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jschleifer
04-26-2003, 05:41 AM
Hey all,

So something I've been thinking about for a while is the whole way that Maya & Softimage deal with forward and inverse kinematics. They pretty much force the user to think about which method they're using at all times.. which usually isn't TOO big of an issue, but it can get daunting if you want to switch back and forth more than 2 or three times within a shot. And if you need to change your timing, it can get really really messy.

I was looking at how a package like Mirai handles fk/ik blending and it basically just has a skeleton that you animate pose to pose. You can lock down certain bits of the skeleton (feet, hands, torso, hips, etc), and move the rest of the body either with ik (grab a hand and move it), or fk (grab an arm and rotate it). You can even do an "inverse fk".. grab the foot and rotate the lower leg AROUND the heel, lifting the body (woah).

The trick is that you don't have "animation curves" to deal with.. you're animating pose to pose. So you can't really offset parts of the body w/out going and modifying the poses.. it's much more like stop motion or 2d animation. However, you never have to THINK about what you're doing.. if a hand is in the same spot in space for 2 poses, it's an inverse kinematic solve. It's very fast.. seems very easy to use..

I'm wondering if anyone else thinks it might be great to have sometying like that in Maya. Think about how much easier it would be to rig up fingers and hands.. you need to pin the tips of the fingers? fine. Pin 'em, move the hand. They stay where they're supposed to. Need to move 'em with FK? no problem. rotate 'em. done. Have a character falling off a building and tumbling so you need to alternately pin the chest, then hips, then feet, then head, then chest, etc? easy. just pin 'em. done.

I think that this method of animating could really push maya to the next level.. what are your opinions? (I've already logged this as a SUG through a|w, but I wanted to hear what others thought).

cheers!
-jason

p.s. if you got some time, d/l http://www.animagicnet.no/AnimaniumDemoVideo.avi it's Sega's animation system.. very much like Mirai's.

CIM
04-26-2003, 06:06 AM
Anything that would make animation easier would be great.

nemirc
04-26-2003, 06:17 AM
There is something about IK/FK blending in the Maya 5 "what's new" PDF file.

Forward and Inverse Kinematics (FK and IK)
FK and IK are the backbone tools of character movement and the ability to work easily with both in the same character gives you more options. FK
is used for direct and precise control of individual joints in a character’s skeleton. IK allows for the manipulation of a series of joints with a single
control: the software calculates the movement of the rest of the joints. Thus, IK might be used to animate a character raising its hand over its head;
FK would be used to bend the elbow.

Blending
Maya 5 offers FK/IK blending: a highly requested feature that allows you to blend between animation applied directly to joints and animation
controlled through IK chains. Visible references to the full IK and FK positions during blending help you evaluate a sequence and create smooth
animation transitions.

I believe this is what you were talking about, Jason. Isn't it?
:beer:

jschleifer
04-26-2003, 06:36 AM
Nope, maya's fk/ik blending still requires you to know what you're doing.. and it doesn't work on feet & hands. it's fine for arms, but you can't lock a hand down, or a finger, or a toe, or the ball of the foot and blend in and out of IK w/out setting up a complicated blending system.. and w/out having the animator have to keep track of which "mode" they're in.

The blending in 5.0 is better than it was in 4.5.. which, in turn is better than 4.0 and previous versions.. but it's more like a patch on a problem, it's not a true solution yet.

-jason

nemirc
04-26-2003, 06:40 AM
Originally posted by jschleifer
The blending in 5.0 is better than it was in 4.5.. which, in turn is better than 4.0 and previous versions.. but it's more like a patch on a problem, it's not a true solution yet.


Then We'll have to wait till Maya 6 :rolleyes: :beer: :bounce:

Rudity
04-26-2003, 08:07 AM
Keep Animation Complicated!! MAKE US THINK!
That way it will be easier to keep jobs for us that have em. :P


Seriosly though Id like to see something like that. Sounds like great fun to animate with.(even though the system right now is super fun too)
Thats a huge "added feature" that could sell maya like crazy!

kamil_w
04-26-2003, 08:22 AM
Put your ideas here:

http://www.maya.digication.com/home3.php

Phearielord
04-26-2003, 11:12 AM
I wish there was a demo available for Mirai, so that I can play with it a bit to get a better idea of what you are talking about Jason, but from what I can deduce, what you are talking about sounds like the perfect solution.....

Though I think it might be a while before we see anything like that in Maya :thumbsdow

O well.....Maya 5 has enough new features to keep me busy for a while :)

ambient-whisper
04-26-2003, 11:24 AM
if anyone wants i could make a video of how it works and post it.
btw: jason. you can later decompose your animation into curves so you can fine tune it, but since mirai was never expanded upon the tools for managing the many curves you get upon decomposing :( i had an idea that could make it a lot easier but they havent really been around much :(

jschleifer
04-26-2003, 12:25 PM
Heya Ambient-whisper,

a video would be great.. this is something which I'd really love to see A|W understand, and I"m afraid w/out actually seeing it in progress, and seeing the difference between workflows, they might not decide to dedicate resources to it. It'd be fantastic to do a side by side comparison between animating with this method and animating with a standard kinematics method in maya.

Ckerr812
04-26-2003, 12:35 PM
I would love to see a video explaining this too! I have never used Maria so I can't really visualize what you mean, but it sounds very very interesting.

Sounds like animating pose to pose in the trax editor a bit to me, but without having to worry about constraints or kinematics?

ambient-whisper
04-26-2003, 01:30 PM
cool. ill make one soon. just gotta get a few things out of the way first. :) i should have one as early as today. or tomorrow at the latest.

things i plan to cover.

1.) IK/FK posing. and the tools around it. ( pinning. IK scale/etc )
2.) the character module ( some rigging stuff, bone properties )
3.) some NLA stuff ..self explanatory
4.) just some other misc tools :)

cheers.

AWAKE
04-26-2003, 04:46 PM
Jason,


I just watched that video, and I want it also. That system eliminates all counter animation. Im sitting here thinking about how amazing that method would be. No one would be needed to explain how the thing works. No Fcurves, no heavy technology. Even though, a pose managment system would be a good asset. (saving, recalling, blah blah blah) and I would like tangent control in and out of a pose.

man that thing is exciting.

mental
04-26-2003, 05:42 PM
@ mr. schleifer: couldn't you just grab one of the maya engineers, put him in a headlock and give him a noogie until he agrees to put the features you want in? :thumbsup:

but seriously, how receptive is AW to these suggestions? they send reps around during beta testing, they have the virtual suggestion box and they listen to us at the trade shows but somewhere along the line it seems that all of these ideas are just tossed aside. i know that development is a long and painstaking process but where's the overhaul that has been needed to some of maya's features for the past several releases? and i don't mean so much as an overhaul for most of the features but a refinement: for example trax is good, but not as good as it could be (as compared to say XSI's nla editor).

