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Moving Jaw in Fully Mesh Head?


liquidlion
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Hello all,

 

Working on my first commercial av release. It is an anthro avatar of an otter. Here is the head, sans texturing and normal map:

otteravhead1.png

otteravhead2.png

otteravhead3.png

 

The head is about 2500 tris, rounding up. It will be slightly more with teeth and a mouthpocket but I'm aiming to be as polyconservative as I can.

I want there to be a talking jaw that flaps around when the user types in public chat. Many anthro avs do this, and they mainly accomplish this by slicing the head up like a ventriloquist's doll more or less and having the jaw be its own separate object moved by a prim with a script.

I however want to know if there is a way to accomplish this without slicing the head up at all -- and have it squash and stretch just like any other CG object in a game. From what I am to understand, the Jaw bone in the SL skeleton does not move and so it's useless as a rigging point for this. I understand the Chin and Mouth attachment points are similar in that they are designed to be static and cannot be moved.

 

Has anyone successfully made a one piece mesh head with a moving jaw for SL?

If so, exactly how was this accomplished? How do I go about this?

If it's impossible to do, where do I go to voice my desires for this?

Thanks so much for any help.

 

As an aside, I have seen this thread, and this one, as well as this blog entry but they are all somewhat vague as to precisely what terrifying black magic voodoo must be done to get this working correctly. 

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I have a video for that. lol

Not really on how to do it, but it's pretty self explanatory, once you have the bones. I use the Avastar addon for Blender that includes bones that a normal SL bvh doesn't have. The bone I use is the mskull bone. The addon is only about $27 now and well worth it if you are going to do any character creation, or mesh clothing for SL. It is also the best animation software for SL, by far.

 

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That is really very interesting. I was under the impression that we were not able to use bones in that way, and that anything non-standard would break.

 

So, rigging the jaw to that Skull bone, then animating it to open and close, then exporting that animation as a .anim file is the way to go? I assume I can set that animation to trigger under certain parameters (IE, the user typing in public chat!)

Would this not override any AOs the user already has going?

 

I predominantly work in Maya and Zbrush so learning yet another entire package for this is a little intimidating -- I wonder if it's possible to replicate these effects in Maya. (Or... outsource the jaw work exclusively!) :)

 

Thanks for your response!

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liquidlion wrote:

That is really very interesting. I was under the impression that we were not able to use bones in that way, and that anything non-standard would break.


I would not have done it this way, if I had not seen that the SL default viewer is allowing anim file uploads.

 


liquidlion wrote:

 So, rigging the jaw to that Skull bone, then animating it to open and close, then exporting that animation as a .anim file is the way to go? I assume I can set that animation to trigger under certain parameters (IE, the user typing in public chat!)

Would this not override any AOs the user already has going?


Yes. The skull bones is not use in any animation tho, unless they are wearing my Lycan AO, which has movement on that bone for every animation. I'm sure others also use it, but these would all be special AOs for special characters. I also have a typing override in my AO system where I override the default typing override. You can also make animations that only animate the jaw, if you want to do it that way.

 

 


liquidlion wrote:

 I predominantly work in Maya and Zbrush so learning yet another entire package for this is a little intimidating -- I wonder if it's possible to replicate these effects in Maya. (Or... outsource the jaw work exclusively!)
:)

 Thanks for your response!

I know theer are Maya users that have done something similar, but I don't use Maya, and the people I talked to about it weren't all that enthusiastic with sharing how they did it. I had fears of learning Blender, but because I'm very familiar with 3ds Max, once I learned the Blender basics, I was off and running. IMHO, Blender is so dang awesome, I don't think I will ever buy another 3D creation program again. I have found Blender to surpass both 3ds Max and Maya in ease of use and the tool sets. Not only all that, but built in video and audeo editing, compositing, and so much more. Realistic fire and water is a snap in Blender, as long as you have the memory to handle it. lol

 

 

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What I did to make the eyes blink, is I made an eyelid on a separate SL face, or material. Then, in SL, with some scripting, I just turned the visibility of the eyelid on and off to make it look like he is blinking. You could even make 2 eyelids, 1 half open, and randomize the invisibility with those.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been trying to figure this out all day! Well, the past two days, actually. But now that you said that extra bone, it makes more sense. I was trying to rig it to different parts, and it was going OK....until the head roatated or something.

 

I'm still a little confused, though. How do we animate those bones, then? You mentioned you have AO. Quite frankly, I don't know how to have the animation only animate certain parts of you. Do you just put the animation in the typing script? I heard that you could do it gesture-based, but I'm not sure which is easier. I bet you get asked this question a lot! Which kind of makes me think it would be a good tutorial for me to make for Youtube or something once I figure it out.

 

So, well, that goes back to the whole thing...how do you do the animation part if you can't, well...select it? Unless I'm doing something wrong. - Sigh- I wish I understood this better!

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Hoegoe Kawashima wrote:

I have been trying to figure this out all day! Well, the past two days, actually. But now that you said that extra bone, it makes more sense. I was trying to rig it to different parts, and it was going OK....until the head roatated or something.

 

I'm still a little confused, though. How do we animate those bones, then? You mentioned you have AO. Quite frankly, I don't know how to have the animation only animate certain parts of you. Do you just put the animation in the typing script? I heard that you could do it gesture-based, but I'm not sure which is easier. I bet you get asked this question a lot! Which kind of makes me think it would be a good tutorial for me to make for Youtube or something once I figure it out.

 

So, well, that goes back to the whole thing...how do you do the animation part if you can't, well...select it? Unless I'm doing something wrong. - Sigh- I wish I understood this better!

First, lets get straight what I'm using. I'm using Blender, with the Avastar Addon. I'm using the mskull bone to animate the jaw. I'm weighting the jaw geometry to the mskull bone. Lastly, I'm animating that jaw with the body movements and without any body movements. With SL animations, you can just animate 1 bone if you want to, by not giving any of the other bones any movement, compared to the first frame.

To use the mskull bone, you must export the animation using the anim files export option, not the bvh option. If you can't see or select the mskull bones, while using Avastar, then look on the left side bar and scroll to the bottom. You will see a set of options like Weight, Animate, and something else, with a little plus sign. Click the plus sign and you will get a set of options to choose different hidden bones. You also want to chose Animate, instead of Weight, to be able to animate the right animation bones.

For jaw movements inside SL, I use a typing overrider. Some are built into their AO system, like mine, and you can also just drop a typing overrider script into the mesh with the animation, and it will work also. I also trigger animations with jaw movements, think of a roaring animation, using gestures, and using scripted gestures. For instance, when using my Lycan avatar with it's AO hud, if you type roar, your avatar will trigger a scripted gesture with sound, because you typed roar. I also have buttons on my hud that simply trigger animations, be them just the jaw or whole body animations.

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