Constraining Cloth

After seeing the videos that Sidefx puts out (1, 2), I am obviously left with the thought that I’m no where close to the level of “real” Houdini users. But I still trudge along learning what I can when I can, and sharing it here with everyone. Behold then my super beginner video on constraining cloth to a bar… using two different methods!

Here’s an example of the second method using the flipbook:

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1008194&server=vimeo.com&show_title=0&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=00ADEF&fullscreen=1

Cloth Contrained On Edge from Geneome on Vimeo.

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Cloth Intro And Exporting Simulations

Boy did I wrestle with Houdini’s cloth a while before I had the nerve to do a video about it. I mis-spoke about the tristrip being able to break up geometry (it doesn’t), but I think it’s pretty solid as far as what I’ve discovered on my own and what I read in the help files (especially when it came to the guide geometry). The video is pretty big which I’m not too comfortable with, but I was on a roll and my desire to split these two topics into two videos went right out the window when the two topics blended together. Given my desire to not tick off my web host by sucking bandwidth I think I might remove a few older Blender videos to start making way for Houdini ones. You can find it here.

Just A Quick Houdini Video

There must be a billion things I could do a video on in Houdini, but for some reason I thought I needed to get the word out about the “o” key in the operator view, then I started mentioning a few other things. It’s very beginner, and I could go on and on about all the things you can do in there as far as hotkeys go, but I thought I would just get my feet wet. I’m learning a lot of dynamics in Houdini, so if I happen to come up with anything creative I’ll certainly tell everyone. You can find it here.

Sunflow Wiki

Yes, I made one. I made one despite a poll that showed a pdf manual would have been preferred. I just found using a wiki so much easier to update and way faster than sourceforge when I want to remember some code block, grab a janino shader, or recall a tip someone mentioned in a post 8 months ago. I consider it totally unofficial and I’m not going to advertise it’s out there by mentioning it all the time but I will add a link on my site and I’ll point to it in my signature on the Sunflow forums. Hopefully, a new Sunflow user/developer will stumble upon it and find it useful.

What’s amusing is the addictiveness that comes with creating a wiki. I find myself constantly adding to it or tweaking it here and there. The truly daunting task will be to do the new Sunflow .sca format. Since it’s not yet finalized I’m not going to start on it, but when the next version hits I’ll scramble to get all the .sc info moved to the .sca section.

P.S. I’ve been off and on with a WIP, but I put an early version of it in the gallery.

Thoughts On Rigging

A while back I got an e-mail asking about where someone could start to learn rigging in Blender. I thought the e-mail was good enough that I should probably post it for people looking for a few links and thoughts. Here is the slightly edited version of my response mentioning four main places to find rigging material:

  • The first is something you might be more interested in which is tutorials: One on rigging which can be downloaded as a pdf here.
  • Another good one (probably better then the one I just mentioned) is here which is part of the character animation overview. The pdf version of the whole animation tutorial can be found here. This last one is my FAVORITE beginner rigging tutorial.
  • There is a BlenderNation post linking to a bunch of rigs. Each rig is a lesson in itself, but they are all as-is with little instruction on how they were done.
  • The fourth is a rig done by one of the elite: animator Daniel Martinez Lara. This rig looks simple, but there are hidden bone layers. It does however control a leg with only two bones. You can find these and more goodies on his site. Find the .blend here and the demo video here (mpg).

If you’re looking for seven things to think about when rigging, think about how the rigs can be made:

1) Using bones to control vertex groups (I cover that in animating box flaps)
2) Using weight painting to control how bones move vertices (I cover that in the fake muscle video)
3) Using envelopes to control how bones move vertices (and in the SVN, heat weighting)
4) Using constraints to make bones do different things under different circumstances (IK solver, limit constraints, etc.
5) Making use of the bone layers in the Armature panel
6) Using the ipo/action/NLA editor to make your life easier
7) Using drivers to make controllers for your rigs.