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What the FUCK are noodle bones? I've been trying to look this shit up for like two hours now and I've had no luck. I watched some GDC Overwatch panel about the animation done for the game, and in it "noodle bones" are mentioned, but I can't find an example of the rigging or anything like that. I'm super new to 3D animation and modeling in general, so maybe I'm just retarded.
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>>531404
Maybe you searched for the wrong word. Check out stretchy bones.
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Noodle bones is the name that they strangely decided to use to describe the (possibly) most important part in their animation pipeline but it's not like this is any new technique at all. Don't get me wrong for saying this, you say that you are super new to 3D animation but aren't you also new to animation at all? What they tried to describe was basically a combination of the first and most important principle of animation, Squash and Stretch. So, as I understand from them saying that they work on this principle using rigs, what they certainly do is make a secondary rig to the character and what it does is simply treat the skin in a more relaxed way to create this smearing effect.The trick here is that this secondary rig is not being bound inside the 3d model, instead it's certainly bound onto the mesh and being treated as it's common for cloth. They probably don't make it in the entirety of the body and instead keep it only to more critical parts, such as extremities, since it's where the movement really catches our attention. Hope that you could understand a thing or two :)

Ps.: Before you jump into it, you should probably develop your abilities with the main rig, what they describe is not a different method for you to ponder if it's better than the way you are used to rig and animate, it's simply an addition as a secondary rig to make smoother animations. So don't feel bad for checking this only later, learn and understand their way to achieve this is a whole new thing so you could easily be overwhelmed. Also, it's best for your sanity that you rely on post effects to achieve similar results since it's incredibly easier, you are not a studio, dude.
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>>531415
Just to conclude, as I feel that my lack of sleep could have affected my shitty explanation, I made a drawing to complement
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>>531404
It could be referring to either stretchy IK/limbs or having extra bend bones in between joints to allow for curved C or S shapes, or for having extra deformers to further shape silhouette
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>>531415
I didn't watch anything related to Overwatch, but what you describe isn't the only (or the normal) way to do it, it sounds from what you said like it's being simulated or something? Normally noodle bones are essentially done like helper joints/deformers as an additional bind.

Noodle isn't a strange way to describe it at all if its referring to smearing limbs since it's a traditional animation technique. Squash and stretch is not the same thing. SnS refers to how something compresses or stretches to give the illusion of speed, whereas noodle limbs break skeleton structure to create a smoother optical illusion.
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>>531422
To be a bit more specific: smearing could technically be said to just refer to doubling/extending the appearance of a limb, like with motion blur, not exactly noodle limbs either. And SnS is also done for various reasons besides speed as I should have specified... mass, chemical composition, etc

It's also definitely not the most important principle of animation, if you ask any animator... most will say posing, timing, spacing, staging
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The answer is somewhere in that video.
http://gdcvault.com/play/1023473/Animation-Bootcamp-Intro-and-Overwatch

Smear frames as they call it.
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>>531404
You ever see those old, 30s era cartoons, where all the characters are acting to the beat of the background song and their limbs seem to have the properties of a rubber hose? That's what those bones are are for.
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Watch D.VA jump out of her mech in slow motion in her play of the game animation. Her body turns to mush but you cant see it in high speed.
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I watched that GDC talk too, the impression I got was that it was just an extra deformable "bone" on the limb that behaves like a noodle.
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>>531404
This OP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OMGog_W-2c

http://craftywisp.tumblr.com/post/144070568334/floating-head-overwatch-does-some-pretty-great

This is just an animation technique, as the other guy said "squash and stretch"; it's the source of all those Aladdin reaction images with characters stretching; those frames are called "inbetweens"
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>>531855
so do they just animate the bone positions and they stretch it like that ?
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The magic word of the day is "Bendbows"
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>>531415
>>531404

It's called Noodle bones because it is derived from noodle animation, a.k.a rubber-hose animation, popular with in early cartoons like Felix the Cat, Betty Boop, Popeye etc.

Noodle bones is about "breaking joints" for an "overlapping" of action that is flexible and loose like a noodle. It's not so much about squash and stretch but is used often along side them. It's about curving around the joints for a smooth flow of energy.
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>>531869
yes
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>>531404
It's nothing special. Not technically anyway, but for various reasons (mainly being that it ads rather a lot of complexity to the task of animating), its not all that commonly used.

Basically it's just a second set of bones that inherit from the normal ones and exist specifically to allow animators to have part of the model stretch and distort for whatever reason - usually to exaggerate a rapid motion.

In traditional 2D animation, the visual effect it provides is called 'smear', and its absense from most 3D works is one of the reasons some 2D animators look at 3D animation and see an art form that is, as far as single character animation goes, still inferior to hand-drawn 2D.



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