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Forum Home > SIMS 3 - HELP ME > Difficulty animating In Blender with Sims 3 Rig, need FK and IK Bones!

Sims Dreamer
Member
Posts: 24

Hi! I am trying to make custom animations in the Sims 3 right now for the first time, and I am very frustrated! If you are at least experiencing what I am about to mention, or know how to help me, please let me know.

 

I am trying to make animations in Blender (though I think the same problem exists in Milkshape). I downloaded the Blender Sims rigs here http://sims3cliptool.wordpress.com/download/ (they seem to be the only Blender Sims 3 rigs on the internet). Currently, I am only interested in using the human female adult (afRig). Granted, these rigs work adequately for posing. Seems that the joints deform the Sim the same way the pose/animation will deform a Sim in the game.

 

Quickly, though, I experienced how annoying these rigs are to use to create animation with. There is no way I know of to keep a joint (or group of joints) from moving in space while attached joints move/rotate.

 

Note: This no offence to "A" who created the Blender Sims rigs--they work, and the Sims' meshes actually look like Sims. I cannot even imagine trying to re-create these meshes and rigs. I just want the rigs to be more functional and user-friendly for animators and machinima makers (like me).

 

Examples:

When making an animation of standing up from seated or squat, I need the feet to stay in-place on the ground between frames. But bending the rig's knees will rotate the calve bone (moving the foot out of place), instead of rotating the rest of the body above it. This same problem is apparent when trying to make a walk animation. The push-off foot needs to stay in the same spot for frames while it is grounded.

Same problem when making an animation with the body moving, but a hand (or hands) need to stay in place. Like if the Sim is holding an immovable object during the frames. But, moving/rotating the arm or body moves the hand in space.

 

I've watched many Blender tutorials on YouTube now that show characters (which are not Sims) being animated this much easier way that I want. All these tutorials show a bone system in their rig, with IK bones--which inversely controls movement, i.e. moving the feet (or hands) move the legs (or arms) too, and the torso does not move. I can find absolutely zero tutorials that show a rig like we have for Sims 3, except tutorials for Sims 3 posing in Blender.

 

I've asked several Blender tutorial channels recently about this--explaining how we make custom animations for Sims 3 and play them with Animation Player in-game-- asking if they know how to attach a proper bone skeleton to this pre-existing joint system we have for Sims--and if keyframes will still save these joints only, once there is a skeleton attached. Apparently the game will only use animations if these specific joints, and only these joints, have LocRot data. No response from any of them as of yet.

 

Please see this Blender bone rigging tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGvalWG8HBU as an example. Note how when he selects the mesh, Blender selects the entire skin. Selecting the mesh of the Sims rig only selects the joints with dotted lines this rig has, and not the Sim body (skin). His mesh does not even have the dotted-line-joints like we have in the Sims rig. And...see the bones?!

 

I'm sorry this is so long...thank you for reading. Please let me know if you have any information or can help me with this. Surely a proper bone skeleton with IK joint constraints for our Blender Sims 3 rigs would help not only me, but all other S3 custom animators and machinima makers using Blender.

 

Thank you,

Sims Dreamer

I'm on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/thesimsdreamer Please leave comment in Discussion, or Message me (thought I don't know if I have that set up, I can't see it on my Channel).

 

November 26, 2013 at 10:53 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Ballantyne
Member
Posts: 181

Hi Sims Dreamer, I actually saw your comment on Sims3cliptool about that I.K. rig, so I know exactly what you are talking about! I have made about 60+ animations using the rigs by A, and while the rigs are marvellous, it is very, very time-consuming (as in: hours for one animation sometimes!). Believe me, I have been insanely desperate for an I.K. rig too, and have gone through many failed rigging experiments myself!


Good news, that I.K. rig was actually uploaded by "sm" aka "Dr.Spaceman" to the simlogical forums if you want to test it out. Here: http://www.den.simlogical.com/denforum/index.php?topic=2425.0

(As you can see, I have been bombarding "sm" with a lot of questions, lol)

The rig actually works really, really well, but fair warning: it is VERY different to the standard rigs, it does take a LOT of practice (and a bit of study) to get used to it. If you are willing to put in the effort, it works GREAT once you get the hang of it.

 

I haven't animated much yet with it, but I'm trying to make a few animations for my machinima (including some running, stepping, leaning etc). Of course, there are a couple of drawbacks/bugs to it but as far as making animations "from scratch" goes: it's the bees knees. :D


Edit: I just noticed ,most unfortunatly, the download link seems to be broken :/ Hopefully it gets fixed soon.

