Tuesday, 4 November 2014

How to Animate with the Morpheus Rig - Problems and Solutions

There are plenty of free rigs available these days for the use of students. One of the best is Morpheus, created by the very talented Josh Burton. It is used extensively by student animators hoping to polish their skills and get better at their craft.

Morpheus is an excellent rig but, like most rigs, it does have a few quirks. Below is a guide for animators to some of the main problems that we have come across, and how to fix them.




Download Morpheus
To download Josh Burton's free Morpheus rig, follow the link to his official site.

All I can find is a RAR file...and I can't open it!
If you don't have the software to unwrap a rare file, you can do this online, by following this link.

Getting started....setting the Hand IK Orientation
Morpheus's Hand IK control is parented to his shoulders. This means if you animate the shoulders you will animate the hand IK controls, which, mostly, you don’t want.

To fix this problem, under the hand IK control, change the value for Parent in the channel box to world, not shoulders.

What's up with the pole vectors?
Same issue. The elbow pole vector controls should be set in the channel box (under parent) to world, not to the hand.

Morpheus - vanishing skin textures
Vanishing or invisible skin textures
Morpheus' skin textures can be a bit tricky. You may have trouble making them appear, or when you render a frame of Morpheus, sometimes his skin comes up black or invisible.

If this happens, it is because the skin textures have become disconnected from the source image.

To solve this, follow these steps:
  1. Make sure you created a new project and set to it correctly.
  2. Make sure you have copied Morpheus’s textures into your source images folder. Now do a test render again
  3. If the textures still don’t show up, open up the Hypershade and look inside for the faulty materials. These will appear black in the Hypershade (black means no data). Let your mouse hover over the black materials and find the ones named skin materials (it is usually Morpheus’s skin that causes problems).
  4. Double click on the material so that its attributes appear in the Attribute Editor.
  5. Now, in the Attribute Editor, try to re-connect the material with the source image. Open up the file3 node under the materials tab, then scroll down and re-establish the connection to HeadTextureLight.png, or whatever the file is that the material is searching for.
  6. Keep doing this for all of Morpheus’s textures until they are all working correctly. 
  7. Don’t forget to render in Mental Ray 
  8. Make sure that under the Lighting tab in the Viewport, you have Two Side Lighting ticked.
  9. If you're still having problems, try using a different lighting setup.
Still can’t make the skin texture work? Animation Apprentice student Giuseppe Candido says:

"that's because it has been used a subsurface scattering material, this is the kind of material to reproduce the skin effect. To avoid that just assign a standard material and reapply textures, it should work then."

Facial Controls
To turn on Morpheus' facial controls, go to the World control and turn on Facial Rig in the Channel Box. Once you have found the facial controls, we recommend creating a camera, name it faceCam, parent it to the facial controls, and then tear it off so you can return to the faceCam whenever you need it. This will save you time.

Eye direction
Morpheus' eye direction control is a circle that is positioned in front of his head. For best results, change the orientation to world, not head.

Slow Playback
If you turn Morpheus's mesh smooth control to 1, this will speed up the real time playback on screen. Pressing 3 for smooth mesh will slow Morpheus down. Under his God control you'll find attributes to smooth or unsmooth him.

Too many controls visible
Morpheus has a lot of controls, especially facial controls, which can make it hard to see the model clearly. To solve this problem, we recommend installing this free plugin which allows you to toggle Morpheus' control curves on and off with just one button in your shelf editor.

Weird tongue problems in Maya 2016 (and up)
Morpheus doesn't work so well in Maya 2016, and his tongue goes weird.  To solve this, follow this link.

Go to the Outliner and follow this tree: all_anim > Rigs_grp > FacialRig_grp > Geo_grp > MasterGeo_grp > Teeth_grp > tongue_geo > tongue_geoShape.
Select that tongue_geoShape and then go to the Channel Box.. and under Imputs select polyMirror1.
Change the merge threshold from 0.001 to 0.01

And to save Morpheus as an ASCII file, so he can be opened up in older versions of Maya, go to  File > Optimize Scene Size Options , go all the way down where it says Remove Unknown Nodes .. check that box and Optimize.

Clothing Morpheus
To see how to clothe Morpheus, watch this video below




If you're having trouble clothing Morpheus, you may need to turn on "Render Influence Objects" in the Wrap Options. By default it is set to "off".

Other Morpheus problems?
Try this useful thread at the 11 Second Club which highlights a number of possible problems and solutions.



To sign up for our next classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link. 


2 comments: