should be seen because of the rotation of the piece.

Here's the project so you can dissect it.
moustache.zip


The lines can be colored any way you want, they don't have to be black. You can also create meshes for them and they can also work in skins of course (:
Why do you think they might be tricky?
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Erika

Erikari
  • Bài viết: 2548

MonsterMaker534

Hi Erika,
Thank you for the copy of Moustache to look at and for the helpful explanation.
I was confused because I am still getting used to meshes and was worried about how to make sure that the color/outline parts of the same body part stayed together during an animation, especially with meshes. Once I looked into the moustache project, I understood.
The moustache project demonstrated that all you needed to do to keep the related parts (colors, outlines) together would be to put the BodyPart-Color-Slot and the BodyPart-Outline-Slot under the same parent bone. That way, not matter how you animate the bone, the outline and color are seen as 1 piece by the audience. This even works when the slots are meshes. I was worried that this wouldn’t be so seamless because of meshes because I am still getting used to meshes, but as demonstrated in the moustache project, it works very well.
Thanks again for your help!
MonsterMaker534
  • Bài viết: 23


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