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Natural Arm Movement

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Justin Berrington
Natural Arm Movement
on Dec 27, 2011 at 11:49:05 pm

Hi all,

I'm wondering if there are any tricks that someone may have learned that can give a 2D cutout of a long sleeve shirt natural arm movement as you raise and bend the arm. I currently have a torso, an upper arm, an elbow (which is used as a patch when the upper and lower arm parts move), and a lower arm. I have set the pivot points at the joints for each part.

What I'm looking to do is make it look as natural as possible and not so stiff and mechanical. i.e., muscle movement, and cloth movement.

thanks,

Justin


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Natural Arm Movement
on Dec 28, 2011 at 12:17:30 am

The puppet tool might help you get movement, but I can't think of a good (easy) way to get cloth and muscle movement in AE.

Muscles could be done by tying a bulge effect to a specific area on the arm and using expressions to make it bulge or shrink when the elbow angle varies. You'd need some sort of linear expression to translate the values.

Cloth? No idea off the top of my head. What sort of cloth movement are you asking for? Are you just wanting an arm to poke further out of a sleeve or are you wanting it to ripple as the limbs move?

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Justin Berrington
Re: Natural Arm Movement
on Dec 28, 2011 at 1:00:44 am

Yes. Bulging should work fine for the muscle since it will only be the bicep that needs to flex a little.

The cloth just needs to wrinkle and ripple slightly. If I were to use the puppet tool would that cause distortion automatically as the limb moves or could I adjust that using slider controls with no effect from the arm rotation?


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Natural Arm Movement
on Dec 28, 2011 at 6:57:53 am

Wasn't there some sort of a mesh warp tool in AE? It's been awhile since I used AE but we use it a lot on our iQ, Smoke and Flame to bend cloth plates etc. into place.


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Erik Waluska
Re: Natural Arm Movement
on Dec 28, 2011 at 4:04:43 pm

This tutorial might be just what you need.

The description says:
"Making clothes react convincingly doesn’t have to be an impossible mission of frame by frame keying. Using simple expressions and the puppet tool you can make clothes react automatically to your characters movements."


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Justin Berrington
Re: Natural Arm Movement
on Dec 29, 2011 at 7:05:37 pm

I've only used this tool once but I will give it a go and see what I can do with it. Thank you.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Natural Arm Movement
on Dec 29, 2011 at 2:51:43 pm

For inverse kinematics that can help you animate the overall body you should download this:

http://ik.duduf.com/

For cloth movement and all other you can precomp each element and ad inside the precomp a Mesh Warp. Once the main movement is done, you can open the main comp with each precomped element side by side and animate the Mesh Warp to accommodate the movement.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Chris Buttacoli
Re: Natural Arm Movement
on Dec 29, 2011 at 6:24:32 pm

You may also want to shoot yourself, or other talent, performing the required moves to use as a guide layer when animating.


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Justin Berrington
Re: Natural Arm Movement
on Dec 29, 2011 at 7:07:54 pm

Thanks for the additional info on how to use the mesh warp tool in this instance. I'll give it a go.


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Justin Berrington
Re: Natural Arm Movement
on Dec 29, 2011 at 7:11:47 pm

Thanks for the additional info on how to use the mesh warp tool in this instance. Unfortunately I won't be able to use the IK plugin since it is for windows only.


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