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View Full Version : Auto Character Setup 4 released!


Mike RB
12-24-2002, 01:56 AM
http://acs.polas.net/acs/files/images/promo/ACS4_BigMan.jpg



http://acs.polas.net/acs/

Looks like an amazing amount of time saved for a small price.

Mike

leigh
12-24-2002, 02:01 AM
Looks INCREDIBLE!! :D :applause:

isnowboard
12-24-2002, 02:05 AM
What she said!

Ewan Lee
12-24-2002, 02:33 AM
Woopie!

Less Jobs for everyone!!!
:buttrock:

CarlCampbell
12-24-2002, 02:46 AM
Originally posted by Ewan Lee
Woopie!

Less Jobs for everyone!!!
:buttrock:

I quite agree. Seeing how technology is advancing lately, there'll soon enough not be much that one artist can do all himself. But if you think a few years back, they're things that took hours to do that now are very quick. Its just a question of adapting quickly, otherwise we'll be left out :)

Carl :beer:

rock
12-24-2002, 03:00 AM
It's gorgeous in every way. Great work Lukasz.

Rock

AAbel
12-24-2002, 03:01 AM
Not at all. Maya users have had toys like this for years. This means you can focus your setup time on things like getting deformations that don't look like crap, and good cloth simulations. There will always be setup jobs.

Cman
12-24-2002, 03:06 AM
Looks super cool!
Maybe I get a late Christmas Gift. :)

derelict
12-24-2002, 04:53 AM
...and they say the job of animators will be there in the future... maybe a few but nevel all.

CTRL+X
12-24-2002, 04:56 AM
It is an amazing plugin, it has been great to see this team develop this product over time and deliver it at such a great price. it never ceases to amaze me what code jockies are able to do, how they help the end user so much to make life so simple. Hats off to them, I hope they have a prosperous year.


Keep Wavin':wavey:

wok
12-24-2002, 05:19 AM
Looks fantastic:applause: think i need to but myself a christmas present too!!!!! Well done to Lukasz and those invloved!!!

Gentle Fury
12-24-2002, 05:51 AM
yeah but even with everything becoming automatic, you still need operaters........your average business man and invester doesnt even know how to turn on a graphics app let alone use an auto set-up program..........as long as everyone adapts and moves ahead, there is nothing to fear......and even as great as this may be its still really only good for games and maybe tv...........noone could make a feature auto rigger, because every feature does something new and is VERY complex.

AAbel
12-24-2002, 05:58 AM
Tools like this are marvelous. They reduce repitive tasks that you do the same way over and over to a few mouse clicks. Just what computers were designed to do. A tool like this will not replace a rigger, it will make a rigger more productive.

Ewan Lee
12-24-2002, 06:08 AM
I guess I should expand my previous post...

Rigging will be faster: since you are paid by the hour, you will be paid less to do the same job faster (good for the company).

At Disney at the beginning they had a whole department for tracing the cleaned up animation onto cels, then they introduced Xerox copier, the inking department disappeared... years later digital ink and paint, another department use to paint the animation cels, now with DIP you save on paint & brushes and you get the job done faster (and you get those fancy soft shadows), now much smaller DIP department...

The software gets better, the process is faster, in a short run is good for the artist/worker in a long run it comes back to bite you in the ass.... but if you read carefully it has nothing to do with creativity and artistry, you can surely do a generic rig faster, but then why bother modeling just use one of those poser pre-made models!

I believe than in a long run the enterntainment industry will shift from big companies to small ones and in the end to the audience, AI simulations, virtual actors and libraries of pre-made mocap data... they say that in the future there will be no animators? Just a director giving voice commands to virtual actors? Then why do I even need a director?

You wanna know why?

I'll tell you why! We all have pens and paper, but we are not all writers! I can play some music but that does not make me a composer! It's about storytelling, emotion!

The director wants to keep his job? Guess what? So do animators! Animation and everything that has to do with the creative process it's like magic... The final product (when it's good...) it's always greater than the sum of the parts! It's not just cut and paste. Ok, you can get something out of it, but that's the difference between an OK job and the "chance" of getting something GREAT!

It's gonna get hard(er) for us but there is still hope...

p.s.
Next category to go: Game Texture artists, with GPU getting faster and all this new programmable shaders stuff there will be no point in drawing a mono-use texture that take RAM, similar to the mocap libraries companies will have a library of shaders to reuse at will... as history teaches if you can implement a new technique\process via software or via hardware software always wins...

Cman
12-24-2002, 07:00 AM
To follow up on Ewan Lee, and his theories on encroachment of automation into 3D animation as an artform, there's a story (http://www.calendarlive.com/movies/cl-fi-gollum17dec17.story) on cgchannel.com right now about how WETA will likely get an Academy Award Nomination for Gollum in "The Two Towers".
ALSO, the ACTOR that was MoCapped will also possibly get a Nomination for Acting!

So it begs the question again, is that CG Gollum - Animation?

Apparently Russel Schwartz of NewLine doesn't think so:


"What's the difference between John Hurt wearing a latex mask in 'The Elephant Man' and Andy Serkis wearing a pixel mask of Gollum now?" asked Russell Schwartz, president of domestic marketing for New Line Cinema, which releases the movie Wednesday. "There's no difference. They're both human."

If it's not Animation, what is it?

kidcodea
12-24-2002, 07:37 AM
u can stick those fancy soft shadows in disneys big arse.

myasaki forever

SplineGod
12-24-2002, 09:35 AM
Digital Actors? AI? You can barely teach PEOPLE to be GOOD actors only after many years. Even a computer AI would need to be taught by someone who knows how to act. I dont see machines learning to have feeling and emotion like a real human.

It will be many many MANY years before we see anything like digital actors. The best we have now are Digital Puppets. Puppets still cannot act. The puppeteer makes them act.
In the real world, a director directs the actor and sees the event in real time and makes adjustments to the actors performance.
With animating you do the same thing except wait a week between the directors directions and the actors performance.

Animating is acting in slow motion. The animator not only has to know how to act but take all that and put it into an inanimate thing so that the audience accepts it for what it is supposed to be.

