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Tip: Constrained Ragdoll in Motionbuilder 2009

***Update***
In MotoinBuilder 2010 you can now use real dynamic joints and also animate the state of the ragdoll solver on and off to allow you to setup this kind of grab,drag,throw action without this hack.
***end Update***


Just a quick note, if you are new to Motionbuilder 2009 (Mobu), they added a basic Ragdoll solver and some new realtime physics tools that you can put to use If you have not used the new tools, the helpfiles do a good job of going over how to setup and use the new solver. Also a quick plug I am working on another video tutorial for http://area.autodesk.com/ that will cover more MotionBuilder physics tircks and ideas on how to use them for production. ***find the post on that tutorial here motionbuilder-physics-ragdoll-tricks ***

I wanted to post this here after seeing this question. over at cgtalk.
  1. What you want it to follow must be animated all ready
  2. Constrain the Ragdoll node (hand for example )to the animated object ( I used a position constraint )
  3. Turn on Record ( turn off live in the physics solver)
  4. Select the ragdoll object before you hit playback
  5. Click play and you will have your ragdoll following the animated object it is constrained to.
  6. If you want it to let go of the constrained object while playing back.. just double click in the scene to deselect the ragdoll obj. and it will let go of the constraint and do a full solve.. like being thrown by another chracter or dropped from a plane or thrown from a car.
While not yet as powerfull or "smart" as something like the Natural Motion products, there is something to be said for having a system like this built in to MotionBuilder where the artist is all ready working with the eidting tools and NLA animation tools.
Brad

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