@ambient-whisper: thanks for the offer, that's very cool of you :buttrock:

-mental :surprised

thesaint
04-26-2003, 06:08 PM
For me that hits the nail on the head. I would love to see the video because i think you are talking about a system that works in a similar way to Marionette here (though i won't discuss particulars for abvious reasons).

Frankly, anything that makes the process more transparent to me is a good one.
I love Maya but when you need to lock a hand down for six frames, fk it to the next pose and lock a finger down for 18 frames it is, mmmm, problematic.

Good luck.

darkr9
04-26-2003, 09:31 PM
I'd love to see it in Maya. I was lucky to get a demo of Mirai before the whole Nichimen/Wingededge/Izware whatever thing happened and loved it. I still peek at the site every once in a while wondering if Mirai will ever come back.

asparapani
04-26-2003, 10:14 PM
Hey ya'll.....Allow me to jump in.

The reason why I'm jumping into this thread is because here at cinegroupe we have developped a pretty user friendly FK/IK 1 frame switch at the click of a button(with the help of scripting of course) It is incredibly usefull and after seeing many FK/IK systems throughout the biz, I must say that ours is quite impressive. I like XSI for this reason. And it doesn't bug out either, you just have to know what's going on.

The whole mystery of IK-FK blending in is an interesting one and the whole ability to do so has come a long way for both Maya and XSI.

What jschleifer has been talking about Mirai having the ability of IK/FK but NOT having function curves sounds strikingly familiar to Character Studio's BiPed technology. This system has been availabe on the market for the past 5 years I believe and is nothing new to the digital artist. The great engineers designing this system make the user believe IK/FK is at their finger tips. It's just a question of changing your manip tool from rotate to translate, and then placing a key. However what's going on in the arithematic behind the scenes is quite different. BiPed and Mirai do not use rotation coordinates. When you are saving a key you are saving the position in space(translation) and NOT the degree of rotation. So in reality, you ONLY have ik.

What I'm trying to say is that Mirai doesn't realy have IK/FK, it just feels that way for the user. The reason there are keys and not function curves is because the poses are only recorded in translation.

jschleifer
04-26-2003, 10:20 PM
Really?

so if you take an arm and frame 1 of your animation and have it pointing down, then go to frame 10 and have it pointing up, what type of interpolation do you get?

-jason

ambient-whisper
04-26-2003, 10:50 PM
theres a bit more to it than just how its mapped. personally im after a setup that doesnt require me concentrating on what happens underneath when i use a certain form of posing. the tools for posing are just as important. for example.. Ik scale ( doesnt scale bones ) for example lets you take a characters arm, and do something like reach for a certain point in space. you just pick a vertex and the joint will try to reach it regardless of axis. so you dont have to rotate viewport.. translate arm/rotate... then tumble viewport again. .etc. you just pick a vertex ( joint ) and where you want to go.
things like FK symmetry are also useful. if i use left click on rotate one bone rotates. if i middle click on rotate however, the bone that i specified as a mirror will rotate the same number of degrees as the linked arm. i know jason started this thread only on IK and stuff. but i want my video to cover a wider range of Character tools that i find to be useful.

( btw. i dont animate much. but from a test i just made. when i moved the arm up 10 frames later it looked like it was an FK move. would kinda make sense.. since when i decompose the channel into multiple curves i get FK rotations.


personally what I am after is something like this.


say i animate a characters leg inside the viewport. i use Ik or FK to pose it. i can then after placing a few keys turn on the curve for that joint and i will see a curve inside the viewport as i make it. i would then also be able to use spline like tools to edit the path of the spline. and do stuff like refine it.. delete points.. this would translate to Fcurves.. but in 3d form. much like trajectories.. but would happen more interactively.. and syncd with my skeleton. so if i delete a key in the animation editor.. i would see a vertex in the spline dissapear. stuff like that would be nice.


anyway:) still working on video :) got a bunch done already :D
itll cover stuff like morphs too. ( to illustrate a less supped up version of what was used on lotr :)

cheers.

webster
04-26-2003, 10:51 PM
Hi,

here I found a tutorial from an animator, who developed a pose-to-pose-animation workflow.

http://www.keithlango.com --> Tutorial --> pose-to-pose

Check the comparsion-video on the bottom.
Also the Maya-to-Max renderkit (http://www.keithlango.com --> tools) is great.

This of course would still keep the IK/FK - switching-problem

Thanks to the tutorial autor !!!

AWAKE
04-26-2003, 11:45 PM
Did anyone look at the video?

JamesDeschenes
04-27-2003, 12:09 AM
Yeah what you are talking about does sound very similar to Biped in character studio for 3dsmax. It has the locks for arms and feet, and if I remember corectly (im using maya now :scream: ) all you needed to do to go between Ik and Fk with the Character Studio is just start rotating joints to get some FK control.. or if you want.. just select the hand and drag it arround and there you get your IK.

I wonder if someone could actually do an in-depth comparison of Mirai's animation tools and the ones found in the Character Studio package.

Real interesting stuff.

b.Schulz
04-27-2003, 12:14 AM
I personally also wish maya had something like this (or at least an option of some sort)....BUT I would still like to keep the graph editor. There is something about playing with curves that I feel is very important in animation. BUT the fk/ik thing is still gnarly when you have to change timing and whatnot....takes ALOT of organization and is very frustrating when a director wants the timing changed. I've seen a lot of videos using Mirai and I always loved the fact that they could do stuff like you explained in your first post Jason. Makes total sense to me. Could be very helpful and possibly push animation in another direction (ie while also making complicated animations a tad be easier to grasp) I'm all for it. :bounce: :bounce: :D

They should just merge Mirai and Maya is what I think. :buttrock:

b.Schulz
04-27-2003, 12:20 AM
Originally posted by ambient-whisper


personally what I am after is something like this.

say i animate a characters leg inside the viewport. i use Ik or FK to pose it. i can then after placing a few keys turn on the curve for that joint and i will see a curve inside the viewport as i make it. i would then also be able to use spline like tools to edit the path of the spline. and do stuff like refine it.. delete points.. this would translate to Fcurves.. but in 3d form. much like trajectories.. but would happen more interactively.. and syncd with my skeleton. so if i delete a key in the animation editor.. i would see a vertex in the spline dissapear. stuff like that would be nice.

cheers.

Yeah...I too have been telling co-workers this idea. It's like in Maya if you would create a motion trail from say your root joint so you can see your arcs/paths etc. in some kinda line form. BUT you can't modify it unless you modify your keys, only then will it update the curves. It would be awesome if you could have some sort of representation of your keys on that curve in the viewport and you could manipulate them to get the curves you want and your animation would update from changing those curves. It would be more like a more complicated graph editor only in the viewport in 3d. Glad to hear that I'm not the only person who's thought of something like this. :D :beer:

Ckerr812
04-27-2003, 12:21 AM
Only thing about Biped, if I remember correctly sinse I haven't used it for about 4 years, is that it is very limited animation wise.

