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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Fix Tentacle Tip

    Hi there!
    I am working on a free project. The visual shows a realistic octopus playing around with an underwater camera. Pushing all of the buttons and switching them with his 8 tentacles.

    Now I have to do a rig for the tentacles. It is not going to be animated, I am doing only stills, but as I want to play a lot with the tentacles until I am satisfied with the overall look it is better to have them rigged.
    I tried a spline IK setup, which is working fine if the tentacles are just naturally flowing and curling around. But for my purpose this setup is not flexible enough. I need the tips of the tentacles to stay fixed on specific camera buttons and than to move around the rest of the controls until desired flow of the tentacle is achieved. As it is now, even if I place the tip on a desired position, as soon as I push around other controls of the spline the tip is going off.

    It has to be some kind of mixture of "IK Handle" and "Spline IK Handle". See animated GIF.
    http://www.directupload.net/file/d/3...eywmc5_gif.htm

    I like the way the "IK Handle" bends the whole tentacle, but here I can't adjust individual bows as I wish.

    I have done some rigging, but unfortunately I never learned it enough to find a solution on my own. I found some scripts and tutorials but none of them can do this.

    Can somebody give me some advice on this?

    Best

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    DT Staff

    Re: Fix Tentacle Tip

    Hey, SFV! You might try using our Flexi-Plane rig taught in Rigging Quadrupeds in Maya. Or, if you'd like to use Maya's Spline IK, you'll need to make the system stretchable to prevent your joint chain from pulling away as the rest of the rig transforms. Let me know if you'd prefer to take this route, and we'll create a video for you

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Re: Fix Tentacle Tip

    Since they will only be stills natural flowing movement isn't necessary (only final position) so maybe consider using a wire deformer?
    -P. Gutterfish
    www.503workshop.com

  4. #4
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    Re: Fix Tentacle Tip

    Delano, It is a honor to have reply from you, thanks!

    Flexi plane is a great rigging method. I watched your tutorial just once, i have to watch it once more to catch the details, but it is a great job - thanks. You made the setup with one bend control in the middle, The twist is also at the Start and the end of the plane. In my case I need more in between controls and individual twist along the flexi plane. The perfect tentacle rig would also need wrapping-around-function in spiral manor on individual sections (tentacle holding something). In other words, I would like to wrap the middle of the tentacle around something and to have the rest to the tip doing something else. Which means, there where I want to have wrapping, I need more controls to do the spiral. Is it possible to have some kind of bundle of more controls which is movable along the tentacle to do wrappings on individual sections?

    I think though this is going to be a too complex rig for non animation purposes.

    The stretchable spline IK method is also very interesting. What exactly do you mean by doing a Video?

    Thanks Ignasius! I'll give it a try with the wire deformer. I just made a quick test an it is probably going to work, I do not have any twist though.

  5. #5
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    Re: Fix Tentacle Tip

    Quote Originally Posted by SFV View Post
    Delano, It is a honor to have reply from you, thanks!

    Flexi plane is a great rigging method. I watched your tutorial just once, i have to watch it once more to catch the details, but it is a great job - thanks. You made the setup with one bend control in the middle, The twist is also at the Start and the end of the plane. In my case I need more in between controls and individual twist along the flexi plane. The perfect tentacle rig would also need wrapping-around-function in spiral manor on individual sections (tentacle holding something). In other words, I would like to wrap the middle of the tentacle around something and to have the rest to the tip doing something else. Which means, there where I want to have wrapping, I need more controls to do the spiral. Is it possible to have some kind of bundle of more controls which is movable along the tentacle to do wrappings on individual sections?

    I think though this is going to be a too complex rig for non animation purposes.

    The stretchable spline IK method is also very interesting. What exactly do you mean by doing a Video?

    Thanks Ignasius! I'll give it a try with the wire deformer. I just made a quick test an it is probably going to work, I do not have any twist though.
    Hi, SFV! Thank you for your kind words I really appreciate that!

    I think you'll get great results by using Maya's Spline IK Solver. It should give you the amount of control you're looking for. Also, for more control, all you'd need to do is parent an extra joint to each joint connected to the spline IK system. You'd want to skin to these joints. But doing so will free up their transforms entirely. So after you've created a twist with the Spline IK's twist system, you can then transform each of these secondary joints to enhance the effect!

    Going to create a tutorial on how to set up a rig like this. Will let you know when it's ready!

  6. #6
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    May 2014
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    Re: Fix Tentacle Tip

    Thank you, Delano!
    I got the idea of secondary joints, this should solve the individual twist. but in practice I didn't got them connected right.
    1. for the secondary joints, should I create just single joints or connected in chain?
    2. how should I connect them? Parenting creates a chain connection. Point and orient constrain is working, but for some reason one joint connection had rotation problems.
    3. The sliding of the tentacle tip problem still remains. I have no idea how to set up a stretchable spline IK system.

    I am too unexperienced with rigging, so probably it is better to wait for the tutorial..

    Thanks anyway for your help..

    Best..

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    DT Subscriber

    Re: Fix Tentacle Tip

    Hey SFV, you can set up a stretchy Spline IK system quite simply using the node editor or the Expression editor.

    What i did was duplicate my original joints, and point constraint them to my original joints. Then create a CV curve and click on each joint and create an IK spline going though the duplicated joints with the "auto create curve" off so you can manually choose the curve created. Once that's done, you can cluster the curve and constrain the clusters to the original joints to avoid any cycle warnings. Then create and IK handle going through your original joints.

    Then create a Distance Tool and point constraint the start locator to your first joint and the end locator to your IK handle. Then write a little expression for the stretchy rig to work which basically follows this formula:

    if (distance length >= Distance upon creation)

    Joint.scaleX = Distance / Maximum distance

    else

    Joint.ScaleX = 1


    This should leave you with a stretchy ik Spline system and also clusters that follow the joints so you can move them still. You can always group each cluster and point constraint the group to each joint so your clusters can be controlled by other curves or directly tugging on them.

    Sorry for the big response, but i hope this helps you out! Any confusion let me know, or leave it to Delano, as he is a rigging god!

  8. #8
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    Nov 2005
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    DT Staff

    Re: Fix Tentacle Tip

    Thanks, Ryan T Hey, SFV! Currently working on an "Ask DT" tutorial which will breakdown the steps for rigging tentacles! The videos will be posted here. Will let you know when they're live

    Take care and stay posted!

  9. #9
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    Re: Fix Tentacle Tip

    Hi, SFV! Here are the Ask DT videos on rigging a tentacle in Maya! Hope this helps!







    Also, here's a course that you might be interested in:
    Rigging Sea Creatures in Maya

    Take care!
    Last edited by delano; 06-20-2014 at 06:29 PM.

  10. #10

    Re: Fix Tentacle Tip

    hey delano.
    Thanks a lot for the videos and sorry for the late reply. Somehow I didn't get any notification via mail that the videos have been posted. I'm gonna watch them right away and keep you updated.

  11. #11
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    Re: Fix Tentacle Tip

    No problem, Kristusch! I hope they help you!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    DT Subscriber

    Re: Fix Tentacle Tip

    Hey delano,

    your tutorials were very helpful and now everything's working fine! For our purposes we have everything we need. Just a little suggestion for further use of tentacles:
    The twist attribute of IK Spline deforms the whole length of the tentacle. It would be great if there could be a possibility to twist certain parts in a smooth matter. Unfortunately the region that the additional joints impact are too small so the twist appears edgy.
    But again, for our use everythings fine, so thanks again!! Greets! SFV (Kristusch)

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