Autosetup4 looks good for what it does. There are SO many aspects to rigging that I dont see it ever becoming completely automated. I just want tools that take the tedium out of what I know how to do already. If a person doesnt know or understand WHAT a rig must be able to do to be a good rig then a tool to automate the process may or may not be of that much help. If a person has never animated much or worked with a good animator then a plugin to automate rigging will only allow them to do generic rigs but without the understanding that comes from experience.

It may turn out to be a good way to get to a starting point to experiment. You have to start somewhere right? :)

wgreenlee1
12-24-2002, 09:42 AM
Too FRIGGIN sweet!!

ClingFree
12-24-2002, 01:37 PM
I'm just thrilled to finally see ACS 4. It really looks great!

Jo B.
12-24-2002, 01:41 PM
I like these kind of things cause I don't have time or money to do this kind of stuff on my own, or let someone else do it for me.
But btw. I'm not so into this LW stuff, can someone tell me if this "plugin" also works with messiah-animate 3 ?

ClingFree
12-24-2002, 02:22 PM
No, I'm sure this would not work with Messiah:Animate. It was really created for Lightwave 7.5. Messiah's bones are very different. Although I do love the setup mode for Messiah, it is not an automated setup like ACS.

HapZungLam
12-24-2002, 03:42 PM
What software does it support.

XSI 3.0 Bipet rig is very good also!!!:bounce:

Jo B.
12-24-2002, 04:27 PM
Damn,
I am looking for a setuptool like this or Setupmashine for messiah. But I guess I'll have to wait for another while and do the setup myself..
@HapZungLam
I'd like to use XSI though, but I'm affraid I can't afford it...

Kaiser_Sose
12-24-2002, 05:42 PM
Originally posted by Jo B.
Damn,
I am looking for a setuptool like this or Setupmashine for messiah. But I guess I'll have to wait for another while and do the setup myself..


I was told that ma bones are extremely smart, especially compared to LWs, which makes setting up a rig much easier in ma

Along those same lines, weight maps, which LW relies on heavily for rigging is not even needed for ma

ACS 4 looks really neat though

SplineGod
12-24-2002, 05:59 PM
Originally posted by Kaiser_Sose
I was told that ma bones are extremely smart, especially compared to LWs, which makes setting up a rig much easier in ma

Along those same lines, weight maps, which LW relies on heavily for rigging is not even needed for ma

ACS 4 looks really neat though
My understanding is that PMG has either implemented or is trying to implement weight maps in Messiah. Lightwave doesnt require the use of weight maps when rigging. Ive rigged many things without having to resort to weight maps. Weight maps allow extremely fine control that you dont get by simply throwing in bones. Messiahs bones are only easier in that there is a setup mode where you can reuse bones fairly quickly in another or a current character. This doesnt means that the bones work any better then Lightwaves once theyre activated. I know that once Lightwave had weight maps implemented that the control you have in Lightwave was better. I still remember people having to sometimes used exploded rigs in Messiah to isolate geometry from certain bones. This was a trick that people occassionally did in LW before the implementation of weight maps.

jrsunshine
12-24-2002, 06:31 PM
Instead of jumping on the MotionBuilder 1 year bandwagon, I waited and it seems to have paid off. I wanted to wait until the Anzovins put out the "Setup Machine", but ACS4 looked too good to pass up. So, I forked out my $90 US, got ACS 4, and just in my first few times playing around with it; I am extremely pleased. It is worth the $90 US cost to add it to your LW toolbox. The docs are extensive and for the most part clear. The rig is easy to use and familiar to those of us who have been using ACS 3. The rig is more enhanced than ACS 3 and includes some nice controls. The auto features are nice and there if you want them, and are easily turned off for those of you who don't want auto functions.

I am happy with my purchase. If the Anzovins are watching these threads, you might want to get a copy of ACS 4 to see who your competition is.

Roy

Kaiser_Sose
12-24-2002, 06:53 PM
Originally posted by SplineGod
My understanding is that PMG has either implemented or is trying to implement weight maps in Messiah. Lightwave doesnt require the use of weight maps when rigging. Ive rigged many things without having to resort to weight maps. Weight maps allow extremely fine control that you dont get by simply throwing in bones. Messiahs bones are only easier in that there is a setup mode where you can reuse bones fairly quickly in another or a current character. This doesnt means that the bones work any better then Lightwaves once theyre activated. I know that once Lightwave had weight maps implemented that the control you have in Lightwave was better. I still remember people having to sometimes used exploded rigs in Messiah to isolate geometry from certain bones. This was a trick that people occassionally did in LW before the implementation of weight maps.


Weight maps are not a requirement but isnt it a fact vertex paint was developed because bones were influencing geometry not even remotely close to the bone ... at least that is what a long time LW user told me

Why is it when you put a bone in the upper body, the feet deform sometimes ... from my understanding this does not happen in ma

Mike RB
12-24-2002, 07:23 PM
HapLungZam: It is for Lightwave 7.5 only.

rock
12-24-2002, 07:34 PM
Note that ACS4 is a set of predefined rigs and is compatible with SmartGons. SmartGons (by the same author of ACS4 and will be released at a later date) is a rigging tool to build, change, or reuse your own or other smartgons rigs, painlessly.

Rock

uncommongrafx
12-24-2002, 07:35 PM
Originally posted by Kaiser_Sose
Weight maps are not a requirement but isnt it a fact vertex paint was developed because bones were influencing geometry not even remotely close to the bone ... at least that is what a long time LW user told me

Why is it when you put a bone in the upper body, the feet deform sometimes ... from my understanding this does not happen in ma

User issues there. I've done them, and I'm no pro [yet] and haven't had things like that occur. I'm not saying they were wrong but I am saying they had more controls at their disposal to avoid this.

By the by, I got it and am extremely grateful this came about before the other tool, Setup Machine: saved me $109.
Looks quite capable.
Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

uncommongrafx
12-24-2002, 07:39 PM
And...

Mike, if you read my other post, you know that this was exactly what my lazy ass, er... busy self needed.
:applause:
Signing will be EASY with this rigging tool.

Stoked I am, stoked!

Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

Kaiser_Sose
12-24-2002, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by uncommongrafx

By the by, I got it and am extremely grateful this came about before the other tool, Setup Machine: saved me $109.
Looks quite capable.
Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

Please report back how it works out for you ... like if there is much weight map editing on a basic character

toonshady
12-24-2002, 08:24 PM
AC4, Smartgon, Setup Machine, Rigs in XSI - they're a good step in the right direction for animation in 3d. The realm of 3d is maturing as always. I forsee that once these auto setup features are more widely adapted and refined by 3d animation packages, you would see software manuals to describe to new users what a 3d puppet setup is and how to articulate with it. Therefore, animators with traditional skills needs not to take years of learning how to rig, but understand what a rig is, what it does, and how to animate with it. This is a good thing that 2d or stop motion animators can be animators again in 3d. But for the TDs and riggers, problem solving are always their job. Automated character setup is only as good as the person who design it. Besides, a TD's job goes beyond character setup. Just think of the days FK only animation, and what must an animator do. Then Ik comes along and we all know the rest.

ub52
12-24-2002, 08:27 PM
I have to agree with Splinegod. I've found I get best results using weight maps to limit or isolate areas of the mesh I want affected by a particular bone or group of bones. I don't weight map the entire model. Only the areas that need it. Before I create any weight maps I'll load the model in layout and test the rig to see how it deforms the mesh. Based on that I will then add either weight maps or hold bones to control the problem areas. In my experience I also get better results when setting the Bone Falloff Type to Inverse Distance ^ 128. In my most recent character I only needed 4 weight maps. One for each arm and one for the lower part of each leg. All point weights were 100% no falloff.

- ub52

SplineGod
12-24-2002, 08:34 PM
Originally posted by ub52
I have to agree with Splinegod. I've found I get best results using weight maps to limit or isolate areas of the mesh I want affected by a particular bone or group of bones. I don't weight map the entire model. Only the areas that need it. Before I create any weight maps I'll load the model in layout and test the rig to see how it deforms the mesh. Based on that I will then add either weight maps or hold bones to control the problem areas. In my experience I also get better results when setting the Bone Falloff Type to Inverse Distance ^ 128. In my most recent character I only needed 4 weight maps. One for each arm and one for the lower part of each leg. All point weights were 100% no falloff.

- ub52
Exactly! I think the point here is to work in a logical, methodical way to avoid unecessary work.

Mike RB
12-24-2002, 08:54 PM
The other good thing about these tools is it creates "semi-standardized" rigs. If I go make a run cycle using a character setup with ACS4, it may work on someone elses character in motion mixer with little or no tweaking.

Mike

Jo B.
12-25-2002, 06:40 AM
The weightmap stuff isn't the point, all I want is an easy animation control.
btw. merry X-Mas..:beer:

Cman
12-25-2002, 07:31 AM
It's all good! :bounce:

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Joviex
12-25-2002, 09:08 AM
Originally posted by jrsunshine
Instead of jumping on the MotionBuilder 1 year bandwagon, I waited and it seems to have paid off. I wanted to wait until the Anzovins put out the "Setup Machine", but ACS4 looked too good to pass up. So, I forked out my $90 US, got ACS 4,


I would agree if we only used LW and not XSI and Maya also.

FBX seems to be the future format for animation data. It seems to be extremely robust (yes I got on the bandwagon ---- we love it so far).

gabe28
12-25-2002, 09:14 AM
In my last several character rigs I've been using Vertex Paint to calculate my weight maps. After running it's automatic weight calculation only minor adjustments are needed. Then in Layout I just set the bones to be influenced by 'weight map only'. The cool thing is that the spreadsheet allows you to so this to all bones at once. I'll never mess with 'area of influence' type nonsense again. Weight maps rule.

Mike RB
12-26-2002, 05:24 AM
ACS4 and UserDelta's free model:

10 minutes sizing Lucasz' rig, and another 20 for the flip (im not a very keen animator, but I like to dabble).

90k divx
http://www.3dluvr.com/blackbourn/web/test2.avi

30min later we have a poorly flipping DareDevil.

Mike

Kaiser_Sose
12-26-2002, 06:39 AM
So you would give it :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Mike RB
12-26-2002, 07:02 AM
for human like biped characters this sucker saves a ton of work.

Mike

fez
12-26-2002, 11:54 AM
Could you answer a few questions Mike?

1) Can we size, squash and stretch bones in the AC4 rig? (for cartoonish animations etc.)

2) Can we customize the number of spine bones? If not, can we snap unneeded spine bones (say the bottom three spine bones) to one point in modeler and still convert the rig in Layout without complications (so that the rig seemingly displays only three spine bones)?

3) The shoulder "shrug" bones seem to be connected to the neck? Can we offset those shoulder bones in modeler before converting? (a common cheat for getting satisfactory "shrug" deformation in some characters)

4) Can we easily blend IK and FK on the arms? If not, will Mark Brown's IK Blender work without a hitch?

Any or all answers greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Pazur
12-26-2002, 12:22 PM
1) Can we size, squash and stretch bones in the AC4 rig? (for cartoonish animations etc.)

Not yet. Well, You can squash and stretch bones that that will affect all subsequnt bones in hierarchy. Real squash and stretch will be available in Ninja rig (this is mentioned on page)


2) Can we customize the number of spine bones? If not, can we snap unneeded spine bones (say the bottom three spine bones) to one point in modeler and still convert the rig in Layout without complications (so that the rig seemingly displays only three spine bones)?

You can remove unnecessary spine bones in modeler (starting from top) but it might be necessary to correct hierarchy in Layout, save changes to rig (with exporter commands) and convert again.

3) The shoulder "shrug" bones seem to be connected to the neck? Can we offset those shoulder bones in modeler before converting? (a common cheat for getting satisfactory "shrug" deformation in some characters)

Shoulders are parented to last spine bone. You can change parenting of bones any way You want and save modified rig.

4) Can we easily blend IK and FK on the arms? If not, will Mark Brown's IK Blender work without a hitch?

