Connecting a bone to several others

User support for JPatch

Connecting a bone to several others

Postby Torf » Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:19 am

I'm rigging my puppet at the moment. It's pretty much finished, except for this last part, which I couldn't find out how to do:

As you can see from the image, I have to join the pelvis bone (red) with both thigh bones (dark red and dark green), although they don't even share start and end points.

Is this possible or is there something wrong with my design?
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Postby sascha » Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:30 am

This is done automatically:
All bones that have no parent are implicitly connected to an (invisible) root bone. The way you added the bones (which is correct as far as I can see) would make the (invisible) hip the root of your model. Both upper leg bones and the lumbar spine bone are connected to that root, so there's no problem.

Oh, wait - now I see: The spine bone points in the wrong direction. It should go from the hip to the neck (and then to the head, to the shoulders, and the arms would connect to the shoulders and go to the hands, then the fingers, etc. - always from the root towards the limbs).
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Postby Torf » Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:54 am

Ah, ok, thx. It works now.

I also noticed (when adding the shoulder bones), that when you add a bone and start and end dragging the mouse on the end/start of two already existing bones it'll create that "connector" bone, which has no color and no DOFs itself - pretty neat!
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Postby dcuny » Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:11 pm

Torf wrote:I also noticed (when adding the shoulder bones), that when you add a bone and start and end dragging the mouse on the end/start of two already existing bones it'll create that "connector" bone, which has no color and no DOFs itself - pretty neat!
Cool! I remember asking for that, but didn't know it had been coded. :D
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Postby sascha » Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:43 pm

Yes, when you insert a new bone between two exisisting ones (by starting it on the end of one bone and attaching it to the start of another bone) when creating it the new bone will be created without and DOFs attached. You can add DOFs to it later, and you can also delete all DOFs from any bone to make it a "connector" bone.

I should note that there is a bug in the "assign point to bones" tool when connector bones are selected, I'll try to fix that asap.
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Postby dcuny » Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:12 pm

sascha wrote:You can add DOFs to it later, and you can also delete all DOFs from any bone to make it a "connector" bone.
I think this is clearly the way to do this. The current behavior is convenient to those "in the know", but totally baffling to the new user. They aren't likely to have a clue what is happening when JPatch creates these bones, and you'll get pestered about it constantly. :P
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Postby sascha » Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:36 pm

Now wait a minute - wasn't this your idea in the first place? :P
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Postby dcuny » Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:11 pm

Memory is a tricky thing. I could look this up, but I probably changed my mind about a few things, so I'm not going to incriminate myself. ;)

My recollection was that I asked for a "special" connector bone, one which had no DOF. I pointed to Blender, and suggested that the bone be drawn differently, as a dashed line.

You argued (correctly) that there was no need for a "special" bone at all - simply turning off the DOF of a bone would be enough.

At this point, a heated discussion about how a "connector" bone would behave, and how the user would set one, und so weiter. Harsh words were spoken, tearful nights ensued, followed by a tearful reunion. Ooops, I'm getting confused here. :P

To be honest, I don't remember. My initial thought was that you should have a "connector" bone on the UI, so it would be really, really obvious to users. My second thought is that there should be some was to toggle off all the DOF on a bone easily. I think you argued that this wasn't really necessary, and I thought it was left at that.

As I said - I rather like the behavior, now that I know about it. But my worry (from a user interface perspective) is whether it's too confusing for newbies to figure out, or understand if it happens.
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Postby sascha » Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:36 pm

Ok, ok, never mind :). I remember the discussion about connector bones, but it's most likely that that I came up with how it's implemented now.

Torf didn't sound baffled when he discovered it :wink:

But I tend to agree, having the software doing semi-magical things behind the scenes that are only known to well informed circles is not good GUI design (I didn't mention Bl....., did I ?)
And I never, never click on thoose lamps, paper-clips or whatever that start popping up (or dancing over the screen) in some software products - usually when the software feels guilty that it might just have done something that the user did not want it to do - so I'm not going to implement anything like that.
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Postby dcuny » Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:14 pm

You didn't mention Blender, but that didn't stop me. ;)

To be fair, Blender has really gotten much better in the last couple of years. I expect that by the end of the Orange project, the animation system will be a lot better, too.

And since you mentioned Clippy:

Image
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Postby pndragon » Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:47 am

Just like Clippy to not give enough options... :P

--- Jim
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Postby Torf » Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:48 am

sascha wrote:Torf didn't sound baffled when he discovered it :wink:
Well, I was buffled slightly. I first thought it was a bug in JPatch (JPatch forgetting to assign a color to the bone), because it hadn't happened before. Manually assigning a color didn't work, too, and I noticed that the bone had no DOFs, either! Must be a bug, let's see if we can reproduce it - ah, yeah we can. Ehm. One moment: This does look like a feature now :D

I guess the main problem with the whole bones/morphs stuff is that there is pretty much no written doc about it where people could start reading before starting to model/rig. When I figured it all out I'll write something down, but before that either you have to do it or you'll be punished with my endless questions :wink:
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Postby sascha » Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:15 pm

And since you mentioned Clippy:

ROFL :lol:
Must be a bug...One moment: This does look like a feature now

The easiest way to turn a bug into a feature is to document it :wink:

But this one actually was designed as a feature (I thought that if I didn't implement it David would not forget and ask about it again - and then I could pull it out of a hat :P)
Seriously, I agree that it is not the best solution - a simple "make connector bone" button or popup-item might be better (it would simply delete all the DOFs of the selected bone).
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