Well I’ve been busy with tests and R&D for characters for Antics and I thought I’d write an update. A little while back I touched on the idea of using bones to drive facial expressions. The concept is cover in this Bones for facial expression Tut.

My experiements with Max went o.k but there was a major hiccup. Whenever the character moves the skeleton would return to a default bone setup. This means if you create a look for your face, then you would lose the look once the character moved. I have considered creating a face model which is driven by a biped skeleton, which would then attach to a host body. But this would need further investigation. The idea comes from stopframe animation, where a range of expressions are created out of clay. Then the faces are swapped out as needed. My adaptation is to have a face, with a little skeleton inside it. Antics will drive a mesh as long as it thinks it’s a full character. Of course it may be possible to have a bones setup in a “prop” but I’ve haven’t gone down that road yet.

My other news is regarding Quidam 3. I contacted them to gain permission to build an Antics library of characters which I’d market to users. Unfortunately they are only interested in the selling of characters in the .Qui format. Any other format is not allowed. I thought the indie Prime product would cover this, it does not. Still, I’ll be getting Quidam 3 for my own use, and I’ve been wading through the issue of converting the Quidam skeleton to a biped so that Max can export it! Currently the skeleton looks a little like the skeleton structure you get when you bring poser models in (pCharacter or .DAE via Daz)
My main quest is to keep the body weights which Quidam creates. Sometimes I think it might just be easier to stay and animate in Max! I’ve done some tests with the Q3 characters as a prop and the models look really good, as did the textures. I did find I had to add the texture from within Antics though, but it all lined up ok.
My two sons have completed thier assignments for school using Antics. Micheal got an ‘A’ grade and Alex has entered his forensic clip into a comp for the museum in Sydney.
Once I crack the Quidam – Antics pipeline I’ll post the solution for you guys. (happy to hear from other pioneers). Quidam looks like being a very valuable tool for us. The customisation of characters may now become a reality!.