No IK/FK blending because it doesn't work with IKBlender. IKBlender does some stuff that ACS4 can't do during conversion. You can apply IKBlender over converted rig though.
Ninja rig will have some sort of IK/FK blend control. I could also do a rig with IK/FK blend on expressions but I think it would work significally better on Ninja rig as this rig is faster and performance hit wouldn't be so visible.

Thanks for all nice comments on ACS4 guys :)

Tottebias
12-26-2002, 12:29 PM
Ordered a minute ago and got the plugin straight away. Wish I could try it out here at home right away.

Mike RB
12-26-2002, 02:25 PM
Well, there you go, Lucasz answered everything right there. I guess the moral of the story is that in the end its just all gets converted into a prettty cool LW rig. Once that happens you can do to it anything you could do to any other LW rig. So it works great as either a solution itself, or as a starting point for a custom rig...

Mike

uncommongrafx
12-26-2002, 02:31 PM
It is quite moldable as a solution. And the instructions take you through doing all of the changes you might need.

Can't wait to play with the Ninja and Quad rigs. Even better would be the midstream-update to 7.x to get some of the bugs out of the soup.

But hey, back to waiting of the fedex guy...

Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

jrsunshine
12-26-2002, 03:05 PM
Another thing to think about with ACS4 is it's integration/reliance on Smartgon rigs could turn out to be a boon for 3rd party riggers. I am just guessing (and hopefully Lukasz can verify), but this could mean that "rig builders" using Smartgons plug-ins can create new rigs that are convertable in ACS4. I don't need Smartgons to use the rig with ACS4. I think what Lukasz has created here is a complete rigging solution for LW users. I would foresee LW preset sites offering downloads of ACS4 compatible rigs from 3rd party authors. The basic bi-ped rigs and the upcoming Ninja rig could just be the tip of the proverbiable ice berg.

I loving this!

Roy

Mike RB
12-26-2002, 04:20 PM
jrsunshine. I think some of that is already possible with ACS4. You can customise the rig and export it back to an object file. No, you cant freely rig somthing totally different, likea demon with big bat wings and reverse knees. But I figure thats what smartgons will be for. I experiment with how much you can edit and resave with just ACS4.

Mike

Pazur
12-26-2002, 04:47 PM
Roy, that's exactly the point! You can convert Smartgons rigs with ACS4 as this is basically the same code. For now, Smartgons will work as a kind of "editor" for ACS4 to all of You who want to play in building rigs. ACS4 has already built-in simple interface (but supporting all features) for that purpose. The problem is Smartgons can be not very user-friendly and that is why a free beta will be available. They still need a lot of optimizations on the ease of use side. But once You build a rig with Smartgons You're free to use it with ACS4.
Also, we're thinking the same about ACS4 rig preset sites Roy :). I want to create a library on ACS4 site containing additional rigs made by me or Smartgons users. I'm currently working on a sample soldier rig (soldier is a free object by Christophe Desse)that is based on ACS4 biped one but it'll be enhanced with features specific for this object. All work is done without Smartgons, I want to show that ACS4 rigs are expandable and easy to modify. The rig will be available to download.
LW7.5 has some pretty nasty bugs and I'm also waiting for the update with any further development :)
The ninja rig works on the edge of Layout limitations (and there are many of them) and although primary rig is ready it may take some time to bring it to the point it works really smooth.

Pazur
12-26-2002, 05:04 PM
Mike, in fact You can build rig from the scratch but it won't be flexible as Smartgons have some "special features" like snapping items to other items etc. I'll try to do a video showing how to create a simple rig with ACS4.

Gotham
12-26-2002, 06:23 PM
Hmmm, to malenstwo jest platne... Pieniazki przydzielaja goscie od marketingu.... Przydala by sie jakas galeria swietnych renderingow postaci w celach reprezentacyjnych.... Nic nie szkodzi ze sluzy to tylko do rigowania.... Takie sa prawa rynku....

Ogolnie:

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

My Fault
12-26-2002, 07:25 PM
Can you customize the number of fingers and/or toes? So if my character has 3 fingers instead of 5. I'm guessing you could just hide the other unused fingers, but I was curious.

Looks great though!

uncommongrafx
12-26-2002, 07:36 PM
Yup,
With ease.

Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

My Fault
12-26-2002, 07:38 PM
Man you guys are fast! :beer:

Now where did I put my credit card....

uncommongrafx
12-26-2002, 07:46 PM
You think we're fast...

When you submit your payment, check your mailbox: ACS4 will be there waiting for you.

The immediacy of satisfaction with this ute is incredible.

Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

uncommongrafx
12-26-2002, 08:26 PM
Hey Lucasz,
Why isn't the news over at Flay? [Or did I miss it?]

Get the news out!

Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

My Fault
12-26-2002, 08:29 PM
Sweeeeet. I guess I know what I'll be doing the next few days.

Nice job Lucasz!

Pazur
12-26-2002, 08:39 PM
It will be on Flay tomorrow :) Christopher is on holidays currently ;)

RobertoOrtiz
12-26-2002, 09:51 PM
I was wondering when this wonderfull plug would be on Flay. I bet that the developers are bring flooded with orders.

Great Job.

-Roberto

Mike RB
12-27-2002, 12:02 AM
From the manual:

Record Plugin Settings - with this option You can store all kind of plugins in rig. Apart from the most frequently used ones like ItemShape, Sliders, Expressions, Constraints or Motion Mixer You can even save Spreadsheet Manager workspaces or additional plugins settings like Keytrak! For example You can make a rig "remember" Keytrak's item selection sets! All plugins of following types get saved:
Plugins:
- Custom Objects (Object Properties/Geometry/Add Custom Object)
- Motion Modifiers (Motion Properties/IK and Modifiers/Add Modifier)
- Displacement Plugins (Object Properties/Deform/Add Displacement)
- Master Plugins (Layout/Plugins/Master Plugins)
- Graph Editor Expressions (Graph Editor/Expressions)

Wow, very cool that you can save Keytrak sets to the rigfiles.

RobertoOrtiz
12-27-2002, 12:47 AM
One question before I buy the plug in.

Can you export the rigs to machines that do not have it?



