How to Rig for Project Evolution in 4 steps (bring a ball and chain)



  • This post is one part tutorial and fifty-seven parts protest. One can rig for PE in Poser, but its not easy and SM really need to listen in on this process and refine it.

    Anyone, feel free to add to this, or improve it, or correct me!

    The basic steps involved are actually fairly simple:

    1. Get your item to fit PE.
    2. Group it.
    3. Throw it through the setup room.
    4. Refine the WM and JCMs (and morphs).
    (2 and 3 are interchangable)

    Done. Sounds simple right? However, some of these steps are utterly tedious. Let me help you through them.

    1. Get your item to fit PE. Or rather, one of the mannequins.

    • This is probably the fun part. Have fun, its your last chance.
    • If you made a brand new item for PE, you probably don't need help here.
    • But if you're converting stuff from V4, use anything you have at your disposal for this. Poser's morph brush, zBrush, Max, or perhaps just scaling it up and down if the item permits it.
    • You can also use the V4 donor that the Content Kit provides. The V4 donor is basically a V4 with a PE FBM. Transfer that FBM to your item and boom, you have your shape. It might need refining obviously.
    • If you have a high res item, you will definitely need to refine it, because Poser doesn't transfer morphs well to higher res items... (despite the fact that all Poser figures are going low res and all items are high res. Logic? SM, hint hint, wink wink, nudge nudge)

    2. Group it.

    • Buckle down, now its time for some pain. Don't be a pussy you can do it.
    • (warning, sarcasm) Poser has a secret pair of scissors from 2003 hidden in the ancient code somewhere, because Poser LOVES chopping your stuff up. Its how it is, so we'll have to roll with it. Basically, you need to help these scissors to cut up the mesh in a meaningful way, and try do it before Poser commits the cutting (like when throwing it through setup room or fitting room). Make the scissors work like a scalpel basically. So:
    • make sure the groups overlap PE's groups as close as possible. Like hips, thighs, abdomen, etc. Ignore the handles, they're separate from the figure. Be creative, hide PE's bodyparts to see what you're doing.
    • The reason you need to make the groups match is for the Weight map and morph transfer. Poser gets confused if you have the thigh part of a clothing item hanging over the hip... what morph data goes where?. And scaling becomes pure, pure, and utter torture. Make it overlap, as if your life depends on it.
    • This is where I deeply regret not cutting PE up into solid rectangles, it would have made our lives so much easier. Anyway, moving on...

    3. Throw it through the setup room.

    • You can also have the mesh chopped up automatically in the setup room using autogrouping (which is why I said you can interchange steps 2 and 3). But there's a whole LOAD of 'buts' and 'ifs' and 'warnings' to come with that (SM, are you taking notes?)(Enter Vilters, stage left...).
    • before you enter the setup room, for the love of christ back your sh!t up because I can promise you it will go wrong the first time round. And the Setup Room is incredibly crash prone.
    • Setup room 'But' #1: if its a V4 item, its already cut up. You need to weld it or its going to look like a dog's breakfast. To weld it you just make a new group with a name 'weld' or something, and you select ALL the areas that have been split. You could try selecting all and then welding it all, but you run the risk of welding a button to the item, or even weld vertices within the button, or the hems, or the crotch...
    • Once its all welded... now you can load one of PE's mannequins over it, and then autogroup it. Then you can modify the groupings before the commit (which is exiting the setup room).
    • When you do load one of the mannequins over it, don't bother with transferring morphs yet (because Setup Room will probably crash later and you'll have waited for nothing). Don't do the
    • Setup room 'But' #2:: If its your own item and you're a vendor, you can do the whole loading PE mannequin thing + autogrouping, but once you exit the setup room, that's it, that mesh is split up.
    • You can export the mesh and weld it, but do it BEFORE you transfer and refine the morphs, because they won't work anymore if you make the cr2 refer to the welded mesh. What's this, a CR2? Oops I skipped a few steps. Just a taste of how FRIGGIN COMPLEX this can get. (SM, taking notes?)
    • Lets go back to exiting the setup room. When you exit the setup room, as I said, the big scissors swoop in and cut your item up. Its done, no going back.
    • From hereon you can either accept the split mesh and build on it, or you can try to weld it back together.
    • If you want it welded (which a LOT of vendors want) be prepared for drama. Here's the quick breakdown: save it to library, load the OBJ (or OBZ) back into Poser, weld it, carefully, (or do it Vilters style: blender), export it. Open PFE (poser file editor), load your item, replace the OBJ reference of he cut version to the welded version... and THEN load it back into poser and continue. Sooo easy :O
    • So whatever you choose, split or welded, now you can transfer your morphs. If you're just at home having fun, just copy over all morphs. If you're a vendor... honestly just do the same. I really don't think people give a damn.
    • Oh and re-transfer the weight mapping. Setup Room and Fitting room have WM transfer protocols from Uranus.

