I had a lot of fun doing my little fake pokemon model last night, so today I wanted to revisit it and try and animate it. It's also important for me to get familiar with this workflow since I think animating is going to be important for me to make improvements to the character controllers.
I learned a lot about building skeletons. The important ones were:
Need to have a disconnected root bone
For these cute chubby creatures, a rigid skeleton makes it difficult to get some of the deformations you expect from a chubby body. I had to disconnect the chest form the hips so I could better squish and squash
I think I shouldn't model the tail curl in, and instead give some bones to do it in in the animation.
I should add some squish and squash bones to control the tail size!
Disconnected arms and lets really helps animate, since when running in four legged mode, you want the arms and legs closer to the bottom of the model, but while standing, you want them to take a more human appearance. By keeping the arms and legs disconnected I can slide them around the body better.
Lots of interesting lessons learned while weight painting.
Switching between edit mode and painting mode to do vertex selection helps a lot.
Selecting vertices then selecting weight groups allows me to quickly mask and set weights to 0 when I want them to.
For low poly models, painting is really challenging, still lots of deformations. Should I use a model subdivision modifier to get more verts to animate more cleanly?
I need much smoother topology!!! This was seriously killer. I had to add several additional loops and cuts just to prevent strange deformation artifacts (even after spending a lot of time painting).
- I think that by doing this full workflow a few more times, I'll get better intuition about what my model needs.
I'm pretty happy with this progress, even though I know I need to spend a lot more time practicing.