Sure it works great for humans, but last time I used it, anything beyond a Biped creature (ie: 4 arms, 3 legs, A monkey, dinosaur and so on), your pretty much screwed, because you can't just add joints and control features to it, so you give up the control for more user friendly animation, which is not really the future of animation I would hope. (I haven't used the latest CS studio so maybe they have improved it).

b.Schulz
04-27-2003, 12:41 AM
Just saw the video. Yeah it seems like mirai in a way of moving things. Very much like sculpting or stop motion animation. Seems like with that ghosting option you proly wouldn't necessarily NEED a graph editor. What did Sega use this for and what's it doing now, collecting dust??? Looks rad to me.

jschleifer
04-27-2003, 01:07 AM
The great thing about this idea (I don't know if character studio can do this), but you can lock down other parts of hte body besides feet and hands.. for example, an elbow. How many times have you wanted to have a character rest their elbow on a table & have to make a funky setup just to handle that case? Or what about knees? I know a certain character (Gollum! Gollum!) which would have been a lot easier to animate if I could lock the knees down instead of having to counter-animate & key frame by frame to get the knees to stay in one spot.

The nice thing about mirai's sytem (from what I've seen) is that you can lock ANY part of the body.. not just hands and feet, but fingers, toes, knees, elbows, torso, root, etc etc.

-jason

ambient-whisper
04-27-2003, 01:09 AM
The sega app will be release during summer. :) cant wait to see more of it. looks really neato :d

as for mirai. id actually like for the skeleton to be more customizable. for example. you can make it look however you want... customise it to your creature.. add as many bones as you want where you want. theres base quadraped/ ticks/human skeletons. but umm it would be nice if i could get below the skeleton level customizations down to the bone level. so i could see the full structure of the skeleton inside the geometry graph ( kinda like outliner+layer editor in one ) that way i could do some parenting tricks.. etc.

im not sure if bay had the beta for mirai. but maybe he could tell you if they were working on that particular area. im sure it could be done if they tried.


one neato thing in mirai is that the skeleton is actually geometry. so it treats joints like verticies, bones like edges.. etc.
this allows a bunch of neat things like growing selections .. magnet deforms of the skeleton .
Ik scale. so what ik scale does really is...since joints are verticies..it just scales the distance between points. and the bones solve themselves to reach. but they dont stretch.:) its nice. theres IK rotations too.. but those i have no idea how to use properly. maybe bay could fill you or us in sometime.:)

also since the skeletons are geometry... you can use the morph system on it. so you pose a skeleton.. save... you can then use the magnets to pose a selected area with a falloff..
..etc.
]
(edit)

btw. im not sure why everyone is saying you cant use the graph editor to edit curves.. you can.. but you have to decompose your pose to pose channel into multiple curves... so then you can finetune them inside the curve editor. ..then you can compose that into a mocap channel. resample curves to have an N number of keyframes.. etc.

the area where this fails in mirai, is that they didnt give good managing tools for working with complex skeletons that have a crazy amount of bones. if you use the script graph you could make it a lot easier on yourself since you can hide any parts you dont want and work on specific areas.. but for some reason or another.. it doesnt update properly inside the mixer. ( area with all the sliders ).

:/

[edit number-2]
got a lot of the video done :) i think ill just finish it off by making a short pose to pose animation. ( but i promise itll suck...since im no animator :d )

keithlango
04-27-2003, 01:32 AM
The Mirai workflow has some huge plusses. It's keyframe management always struck me as a bit anemic, though. But I did dig the whole stop-mo feel of it.

Back when Big Idea used to be an animation studio, I was heading up some character rigging R&D for a future film (which won't be made) and Michael Comet and I kinda figured a simpler arm IK/FK system that didn't require switching, but allowed the animator to be in both modes at once. (It was actually more Michael than me :) It ended up being tons easier to rig, too. It just took some re-programming of the brain to get out of the IK/FK switching conventional wisdom. The crux of it was to set up the control objects for the arms in FK like normal, and then just parent the IK hand control under the forearm control. If you wanted the hand to be in FK, just use the rotation channels. If you wanted IK, you could tranlsate the hand away from it's 0-0-0 default and the IK would kick in as well. Meanwhile you could still do FK by rotating any of the arm controls up the heirarchy (like the forearm or upper arm or shoulder controls). Since the IK Hand control was parented underneath, it went along for the ride. The only thing was your upper chain control curves would be somewhat seperated from the arm, but that's turned out to be a minor annoyance more than a major problem. To "reset" the hand back to it's FK default, just set it back to it's 0-0-0 for the translate channels and it will go back to it's default position. It's hard to explain in text, but it's really pretty butt-simple to set up and use. And best of all, it requires no switching keyframes to manage. I can do a short description/tutorial and throw it up on my website if folks are interested. It's not the end-all-be-all, but I've fund it to be easier than the conventional switching paradigm.

But it's nowhere near the kind of global solution Jason mentions where you can lock down different body parts for a given sequence of frames. Maybe some uber-nasty constraint management system could be written to achieve this in Maya, but it'd be super ugly under the hood I suppose. We used a constraint management script Mark Behm wrote when he was at Big Idea. For simple stuff it was pretty clever, but if your timings ever changed it was a bear to work with. And if you had a few grabs nested into other grabs, switching back and forth and back again... ugh!
Yeah, something like Mirai's lock down feature would be pretty cool stuff.

-k

jschleifer
04-27-2003, 01:42 AM
I was thinking of an animation which would make any normal maya animator gulp.. and thought that if we could come up with a system that could handle that, then hell.. we'd be on our way. :)

okay, you have two characters. One is on a moving platform, the other is standing below him. Character A (the one below) runs up to character B (who is throwing apples, pears, and bananas down at character A) and starts trying to jump up onto the platform. After getting pelted a few times in the head, he is able to manage grabbing onto the platform with one hand. Then he swings his other hand on, brings up his leg and using his leg as a brace (i.e. locking down the knee & lower leg), hauls himself up onto the platform. Then he grabs at Character B, grabbing him round the left arm & swinging him around. Character B grabs at Character A, grasping his head & throws him down to the platform (still moving, btw). Then he grabs Character A's foot with one hand & lower leg with his other hand & swings him around, tossing him off the platform down a rocky slope. Character A lands head first, then butt first, then head, then leg, then arm, then does a double-summersault, then lands face down.



okay, so that'd be tough in any package. .but imagine trying to do that while trying to manage all the hierarchy changes which need to take place & all the fk/ik switching.

A simpler animation but still difficult to do with Maya's current fk/ik system:

A guy is sitting at a desk. Frustrated, he puts his elbow on the table, his head in his hands, and slumps his back, pushing the rolley chair that he's in slightly away.

-jason

b.Schulz
04-27-2003, 01:44 AM
Originally posted by jschleifer
but you can lock down other parts of hte body besides feet and hands.. for example, an elbow. How many times have you wanted to have a character rest their elbow on a table & have to make a funky setup just to handle that case?

