The highlight for this release is Locomotion!
The above animation is automatically generated, given just a handful of parameters to ragdoll.
- One or more
I'll walk through what each of these mean in the rest of this documentation.
Let's start with a quick look at what you can get out of this new toy.
Modeling by Christophe Desse.
Spot and Friends
Yes, you can give it a terrain.
Two Happy Boxes
A 2-legged quadruped, look at'em go!
Locomotion & Physics
Playing well together.
As you can tell, quadrupeds fair much better!
But with some physics, it's starting to look nice. :)
Here's what we're aiming for with this release.
To achieve this, you've got control over:
- The start and end positions of the body and feet
- The order and duration of steps, called a
- An optional
Terrainupon which to walk
- A few additional extras for fine-tuning things
There can be any number of feet and it can travel any amount of distance. The
Step Sequence is how you're able to achieve different kind of walks.
Terrain is how it can do this across geometry of any complexity.
Let's talk about what cannot be solved with Ragdoll
As of this release, it only understands 2 things.
- The body
- The foot
And for feet, it only understand the position of the foot, not its orientation.
Most importantly, it does not understand arms! Arms are critical to human locomotion, they swing in tandem with each step. This version of Ragdoll does not understand arms. Yet. Meaning it's good for locomotion involving any creature that does not have arms.
But Marcus, that doesn't leave much room for many creatures. They all have arms!
- ..any quadruped!
- 6-legged creatures, e.g. crabs
- 8-legged creatures, e.g. spiders
- n-legged tentacle monsters
With that out the way, let's look at what it can do!
Here's what you do.
- Select body
- Select feet
The generated locomotion is the result of a "plan", meaning each of the inputs you give it. Including this initial selection.
Locomotion also has a manipulator, accessible by selecting the
rPlan node and pressing
T on your keyboard.
Locomotion is computed in the background.
Normally, it'll take a second or two to compute 4-12 seconds worth of locomotion, and you can safely interact with Maya whilst it's running. It has zero impact on your overall Maya or character rig performance.
Anything from a box with a sphere for feet to the most complex digi-double will do.
The rig in the above example is nothing special, as you've seen from the examples above this works on "rigs" as complex as a box and 2 spheres.
You can have as many characters in the scene as you like.
These currently run 1 at a time, but the next release will unlock this to 1-per-core. Meaning you can have 128 characters computed in parallel on a 64-core AMD CPU. Now for what purpose could you ever need that many?
Locomotion is an entirely separate "brain" that you may, or may not, want to combine with regular Markers.
Body and/or feet can be
Kinematic or driven by a
Pin Constraint, or anything inbetween.
Unlike a simulation,
Locomotion is entirely time independent. So it isn't strictly necessary to record; it will run directly on your character rig.
You can edit the locomotion as keyframes via Maya's native
Bake Results command.
This will become your new best friend. With an easily recognisable pattern for when to move your feet.
It can be used to produce a wide variety of locomotion, such as this frog sequence.
Once you've figured how to get somewhere, next up is figuring out where to go.
- Select either
Endof the body or foot
- Use the
Translategizmo to control the position of either
- Use the
Rotategizmo to control the start and end orientation of the
Rotate gizmo to control the orientation of the body at the start or end positions.
Is your character jumping or limping? Maybe dancing? Limits control the area in which each foot is allowed to move.
- Select the
bodyto adjust the size of your character
- Select a
footto adjust the amount of motion a foot is allowed to have
Here's an example of how a short limit on one foot, and long steps with the other foot, can generate a wounded or limping locomotion.
Things can easily get more interesting by swapping out that flat ground with some geometry.
Sometimes, Locomotion can get stuck
Thinking.... Let us know if this happens, along how you got to that point. We're working on narrowing this down.
Quality of Life
In addition to locomotion, a few minor things were improved in this release.
Manipulator & Constraints
With the previous release keeping track of the order in which you select things using the manipulator, this release carries on the trend by enabling constraints to be made from within the comfort of the Manipulator. 🤗
Manipulator & Namespaces
If you had 2 controls of the same name but in different namespaces, the Manipulator could get confused about which one you were actually editing.
This has now been fixed.
In response to feedback on the default values, 3 of them has seen an upgrade.
Air Density = 1.0 -> 0.1
Substeps = 4 -> 8
Iterations = 4 -> 8
These can all be found on the
rSolver node. And will result in more accurate simulation and less explosions. Bearing in mind that many simulations do not require this amount of substeps and iterations, and they come at the expense of performance. So if you find yourself in need of more juice, lower these back down to 4 or lower. If it looks right, it is right.
As it happens, MacOS users were getting a much too small Manipulator HUD!
This has now been addressed.
If you encounter any issues like this, please let us know in the forums!