-Roberto

My Fault
12-27-2002, 12:51 AM
Yes. It comes with a free plug-in that needs to be loaded on the other machines though.

Kaiser_Sose
12-27-2002, 04:24 AM
Lukasz,

You are one smart cookie

vorlon
12-27-2002, 04:25 AM
I am a total newbie when it comes to rigging. I have done some tutorials on riggings, but I never get the handle on this difficult tasks. So I am glad to see this plugin to help the process.

My question is, does the manual contain step by step detail example to show me how to use this plugin to rig a character? How good is the manual and tutorial in terms of helping people new to rigging in LW to get started? Or is this plugin mainly for people who know how to rig already, but just make it a lot for faster for them?

Also, are the sliders automatically setup by the plugin itself?

My Fault
12-27-2002, 04:31 AM
Well I was able to figure it out, and my iq (on a good day) is around eleventeen. :drool:

It does show step by step how to rig your own character. Pretty simple so far, though I'm sure it will get more complex the more I want to customize the rigs.

Mike RB
12-27-2002, 06:03 AM
It shows, step by step how to rig your character with Auto Character Setup. But no, it dosent teach rigging from scratch.

Mike

Pazur
12-27-2002, 10:51 AM
That free plugin is simply a custom object drawing wireframe rectangle in viewports - if You replace those rectangles with standard item shapes You can even open rigs on any machine with pure 7.5 installed. Also, You can use this plug to add rectangles to Your own scenes.

proton
12-27-2002, 03:24 PM
Great to see the community excited about what Lukasz has created....I'm very excited about it and think it's very valuable....anyone doing characterr animamation in LW should have it......Keep the great tools coming!

ClingFree
12-27-2002, 03:31 PM
I'm thrilled to know it works with KeyTrak too. I'm just going through the documentation now. By the way, the documentation is really good. ACS 4 is so easy to use and the deformation looks great. Thanks Lukasz and Pawel!

Kaiser_Sose
12-27-2002, 03:33 PM
Can not wait to play around with the demo

ClingFree
12-27-2002, 03:41 PM
Kaiser, you really should buy it. For $90, I guarantee it is worth it.

proton
12-27-2002, 03:45 PM
It's worth well over that....:thumbsup:

Kaiser_Sose
12-27-2002, 03:48 PM
It looks like the maya peeps have a tool like this too

Autorig

http://www.markbehm.com/tools.html

proton
12-27-2002, 07:46 PM
I did a quick test and in 12 minutes I had this guy rigged and ready to go.....I will definitely be using ACS4 in my next project!

$90 is a steal for the hours of work this tool will save!

proton
12-27-2002, 08:22 PM
Just a quick note on the character above.....

The character above only has 3 fingers instead of 4....I deleted the pinky finger skelegons and it converted perfectly .......just like the manual says it will.....:bounce:

fez
12-28-2002, 04:42 AM
Exciting stuff! Just tried to buy it but the server won't grant me access to the credit card page...is this on my end or have others had trouble?

jjburton
12-28-2002, 04:53 AM
Quick question...but, first of all, this looks incredible. I know that the Setup Machine is "supposed" to allow you to do different rigs (i.e. multiple arms, tails, etc.) Is this kind of thing possible with ACS or is this more of for humanoid characters only? Thanks:D

Pazur
12-28-2002, 07:42 AM
Fez, so far there haven't been reported problems like Yours and a lot of licenses have been sold. Contact Pawel Olas - olo@polas.net - he is an owner of shop and he should be able to help You.

JJBurton - all kind of rigs are possible with ACS4, it's not a predefined solution, it's a system for converting rigs written with Smartgons. The current ones are first "released" presets, there are more coming. I also hope there will be some 3rd party rigs done by ACS4 users once Smartgons Beta are released.

Kaiser_Sose
12-28-2002, 07:57 AM
William,

What is the story behind that character

I am still waiting for your character modeling videos, I got to see how you spit them out so fast

oh, and

Lukasz,

Did I ever mention you are one smart cookie :)

Pazur
12-28-2002, 08:11 AM
Hehe, yep, You've mentioned this Kaiser :).
One thing I forgot - starting from tomorrow probably the shop will be closed until new year but I'll try to upload ACS4 Demo in the meantime.

Pazur
12-28-2002, 06:32 PM
Just wanted to let You know guys that ACS4 demo is now available for download on acs site:

http://acs.polas.net

Meshweaver
12-28-2002, 07:00 PM
Just bought it - service and delivery superb - thanks Pazur :)

-mindcache-
12-28-2002, 08:00 PM
Originally posted by proton
I did a quick test and in 12 minutes I had this guy rigged and ready to go.....I will definitely be using ACS4 in my next project!

$90 is a steal for the hours of work this tool will save!

Give this guy a Cain and a Top Hat!

Kaiser_Sose
12-28-2002, 08:56 PM
Thanks for the demo

Tudor
12-28-2002, 09:46 PM
Ok.. say that I for some reason want to use my own rig.
Is it possible at this date to use my own rig with acs4?
And second.. I use a lot of plugs like follower.. Is that possible with acs4?

Pazur
12-28-2002, 11:35 PM
It is possible but the rig has to be turned to Smartgons first. Smartgons are need for that purpose (beta will be released soon). Once You smartgonize rig and save inside object file You can reuse it as many times as You need. Smartgonizing requires You to follow some rules though like no clones are allowed, only one object in scene can have bones, etc. so it might not be one-click process - depending on how Your rig is built.
As for plugins - You can use any plugins You have installed in LW but it's possible not all will work in all situations. It all depends on how a plug stores references to other items. For example follower will probably point to wrong item if You save a rig, add some bones or nulls and convert again, while sliders will work ok. But when the rig is finished and You only swap model - it should work ok too. Also, all kind of expressions are supported.

rock
12-29-2002, 12:11 AM
Pazur,

Is SmartGons (when it becomes final) free with ACS4 purchase or will we have to make another purchase?

Rock.

-mindcache-
12-29-2002, 12:16 AM
Originally posted by rock
Pazur,

Is SmartGons (when it becomes final) free with ACS4 purchase or will we have to make another purchase?