The nice thing about mirai's sytem (from what I've seen) is that you can lock ANY part of the body.. not just hands and feet, but fingers, toes, knees, elbows, torso, root, etc etc.

-jason

Yep...too many times, that would be so nice, that situation sucks. I like the idea of kinda sculpting animation with an armature underneath in a way.

(Ambient - I was talking about the graph editor in general...not saying there wasn't one involved in any of these cases. I have no idea if Mirai uses something like that. :D heheh..just in case.)

Keith - That would be an interesting tut. If you have the time and want to, you can count me in on learning something new. :thumbsup:

Ckerr812
04-27-2003, 01:53 AM
Also with regards to locking down hands, knees, and so on, last year at siggraph, I have been using this script that I modified from Cid newman from his siggraph course.

It is a script that works by using constraints and two targets and an expression that controls their weights so there is no popping at all. It is really great for locking down parts of a character, from character Space, to world space, and very easy to animate.

Anyways, just thought I would through that into the pile of idea's. The script is really great, and I am working on it now to be more versatile, but I am new to mel script so it's very slow, and I am doing it just for fun.

If anyone wants to look at the script just pm me :)

b.Schulz
04-27-2003, 01:57 AM
Originally posted by jschleifer
I was thinking of an animation which would make any normal maya animator gulp.. and thought that if we could come up with a system that could handle that, then hell.. we'd be on our way. :)

okay, you have two characters. One is on a moving platform, the other is standing below him. Character A (the one below) runs up to character B (who is throwing apples, pears, and bananas down at character A) and starts trying to jump up onto the platform. After getting pelted a few times in the head, he is able to manage grabbing onto the platform with one hand. Then he swings his other hand on, brings up his leg and using his leg as a brace (i.e. locking down the knee & lower leg), hauls himself up onto the platform. Then he grabs at Character B, grabbing him round the left arm & swinging him around. Character B grabs at Character A, grasping his head & throws him down to the platform (still moving, btw). Then he grabs Character A's foot with one hand & lower leg with his other hand & swings him around, tossing him off the platform down a rocky slope. Character A lands head first, then butt first, then head, then leg, then arm, then does a double-summersault, then lands face down.



okay, so that'd be tough in any package. .but imagine trying to do that while trying to manage all the hierarchy changes which need to take place & all the fk/ik switching.

A simpler animation but still difficult to do with Maya's current fk/ik system:

A guy is sitting at a desk. Frustrated, he puts his elbow on the table, his head in his hands, and slumps his back, pushing the rolley chair that he's in slightly away.

-jason

Not to mention in the first case how long that would take to get all your timing and sense of weight in everything (2 characters pulling on each other?) right while testing out the constraining to (characters and moving board). Only to find out later that you have to change one little thing. That would suck. Seems like it wouldn't be "as much as" a nightmare in the sega'/ mirai style of animating with the ability to lock diff. parts down.

digital_red
04-27-2003, 02:40 AM
Hi Jason, just wondering if you have seen how Motion Builder handles IK/FK blending? I still a newbie to animating in MB but it seems quite powerful. Also it allows you to store poses on the control rig and apply them at any time to any character in the scene. You can also mirror and offset the poses and define what body part remains pined in place. You can create a simple walk cycle with two or three poses.
For a better example you could try DL the MB_i2_04_AnimatingPoses VTM from 3d buzz.com

jschleifer
04-27-2003, 02:41 AM
heya!

haven't played with MB myself, but from what I hear it does sound pretty powerful. don't think it runs on Mac tho, does it?

digital_red
04-27-2003, 03:07 AM
http://www.kaydara.com/products/index.php?filename=MB_OSX

looks like it does:thumbsup:

It also plays FBX files directly in Quicktime

jschleifer
04-27-2003, 03:24 AM
well whaddyaknow. :)

anyone know if there's a version of FBX which is free for trying it out? I'd love to give it a shot!

cheers,
jason

digital_red
04-27-2003, 03:36 AM
well you can download the FBX plugins from the site.
http://www.kaydara.com/support/download/index.php

and the FBX for quicktime
http://www.kaydara.com/partners/sdk/fbx/index.php?filename=fbxqt

also if you can get hold of digit mag you can get the MB PLE for free.:bounce:
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?threadid=55117

you can find a load of free FBX content at turbosquid
http://www.turbosquid.com/HTMLClient/Search/Index.cfm?BLAUTHOREXACT=y&BLKEEPCHECK=n&DATEAFTERPUB=&DATEBEFOREPUB=&FLTRATING=0&FUSEACTION=ProcessSmartSearch&INTFILETYPE_1=0&INTFILETYPE_2=0&INTFILETYPE_3=0&INTMAXPRICE=&INTMEDIATYPE=-1&INTMINPRICE=&INTRATINGCOUNT=0&INTSTARTROW=101&ISTEXCAUTHOR=&ISTEXCKEY=&ISTINCAUTHOR=Kaydara&ISTSEARCHKEY=&STGBOOLEAN=L&stgAD=15J244404676641&stgOrderColumn=0&intSortOrder=0&blViewType=1&blViewTypeTip=y&intMaxResults=50

dmcgrath
04-27-2003, 06:19 AM
That is a fantastic proposal Jason. I had to read this entire thread because of that. I plan on becoming a TD when I graduate and I like to hear things like the situation you posted. It sounds like you can have a tough time on your hand just doing you second scenario. But the first one. Man! I say just use live actors, no one will notice... will they?

AnimBot
04-27-2003, 10:43 AM
The great thing about this idea (I don't know if character studio can do this), but you can lock down other parts of hte body besides feet and hands.. for example, an elbow.

Jason while Character Studios IK/FK switching is pretty seamless unfortunately it's nothing like you described in Mirai. Plus it is limited to arms and legs I don't know if this has changed in the latest version but I'm pretty sure it's still only arms and legs. You can see the workflow for CS here. http://www.discreet.com/products/cs/cs_features.html
The method Mirai uses could be incredibly powerful and from my understanding of it there is no setup as well. You simply draw out the bones and they automatically work both like IK and FK. I would love to work with something like that.


say i animate a characters leg inside the viewport. i use Ik or FK to pose it. i can then after placing a few keys turn on the curve for that joint and i will see a curve inside the viewport as i make it. i would then also be able to use spline like tools to edit the path of the spline. and do stuff like refine it.. delete points.. this would translate to Fcurves.. but in 3d form. much like trajectories.. but would happen more interactively.. and syncd with my skeleton. so if i delete a key in the animation editor.. i would see a vertex in the spline dissapear. stuff like that would be nice.

Ambient-Whisper Max does something like this except it's not interactive like you described. What happens is you can display the trajectories and it allows you to convert it to a spline then back to a trajectory display which changes the motion of the animation. Electric Image also does something similar that is interactive with their curve editor but isn't in 3d. What it does is show you the curve of selected objects next to it in the viewport that you can adjust but it isn't 3d like the trajectory.

webster
04-27-2003, 03:19 PM
Hi,

to everyone, who´s not so familiar with kaydara:

On www.3dbuzz.com there are tons (over 9,5 hours !!!!) of training videos about kaydara Motionbuilder. The videos have detailed chapters for importing/exporting in/to Maya.

