I’ve decided to start in on the props stage of my journey, even though the rigging isn’t anywhere close to done. I will come back to this road and travel it again, because there are a lot of poses I cannot do with her.
Let’s recall the point of this journey. After I gave up on Blender back in 2005 or so, I moved on to 2D art. Inkscape. Made a few pictures I enjoy, and now it’s time to do a 3D version of the same. To the right, you see the umbrella girl twins, and this is what I will start with.
I need to do some texture work, some extra object-parented-to-bone work, etc. So… what first?
I started modeling an umbrella in its own .blend to link into my Verachantesse .blend, which already is starting to corrupt itself in weird ways1.
For some reason, when linking an object from another .blend, I cannot move it or rotate it or anything. I have to duplicate it, then delete the linked object. And now… whatever modifications I make in the original object file don’t appear in my scene.
What’s the point?
I’m sure I’m doing something wrong, but reading a Stack Overflow article about it, seems like others have the same problem, and all the people answering are being intentionally obtuse pretending not to understand what the issue is.
It was somewhat surreal watching some poor dude explain in painful detail about how this feature should obviously work, and watching some other dude be all: “but that would change things. Changing things is bad. Don’t change things.”
Sometimes I wonder how much of this is legit trolling.
Rigging I’ve Left Undone For Now…
While you take a look at Verachantesse posing with an umbrella, I will muse about what I still need to deal with on my rigging journey:
- Feet. Especially heels. When she points her toes quite far, her heel deforms badly and starts disappearing into her leg.
- Face. Whenever I generate a rig and then parent it to her base mesh, it messes up her mouth and areas around her nose. Reading the instruction manual doesn’t seem to clear up what I should do differently.
- Upper Legs. Anything more than a 30-40 degree bend, and her legs start tearing and distorting terribly. I suspect I haven’t placed the bones properly, because it looks like the tops of her legs go through a blender and come out not pretty.
To the right, an example of her legs at 90 degrees. You are seeing the better part of the distortion. It only gets worse in the parts hidden.
I will want to do a pose similar to this, except where she’s leaning further forward, resting her elbow on her knee. At that point, her legs will be bent perhaps almost 160 degrees. At that point, the distortion is so bad, I get injured falling into the uncanny valley.
Someone call Uncanny 911.
I decided actually I wouldn’t go making more props. I really want to fix her legs when they bend. Too many poses I can’t do. Before I started down that path, I really wanted to figure out why subdivision surfaces are so insanely slow on my workstation.
I decided to reduce her polycount by a few thousand (she’s at about 11k, and I figured I could do about 7-8k). After a few hours of ripping out edge loops and combining difficult parts of the mesh, to the left is what we’ve got.
3,627 faces, mirrored that would be 7,254 total. Most of those are quads. And yet, subdivision surface was only marginally faster, and still not fast enough for me to be able to pose with subdiv on.
When I go to read about it, I find out the reason is OpenSubdiv, which is supposed to be faster (but instead is 10-20x slower), is now the only option for subdivision surfaces in Blender 2.80. Hoooray for less choice!
So I went and downloaded 2.79 in hopes that the old Subdiv method would work, but when I open the .blend file in 2.79, I just get an empty workspace, with none of my 2.80 goodness. Not that I expected much, but I did hold out the slightest hope it would work.
Maybe I’ll try exporting the mesh, armature, texture paint (is that part of the mesh?), and other bits and see if 2.79 can import it. Honestly, the slowness of subdivision surface is so bad I’m about ready to make the jump back to 2.79 if it will work. Or maybe I can somehow edit the source code and hack in original Subdiv in place of OpenSubdiv? Unlikely to be doable in the amount of time I have to do such things.
Putting all that aside, maybe I can still get to rigging her upper legs. My current idea is a bone on the front side of her hip that has a stretch-to constraint toward her thigh, so when her leg comes up, it pulls that geometry up along for the ride.
- Actually… no… it wasn’t corrupted. It had some annotations from when some part of the mesh was elsewhere, and remained as little blue floating dots that I couldn’t select or remove etc. Once I figured this out, I just selected my mesh, showed annotations, deleted them, and now the mysterious floating blue dots are gone. Phew! [return]