    4. Refine the JCMs (and morphs).

    • You're almost there!!!!! Put that knife down its ok.
    • Read the section about JCMs to get into idea of it in this PDF.
    • (before we dig in) Now, as some of you might know, perhaps from my bitter complaining elsewhere, although Poser's morph transfer is pretty cool, it cannot transfer morphs from a low resolution figure to a high resolution figure without getting spikes and stuff everywhere. "Let me make a super detailed corset for Pauline!!! Oh wait nevermind..."
    • Basically, you're going to be doing some refining. Crack open a beer, pour yourself a glass of wine, hide your knives, let's do this.
    • refining FBM is the easy part. Edit them in zero pose and you should be fine. The mannequins have all the essential morphs, so you should be ok. ONE X might have an extra boobie morph but its up to you to wanna support that.
    • JCMs are a bit tougher. The problem with JCMs is that its better to edit them in the rotations they're meant for. This is where Poser steps in and... happily makes things complicated for you. Two things that make it complex:
    • You need to edit them in post-transform. Ok, the very idea of post-transform hurts my brain so much, I might fail to explain this properly. it makes that little sense to me. Post-transform means that the vertices get displaced AFTER the rotations have been done. So its like suddenly being fat after you sit down on a chair. Huh? In any case, if you want to edit a morph when the limb involved is bent, you need to FIRST convert it to post-transform, then edit it, and THEN convert it back to pre-transform.................. <crickets>................... yes, that's what I mean. That's how it works. We have to roll with it for now.
    • The other thing that makes it complex, is a little bit my fault, but also not really. To edit the JCMs, its best to edit them in the order they load. This means you do need to kind of know how they load, which is why I provided the rigging scene. Some JCMs need another JCM to work. So you obviously need to refine the previous one first. Generally, the one with the smaller angles need to be refined first. But there's more. I think it might be wise to put this in point form:

    Rules about editing JCMs:

    • Because they're a very precise vertex displacement method, and basically replace rigging, LET POSER DO MOST OF IT FOR YOU! And then refine them. Don't do them yourselves. If you do you might as well shoot yourself. Don't.
    • Set them to post-transform before editing, and set them back to pre-transform when done.
    • Edit them in the rotation they were meant for! JCM_Th_Bnd90_S0_R must be edited when the thigh is bent at 90 and side-side is 0.
    • Edit all the JCMs in order - This I admit might be a tough one, but they're in the right order in the parameter list (in poser). The only joints that really need this to be taken into account are the thighs, knees and elbows:
    • Thigh JCMs are by far the most complex: but the order should be straight forward: first refine the bends, then the side-side, then the side-bends.
    • The Thigh JCMs start off with the bends, from 0 to -90 and from -90 to -135. That is two bend JCMs for each thigh (=4).
    • Refine the smaller angles first, then the bigger angles. (first 90, then 135)
    • Then there's one pair of JCMs for the side-side rotation. From 0 to 89 degrees. Refine that one.
    • Almost there: now you edit one last set, the side-bends. They correct the intermediary rotations. They are the same as the bends, except the side-side is now at 45 and then a second set at 89*. Refine those like the first bend angles, small one first:
    • Same with the knees: small angle first.

    Now you can see why the whole post/pre-transform thing is a big fat pain in the ass. SM, fix this. Its just math.

    So let me give you the edit order of the JCMs (the parameter list also has this order):
    Bends:

    1. JCM_Th_Bnd90_S0_R
    2. JCM_Th_Bnd90_S0_L
    3. JCM_Th_Bnd90_S0_RLcorr
    4. JCM_Th_Bnd135_S0_R
    5. JCM_Th_Bnd135_S0_L

    Side-Side:

    1. JCM_Th_Bnd0_S89_R
    2. JCM_Th_Bnd0_S89_L

    Side-Bend 45:

    1. JCM_Th_Bnd90_S45_R

    2. JCM_Th_Bnd90_S45_L

    3. JCM_Th_Bnd135_S45_R

    4. JCM_Th_Bnd135_S45_L

    Side-Bend 89:

    1. JCM_Th_Bnd90_S89_R

    2. JCM_Th_Bnd90_S89_L

    3. JCM_Th_Bnd135_S89_R

    4. JCM_Th_Bnd135_S89_L

    Just imagine how lovely life would be if Poser provided us with options to refine this automagically, much like D3D's 'morphing clothes'? Unfortunately D3D's 'morphing clothes' isn't the most intuitive app to use, and extra unfortunately the legend of a man (D3D, Ralf Sessler) isn't with us anymore. Bless his soul: he was, and still is a legend. PE would have not existed if it wasn't for that guy. Like literally. PE was practically made in PFE.

    So once you've refined the JCMs, you're done...

    You can stop crying now :)

    * 89 was supposed to be 90, but yeah... @bagginsbill knows all about gimble issues :D



  • There is, however, a quick way to rig for PE, but this is for at home, not for vendors:

    1. like above, bring your item to shape
    2. throw it through the fitting room once
    3. create figure without morphs, select only the important body parts
    4. close your eyes and trust the autogrouping
    5. go to Pose Room and go back to fitting room with new item
    6. create figure with all the extra bones relevant to your item (like handles) and transfer morphs too
    7. back in pose room transfer WM one last time
    8. done

    This is a very rough method and it will probably not look amazing if you let her to yoga in it.

