Monday, December 20, 2010

Have a very Morphy Christmas!

See what you can come up with:)

There comes a time when you just have to "stick a fork in it" and this is it. Some of the stuff I wanted to do I'm gonna hold of till 2.0. But for now Morpheus 1.0 is done and released. Now. 

Get it on the Morpheus project page as usual:)

Additions in this release pack:
  • The file I used to render the above teaser so you can get some ideas on how to push the customization stuff. Can't wait to see how you push it even more.
  • Latest head rig as always for those tinkerers out there
  • All necessary quick selects sets are in scene in a group so you don't have to worry about bringing them in when "tinkering"
  • Both release candidates in case you have animations referencing them
  • New finger/hand poses and new joints for more "meaty" poses.
  • Hand blendshapes
    • Accessible via the hand objects in the Morph-o-matic ui mode
  • Ear animation controls
  • Nose tip mover
  • COG prop space object and switching
  • Parts proxy mesh which enables you to turn off arms and legs and stuff - sorry it's a bit of a hack till I can completely modulize the rig
    • Accessible via the all_anim
  • Polished and pushed face poses (brows, eye squeeze)
  • TONS of fixes that I don't remember them all...:)

  • Rotation order fixes were made on the hand ik controls. It will gimp any ik hand keys you have so if you're in the middle of an animation and don't wanna deal with it. Use the last release rig.

What's next?

I'm gonna chill till new years and put together a plan of attack to try to gin up some remote rigging work and pushing my skillset in that area as well. Python shall be tamed in 2011!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Where on earth have you been, Morphy?!

He's comin - I assure you. And sooner than you might think (if you were thinking next week that is). Life has gotten busy the last few weeks but that doesn't mean there's not more Morphy fixes and updates than I can remember. Here's a tease of some of them....

  • Hand blendshapes for for flexibility
  • New hand sdk stuff to make hands more meaty!
  • Hideable parts on the rig (i.e. no legs, left leg only, whatever). Also - hideable parts retain morphing.
  • LOTS of polish and pushing of shapes
  • Nose tip mover
  • Ear controls
  • Partridge in a pear tree (if you were good this year)
My beta testers are looking at things now to make sure I didn't blow anything up. So keep an eye out:)

In the meantime, here's the best of what I could find on the internet using Morphy:

And a lot of fun entries from 11 second club's contest last month. Keep pushin him peeps! Here's a few:
Keep your peepers peeled!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Moonbot Film Teaser!

This is the film I had the pleasure of working on back in August. Can't wait to see the final film. Check out the new project website here :)

Best of luck on the festival circuit, guys!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thank you Disney...

Tangled was the best animated film I've seen in a long time. Easily up to par with the greats. Beautifully crafted and geektastically Keane'esqe. Loved it.

So last week I fulfilled my civic duty of eating way more than I should to celebrate Thanksgiving. The rotation fell on my wife's family and I had a good time. Went hunting with my brother-in-law - saw some does, shot nothing, and let my feet freeze for far longer than I ought. I have to say the northern Louisiana woods are beautiful - pines, white oaks and cardinals dropping by to say "good morning" on the edge of my treestand.

I've decided to curtail some of the Morphy fixes for the time being as some of the stuff it just gonna take too long to fix when I'd prefer to just do it right from scratch. So, I'm gonna make all of the non rig breaking fixes to Morphy and a couple of improvements and release full release v1.0. Then use him as my template character for rerigging using the tools Bokser and I are fixin to write (where I'll make the spine fix, scaling foot fix and some other stuff).

What else...again working a freelance gig as well so updates will be slow. Oh, and if anyone will be at the Austin 3d user's group on Friday, I'm plannin on being there so feel free to say hello:)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hand update (all the better to grab yams with....)

Come here, my pretty...

So been taking a hard look at hands and came to the realization that Morphy's last release hands just weren't as good as I wanted them to be. Hands are such an imporant part of the expressiveness of a character. So, I've been doing some research and experimenting and think they're much better now. Did you know that finger segment lengths tend to follow set proportions? This was a good read on that.

Here's the changes on the hands:
  • Added blendshape customization (still gotta figure out what controls to put em on - prolly the ui)
  • Added bunch of fixer joints that are sdk driven to help maintain "hand meatiness"
  • Moved a bunch of joints
  • New sdk poses all around 
  • Mesh changes as well
Oh, starting another gig any day now so things will slow down again. Apologies, but paying work comes first.

Other neat stuff from the internets!
  • Really interesting read on where we look when we're accessing certain parts of our brain. Useful for facial:)
  • Beautiful film.

Happy turkey day all!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Morphy 1.0 Plan of Attack...(it's a trap!)

So, got back this last weekend from a great gig with Sony in San Diego. Made a lot of new friends, ate great food, and saw the zoo! Coming back I'm gonna be putting a bigger focus on  rigging for the next little while as I think it'll offer more remote work opportunities.

So the first thing I wanna do is get the full Morphy 1.0 out the door. It's been so fun seeing what folks have been coming up with and a big thanks to the guys at 11 second club for putting Morpheus on the resources page. Took the last few days to relax and get caught up on errands but I've also been getting input from my closed Morphy testers on my list of stuff to fix and or add on the rig.

Here's a preview of what I'll be hoping to get done before a full 1.0 release. Wherever possible, I will make fixes in such a way that won't mess with any animation that's been done on the release candidate rigs.

  • Face - anyone (who's done some lip sync animation) having any trouble hitting anything? I wanna get back and test the brows especially when I can. Any input you can provide would be helpful.
  • Spine - Not thrilled with the fk funtion on the spine may want to revisit. Also want better hip isolation. Anyone else take issue?
  • Hands - 
    • Thumb weighting needs a lot of love especially in the webbing
    • Think the pinky side of the hand needs some more meat.
    • Add more range of motion on the thumb
  • Add - overall face squash and stretch control
  • Add - nose tip mover
  • Add - ear control? had a request for an ear animation control but not sure how I'd wanna do that. Anyone have any ear controls they like in a rig?
  • Fix - normals on the body and some hair are screwy. I know I fixed it but must have reverted to a previous version somewhere
  • Utility FIX - got a great tip from Tobias on a way to group quick select sets so I don't have to leave em out of the scene. Should help people's confusion when trying to do mods
  • Neck - wanna try to get less curve built in by default to make it behave a little more as expected
  • Fuctionality add - wanna add the ability to toggle of visibility on body regions. Had a couple of teachers request this
  • Add - easier to access joint squash/stretch settings
  • Add - scaleable feet
  • Add - settings saver script

After Morpheus is done, gonna start digging into Python. Woot!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quick Morphy Tip (Selecting the mesh)...

Gotten a few emails on this and wanted to leave a quick tip on how to enable mesh selection on an unreferenced Morphy.

To turn on selectability, run this mel.

//turn on selectability
    setAttr "all_anim|Geo_grp.overrideEnabled" 0;
    setAttr "FacialRig_grp|Geo_grp.overrideEnabled" 0
To turn it back off, here's the alternative...
//turn off selectability
    setAttr "all_anim|Geo_grp.overrideEnabled" 1;
    setAttr "FacialRig_grp|Geo_grp.overrideEnabled" 1;
 Go, go Booleans!

