Design 950 Spring 2004 with Brian Stone
A list of things I worked on this quarter:
- I worked on cleaning Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture mocap
files in MotionBuilder 5.5. Links to movies of the 3 files are below. The third
file of the stair climbing was extremely difficult. There were many missing
segments of marker data. In one case, all three markers of the foot disappeared
at once and I had to hand keyframe them. See the following files to view
examples of the missing segments (yellow line on gray background represents
the missing marker data that Motion Builder has interpolated inaccurately): Cody's
LPSA marker, Cody's
Cody's Stair climbing file still has some markers I couldn't get exactly
into a good postion. You may see one drag behind the others in the movie file.
I am hoping I can add and alter animation keys within Maya in order to correct
the problem markers.
- I repeated the
muscle rigging tutorial from Maya Feature Creature
Creations by Todd Palamar that I couldn't get to work last quarter. After
the 2nd attempt at following his directions to the letter, I began re-doing
the tutorial with alterations on the option settings for spline ik and cluster
handles within Maya. On my 4th attempt, I figured out which instructions
were incorrect in his book. For the Spline IK setting, "Root on Axis" is
supposed to be on, and "Parent Curve" should be off. When creating
Cluster handles on the spline ik curve, "Relative" should be off.
When I moved the wrist ik handle around in the Maya scene, it appeared to
be working though there is limited range of motion in which the rig works.
See the bicep
- I rigged the 3-D bones to the animation skeleton and got it
to follow the mocap markers. I was unhappy with the spinal column. Originally,
I created two bones within the spine - one for the entire rib cage, and another
for the lumbar vertebrae. The neck was one bone for all the cervical vertebrae.
It was at the junctions of these bones that the spine bent off at unnatural
angles, like a broken twig. See
picture. So, I decided to experiment with
the rigging again. I decided to add Spline Iks to the back and neck, then
create Cluster handles on the Spline IK curve that would be point constrained
to the motion capture markers. I tried many different binding and bone setups.
When I added a bone for each vertebrae, the ribs separated from the sternum
when it moved. I went with a file that had two-three vertebrae per bone and
had to paint weights for hours on the geometry to get it to look mostly right.
I finally got the Normal Trot cycle looking pretty good
from overhead (See
Trot Overhead .mov), but the walk cycle rigging looked as if the
dog had scoleosis of the spine ( See
Overhead Walk Picture ).
- I worked on setting up frontal, posterior, side, and overhead
cameras on the files rigged in Maya. I had to set up lighting
from all directions. I parented the cameras and lights to the T12 marker
on the dog in order to have the cameras and lights stay the same distance
from the dog. I then rendered from the different cameras to produce the
.tga files that would become my final movies. I brought the .tga files into
Premiere, edited for looping, rendered out as uncompressed .mov files. The
.mov files were run through Sorenson Squeeze to produce .flv files that would
then be imported into Flash. I'm
not sure but it looks as if the 15 frames per second versions of the normal
speeds look a little fast. From Maya, they were rendered for 30 fps. I exported
some of them as 15 fps in Premiere and then kept the 15 fps setting in Sorenson
Squeeze. Others, I rendered as 30 fps from Premiere and then converted to
15 fps in Squeeze. I may have to tweak the .fla files to get the speed to
See Screen Captures (jpegs) of files with creation dates for proof of how
many files I worked with this quarter:
Normal Trot Stiff 3-Bone Spine - Maya Files
Normal Trot Spline IK on Spine Experiment - Maya Files
- Bone model and stick figure - Maya Files
Premiere Project Files
Premiere Uncompressed Renders
Squeeze Compressed .mov and .flv files
- In Flash, each movie is its own independent .swf file
with my custom made movie control buttons to stop, play, jump
to next frame, jump to previous frame, and return to start. Each movie contains
the embedded .flv files, so a preloader was added to the beginning of these
files in case someone experiences slow download. The individual movie files
are then targeted into and empty movie clip symbol within each of my Flash
scenes within a main movie. Not all the movies are created yet. I have all
of the normal trotting movies rendered (all camera angles) for both 1x and
1/4x speed. These are movies of the rigged 3-D bones. For normal walking,
I rigged the 3-D bones with my spline ik. However, the dog's spine looked
like it had scoleosis, so I re-rigged the walk with simple cylinders for
a stick figure.
Below are links to the individual .swf files:
Normal Trot Side
1x , Normal Trot Side 1/4x
Frontal 1x, Normal Trot Frontal 1/4x
Posterior 1x, Normal Trot Posterior 1/4x
Overhead 1x, Normal Trot Overhead 1/4x
Side 1x, Normal Walk Side 1/4x
Walk Frontal 1x, Normal Walk Frontal 1/4x
Walk Posterior 1x, Normal Walk Posterior 1/4x
Walk Overhead 1x, Normal Walk Overhead 1/4x
- I went over to the student computer lab at the Veterinary
Teaching Hospital and tested some of the media files I created on their imacs.
A support specialist loaded Cortona VRML viewer onto the computer for me
to test my VRML files. See
the details in Word file. Basically, the imacs
handled the media files fine for about 1 hour, then started texturing VRML
objects with screen captures from Explorer. The support specialist said there
is a problem with the power supply to all the computers which causes them
to lock up every now and then. One person abandoned a web ct quiz - left
it open with the circular color wheel cursor just spinning on the screen.
Not a good sign.
- I also started remodeling on the pelvis of the 3-D dog skeleton
because someone who has taught anatomy many times told me the pubic symphasis
was lower and the pelvis should be more V shaped from behind. The obturator
foramen should have been visible from the side view and it wasn't in my original
pelvis. I haven't incorporated it into the already rigged files. See
rotational .mov of the pelvis.
- I installed another hard drive in my computer and have been
making backups every night.