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Thanks for sharing, the lighting on the wheels and coins is beautiful, very painterly.
The site is in Japanese, but the program was in English for me.
Beginner Friendly Design
Fast Click Skeleton Creation
New bones can now be added very quickly by clicking in the 3d window while holding down the right control key. New bones can also be inserted between 2 joints by clicking on the line that joins them. To see the this feature being used watch the Nurbs Lathe Robot Demo.
Sphere, Cylinder, Cone, Torus, Box, Rectangle, NurbsLathe and BendyLathe Objects
Geometry can easily be added to the skeleton’s bones by simply selecting the bone in the Scene Tree window and clicking on any of the following buttons in the toolbar:
The object’s control panel allows you to easily change the object’s dimensions and position and orientate it. NurbsLathe’s and BendyLathe object’s shapes can easily be modified by dragging control points in the 3d window.
Convert to NurbsPatch
Sphere, Cylinder, Cone, Torus, Box, NurbsLathe and BendyLathe objects can easily be converted to NurbsPatches by right clicking on the object’s icon in the scene tree window. and selecting convert to nurbs. This offers a lot of freedom to the beginner to control the shape intuitively.
Intuitive Animation Bar
To animate, all the user has to do is plug an Anim bar into the scene node, click on the Anim node to put seamless into Anim mode and pose the model at different points in the time line.
Robot Demonstration Help
The Seamless3d Robot Demos simulate a user using seamless3d. The demos are broken down into operations. The operations can be played in any order and repeated as many times as needed. All of the clicks and keys used are displayed in the status bar. Because the demos are simulations not movies, you are guaranteed nothing is ignored to complete the task. The demos can be selected by pressing F10 and then selecting help.
Multiple Control Point Selection & Manipulation
Multiple control points from any number of patches can be selected by dragging with the mouse while the left shift key is held down. Once selected you can:
Translate (move): drag one of the selected points
Rotate 1D: Drag the orientation lever
Stretch/Squash 1D and Rotate: Control Shift while dragging the orientation lever
Stretch/Squash 1D: Alt while dragging the orientation lever
Stretch/Squash 2D: Alt Control while dragging the orientation lever
Stretch/Squash 3D: Alt while dragging one of the selected control points
Orientation lever in neutral: Control while dragging the orientation lever
There is also the option of manipulating the selected control points using a control panel which can be opened by pressing Control T.
Selected control points can be un-selected the same way they are selected by holding down both the left control and shift keys.
NURBS Control Ring Selection & Manipulation
When selecting multiple control points it is often necessary to select all the points in one or more rings within a patch. Whole rings can be slected by clicking on only one of the control points within the ring. See the tutorial: Selecting & Manipulating NURBS Control Rings
The radial tug lets you tug multiple control points at a time and have the amount each control point is tugged within a specified radius vary depending on how close they are to the center of the tug so that there is always a smooth transition to the unaffected control points. To use the radial tug first select a NurbsPatch in the scene tree window and establish a radius by clicking up on this button: from the toolbar. When the radius is visible you can also resize the radius by dragging the control point located to the right on the radius (the red dot located on the cyan coloured circle)
A NurbsPatch can be set to mirror another patch (for example a left arm mirror a right arm) or so that its left side mirrors its own right side.
Nurbs patches can be stitched together using control polygons to create complex structures. Once the patches are stitched they are as straight forward as single patches to modify the shape (just drag the control points).
NURBS Surface Poly Editing (NSPE)
NSPE allows the user to hand edit the polygons on NURBS surfaces. This includes being able to drag the vertices anywhere along the NURBS surface as well as join the vertices together, break the vertices apart and colour them. NSPE has a significant advantage over simply converting a NURBS surface to a polygon mesh for editing because NSPE lets the user be able continue to modify the NURBS surface for the hand edited polygon structure.
Because NSPE ensures that when a polygon’s vertex is dragged it will always be on the NURBS surface, NSPE greatly helps the user to avoid unintentionally changing the shape of the model when optimizing for real time animation
Fusing NURBS Surfaces
Fusing patches has some advantages over stitching, you donâ€™t have to concern yourself with the number of control points matching up with the patch you are fusing it to but fused surfaces are not as straight forward to modify after they are fused and fused patches are less suited than stitched patches for nurbs control point animation.
Show/Hide Patch Control Cage
When nurbs modelling, it can be extremely helpful to only show the control cages for patches that you are working on. This does not hide the geometry like when you hide a part node, only the control cage is hidden and made inactive from modelling. A Patch can be toggled from showing or hidden by double clicking on the patch’s icon in the scene tree.
