Wednesday, January 26, 2011

If we don't delete our history, we are doomed to repeat it

George Santayana once said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. A very quotable (and often slightly butchered) phrase. And it comes to mind when I think of how many times I have made a history-related mistake in my 3D works.

After making some adjustments to the Thrall's face, it looked even better than before! So I dumped all of his info back into the source engine and was greeted with the monstrosity you see above you. Why? Because I forgot to 'delete my history'.

See, his face was attached to his skeleton way back when I first made his character rig.  This face-attaching process is referred to as 'skinning', which I know is kind of backwards compared to how we normally use that word in ANY other context. -_- Anyway, since the skinning happened before I did my recent tweaks, the Source engine ignored everything that came afterwards. He looks okay in my 3D software where I did all the fixes, but while Source is ignoring them it looks like he got hit by a particularly large ugly tree.

The solution? Delete the character's history! (or for the Sourceist who might be reading this, delete all non-deformer history). For the layman, that just means that we make all the edits concrete and wipe the slate clean. But we still keep his face attached to the bones so that animation magic can happen.

TLDR Version: Don't rush while changing your main character, or his face will implode.

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