Rigging longer skirts

Since the num­ber of new users has explod­ed after the release of v.6, and many of them are super excit­ed and impa­tient to start using SMR right away, we thought it would be appro­pri­ate to com­pile a cou­ple of arti­cles that will give quick answers to ques­tions that seem to be common.

One such very inter­est­ing ques­tion is:

“Is there a way to rig a skirt and avoid Shape Tweens in a synced timeline?”

We under­stand the excite­ment and impa­tience, which dis­cov­er­ing the won­der­ful world of Smart Mag­net Rigs can cause, esp. to peo­ple who have wres­tled for years with Adobe’s less-than-ide­al implementations.



Simple and effective 4 piece approach


The tra­di­tion­al Flash approach to ani­mat­ing a longer skirt would be to nest its ani­ma­tion inside a Graph­ic Sym­bol, and run this sym­bol in sync with the char­ac­ter time­line, match­ing each keyframe of the char­ac­ter ani­ma­tion with an inter­nal keyframe. Usu­al­ly the skirt would be shape tweened inside the sym­bol. Each keyframe should match the posi­tions of the thighs at char­ac­ter level.
The results can be very good, but this requires con­stant atten­tion and, there­fore, is quite time-consuming.

Smart Mag­net Rigs are so flex­i­ble that they pro­vide an effec­tive alternative.
A sim­ple set­up of four ele­ments allows dynam­ic and inter­ac­tive pos­ing, where the skirt is most­ly ani­mat­ed at char­ac­ter lev­el, and the body pos­es are auto­mat­i­cal­ly matched.

Two ele­ments soft-weld­ed to the thighs allow easy con­trol of the sil­hou­ette. Inside, these ele­ments can con­tain short flowy ani­ma­tions, and sev­er­al vari­a­tions to cov­er all extremes.
There is a mask, which is respon­si­ble for the hem line. It, also, can have mul­ti­ple frames inside, or even be ani­mat­ed. The mask is a child of the Mas­ter Par­ent – in this case the pelvic area of the skirt.



Video demonstration


The fol­low­ing video demon­strates the set­up in detail.

 
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