Thu, Dec 26th, 2013
posted by jjburton 03:12 PM

Introduction
We have partnered with Rigging Dojo on creating special project “Rigging for Morpheus” that aims to cover learning how to integrate the red9 tools, how to work with an existing open source library and with set standards so that students can build tools, expand on/improve and contribute to the opensource CGMonks Took kit as well as the Morpheus rig project.

This isn’t a class to learn to use Morpheus – that will be handled via some vids at release. This is for those td’s who wanna join in in making as great a shared tool set as possible.

Class is kicking off next month. Registration can be found here:
http://www.riggingdojo.com/home/registration/

All registrations must be in by 31 December, 2013

Studio Portion
The specifics of what that studio session will cover will be subject to what the ‘students’ want to do. If everyone wants to work on customization stuff, then we’ll work on that together, if one student has a great idea for a tool and just needs help learning how to build that and integrate it to an existing ‘pipeline’, we’d support that student on that and maybe other folks on something else.

Potential Paths

  1. Customization — Work through building guts and tech for the finalizing the Morpheus 2 customization setup. This would be tackling such exciting items as – blendshape libraries, hair, prop clothing implementation. Definitely a beard. Morpheus needs a beard.
  2. New module — Build a new module for the system like a wing, long neck head, quad leg or perhaps some more mechanical setups. This would entail designing and implementing template objects and learning to write and push that through to a final rig item that ties in to the rest of the modular rigger.
  3. Facial system — Work through learning the new methods and tools of the Morpheus 2 facial rig. Polishing, adding features and learning how to build on it.
  4. New/Existing Tool Pipeline — Learn the bits of designing and writing a new tool for maya – from gui, designing for user friendliness, breaking down the tool to build-able bits, debugging and more. If students have tool designs we can start from scratch or we can grab from the ever growing pile of internal ideas from CG Monks.

Cost
Class (8 week intensive apprenticeship)
$1226 – base cost
There are discounts available for Morpheus 2 backers. See the development forum post for  more info.

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Tue, Sep 17th, 2013
posted by jjburton 10:09 AM

First off, sorry for the big break in posts here. We’ve just been swamped working on Morpheus and haven’t posted much. This sounded like a good topic.

As we’re getting close to finishing up Morpheus 2, I’ve been trying to do some optimization in the code to make the build processes faster and other things. One of the questions I had was if log.debug was causing speed hits and what other affects prints or log.infos were having on our main code speeds.

What does one do when trying to solve something? Well, we make some hypotheses and tests for those hypotheses. Go, go 8th grade science!

So I wrote a test this morning and the results are rather interesting. I wrote a series of timed functions that do a pow calculation on an enumerated range. I gave the tester a single kw arg of setting the maxTest which sets the range end. I’ll post the tester code below.

The results on a 3000 range test are as follows:

  • logger >> Time >> = 46.289 seconds
  • debug >> Time >> = 24.752 seconds
  • if debug >> Time >> = 0.000 seconds
  • print >> Time >> = 150.508 seconds
  • calc >> Time >> = 0.569 seconds

The raw calc is obviously the fastest.  What was curious to me was that debugs take a hit even when not printing. What was most crazy was how slow print statements are and concluded that you should pretty much never ever use them in maya tools.

For the purposes of our own debugging, using an if/debug gate on that info seemed like it was going to make the most sense. So with that in mind I tried a way to find the level of the logger. The only call I could initially find was log.getEffectiveLevel(). That seems to be the most intuitive method to get a if/debug check for free. Need to do more research to figure out if a level of 10 – which seems to be debug’s default integer value is a usable check.

On a whim I pulled all the log.debugs from our core code and the time savings was considerable on our unit tests. Blrgh…yet another item for the ever growing to do pile.

In the end these are my initial conclusions:

  • Never use ‘print’ calls in maya python. Use logger – log.info
  • Only raw log.debugs in when no calculations have to happen to form that report. I.e – they’ve already been done.
  • I need to begin working to pull out as many debugs as possible and/or level-gate those calls for speed’s sake.

