A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

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amanandink
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by amanandink » Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:15 pm

thanks Guys, glad you like it. :)
if your on twitter have a look here, https://twitter.com/aCatCalledJam
we put out little snippets of scenes and artwork now and again
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by mrc » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:50 am

Thank you for sharing this!
It looks fantastic and I feel I can learn A LOT from following this thread.
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:28 am

Víctor Paredes wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:29 pm
I will never rig anything without using meshes again.
Ok, I've been using a lot of custom meshes this past week and I'm really beginning to understand what you mean. :)

BTW, I want to use Pin Bones in my meshes but I do wish the Pin Bones widget could be resized. Most of the time, the widget is too big and I wind up using a small regular bone instead, which of course isn't exactly the same thing. In some situations, the Pin Bones can even be too small for the rig. We need to be able to scale the visual representation of a Pin Bone independently of bone's scaling effect.
Last edited by Greenlaw on Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by chucky » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:34 am

I do wish the Pin Bones widget could be resized
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by amanandink » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:35 pm

I do wish the Pin Bones widget could be resized
yeah it would be great to be able to change there scale.
I used 2 work around on the Jam Rigs.
One way was to copy and paste a scale key for the pin bone onto frame zero, in this case the pupil bones were set to .5 on frame 0, so on fr1 the automatically jumps down. I would then scale the pupil layer up to 2 so they would be resized back down to the correct 1 by the .5 pin bone scaling.
Image
Image
the smaller bones on the pupils just make them a little more readable among all the other bones.

the other approach I had was to scale down the entire bone layer and then have a group layer underneath that scales everything back up again to the correct size.
Image

but both workarounds can only be used under certain circumstances and are not as versatile as being able to set there scale yourself.
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by amanandink » Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:17 pm

So just to follow on a little from the previous pin bones examples and the in the posting about the animation scene, I mentioned that the expressions were all posed by the animator in the scene.
So I have made a small video showing the process in action.

https://vimeo.com/348230687

The eyes and mouth layers had a series of custom meshes drawn over them, that were being controlled by the pin bones, so that they can be posed out.
Image
The pupils are pretty straight forward, just one pin bone controlling each, and we had the eye lashes bound to the path of the eye lid, so they moved with the eyes but didn't deform.

But something Victor showed us, brought this approach to a whole new level. That was being able to link a mesh to another mesh. So the eyes mesh is being controlled by a head mesh that can be additionally posed to create different head deformations as the animator wants. You can see this towards the end of the video, the face mask can be posed to the eyes expression as well as the head shape. And because all of this is done with a mesh, the head turn works for the new head shapes.
Last edited by amanandink on Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by Greenlaw » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:39 pm

Coincidentally, I've been working on a character with eyes and rig setup that looks very much like that! In reality, I'm sure what I'm doing is a less advanced variation but I was surprised by similarities. :)

I'm curious, what did you mean by, "...we had the eye lashes bound to the path of the eye lid, so they moved with the eyes but didn't deform." (My italics.) I'm having to manually animate the eyelashes in the smart bone action for a basic blink animation, with the mesh on top to change the eye shape for expressions. The mesh does deform the lashes so I'm just being careful with how much it affects them. I wondering how you bind the eyelashes to a path to avoid the unwanted deformation. Are you using Follow Path for this?

P.S., for some reason, I can't see the embedded movie. Can you post a link? Whoops! Gotta go again...will try to look when I get back. Thanks!
Last edited by Greenlaw on Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by mrc » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:03 am

A few questions:

* Are these techniques with the meshes only applicable to bitmaps or do they work with vectors?

* Do the rigs also work in Moho 12?

* Apart from creating and manipulating bitmaps within Moho, does Version 13 also offer a different workflow to texturing vector shapes or is it still done with groups and masks, and with fill effects?

Thanks.
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by Greenlaw » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:52 am

Meshes work with vectors or bitmaps.

If you're using a mesh with a vector image, you need to make sure there are enough points strategically placed in the artwork to support the intended deformations.

If you're using the mesh with a bitmap, you want to make sure the bitmap has high enough resolution to prevent tearing and pixelation.

With vectors or bitmaps, you need to make sure the custom mesh is drawn appropriately to support the deformations you want.

Tip: If your vector art is very detailed and has complex paths, it might make more sense to render a bitmap version and use the mesh on that.

For example, in Boss Baby: Back in Business, I drew and rigged a character called Dark Swatter who had a fly swatter on his head. I created the swatter's lattice using vectors and Weld Crossings. I thought it had enough points but i couldn't get it to deform well with a mesh. So I rendered the swatter part as a high res bitmap and then it deformed nicely with the mesh.

At the time, I just rendered the image the normal way but nowadays I prefer to use Hayasidist's Bake PNG script, which streamlines the process. You can find the script here:

http://www.lostmarble.com/forum/viewtop ... 3&start=15

Hope this helps.
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by Greenlaw » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:06 am

More answers...

Re: vector tools in Moho 13, nothing has really changed...yet. I was told they have plans for improving vector tools but no official announcement for when yet. That said, I don't think the basic fill and stroke system will change, as it's always worked well. What many of us are hoping to see is a better Freehand and Blob Brush, and improvements for the Style window (like the improvement 13 brings to the Actions windows.)

Re: backwards compatibility, Moho 13 rigs should work in Moho 12 but they may lose certain features. For example, if you use the new grouping and tagging system for Actions in Moho 13 (an incredibly helpful feature for advanced rigging,) you're going to lose all that data when the rig is opened in Moho 12. Bitmap Images created in Moho 13 will carry into Moho 12 but of course you will no longer be able to edit them there. I think pretty much anything else will carry over fine.

BTW, when you open a Moho 13 file in Moho 12, Moho will warn you and offer a few options for continuing.
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by Greenlaw » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:20 am

BTW, I can see the movie now. Thanks for posting that Jeremy!

Regarding using Follow Path to 'bind' the eyelashes to a curve, I'm guessing that's what you meant. I just tried it out and the technique works well. :)
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by amanandink » Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:58 pm

just to answer a couple of the questions on these eyes.

@greenlaw
here is how our layers are constructed for the eye lashes. The eye lash layer is path bound to the eye vector (rotate to follow path is turned on), with a little extra vector at the top of the eye. We did have to do some smart correction in the smart actions of the eye blink, but just small adjustments to the vectors to stay in contact with the eye and the
Image

and @mrc
just to add to what Greenlaw said, actually all our character started out in moho 12, so everything we have done with the characters is fully compatible with moho 12, except for the bitmap drawing stage. Thats moho 13 only. So stuff like the texturing of the characters, the aniamtion smears we added, the new designs drawn into scenes are all moho 13 only.
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by mrc » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:37 am

Thanks for the swift answers.
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by Greenlaw » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:07 pm

amanandink wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:58 pm
just to answer a couple of the questions on these eyes...
Thanks for the reply and tips Jeremy!

The Follow Path trick does simplify moving eyelashes! I still have to animate the lashes shape throughout the Smart Action too but using Follow Path to assist in the 'vertical' position animation is very nice! This is easier than what I've been doing this whole time. I hadn't thought to try Rotate To Follow Path for this yet...sounds even better! :)
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Re: A Cat Called Jam (behind the scenes)

Post by rafael » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:01 pm

amanandink wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:17 pm
So I have made a small video showing the process in action.
https://vimeo.com/348230687
Is this video no longer available to view?
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