Pollock Run Cycle

Pollock Run Cycle Unarmed from destruct007 on Vimeo.

First pass at a run cycle. New rig, and first test animation. I referenced the rig into this scene, and quickly did this animation. I couldn't get it to bake down either in FBX export process or in "Bake Simulation". I'm going to talk to a TD friend of mind at work and see what can be done to get this character to import into Unreal.

Pollock Rig Walk Through

Pollock Rig Walk Through from destruct007 on Vimeo.

Just a video walk though of the rig from the character pipeline we're working on. This rig in this state doesn't import into Unreal, so thats the next step. Scripting a bake/export process. 
Josh spent 2 hours setting this up in the character pipeline, and I spent 2 hours painting weights. 4 hours from Character Model to Animation with this level of control (no facial rig).

Have a look at this awesome rig!

Re-modeled for rigging pipeline

First thing we needed to do to pipeline the character process is rename the objects. 
ie. c_body_mid, l_wristguard_mid

Then came the first set of changes needed for the pipeline to work with the actual model. After fixing this and getting the rig back I can see some objects will need to be merged, and more resolution in the shoulder/arm connections. But those changes can wait until after its working in unreal and more game play has been developed. 

UV Mapping in Maya Tutorial

Its crazy how easy it is to UV map in Maya. I never knew this tool was added, the "Unwrap" tool. I've been UV'ing the old scholl way and its slow and painful. This is crazy fast and easy.
Thanks to Sergio Santos for pointing me in the right direction.

UV Mapping in Maya from destruct007 on Vimeo.

Panner Node Tutorial

Short explanation of the panner node in UDK, but breaking it down into just math nodes. I think it helps to understand what texture coordinates are, and how they work to see the panner node as just math.

UDK Panner Node Breakdown from destruct007 on Vimeo.

Rigging + MoCap

So I'm building the rig and its funny to remember so many parts of rigging that I forgot. I feel so rusty. I haven't rigged a character in years. I don't want to do human IK b/c its more a pain than its worth. I'll do simple IK/FK switching as in the one built into the IK system in maya. Everything is going to back down to the end joints anyway so no point in over building, at least not until I start seeing I need more. There aren't that many moves I need right off the bat. He doesn't jump. Its crouch, run, walk, shoot(x3 for the 3 guns), back to wall, idle, open door? Not trying to make a AAA title just get the key moves out for game testing.
Anyway as I rig I'm for to remodel certain areas like elbows knees, and I added a few things that have been bothering me, like figured a shoulder pad that works for him. Also its going to look quite different when textured, I'm planning on learning zbrush in about 2 months when I push the art harder, but for now I did a temp quick pass at texturing Pollocks face to give an idea of the look he will have. This will all be redone, just a color pass.

Brekel/NITE/Kinect Mocap

First off let me say thanks to Brekel for the free awesome tool.

Its working, not a miracle capture yet. Meaning the process needs some TLC to get it nice and smooth workflow wise. Right now I see that the imported skeleton can have different joint lengths, so that needs to be edited to match the character.
First we need a motion capture clean up utility.
Probably snap the transforms of each joint to the character and have the rotations constrained to the mocap rig. Then make some sort of over that rig to adjust the animations and add some gross movements in obvious places, hands, feet, head.
Did some tests, basically the skinned rig can be exported in fbx and baked out animation, seems to work pretty well so no worries about complexity of the other rigs... at least for now it seems.

I think this tool will be great to get working temp animations into engine. The goal will be rough working animations to plug into the animtree and get the game working. Once its working pretty well we can go back and make the anim either better motion capture or just hand anim fix all the clips.

Kinect MoCap Update

I wanted to do an initain anim pass with just motion capture for all the needed poses and anims quick and dirty, tweak them later or get better motion capture to replace them. This idea slowed me down a lot until yesterday. 
Slowed me down b/c I was trying to think of what kinda of rig I wanted, what was going to be best in engine etc. Well my friend Will knew the solution right away, well almost but the last pieces of the puzzle were a few clicks away. Here's the short of it

This tool captures:
and this free plug-in brings it into Maya

I got it working at work and instead of 3rd person camera I'm going to get this setup working at home and start getting a skinned rig connected to the mocap rig in a smart way that works in engine by the end of the weekend. 

UDK Collision Channels Tutorial

Like I mentioned I figured out collisions in UDK as they were really confusing to learn. When I did understand them all came together in an obvious and logical way. I realized it wasn't hard, it's easy... once you understand the logic. 
So here's a quick explanation and example of kActor collisions and I threw in cloth for good measure.

UDK Collision Channels Tutorial from destruct007 on Vimeo.

Text based explanation:
RBChannel = the channel or layer that that RBD is on
Block Rigid Body has to be on
RBCollide With Channel = the channels or layer that the RBD can collide with.

So lets say I want a wall that only my ninja can go through. I put the wall to
RBChannel = Untitled 1
don't worry about what collide with channels the wall has, b/c it won't collide with anything since its not moving, things will only collide with it.
Enemy soldier
RBCollide With Channel = Untitled 1 check box (in addition to other things like default etc)
Ninja has the same setup as Soldier but no Untitled 1 check box and the wall won't exist for him.

Same thing works for cloth but cloth's RBChannel is defaulted to "cloth" logically and you can change that but cloth will collide with everything on its layer. 

ToDo list

The real reason for this post is to start thinking out my to-do list, what to do next. The rigging process is slow and I don't want to just keep rigging right now. So I might switch gears to 3rd person Camera setups.

Goal: End of this weekend get an Unreal script based 3rd Person Camera setup working. I have some ideas for it that might be neat. Well neat for a nerd I guess LOL.