(VIDEO QUESTION) Origin Points & Meshes more in depth explanation?

Community Beginner ,
Apr 24, 2019 Apr 24, 2019

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hi guys,

I've seen this topic covered in some tutorials but I don't feel like the underlying function of Origin Points and Meshes really makes sense to me?

Sometimes my artwork behaves strangely and I can't figure out why. I talk about it in this video clip. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!!

Character Animator Origin Points and Meshes? - YouTube

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LEGEND ,
Apr 24, 2019 Apr 24, 2019

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Here is my understanding - I might have a few details not quite right.

First, a mesh is a group of layers with an independent layer as root.

Mesh outlines warp better if it follows the correct outline of the shape. I use Auto by default, which uses contour. Sometimes I specify contour to force it, but that is usually a sign of dodgy artwork. Rectangle is basically the fall back “I give up” behavior. It makes things warp badly. Why give user’s the choice? No idea. I stick to Auto and fix the artwork if a rectangle appears, or contour as a hammer to make it work. I never use Rectangle.

Origins for meshes are where things rotate around (relative to parent for nested layers). E.g. you can put a Transform behavior on a nested mesh (that is, the root layer of the mesh) if you want to. If there, it takes over and will rotate or scale the layer relative to the origin of that mesh. I sometimes do this, but rarely. As you point out, the Face behavior rotates the head around the origin.

Note: I stay away from putting behaviors on non-independent layers (In the middle of a mesh). I don’t know what that does. I stick to putting behaviors on the root layer of a mesh so I can find them. Handles too I rarely put on non-independent layers. I suspect it makes no difference (I *think* they are attacked to the mesh the layer is a member of, so there is no real difference putting it on the root or on A nested layer in a mesh - but have not checked.) I think you can add them anywhere as you may turn independence on/off for a layer, so it would be confusing if they moved layers up to the root layer of the mesh.

The neck tag I think is mainly for the walk behavior. Not sure if used anything else... It is used to bob the head up and down while walking, while restricting the movement to not stretch the whole body beneath.

If you think of a mesh as a sheet of rubber, then as you move some points on the mesh, the rubber is going to try and flex in a way to minimize change at specific points (the changes will spread out over the mesh as much as possible). So the logo on the chest bends as a part of that flexing. To stop it, put a stick through the writing. That will stop that part of the mesh from flexing, so you can keep the writing straight. It will still lean over with the puppet (which is what you generally want) but it won’t twist.

The other one to watch is some behaviors take over movement. I think if you put a tag on an origin sometimes it can lock the mesh position. Basically only one behavior can control a mesh at a time. So putting a tag on the root (independent layer) of a mesh can result in that behavior taking control from something else. E.g. a walk behavior effectively auto-drags handles around so can lock the position of handles. Since only one wins, you cannot get different behaviors (e.g. a dragger sometimes and face behavior other times) control the position of something. By creating a nested handle, sometimes it works better because one behavior controls the origin when it wants to, and the other controls the handle when it wants to, and they play together better (relative to each other). Something like that.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 24, 2019 Apr 24, 2019

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Wow thank you. I am going to read this a dozen times. I will make a video response soon

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LEGEND ,
Apr 24, 2019 Apr 24, 2019

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The email notification has more text than what I see online (maybe you worked out the answers and deleted it?) - but just in case,

- Your Head layer is not independent, so is part of the same mesh as the body - which is why the head moves the body around. New meshes are started when a layer is marked as independent. Within a mesh, the order of layers controls the depth of visibility (what is in front/behind what).

- There is no sensitivity setting for meshes, but you can use sticks for that. E.g. I often put a stick across the top of the shoulders to limit the impact of the head moving on the body. If arms are not independent, I often put a stick from the top of the Shoulder straight down the side of the body as well about half way down the chest. That limits the arm and head movements impact on the body.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 24, 2019 Apr 24, 2019

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Hey, yes I deleted or edited it because I wanted to just do video response. Super helpful info thank you!

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alank response - YouTube

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LEGEND ,
Apr 27, 2019 Apr 27, 2019

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Hi. Just FYI, video responses are useful to see the screen, but harder to reply to. I cannot play them while at work, harder to remember everything you asked. It would be helpful if you included the questions as text here so I make sure I respond to them all.

One question seemed to be about layer names and tags. Tags are how CH understands the puppet hierarchy (not layer names). To be helpful, CH will auto-tag layers if the layer name is something it recognizes. E.g. the Head layer gets a Head tag put on it for you. If you have another layer called “Head” or contains Head like “Not the Head”, it will also get tagged. So be careful with names to avoid additional stray tags.

The Face behavior for example looks for the Head tag, then looks for other tags like the mouth and eyes under the Head tag. The Lip Sync I think does the same. That is how they look for what to control. Some (many) behaviors however will only look for the first tag and stop there. So if you have different head profiles, sometimes you need to add a behavior per profile to make sure each profile is working.

Which layer to put sticks on? There is no rule impose - pick a set of rules you will remember. I *personally* put sticks on key layers like Body and Head, or the root of an independent layer (yes, the crown means independent) e.g. like you have for arms. That is not mandatory - I just do it so I can find them again easily. If buried deep in the hierarchy it still works, but it can take longer to find them. But I would put on Body rather that the puppet root... out of habit. I am really just suggesting to be organized here.

The body tilting is interesting. It is pivoting near the neck. If you turn the mesh on in the scene window, it can Help spot the location it is pivoting around. Move your head around and look for where the mesh is not moving. Usually there is a handle at that spot. You can then try changing tags, deleting the handle, etc (undo is useful!) once you have a clue where it is happening.

Why is there the very root of the puppet then the root in the tree hierarchy? Yeah, as you say, its a sort of global area. 99.9% of the time you should have a single root in the hierarchy area called “+PuppetName” (insert your puppet name). The “+” turns independence on automatically (you can click the crown by hand afterwards, but autotagging is useful - I recommend using it as much as possible). The default new puppet throws a set of useful behaviors on the very root. You can delete them unused ones if you like. I usually leave them. For example, if you create multiple profiles, you might want different Physics behaviors or Face behavior settings for different profiles (maybe!) - in that case you might decide to delete the global one and add ones per profile. Deleting the global one is just to remind yourself it is not the one you need to adjust (not used).

You can create multiple roots at the top level. I think I have done it once, ever. I wanted a character and a soccer ball. The ball had physics and collision with the puppet etc. I think I could have used a separate puppet. If new, just don’t do it. It can be confusing. So you have the “global root”, then the layer root (which should be independent), then body profiles (if you use them - I normally don’t), then Head and Body, then under Head the Head Profiles (if you want them), etc.

Yes, you have the right idea for the sticks - put them places to stop unwanted warping. You had one across the top of the neck (on the face). Yep, you can do that. I sometimes put two sticks instead along the jaw line (in a V shape) so if the neck flexes the jaw does not.

The other thing you can try for fun is to click the independent crown on for the Head layer and see if you like it. Sometimes I have an independent head, other times I do not. Its whatever looks best for the puppet.

Hopefully answered the questions in the video.

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