Also, Semper Fi Devil Dogs. 235 years and still truckin. Any other fellow former Marine animators out there? I'm guessin it's a small club:)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Morphy Internet Roundup #1!

NOTE - please tag your animations on Vimeo, youTube or whatever site with "Morphy", "Morphy Rig" or "Morpheus Rig" so I can find em. I wanna see em;)

First off, things are going well on the gig and we'll be wrapping up this week so I'll be saying goodbye to some new friends (and old ones) and get to see my wife again. Can't wait. I'll also be getting back to Morphy to tie up some loose ends as well as digging into Python for another side project with Bokser (you should really go check out his site right now, it's nostalgically awesome).

Been starting to get some tests back from some folks and some friends at my current gig pointed me to some 11 second club entries as well. It's so exciting to see what everyone is starting to do with the rig. Please continue to send bugs/issues as I'll be back on trying to finish Morphy up next week.

Here's a great one from a polish animator

And here's another:

11 Second club entries from last month using Morphy. Nice mods peeps! I love it when I have to look at it a bit to tell if it's Morpheus:) I've heard from a couple of you but if you ran into issues or bugs please lemme know. In no particular order...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

From "Sunny" San Diego...

Actually it's pretty drizzly which my friends here tell me is an anomaly. Go figure. Got checked in at the gig on Friday and am gonna hopefully start pulling my weight come Monday. Great bunch of guys ("guys" includes the girls as well) here and looking forward to the gig.

Had a few emails on an issue with the Morphy scripts and wanted to provide some clarity there. In order to use the add mesh scripts you need to run the "tinkerers" qss script from the qss folder. I covered it in the vid but apparently wasn't as clear as I could have been. Again, I removed the qss's from the rig to keep the outliner clean. However, I got a tip from a guy on how I might be able to group qss's and so I'll give that a shot when I get back to the batcave. Keep your notes comin!

What else....

  • Hodaddy's burger joint in San Diego is awesome. I recommend the single bacon cheese burger and chocolate shake. If you go for lunch you'll wanna skip dinner. Possibly breakfast.
  • "Red" was a fun guy flick though I'd recommend a rental
  • Don't walk on friends patio barefoot unless you check for charcoal dust first otherwise you'll spend the next 30 minutes with some paper towels and a bottle of resolve. :)
  • Google maps isn't always right. My should have been 2 mile walk turned into 10. Ah well, needed the exercise.
That is all. Burton out.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Morpheus Release Candidate v2!

Download the latest on the Morpheus Project page.

This will be the last Morpheus Update for probably a month or so cause of a gig I'm startin. I'm still not considering this a "final" Morpheus release and won't to so until 1) I'm able to animate scene and make sure everything is working as intended or 2) I see a few scenes other people do and they don't have any rig issues. If you find errors, please email me your issue with the following info:
  • Email subject line of "Bad Morphy!" so I can find it easily:)
  • Maya version (only 2009 and above supported)
  • OS
  • Preferably a referenced scene file so I can see your issue
  • Detailed description of what happened.
There's still a couple of bugs I've gotten that I can't replicate and I wanna squash em before a "final" release. Oh, I also updated my site with the project I worked on last month (though I still can't show footage yet) - "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore."

Morpheus Release Candidate v2

  • Until I can figure out a better way of lockin off a few things. Toggle off joint selectability or just turn off their visibility so you don't accidentally select them. 

Facial Rig
  • New mouth twist shape on mouth move anim
  • New lwr lip up for a better lip sneer
  • Wider mouth wide shapes
  • Pushed chin out more (good bit more actually)
  • Weighting update
  • Fixed bug in scaling of eye rig
  • Pushed chin wide more
Body Rig
  • Lots of rotation order fixes
  • Twist fix on the wrist courtesy of my good friend Scott Englert
  • Changed how the mid spine control was influenced so that the hips were more isolated. Will probably swing back when I figure out how I wanna rig spines for more hip isolation
  • Weighting polish on the body
  • Scripts updated to work with referencing and some error checking as well
  • More intelligent weighting updater
  • jbMorpheusBodyCustomGeoBaker - New - Body baker similar to the facial geo baker. 
  • jbMorpheusAddBodyGeo - New - Body adder. If you create a new body mesh and wanna use it instead. Easy peasy.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Morpheus 104 - The Shelf!

Just had a last minute gig land and so I'm gonna be away from the bat cave for awhile. This is the last vid I'll do for a bit but wanted to give a quick overview on the updated Morpheus shelf and script updates. I'm prepping the next release this afternoon so check back later this evening and it should be up. All kinds of updates. Check back lata!

Update - Found a bug I wanna squash before release. It'll be tomorrow. Sorry, peeps!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Morpheus 103 - Blendshape That!

Quick demo on workflow for working with the facial rig blendshapes and some insights on connecting things up for those interested in lookin beneath the hood. 

Been sick the last few days so haven't been making as good of progress as I'd like but making some progress nonetheless. Bout done with the rig fixes and movin on to scripting. Woot!

Sorry for the stumbling through things in the vid a bit, like I said not feeling 100%.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Morpheus 102 - Customization...

Morpheus Rig 102- "Making Morphy Your Own" - you can also download this vid on Vimeo :)

Found some time today to make another training vid. Hope it answers some more questions. If anything isn't clear by all means let me know. Sorry it's so long.

So what's left for Morpheus before final release?
  • Additions
    • Adding upr/lwr outer lip movement to make Rick's sneer lips
    • Adding rotation on the mouth mover
    • Forgot the snapping script icons
  • Scripts
    • Make the scripts work with referencing
    • New script - for adding custom body geo that will work with the body morphing
    • New script - for saving out face settings
  • Fixes
    • Rotation order issues in a couple of places
    • Wrist rotation fixes - courtesy of my good friend Scott Englert who is so awesome he gave me a script to fix it
    • Some Weighting polish
    • Lock off selection on geo and joints
    • Double transformation on some of the hair
Have a good one all!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hamish McKenzie is awesome and why you should care...

"Hamish McKenzie is awesome." - Morphy - in the year of our Lord two thousand and ten

zooShots is a set of scripts I see in the tool box of almost every rigger I know. For those of you who don't know, it is an amazing collection of scripts that a very generous guy by the name of Hamish McKenzie made available years ago and contains scripts that I use every single day I'm in Maya. This morning as I was working through my rss aggregator, I noticed a post by him looking for some help on some residency issues for becoming a U.S. resident.

I don't know Hamish personally but his generosity in sharing his scripts definitely played a part in shaping my own "let's share cg knowlege world view" that helped begat Morphy whom so many of you are coming to my site to find out about. Since you're already here I thought I might send your peepers his way.

So if you use zooToolBox or any other scripts therein in your professional work, let him know. If you don't, I highly recommend you take a look. There's some really awesome tools in there, some of which I've still not scratched the surface on.

And I promise I'll get to the morphing vid as soon as I possibly can.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Morpheus 101 - The Basics....

