Friday, July 23, 2010

Norman Modification Workshop Notes - Part 4...

Norman Mod Workshop Tutorial
Part 4
Tips and Ticks originally taught to the AAU Animation Club by Joshua Slice in a live demonstration on campus, is now in a SUPER EASY written tutorial by Vaughan Weigert. Enjoy!

Here are the remaining notes for you to follow along with the Norman Modification workshop. Tips and Notes on What to do and How to do it... No pictures for these, but the notes should help you as you work. Happy modding!

: Hide the Original Norman Ears...

Kit bash! Get the "ART" Model out of the resources folder (or another model with higher poly mesh/ better modeled parts) and steel his nose, teeth, etc.

Tip: You can cut off art's head and use his whole body mesh as a wrap.

-Take Art's head. delete all faces but ear geo.
(Save to folder and archive body parts. Diff versions of an ear, etc.)

-File export Art geo selection --> (MayaBinary file)
-import to scene. Unlock geo and center to pivot.
-place ear.
-delete hist. / freeze transformations
-hit insert key, hold "x" to snap pivot point to center axis (zero). Then duplicate the geo and scale it -1 to opposite/even side.

--Ears and nose parent to top controller.

-make sure channels unlocked or geo will shoot out!

- Is more difficult / time consuming. Do it on your own or steel someone's haircut, like Andy, etc. ...
To create a Buzzcut--> dup head geo, delete faces that won't be hair.
-Select hair faces and extrude faces. Then shape.
-parent hair to "last" Norman Controller / ctrl "F".

Done the same as the hair --> dup head geo
-symmetry ---> "Move Tool" channel box -->Turn "Reflection" on, while you pull fwd top vertices.
-extrude to give some depth.
-unlock channels.
-center to axis(zero)

-Then wrap Eyebrow geo to face (in this instance)

BODY PROPORTIONS: general shoulder/ torso, etc. size/scale...

Scale the head via head ctrl: Select the control, scale it using the Scale tool.

TIP: Neck + Head - scale xyz at same time. Don't try to squash it.

Use controllers to scale/ stretch...

TIP: preserve shoulder balls round shape and where they are (position) --> for wrapping evenly around that ball and it's pivot point.

Scaling arms/legs --> use stretch, not squash, in channel box.

TIP: to get legs/arms to stretch farther in one direction, set a key on the control when the stretch (scale) is at it's max. Then go into Graph editor and move the key point farther down or up in GE.

TIP: You may have to clean up extreme short legs with blendshapes, later, but that's alright. You aren't breaking the rig.

TIP: make the neck thicker/ more normal size.
-tweak neck size: depth of bottom verts to avoid neck stick out when you rotate Head back.

Do a lot of testing. Try different things.

FEET: up to you, can wrap them, or make huge feet... experiment. Feet "look" not as important, relatively.

Select verts of top/ shoulders on Norman, Duplicate and scale/ move down --> slope you like. It's a blendshape so it will affect the original.
Do the same with chest, belly.

Go back to Norman Orig. and scale CONTROLS of chest, belly for size.

Keep going back and forth between Orig. Norman CTRLS and DUP Norman Blends/verts, until "character look" feels right to you.


You must unlock dup norman arms --> so you can scale "-1" and put both arms on one side for modifying w/ lattice.
-click/drag select both "lower arm" geos, create lattice.
-Make sure to turn off "reflection" and/or "soft select" if you notice your lattice not deforming geo as expected.
-scale lower arm shapes to your preference.
TIP: rotate in "world" for symmetry.

UPPER ARM/ SHOULDER BALLS: geo is centered to shoulder ball and MUST stay perfectly centered to rotate correctly.

You want to create same joint/shape of lower arm in upper arm/shoulder socket, so do this manually, pull/ drag the verts into this basic shape.
Looks like...O<===>o<====>o
-like the arms shapes. Then duplicate the geo. Remove it from Norman Orig. outliner heirarchy and put in WRAPS group.
-Combine arm geo. You will have gap where elbow should be.
-Use APPEND tool to select edges in gap and fill in.
-will have to add (3) edge loops where arm/elbow deforms.
-Delete history on arm geo.
-Make sure pivot point is at zero. Duplicate it and scale -1 = opposite arm.
-Arm will be wrapped to Orig. Norman geo. and will deform with orig mesh -for any modification you make after that via the DUP blendshape.

CLOTHES/ sleeves:
You can duplicate shoulder ball, but can't move it.
-hit "F" in outliner to locate new DUP. Remove it from orig. Norman Group and put into WRAP group.
- if arm/ shoulder groups are "facing" opposite directions:
sel one grp (or the other) and "reverse normals"
-shoulder area won't be deformed into upper arm, so triangles in geo = OK when creating a t-shirt sleeve out of this DUP shoulder ball.

