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grafikdon
08-30-2006, 12:45 PM
How strong is this feature in messiah? I am talking about reusing motion where a character walks from point A-B not just the regular 'fixed' motion. I asked this because I have a project that requires a lot of identical movement on so many shots and My deadline is next weekend.

Lightwave didn't cut it for me because there's always the case of sliding feet and so many other issues. Has anyone tried that feature in messiah? Thanks.

Wegg
08-30-2006, 03:35 PM
I have done it. . . but I don't know if it would be reasonable to expect to learn Messiah quickly enough to get into the "deeper" areas of motion clips, tracks etc. You should be able to learn how to rig something in that week. . . but not rig, animate, create motion clips, learn how to loop motionclips and how to offset their forward motion. . .

PaulNewman
08-30-2006, 03:45 PM
I have done it. . . but I don't know if it would be reasonable to expect to learn Messiah quickly enough to get into the "deeper" areas of motion clips, tracks etc. You should be able to learn how to rig something in that week. . . but not rig, animate, create motion clips, learn how to loop motionclips and how to offset their forward motion. . .Even though my strength is not CA, I believe Wegg's advice is really sound.

chikega
08-30-2006, 04:40 PM
Plus ... issues such as sliding feet is not LW specific as it has more to do with Spline interpolation, sometimes called Spline overshooting. Here's an old thread (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=79944) but you may be able to find more by searching in the LW and messiah forums.

DaveW
08-30-2006, 04:41 PM
Lightwave didn't cut it for me because there's always the case of sliding feet and so many other issues. Has anyone tried that feature in messiah? Thanks.

I just want to point out that sliding feet is the user's fault, not the software's. While the feet are on the ground you need to have them evenly spaced, and you need to use the same spacing for both feet. That spacing amount is how much you move the character each frame. If you don't create the walk cycle correctly it doesn't matter how good the nla tools are, you will have sliding feet.

I've used messiah's nla mixer once just to test out a walk cycle. I think the only problem I ran into was the IK controllers didn't have keys on the last frame and so when I initially recorded the animation the arms didn't swing right. Once I keyed everything on the start/end frame it worked fine, and I was able to load the clip into a new scene, disable the motionclip for just the head-target, and have the character look around while the rest of him used the motion clip to walk. I haven't done any heavy-duty testing with it though so I don't know if there are any pitfalls to look out for.

I agree with Wegg though, I don't think you'll be up to speed in messiah fast enough for your deadline. And it sounds like LW's motion mixer should be adequate for what you're trying to do anyway, unless it's got some new bugs since LW7.

chikega
08-30-2006, 04:50 PM
This is an oldy but goody concerning walk cycles in LW 7.5+. Most of the concepts apply to all 3d apps especially the sliding feet issue. It's half off and being discontinued Sept 30 2006. Great series and a great guy.

http://www.lostpencil.com/justanimate_ws.html

Wegg
08-30-2006, 05:14 PM
Both Animation Master and Blender have these amazingly cool "stride length" type setups where you define the length of the stride in your walk cycle and as you animate your character around the scene it ensures the feet of your character don't slide.

Years ago pmG tried to solve that with something called "Walker".

I could never get the bloody thing to work and. . . it went away. :-(

grafikdon
08-30-2006, 05:18 PM
I guess I will have to stick with lightwave until after next week. I am not exactly a Messiah newbie though. Spent about two weeks 'toying' with the trial version but gave up due to issues with my graphiccard then.

Thanks for the reply, people.

grafikdon
08-30-2006, 05:27 PM
I just want to point out that sliding feet is the user's fault, not the software's. While the feet are on the ground you need to have them evenly spaced, and you need to use the same spacing for both feet. That spacing amount is how much you move the character each frame. If you don't create the walk cycle correctly it doesn't matter how good the nla tools are, you will have sliding feet.

I've used messiah's nla mixer once just to test out a walk cycle. I think the only problem I ran into was the IK controllers didn't have keys on the last frame and so when I initially recorded the animation the arms didn't swing right. Once I keyed everything on the start/end frame it worked fine, and I was able to load the clip into a new scene, disable the motionclip for just the head-target, and have the character look around while the rest of him used the motion clip to walk. I haven't done any heavy-duty testing with it though so I don't know if there are any pitfalls to look out for.