Morpheus Rig 101 - "The Rig as Is" - you can also download this vid on Vimeo :)

Sorry for the delay on the vid. Been trying to catch up on errands - new glasses which hopfully made me a little less geeky, house cleanin for another batch of guests comin this weekend, mailing my aunt's shoes back to her who left them on accident last weekend, learning to operate a tractor a neighbor let me borrow, and pasture mowin (you know, the typical every day stuff :)

I'd best get all these vids done in the next 30 days as that's what Camtasia allows for a trial and I can't justify the cost of the software right now. However, I will say this - if I get enough donations to cover the cost I'll keep making them if they're helpful.

Next up for vids - "Morpheus Training: Making Morphy Your Own"

Monday, September 27, 2010

Morpheus Release Candidate (first public one at least)...

Download on the Morpheus project page!

New wip docs are here.

Okay, peeps. It's time to get your test on. I'll start working on the "Intro to the rig vid" tomorrow.

Please note - This is NOT the final release version of Morphy. I'll be going through a series of release candidates until the rest of the major kinks are out before a full on "Morpheus Rig" release. As such, please don't point folks to the rig as a "done" rig if they're expecting everything to be done.

Still working on documentation but the rough pass is up here. You'll need to read it to get the shelf installed should you wanna look at that. It is not necessary for the rig to work.

The rig is pretty much feature complete. I'm not sure I can list all the changes since last time but I'll give it a ago:

  • Smoothers and visibility toggles are on "all_anim"
  • Facial Customization - some new options, polish on lots of stuff
  • Facial shapes - polish, added cat eye option on the pupil control
  • Final space switching options
  • Added in prop ik controls
  • You will need to have boTriggers installed. When you have your characters referenced into an animation scene, you'll need to:
    • Install boTriggers
    • type "boTriggers" in the command line. If nothing happens, go back to the previous step.
    • When the window pops up, go to advanced>update all triggers and all the trigger objects in scene and on the UI should work now
  • FK IK switching are right click menu's on the arrows over the hands and feet
  • Space switching where it exists is right click menu's on the respective controls (head, hands, feet, main eye)
  • UI - the ui is in and working. 
    • There is a UI cam that the UI is constrained to in a certain space mode (that will make sense after the vid). This is also so that you can easily have multiple characters in scene and not have UI's on top of eachother.
    • Select the outer UI "square" to toggle between modes
  • If you wanna turn off Squash and stretch for now, go to the anim expression editor and comment out any instances of "MorphySqshStrtch"
I'm looking for bugs and things not working over various versions of Maya. Support is only for Maya 2009 and above. I've personally tested multiple Morpheus' in a referenced scene file and all features are working for me in Windows 7 with Maya 2009, 2010 and 2011 so if you're using one of those and are having issue, take a look at the instructions again. When you send errors PLEASE include the following:
  • Maya version
  • OS
  • Detailed description of what happened
  • Screen grabs
If I don't individually respond to you or your issue. I'm probably 1) too busy fixing it already 2) have already answered the question in the FAQs or post 3) are planning on answering it in an upcoming vid or documenation

Have fun but know many of your questions will probably be answered after I finish the first video tutorial.  For now, I recommend staying away from doing body stretching customization stuff until I get a vid out as you'll need to understand how it is intended to work. You can however go to town on the body morphing

Things I'm still workin on (none of which should affect any animation tests you begin provided you use referencing):

  • Wrist twist issues
  • Gonna add a few more channels of movement on the lips but again, won't mess with your animation. You'll just have a bit more control.
  • Still need to clean up some stray nodes

It's coming!

So close....

Sorry for the lack of updates. I figured I could either work on Morphy or I could ramble on here about updates, so I'll keep it short. Been doing lots of final stuff on the rig and it's ready for open release candidate status. Just trying to get everything together for the release pack. Wrapped up work on my gig last week so been working on Morphy since then as I've had time.

So, here's the plan:

  • Releasing Open Release Candidate later today or tomorrow
  • Start working on how to use the rig vids after that. Planning on an "Intro to the rig", "Making Morphy Yours - face" and a body variety of that one too. Looking at using Jing to do those vids. Anyone have any better suggestions?
I'll be patching in some fixes and cleaning things up through the release candidate testing phase. My buddy Scott Englert is helping out on a wrist issue for me.

Have a good one!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chuggin along...

This is what I was lookin at this weekend. Isn't that exciting?!

Sorry I don't have much to show but Morpheus is getting really close to being finished. Been working hard on hitting all of the feedback issues I've been getting from folks and spent most of my spare time this weekend in the facial rig. Thanks everyone who's provided great feedback, it's just gonna make the rig that much more robust when it's done.


  • Facial Customization
    • Lots of polish on the nose targets, eye sockets  and lips modifiers.
    • Brand new nose tip modifiers. I wasn't really liking how the nose tip modifiers were working so hopefully the new variations will afford more possibilities. 
    • Added nose bridge narrower
    • Weighting - another weighting pass. One commenter was having trouble getting something with the brows being pushed back and so hopefully that's fixed now
  • Facial Blendshapes
    • Update a slew of blendshapes - sneers, lip rolls, narrows, mouth open/lips sealed, actually...pretty much everything has gotten love
      • Lots of more "z movement" on narrow and lip roll shapes.
      • Sneer "rides the skull" better in the ty movement to work better with some of the customization stuff
  • Textures
    • Got another update from Mary (who's workin on a website for me to link to:), but she's been doing a great job on female make up texture work so you can easily toggle things and what not in photoshop. I'm very grateful.
    • Fixed the lip corner uvs
  • Custom geo - Danny tells me he's still workin on the teeth so can't wait to see what he comes up with
  • Body rig - I think we're pretty good to go now, just gotta finish hooking stuff up to the UI
Still shooting to have a release candidate in the next week but no promises. I'd rather have a delayed rig with less bugs:)

What else....Been really enjoyin the animation gig I started a week and a half ago or so. Fun characters with character types I've not really done before. Good stuff.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another labor day has come and gone...

In America means trading one's workweek labors for that of driving long distances to see family or something "neat." In our case we headed to land of my upbringing - Oklahoma. Yes, the wind was sweeping down the plain. Also, I ate way too much.

As I recently said, Morphy progress has slowed as I started a new animation gig which is gonna be a lot of fun. Still working on getting a feel for the characters but it feels good to stretch the animation muscles again after their break of the past few months workin mainly on rigging. Been getting some great feed back from people and did make a few fixes in the wee hours of the night last week.

