Making poses



  • @AmbientShade said in Making poses:

    @morkonan Filling a figure to the brim with jcms makes it content-creation phobic.

    Do you want a high-quality figure with realistic deformations "built in" or one that is content-creation friendly?

    One can incorporate, customize and fine-tune figure JCMs into super-conforming clothing, no problem.

    That works for a one-off personal use figure but not for one that is intended for use by the average user or content artist. JCMs are meant for filling in the gaps where the rigging and geometry fall short, not as a substitute for proper rigging and geometry.

    When you have a rig that is the most basic possible for a figure, which is generally what Poser rigs are, then what? That's what we're dealing with, normally. For "joint" movement, they're generally fine. But, the various deformations, "muscle" and "flesh compression/fat" that people talk about aren't something you can easily add to the available Poser rigging parameters. Sure, you do a weight map and it'll look fine for what it is. I'm not arguing against such a thing. I'm just saying you can't do "everything" by pointing at a weight map or standard Poser rigging and shout "do!" :)

    ...sliding over and under each other in various areas depending on the pose.

    There are few things in the human body that "slide" over/under/around each other. They do get stretched, do move within a contained area, do have some limited freedom, but the concept of "sliding" stuffs, as it's usually expressed, isn't entirely accurate. If that was the case, we'd have mushy stuff constantly ending up in the wrong places with other mushy stuffs.

    Not sure why you sited weta's tissue system in the same statement as "doing it wrong" unless I misunderstood what you meant. So far there is nothing else out there I know of that achieves the same level of realism.

    I mentioned it because of their research on the whole subject of "sliding stuffs", specifically the idea that muscles "slide" under skin, which isn't what really happens at all. There was a really nice video interview where they described their research process and then showed how that influenced their work for The Hobbit. Gollum, in TLoTR, didn't use the same tech as they wanted to push the boundaries for The Hobbit, even if he had relatively less screen time.

    One could make most any figure in Poser pose like a natural human just using only JCMs and never touch a single weight map or bulge map, but most would never bother to make content for it as it would be a nightmare to try, unless you also incorporated a way for poser to use real time dynamic clothing and it replaced conformers in popularity. The closest it's gotten so far is the physics room, and its popularity should be evident by how often it's (not even) mentioned.

    I agree that the Physics stuff... (It's a Room?!) needs more focus.

    I'm not saying that one should only use JCMs and never would I suggest something like "improper rigging" and making up for that using JCMs. I'm just saying that if you want "this thing" then, given what we have access to in Poser, then you're going to have to do "that thing." You want a character that, when it bends from the waist and chest rigging, has a believable "belly roll" of flesh develop as well as compression effects and how the abdominal muscles get a bit rigid? No, you're not going to achieve that with "weight map everything all the time."

    I suppose you can sum this up fairly easily - What do you want? If you want something that isn't possible for the tools used and the amount of effort required that you're willing to accept, then you just don't get that "something."

    For myself, I enjoy creating JCMs... And, I'll even just do that for funsies on a figure I don't have any really plans for keeping around. I find it relaxing and enjoyable, since it provides immediate feedback. Yes, you can load up a figure with a huge amount of custom JCMs. With Pro, you can even customize it further using the new rigging tools. But, if someone wants a figure that has all this sort of stuff in it and will have all the sorts of realistic pose/movement effects that people clamor for, all the tools have to be used to achieve that until there's a version of Poser that incorporates real people in it that just happen to be tiny enough to live on the screen.



  • @morkonan
    One of my long-time dream features would be to have the capability to convert a morph target to a weight map. Imagine using ZBrush to sculpt the way you want a joint to look when it's rotated, and then send it back to Poser with the option to convert to weight map and link it to a rotation.

    (sigh)



  • @Deecey

    Yeah, I don't think there's anyway to apply a mask to geometry for such things in Poser. That'd be really neat, though! Maybe something with the painting of weight/bulge maps or something?

    I haven't worked with ZBrush and Poser, but can't you already import Zbrush work using the bridge tool?



  • @morkonan
    Yes you can use the GoZ feature to go between Poser and ZBrush, but it only imports as a morph. The droolworthy feature would be the option to import it as a weight map.

    For me, morphs and "shape painting" are a lot more predictable in ZBrush, so if I could import those "deltas" in as a morph OR a weight map I would be a happy camper!



  • Unfortunately none of this will become a reality because morphs and weight maps work completely different.

    In a morph (JCM) you can make the polycons move in any direction you want, and you can create dependencies which make the most crazy movements possible by simply making them "valueOpKey" dependent.

    Weight maps don't work that way.

    Without going into detail here too much - just putting it simply:
    Weight maps (and bulge maps as well) only make polygons rotate around the centre of rotation of the limb.
    You can control the "strength" of rotation to a certain degree, but still those "strength" maps are completely linear relative to the bending of the joint.

    Just try to achieve those "belly rolls" @morkonan mentioned four posts ago with weight maps alone and you'll soon touch the limits of what weight maps can do.