You can show all NurbsPatch control cages by pressing Alt A
Hide all patch cages except the selected patch by pressing Alt S
Hide any patch cage that has one of its control points selected by pressing Alt H
Multiple Vertex Selection & Manipulation
A vertex can be modified by simply clicking on it and dragging it. Multiple vertices can be selected for dragging by selecting them first. Multiple vertices are selected using the rectangle section tool by dragging with the left shift key held down.
Multiple Triangle Selection & Manipulation
Multiple triangles can be selected much the same way vertices can be by holding down the right shift key. Once the triangles are selected they can be deleted, cut away from selected triangles or coloured as shown in the tutorial/demo: Breaking, Joining and Colouring Polygons
By being able to split selected strips of triangles, box modelling can be performed as shown in the robot demo: poly model avatar demo
The radial tug lets you tug multiple vertices at a time and have the amount each control point is tugged within a specified radius vary depending on how close they are to the centre of the tug so that there is always a smooth transition to the unaffected vertices. To see the radial tug in action watch the poly radial tug demo.
A part can be set to mirror another part (for example a left arm mirror a right arm) or so that its left side mirrors its own right side (for example a head part).
A triangleâ€™s vertex can be joined to another by simply dragging the vertex to the destination vertex and then pressing J. Many more options are available for how a vertex may be joined to another as shown in the tutorial/demo: Breaking, Joining and Colouring Polygons
Colour Coded Ownership and Weight Painting
Seamless models can easily be rigged for animation by painting the nurbs control points (or vertices in the case of skinning) with colour coded ownership and weight values.
NURBS Control Point Animation & Morphing
Once rigged a nurbs model is easily animated by posing it at different points on the Anim bar’s time line. The poses are automatically captured for playback. Morphing is also straight forward, you just have to drag a control point and the Anim bar will capture it for playback as shown in the video:
Skinning and Poly Morphing
Once rigged a poly model is easily animated by posing it at different points on the Anim bar’s time line. The poses are automatically captured for playback. Morphing is also straight forward, you just have to drag a vertex and the Anim bar will capture it for playback as shown in the video:
Beginners Skinning & Poly-Morphing Animation Tutorial
The morphing nodes can be output to HAnimDisplacer nodes when output to vrml/x3d. When outputting poly morph animation to vrml or x3d make sure genHAnimNodes, genColorIndex and outScriptAsRoutes fields are ticked.
Inverse Kinematics (IK)
When I tried creating a walk animation late last year (Dec 2010), I could see it was going to be a constant battle stopping the feet from sliding about when they are meant to be firmly engaged on the ground and so decided to add an intuitive IK interface to seamless. Seamless has had IK years ago in the form of the AnimByAnkle node which used hoppy technology but the new IK Interface is greatly improved with draggable IK control points making it friendly even for a beginner. IK should be good not just for walking but also dancing, acrobatics, climbing etc.. For how to utilise IK see the new Robot Demo/Tutorial Introduction to Inverse Kinematics.
Forward Kinematics (FK) Blend
When developing IK and experimenting with it by creating a walk cycle for Lucy, I realised that I wanted the knees straight much of the time in the cycle but found IK hard to control when the knee joints are close to being straight (no bend). This lead to developing the FK blend feature. The 2 fields (which belong to the part node) used for blending are fka (FK angle) and fkb (FK blend). For more info and how to utilise FK Blend, see the tutorial: Advanced Inverse Kinematics.
The FK blend helped keep the knees steady at specific points in the walk cycle but then I noticed there was a problem with the ankles sinking into the ground and rising above it at times. I found I had to add a number of key frames to adjust the pelvis to compensate. This lead to the development of the PosCompensator node which fixed the problem without the need to add extra key frames. The PosCompensator simply compares the ankle position at the beginning of a compensation period with the position of the ankle there after in that period and adjusts the pelvis with the difference. For more info and how to utilise the PosCompensator, see the tutorial: Advanced Inverse Kinematics.
X-Ray mode lets you see all of the pivot points at once and how they are connected via lines. These points and lines form a visual skeleton and can be seen regardless of being in wireframe mode or not. X-Ray Edit Mode lets you drag any of the pivot points in the 3D window.
This feature lets you translate and/or rotate an animation.
See tutorial Transform Animation tutorial.
Default Pose conversion
When importing an animation into an avatar, a common problem encountered will be that the default pose for the animation will not match the default pose for the avatar. For example compare the default poses for Zoe and Lucy:
Because the angle of the arms are different for the 2 avatars, if we import an animation from one to the other we will see bizarre results from the arms when they animate. We can solve this problem by recalculating the avatar’s default pose before importing its animations. See the tutorial: Recalculating an Animation to Match a Default Pose