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volume 1, issue 30

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Thinking Outside the Box:
Character Studio (part 2)

By Paul "Villam" Steed


Going back to the arm let’s go ahead and finish assigning verts to their right bone. Skip the elbow and go up to the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad is definitely a candidate for rigidity so whip out the Viagra, Baybee. The shoulder’s fixin’ to get stiffy!

I know you know by now but let’s walk through the steps anyway:

  1. select the vertices of the shoulder (select the very top verts of the arm, too)
  2. click on the arrow under ‘Blending Between Links’ and turn ‘N Links’ to ‘No Blending’
  3. click ‘Assign to Link’ cheery little bright green
  4. make the ‘Rigid Vertices’ green cross the active vertex type
  5. click on the upper arm link (should turn red and vertices turn green)
  6. click the ‘Lock Assignments’ button to keep the assignment permanent

Voila! The shoulder pad is rigid. Now, bend the arm using the biped (you do understand when I say ‘bend the arm it means to use the biped’, right?) Whew. Thought so. Now, after you’ve bent the arm, let’s show off one the better attributes of Physique. With the arm bent, select it and go to the vertex sub-object menu and select the vertices around the elbow we haven’t locked down yet.

Select these verts and assign them to the forearm as red or ‘deformable’ vertices. Make sure to lock their assignment.

Now, I don’t like the fact the verts at the front crease of the elbow at the bottom of the biceps is deformable. Let’s assign them as rigid verts to the upper arm and see what we get.

Uh…no. Let’s try a ‘deformable’ vertex assignment to the same link.

Mo’ bettah! Let’s lock it and move on. Now I hope I illustrated something crucial to proper Physique attachment to a mesh. EXPERIMENT, Grasshopper! Try some goofy-ass assignments and see what you get. Sometimes if you plod through ten bad assignments to get to the right one, the serendipity is well worth the time investment. Doo’t, lahd! You k’n doo’t!

Now all that’s left is the elbow. And as you know elbows rank right up there with knees as far crucial to maintaining mass but aren’t quite as tricky as shoulders and hips. Oh, and that cool attribute of Physique I was referring to was the ability to change the vertex assignment and watch the change take place immediately. Pretty neato! Now select the back elbow vertex


It’s burgundy so it means it’s pretty heavily used…kinda like a vertex ‘ho’. Heh. So assign it to the forearm as a deformable vertex (red) and see what we get.

Cool. Works much better for me. More volume to the elbow. So that’s it for the arm. Of course you have enough info to do the other arm so we won’t go over that. Let’s move on to the legs.

‘Hide Unselected’ and unhide the legs and their biped counterparts. Assign Physique to the legs and ‘Attach to Node’ hitting the pelvis of the biped. Initialize with the default settings (deformable).

(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.