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Joint Layout..

by user21 posted 10-11-2017 | 4 comments

So this is a huge topic, obviously! I was wondering if anyone has some useful reference / preference / or best practices when it comes to joint placement and/or helper joints.. mostly in a game engine environment.

I am always struggling whether to set the spine joints (for example) up along the Spinalcord or just straight through the Body. Centered or a bit to the back.. etc. Since I prefer my Spines with a simple FK system (mostly where the middle joints are droven by the hip and chest rotations, with an added offset control) I also prefer to go with a straight Spine. That way, twists around the body are a lot more predictable.. but that'S just me!

I am always eager to see what other do and why!

As to helper joints, I always go with fairly stable twist systems (based in IK or SplineIK handles) and a few driven joints for butt, elbow, wrist fixup!

Anyway, looking forward to your comments!



by user21 posted 11-11-2017

Yep! makes sense of course. It definately depends on the model... On our last project, the Characters were modeled gruesomely straight, so I went with a straight pose. Most Meshes have a slight arc to the back and i do try to get that in my spine. I still mostly stay pretty centeres in geometry and try to keep it as straight as possible.


by user36 posted 11-11-2017

Personally I keep my spine Ik controls world-oriented for consistent twisting that way, and let the fk joints have a little bit of bend to them depending on the model. I guess it's more organic? I've never really thought about whether a completely straight spine setup make life easier for animators though. In a lot of cases it seems like that would look spretty fake I'd like to hear what other people think of that. I think joints running down the center of the geo makes sense, but I work with a lot of cartoony characters. I might consider moving the joints maybe halfway to the spine for realistic characters.


by user9 posted 13-11-2017

It depends on the model, if it's possible to have a straight spine joint, I will go with that anyway. You can always request the modeler to make it straight.

Sometimes you need the joint to follow the spine curvature. Suppose we need to set up a good muscle system. It is more realistic using the actual spine structure.

it's just my personal opinion.

Riggers shouldn't rig bad-posing mod.el. It's just producing a poor deformation.