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Using SockMonkey

Earlier in this chapter you learned about Selection Sets. Although the information described earlier is simple, you can use Selection Sets for lip-syncing. What SockMonkey does is give you the power to control Selection Sets directly in Layout. It’s easy, just follow along:

Clear Layout and load the Head_Sets object from the book’s CD-ROM. This is a model with a number of Selection Sets applied.

Select the Head_Sets:Skin object and press p to open the Object Properties panel.

First, make sure the Subdivision Order is set to Last under the Geometry tab. Then under the Deformations tab, select SockMonkey from the Add Displacement drop-down list. When added, double-click the listing to open the plug-in interface. Figure 12.30 shows the panel.

Figure 12.30. The SockMonkey displacement plug-in enables you to directly control Selection Sets in Layout.

In the SockMonkey panel, under the Relationship setup, choose the Vertex Group Type. By default this option shows Selection Sets; but if you click and drop down the list, you’ll also see an option for Weight Maps. For now, choose Selection Sets.

Click and hold the Vertex Group drop-down list. Look what’s in the list—all the Selection Sets created in Modeler. For now, leave this set to [none]. You would normally choose one of these for specific control. Instead, you’re going to set up the entire object with SockMonkey.

The Control Item is useful for setting up a null object—for instance, to control a Selection Set. An easier way to set up SockMonkey is to click the Auto Setup Object option, as pictured in Figure 12.31. Click the Auto Setup Object button.

Figure 12.31. SockMonkey’s Auto Setup Object option easily assigns the plug-in to selection sets.

When you click the Auto Setup Object button, you’ll see all the relationships added in the SockMonkey display window, as in Figure 12.32. If you click any of these listings, you have controls available at the bottom of the interface for line pattern display, bounding box, color, and more.

Figure 12.32. Auto Setup Object sets up control items (nulls) for the Selection Sets.

Click Continue to close the panel. In Layout, click and hold the Current Item list for Objects (from the bottom of the Layout interface). You’ll see your list of objects, but also your Selection Sets, as in Figure 12.33.

Figure 12.33. When you apply SockMonkey to an object and use the Auto Setup Object option, you’ll have control over each Selection Set directly in Layout through the Current Item list.

In Layout, select Head_Sets:Skin_LowerLip and rotate (y) on the Pitch (green handle). Watch the lip move.

Try moving some other Selection Set controls this way. You’ll see how you can quickly and easily Control Items in Layout with Selection Sets applied.



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