Rock.

I've also been wandering about this since they seem tightly knit

Pazur
12-29-2002, 08:39 AM
Smartgons will be free but keep in mind it's a beta!

anieves
12-29-2002, 11:25 PM
no Mac OSX port? I've been wainting just to see no Mac version in the order page.
I hope to have the chance to buy it for the introductory price if the Mac version is ever done... hummm, maybe is because LScommander is used somewere...

jrsunshine
12-29-2002, 11:29 PM
Lukasz,

Question for ya:

1. Are you considering a release of the Ninja rig before or after the next LW update?

Thanks and great work,
Roy Hinkle

Pazur
12-30-2002, 12:09 AM
We will be working on Mac version but I don't know how it progress as I have completely no exprience in macs.

Roy, ninja rig is designed to work in 7.5 but there are several little problems to solve or workaround. If new update brings the cure than i'll update a rig to that version. However I don't know when next update will be so - I don't wait for it. Ninja rig should definitely be out in January.

Ah, and one more thing, ninja rig will very likely have ik/fk blending on arms at least.

proton
12-30-2002, 02:39 PM
Exciting news Pazur!

:bounce:

studiomiguel
12-30-2002, 04:02 PM
I'm a Mac user.. thanks for porting Pazur... THANK YOU soooo much. I've had ACS3 since I bought Paul's (Lost Pencil) walking CD, but never bothered to use it because I was to danged busy trying (and failing) to rig my character. Doing tutorials, buying books (Albee), and experimenting. Of course, all of these materials helped, but I was missing something. My rigs only ever 'kind of' worked.

Then, last week in a fit of frustration I ran ACS3. What a relief! In a flash I went from "let's see, null to drive puller bone. Lock heading and pitch, but not bank...what the??? GIMBLE LOCK again!!!!!! sheesh" to "GEEEE, he needs a little more secondary motion when shifts his weight HERE!"....in theh flash of an LScript.


HA HA, I'm madly in love with this and will gladly pay the upgrade.

I'm certain that after doing this for five years I'll be like "auto-what???? No way, I'm a purist.. I prefer to create my own rigs" because I'll be able to. But for new people, intermediate people and folks who just want to skip the setup I see this as a terrific boon and worthwhile tool.

Anyway, I just wanted to convey how much I APPRECIATE this. You've saved my sanity!

Miguel

studiomiguel
12-30-2002, 05:18 PM
I was inspired by Proton's post of his character setup. Check this out... I totally stink at rigging and yet I was able to make ACS3 work for this guy, no problems!



:bounce:

http://www.studiomiguel.com/images/girsample.jpg



aaaaaahhhhhhh....:scream:

proton
12-30-2002, 05:21 PM
cool character....if you like ACS3....you will love ACS4....ACS4 is exactly what I've always wanted for LW....I'm so happy I think I just wet myself:drool:

studiomiguel
12-30-2002, 06:28 PM
I can't wait... come on mac version.... maybe I'll go buy a PC just so I can use it NOW!


Nah, I think I'll wait!

:)

proton
12-30-2002, 10:11 PM
I wanted to put ACS4 to the test so I tried rigging this bad boy.....using the "BipedRig_NoWeights_FKArms.lwo" rig I was able to rig him in about 15 minutes......I cheated and made the foot bone affect his lower leg and the toe bone affect his hoof.....wasn't sure if it would work but it did :)


I can't wait to get my hands on the Quad rig....now that will be fun!:bounce:

Remi
12-30-2002, 10:13 PM
Are you using proxys with that proton or what? what are the circles around the hip area?:shrug:

proton
12-30-2002, 10:21 PM
it's the proxy items that are used in the ACS4 rig.....

Remi-

you of all people should have ACS4...with all the great character work you do it will save you tons of time!

http://www.acs.polas.net/acs/

Remi
12-30-2002, 10:22 PM
I just downloaded the demo...going to see if it works for me....:thumbsup:

proton
12-30-2002, 10:26 PM
if you have any questions please let me know....you and the rest of the guys at AF are going to love this tool...it's very cool!:bounce:

be sure to watch the great video tut on that site and have a look at the docs that show step by step and talk about customizing the rig....

Remi
12-30-2002, 10:27 PM
Sure thing.....going to play with it tonight...i'm almost sure I'll ask questions...:surprised

Roger Eberhart
12-31-2002, 12:01 AM
Originally posted by proton
I cheated and made the foot bone affect his lower leg and the toe bone affect his hoof.....wasn't sure if it would work but it did :)


Actually, that's not cheating at all. I took an animal anatomy course not too long ago. The lower rear leg of a hooved animal actually coresponds to our foot (from the ankle down). The hoof is actually a toe nail. So what you did makes perfect sense.

Kaiser_Sose
12-31-2002, 12:02 AM
Originally posted by proton
if you have any questions please let me know....you and the rest of the guys at AF are going to love this tool...

I asked a question but you did not answer

proton
12-31-2002, 12:07 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Kaiser_Sose
[B]William,

What is the story behind that character


sorry I missed this one......He is a Zombie that I made purely for character animation tests.....just a fun simple character to play with:thumbsup:

proton
12-31-2002, 12:12 AM
Originally posted by Roger Eberhart
Actually, that's not cheating at all. I took an animal anatomy course not too long ago. The lower rear leg of a hooved animal actually coresponds to our foot (from the ankle down). The hoof is actually a toe nail. So what you did makes perfect sense.

yeah...but I wasn't sure if the rig would support it....ACS4 is soo powerful :)

Kaiser_Sose
12-31-2002, 12:37 AM
How does this work with the pose mixer plugin

Anyone try it

proton
12-31-2002, 12:53 AM
should work no problem....ACS4 is a tool to create a character rig....once the rig is made ACS4's job is done.....then you can use any other tools that you would normally use....

Mike RB
01-02-2003, 03:41 PM
Glad to see everyone is liking ACS4. it totally kicks butt.