    There is a trick to maybe bypass all this, but this is for experts only:

    1. like above, group the item as accurately as you can
    2. then duplicate the item with the groups
    3. flatten the copy completely to PE (using shrink tool)
    4. export both OBJs, rig the flattened one. Transfer morphs and all.
    5. replace the flattened obj with the original shaped OBJ
    6. chances are the morphs will have transferred very well... (IF its not too high res)

  • Poser Ambassadors

    @erogenesis You can stop crying now :)

    I like this, shed a lot of tears since the last months lol



  • @erogenesis said in How to Rig for Project Evolution in 4 steps (bring a ball and chain):

    There is, however, a quick way to rig for PE, but this is for at home, not for vendors:

    1. like above, bring your item to shape
    2. throw it through the fitting room once
    3. create figure without morphs, select only the important body parts
    4. close your eyes and trust the autogrouping
    5. go to Pose Room and go back to fitting room with new item
    6. create figure with all the extra bones relevant to your item (like handles) and transfer morphs too
    7. back in pose room transfer WM one last time
    8. done

    This is a very rough method and it will probably not look amazing if you let her to yoga in it.

    The home-brew in the fitting room works well. I just stumbled on the fact (duh) the you can adjust the JCM dials that transfer from the mannequin to resolve pokethru issues. By the wat, when I use the high-res cloth mannequin to rig anything with body parts below the hip, when I return to the pose room, I often find that PE and the mannequin look like an old fat lady. I have to clear the scene and reload it.



  • 0_1531267207726_PE Old Fat Lady.jpeg



  • @RobZhena She's not fat. She's big boned. :)



  • @RobZhena said in How to Rig for Project Evolution in 4 steps (bring a ball and chain):

    0_1531267207726_PE Old Fat Lady.jpeg

    ohhh yes I've seen this before. I don't remember what exactly causes it but I think it happens when we put something through the fitting room while its conformed to PE, but I'm not sure. In any case it looks like Poser is forgetting about the limits in the figure and all the smart morphs set to -1 are now permitted to do their damage. Its possible if you just unconform and reconform stuff, or just rotating a limb, that everything starts operating normally again.

    btw Rob you're also a legend for what you do, just persisting and doing your own thing. keep going!

    @eclark1849 said in How to Rig for Project Evolution in 4 steps (bring a ball and chain):

    @RobZhena She's not fat. She's big boned. :)

    lol :D



  • @erogenesis Thanks, Ero! I never conform what I run through the fitting room, which is usually an obj. So it must be the limits. Oh, well. Cheers!



  • @RobZhena said in How to Rig for Project Evolution in 4 steps (bring a ball and chain):

    @erogenesis Thanks, Ero! I never conform what I run through the fitting room, which is usually an obj. So it must be the limits. Oh, well. Cheers!

    yeah, then I'm not sure. It was a while back that I investigated it with someone. If it happens again, try to remember the steps you took, let me know, and maybe I can figure out what happens.



  • @ erogenesis It happens almost every time I transfer the rig from the mannequin to an obj in the first pass if the rig includes the thighs. No morphs transferred. Rigging, say, a shirt that is only hip up never causes the problem. Don’t sweat it. You have enough going on. Maybe it’s because I use a Mac if few other people have noticed it.



  • @RobZhena if it does happen to be limits, it's possible to strip out everything from a copy of the cr2 file except the limits, and rename and apply it as a pz2 pose file from the library. You just need the

    		valueParm CLOTH_ADJ - Shoulders Outwards
    			{
    			forceLimits 1
    			min -1
    			max 1
    			}
    

    lines from each channel, for every actor in the figure.

    If you also include the 'initValue' line, you can then do a restore figure, since @erogenesis has mentioned that there are some parameters which are assigned an initial value outside the enforced limits in anticipation of valueOperations bringing the channel back within bounds, IIRC...



  • @anomalaus said in How to Rig for Project Evolution in 4 steps (bring a ball and chain):

    If you also include the 'initValue' line, you can then do a restore figure, since @erogenesis has mentioned that there are some parameters which are assigned an initial value outside the enforced limits in anticipation of valueOperations bringing the channel back within bounds, IIRC...

    I'm not sure if that would matter with regards to conforming clothing. That's one thing that does work pretty solidly with Poser, unless one adds dependencies in the clothing itself... or did you mean something else?



  • @erogenesis I was running on empty when I made that comment, so I may have been confusticated, err, discomboobulated, err, wrong. Anyway, lots of things, like IK currently break/ignore valueOperation influences. Conforming clothing with master dials on the Body actor are horrendously handled if Conform Morphs is checked (just outright ignored, despite visible valueOperations. WRONG CRETIN! </Dungeon|Zork Quote>)


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