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Wed, Jan 2nd, 2013
posted by jjburton 02:01 PM

Hey Morphean stylists! Ever walked out of the barbershop not pleased with your cut and was too shy to admit it? WELL THEN! Hide no more dear friends! For tonight we dine in HELL! (sorry wrong quote) For tonight we control of the scissors! *cue explosions* That’s right! Time to put the pens and pencils on the paper (or fancy tablets) and style our Morpheus up with a fresh coiffure! That’ll teach that barber! *cue more explosions*

Morphy2HairTemplate_male Morphy2HairTemplate_female

Notes

  • Try to draw the hair in its neutral position (not in movement).
  • If your hair style is somewhat complexe please provide some general notes. You can scribble those on your template (dont overlap the drawing too much).
  • The styles will be split into 3 categories: Short (above shoulders), Medium (shoulder level) & Long (below shoulders) so please try your best to be clear on the length.
  • You don’t have to submit sparkling clean designs. Clear sketches are more than welcome.
  • No submission limits.

Template files

Requirements

  • Submit in PNG or JPEG.
  • Naming convention: YourName_HairCustomize_v00.ext (the versioning is not for WIP numbers but for your designs).
  • Submition deadline – January 24th at midnight.

Submissions
To submit your work, you can send it to my email: alexei.bresker (->at<-) gmail.com…sorry, for the spam bots inconvenience.
(subject: Morpheus Rig 2.0 – Hair Styles)

-Alexei (Morpheus 2.0 Design Producer)

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Mon, Nov 12th, 2012
posted by jjburton 11:11 AM

Thank you, animation community!

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Thu, Nov 1st, 2012
posted by jjburton 03:11 PM

We’re trying out the name ProblemKicker. If anyone else had a better one, we’re all ears.

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Mon, Oct 29th, 2012
posted by jjburton 11:10 AM

Some bug fixes and a few new features in this build. The biggest but was Locinator’s locator connections breaking on file reload to referenced object.

cgmToolbox_10292012

Added a standalone buttonable call for locinator’s update function at a user request. If you wanted to use that, use this as your button:

  • General
    • started playing with debug modes on tools
  • cgm.guiFactory
    • removed Bridge call from a failed experiment. Causing errors
  • attrTools/attrToolsLib
    • Added debug option
  • DraggerContextFactory
    • Removed joint sizing at tester request till we find a more dependable sizing logic function
  • setKeyMM
    • added breakdown/reg options
    • added a new keying mode which prioritizes selected channel box channes first, then regular selection
  • AttrFactory
    • Added message repairing for referenced objects connected to a message attr
  • Attributes
    • (new) repairMessageToReferencedTarget(obj,attr) – function to repair broken message connections to referenced objects
  • polyUnite
    • added version to window
  • animTools
    • added version to window
    • added debug flags
  • puppetBox
    • added version
    • added debug flags
  • polyUnite(standalone)
    • added version to window
  • search
    • reuturnTagInfo – updated to attempt to repair broken connections to referenced objects for message attributes only
  • locinator/locinatorLib
    • added debug
    • added version to window
    • (new) – doStandAloneUpdateSelected() – added standalone call for users to use a button to run update object
    • moved mode toggle to options menu to allow it to easily share the setting with other tools
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Tue, Oct 16th, 2012
posted by jjburton 02:10 PM

Finally got this little bit of R&D in a functioning tool.

After looking into that bug at the end, it was messing up because this version of the Morphy proxy geo had messed up UV’s. Follicles need decent UV’s to work. Will look at adding a check for decent UV’s.

Info:

  • Add target mesh objects with the ‘>>’ button
  • Modes:
    • Surface – places on the surface
    • Bisect – places at every contact of the cast ray on the object(s)
    • MidPoint – finds the midpoint of hit points
  • Drag – whether you want creation as you drag or not. Default is only on mouse release
  • Clamp – how many intersection are allowed, 0 means infinite
  • Create Modes – all but locator and joint will create when you drop the tool or press ‘q’ on most maya default setups
    • locator
    • joint
    • jointChain
    • curve
    • follicle
    • group — only a transform at that spot
  • Start – initializes tool
  • Drop – finalizes it (or ‘q’)

To do in the future:

  • mirror mode
  • skinDeep mode – for placing joints just within the surface for facial work
  • Add a check to make sure a mesh has suitable UV’s
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Tue, Oct 16th, 2012
posted by jjburton 12:10 PM