Oh, a short note on submitting ideas/bugs. Please be as specific as possible in what you're seeing and/or wanting. For bugs, sending me a referenced anim file with your issue illustrated is very helpful and for suggestions, maybe do a draw-over or "over explain" what you mean. Email isn't exactly a great form of communication but we do the best with what we have:)

Here's a quick update:

  • Added in the pony tail and pig tail rigs that will show up when you choose those hair option now. Thanks to Mary Barreiro for doing those rigs and making it so easy to roll them in.
  • Pushed the muscle body morph 50% more and about done splitting that up again
  • Some polish on lips rolls and some other stuff
  • Did another tweak to ankle/shoulder;/hip positioning which required another re-rig
To Do:

  • Still having some issues with the shoulders and hips twist getting messed up so been workin on some solutions there and think we're getting close
  • Finalize UI functionality
  • Look at some texture submissions
  • Finalize head to rig connection procedures for documentation
Feedback request:
  • TSM  Morpheus version - Several of my friends are big Setup Machine fans and I was thinking about doing a TSM body version of Morpheus if there was any interest. It would only be an additional option for using Morpheus if folks like that rig and would illustrate the idea of using the head on different rigs as well. I already have the setup file done so it wouldn't be much hassle. If you're interested. Lemme know.
    • If you're not familiar with The Setup Machine body rig, you can download Squirrely and see what you think. (note - Morpheus will not have a tail)
  • Hands - I've had some mixed reviews on the hand rig setup. The setup is pretty much following Schleifer's AFR setup and I tend to really like it but I've gotten a couple of responses from folks who thought it wasn't clear. I'd like to hear if anyone else feels it's lacking or your thoughts. Please remember that each finger has it's own attributes as well:)
  • Facial - If you start doing facial animation tests or lip sync tests, please let me know if you're having trouble hitting poses you want. Been getting mixed feedback on this one as well and I've not had (and won't have) time to test it myself for a while.
My hope is the next release will be in the next week or two and will be Morpheus Release Candidate v 0.9

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Morpheus Facial OPEN Beta!

Well my internet amigos, getting closer and closer to finished here. It's been a pretty nice weekend here in the Texas sticks and I thought it was a good day to release Morphy's Facial Rig to open Beta. It's getting pretty close to done and I wanted to get some more feedback.

Download it on the new Morpheus project page . There's also WIP documentation and faqs on the page. If you have more questions, keep em comin.

What's in the pack?

  • The latest and greatest Morphy facial rig
    • Notes on some "hidden" controls
      • Smoothers are on "faceSmoothingAttributeHolder"
      • Visibility toggles on "faceVisibilityAttributeHolder"
    • For the tinkerers out there, you can use the below to find and mess with stuff:
      • First off you'll need to turn off, my group drawing overrides so you can select stuff:
        • "Geo_grp"
        • "DeformationRig"
      • "Head_RESETER_bsGeo" is a head mesh to "reset" and mirror vertices if you should be inclined to start messing with doing your own blendshapes. I use abSymMesh for mirroring and resetting.
        • Blendshapes for the facial rig are here "Facial_bsGeo_grp"
        • Blendshapes for the facial deformation are here "FacialDeformation_bsGeo_grp"
  • The last open body release (with new head referenced)
  • The referencing animation file I used to render the above test
  • Textures
    • Rough first pass at some feminine textures and different skin tones
    • Eye textures 
    • Included source .psd files if you'd like to try some variations
  • Scripts pack
    • jbMorpheusFacialCustomGeoBaker - duplicates the wrap deformer functionality without the wrap deformer
    • jbMorpheusAddHair - for easily skinning hair in
    • jbMoprheusSmoothConnect - for creating polySmooth on a selection of meshes and then connecting the divisions attribute to whatever attribute you tell it to. 
    • boTriggers - Thanks to Bohdon for letting me include them. To update the trigger selectors in referenced files, run the script and run the updater. 
What's New?
  • Facial blendshapes
    • New Lip roll, narrow, wide polish
  • Facial Deformation
    • NO MORE wrap deformers! Everything is hooked up via blendshapes, skinweights and pixie dust
    • Facial morph polish on lots of morphs
    • Weighting fixes - still not done
    • bug fix - eyebrow mover rotation mirroring working now
  • Customization
    • Instead of toggles for the eyebrows, broke them into blendshapes for even more variety
    • New hair options: Thanks to Aziz Kocanaogullair and Mary Barreiro for the great work.
    • Split out bangs for more variety with the dos. They work best with the feminine hairstyles
    • Lookin to get rigs into the ponytail and pigtails for animatability
    • Solid Teeth option - thanks Danny Garnett! He's working on some blendshapes for em too for even more variety
    • Fixed some of the ear blendshapes
    • Added full Gotee (from Aziz Kocanaogullair). 
    • Beards and gotees have blendshapes on them now to pull them out and push them in some. Rick, you should finally be able to get your crazy long gotee;)
  • Workflow
    • smoother attributes
    • parent toggles for eyes
What kind of feedback am I lookin for?
  • Facial Deformation:
    • Are there any specific controls you're not finding that you're wanting? (i.e. I've thought about adding a mouth sac scaler to avoid some of the penetration that happens at bigger scale mouth and jaws as well as a nose bridge narrower)
    • Did you come up with a cool morph you'd like me to try to incorporate? (i.e. better lip thickener or somethin?)
  • Facial Rig
    • The facial rig is an experiment in some areas and unlike any facial rig I've done before. The lip controls especially are an attempt at a new control mechanism for the same types of shapes I use in any facial rig. Thoughts?
    • If you start doing tests, are there any things you're having a hard time getting out of the rig?
  • Customization
    • Some of the customization stuff is rougher than others, if you'd like to polish things up create some new ones, by all means be my guest and I'll roll it in.
    • Thoughts on specific options?
  • Textures
    • Texturing is definitely not my strong point. The source files are there for any experts out there. I'm not 100% happy on diffuse, spec or even the colors. Just an attempt at getting something. Feel free to experiment and send your ideas.
    • Yes, my tongue shader is too shiny. See previous bullet point.
Supposed to start this gig any day now so Morphy progress will slow. The main stuff left is FK/IK snapping when limbs are stretched, connecting up the head to the body and rolling in the final face tweaks. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bake Custom Geo at 360 degrees for 3 seconds...

...and you get fully working custom facial geo with no wrap deformers to slow things down. As you might have guessed, the custom facial geo baker is complete. So now you can...

The short of it:

  1. Import your new beard/gotee whatever
  2. Position it where you want it in relation to a ZEROED out Morphy face
  3. Select your custom mesh, then his face mesh
  4. Source and run script
  5. Go grab some candy. Preferably dark chocolate.
  6. Come back and animate.
The long of it:
For those of you interested, here's how I go about tackling things like that. First I figure out what I want the script to do. Here's my original "plan" notes:

  • Process to be scripted
    • Select $customGeo followed by deformingMesh
    • Create wrapDeformer 
    • Get blendshape channels into array
    • For loop
      • for each blendshape channel on the deforming mesh (limit by facial region?)
        • Get input connector value and put in $driverArray
        • Break the connection on the blendshapeChannel
        • turn channel value to 1
        • duplicate $customGeo to freeze it
          • Add new geo name to $bakedCustomGeo string array
        • position new geo
        • reconnect the connecter value with data from $driverArray
    • Put all new blendshape geo in new group
    • Name group
    • Connect all new geo back into original geo as blendshape node ($customGeoBaseName_bsNode)
Of course that's not going to be everything as lots of stuff rears it's head and must be put down like a many headed beast trying to devour your time. Next thing I do is look through scripts I have or can find online that might have similar functions I can hack (see my previous hacking other people's scripts post). I had used a great script written Asi Sudai called extractBlendshapes. It will take a mesh with a blendshape that you want to get the blendshapes from if, say for example, you deleted the original target meshes. It even puts them in a handy visual columns/rows format in worldspace. I made judicous use of large chunks of his code for the duplication and extraction function. I just modified it to duplicate the wrap deformed customGeo instead of the main mesh then did all the rest of the stuff I needed to do to get things working.