(If it's not fixed within a few days.... I still have the .zip file, I might be able to *cough* "slip it under the table" to you, so to speak.).

 



November 26, 2013 at 11:26 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Sims Dreamer
Member
Posts: 24

Thank you so much for your reply! Finally, someone who understands and knows what I'm talking about! Yes, I've been experimenting, too, trying to get bones to attach to those "joints", whatever they actually are. The mesh and joints will never move with the bones I try to attach. My main concern, as I say, is that the keyframes need to save the joint data of those joints only, as I assume that is what Animation Player must only see for animations to work in-game. And right, I found the link you mentioned, too, and was diappointed it was gone. Okay, so if you find the zip file of the rig "sm" made, please let me know, and I guess I will give you my email address to send it to (I'll message you with my email address if you say I'm allowed). Also, I am using the (I think) current version of Blender (2.69), so let me know if I need an earlier version for the rig to work. Again, thank you!

November 27, 2013 at 1:14 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Sims Dreamer
Member
Posts: 24

Ballantyne, I actually did see your posts to SM and watched your test video. Did any of the kinks you mention get fixed in the Rig you have? I really like that the A rigs have normal Sim texture. A long time ago I tried to animate with Milkshape, and the unnatural-looking texture on those rigs made them hard to use and even tell which way the Sim was facing (front or behind). Maybe that is fixed in Milkshape now, I don't know. Anyway, I notice in your test video that the eyes of the Sim behave weird, especially in the squatting animation. Is this fixed in the rig you have, or do you know how to fix it? Right, seems you were getting info about how to save the joints Ani Player needs for the game to actually play the animations. If you give me the rig, I will play with it and try to follow the info on that post page as much as I can before I ask you any questions.

November 27, 2013 at 1:39 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Sims Dreamer
Member
Posts: 24

Also...seems that the in-depth Read-Me for SM's rig is necessary. I hope you have that, too.

November 27, 2013 at 1:52 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Ballantyne
Member
Posts: 181

No problem :) 

That's great you've been experimenting. I just want to clarify though: have you made any animations so far with "A's" rigs? I am only asking as the I.K. rigs are fairly tricky in comparison to A's. I would strongly recommend making at least 3 or 4 animations with the current rigs and testing them in the game using the animation player by "cmomoney", (if you haven't already). 

Otherwise... you might have a rough time testing out the I.K. rigs. :/


Edit:  No, the "kinks" are still there. I am waiting for sm to reply back to me. I actually just completely removed the rigging on the eyeballs as I found it confusing. I also removed the rigging on the hands and added my own simple rig (it's the only thing I know how to rig sucessfully).  I was able to re-add the texture to the face and eyeballs, but it looks a bit weird. I don't really know what I'm doing because, like most of us I am still learning too! :)

And yep, I have the read-me. It is essential to study it. The only thing I haven't studied properly is the info about "f-curves". It seems a bit technical. I am considering buying a few training DVDs just so I can figure it out, lol. 

November 27, 2013 at 1:55 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Sims Dreamer
Member
Posts: 24

Maybe this is the last thing I will post tonight, LOL. Not having the Rig to even use yet, but this is a thought...I've learned how to use the NLA editor (which is the only way to use more than one base animation from the game at once), and I had to figure out on my own that Bake is how you get the actions keyframes back so the S3 animation actually saves something. Anyway, I figured out that I could put an action for face animations (only) above the body's action, and that would alter the face, obviously. I'm wondering if this is the way (or means toward) fixing the weird eye movements you were getting in your test video. I'm just trying to think of some things i can see already that may be issues and if you have thoughts about them. Again, Ballantyne, thank you for your reply.

November 27, 2013 at 2:04 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Sims Dreamer
Member
Posts: 24

Yes, I have made a few animations with the A rigs. The latest video on my channel has two animations I made (they are towards the end). I just completely stopped trying to make animations once I watched Blender tutorials on YT that had skeletons with FK and IK bones. I didn't want to hassle with the rig any longer as it is. I tell you, if the SM rig will keep the feet planted on the ground as the hips are rotated, then I want to learn to use it!  Thinking maybe that main-body animation can be performed with SM rig, and then remove it and go back to A rig to set actions for the face (?) Also, would you please send me the original SM rig, and your modified version of it (that is, if you're going to send it to me). Please an thank you.

November 27, 2013 at 2:18 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Sims Dreamer
Member
Posts: 24

Agghhh, one more thing and then I'll sleep tonight, LOL...I want to create animations to use in my next YT video (that's the point of all this, obviously  8-) I plan to give credit and a channel shout-out to anyone that helps me with animation in the desciption of this up-coming video (that is, unless you don't want me to). Good night!