    Flesh bulging sideways (relative to the rotation) can't be done at all, so you need to achieve this with JCMs.

    If you have SASHA you can easily check it out:

    • The "elbow" has three JCMs controlling the compression and sideways bulging of the "flesh".
    • The "knee" has two which activate consecutively, relative to bending angle.
    • There's another JCM in the upper thigh wich activates when SASHA is "sitting on her heels".
    • Another pair of JCMs can be found in the neck/head bend area which take care for a straight throat and neck back "rolls" when the head is bent back very far.

    You can't achieve any of them with weight maps. It's just a matter of technological limitations.
    Even in Poser pigs still can't fly... :D

    • For the upper outer thighs I used a ghost bone to make them bulge outwards when the figure is sitting, with pretty good result I think. The problem here is that you get problems with conforming trousers without that ghost bone.

    So the real challenge is to find a good balance between weight mapping, useage of "ghost bones", and JCMs.

    Yes I hear some content creators hollering:
    "But that's too much for to incorporate in the clothing! In P6 it was much easier!
    Today's tech is just too difficult to learn!"

    I reply:
    "No it isn't!
    --> Just add the two "Buttock" ghost bones to the trousers, that's all!
    Everything else (joint centres, weight maps and JCMs) can be easily copied into the clothing either by Poser native function "Copy Joint Zones" and "Copy Morphs" or by "Morphing Clothes" by "D3D".

    It takes less than 10 minutes, and another few hours to smooth the copied morphs.

    OTOH, if content creators feel "too challenged" by this, or it's just "too much new stuff" and "too much work"...
    Well they should think about selling content for Posette and The Dork, or start making cububar props!

    Tech moves on, and if you don't want to be left behind you'll have to keep pace with it.


    Please forgive me if my post doesn't take into consideration any possible layout, setup, computer specs, program versions down to P4, content creators feelings, or abilities, skill levels etc. etc.

    If you only look long enough there's always a "but".

    Here's one from me:

    "BUT if adapt to the new tech, users of P4/5/7/8 can't use it. I'll lose sales from them!"
    Sure you will. From a very few.

    But you'll also lose sales from the majority of Poser users who are mostly up to date with their Poser versions and expect stuff they buy to incorporate all the new technology which Poser has.

    Simply put: If you try to sell a "Commodore 64" to people who want a "Computer which performs fast in Counter Strike", you won't have many sales.

    It's your call...

    Sorry for the rant - it's not meant for anyone here in particular!

    REPEAT: IT'S NOT MEANT FOR ANYONE HERE IN PARTICULAR!

    I just wrote down some things that have been rumbling around my head for some time already when reading the forums, and I just felt brave enough today to make this post.
    Now you may start tearing me to pieces. :D

    Karina



  • @karina

    How do I copy the ghost bones? Copy joint zones and morphs is rather straightforward to me, copying bones is new to me.
    I trying to convert a set of stockings I made for V4 to sasha, but I'm getting poketroughs everywhere.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @karina A lot of that can be done with weights and bulge maps, if the mesh and rigging is designed for it (V4's mesh was not). But a few correction morphs in key locations around major joints is not the same as loading down a figure with morphs to represent every conceivable stretch, contraction and bulge that is visible in a real human (or any other animal) when posing. In order to get that level of reality in a figure would require hundreds of compound JCMs working together in different poses, and no content artist in their right mind would touch it, as it would take nearly as long to create clothing for it as it did to create the figure to begin with.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @bopperthijs You can use the fitting room to copy any bones in a figure to a piece of clothing. You just select whichever ones you want from the list.



  • I do not know much about this but I saw in Poser 11 an option to apply morphs pre- or post- transformation. Should apply post transformation not do at least a part of the trick?



  • Poser's muscle system sucks. If you look at the box, it has a picture of the claymation figure, and that's the root of the problem. Muscles in poser attach to the same bone at each end. That's silly, nothing would move like that! Muscle attach to the NEXT bone, so it can pull. That said, why does this matter to you when posing?

    It matters a lot. Pretty much, poses only look vaguely realistic for boy-band members without muscle. Put any meat on your figures, and you get weird joint effects where the muscle has to end early because it's attached on the wrong side of the joint. This is particularly noticeable at the elbow, where everyone seems to get it wrong. Even the Hulk figure in the Marvel movies is stupidly wrong, at the biceps- triceps area. I mean, goofy.

    Some day this may be fixed, but for now you have to realize you will need to make sure your poses are positioned in such a way that this inter-joint mess is turned so the viewer can't see the obvious mistake.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    In regards to posing, it’s best not to overcomplicate things.

    There is a logical order for posing.

    Translate and rotate in the following order:

    1. HIP always first, this determines the main positioning, sitting standing, laying etc.

    2. TORSO bend sidetoside rotate the abdomen and then the chest.

    3. LEGS

    4. SHOULDERS

    5. ARMS

    6. FEET and HANDS

    7. Finetune all

    In Poser 11 you have the direct selectiontool together with the dials gives full precise control.
    I use that to avoid accidentally broken parts.