Sil3
01-02-2003, 08:07 PM
Just purchased it :bounce:

Iīm dying to get home and test this baby on my characters:applause:

Sil3

KOryH
01-02-2003, 08:30 PM
I was curious if anyone is able to get a reverse hip set up with this. Or how I could go about settting that up in ACS4?

thanks

SplineGod
01-02-2003, 08:35 PM
Originally posted by Roger Eberhart
Actually, that's not cheating at all. I took an animal anatomy course not too long ago. The lower rear leg of a hooved animal actually coresponds to our foot (from the ankle down). The hoof is actually a toe nail. So what you did makes perfect sense.
Actually a lot of running/sprinting type creatures are actuall toe runners...they run on their toes rather then the full foot. The feet have become elongated to allow speed. :)

proton
01-02-2003, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by Sil3
Just purchased it :bounce:

Iīm dying to get home and test this baby on my characters:applause:

Sil3

be sure to come back and let everyone know what you think of it after you have had a chance to play with ACS4!

Hellbring
01-03-2003, 12:28 AM
dam i want to get the plugin but i only have a discover card :(

Hellbring
01-03-2003, 12:56 AM
think I spoke too soon about the sliders not updateing the screen. Restarted everything and its all set.

proton
01-03-2003, 01:01 AM
hmmmm....that sounds like an opengl thing....it works fine for me

Mike RB
01-03-2003, 02:53 AM
I've been having fun taking some of my weirder rigs, like cerretos demon muscle experiment and converting it to a ACS4 rig. Then adding it to other characters, resizing it and reconverting it. Lucasz has pretty much made a File format for precanned rigs. Newtek: You may want to think about absorbing this stuff for the next big rev... XSI guys think they have it pretty good with the "proportional guides" for quick bipedal rigging, but we now have a "proportional guide" maker for LW.... :)

Mike

Julez4001
01-03-2003, 03:33 AM
So u can take preexisting non-acs rigs an turn them into acs4 rigs.
If so, whats the turnaround time for this and how many steps does it takes.

uncommongrafx
01-03-2003, 03:41 AM
Oh, three or four clicks. If you have the rig made, you can ACS-ify it, take it into modeler and voila! Adapatable rig.

Really good stuff.

Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

Mike RB
01-03-2003, 06:27 AM
yep, very cool stuff.

Kaiser_Sose
01-03-2003, 09:08 AM
Originally posted by uncommongrafx
Oh, three or four clicks. If you have the rig made, you can ACS-ify it, take it into modeler and voila! Adapatable rig.

Really good stuff.

Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

You need to use smartgons to acs- ify a non acs rig. correct

proton
01-03-2003, 03:14 PM
So when do we get some of your rigs Mike :)


I would love to try out some of your awesome rigs on some of my characters.....you really know your stuff. Maybe when the new ACS4 Quad rig and Ninja rig come out there will also be some Mike rigs :bounce:

Mike RB
01-03-2003, 03:18 PM
Kaiser: ACS4 runs on the backbone of smartgons, but you never really have to deal with them. Just click ACS4exporter and run one or two plugs once you get to modeler and off you go, no hassle.

cosmopoly
01-03-2003, 06:40 PM
Just a question...
Did any body have issues buying the acs4 plug because for my part i can't !!! it tells me that the info (card number....) are not correct :surprised
When I bought the just animate Walk cycle with paypal it worked great...
I really don 't understand :shrug:

Sil3
01-03-2003, 08:16 PM
ACS4 ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :buttrock: :buttrock: :buttrock:

Altough i havent been able to deeply test it (my F******* PC is playing tricks on me :thumbsdow ), but i loved the easyness that we get to pose characters (those rigs really are a breeze to work with), and specially the EASY it is to make rigs, itīs AMAZING, my best spend $90 thatīs for sure, now lets wait for my FREE Ninja and Quadruped Rig, OH YEAH :applause:

Sil3

Sil3
01-03-2003, 08:21 PM
Originally posted by R.Jonas
Just a question...
Did any body have issues buying the acs4 plug because for my part i can't !!! it tells me that the info (card number....) are not correct :surprised
When I bought the just animate Walk cycle with paypal it worked great...
I really don 't understand :shrug:

This may sound stupid, but check if your Visa didnīt expired, it may had happen and u didnīt notice it, that or did u put all the right info in there? Check your last digits again, the one in the back of you Card.

Best of Luck, ACS4 really kicks ASS :wip:

Sil3

ps: I forgot to say that i didnīt used PayPal, just the regular Visa payment, and in less than 2 minutes i was downloading ACS4, i had some troubles with PayPal some months ago when i changed email and street adress, it didnīt let me update my info, so i quit on PayPal.

Hellbring
01-03-2003, 09:28 PM
I just bought the plugin myself. Wow the ease and the power of it is great. Has anyone figured out a way with the current setup to be able to do reverse knee joints?

On a different note I am gonna try to rig this model. It is based of a drawning by FengZ. Anyone have any suggestions from those that have used ACS4 more then me on how i can add more bones to maybe do the tail? Or is it one of those things that will need to wait till smartgons is out?

http://conceptdesign.ath.cx/hellbring/fengzanim.jpg

jjburton
01-03-2003, 09:32 PM
Guess I'm just a noob still...but what are "reverse knee setups" and "reverse hip setups"?:shrug:

Hellbring
01-03-2003, 09:35 PM
reverse knee joint as in the knew cap points behind the character. Like some birds

Hellbring
01-03-2003, 10:18 PM
guess i tweaked too much :| time to try this again, probably doesnt help with how it is already posed. AS u can tell some areas are influenced b the wrong bones and I got an error while converting and the nulls werent replaced with what they were suppoed to. also the slider banks are there but empty.
.
http://conceptdesign.ath.cx/hellbring/acs4oops.jpg

Mike RB
01-03-2003, 10:40 PM
if you want to be able to use the default acs rig i would definately use modeler to "prep" him a little. Use modeler to straighten the arms out to thier sides and stand him up a bit (lose the back hunch) and extend the legs a little.

Mike

uncommongrafx
01-04-2003, 12:17 AM
Has anyone suggestions as to how to get a rig through a render garden/farm, preferably without de-constructing the scene? Has anyone tried to send it through a render garden/farm??