November 27, 2013 at 2:26 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Minraed
Site Owner
Posts: 3019

Good luck getting this all sorted out SimsDreamer. Share the results with us when you're done so we can see how it turned out.


All of this talk lately about blender and milkshape, here and on facebook is making me want to make my own animations and poses. hmm.. more work... maybe not ;)  Good Luck


Oh, and if your questions have not all been answered or if you don't have a solution let me know. I may know someone else who might have some advice.

--



November 27, 2013 at 6:01 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Ballantyne
Member
Posts: 181

@ Sims Dreamer - I sent you a PM :)

@ Minraed - Hey, I was thinking.... maybe we could get a separate forum section going for animation discussion? Especially now there are exciting new rigs starting to show up :) There have been a lot of animation threads recently on the forums -  maybe there could be one for Blender and one for Milkshape? I don't know - what do you think?

November 27, 2013 at 7:14 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Sims Dreamer
Member
Posts: 24

 

Thank you Minraed. Yeah, as you probably read, the link to an alternate S3 rig is currently broken, so I'm still stuck. Yeah, animating is fun--finished product is cool at least--creation process can be difficult, depending on the complexity of the animation.

 

Yes, if you know someone else who can help, I'd like to be in contact with that person. I welcome any help!

 

Since I've watched a lot of Blender tutorials on YT, I was thinking I could make a public playlist of the most helpful ones on my YT channel. Does that sound good? If so, I'll work on it and get the playlist up here pretty soon (I've already made an incomplete, private playlist for myself).

 

One thing that helps is that any animation EA made for expansions (and obviously the Base game you need to do this at all) can be brought into Blender to start with--including custom animations or poses. My latest video has an animation I made with help from custom poses. I gave credit to that person in my description. I always try to credit all mod creators in my descriptions (except CAS mods, as that is getting too extensive, i.e. too many to remember where I acquired them all). Still, I've noticed that a lot of S3 machinima do not credit any mod creators individually my name; so I guess I am OK--I'm just trying to be courteous to the creators, and my viewers who may want to know about mods.

November 27, 2013 at 12:33 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Sims Dreamer
Member
Posts: 24

Please don't get me wrong in my last post--most (if not all) S3 machinimas give credit and a "thank you" to other mod creators in general, just some do not individually. Okay, so I don't know for sure what is the excepted practice...should I credit individual mod creators, or not? Seems to me it is nice to do, but I still kinda new to the machinima community, so I don't know.

November 27, 2013 at 12:49 PM Flag Quote & Reply

TheJDKProducion
Member
Posts: 1

Ballantyne at November 26, 2013 at 11:26 PM

Hi Sims Dreamer, I actually saw your comment on Sims3cliptool about that I.K. rig, so I know exactly what you are talking about! I have made about 60+ animations using the rigs by A, and while the rigs are marvellous, it is very, very time-consuming (as in: hours for one animation sometimes!). Believe me, I have been insanely desperate for an I.K. rig too, and have gone through many failed rigging experiments myself!


Good news, that I.K. rig was actually uploaded by "sm" aka "Dr.Spaceman" to the simlogical forums if you want to test it out. Here: http://www.den.simlogical.com/denforum/index.php?topic=2425.0

(As you can see, I have been bombarding "sm" with a lot of questions, lol)

The rig actually works really, really well, but fair warning: it is VERY different to the standard rigs, it does take a LOT of practice (and a bit of study) to get used to it. If you are willing to put in the effort, it works GREAT once you get the hang of it.

 

I haven't animated much yet with it, but I'm trying to make a few animations for my machinima (including some running, stepping, leaning etc). Of course, there are a couple of drawbacks/bugs to it but as far as making animations "from scratch" goes: it's the bees knees. :D


Edit: I just noticed ,most unfortunatly, the download link seems to be broken :/ Hopefully it gets fixed soon.

(If it's not fixed within a few days.... I still have the .zip file, I might be able to *cough* "slip it under the table" to you, so to speak.).

 



Can you give me a basic link to where the I.K rigs are? I know you can't link them on this site because they are not approved. If you can't just PM on YouTube.

Thanks!

Channel: www.youtube.com/thejdkproduction

April 18, 2015 at 12:31 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Minraed
Site Owner
Posts: 3019

this thread has been dead for 1 1/2 years so chances are no one is following anymore :(

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April 19, 2015 at 1:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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