New in Cinema 4D R19: Rig and Animate Characters with Improved Weighting and Pose Space Deformation

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Instructor Cineversity

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  • Duration: 10:31
  • Views: 3844
  • Made with Release: 19
  • Works with Release: 19 and greater

Rig faster with better deformations from start to finish.

This video starts with an overview of the significant improvements to the weighting tools and workflows in Cinema 4D R19. That latter half walks you through the process of sculpting a Pose Space Deformation (PSD) so that you can fix pinching and overlap and create the appearance of muscles under the surface of your character’s skin.



Cinema 4D Release 19 features several new enhancements to improve your character rigging workflow. From new and improved correctional morphs and weights mirroring, to improving the weights manager workflow, Release 19 will help you rig faster and with better deformations from start to finish. In previous versions of Cinema 4D, if you wanted to bind, say, all of these sunglasses' meshes to the same joint, like this head joint, it wouldn't work properly. You'd instead have to run the Bind command for each mesh, because meshes were included as influence objects. However, in Release 19, you can now select multiple meshes and whatever joints you wish to bind them to, and run the Bind command successfully. You'll see that when you do that, each mesh will be given a skin deformer, as well as a weight tag filled with only the joints that you have selected, and not any meshes. Once you've bound your character, you can now start painting your weights. In Release 19, the weight tool has gotten some updates. The first thing you'll notice is that there's no longer a joint list in there. You can now very easily select your influences just by right-clicking on your mesh. This will bring up a pop-up menu that will show you whatever influence you have selected, as well as all of the influences that are available on a given point. You can see by switching to just the chest joint here, that is all that's selected, and I can begin painting it. You can also hold down SHIFT to select multiple influences and paint on them simultaneously. Another handy feature in Release 19 is the ability to access the dropper mode using a shortcut. If you wanted to sample the weight of your selected influence at a particular point, you used to have to switch to this dropper mode and then click somewhere. And in doing so you'll notice that your strength would adjust. In Release 19, you can now access the dropper from the weight tool by pressing CTRL+SHIFT. You can see now that my icon has changed to the dropper mode and if I were to click somewhere on my mesh, that my strength adjusts to this new value. So, you can very quickly and easily sample weights on your mesh. The weights manager has also seen some new improvements in Release 19. First, under the Joint Filters menu, you can change how your joints are filtered, as well as what weight tags are displayed in your joints list. By default, you'll only see weight tags that you have selected, but if you were to turn off this option here, I now have access to all the weight tags within my scene. The Weights tab has also seen some improvements into its filtering mechanisms that allow you to filter out joints and weights based on a certain set of criteria you decide. You also have the ability to now use multiple weights managers, so that you can have side-by-side displays of your weights as well as your joints list and its commands, if that's what you choose. There's also now options to turn on or off the Mouse HUD that displays the weights, as well as changing the color and the transparency of it. Cinema 4D's weight mirroring algorithm has been completely rewritten for Release 19. Now it's much easier and simpler to quickly get a good, clean mirroring of your weights across your character. In this example, I have a shirt that's only got weights on one half of it. I can right-click, choose Select All, to select all my influences that I want to mirror, and I simply say, Mirror + to - and in doing so, it automatically mirrors everything over from left to right. The other great thing is that this can work on meshes that are not topologically symmetrical. For instance, these pants have weights on half of it as well, but if we were to look at the topology, you can see that there are cuts kind of all over, random, really bad-looking geometry and it's not symmetrical. The point order is different on one side versus the other and they just don't match up 100%. However, with Cinema 4D Release 19's new mirroring algorithm, that doesn't matter. I simply click the mirror button and it will automatically mirror across. No muss, no fuss. Once you've finished painting your weights, you can push your character's deformations even further using Release 19's new pose-based deformation morphs, or PSD morphs. PSDs allow you to sculpt corrective shapes in a current pose. For instance, if I were to turn off this pose morph tag real quick, you can see that we're getting a bit of crunching happening when we bend the elbow and we're not going to really be able to resolve all of that with just joint weights. However, if I turn on my pose morph, what you'll see is that, as we bend the arm, we're able to get nice, cleaner deformations as well as even simulate some levels of anatomy with a bit of a bicep bulge here. This is all being driven with just a single shape that's connected to the rotation of my elbow. So, it's super simple and super easy to immediately improve upon your deformations of your character. Another example is to check out the head. If I turn off this pose morph tag, when I rotate the head, and this is easier to see when I turn off the textures, you can see that our joint weights are kind of limited to only a few spans. And that's to prevent it from kicking out all this weight when you bend it forward and backwards. So, we're getting kind of a sharp fall-off here. However, if I turn on my pose morph, you can see we're able to really allow the pose to kind of interpolate down the neck and even simulate a little bit of muscle anatomy here. So, if I were to rotate this, you can see that we're having that muscle engage. We're also cleaning up the deformations along these spans and dispersing it further down the neck. So, you can see we're just taking already pretty good weights and improving upon them even further. Let's take a look at how we can create PSDs. We're going to create a corrective shape for our right elbow here. So, to start, I'm going to pose my character where I want it to have that shape. I'm going to do that, say, negative 80. And I'm going to select my pose morph tag, jump into the Edit menu, and click Add Pose. Now, to really understand what's going on with PSDs, I'm going to leave this in relative mode and try to adjust my points of my character here. So, if I've got this point selected, and if I click and drag up, you'll notice that the point itself isn't actually going up. It's kind of going off to the left a bit. And that's because in this pose, when using relative, it's not taking in the skin deformer's deformation into account. So, it's not a one-to-one relationship. So, if you were to try to sculpt in this pose using Relative Mode, you'd have points kind of flying all over in weird ways. So, what you can do is just switch this to Correctional PSD, and you can see now I'm getting a one-to-one relationship here. That's because it's allowing me to pose these points. Post Deformers, you can see, it turns it on automatically here. And now I can use any of Cinema's tools, like the Brush tool for instance, and I will just kind of smooth this out real quick and dirty-like, just to get us cleaner-looking deformations. You know, obviously you would want to take your time more to sculpt something a little bit better, but I'm just doing this for a demo, so what I'll do is I'll just bulge it out like so. And that's basically it, right? You can do whatever you have to do to get your shape, switch to animate mode, and now watch as I take my controller and bend it in and out of this pose. You'll see that the pose will fire on and off automatically. Now, notice how it's automatically firing. We didn't have to set up any Xpresso. That's because the morph tag has this PSD section now, which allows you to enable this auto-weighting for any PSD poses and there are three options here. You can auto-orient, auto-twist and auto-position points. So, if you're rotating on, say, the X- or Y-axes, you would turn on auto-orient. If you were trying to do a twist along, say, the Z, you could turn on auto-twist. And if your joints were being positioned instead of rotated, you could turn this on. But automatically, with this auto-weighting, it will fire, and you could see that the average output from these three values here, it changes as I go in and out of my pose. If you don't want this, you can just turn it off and you'll see that your pose will be firing at all times, just like in the past and you could animate it manually yourself or through Xpresso. So, it's super easy and super quick to set up PSDs. It's easy to see how with these new tools and workflows in Release 19, will enable you to create better-looking character deformations. Be sure to check out Cineversity for all of our quick-start videos, and quick-tip videos, and all the reference videos coming out in the coming months for Release 19. You'll be able to get up to speed and running quickly with all the new features of Cinema 4D Release 19.
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