Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Body topology and Deformation example workflow Maya tip


I was working on some body deformations in shoulder and hip and here i wanted to share a couple ideas/tips that may be helpful.

1.  Doing deformations on a design that has anatomy hints is easier than doing it on one that doesn't (if goal is to try to get some realistic deformations).  Things like where the rib cage is can be hinted in the mesh and will make it easier seeing where upper body rotates.  Also Indicating where the pelvis bone is helps for figuring out where the hip deformations should be.

2. I'm liking to do skin painting and topology changes simultaneously.  That is i do a little bit of skin painting on just half of the mesh.  Then i duplicate out the mesh making a non-skinned one.  I then do a couple topology fixes on the non-skinned one.  Finally i copy over the skinned weights to the new half mesh using copy weights tool.  Using this workflow allows to quickly see where topology is making deformations not look too well.  I do a quick draw-over to see possibly where topology change is needed then i try to fix it and repeat the steps over again.
 Here's a rough example:

3.  Doing a quick smooth pass with polygon smooth tool to see whether topology is working.  I like to do rough weighting (mostly flooding one to joints),  then when i pose mesh and think the topology needs verifying i first: duplicate out the mesh making a non-skinned one.  Then i use polygon smooth tool on it to quickly see whether skin painting alone (and possibly a corrective if absolutely needed) is enough.

4.  I like to think of body deformation as kind of like facial deformations but in the face deformations mostly using sculpting to check work (checking smile shape works with lip narrow shape ..), where as for body deformations mainly using skin painting (maybe poly smooth tool) to check work.

Hope this is helpful,


Inspired by Carlo Sansonetti's "The Skinned Character Rig" (carlosansonetti dot com )