Maniacal 'waver needs to know...
Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

Hellbring
01-04-2003, 12:19 AM
bah I cant win.... :thumbsdow
http://conceptdesign.ath.cx/hellbring/acs4again.jpg

uncommongrafx
01-04-2003, 12:27 AM
I had that once.
Tried it again and it all worked.

Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

Pazur
01-04-2003, 12:28 AM
Hellbring, keep in mind ACS4 requires unique names for each item/bone. You probably doubled like Head bone in modeler and have HEad (1) and Head (2) in Layout which breaks ACS4. Also, do not use spaces and dots in names.

Robert, if nothing helps I often mdscan motion and render a "clean" scene with object deformed by mdplug and scanned motion.

uncommongrafx
01-04-2003, 12:41 AM
Woookush, I mean, Lukasz,
See, I haven't done much of that kind of thing so it's a bit foreign to me. But, sounds like an opportunity to learn something. Or even a lot!

Just no time to do it as I try to get a project out. Have you tried to put it through a farm? I guess I'm just trying to make sure it's nothing I'm doing wrong and to be as lazy as I can. :rolleyes:

Thanks Lukasz.

Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

Pazur
01-04-2003, 12:49 AM
After ACS4 finishes work You simply get LW scene. I have no idea why it doesn't want to render through net but it can't be anything ACS4 related except for the ACS4 Shape plugin which doesn't have effect on rendering. I haven't rendered any boned scene through net for a long time. I always mdscan finished motions and do lighting and rendering in a scene without rig. It simply works faster.

Hellbring
01-04-2003, 12:52 AM
alright i solved that issue. it wasnt a nameing issue persay but more the fact that there was a 1 point skelegon and some skelegons were not connected to each other.

uncommongrafx
01-04-2003, 01:01 AM
Ok. I guess I'm gonna learn some new stuff here... This even sounds like its gonna make things more efficient. Thanks for the suggestion.

As a neophyte in this regard, would you mind taking my hand and walking me through that process? Or perhaps that's too much to ask and I need to get that pdf out. [Since they never sent me my manuals... ]

I'm listening to all suggestions. And tute locations for this process.

Pazur
01-04-2003, 01:14 AM
1. select character obj and scan its motion with MDScan - a displacement plugin in object properties. Choose settings and filename and click ok. Motion will be scanned. Then enter MDScan properties once again - You should see a path to file only, click ok and now motion should be saved.
2. open clean scene.
3. add the same obj as the one that had rig
4. add mdplug in object properties/displacement plugins and point to the previously scanned file (.mdd).
5. Set subdivision order to last.

This technique is also cool for having multiple characters with the same motion applied. Works really fast. The only problem is that after each motion/object modification You need some extra time to scan motion. If the shot is long You can always divide scanning into pieces like frame 0-50, 50-100 etc. MDplug allows for multiple instances of itself with different motions in composite mode (option in MDPlug panel). Also, the cool thing is that after applying motion You still can move, rotate, scale object it the key move option is set to on (MDPlug panel too).

uncommongrafx
01-04-2003, 02:21 AM
Damned!! Did anyone else see that big door of learning open, with all those beautiful rays of light streaming out?!?

I think you may have just made me a much more effective animator...

But I still wanna know what's causing the poopoo with the rig scene and screamernet...

For now, though, I'm gonna learn this new approach/workflow.
Thanks Lukasz,
Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

rock
01-04-2003, 04:04 AM
Thanks Lucasz and uncommongrafx for keeping the discussion open, as we are continue learning.

Although I have not have time to use ACS4 yet, I have already bought it from Lucasz mostly because I was afraid that the price will go up when I am more busy and unaware.

Rock.

Hellbring
01-05-2003, 05:09 AM
How is everyone doing with makeing their own rigs? Anyone have a rig that they can share so we can see what u added/modifed for it to work?

Mike RB
01-06-2003, 02:58 PM
I've been playing with ACS'ing my own "standard" biped rig. Smartgons seem really flexible. I think Lucasz is planning on keeping a library of user rigs on his site, so I might donate it to that when I'm done.

Mike

cosmopoly
01-06-2003, 05:06 PM
At last I could the plugin :bounce:
Will try it tomorrow ...

PSIpower
01-06-2003, 07:44 PM
I've had a few MINUTES to play with this plugin after the holidays and all I can say is WOW. I've always had problems rigging characters and this takes all the pain out of it!
I just rigged a character in 10 minutes!!! :beer: :thumbsup:

I'd love to see what other people are doing with thier own rigs. I'm going to have a go at making my own when I get the chance. But to be honest I'd prefer to actually get some animating done now ;) Its been to long since I was able to animate without having to screw around rigging, its got me really up for some serious animating :bounce:

This will save me SO much time and money! (as time is money :rolleyes: )

THANKYOU Pazur! :applause:

Mike RB
01-07-2003, 12:53 AM
yep, 10 minutes is about right for any 2 legged man shaped critter.

proton
01-07-2003, 12:55 AM
yeah...I've found it to be around 10 minutes as well.....gotta love this tool!

Kaiser_Sose
01-07-2003, 01:11 AM
proton, since you are our resident character maker I was wondering what you though about this

http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=35282&perpage=15&pagenumber=1

RobertoOrtiz
01-08-2003, 05:42 AM
Hey guys, I need some help here.

With the sample Bolo rig I am getting this error:

Any Ideas?

-Roberto

uncommongrafx
01-08-2003, 06:00 AM
You've got a loose point or something going on. Looks like you've altered something.
Check in modeler to see if you have a stray point.

Robert Wilson
UnCommon Grafx

anieves
01-08-2003, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by uncommongrafx
Damned!! Did anyone else see that big door of learning open, with all those beautiful rays of light streaming out?!?


I want to see that door!... As soon as the Mac version is done.

RobertoOrtiz
01-09-2003, 02:43 PM
Fixed the bug!

Thanks guys for the help.
It works as promised!
-R

Pazur
01-09-2003, 08:06 PM
For all interested in ACS4, here's a discussion group created for You guys about ACS4:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pazplugs

You might want to go with questions there...

proton
01-09-2003, 08:09 PM
great idea...thanx!

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