Just get a LogIn (It´s "clean", never got some spam), but I´ve heard, You could wait 2 or 3 days, but it´s definitly worth it

They have also training videos about maya, XSI, 3dsMax ....

Here the list:



MOTIONBUILDER Issue 1



Introduction to MOTIONBUILDER
Running Time: 3 hrs, 12 min
Video Codec: DivX 5.0.2
Audio Codec: MP3

Overview: Interested in Animation? MOTIONBUILDER is simply the most powerful animation package on the market today. Learn the basics quickly with this VTM!
1 Introduction
Running Time: 17 min | Size: 21.3 MB

2 Overview of the UI
Running Time: 19.7 min | Size: 12 MB

3 The Viewer Window
Running Time: 17.8 min | Size: 25.7 MB

4 Working with Objects
Running Time: 15.5 min | Size: 14.2 MB

5 Basic Animation
Running Time: 27.3 min | Size: 14 MB

6 Exporting from Maya
Running Time: 33.1 min | Size: 30.7 MB

7 Characterizing
Running Time: 18.7 min | Size: 16 MB

8 Character Controls
Running Time: 21.7 min | Size: 24 MB

9 Animating our Character
Running Time: 18.9 min | Size: 31 MB

10 Importing into Maya
Running Time: 3 min | Size: 8.51 MB




MOTIONBUILDER Issue 2



Poses, Timewarps, and Motion Blending
Running Time: 2 hrs, 18 min
Video Codec: DivX 5.0.2
Audio Codec: MP3

Overview: This VTM explores some of the powerful tools that make animating in MOTIONBUILDER a breeze. Learn about Poses, Timewarp cures, Motion Blending, etc.
1 Introduction
Running Time: 8.7 min | Size: 7.24 MB

2 The Clip Art CD
Running Time: 7.8 min | Size: 8.3 MB

3 Pose Controls
Running Time: 26.5 min | Size: 32.5 MB

4 Animating with Poses
Running Time: 17 min | Size: 20.6 MB

5 Timewarp Curves
Running Time: 23.75 min | Size: 23.1 MB

6 Overview of Motion Blending
Running Time: 9.9 min | Size: 10.3 MB

7 Tracks, Takes and Cuts
Running Time: 14.9 min | Size: 17.8 MB

8 Blending Takes
Running Time: 14.1 min | Size: 15.1 MB

9 Blending with Poses
Running Time: 13.7 min | Size: 14.7 MB

10 Conclusion
Running Time: 2.1 min | Size: 5.51 MB

11 MOTIONBUILDER Clipart CD - Full
Running Time: n/a | Size: 165 MB




MOTIONBUILDER Issue 3




Running Time: 3 hrs, 34 min
Video Codec: DivX 5.0.2
Audio Codec: MP3

Overview:
1 Introductions
Running Time: 7.5 min | Size: 8.28 MB

2 Simple Constraints
Running Time: 39.2 min | Size: 31.9 MB

3 Relation Constraints
Running Time: 38.1 min | Size: 25.3 MB

4 Expression Constraints
Running Time: 19.4 min | Size: 15.8 MB

5 Helmet and Wrist Computer
Running Time: 35.5 min | Size: 24.5 MB

6 Backpack and Pistol
Running Time: 12.6 min | Size: 21.4 MB

7 Animation - Rough In
Running Time: 43.8 min | Size: 56.1 MB

8 Animation - Fine Tune
Running Time: 18.7 min | Size: 28.9 MB

ambient-whisper
04-28-2003, 06:20 AM
timelapse video clips done. looks like jasons video will run at about 20 minutes. ill try to make the web version shorter.
encoding it now.

b.Schulz
04-28-2003, 06:45 AM
schweeeet. Can't wait to check it out. :D

skellybobbly
04-28-2003, 09:25 AM
Hi All,

This is a great thread. I've only just had a chance to download the Sega movie that Jason linked to.
It does look to work in a fashion similar to Character Studio but the IK looks a LOT more advanced. Character Studio IK/FK switch is really simple to use once you know how to work around the not-so-obvious 'quirks' that it has. ;)
You can only really lock down hands and feet in character studio and then rotate around any pivot of the hand or foot ie wrist/finger joints/finger tip or ankle/ball of the foot/toe joints etc. The pivot you select is animatable to so you can switch the pivots from one frame to the next.
The main downfall of the Character Studio rig is the pelvis/root bone. It splits the lateral/vertical/rotation keys. I wish you could just grab the pelvis and move it about but it doesn't work like that. Well not in CS3 anyway, I've yet to move onto CS4.

I like to animate with it as it has a simple clean rig to pose in the viewport, like the Sega system and I do work in a stopmotion stylee I just never realised until now!;)

I won Motionbuilder in the last animation challenge and I really should get it installed and up and running. The more I read about it the better it sounds.

I'm curious to see the Mirai demo as I've never used it or really seen it for that matter.

I don't know if this is any help to anyone but just thought I'd add my bit anyway.

Cheers


Jon

michaelcomet
04-28-2003, 12:49 PM
As I mentioned on the cg-char thread related to this one, I think it could be done using the same type of techniques out there now, but implemented internally. ie: each joint has FK and IK solution already on it...and then as an interactive tool some type of notion of the chain you are working on to allow moving OR translating the joint in its FK or IK methods, with the rest of the chain working as it needs to.

Kinda like biped...but with the ability on every joint to lock it down.

As a side note what Keith mentions about the "Pseudo-FK/IK" as I like to call it is really just a reuse of Jason Shleifer's spine rig, where the IK handle is under several FK controls. At least that was the inspiration. So you get IK like normal, but then parent it under FK movers, so you can do either one at all times...very easy and quick to use and setup.

Matt Leishman
04-28-2003, 03:31 PM
wow, another incredible thread with all the big hitters attending. Its a party I can't pass up!!

Keith, I would love it if you would be kind enough to share what you can on that system you and Comet worked on at BIP.

Keep up the great work fellas, its inspiring to see the kind of industry pushing discussion that's happening here. :thumbsup:

jackkhouri
04-28-2003, 05:57 PM
hi

just finished watching the sega demo and I think its incredebly GREAT!

I was "raised" (graduated 2 years ago...) as a traditional animator and learned that the best way to animate stuff is by a key frame and pose by pose basiss.

I<m a converted 3D animator and I TRULY enjoy animating in 3D, in fact sometimes even more. But the thing that I miss the most is that simple control over the work!!!

Like, usualy when we drew something on paper and wanted to keep lets say the elbow in place (pined) , we would just have to trace over it!!! Simple!

tell me if i<m wrong, but i think thats what sega is looking to do! be able to pin stuff easily!

I work at a university in a small research company and am the character Rigger and animator there. I was basicaly hired to find an automated rigging system for the students with the maya software that would be easy to animate with!

