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PhilC Designs Ltd --- Body Handles
Home | Tutorials | Rigging | Body Handles

How to add extra bones to a Poser figure.

In this tutorial I will show how to add extra controls to a figure. These are often referred to as "Body Handles". If you own either the Wardrobe Wizard or the OBJ2CR2 File Converter you will be able to see this information presented as an on screen video in real time. (The file will be on your hard drive, click the respective help button and select the link "set up room", there is also a video explaining joint parameters).

I have now made this available to all on line viewers also. Body Handles the Video.

Another analogy would be that Body Handles act the same way as Love Handles. Grab and twist them and the figure is sure to react! Although possibly not always in the way you may expect :)

The most common use of body handles is with a skirt so in this example I will show how they may be added to allow a skirt to bend at the knees. IMPORTANT:- note that the skirt is made up entirely of the hip body part. Left and right leg groups may also exist (and will also control the skirt) but no actual geometry is associated with them either.

Start by loading the figure into the scene. Although not absolutely essential I suggest you place it in the zero pose. This will be with all body part rotations & translations set to zero and all scaling set at 100%. The figure shown below is one that I use for test purposes. The body parts have been colour coded for clarity.

Click on the Set Up room tab and the view changes as shown below.

Next select the hip. I've found it best to use the drop down menu for this rather than clicking in the scene. If you click in the scene you will effectively be using whatever tool is active at that time. It may not be the one you thought you had and could give unwanted results.

At this point I find it best to use the orthographic cameras (front, side top etc.) as shown below

Select the Bone Creation tool. Think of this as a picking up a wet paint brush whilst standing on your mother's best carpet. Where ever and when ever you click in the scene with this tool it will create a bone. Handle with care :)

The Bone Creation Tool will add a bone to the currently selected body part. In this example it will be the hip.

Follow this exactly:-

  1. Click the center of the hip bone.
  2. With the left mouse button still depressed drag down to the bottom of the skirt.
  3. Release the mouse button.
  4. CHANGE TO THE TRANSLATION TOOL.

Why change? Because it is so easy to accidentally click again with the Bone Creation tool and create an extra unwanted bone. The translation tool is what you'll need next, plus it is mostly harmless

Using a split view can also help.

If you wish to rename the bone you may do so at this time. Remember to hit the Enter key after editing the name to make the change take effect. If the bone is to be associated with any of the model's geometry then its internal name must exactly match the geometry group name. Since in this example there will be no geometry associated with this body handle we can use any name we like.

In the image below you can see how I have repositioned the new bone using the Translate tool. Move the tool over the ends of the bone and you'll see the cursor change. Click and drag to move. In this example we want the skirt to bend at the knees so I have positioned the start of the bone there.

IMPORTANT remember to set the correct joint rotation. The first letter must be the axis along which the body part will twist. Generally for head, neck torso and legs this will be "Y". For arms it will be "X".

Return to the Pose Room and the scene will be as below. xRotate the new bone and the skirt will now bend at the knees. You can further adjust the joint parameters as required. For example if you wanted to animate a kick pleat, move the bone down and set the joint angles to exclude the front portion of the skirt.

So to recap, basically adding a body handle is a simple one click and drag with the right tool in the Set Up Room. :)

Hope that helps. :)

 

 

 

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