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volume 1, issue 27

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Thinking Outside the Box:
Adjusting Your Biped

By Paul "Villam" Steed

 

Speaking of which, time to move on to the torso and arms. Most of the same tips go for the arms as the legs but a couple more to remember are:

  • the shoulder joint is everything; spend a lot of time making sure it’s right, once again envisioning the geometry attached to it
  • even though the clavicle doesn’t animate, it is the parent to the entire arm; its positioning in crucial to the shoulder joint
  • make sure the elbow of the model has enough polygons to support nice arm bending

Looks good. Now let’s match up the neck and head…

For what I’m doing with the models, the mass of the head doesn’t really matter that much, just the axis where it joins the neck. In the game, the head is guided the same way the rest of the torso is, by the mouse. Its animations are played back just like the rest of the body during the appropriate sequences, but there’s no ‘head specific’ animations tied exclusively to it.

Finally we’re ready to mirror the other limbs’ positioning. Go ahead and unhide everything…

…dude looks pretty goofy, heh.

Now this is one of those situations where you could go in and do the right side just like the left and scale and rotate and scale and rotate your happy butt off when all it really takes to get the side in order is about half dozen mouse clicks. Left clicking on a biped body part will select it. Double left clicking on a biped body part selects the body part and all its children. Double left click on the left clavicle. Go over to the Keyframing sub-directory under motion and expand it. See the white ‘page’ icon? This is the Copy Posture ‘buffer’ where a selected part’s relative position can be copied. Click on it. Now click on the Paste Posture Opposite button just below and to the right of the aforementioned Copy Posture button. Voila. Instant beef.

 

(Continued on next page)

Credits: Thinking Outside the Box logo illustrated and is © 1999 Dan Zalkus. Thinking Outside the Box is © 1999 Paul Steed. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't even try it. We've got really big guns, and we're ripped, baby.