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How to create solid human characters in MAYA, so that their hands do not cut into bodies while signaling hand signs? Or can I make the characters solid in Unity? I create animations in MAYA and import it into Unity for further development.

Thanks for your help!

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Well, I don't think I quite understand what your problem is, maybe you could elaborate on 'so that their hands do not cut into bodies' – annonymously Dec 30 '11 at 10:39

It is always the responsibility of the animator to not position the character in such a way that their bodies interpenetrate. The software can only do so much for you.

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Especially because you're essentially asking for (really complex) self-collisions that conflict with the animation. – Clockwork-Muse Dec 30 '11 at 20:01

Solid characters doesn't mean much, computers aren't that smart yet :).

You likely want to implement collision detection. Each character would have self collision detection and collision detection against other characters. You'd also create procedures to stop body parts from going further when a collision is detected. Unfortunately, this isn't generally something you can just "turn on". It'll take a good amount of work. I won't go into collision detection, since you didn't ask about it.

The easiest solution, as Nicol Bolas said, is to create your animations so that characters don't collide with themselves. Additionally, if you have characters animating next to each other, you'll have to ensure they are positioned to not collide with each other.

Here are a few things you can do to help ensure two animations don't collide:

  • Calculate a bounding box for the maximum volume an animation takes place in, make sure characters aren't within each others volumes when they start those animations.
  • Create a series of bounding boxes around the limbs and torso that describe the max volume of animations, again, ensure characters aren't in each others boxes. (This method will allow characters to be closer in many situations, but will require more checks.)
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There's not much you can do unless you apply some sort of physical constraint model in Maya. I haven't used Maya in a long time, so I can't say exactly how you can do these sorts of physics for rigid objects in Maya.

The best safeguard is to properly rig and animate your characters. Animators and modelers are going to be smarter than computers, so they should be animating them in a way so that their meshes do not intersect from any reasonable angle of view.

If you require some procedural animations, a bounding-box collision system like the one Byte56 explained will help. These boxes can be controlled based on the bone movements of the character's skeleton.

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