*note: keep WRAP / BLENDSHAPE / ORIG CN seperate groups

Look at WRAP OPTIONS BOX options... try different combinations. Very Trial and error procedure to see what works best.

-delete hist on wrap
-wrap Upper Arm to Orig upper arm --> then with WRAP slected, select ORIG Norman lower Arm geo and > wrap> "add influence".
-wrap Sleeve to upper arm piece.
don't parent sleve to shoulder ctrl. doesn't work.

*JOINTS: don't "Add influence" to balls/ joints. They're fine the way they are.

-Rotate to check for lower arm sticking out funny...
--want to do same to arm/wrist geo as with Neck check--> pull verts in/out on Arm BLENDSHAPE geo, so they don't stick out of palm.
-->wrap on Norman Orig will be affected by the DUP (blenshape) Norman.
-Rotate hand down to check.
-SCALE hand size by scaling PALM control. (scale of ".6" usually a good size)

Duplicate chest from ORIG Norman geo for a WRAP.
(so WRAP has shared hierarchy = no wierdness, points will overlap)

-Extrude bottom of WRAP geo in side view, to pull out a t-shirt / shaped to body form.
- take sculpt geo tool and smooth it. REshape.

-go to Sculpt Geo brush channel box --> "Reflection" for symmetry.

-delete bottom faces (just bottom) to create hole.

--"relax" button in Sculpt Geometry tool, will move everything but ends/ bottom. (More control)
--"smooth" button (less Control)

-On chest wrap geo, may need to add/ insert loops or split edge to make a "COLLAR" bone shape on chest. Do again to create/ extrude a t-shirt collar up and out.
Spend time shaping it.

MORE ADVANCED - You can add geo/ loops, for "under arm" area on chest wrap. for better cloth deformation --> ie) creating a suit/ sleeves. Create a cylinder, fit to upper arm size, and proceed...

When satisfied:
-Delete hist. on wrap geo.
-remove wrap from old hierarchy and drag into Wrap grp.
-WRAP the "chest wrap geo" to Top 3 underlying (torso) geo. TRIAL AND ERROR! See if you need to wrap it to top three AND hips... maybe you need to for your work, maybe you don't. Depends how much hips move.

First, unlock Dup norman legs --> so you can scale -1 and put both legs on one side for modifying w/ lattice.

*Need to POSE norman first, with legs out in "jumping Jack" pose, to create pants that will deform better.
-Dup ORIG hips geo. Delete one half. pull verts out of middle toward leg on deleted hip geo side-->extrude edge, rotate /angle down and shape into pant leg.

Done with pant leg= ready to duplicate for other pant leg side and merge.

FIRST: *Zero out vertice that will need to merge at center, that are out of line/ center (zero axis):
scale them down. Then hold x to snap, use move tool to toggle verts' position and put back in place.

- Dup leg, scale -1 to flip, combine geo and merge pants geo. at center verts.
-Delete history
-Select wrap pants geo and "WRAP" to ORIG norman upper legs. Then select wrap pants geo and select ORIG norman lower legs and wrap-> "Add Influence".
-Do not wrap pants to ankle joints.

Trial and Error!


LIPS: like legs, open mouth (jaw ctrl) first, dup head geo, delete all but lips geo. Delete hist on lips Wrap geo, and add as wrap to head...

FURROWED BROW detail: create while Orig norman brows/face is posed --> dup face geo, pull out in front of face a bit, sculpt furrows, delete all but "Furrowed Brow" geo. Delete hist. Apply as wrap to Orig Norman Face geo.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Local Events: Nina Paley @ Cartoon Art Museum

Sita Sings The Blues: A Benefit Screening Hosted by Nina Paley
Cartoon Art Museum/Electronic Frontier Foundation Event at the Delancey Street Foundation Screening Room: Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 7pm-10pm
Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 at the door

Join the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Cartoon Art Museum for a special evening with Nina Paley for a screening of her animated feature film Sita Sings the Blues, described by creator Nina Paley as “the greatest breakup story ever told.” Paley animated and produced the film single-handedly over the course of five years on a home computer, and take filmgoers behind the scenes of this award-winning film. This benefit screening will take place at the Delancey Street Foundation Screening Room, 600 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, from 7pm to 9pm on Tuesday, July 20. Advance tickets may be purchased online for $25 at, or for $30 at the door the night of the screening.

And for those of you on a tight budget, a free reception for Nina Paley at the Cartoon Art Museum on Thursday, July 29, from 7-9pm.