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Author Topic: Figure Editor Design Question  (Read 11488 times)


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Figure Editor Design Question
« on: March 22, 2015, 06:29:32 pm »

Background: There are several things that you can't do in the Figure Editor that would be useful, such as seeing the Figure in it's default pose, and experimenting with how skinned meshed behave when bones are rotated.

There are also two ways the you would normally like to see your figure, in the pose used for painting weights (or using weight volumes), and the "normal" pose.  For example, you usually model a human figure with the arms stretched out to sides and the legs apart (like the famous Leonardo da Vinci human figure).

In Anim8or the idea is that you paint weights with all joint angles set to zero, but the "normal" pose is with the default joint angles. Starting with build 1166 there is an option to show your figure in either pose, Options->DefaultBoneAngles(Note: I'll probably be adding a button for this, and temporarily you can toggle the setting with <Ctrl-Q>.) In the painting pose (angles = 0.0) the mesh is not deformed. In the default pose it is.

The problem: What is supposed to happen when you rotate bones (hot-key R)? Currently Anim8or assumes that you want to change the painting pose, in other words, set a now zero-angle.  The bone can still be rotated as before relative to this new zero-angle. When you rotate bones this way the figure isn't deformed in painting pose, and is in default pose.

I'm thinking about adding a new tool/mode/whatever to allow you to pose your figures and see how the skinning works. I have several ideas in mind on how to do this but none seem as simple as they should. Perhaps a button to enable this mode (where the background turns green) but use the normal rotate joints mode?

I have to go to meet someone now but I'll add more later.  In the mean time any feedback is welcome.


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Re: Figure Editor Design Question
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2015, 08:35:59 pm »

Well, to add my perspective to this I have been creating animations for GoldenEye however AN8 induced one major problem.

GoldenEye uses Euler angles similar to the FBX format.
Problems seem to occur in any conversion.

The only other slight difference was that GE uses Points of Rotation as againts bones, I solved this by using 0 legnth bones at these positions with the same name as POR ID, then I connected the POR ID's by 0 diameter bones.

Attached is a Skeleton I made with the correct positions, however the animation was an export attemt from GE but it failed.

Also Attached is from sub with a custom obj, an FBX file and a failed An8 file (I assume this an8 is the same as mine)

Final Attachmentis a Zip of my working animation folder incase you want to see the skeleton with textures.

As for the default (scarecrow/painting) pose versus the Normal (standing) pose, im not sure which way to go.
I normally make the first frame (0) of all my animations standing and then work from there, e.g. rotate leg 90 at start(0).

Compatability is my main concern just now though.

« Last Edit: March 22, 2015, 08:39:27 pm by Trevor »


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Re: Figure Editor Design Question
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2015, 09:06:53 pm »

A couple of thoughts, in a nutshell.
 To me, it feels normal that figure mode is the place for rigging your character/object.
 The character is modelled in a default pose, bones are added, then weights or influences.
 So thats all normal so far
 Being able to then change the pose of the figure, which will deform the mesh, allowing for fixes, would seem the common sense way to go about it.
 So, as you suggested, a button to change the mode so you can test the skinning results, right there in figure mode, seems the obvious answer. (and would also be absolutely awesome).             a 'pose' button
 Turning button on would allow movement of figure with mesh, and allow real time fixing. Turning button off would then return figure to the original, default pose. (still paintable, but not poseable until 'pose' button is back on. ?
 But ,if you are finding problems with implementing this, then thats where i was coming from in the thread below.
(Deep thought started a short conversation here,,4647.165.html   which i thought had definite possibilities. Is this any help, or even plausable/possible.

 It is a different approach, but same results, ie: easy testing of weights/influences.
 Although it does mean creating a 'sequence preview window' (with scrub bar), available in figure mode.
 A 'pose button', as you've described above, in figure mode would be just dandy. Massively cool.

 A 'sequence preview' window in figure mode would also rock, but maybe not necessary if a good pose button in figure mode was possible.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2015, 09:12:40 pm by johnar »

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Re: Figure Editor Design Question
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2015, 11:02:33 pm »

First, thank you again for all of your work, Steve.  These days it seems that Anim8or updates more often than I get a chance to actually go on it.

I haven't altered the default angles to date, but if your default pose button allowed me to set what those default angles were I probably would.  Sort of like with the morph targets where one sets the morph on and moves vertices around, one could set the default pose editor on and rotate the bones for it manually.  Logical follow through:  one could set a number of different common poses for quick keyframing in sequence or scene mode.  A bit more forward thinking would be to have the ability to import a default skeleton, with the ability to set a standard set of sequences on that base skeleton that could be tweaked a bit for individual models.  Human skeletons are all pretty similar and walk sequences don't differ much -> import, tweak, weight, done.

A pose button would be fantastic, but there are a few ways you could do it.  A pose button, as you've said.  A free-form test button/mode where you drag a bone around in real time to see how the mesh reacts.  TestX, TestY, TestZ buttons where the selected bone slowly oscillates through the full range of motion in the given axis (phrasing, boom).  Or a test button that does the same thing but for all three in some way.

Just some thoughts.



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Re: Figure Editor Design Question
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2015, 07:56:47 pm »