I agree with Wegg though, I don't think you'll be up to speed in messiah fast enough for your deadline. And it sounds like LW's motion mixer should be adequate for what you're trying to do anyway, unless it's got some new bugs since LW7.

The whole issue of sliding feet arises when I have a character walking in place. It is never a problem when I have the character walking from point A to Point B but again, the offset editor doesn't always yield the desired results (For me) So I am always stuck with the ' walk on the spot' character...which I seriously hate to do. I will go back and figure out how to deal with my offset editor problem because when it worked, the transition from one clip to the other was so perfect you'd thing it was one continious walk...the character walked from point A- Point B with no noticable transition in all the five motion clips.

DaveW
08-30-2006, 09:33 PM
The walking in place is what I was referring to in my post. That's what I did with messiah, and I've done it in the past with LW. When you're animating a character walking from A to B manually (or even just doing one step) the spacing of the feet isn't an issue because they're locked down with IK. When the character is walking in place you need to keep the foot that's on the ground moving at the same rate that the character is moving forward, which gives the illusion that the foot is staying locked in place on the ground. I'm probably making it sound more complex that it is in reality, it's really easy to do but a lot of people just don't seem to realize this and get frustrated when their character has sliding feet.

Even with a stride length setup like Wegg was talking about (similar concept to cycler in LW I assume?), if the spacing of the feet in between the stride length aren't spaced evenly you will get some slippage.

catizone
08-30-2006, 10:43 PM
Sometimes one can overlook a simple principle. That is, you may have some slow in or out on the stepping keys of the cycled walk. As you move the master null (or whatever is the base of the character cycle) forward, you have to allow it to match the same timing. It isn't a matter of distance alone.

Step one, measure the length of the stride pose. Make sure the character travels exactly that far in one half (one stride) of the cycle. In this case, it might be good for you to copy the polys of the sole of the foot and make a separate "foot object". Key that at the start point, lined up to your character.

Now, advance the cycle to the final key frame for the step (on the support leg), slide the foot object to match and write down the distance. Do that for the next key in the step. The foot that is on the ground probably only has two keys...so not that much work. Then match the ease in and out from the foot goals, on the master null position keys.

You may need to finesse that a bit if you have more going on, but that's the idea.

Best,
Rick

Wegg
08-30-2006, 11:33 PM
When I had to do it about 4 months back. . . I created one cycle. . . then from that cycle created a few more for variety and eased them in and out. It worked out really well to get rid of that "loop" feeling you get from most cycles.

Messiah's NLE for animation really is powerful. Its just. . . like a lot of things in Messiah. . . a little rough around the edges. :-/

catizone
08-31-2006, 12:02 AM
Wegg,

Just curious....
Did you have some workaround for the forward travel, or did you just match the timings as I suggested?

Best,
Rick

grafikdon
08-31-2006, 10:02 AM
You guys hit the nails on the head right there. I was doodling with the characters again and just fifured the master null is a little ahead of the footstep distance which brings about a slight 'pull' where you have the character 'sliding' to catch up with the speed. A slight change in the master null spacing provided a better result but I think I'll give catigone's tips a shot.

I appreciate the replies guys, thanks for your time.

catizone
08-31-2006, 10:14 AM
Glad we all helped. Went to your site. Looks like you're developing a lot of ambitious stuff.

Best,
Rick

Wegg
08-31-2006, 05:21 PM
Just curious....
Did you have some workaround for the forward travel, or did you just match the timings as I suggested?

I got a little confused reading your post. . . but. . . I think I did roughly the same thing. The real trick was to get the last frame of the motion clip to blend in perfectly with the first. And THEN make all the subtle differences in the cycle for variation. Once you set that master null up once that compensates for forward momentum you really don't ever have to mess with it again. Which is nice.

catizone
08-31-2006, 06:07 PM
Oh, I see...I think I was the one who didn't quite understand. You didn't motionclip and then travel that as needed....you built the master null forward motion into the clip....


Best,
Rick

Wegg
08-31-2006, 11:06 PM
Nope. You got it right. The null was outside the clip.

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