Also, thanks to my buddy David Bokser who helped me out with a syntax issue I was getting stuck on last night.

Here's the script (sorry, I don't have the best coding practices as I'm still a novice at it):
TITLE: jbMorpheusFacialCustomGeoBaker
AUTHOR:Josh Burton
DATE: August 26, 2010

Script for baking out custom facial geo for the Morpheus Rig.

If your computer explodes, I didn't do it.

1. First select the custom geo to bake
2. Then select the head (to wrap it to)
3. Run script

08.26.10 - BIRTH!

Acknowledgements -
1. Blendshape extraction, size, existance checking from extractBlendShapes - Asi Sudai
2. David Bokser for helping me fix some of my syntax issues

//sub Procs

// Debuging printing proc - Acknowledgement 1
proc extractBlendShape.debug(string $msg)
if (1==1)
print ("\n***Debug: " + $msg +"\n");
}// End
// Get object bounding size - Acknowledgement 1
proc extractBlendShape.getBounding(string $node)
float $bounding[]=`xform -q -bb $node`;
float $xSize=(`abs $bounding[0]` +`abs $bounding[3]`);
print $xSize;
}// End
// check the object have blendShapes - Acknowledgement 1
proc string extractBlendShape.getBlendShape(string $node)

string $shapes[] = `listRelatives -s $node`;
for ($shape in $shapes){
string $tempArray[]=`listConnections -s 1 -d 0 -type "blendShape" ($shape + ".inMesh")`;
if ($tempArray[0] != "") return $tempArray[0];
return "none";
}// End

//Main Proc
global proc jbMorpheusFacialCustomGeoBaker() {

//Declaring our intial variables
string $blendShapeNamesBaked[];
string $blendshapeConnections[];
string $currentConnections[];
string $selected[] = `ls -sl`;

//Josh, do an error check to make sure the selection order is correct
$customGeo = $selected[0];
$deformerGeo = $selected[1];

//create and store name of Wrap deformer
string $wrapDeformer[] = `deformer -type wrap $customGeo`;
select -r $customGeo;
select -tgl $deformerGeo;
select -cl;

//reorders deformation order for proper baking of skinned mesh
reorderDeformers "tweak1" "face_skinCluster" $deformerGeo;

// Check if object have blendShape node. - Acknowledgement 1
string $blendShapeNode = `extractBlendShape.getBlendShape $deformerGeo`;
if ($blendShapeNode == "none") { print ("\n"+ $deformerGeo + " don't have blendShape"); return; }
// Get all BlendShapes shapes - Acknowledgement 1
extractBlendShape.debug $blendShapeNode;
string $blendShapeNamesShort[] = `listAttr -m ($blendShapeNode + ".weight")`;

int $n = 0;

//Creates a new name for the geo to be baked
for ($name in $blendShapeNamesShort) {
$blendShapeNamesBaked[$n] = $customGeo + "_" + $blendShapeNamesShort[$n];

// Start extracting
// Get object size, to better spread the blendShapes - Acknowledgement 1
float $bounding[]=`xform -q -bb $customGeo`;
float $boundingSizeX=(`abs $bounding[0]` +`abs $bounding[3]`);
float $boundingSizeY=(`abs $bounding[1]` +`abs $bounding[4]`);
extractBlendShape.debug ("Bounding size = " + $boundingSizeX);
// Start extracting each shape - Acknowledgement 1, changed to export the custom geo instead of the deforming Geo
int $t=1;
string $bakedCustomGeo[];
for ($i=0; $i<`size($blendShapeNamesShort)`; $i++) { int $row = `floor($i/5)`; if ($t>5) $t=1;
extractBlendShape.debug ("doing blendShape - " + $blendShapeNamesShort[$i]);
//queries the connection that goes into the blendshape node and stores it
string $currentBlendShapeChannel = $blendShapeNode + "." + $blendShapeNamesShort[$i];
$currentConnections = `listConnections -d off -p on -s on $currentBlendShapeChannel`;
$blendshapeConnections[$i] = $currentConnections[0];
//breaks connection on blendshape node
disconnectAttr $blendshapeConnections[$i] ($blendShapeNode + "." + $blendShapeNamesShort[$i] ) ;
//back to Asi's code
setAttr ($blendShapeNode + "." + $blendShapeNamesShort[$i] ) 1;
string $bakedCustomGeo[]=`duplicate -name $blendShapeNamesBaked[$i] $customGeo`;
xform -r -t (($boundingSizeX*($t+1.2))*1.1) (($boundingSizeY*$row)*-1) 0 $bakedCustomGeo[0];
setAttr ($blendShapeNode + "." + $blendShapeNamesShort[$i] ) 0;
// Restores connection
connectAttr $blendshapeConnections[$i] $currentBlendShapeChannel;
//Restores deformation order of the Deformer Geo
reorderDeformers "face_skinCluster" "tweak1" $deformerGeo;
reorderDeformers "face_skinCluster" "face_bsNode" $deformerGeo;

//Delete wrap and connect baked custom geo as blendshapes to original custom geo
delete $wrapDeformer[0];
$customGeoBlendShapeNode = $customGeo+"_bsNode";
blendShape -n $customGeoBlendShapeNode $blendShapeNamesBaked $customGeo ;

//groups our new baked geo for easy cleanup later on
$bakedCustomGeoGroupName = $customGeo+"_bsGeo_grp";
group -n $bakedCustomGeoGroupName $blendShapeNamesBaked;
setAttr ($bakedCustomGeoGroupName +".v") 0;
parent $bakedCustomGeoGroupName customFacialGeo_bsGeo_grp;

//Connects our custom geo blendshape channels to the original deforming mesh channels
int $b=0;
for ($bshape in $blendShapeNamesBaked) {
connectAttr ($blendShapeNode + "." + $blendShapeNamesShort[$b]) ($customGeoBlendShapeNode +"."+ $blendShapeNamesBaked[$b]);

//Skin the custom geo
$customGeoSkinName = $customGeo+"_skinCluster";
skinCluster -n $customGeoSkinName -tsb qssFaceSkinJoints $customGeo;

//copy the skin weights from the deformer geo to the custom geo
copySkinWeights -ds $customGeoSkinName -ss "face_skinCluster" -noMirror -surfaceAssociation closestPoint -influenceAssociation name;

//renames our original custom geo properly
$customGeoProperName = $customGeo+"_customGeo";
rename $customGeo $customGeoProperName;

//Report complete
print ($customGeoProperName + " exported properly. I'd move the joysticks around to make sure.") ;


What else?
  • Been doing some polishing on some of the blendshapes for the rig and deformation
  • Pushed Nose widener more at a beta tester's request
  • Bug fix - eyebrow mover rotation is now properly mirrored
  • Moved out the jaw_anim control so it wouldn't get stuck behind beards
  • Moved the hair over to using skinning rather than wrap deformers
Now, pardon me but I have some pig tails that were sent in to look at. Keep em comin!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Morpheus Ladies putting on their faces and a UI update...

So queuing off a commenter's post, I decided to play with some texture variations this morning. I learned something - that is I have absolutely no idea how women's makeup works. Having learned that, I decided to go simple-Lipstick, eyeliner and a little sun kissed cheeks action. If there are any woman animator/texture artists following this, I could use some help:)

Thankfully I have a generous female animator already working on more hair so we'll get even more feminine sensibility into the mix for final release.

