Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 135

Now it's time to rig up a skeleton for the alien. Overall it's not that complex because it's a videogame character. The legs will be utilizing inverse kinematics which I've mentioned before. That's where I can just move the feet, and the knees and leg will move accordingly. So the legs have a little more bells and whistles. The rest of the body will use forward kinematics where I have to move everything around by hand.

With the skeleton done, I bound the model to it so now the joints will move the alien around. All the joints exert a certain amount of influence on the model. Maya automatically determines this which doesn't always produce the best results. On the left side of the body, the elbow joint got assigned some of the hips because it was nearby. So when the elbow moves away, it pulls the hips with it. On the right is a visual representation of how much influence the joint has; the whiter the more influence. So I have to adjust the influences myself. This involves just moving joints around and fixing weird things that happen. On the right side of the body, you can see how I fixed the elbow. While I was doing all of this, I found some parts of my model that could have been better. It wasn't so much a problem of the shape but sometimes textures would get unnaturally stretched. Anyway after all that work was done, I now have an alien that I can animate.

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