Friday, November 8, 2013

Delete a single node in history

Here's how to delete a single node in your objects history.

For this example I'm using a polyCube with 3 inputs. SkinCluster1, blendShape1, and tweak1.
Let's say I want to delete JUST the blendshape node.
If I use the delete history tool, it'll remove all of them.


What I can do is directly select the blendShape node and delete, just as you can do with almost anything in Maya such as a nurbs or poly surface.

What I do to select this node, is simply highlight and copy

And then paste into Maya's search by name feature. NOTE: if you don't see this feature, you may have to 
hit the drop down menu circled in RED and pick "Search by Name"

Now you should see that you have your history's input node selected

Now from there you can just hit the delete button. And you're done. Here's what it looks like on my polycube with just the blendshape gone.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Another Maya cMuscle tip: Save/Load Muscle Weights tool

      Having problems using the load/save Muscle Weights Tool in Maya? In my last post I stress how namespace is very important in cMuscle, Maya's muscle plug-in. Did you check to make sure your muscle shapes share the same namespace? Good. Now did you check to see if your muscle NODES SHAPES share the same namespace? If they don't then that's most likely your issue. There is a big difference in the name of your nurbs object, and the name of your muscle node shape. Primarily because the SAVE/LOAD tool runs off the namespace of your muscle node shape. And NOT your muscle object itself.

You can check it out in the channel box.






Sunday, June 23, 2013

Maya Muscle Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting

This post is for those of you who may be having a difficult time with Maya Muscle. I shall share all the roadblocks I've encountered using the plug-in and how I've solved them in hopes that I can spare some poor soul the anguish I've gone through.

You may have already heard that Maya Muscle has a bad reputation for being buggy. If you had talked to me about a week ago I would have ranted about all the bugs I've encountered on my learning path. There were countless things that had not gone as I had expected, however as I continued to push forward I discovered that Maya Muscle, is in fact a very reliable plug in. For every bug I "thought" I had encountered, there was already a tool to fix/counter that issue incorporated in the Maya Muscle Plug in. I just didn't know it. Once I had discovered these tools, Maya Muscle had become a breeze to use.  It wasn't buggy at all, the fault lay on my end as I had little knowledge for the tools Maya's Muscle plug-in provided.
 Michael Comet (the man behind the plug in) is a wise man and deserves more credit.

"Bugs" you may have encountered

I can't mirror weights!:
The mirror weights function on Maya Muscle is purely name space oriented. In fact, a lot of tools in Maya Muscle are. Make sure to come up with a solid naming convention and stick with it. 
Example: If you name your bicep on the left side "bicepL" make sure to name the bicep on the right "bicepR"

Mirror muscles isn't working properly:
Have you mirrored your muscle only to find that it's insertion and origin parent's are all wrong??
By this I mean you have tried to mirror your bicep named "bicepL" with search for L and replace with R, but when your muscle is created your new muscle named "bicepR" is affected by your arm joints on the left side, instead of the right? I've had this problem and pondered over it for quite some time, but remember how I said Maya Muscle is very name space oriented? What I did wrong here, (and what you may have too if you're reading this) is the naming convention between my muscles and joints were different. I was using "Lf" for left on the muscles while my joints were just "L" for left. When you're mirroring muscles, the plug in doesn't just search and replace the name of your muscles, it's also looking to replace the namespace of your joints, which will be directly affecting the mirrored muscle. Bottom line, pledge allegiance to just one naming convention. 


In the Paint Muscle Weights Tool, the weights on my muscles aren't displaying/updating properly. They're on the wrong muscles!

With the Paint Muscle Weights Tool open, are your weights for one muscle now being displayed on a different muscle? EX: Muscle A's weights are now shown on your mesh when you have muscle B highlighted.  You may encounter this bug after deleting a muscle node, hence not properly disconnect a muscle from your characters skin. It's almost as if your weights tool forgot to update itself to compensate for the muscle that was removed. There's no need to worry however, because Michael Comet foresaw this and implemented an autofix tool specifically for this reason. Just select your mesh and go to Muscle/Skin Setup/Auto-Fix Deleted/Missing Muscles. It's that easy.

I'm painting weights onto my character, but the verts aren't cooperating with the muscles shape, despite being in bind pose?
This one's an easy fix. You probably accidentally connected a muscle to your characters skin when it was NOT in it's default bind pose. Don't worry it happens, and when it does all you need to do is select that problem muscle shape while your character is in it's default bind pose, then go to Muscle/Muscle Objects/Reset Base Pose for selected Muscle Object. It's that simple and the tool does just as it says. It resets

Weights aren't displaying properly. No color on character
Easy. Just turn visibility of locators on in your viewport. Maya Muscle Paint Weights Tool likes to run off the locators.



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Today I received Animschools newest rig, a dog named Scout. I spent a good couple of hours just playing with it and posing him. Goodness it's a lot of fun to pose a dog! It was nice to get a break from looking at bipeds all day.



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lip Corner shapes

Got the lip corner shapes pretty much done. There's a smile, frown, wide, and narrow plugged in. So far I think it's looking really good. Nice and fleshy. Still enjoying the class.




Saturday, April 20, 2013

Smile shape.

I'm taking a facial rigging class at Animschool. Here's the smile shape I did today. It's still a work in progress but I'm really enjoying the class.

 

Monday, April 15, 2013

An easy way to create lip facial blend shapes

I always knew the soft seleciton tool in maya was powerful, but today I realize that I have underestimated it's power. I had no idea the "surface" option existed. I never bothered to look into the settings to see if there was any way to alter the fall off mode. A naive move on my part.

    The surface mode is blowing my mind in how easy it is making it to fix and model shapes such as sneers for a facial shape, or an elbow bent at 135 screaming for a corrective. Before today I stayed away from the soft selection tool for sculpting/modeling where vertices are in a clump, but not, any, more. I'm just having one of those moments in maya of where once you discover that special tool, you just can't imagine ever working without it.


The option can be found under the tool settings here














And to illustrate my point of how awesome the soft select tool just became to me, here is an example of attempting to make a quick sneer with soft select with
volume's fall off mode, maya's default mode

click to enlarge



And here is soft select with surface fall off mode enabled

also click to enlarge



As you can see, the soft select fall off is now grabbing verts based off the "surface" as opposed to just anything in the immediate area. It is ignoring vertices on the lower lip that the volume mode would usually grab. You can see how this fall off mode can prove very useful for certain tasks.


Thank you.