    And with the arrow keys you can scroll through selected bodyparts.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    I know I am late - and I do not visit the forums often for many reasons. Since I make and sell poses I thought I would add my 2 cents of advice.
    • I try to use reference material if possible...be it photos, animator workbooks, news footage...a G.I.Joe figure posed... If you have a picture of what you want that's great.
    • With most bends on real living beings neighboring parts will also have movement. If you intend to twist the head there should be some twisting on the neck (or if more than one neck group on both).
    • Poser figure joint names are not the same as what we think of on a Human. For example, the "Shoulder" group on most figures would better be though of as the upper arm on a human, and if actual shoulder movement on a real human is desired on a Poser figure then it is usually the "Collar" group. The Forearm group in poser includes not only the bending that is part of a real elbow, but the radial rotations of the forearm to an extent. Getting used to these conventions and their corresponding real muscle groups on each figure you use will help when envisioning poses and setting them up.
    • On arm movement, most figures have more restrictive limits on the Collar group because of distortion on the Torso, but most full arm movement should involve some movement here. Hunched shoulders on a real person become movement to the Collar joints on most figures.
    • Eyeball it - if it looks un-natural it just may be. However, there are times when working from visual reference poses look un-natural...in these cases you may either want to just insure against mesh distortions and breakage...or take artistic license with the pose until it looks good to you while still capturing the intent.
    • If not making a commercial product, and just working on an art piece or animation, I will look for a pose close to what I want and modify from their... Close being a very flexible qualifier (for example, this pose has the right leg where I want it and the left leg close, so I will just do the upper body from scratch).

    I could probably say a lot more and go on for a while, but this should be useful to most who want to get into posing figures.



  • @karina said in Making poses:...

    So the real challenge is to find a good balance between weight mapping, useage of "ghost bones", and JCMs.

    ^--- This.

    Poser's default rigging has one serious limitation when it comes to joint deforms - Limb-rotation deforms can not span groups. A well-created Poser base figure must be grouped with this critical issue in mind if it will be useable with a Poser-default rigging system. One can see how this has impacted the creation of many of the older Poser figures. Taking a "tour" of the groupings from the V1 to V4 series demonstrates how figure creators have tried to solve this problem, from weird collar/shoulder arrangement, to multiple neck groups and "buttocks", all either trying to span native deforms or restrict them. (At least, it seems that way to me, as grouping changes appear to revolving around things like this.)

    But, it's going to take "everything in the toolbox" to make a realistic pose and figure. And... why shouldn't it? We have it on our 'puters, why not use it?

    Yes I hear some content creators hollering:
    "But that's too much for to incorporate in the clothing! In P6 it was much easier!
    Today's tech is just too difficult to learn!"

    I reply:
    "No it isn't!
    --> Just add the two "Buttock" ghost bones to the trousers, that's all!
    Everything else (joint centres, weight maps and JCMs) can be easily copied into the clothing either by Poser native function "Copy Joint Zones" and "Copy Morphs" or by "Morphing Clothes" by "D3D".

    It takes less than 10 minutes, and another few hours to smooth the copied morphs.

    Depending on the geometry and type of clothing, one could wrap up fine-tuning the adapted morphs in an hour or so. (More for certain "tight fits" and I really think that's the perspective from which most of the complaints regarding complex deforms/jcms/etc are coming from. Like... I'm sure every Poser figure needs yet another string-bikini or leather catsuit...They "sell", I guess. /shrug)

    OTOH, if content creators feel "too challenged" by this, or it's just "too much new stuff" and "too much work"...
    Well they should think about selling content for Posette and The Dork, or start making cububar props!

    ^--- This. Thanks for writing it. :)

    The "toolbox" on the 'puter - We should use it for stuff. Most of the time, the sorts of innovative, interesting, "new and revolutionary" or just plain "hard" stuff that goes into a quality item is transparent to the end-user. That's really how it should be. I have a battery in my car so I don't have to turn a crank to energize a dynamo that spits a spark into an engine... That's a nice, usually transparent, innovation that I forget about most of the time. Well, unless "something goes wrong" like autoconforming cloth that I have to beat with a hammer in order to get it to "shut up..." :)

    There was once a time that clothing items had bunches of morphs, including movement morphs. And, most of those higher-quality clothing products, that took a great deal of time and skill to make, were not to be found at DAZ. At DAZ, the order of the day was "where there should be real geometry, add a texture and displacement map, instead. Oh, and add fifty-eleventy transmaps, so it can look different, too..." Why? Higher margins at other sites rewarded a creator's development time, even if, at that time, DAZ had relatively higher page-hits.

    Sorry for the rant - it's not meant for anyone here in particular!

    REPEAT: IT'S NOT MEANT FOR ANYONE HERE IN PARTICULAR!

    I just wrote down some things that have been rumbling around my head for some time already when reading the forums, and I just felt brave enough today to make this post.
    Now you may start tearing me to pieces. :D

    Karina

    Personally, I think it was an awesome bit of realistic and pragmatic perspective on product development. :) Nicely done.