Playing with the face rig some more brought up some new notes I need to fix as well with some shape interaction.

Yesterday made good progress on the UI, have it semi workin in scene, just waiting to lock down some things before hooking everything up. Here's my design that I'm pretty close to in Maya.
Goofy, no? So the idea is with pretty much any customization you wanna do with Morpheus, you'll just go to the Morph-o-matic control and have everything in one place. The squash and stretch reseters will be on their respective part controls and hand and head scaling will be connected to this interface as well (already have hands hooked up and I like the interactivity - I really wish I could make the whole scaling customization kinda like this but one step at a time). Also thinking I'm gonna move the custom geo stuff from the custom geo text control to the head in the interface...even thought about doing some fancy system where the interface would change based on your customization but that would just take way too long.

It's a nurbs based ui so you can scale it, contstrain it, snap it off in its own panel, whatever you please.

That's it for now. Guess it's time to buckle down and write this geo baker for the custom stuff...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Morpheus Open Body Beta 2!

Made some good progress this week on Morphy and had a small gig too. Speaking of, I'm looking to start a long term gig in the next week and so Morphy progress is gonna slow down a bit. Apologies but paid work comes first:)

Without further ado. Here's the new beta release. DOWNLOAD ME!

What's in the Latest Beta rar?

  • Updated Morphy body rig with body morphing and TEMP ui
  • A new open release of the Morphy head rig with all the current customization stuff in EXCEPT for the facial rig. Sorry, you still gotta wait for that. However, I did leave you the eye/lid rig setup to play with. The head rig will not be referenced in to the body rig for the final release, this is just for testing purposes.
  • The maya scene I used to make the vid above so you can get a feel for how things work. You'll need to fix reference paths
    • What am I using to scale him/her?
      • Limb scaling - on the limb segments in FK mode and the end effectors in IK
      • Torso - just squashing him down manually
      • Shoulder widening/shrinking - is on the main shoulder IK controller (yellow circle at shoulder level)
      • Neck - see torso (works better with some of the squash and stretch mode, see note below)
      • Head - the blue circle arrow around the head
      • Everything, the big anim_all circle arrow at the bottom of the scene
      • Hands - on the nurbs palms
    • Facial deformation. I'd recommend just opening the face rig alone and messing with it to get a hang of it before digging into messing with everything at once.

What's new?
  • Body has been rerigged several times as I've been trying to test and find the best placement for several joints. The shoulder, ankle, hip and torso were bigger hassles than expected
  • Added in Doublestein's limb squash and stretch and found a way of "resetting your baseline" for when you use the controls to reproportion the body. In the beta release I have the expression commented out till I get everything fixed but you're welcome to get a sneak peak by uncommenting. However, if you've changed the stretch on the limbs or torso it's gonna look strange.
  • Satisfied with a pretty solid pass for body morphing
  • Weighting will be done when it's done
  • Chest widening/shrinking is in (on the shoulder control)
  • Been getting some great contributions from folks in the geometry category. Even more options incoming. Thanks all.
  • Fixed some twisting issues because of rotation order problems
What's left before release?
  • UI - Got a pretty good plan on how I want the Morphy UI to work with housing the body morphing, facial deforming and all of the new squash/stretch reseters
  • FK/IK Switching - works fine unless you start messing with arm/leg proportions. Need to fix
  • Textures - Still waiting for some variations from contributers or I'll just have to make em. How many options would you all like?
  • Facial Geo Baker - Need to write a script for baking out the appropriate morph targets so that the custom geo can be skinned in rather than using the wrap deformer I had been favoring before it threw molasses in animator interactivity
  • Final the head to body connecting workflow and documentation for others being able to do the same (one of the ideas with the rig is that you can take just the head if you like and put it on whatever body rig you please)
  • Testing - wanna get some solid animation tests to get as many bugs out as possible before final release

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The return of GLaDOS and a couple of great shorts!

Finished up a short gig a bit ago and gonna hop back on Morphy after lunch but wanted share a few gems.

  • The return of GLaDOS - Portal was one of my favorite game experiences of the last decade and this new sneak peak is looking awesome. I didn't watch the last half cause I didn't want to spoil the puzzles for myself so be forwarned. However I for one can't wait to have a hilariously sadistic robot attempt to kill me again. For science.

  • Couple of great shorts. Hat tip to lineboil for these. The first from the great animation school Ringling where some talented students have made a great little short with snappy timing and great shot composition and color use.

    Followed by a charming liveaction/animated short story. I love the "animated kid telling a story" genre.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cheers to Doublestein!

First off, just wanted to mention again that The Morpheus body rig is based off of John Doublestein's rig which you can download off of his site. It's been mentioned several times on my blog but most people don't read back that far or always catch the details. So, I'm making a whole post on it to make sure it's clear. I'm using his rigger (which you can download from his site). I'm also grateful that he's taken the time to answer a few of my questions as I've been working through some things. If you want a head start on Morphy functionality, go ahead and download the Andy rig from John's site or creative crash.  Morphy's body rig is pretty much the Andy rig with a new mesh and body morphing on the mesh (the head is a a tad different:)). Nothing exactly ground breaking. The only real variation on the body rig is I'm using a different hand rig (mainly from Jason Schleifer's Animator Friendly Rigging stuff).

My own rigging skills I'd place at intermediate and am stumbling my way through Morphy and learning lots. Most of my focus in school and after has been on animation though there's so much more competition in that area now that I wanted to build the rigging muscles. Just wanna make sure credit goes where due and John is certainly deserving a great deal. Learned loads from his rig and eyelid setup tutorial which I used and expanded for Morphy's eyelid setup and Squirrely's as well if memory serves.

Thanks, John!

Morphy Stuff...
Question to the void - Trying to figure out if I wanna do a picker/UI yet. At this point leaning towards a nurbs based one so you can scale it, constrain it, whatever rather than a seperate UI window. Thoughts?

I'm gonna try to release another body beta with the body morphing in it later this week so check back if you're interested.

Body Rig

  • Shoulder width widening/shrinking is in
  • Rerigged body after deciding I wasn't thrilled with some of my joint placements.
  • Fixes to some rotation order stuff that was causing some flipping out - (hat tip to Josh Bowman for that bug discovery and to David Bokser who gave me the insight in how to fix it as he had the same issue on our rigs for Garden City).
  • Mid Spine IK control is enabled
  • Initial implementation of squash and stretch in the limbs affecting the mesh. Still need to add a differential for when you want to create a new proportional baseline and not have it affect the squash/stretch. Pretty good idea how to do that.
  • Polishing on body morphs
  • Added one more section of roll joints in the limb segments
If anyone is offended by the google ad on the side, apologies. Just experimenting as the traffic has been just a wee bit up over the last week or so. :)

Nice, it picked up a Burton Snowboard ad. Alas, I'm not related to that Burton clan. Nor Tim. Shame.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Just got this in from one of the beta testers. I'd have never tried that. Made me laugh:)

Not what I would have thought of. Some creativity from Rick:)

Rolled out another head beta today. Things are moving along...
  • So, wrap deformers aparently are slow as molasses and the more customization options I add, the slower the rig gets, so....I'm workin on another way to pull in stuff. It involves some potential scripting so I'm avoiding it for now:)
  • Yet another weighting pass on the head deformation joints
  • Ears visibility toggle works now
  • Added in two new controls on the face rig
    • Ear morphers (upr/lwr) for having some customization option on the ole' listeners
    • Nose bridge thickener - put this one in at a buddy's request and I like it. Hope you will too.
Looping back to the body for a while. Workin on increasing shoulder width right now. Crossing my fingers that it works. Got a rigging gig starting tomorrow but will get back to it when I can.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Body Morphing Controls Pass 1

First real pass at splitting up the body morphs. Currently I have them symmetrically done. Thinking about whether left/right would make sense or not. Thoughts? Any other prebuilts you'd like to see?