Kaydara has a system that looks like what sega did, but to me its still not adequate wet! it has the pinning and fk/ik switch on each joint but with the interface, you just get confused with whats ik and whats fk!!! Too many bones! and its very long to animated with!!! Maybe its ,cause i<m not used to it Or I just suck!!! Who knows!

as for the animation curve and all that technical stuff most of my students don<t even want to touch that stuff its too hard to correct and somtimes imposibble like those rotatation values!

I think that an animator should be an animator and not worry about the techi stuff!!!

M. schleifer (when your this good they call you mister) braught a good point! that i hope is solved in the near future so we can all go back to simple character animation!!!

later jack

Castius
04-28-2003, 10:46 PM
That would be a very nice way of working. I'm not a good Animator I just get by. But I have experimented in many ways of rigging. Mostly with LW, Max, and Maya. Each one making me wanting more features in just one of them. (dreaming) I have tried very hard to create rigs as close to puppeteering as possible almost no floaters and elbow and knees that give a lot of control but still being an IK system. In Lw 5.6 I made a full human IK body with all the limits and restrictions of normal human that allow me to make a human that I could pull the hand pull the whole body. Worked very nicely for a person who wasn't a very good animator. (me) By putting the body into a natural state without posing every part. It also adds a lot of secondary motion. It was very slow back then but so was a lot of things. This was a lot like the Sega animation program (that was really amazing).

When I tried Maya I could not reproduce this. This was back in ver. 1 and 2. I even tried using Maya multichain IK that was hidden from the user. There was good reason it was hidden. 8) The way IK was used and organized changed in most apps from that point. It became a lot more focused in order to make it faster.

I never got to try Mirai's IK But was always impressed with what I saw but the software never moved forward so it was hard to consider using it in production.

My point to all of this is the best way for Maya to have an animation system like this would be to have a complete IK structure not individual IK parts driving a FK system. Instead of some kind of blending. The IK system would take over the FK keys while posing but the model really moves based on the bone keys. My current LW rig uses nulls (locators) that fallow the bone that way I can pose the elbow they way I want but after I move time the nulls acuity snaps to the position of the elbow bone resetting the IK exactly where the elbow was placed. The elbow controller also can also effect the position of the elbow not just rotating around a poll vector. This can give the ability to controller timing of the arm much like a FK system. It’s not perfect but I like it. If you have LW you can try it out your self here
www.steelronin.com

Sorry I talked about LW so much but I though it applied to the discussions

ambient-whisper
04-28-2003, 11:04 PM
sorry guys for taking so long. :/ but when i encode it, it always hangs at the end for some reason. i got a large one ( 300 megs that im sending to jason. so thats done. just gotta make a web version that works :/ sorry for leaving you hanging.:( )



[update] works!. uploading now. hope 35 megs aint too much a download :) ill try to get some mirrors up for it. ( if anyone wants to volounteer that'd be great too!. :) i dont want to kill cgtalks bandwidth with this :) ( we get enough server busy messages as it is ;)

ambient-whisper
04-29-2003, 12:13 AM
http://ambient-whisper.cgcommunity.com/images_dump/mir/SkeleFun.html

Rudity
04-29-2003, 12:28 AM
Thanks for the vid ambient!

I would love to see a feature like that in Maya.
Having both methods would be awesome.

Thanks for the time put into the vid and sharing it!!!!

SirRender
04-29-2003, 02:14 AM
Great job putting that video together ambient-whisper. It's a bit too fast for me to understanding it 100% but then again I'm just getting into rigging in Maya now. Nevertheless I'm find it very interesting and informative.

Something tells me that Jason (Mr. schleifer) might have someting up his sleeve?
:)

b.Schulz
04-29-2003, 04:46 AM
Originally posted by Rudity
Thanks for the vid ambient!

I would love to see a feature like that in Maya.
Having both methods would be awesome.

Thanks for the time put into the vid and sharing it!!!!

Downloading now. Ditto on the thanks Ambient! !! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :D

Zappa
04-29-2003, 05:15 AM
Hey!Guys,

If you are lookin for Real time feedback on your animation and IK/FK Blending that kicks ass...then u must check out Kaydara's Motion Builder.I have been foolin around with it some....and it rocks.I guess it can do what Mirais FK/Ik can do too.....but i have never worked with Marai so im not sure.
If any of you do ckeck out Kaydara's motion builder...i would love to hear from you.

Cheers
zappa:buttrock:

ambient-whisper
04-29-2003, 05:27 AM
:D no problemo :) i just dont want this tech to be wasted:)

and heres a mirror to it :)
http://camp.cgland.com/Lightwave3d/board/file_1/SkeleFun.mov

Doogie
04-29-2003, 07:36 AM
Does anyone know of technical papers on how this works? Ever since i read this post I've been thinking about how this could be accomplished (the math part). I haven't used either package, but i can see this being implemented through API and MEL. Not using any hierarchy (parent/child) but having it change depending on what you have selected (and end where ever you have it "clamped down")

But every time i think i figure out how it could work, i think of how that method wouldn't :annoyed:

-Paul

Zappa
04-29-2003, 08:28 AM
hEYA!ambient-whisper!!,
Awesome video,tho my head was spinnin towards the end:buttrock: .....i had no idea mirai was this good...and great modeling and rigging from you.Hope mirai makes a comeback!!

Cheers
zappa

AnimBot
04-29-2003, 07:13 PM
ambient-whisper, thanks for posting the video. I don't remember if I read this here or on Bay's sight but I remember someone saying there were limitations to Mirai's skeletal system compared with what other programs are doing now. Are there any problems with customising these kind of rigs? Like driving objects and so forth.

ambient-whisper
04-29-2003, 07:29 PM
yeah. i mentioned that earlier in this thread. you can customize the skeleton but since most functions are built in.. you cant customize some things specifically just incase you would need to overwrite some functionality that might be there and do something else with it.

swag
04-29-2003, 07:59 PM
oh and mirai is from 1999 - i dont want to know what they do 2003 if they were still alive - ambient-whisper thanks for showing us the power :) and is there anything mirai cant do :D

Phearielord
04-30-2003, 03:23 AM
Awesome video Ambient-Whisper :thumbsup:

Hurry up and get this working in Maya!! ;)

MikeRhone
04-30-2003, 04:10 AM
That video is shockingly cool. I don't know how Mirai never beat out all the other packages back in 99. Hell, it still impresses me just looking at that vid now. Its a real shame that Mirai dropped out of the race considering how great it looked. I never even had heard about it until I saw Martins posts over at highend3d.

I just hope that those guys are programming tools in the basement of one of the other major 3d rivals out there. It would be enough for me to switch ;)


Mike R

GrafOrlok
04-30-2003, 08:19 AM
Oooh, that video is awesome ambient-whisper. One thing that pops into mind when seeing it though. It seams kind of awkward to do the skeleton. looks like you have to pick each joint from a menu instead of just drawing them. But the animation possibilities are awesome!

