KineFX and Crowds: Robot Project

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So, I've gotten A TON of help from SideFX Support on this project and, big shout out to them for filling in the gaps in my understanding, and sometimes, just flat-out telling me I was going about it all wrong.

What's working:
  • Procedural Creation of MotionClips
  • Measuring point distance(s) as the rig articulates. UI tools to visualize which point pair(s) are being measured.
  • Stretchy bones
  • Rigid Binding to KineFX Rig
  • Procedurally pack skin pieces for instancing in LOPs
  • Instancing skin pieces onto Joints in LOPs

What's under R&D:
  • Ragdoll Setup
  • Limb Detachment based on Forces per-Joint
  • Having FX apply forces to the KineFX Joints
  • Procedural sparks when limbs detach
  • Procedural cables when limbs detach

..anyway...I'll be dropping images in this thread over time as I continue on my journey.
Edited by TwinSnakes007 - Jan. 30, 2022 11:19:56
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Now that I have a rig working and being measured, I've started modelling one of the hero robots, starting with the elbow joint.

This first pass is just to get a sense of scale, the minute details will come much later.

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elbow joint.png (348.7 KB)

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I'm going for a additive manufacturing design for the endoskeleton, I love how it has this organic feel to it while maintaining the same strength/tolerances of a normal solid product

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moI? looks like moI
I'm a sucker for hardsurface geo, so...even just this preview is already doing it
will be keeping an eye on this thread!
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fianna
Moi?

Yup, been supporting Michael since the 1st beta.

I'm hoping he gets around to a true parametric design in the next release.
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yep MoI is great nurbs modeler and... yes, I still can't believe that it is the one dude all this time.
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Yup, just about ready to blow this lil guy to smithereens....

Took a break from modelling to mature my VFX skills and dive deeper into the Crowds workflow.

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ready to blow.jpg (142.3 KB)

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Its oddly satisfying seeing Solaris cooperating and playing nicely - you have NO idea how hard it was to make sense of the USD/Solaris landscape.

LOPs does not really place nicely and likes to throw tantrums - auto-save with overwrite is your friends folks.

I will admit, that LOPs is very, very freakin powerful.

Anyway, building the robots back up, piece by piece so I can blow them up later.
Edited by TwinSnakes007 - Dec. 1, 2021 14:22:11

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getting in formation.jpg (170.6 KB)

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Thanks to the community, I re-organized how this is done so its all in LOPs - and I think I really like it. It was a nice way to stay in LOPs and have everything organized.

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inception.jpg (236.8 KB)

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Look cool, Daryl. Could you explain the setup or point to discussion where you learned about it, please?
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Look cool, Daryl. Could you explain the setup or point to discussion where you learned about it, please?

This is actually apart of a Solaris and KineFX bootcamp tutorial I'm authoring. Stay tuned.
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After winning and losing some arguments with SideFX Support around the Instancer LOP (mostly of which I lost, but I do take solace in that they admitted to a Bug), I'm on a great path of a clean workflow approach to this rigid rigged KineFX Agents.

So, now I gotta do one final pass of over my packed primitives to rename them so they match up to the Joint Names and then this week I can start on the RBD Collision shapes and Detaching Limbs.
Edited by TwinSnakes007 - Dec. 19, 2021 21:38:32

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Going back thru and doing a subset pass to assist with shading/variation.

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robot_subsets.jpg (251.3 KB)

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This seems like a great diversion into MaterialX possibilities, as I need to determine how I'm gonna shade the monitor so that it has at least eyebrows and eyes to convey facial expressions. Textures eat up VRAM, which is precious, since Karma doesnt have OOC yet.

I thought about subdividing to have enough Geo to do something like maybe an attribute transfer, but I think I'm going to try and avoid that and use it as a last resort.

Edit: NOPE!, no Vex support in MtlX yet, so that's a dead end. I'm gonna retopo so I can do a pixelated effect in Vex driving Cd.
Edited by TwinSnakes007 - Jan. 2, 2022 23:11:28

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Got the original Geo blasted out (literally) and replaced with some Grids with nice uniform Prims - can do attribute transfer or VEX to value Cd on them to draw the eyeballs/eyebrows, etc.

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replaced_geo.jpg (228.5 KB)

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When creating SubSets for the Chest, it looked like a great spot to put the Houdini Logo. It may be a great story tool later on...like..."Houdini Powerup"....or..."Houdini Bat Signal using Atmospherics".
Edited by TwinSnakes007 - Jan. 12, 2022 17:23:17

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Took me a really long time to figure out how to setup the rest pose. But, I'm also really enjoying my KineFX journey - really wish I could do this type of stuff for a living - it vibes with my train of thought very well. Every time I "want" to do something, there's seems to already be a road laid down by the KineFX team to achieve it - so its been a pleasurable experience - but since I can only work a few hours a week as my hobby, it probably takes me alot longer to produce than someone who does this stuff full time.
Edited by TwinSnakes007 - Jan. 27, 2022 17:15:05

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Looks like a really fun project, well done. I was wondering as you have probably more experience with KiniFX, would it be possible to rigg that little robot with KiniFX in full and without VEX?
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I was wondering as you have probably more experience with KineFX, would it be possible to rigg that little robot with KiniFX in full and without VEX?

Hi, thanks for your question. The Robot is actually already rigged. What I'm doing in my latest post is creating a Rest Pose - the Rest Pose, at least my understanding of it, is so you can clearly see all of the mesh components versus when the Model is in a Pose than can obscure parts of it - for example, the Pose can have the hands closed, making it difficult to see all the fingers.

Various tools in Houdini have an option to put the model in its "Rest Pose". So, I needed a Rest Pose, so that I can create the Ragdoll collision shapes, and be sure that the collision shapes cover the mesh accurately.

To more directly answer your question - Yes, KineFX makes is super easy to bind/skin a mesh onto a Rig.
Edited by TwinSnakes007 - Jan. 29, 2022 12:55:17
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Daryl Dunlap
SIgor420
I was wondering as you have probably more experience with KineFX, would it be possible to rigg that little robot with KiniFX in full and without VEX?

Hi, thanks for your question. The Robot is actually already rigged. What I'm doing in my latest post is creating a Rest Pose - the Rest Pose, at least my understanding of it, is so you can clearly see all of the mesh components versus when the Model is in a Pose than can obscure parts of it - for example, the Pose can have the hands closed, making it difficult to see all the fingers.

Various tools in Houdini have an option to put the model in its "Rest Pose". So, I needed a Rest Pose, so that I can create the Ragdoll collision shapes, and be sure that the collision shapes cover the mesh accurately.

To more directly answer your question - Yes, KineFX makes is super easy to bind/skin a mesh onto a Rig.
Thanks for the answer Daryl, much appriciated. Good luck with your project.
QA Specialist | 3D Artist | Core4D Community Manager | https://twitter.com/ISeveric [twitter.com] | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x78cuYgegHc [www.youtube.com]
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