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View Full Version : Why use MotionBuilder 6 over XSI 4 Adv for char anim?


benvu
11-18-2004, 10:09 PM
I have been learning XSI for the last two weeks and completed a few 3dbuzz VTMs for Motion Builder. After learning how to use the pre-built XSI biped rig & quadraped rig, why would I need to use an app like Motionbuilder?

XSI seems to have everything MB offers, synoptic views for joint selection, nonlinear animation similar to MB's Story, so I am trying to figure out a killer reason to keep learning MB.

Is the MB animation engine THAT much faster than XSI?
Is the MB rig THAT much more intuitive and faster than the XSI biped rig?
What are other advantages?

BTW- My goal is to do multiple character scenes for film (not games.)

markdc
11-18-2004, 10:17 PM
I've pretty much dropped MB since I started using XSI. I'm still learning the CA aspects, but I feel that it will be less of a hassle to only have to deal with a single app instead of transfering data back and forth. I'd be interested to hear what others have to say on this. I don't know if XSI has anything like voice reality.

mustique
11-19-2004, 03:35 PM
I saw the 3dBuzz vids too, (all of it)
had a chance to play with a MB demo as well as the XSI EXP version.
XSI is a respectable app but to me the question is the other way around.

Motionbuilder lets you animate everything in "realtime": 1-0
Motionbuilder 6.0 rigs are more flexible and easier to use: 2-0
Motionbuilders key and pose editing tools are more dedicated: 3-0
MB + fbx is a superp couple for mocap editing: 4-0

Don't wanna sound biased here so
have a look at the flash and quicktime demos at the bottom of the page to compare

http://www.alias.com/eng/products-services/motionbuilder/index.shtml

EDIT: The only drawback is that MB is an seperate app.
Which will eventually even be a drawback if you're a maya user.
Hope that both apps melt into one "3D monster" in the near future. ;)

xzevlin
11-19-2004, 09:30 PM
I'm using XSI Foundation, but I spent a good deal of time comparing XSI and MB to see which one I'd go with for animation.

At first I wanted to go with MB because of all the non-linear stuff, until I realized XSI's Mixer is at the same level or better when it comes to saving out clips and reusing them. I've had more success in XSI with matching two clips together than I've had with MB.

The big advantage I see with MB is being able to pin your joints. If you're doing a shot where a character grabs onto a railing and vaults himself over, you can just lock his wrist and fingers to the rail, and just move his body over the rail. XSI does allow you to pin the position of a joint, but I don't think it works as well, the tests I've done have been glitchy.

MB is a bit faster, but XSI isn't bad. I have some scenes in XSI with 7 animated characters, and it doesn't playback realtime, but it's workable.

I'm still kinda torn, because I like MB and I find it faster to set my initial poses, and the automation of the rig is really nice (though the XSI default rig is getting better and better). But for now at least, I'm sticking with XSI.

biggyninja
11-20-2004, 09:37 AM
how can a little a bit of slowdown be 'not that bad'?

that misinterpretation could be the difference between a good animation and a bad animation.

I dont think I could work in animation that wasnt realtime, it would drive me nuts.

Also I think that swapping between 2 3d programmes is easier than working with one which is limited, and it will probably take longer in the long run. (i could bang out an anim in MB in an hour which might take me a day in max).

yep, it a chore to learn new software, but thats a feature comes with the job, and once you do learn it itll be well worth it.
thats my opinion, hope it helps.

Pedrotheartist
11-21-2004, 04:37 PM
On the subject of character animation, XSI is a more versatile package than MB 6, especially if you are dealing with non bipedal/quadruped characters.

But when it comes to Bipedal, Motionbuilder is the master, especially since it has now improved the way you can fine tune your anims ( Finally the dope sheet is now useful!)

Also one of the greatest features that MB 6 has, you don't have to worry about rigging (except for the skinning part) as it does this for you, especially with the new Handle feature that's been put in MB6!

Jozvex
11-21-2004, 10:20 PM
Also, it's not necessarily about using either XSI or Motionbuilder, if you can afford it ideally you could use both to take advantage of their strengths.

I use Maya and Motionbuilder and together they do everything I need. I find Motionbuilder is really great for 'physical' animation like fighting/dancing/sport etc, stuff where the whole body needs to move in lots of different ways. Together, doing the facial/fingers animation in Maya I get the best of both.

benvu
11-22-2004, 03:59 AM
I am starting off with the default biped rig in XSI. How does this rig compare to the Motionbuilder rig as far as ease of use?

Most of my characters are biped and my upcoming scenes involve multiple bipeds running, jumping, and climbing. I am a one man shop, so a more simplified non-TD-intensive pipeline is needed. My characters will be performing on moving sets, (ie. a boat on a stormy sea), with long shots and close ups on their faces. Hair and cloth is a must. So my concerns of using Motionbuilder include moving sets, skinning, hair and cloth and how well all of these translate back and forth between Motionbuilder and XSI.

Thanks for all the replies. Very helpful.

Proximus
11-28-2004, 10:39 PM
The main advantage of using MB in my opinion is the Mocap. Not for long, though, if what we have seen at Siggraph become reality, and XSI wil integrate Mocap in the package...

I think is better to be able to have everything in one package, and I think Alias will move in the future to integrate MB in Maya too.

Pedrotheartist
11-28-2004, 11:49 PM
The main advantage of using MB in my opinion is the Mocap. Not for long, though, if what we have seen at Siggraph become reality, and XSI wil integrate Mocap in the package...

I think is better to be able to have everything in one package, and I think Alias will move in the future to integrate MB in Maya too.
I somehow doubt XSI's integration of MOCAP will be anywhere near as good as MB.

Since Motionbuilder originates from mocap, it naturally supports most mocap devices, I can't see XSI would have the same extensive support.

The problem with Motionbuilder is that mocap is a two edge sword for it. Nothing deals Motioncapture like MB but then everyone assumes that's its main advantage. It was in the past but that is no longer the case.

Its other main advantage is its workflow, it's really easy and quick to knock out anims. This is where I think its worth its weight in gold.

bjoern
11-29-2004, 01:29 PM
The biggest plus in MB is for me that you can pin any Joint you wan't to ( like animanium ).
XSI can't!

Larrikin
12-01-2004, 06:44 PM
The biggest plus in MB is for me that you can pin any Joint you wan't to ( like animanium ).
XSI can't!
Yeah that joint pinnin is fantastic! It sounds like a minor thing but it makes a HUGE difference. I can't understand why more apps don't have it.

bjoern
12-01-2004, 10:01 PM
I think this is "THE Feature"!!
If MB does't have pinning, it never would interested me.
That is for me the biggest different to other Apps!

Proximus
12-02-2004, 12:50 AM
If you are fortunate enough to have acces to the Advanced version of XSI, it seems the latest update bring you Behaviour , and include Mocap import for Actor creation.
Check this out for a list of upates for 4.2, is quite impressive in my opinion :thumbsup: :
http://www.xsibase.com/news.php?detail=1177
I have only Fundation, so I will still use it with MB.

Concerning MB, it has a lot of features I found interesting, but I said the main one is the Mocap import (for me), because this is the main reason I was using it. Another one I like is the interactivity in the viewport.

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