The SEGA video was also very cool, Jason. These two videos really show the way I want to work. I've been doing some rigs with Character Studio in mind, but as we all know Maya won't let you do certain things. Let's hope A/W takes this into consideration. If they picked up just some of these ideas Maya would be a dream to work with...
:applause:

fasteez
04-30-2003, 09:17 AM
Ive just seen the sega video, its simply what i dream of for animation, a "pupett master" tool
If there is a project for adding this way of working to maya , id like to help it ^^

it reminds me when i was playing with my GI.JOE toys lol

fasteez
04-30-2003, 09:44 AM
Oh , i just remember that link:

http://www.vectorlounge.com/04_amsterdam/jam/wireframe.html

kamil_w
04-30-2003, 09:48 AM
If you want these ideas to be implemented in Maya vote on this site:

(Jason already put these ideas there ; see Future FK/IK interaction ; currently 242 votes)

maya.digication.com

fasteez
04-30-2003, 11:34 AM
:buttrock: Just saw the mirai's video, this soft is really amazing, Nichimen did a GREAT work, the "muscle" deformation is really easy to setup, and the bone chain manipulation is wonderfull. I just wonder why Nichimen stopped developpement of mirai :surprised
and what happened to mirai developpers???

tOd
05-01-2003, 11:12 PM
If understand what Jason is talking about Motion Builder does exactly what he is wanting it to do at least with the pinning anyway. And it performs all in REAL time and I do mean REAL time. Oh the sweet goodness of no more play blasts.

Jason,
You can get a PLE Mac version for $100 bucks and its fully functional and you can use it to make money as a freelancer for a year. Then after year you can get a permanant license for another $100. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Hugh
05-02-2003, 12:30 AM
I'm not entirely sure that Jason needs freelancer work at the moment... ;)

If you can get hold of the June issue of DIGIT Magazine, it has the freelancer edition with it (although to upgrade that to the permanent license costs $200, and you don't get the manuals that way)

ambient-whisper
05-03-2003, 04:39 AM
Originally posted by Graf Orlok
Oooh, that video is awesome ambient-whisper. One thing that pops into mind when seeing it though. It seams kind of awkward to do the skeleton. looks like you have to pick each joint from a menu instead of just drawing them. But the animation possibilities are awesome!

:)
actually i really like the setup of bone creation in mirai. the reason i say this is because it doesnt feel like your drawing bones but rather feels like modelling.

what you can do..( err what i do is... i dont pick each bone from a menu but rather make one large bone. this will either be my spine.. or arm.. etc. then i can split that into a number of bones which i can position correctly.

the reason i like this method is because i know right off the bat what my rotation axes for each bone will be. drawing can often flip the facing direction/rotation axis of a bone. which is why i dont "draw" them. :)

muckywetnoodle
05-03-2003, 05:49 PM
YES! I would love to see a Mirai-like option in Maya. The thing that's difficult to show is all the right-click menus. If they could capture the simplicity and still leave you access to all the motion curves that would be great.

You can just draw bones (say from an ortho view) or sculpt them in Mirai.

bentllama
05-04-2003, 02:27 AM
Coming from a 2D background I really dig the notion to animate without technical aspects bogging down your mind.

I have had a chance on several occasions with my last employer to play with Mirai's animation tools. I liked the pinning aspects and I LOVE animating POSE to POSE when I can...so I really look forward to something coming out of this discussion in a tangible way within Maya.

Shamus Culhane, in his book "Animation: From Script to Screen", had a wonderful piece of advice. He used to put his eraser away when he animated and worked through a scene...so he could not erase and rework his initial premonition of the drawing...he was feeling the motion and not fighting with volumes, line quality, etc...similar to the kinds of technical hurdles we all face as CG animators. He was letting art happen...

CGmonkey
05-04-2003, 03:03 AM
Ambient-Whisper - Breathtaking video.. awesome stuff!

joie
05-07-2003, 11:10 AM
Wow, I´m amazed about these things happen here, only one question, will be SEGA´s software available for production?

jscarr
05-13-2003, 11:17 PM
Animanium for production? I sure hope so -- looks like they've been using it in house and in Japan for a while now.

It'll be shown at E3 and I'll be posting info on what's there...


More info and some video samples here (check out the last one for animating speed):
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=59715

I also have a 45Mb video at higher res that's quite a bit longer than those samples. Email me if you want it.

Apparently there's already an existing connection for Max -- will find out about Maya, LW & others, too...

-Joe

gametech
05-14-2003, 04:42 AM
For more than 10 years I've been looking at gamecompanies and always wondered if they worked with off the shelve software. As it almost always turned out they made there own tools, leveldesign tools, animations tools, audio tools. ( a bit like in the movie industrie ).
I never worked for a Japanese gamecompany so I never had any contact with those highly specialized custom built tools. This made me as a student think; what tools should I learn if most of them are not availble to the general public. I wanted to learn how to make games, the graphics and the interactions and animations.

Besides the photoshops & after effects, the shakes , the fusions, and the combustions, there where very little 2d computer animation tools that I new off. Most of them where compositing tools.So I figured the best way to go 2d is to stay offline ( pen and paper :buttrock: ) and do post processing on the computer.

Now that I'm learning 3d animation, I found out that it is for a single person very time-consuming to work out all the technical details. It kind of distracts me from putting all my creative energy in animation.

Now I'm very happy to see that gamecompanies are releasing tools for general use. I cant even begin to think how it would change the possibilties for smaller gamecompanies and animators, if companies like Nintendo, Sega, Namco, Capcom and Konami would begin to sell their inhouse tools
:drool:

And on a personal note of interest; I would love to see tools as maya integrate a game toolset, for designing animations and interactions. And then with the press of a export button play the game on pc, or console.

Ah I think I talk a bit to much off topic, sorry got carried away
:love: I'm so happy thinking of all these great / ik/fk/pose/ blending options being standard in future software

---------- :wavey: -------

A quick Question to Jason Schleifer :
Are you interested in doing work for gamecompanies ?

I read today that John Woo is setting up its own gamestudios. I just wonder if there will be a new trend here : movie directors/animators getting in the videogames industrie.
I think it would be great. Real time 3d Is getting so much better every year. And even Steven Spielberg used the unreal game engine to previz some of his movie scenes. And he worked with Lucas Arts on the game:The Dig.

Well I'm interested in the outcome of this dream of getting all the inhouse gamecompany tools :p

Lars Steenhoff

jschleifer
05-14-2003, 04:57 AM
Originally posted by gametech

A quick Question to Jason Schleifer :
Are you interested in doing work for gamecompanies ?


Sure, why not? I have no allegiance to the film industry.. it just allows me tohelp tell the kind of stories I like to tell (well, one really big story so far :).

If a game company offered the same type of experience, I'd be happy to do game work.. or short films.. or commercials.. whatever. Everything you do helps you learn.