The meat of it are a muscular, heavy, skinny and feminine morphs which I've then split up using Jason Osipa's tutorial in chapter 6 of Stop Staring (second edition). He's talking about doing a full face scrunch and then painting out the various regions. I just took that and applied it to painting out regions of the body. A bit tedious but it seems to work okay.

Here's what's on the slate for Morphy this week.

  • Body rig
    • Polishing body morphs and blends between sections
      • Skinny's lower torso is doing some funky stuff with some other shapes.
    • Splitting body morphs to left/right sections if that level of control is desired
    • Add Mid spine ik control
    • Add some manual neck scaling to make tying into the head better.
    • Look at adding chest widener for shoving the shoulders further apart without complete breaking doublesteins setup.
    • Look to at what's breaking on the fk/ik switching when scaling limbs
  • Facial Rig
    • Add movers on control groups to move the controls out should the custom geometry the user has on block things
    • Add nose bridge thickener
    • Possibly redo bridge flattener to not squeeze so much
I have a few more contributers who look like they're gonna come through on some stuff so even more variety is in the works. Thanks guys!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Little better teaser....hopefully....

Did a quick "Plop the head rig on the body and see what happens" exercise. Played around with changing the body for about 30 minutes and got these.

  • Worked on the head hierarchy to figure out easiest way of plopping his head on rigs (my own included) and that's about good to go
    • Just plopping it on works but I think skinning it in partially is gonna get better results
  • Been polishing on the body morphs and figuring out how I wanna split em up still.
  • Still need some new skin textures. Think one of the contributers is workin on it so hopefully I can get that rolled in next week.
  • Wushu-Rick found a bug in the facial customization that I knocked out. Apparently rotating the eye orb as well scaling and translating it is desired. Whoda thunk?
  • Started working on the FAQs for release (speaking of, keep sending em!)
Back to figuring out how to split these morphs up...


Houston is still too muggy for it's own good. It's muggyness should be mugged.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Geo Customization Pass Dos...

Spent another day finaling up Morphy's face. Threw some of the range of motion poses on him to make sure things were working on that front....

  • Worked on keeping hair line intact during deformation
  • More weighting work
  • So, for the most part, the facial customization geo works fine when the face is deformed. However, when you're workin with it and get a look you like, you may want to freeze the deformed hair and reskin it to have more control over the firmness of portions of it.
  • Added chin deformation control
  • Setup customization toggles. If I get any good submissions geometry wise I'll add em but for now I'm done making new ones.
  • Friends and contributers can expect probably the last facial beta rig in their mailboxes later this evening.
  • Tomorrow, I plan on working to final up the body morphs and start splitting those up and setting up their respective morph based deformation controls.
Ran across some really neat stuff recently on the internets:
  • There's been a neat Disney motion blur vid making the rounds and this is an interesting take I'd not seen before. (hat tip to Spungella)

  • Some great Glen Keane art
  • Another great post by Cameron Fielding on the imperfection or reality in terms of motion
  • I found this film absolutely mesmerizing. I think it has something to do with the seasons, but whatever...visually stunning. Please watch it full screen.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Geo Customization Pass 1....

So yesterday was pretty much a wash with errands but today I was able to buckle down and get some good Morphy progress kickin.


  • Created 4 Men's hair styles and 2 Womens (I suck at modeling women's hair so please make something better if you can)
  • Mustache, beard, soul patch added as well
  • Need to solve how to keep the hair line with the ear during deformation (got a pretty good idea how to do this, just need to implement)
  • Added teeth controls as per Kung Fu Rick's request (translation,scale, rotation)
    • Also set up hierarchy so you can easily throw new teeth in and they'll work with the controls. Create some, toss em in the respective groups and you're all set. Ears should be the same (should memory I prolly should check that)
  • Removed Chin and upper nose deformation joints as they weren't doing a whole lot
  • Plan on adding some more chin morph options to get some more feminine stuff
  • Thinking I need a thin and thicker eyebrow as well.
  • Did some testing with the the picker script and I think I'm gonna keep it in though folks will have to install a script if they want that stuff to work. It adds a good bit and it isn't that much of a hassle
  • Did some more weighting polish on the deformation facial joints. Still more to do but it's getting close.
Still waiting for geometry submission, peeps. I know a bunch of folks downloaded the Morphster so....if Morphy comes out and doesn't have the afro you wanted, I don't wanna hear squat about it. :)

Really shooting to have the intitial full rig ready for animation tests by late this week early next week as I have a gig I'm supposed to be starting before too long and even if I can't start my own animation tests, I'd like to have some testers doing it to find bugs.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

An open letter to the creators of the Antivar Virus

Dear makers of the Antivar Virus,


I'm a very careful web user and you've successfully infected my computer twice now - my only infections in the last 12+ years of computer work. Still trying to figure out how you did it. You've successfully stolen several days of my working time with my own scanning and removal work for my computer and for that of some friends whom you've infected as well and aren't quite as tech minded.

I have to admit, you've put together quite an nice package - locking off access to the good stuff and blaring warnings signs that would certainly make my mom click it. Especially clever in mimicking a real product. I never click anything which makes my infections especially curious to me.

It's puzzling to me why you would spend your obviously talented minds and skill sets on a product that might land you in prison when you most certainly could be creating something useful to folks that they would freely pay for.

It just doesn't make sense to me why you'd spend so much time and effort which would likely get you punched in the face if you happened to share what you did at  local bar with someone you've infected when you might get a beer bought for you should you create something that very person might need and want.

I had hoped to work some on Morphy today but I guess it'll have to wait.

Knowing this is a pointless exercise,

p.s. Should anyone else have problems with said infection - Here are instructions for removal.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Morphy Body Open Beta!

Well, Morphy is coming a long slowly and surely and is getting pretty close to being primetime ready. The reason I'm releasing the body in beta is a couple of reasons. I'd really like to release the first wide release with quite a few options in customizing the character mesh wise. So this is another call for help with that. My hope is that Morphy becomes somewhat of an Open Source community asset that people customize and share their customizations.

