Locators and Blending a sword to jump between hands

So today I have been trying to work out how we will animate a character holding a sword with two hands. Basically I was practicing some animations with a character holding a sword ( with two hands ). I had made a Locator in the Right hand, and then constrained the sword to the locator so that it would always move and stay in the Right hand. This isn't a problem, it works well, however, the left hand doesn't have the same constraint.

Here in lies the problem. I am forever counter animating the left arm/hand when I move the right one. It looks aweful. What I want to have is a system wherein, you have the sword constrained to the right hand via a locator, and when you animate/move the right arm and hand, the left arm and hand will automatically follow. The way I imagine doing this is something like, making a locator on the Katana that is the parent of a locator in the left hand. So that when I move the katana the left hand will follow it perfectly. Meaning I can just go ahead and animate the right arm and hand as I want and the left hand will always follow the swords handle. So I set about trying to set something like this up, but it just didn't want to work at all. I managed to set up a blend so that you can make the sword switch from left or right hand just fine. But I just can not figure out how I can make the right arm control the sword and the sword control the left arm. Every time I try and constrain the sword to the left hand I get an error.

Here are some screen shots of the locator Blend I set up. Just as I am writing this I am getting an idea on how I can resolve the aforementioned issue, so I shall have to give that idea a go.

The way this blend works is by changing the values in the highlighted fields below. By changing the WO field to 1, and the W1 field to 0 she is holding the sword in her right hand. By changing W0 to 0 and W1 to 1 it is now in her left hand. If you were to, say, put it to .5 each, it will hover between the 2 hands. I was hoping that this would offer a reasonable result when you bring the two hands together, but it too was aweful.

Oh, and yes the Katana is way too big :P

I really ought to go and fix my Scanner too. It's about time I get some drawings uploaded.

During the past days I have been :

- Drawing concept art
- Starting production on 3D Previs assets (ie the low poly characters)
- Practicing animation with Pol's transcription character
- Practicing more with nCloth
- Trying to resolve the issue of how we will produce 2hand sword animation easily

I hope to have some drawings up for your viewing pleasure sometime today.

Previs Female Character (yet to be rigged)
Previs Location:
Of course the two previs images I just posted are very crude models at best. However, that is the point of previs. Quickly made models and animations to give quick feedback on whether things are working or not.

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About Me

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I am a video game artist at Dovetail games, working on Train Simulator 2014, 2015 and an unannounced title. I also graduated from the CG Arts course at UCA in 2010 with a First Class. www.jonstewart.co.uk