Sunday, June 13, 2010

Texture Rigging !

Hello everyone, today's i'll share with you something a little different that usual. As a 3D animator and Rigger, i often spend a lot of time trying to create riggs and setup which will make my animation process really easy and convenient !

Today, i'll share with you something i found while i was working on Tyka. I wanted the character to be able to express some basic emotions and for that, i need for the eyes to be able to move. But the problem is, when you have a "anime/manga" type of character, eye rigging is a little sucky (since the eyes are big, you can't really make an eyeball because it's gonna go through the head, and we do not want that. 

So what i thought of is : what if i could actually rigg the eye texture in order to give the illusion that it's an eyeball ?
Even though it doesn't give the real aspect of an eyeball, i found the result somewhat convincing. Now, how to do it ? it is, actually, really really simple !

First of all, i had to separate the eye from the basemesh, since i want to rigg the actual texture coordinate of the eyes and if it's the whole mesh, then everything will move when i'll move my controller.

Then, you have to select your mesh and go into the explorer windows and find the "texture coordinate" node, open it and you'll have that window :

Now, we want the texture to translate upon the mesh, both in X and Y axis. when you look at it, as you're playing with UVW, there's no X nor Y axis. It's because in that case, the X will be represented by the U and the Y by the V.

Then, right click on the U and click on "set expression" to open this windows :

Once this window is open, we will add an expression on the U parameter of the texture in which he will obey to the X translation of the eye controller. It's important to name your elements so you don't make mistake and set the expression to another controller of your setup.

the expression goes as follow :
ctr_eyes.kine.local.posx / 4  

ctr_eyes it the name of my controller, and i divided by 4 because i find the normal parameter to be to quick when you translate on X. this way, it will be 4 times slower and easier to manipulate.

Now we'll open the V parameter and set an expression which is, you'd have guessed by now :
ctr_eyes.kine.local.posy / 4   validate it, and then apply it.

And here we are ! done, the texture is actually rigged to you eye controller !

You have to be careful that your U and V parameter are set to 0 and that your controller position is set to 0 too, otherwise the texture will move as soon as the expression is set.

One more thing ! When you will move the controller, you will see some kind of "lag", the eyes will only move when you' ll have finished moving the controller. But don't worry, when you keyframe a position and then move it, and keyframe another, the translation of the eyes will be smooth and good !

I might post some other rigging tips as time goes by, depends if it's helpful for people or not. I'm actually working on some facial rigging and i think i found some interesting stuff ! Next time, maybe i'll show you how i've done to rigg Tyka eyelids so as when you pull it down, the lower eyelid goes up a little !

Hope this help some of you fella, and enjoy !

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010



so this is Tyka, the character i had to concept, model, texture, rig and animate for my degree at creajeux. Skinning was a little tight because of the dress but i'm happy on how the overall turned out. I called the feather she has her "emotion driver" as it react with her emotions (bending when she's sad, ect). Anyway, enjoy !