Notes on Beta rig (Maya 2009 and up):
  • There are some quick poses in the scene I was playing with while weighting stuff
  • The rig is based off of John Doublestein's rig because frankly it's a sweet rig with right click follow, switching and parenting menus AND pinable elbows! Try em out.
  • There are quick select sets (my preferred workflow method) for the controls
  • The Body morphing joystick control is temp while I'm playing with body morphing. The real release will have things split up more like I have the facial morphing stuff
  • Hand scaling is on the palm looking controls. Currently it's a nonkeyable attribute but I think I'll probably switch that over.
  • There's a semi height scaler on the all_anim control, but it's a pretty solid hack job. Version 2.0 of Mophy is gonna do more than I have the time to get done at present. I'd kinda like to animate him too as that's why I made him:)
  • I'm playing with a couple of picking methods. I tend to use quick select sets but have used panel pickers and onscreen ones as well. Any preference there?
  • If you toggle his mesh to a "3" smoothing manually, it get's a little wonky sometimes when popping through frames. Anyone have an idea why that happens?
  • Why did I bail on rigging him completely from scratch? There's so much stuff I wanted to do that you'd be seeing version 1.0 sometime about 2012. I'll get to it when I can:)
  • Give me his face rig, Burton! If I did that, would you be so inclined to help? :)

I'm interested in in:

  • Geometry. Please look at my previous call for more information there.
    • Clothes
    • Textures - If you like painting freckles and skin, go to town. The face is fully UV'd
    • Wrinkle map help - If anyone out there has done wrinkle maps and interested in this project I'd love some assistance. I know I can figure it out and it's on the list, but the list is still pretty long and I'm not ashamed to ask for help:)
    • Facial stuff - beards, mustaches, other eyebrows, hair dos, glasses, etc. His head (sans facial rig is in this version so you should have all you need there)
    • Teeth - Something feminine would be great. (Aaron, I'm looking at you;)
    • Bodymophs - if you think mine suck or have new ideas, have at it. You can fine the necessary stuff under the bsGeo_grp. bodyBridge_bsGeo1 is there as a reseter mesh. I use abSymMesh for help when doing that stuff.
  • Information.
    • Questions - for FAQ's and for clearing things up, most folk don't think like me (and that's a good thing) so my rationale for placing a control somewhere might not be exactly apparent.
    • Bugs
    • Weighting issues
Please title emails to me (see contact page - remove spaces) with a subject line of  "I heard Morphy's Call!" so I can easily find them:)

What do you get for helping (should your asset be usable)?
  • Early access to the release rig to animate tests with (as I'll be looking for those as well as most of my time will be trying to finish up the rig here and my animation time will we light). I expect to have a full beta rig ready in the next week.
  • Your name and a link on the Morphy page when I get around to updating it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


The talented folks at Animation Mentor went and beat me to the punch...Bishop 2.0!

Hat tip to my buddy Matt for the heads up.

Pretty nice work I have to say and they've obviously been working on it for a bit. That or they're just a lot smarter as I've been working off and on Morphy since May. Their wardrobe system is a lot like I was wanting to do but have no idea how to do yet. On the plus side, Morphy will be free so he has that going for him.

Speaking of, no I've not had much time for him this week. I've been busy doing a rigging gig, trying to line up work for the next couple of months and trying to entertain my wife's family who's in town when not working. Oh, and Starcraft 2 came out...soo...yeah...but doing some of that too:)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Where's Morphy?!

I know. I know. He's been a bit shy this week. Actually I've been doing not very glamorous work on him as well as taking care of lots of errands - vet for the pup and a pony and all kinds of other stuff. The life of an animator/farmer sometimes requires a split focus.

Rest assured he's coming along and I've been getting great feedback from some friends. I can actually say the head is just about ready for primetime and his body has been being reworked a lot. After taking another look at The Setup Machine, I decided even though it made setup a lot easier it didn't have quite all the features I wanted. For example, I really wanted "pinable" elbow and knee control as well as easy space switching. So I went back on the look out and decided to use Doublestein's setup once again (we're using it on Garden City and I like his why not). I'm modifying a few things but for the most part it's gonna be his awesome rigging tools doing the heavy lifting here.

The body rig is 90% done and I finished up my own hand rig last night (Doublesteins is fine...just wanted a few other controls and like to not have all the fingers on one control as the only option).

In the meantime, there's been plenty of awesomeness on the internets:

  • The Engineer updated finally landed for TF2 so I've been getting my sentry on with friends some
  • Limbo released for Xbox Live. It is a beautiful game that deserves your $10 or so or whatever it costs. Absolutely love the feel and moody settings.
  • Someone else released a nice new rig here and I found his test animation pretty darn tight.
  • And some sweet film stuff...
In laws just got here for a visit, gotta jet! Have a good weekend all:)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Yes, I'm working...

Had a quick remote rigging gig with Psyop this week which I think is all done and I think I'll be heading back to LA before too long to do some more work there. Can't wait to see all the LA friends.

He's such a tease...

Been a been able to squeeze a little bit of Morphin time in and making some good progress (just playing with some body deformation stuff above on the same skeleton - the head above just the base mesh).

  • Body rig
    • Decided to do The Setup Machine again for Morphy v01 just so I can get this done sometime this year. That hand My buddy Keith pointed me to some awesome tools one of his students wrote while at Ringling. - He has a load of neat tools there which I fully intend on checking out  when I have some time. Do yourself a favor and check em out yourself:)
    • Need to figure out a best method for connecting my head rig cleanly. The end idea is that you can throw the Morphy head rig on any body rig you please
  • Facial rig - Been getting great feedback from buddies and have a good list of changes to make for the next (probably 1.0 final facial rig)
    • Adding a nose flare control
    • Add asymmetrical customization options
    • Upping the intensity of the sneer
    • Changing mouth wide from being a smile to more of a horizontal transition to make the control feel better
    • Push the limits on most of the controls from the 1.0 value limit so you all can awesomely break the face
    • Add jaw rotation control
    • Got some great ideas to try on Morphy 2.0. When I'll find the time for that I really don't know as I have a short film idea  I'm wanting to start working on.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Quick skin is indeed fast....

Well, it's another hot one in Texas. Went for a jog with Atticus (the name of the dog with no name) and we were both panting when we finished up. Never really tried training a dog before and it's kinda fun - come and sit are pretty good and stay is coming along nicely.

My cousin Jon was here this weekend which as usual meant a game-a-marathon. He always has sweet board games and what not. He also introduced me to League of Legends (which I suck at) and we tried Torchlight as well. I'm a fan of the free to play and nice sized demo options. Also, my cousin is gonna be in an episode of The Good Guys (which I really enjoy) and Friday Night Lights. Very cool.

Back to Morphy...

  • Threw a quick mental ray quick skin shader on him just to see if I'm getting any weirdness in the smoothness of the deformation when rendered. Few areas to work on but the facial rig is close.
  • Finished up a first pass on the tongue rig and I'm pretty pleased with it.
  • Added about twice the range of motion on the jaw down and left right at the suggestion of a friend
  • Talked to another good friend Scott (whom just released a new push pull constraint for maya!) and he gave me some great ideas that I'm definitely going to try in the future if I can't get it crammed in to Morphy
  • There some deformation stuff I'm still not thrilled with. I'm gonna see about fixin that.
  •  I'll probably start working on a test animation soon to test it out before release.

For now, I just got a quick gig so I'll be setting ole' Morphy down for a bit. He'll be back before you know it:)

Again if you missed it in the above. Scott Englert just released a cool new constraint for maya, go check it out!

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