Monthly Archives: March 2014

More Rigging & Morph Targets

So I didn’t update last week due to the fact that rigging really kicked my butt. No really. I didn’t want to update until Quorri’s whole body was rigged, and now she is!

Lower Body IK & Rig, rrgonzalez.com

Lower Body IK & Rig, rrgonzalez.com

Alright! So there was A LOT of trial and error after I rigged her head and arms. The body part that gave me a hard time was her torso. I was ultimately trying to rig her spin with the various types of IKs in 3dsMax, and none of them would work or move the way a spine should. I looked up tutorials, look up troubleshooting blogs, and etc. but none of them could fix the problem I was having. I then later found out that not only the HD IKs are glitchy in 2014, but the IKs glitch around randomly. Hours upon hours trying to rig her spine, I finally just gave up and just started painting weights. After painting weights, I realized that I never had to rig her spine, and just weight paint her torso to her spine and create a control, therefore having more control over her spine and torso than an IK. So in conclusion, I threw even more useless hours out the window. After painting all of the weights, I managed to get the IKs in Quorri’s legs to work perfectly with controls for her feet and the master control (pink four-way arrow). At this point in time, I just did a double-fist in the air and celebrated the relief I felt that I don’t have to rig her anymore. HA!

Morph Target Setup, rrgonzalez.com

Morph Target Setup, rrgonzalez.com

So after rigging Quorri, I dove into my morph target set up to create phoneme/lip sync targets. Morph Targets in 3dsMax is a method of 3D animation when a “deformed” version of a mesh is stored as a series of vertex positions. So I would move the vertices on the duplicated head to create a facial expression or phoneme. I start off with the general facial movements such as blinking, eye brow movements, and a mouth that is closed (top row of morph targets). There are generally twelve phoneme expressions, but I tend to create a few more that are useful when animating a lip sync (second row). And the lone head on the left side is the default head; the one I copy and paste if I need to create a new morph target.

Rendered Morph Targets, rrgonzalez.com

Rendered Morph Targets, rrgonzalez.com

I haven’t completed all of the phonemes just yet, but I have:

TOP ROW: Idle/Default, Blink, Eyebrows UP, Eyebrows DOWN, Mouth Closed
BOTTOM ROW:  AA, AH, AW, BMP, CDG/SS, & EE.

I’ll be updating next week of the other completed phonemes of: FV, JJ, LL, NN, OH, OOUW, RR, SH, & TH

Until next time!

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