character creation (again...)

Last time we talked about this drwr said you can have shapekeys for different shapes of nose or ear, or eye.
So basically I have the character creation screen done, but i havent added actually setting body proportions by the user, only clothing selection menu and color setting.
Now I want to use that idea. If i make shapekeys for different types of noses, ears, eyes… what will happen to the bone weights and skeletal animation? I have already rigged the face and eyes. Wont an eye blink animation be messed up in Panda if I change the shapekey?
Has anyone done something like this before?

Also, i was told that if I have rigged clothing i can just expose a joint and parent the clothing to it, but this seems not the best idea. I was also told I can have the same skeleton for the clothing and body, and just play the animations at the same time. I would like to know, how much power do bones use IF they arent assigned any vertices at all? Right now i ended up with 1000 bones, as the hats, glasses, top, bottom clothes, shoes and body use the same skeleton…

The shape key (morph) animation is applied before the skeleton animation is applied. Then the bones further animate the shape. So, whether your shape keys are compatible with your blink animations is dependent on how carefully you constructed and animated them.

Bones have a cost whether or not they control any vertices. 1000 bones is awfully high. You should attach only the pieces that you are actually usuing.

Another possibility is to use the Character.mergeBundles() call to unify the bones of different models into one hierarchy. This only works if the two models have already similar hierarchies to start with, and it’s a one-way change. It’s also kind of complicated to use; better to make sure that you can make it work without this technique first.


It sounds like its almost impossible to get a perfect result and I should really make separate animations for each shape.

“Pieces”? If you mean the hats, shoes, etc then Im using them im always.
Of course for example for the head piece 90% of the bones wont be moving anything.

I can’t see how I can use that advice without ending up with 1000 bones. The armature has around 100 bones. If I use the same armature and animations on each piece (bottom clothes, upper clothes, shoes, face, head, hair, etc, etc) Ill end up with around that much. As I understand I can’t have a single armature effect other nodes with weights, only joing the pieces in Blender before exporting will work, but thats not an option. so if 1000 is too much then that option is not for me.

sounds like a great feature

yes, all pieces have exactly the same bone structure. What do you mean its a one way change? In the character creation screen i would need to allow the player to change the piece instantly.
Of course in the character creation screen nothing much is happening, I could join them after the character has been created, if the 1000 bones wont slow down the character creation screeen too much.

Anon, you are doing something very wrong if you have that many bones.
This is what you should be looking at … to_a_Joint

I will try to explain how it works, if i am wrong, please correct me :slight_smile:

I will intentionally use more than one connecting bone.
You have one character, and while you are animating in blender, you have one bones in his hand to which you attach objects.
For example you have your ordinary rig, and in character hand there are bones named (sword,axe,dagger,spear,club,hammer,handgun,rifle).
And then you have for example handgun model which uses “handgun” bone. Then in panda you just merge handgun bone of handgun model with handgun bone of character model, and your handgun model will follow character hand just like in your aniating software.

In your case, it is stated that every piece has exactly same bone structure, so you only need to have hatB bone on your character as there is only one type of hat (bone-structure wise) and you need to have hatB bone on your hat model, and you just attach hatB of hat model to your character.

Were not talking about rigid pieces, were talking about animated ones…
I am aware of thst method.

Then i am probably very wrong about something, i thought that you need something else…
I still dont understand what you want to achieve that you cant with method i described above?

I mean its very easy to play 2 animations at same time.