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A Bird's Breakfast: Rigging for Easypose

Author: philebus

Tools Needed

  • Poser Pro Pack or higher
  • Easypose for P-Wizard or EasyPose Underground

Support Files

Introduction

This is Stage two of the process we began in A Bird's Breakfast: First Build Your Worm. Now we take the worm and rig and EasyPose him for Poser.

To complete this tutorial you're going to need either Poser Pro Pack, Poser 5 or Poser 6. You are also going to need the means to add Easy Pose to your figure. There are two programs available to do this, both are by Ajax and available from Renderosity. EasyPose for P-Wizard is a plug in for the P-Wizard utility (also sold at Renderosity), if you already have Wizard then this is the cheaper of the two. EasyPose Underground is a stand alone program that is more expensive but if you don't have P-Wizard, then you would be better buying this one as it allows much more control over EP creation. I'm using the plug -in version (till my cash flow allows me to get Underground) but the procedure is the same for both programs.

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Step 1 -

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Begin by importing your worm. If you don't have one from the previous tutorial, then there is a support file for you to use.

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Now, click the set up room, rotate your worm onto its side if you prefer, and select the bone tool. For reasons I'll mention later, we are going to bone the worm in two halves. So, starting at the middle, click and drag out your first bone. Click at the point of that bone, and draw out another and so on down to the tip. As you approach the tip, you might want to progressively reduce the size of the bones. They don't need to be measured, nor, for this, very accurately placed. Once you've drawn the first chain of bones, go back to the middle and start again along the other side. If you need to move any of the bones, you can just use the usual tools such as the translate.

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Step 2 - Numbering the parts

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The next step is important for setting up EP. Open the Hierarchy editor and find your list of bones, you are going to rename them in a way that EP will be able to use. It is important that the parts of an EP chain are suffixed with successive numbers between 01-99. Starting with the first bone, click the bone's name in the editor, bone_1, and you'll get a new dialogue.

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It is the internal name that has to be changed but I change both to save any chance of confusion later, make it read 'bone_01'. Now change the rest this way till you come to the other side. For the second chain I've started 'bone_T01', with 'T' indicating 'tail'.

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Step 3 - Grouping

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Now that the bones are named, you have to group the polygons of your model to the bones that will represent them. Happily, for simple models like this, that can be done automatically. Open up the Group Editor and click Auto Group. This is a best guess by the computer of what should go with what but is more than sufficient for our needs.

Step 4 - Adding IK chains

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The next step sounds more daunting than it is - for EP to work, we have to create Inverse Kinematics chains for both sets of bones. To do this, we need the hierarchy editor again. There is a button to Create IK Chain but it is not active yet. Scroll down through the hierarchy and at the bottom you will see an entry 'IK chains', click on this and the button will become active. Click on the create button and you will now be prompted to give a name for your new chain, I started with 'Front'. This is now listed in the hierarchy. To build your chain, click on the first part, in this case 'bone_01' and drag down to 'Front' and release the button, it now appears in the hierarchy chain. Repeat this for each part in sequence until you complete the first chain. Click on 'Create' again and this time name the chain 'Tail' and repeat the process for parts 'bone_T01' to the end of the chain.

And that's all there is to it. All that remains is to return to the Pose room and save your new figure, the grouped object and CR2 will both be saved to the same folder, so if you want to keep the object in a geometries folder, then you will have to edit the reference in the CR2.

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Step 5 - The Dials

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Now take a moment to look at the figure in the pose room. Looking at the dials, you won't see any for Bend or Twist, etc. The dials for these functions are marked 'x rotate', 'y rotate', and 'z rotate'. If you click on the dial name, the parameter box appears which allows you to change the name. For this project, we don't have to as we are not going to be using them, the EP software will set up all the dials we will need.

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Step 6 -

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We are now done with Poser for the moment, so close down and start up either EasyPose Underground or P-Wizard, selecting the EP plug-in.

This is the screen in P-Wizard, much simpler than in Underground but these buttons and boxes are all there, so what we do here should work in both programs.

The first thing we do is click Open and load our worm's CR2. The next thing we need to do is uncheck the box 'simple sequence' because our parts have already been correctly named, the other boxes can be left as they are. The Node is the root part of the chain, so we'll use bone_01 for this. Then start the chain with bone_02 and finish it with bone_12 (which be different for you if you used more or less bones). The Anti-Cross Talk Prefix is good idea, I've made mine Worm1. What this does is prevent cross talk between figures that use the same names for their body parts - if you want to have more than one EP worm in your picture, then you are going to have to make more than one CR2, each one with a different pre-fix. Now click GO.

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The screen changes to confirm that the EP chain has been built.

Now you need to repeat the process for the tail part of your worm.

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Now click Save As and you have an EP worm - a proper bird's breakfast

Step 7 - Back in Poser

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Opening your figure in Poser, you can see all the EP dials. On a node, the dials will affect all the parts in its chain.

If you click on one of the other parts in the chain, the dials look like this-

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-allowing you to affect the chain before or after that part. Now try and pose your worm.

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Step 8 - Last words

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An early but deserved Christmas gift for the star of all those cards.

Now the reason I created two chains back to back was because of the way I wanted to use it - in a bird's beak, or claw, a fisherman's hook, or with others on toast. I can just put the middle where I want it and twist the ends about. This would have been much harder if the chain(s) followed one direction from one end to the other - which would be better suited to a rope, a tail, or an octopus tentacle. So, before setting up your EP chains, bear in mind how you want to use them first!

If you are going to do any modeling for Poser, then the EasyPose utilities are a great investment, adding a lot of options and functionality to your models with minimum work!