Truly Symmetrical Character and Bone Rig

General Moho topics.

Moderators: Fahim, Distinct Sun, Víctor Paredes, erey, Belgarath, slowtiger

Post Reply
nina_paley
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:41 pm
Location: Urbana IL
Contact:

Truly Symmetrical Character and Bone Rig

Post by nina_paley » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:01 am

I would like to create a genuinely symmetrical character and bone rig. Ideally I would set up all the bones for the left half of the character, then duplicate everything, including points, curves, and smart bone actions; flip the duplicate around; reposition it, and connect the underlying shape to make a new solid shape. Is that possible? The underlying shape is just one layer.

I am struggling to manually mimic symmetry accurately because many smart bones have peculiar curves in certain positions, and getting the point position as well as the curve values exactly symmetrical by eye is impossible. I guess I could manually copy and paste every x and y point value, but there are a lot of points and that would be a crazy amount of work.

The underlying shape needs to be a single layer because I'm exploiting Moho's unique phenomoenon of positive and negative spaces, which only happens in single shapes. Sample attached (I hope it's "safe for work" - it's derived from neolithic art). The arms are going through the body, where they appear negative. I wish it were perfectly symmetrical, but it isn't.

Image
User avatar
Greenlaw
Posts: 4410
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Truly Symmetrical Character and Bone Rig

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:49 am

Ugh, I know what you mean. It's really tricky to get perfectly symmetrical art inside Smart Bone Actions. Here are a few tricks I use:

Install DW Root's Mirror and Swap Points tools. His new version (at the bottom of the page,) works properly in Moho 12 and as a menu command. What this tool tries to do with mirror your drawing while preserving the order of the points--this means it does it by reshaping your path into a mirror image without flipping the path or layer. It doesn't aways work perfectly, especially if you've used beziers, but when it misses, it's usually only one point you need to fix. That's still a whole lot easier that trying to do this all by hand.

For example, I find this tool super useful when I've created a front pose with 3Qtr and/or profile pose in the SBD Action for one side, and I need the same but opposite poses for reverse SBD action.

But sometimes I'll just make a screen cap of the workspace, then import that image and flip it, and trace directly from the mirror image. That's a more 'low-tech' approach but it works too.

For bones, consider drawing or importing guides, or do the trick above. Or, you can use Moho's built in grid with snap enabled. (This is when I really wish Moho had rulers with drag-out guides like Photoshop and many other drawing programs.)

Hopefully, others here will have better suggestions, because I'd like to hear them too. :)
D.R. Greenlaw
Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Little Green Dog Channel on Vimeo | Greenlaw's Demo Reel 2019 Edtion
Lead Digital Animator, Dreamworks Animation

Image
User avatar
slowtiger
Posts: 5382
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:53 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany
Contact:

Re: Truly Symmetrical Character and Bone Rig

Post by slowtiger » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:31 am

If the character doesn't bend to a side and if no body part crosses the middle axis, I'd create only half a character, do the rigging and the animation, and duplicate and flip afterwards. (Doesn't apply here if you want to create the pubic area just by a loop in the outline, but this could be faked.)
AS 9.5 MacPro Quadcore 3GHz 16GB RAM OS 10.6.8 Quicktime 7.6.6
AS 11 MacPro 12core 3GHz 32GB RAM OS 10.11 Quicktime 10.7.3
User avatar
Greenlaw
Posts: 4410
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Truly Symmetrical Character and Bone Rig

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:36 pm

Oh, sorry, yeah. I was overthinking. If you just want symmetrical art, do what SlowTiger says. Alternatively, you can create in a program that supports symmetrical drawing and export as SVG.

What I was referring to was creating mirrored shapes specifically within an action, which can get complicated since you don't have a direct reference to what was done for the other side. Again, sorry for the confusion.
D.R. Greenlaw
Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Little Green Dog Channel on Vimeo | Greenlaw's Demo Reel 2019 Edtion
Lead Digital Animator, Dreamworks Animation

Image
funksmaname
Posts: 3107
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 11:31 am
Location: Nelson, New Zealand

Re: Truly Symmetrical Character and Bone Rig

Post by funksmaname » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:16 am

following on from what slow said, you could do half a character but flip and offset a reference - then just work on one side...
nina_paley
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:41 pm
Location: Urbana IL
Contact:

Re: Truly Symmetrical Character and Bone Rig

Post by nina_paley » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:55 am

I drew the character using a reference layer. When the outline pleased me, I put it on a single layer. But I couldn't get the bones perfectly symmetrical, and when I adjust the curves on smart bone actions I can't get symmetry; I have to manually make smartbone actions for left and right sides. I'm making a new rig using a grid, so that's helping.
funksmaname
Posts: 3107
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 11:31 am
Location: Nelson, New Zealand

Re: Truly Symmetrical Character and Bone Rig

Post by funksmaname » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:19 am

Hey Nina,
draw and rig half, then reference the parent bone layer - not just the child vectors. Then any bone movements you make on your first layer are duplicated on the mirror.

The main problem this would cause though, is that if either side crosses over to the other, it won't have the negative effect.
nina_paley
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:41 pm
Location: Urbana IL
Contact:

Re: Truly Symmetrical Character and Bone Rig

Post by nina_paley » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:07 pm

Things have to cross over the center, unfortunately.
User avatar
slowtiger
Posts: 5382
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:53 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany
Contact:

Re: Truly Symmetrical Character and Bone Rig

Post by slowtiger » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:09 pm

What I've done in the past: rig some part (in your case, one half), make a screenshot of the bones, import this image and use as a template for more bones. Not elegant, but good enough.
AS 9.5 MacPro Quadcore 3GHz 16GB RAM OS 10.6.8 Quicktime 7.6.6
AS 11 MacPro 12core 3GHz 32GB RAM OS 10.11 Quicktime 10.7.3
User avatar
Onionskin
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm

Re: Truly Symmetrical Character and Bone Rig

Post by Onionskin » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:42 pm

1. Draw simetrical (same number of points on the both sides, DW Root's Mirror and Swap Points tool is very helpful), rig simetrical, use guidlines (snap) for help
2. Use the Bone Constrains, bones from the one side shoul be controled by the bones from the other side, "Angle control bone" should have the negative value, for "Position control bone" only one axis should be negative.

Animate one side and the other side will be like a mirror.
Post Reply