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volume 1, issue 30

Today in loonygames:

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Livin' With The Sims: theAntiELVIS explores the wild and wacky world that is Will Wright's The Sims, asking the inevitable quesiton, "is The Sims the first step toward a virtual life where everyone is Swedish?"

Pixel Obscura: Josh Vasquez on Omikron: The Nomad Soul.

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Thinking Outside the Box:
Character Studio (part 2)

By Paul "Villam" Steed


Note that even though we hit the pelvis, a link structure featuring the upper body is there as well with the bent elbow. Very interesting. Weíre going to start with the top of the leg structure, making sure there arenít any verts assigned to the upper body. First, though Iím curious as to what the legs look like given their default vertex assignment.

Not bad, not bad at all. We still need to make sure all the little vertices are claiming the right link as home, though. But, like I said, letís start with the upper part of the legs first. Select the following vertices of the legsÖ

The reasoning behind this is again from past experience and a little thought. The very top needs to maintain its rigidity to keep the integrity and illusion of the body being one piece. The top outline of the butt is necessary since it shouldnít change shape too much even during animation. Now assign the vertices to the pelvis link as rigid verts and lock them down.

Next, assign the line of three vertices lower down on the butt to the pelvis but as deformable verts (red).

Works. Now letís look at the other verts around the top of the leg again. The burgundy vertices at the top of the thigh are fine since I like the way they animate. However, as we move further down the thigh, those verts need to be assigned to the thigh link. As a matter of fact, since I built the legs with the thought in mind that the upper thigh ends in a stump to simulate a knee as the lower leg rotates, we can assign all the vertices of the lower thigh part to the upper leg link. Am I a genius or WHAT!

Testing the leg I find out that didnít quite work out like I wanted so I re-assign the very bottom vertices as rigid vertices and came up withÖ

Now since the boots should be pretty stiff I select all the vertices above the foot and assign them to the lower leg as rigid verts.

On to the foot. As a rule of thumb ALWAYS make the very bottom vertices of the foot rigid unless you have some weird reason not to. Donít ask, just DO. So starting at the back of the foot select these verticesÖ

And assign them rigid to the foot link. Then grab the four toe verts and assign them to the toe link. So all the bottom verts are now rigid.

Usually the foot is pretty easy to set up aside from the rigid bottom. Checking it out by rotating it in all the different axes, we see that itís fine Ďas isí. Now do the other leg and guess what? WE"RE DONE! FINITO! ALLES CLAR, HERR KOMISAR! DASVADANA! SAYONORA!

Really. Thatís it. Hope you enjoyed it. It took me 10 hours to make. But YOUíRE worth it! And come to think of it I think I really am talking to myself! Answering me, too!


Thanks for caring!


- Paul Steed is a 3D artist for id Software. He's currently hard at work on Quake 3: Arena.

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.