Sorry for the delays. Been busy on gigs and the Morpheus Kickstarter. Been wresting with matrices and space distances and maya. Api worldSpace returns are usually in cm though the docs fail to specify. More on this and more another time. Back to the build.

cgmToolbox_10182012
cgmToolbox_10162012 

Build notes(apologies, this is only from the last couple of weeks. Older changes may not be reflected):

  • General
    • started moving some reporting info to a debugReport flag toggle to keep the script editor a little clearer
    • Need to start doing some unit testing stuff
  • classes.ObjectFactory
    • Added flag to doParent, if False is passed into it, it will parent to world
  • classes.ContextFactory
    • clickSurface renamed to click Mesh
      • fixed various bugs
      • clamping works now
      • follicle creation added
      • locator and joint sizing
      • added implementation to tdTools
  • classes.ControlFactory(NEW)
    • subclass to ObjectFactory to handle control specific things
    • + verifyAimControls – necessary controls for a control to be aimed
    • + verifyRotateOrderControl – rotate order control, and connects
  • cgm.geo
    • added returnClosestUVToPos – standalone api tool for clickMesh
  • classes.SetFactory
    • Added cgm tag copying on duplication
  • cgmSetMenu
    • Added autohide options
    • Added a cap on loaded sets
  • cgm.distance
    • + returnPositoniDataDistanceSortedList(startPos,posList)
  • cgm.search
    • massive rework to returnObjectSets, not sorts scene sets
    • returnMayaInfo – added ‘currentUnit’
    • returnReferencePrefix – fixed to allow for reference chains – ref1:ref2
  • setTools/setToolsLib
    • added version on window
    • rewrote for stored instance method for speed improvements
    • Added multi setting for qss sets
    • Moved all set sorting to cgm.search
    • reworked doGroupLocal
    • Fixed rename
    • added ability to duplicated referenced sets
    • Various bug fixes
  • cgm.tdTools
    • Added version to window
    • Added a better rotation order to the master anim
    • Made control creation to use ControlFactory instead of ObjectFactory to get base control settings in
    • NEW FEATURE – Click Mesh
      • lots of options, play with it and see:)
  • cgm.attributes
    • Bug fixes in doGetAttr and doCopyAttr
  • cgm.joints
    • Added default options to orientJoint
  • cgm.lists
    • Added returnReplacedNameList
  • cgm.nodes
    • createNamedNode
    • added follicle
    • createPoseBuffer – fixed call bug
    • createNamedNode – added condition node to list of known nodes
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Sat, Oct 13th, 2012
posted by jjburton 01:10 PM

So saw some questions on these enigmas around and wanted to attempt to shed some light on them.

optionVars are maya devices for saving information between maya sessions, from say one tool session to another or any other wide variety of things. By default you use them like something like this:

If you decided you wanted to play with optionVars. They’re awesome but can be a bugger to get working the way you want them. We use them to save settings between gui sessions and even to send info to some stand alone functions.

If you want to add to a string one you have to remember it’s a string one and use a different flag than a int or float one. It got confusing to us, so we decided to go a different route.

We wrote a class wrapper for dealing with them that made it easier for us to get a handle on so that we call them at the top of any gui with something like:

That initializes the option var to an instance that can be appended, rebuilt, culled purged, cleared, call, converted or whatever in any of our tools.

The defaultValue flag sets the value only if the optionVar doesn’t exist. We did that so that if a specific tool is reset and has it’s flags wiped. It builds again with the default ‘factory’ settings. It also converts on the fly so if you pass a string to a non string optionVar, it converts it to a string, and so on.

Settings are called and set via commands like:

We also flag all of our optionVar’s with a ‘cgmVar’ so that we can easily do a full wipe of our variables when needed for testing.

You’re welcome to give it a try if you like or take part of it it works for you and run with it or join us and help make it better. It’s in the cgmTool box from cgMonks – cgm/lib/classes/OptionVarFactory

Have a great weekend!

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Mon, Oct 8th, 2012
posted by jjburton 04:10 PM

This week, the big thing we’re workin on is this…check it out:)

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cgmonks/morpheus-rig-v20 

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