BlenRig 5

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BlenRig 5

Postby blindsaypatten » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:17 am

Has anyone here tried using BlenRig 5 to animate MakeHuman characters? It looks rather promising, in particular in producing joint deformations that don't look distorted. The only references I found for using the two together date back to before the current versions of either software.
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Re: BlenRig 5

Postby blindsaypatten » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:46 pm

I guess that no one has tried it or, if someone has, they don't want to write about it.

I gave it a try. It is very time consuming, but the end result is quite good in terms of avoiding distortions when doing poses, better than anything I've seen so far with bone based rigs. And it has inverse kinematics, which makes posing a lot easier.

Most of the work is in fitting the skeleton control points and the "deformation cage" to the character. I think both of these things could be largely automated with MakeClothes, and I think that once you have built one BlenRig, adapting it to another character should be a lot easier, especially if they have similar proportions. That said, I've only gotten through the re-targeting process and am just at the point where I can pose the body.

For anyone not familiar with BlenRig, the difference from most rigs is that it uses a mesh deformation cage, which is a low poly mesh that fits over the character. It has bones, including bendy bones, but they control the deformation cage rather than the character mesh. The deformation cage then controls the character mesh. As I understand it, the mesh deformation cage has been extensively worked on to deform nicely, e.g. weight painting and shape keys, and the result is that the character mesh gets deformed nicely.

Edit: it also has a lot of "fix bones" that hover around joints and help make them deform properly, and lots of drivers set up. Plus the low poly deformation cage makes it easier to make shape keys and drive them.

I positioned the hand, and inverse kinematics did the arm and shoulder positioning
Waving.png


I positioned the waist and IK did the hip and knee bending
Croaching.png


Just checking that the loose form of the bent legs is at least in part due to the clothing
Standing.png


The squished lat issue is still there, but I think I saw something about it being addressed later in the process
LatIssue.png
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Re: BlenRig 5

Postby punkduck » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:56 pm

Well, that looks very good. We all know: we've problems with these arm positions, kneeling on the ground, crouching down, support a character with both palms on the floor etc.

Of course I heard about this rig, but in a NSFW context (yeah I know ... typical for me :oops:). Did you remember the "repurposed genital assets" topic Jujube had mentioned? The link to the adult page has some models using this rig. I download one of the characters and I was jealous when I compared the posing results of the character with my "normal" MakeHuman characters. And I'm not talking of these very special add-on bones ... :lol:

Furthermore I watched this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLzCSzfQe8A

When I saw this video I thought, it must be very complicated to link the rig with a MH character. You can e.g. animate toons with face deformation and also rather realistic looking characters. For this reason I never got the idea of trying it with the existing MakeHuman character, I even thought, when you want to use this rig you have to redesign half of the MH character. But you proved it is possible to do so. Since I'm still working on my Asian character (this work is extremly time-consuming, slowly I begin to hate editing skins :twisted:) and don't have a lot of time at the moment, but I'm also interrested in a better rig, did you find a good tutorial or video somewhere for connecting this rig with our mesh?

I must admit it would be wonderful when we can also use this as an default rig after an mhx2 import ...
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Re: BlenRig 5

Postby blindsaypatten » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:30 pm

There is a fairly detailed 12 part video that goes through the rigging process. You need to be a Blender Cloud subscriber to view them.

As an experiment, I took the BlendRig I created for the character with the suit and swapped in an unclothed character. I didn't adjust the deformation cage at all so it is a VERY loose fit, but it still deforms fairly nicely. It would do even better if the mesh were fitted more closely.
SwapModelSide.png

SwapModelBack.png


I've got to think that if the mesh deform cage was fitted with MakeClothes that you could get pretty good results that only need to be tweaked. Dealing with clothes is a complication though as the mesh deform cage has to completely surround the character, clothes and all.
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Re: BlenRig 5

Postby punkduck » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:26 pm

Okay thank you, Lindsay. The idea with the low-poly cage is indeed interresting. Then I know where to get the information. I think I will try it in future ... :D
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Re: BlenRig 5

Postby blindsaypatten » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:38 pm

On revisiting this I watched a video that explained that triangles were used in the mesh deform cage around the joints that tend to be problematic, e.g. shoulders, hips, knees etc., because quads don't deform nicely in such cases. So, MakeClothes's inability to deal with triangles means it can't be used to automatically fit the cage to the body. Too bad.
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