-jason

fasteez
05-14-2003, 02:02 PM
After lookin and lookin this video about animanium ...
I ask myself one thing : HOW ^___^ t f did they code this soft?

pull one bone , al the body follows the right way @_@

Is there some paper about the theory of these manipulation tools ?

MDuffy
05-14-2003, 05:23 PM
It shouldn't be all that difficult to code this kind of behavior if you build the IK chains on the fly. Rather than setting up IK before hand, you just set up the angle constraints and dampening on each of your joints. Then when you solve, you try just a couple of bones out in every direction from your selected pieces and see if you can find a solution. If there isn't a close enough solution within a given number of iterations, you expand the chain longer and try again. So if you grab the wrist and move it, first you try solving with just the elbow. If you can't find a solution, try with the elbow and shoulder. If you still can't find a solution, try with the elbow, shoulder, and chest. Add to that the ability to define any node as a termination of the IK chain search (pinning it down), and you should be able to get the same behavior of Animanium.

Who knows, you may even be able to write a MEL script that dynamically creates bones and IK chains, reads dampening values off of attributes on nodes in your rig, and then attaches the rig to the dynamically created IK chains. Your biggest restriction would be that apparently multi-chain IK in Maya doesn't solve very well.

Just a thought,
Michael Duffy
mduffy@ionet.net

HADES
05-14-2003, 07:44 PM
l have seen the vids of ambiant_whisper and if Jason you can convinced Alias to develop that kind of setup for maya thats will be onsane man its just AMAZING and so a time saver u can surely do like 2 time more speedy ur animation with that.
I croos my finguer for ya man
BTw good wrok Ambiant_Whisper

betty
05-15-2003, 06:48 PM
a question for jason
you said it this method would have been great for animating certain scenes for gollum. so why not use mirai since you guys have it and then export the animation to a tool where you can assign shaders and spit out a rib file?
mirai is probably the easiest tool to learn so that wouldn't take too much of your time and you don't have to wait for development of this, it's right there!
i'm also guessing the version of mirai hanging out at weta is not v1.1, or if it is, it's at least enhanced somewhat so some minor problems should be overcome.

jschleifer
05-16-2003, 08:01 AM
There were a number of reasons why we didn't go with mirai.. but mainly the rest of the workflow was much easier to control in Maya. We could script it to do most anything we needed, and it could interface easily with the rest of the pipeline.

That being said, I'd still love to see some of the mirai tools integrated into maya. :)

tjnyc
05-19-2003, 08:20 PM
You can also do Pose and pin(locked) operations with the character tools in Houdini 5.5 and/or 6? You can lock and unlock any joints using the Pose Operation among other things. The Pose Op is used to pose characters by manipulating the Bones object whether you are using IK, FK or No K solvers. When a joint is locked modifications made higher up the chain doesn't affect the position of the locked joint. Check out www.sidefx.com and you can download the Appentice version as well.


Regards,

StefanA
05-20-2003, 11:25 AM
I've read all 6 pages of this now :)

Anyhow. IK/FK is a nice issue to discuss. Even though Character Studio has a hybrid system of this it doesn't really work for the animators advantage.

As far as I know animators wants to tweak their F-Curves. And if you (like Character Studio does it) get keframes on all chains you are in for a real mess when trying to refine the animation.

I mainly use Softimage|XSI but I'm also learning Maya (in order to get more freelance jobs). And in both packages I've found the "3d bone" system to work the best. It's a pain in the butt to setup, but it works. XSI is getting closer than Maya in this department, but it's like comparing US cents and Euro cents (pretty close).
But I would rather work with that system than not having any F-Curves to deal with. If you don't have any F-Curves to work with you need to key every ease-in and ease-out (and still you may not get the result you want).
Mirai has a nice way of dealing with it (better than CS in my opinion), but I would still like to see some F-Curves.

In a perfect world we get everything :) First lets break in the door at Pixar and tap their resources for Marionette, perhaps then are further ahead... or not...

just my $0.02 ranting words :)

best regards

.stefan andersson

AnimBot
05-20-2003, 02:25 PM
The newest version of Character Studio actually does display curves although they don't seem to be the best to work with.

DaveW
05-20-2003, 08:18 PM
Originally posted by StefanA
But I would rather work with that system than not having any F-Curves to deal with. If you don't have any F-Curves to work with you need to key every ease-in and ease-out (and still you may not get the result you want).
Mirai has a nice way of dealing with it (better than CS in my opinion), but I would still like to see some F-Curves.


If you read all 6 pages then you should have seen Ambient Whisper's posts. Mirai does have f-curves. When you need to refine your animation you decompose the animation and you can edit your f-curves.

I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to do this in other similar animation systems. I've been meaning to check out Motion Builder, it has a similar way of pinning joints and it has f-curves.

1000101
05-21-2003, 07:45 PM
Is this discussion still active?

This has been something I've wanted in maya for ages. heheh I remember filling out the feature request form on A|W's site every version since its been there. Maybe now they'll listen?

Anyway on to the meat..
I'm doing some experiments now with a simple skeleton with an RP IK solver going from joint to joint. Initial results of course is a skeleton thats as functional as an FK skel but every joint is "pinned"
This of course is as much a pain (moreso really) as thinkng about switching from IK to FK. So I'm thinking of maybe weighted IK solvers and funky IK chains inside of IK chains. I may even ditch the normal joints entirely and play with aim constraints and simple geometry.

Anyone else working on this still?

Doogie
05-22-2003, 03:44 AM
yes, this discussion is still active.... I was hoping (as, I'm sure, others do) that it would start a project to implement it =P if not a|w itself.

I wish I could spearhead such a thing, but I am no way qualified... but very inspired to help as much as I can.

Little has been said on exactly how this animation system would work.... I got a few ideas, but whew... "math sucks" -Jason Schleifer

Here's what i got (mostly problems)
all nodes would be a brother/sister relation to each other. If any hierarchy is used, it would change based on what is selected (ending at what is locked
issue: how to restrict for elbows (like traditional RP)
issue: what happens where joints branch? (like hips/shoulders)

I know others have asked before (possibly me), but some paper (like a siggraph paper) would be a very good start. Though it seems that most of this technology was originally developed overseas.

-Paul

1000101
05-24-2003, 11:06 PM
Ckerr812 sent me a script that I think has pointed me in the right direction as far as pinable IK. I just now need to figure out how to make it so we don't have to think about forwards and backwards stuff. I'll post a rig when I get some time to put it together.

fasteez
05-28-2003, 06:14 PM
who knows bout izware ?
someone tells me that its the nichimen dev team that have a new name.
mirai junior is coming soon?

hmm i edit this post, ive talk too fast, ive checked www.izware.com and its the home site of mirai , nendo etc

but i still wonder what means their "were coming soon" page ^^

1000101
05-28-2003, 11:49 PM
Wowza! they've changed since the last time I've been there
there used to be a webpage thats been there since 99 haha
good to see that something might be in store for us.

Levitateme
06-04-2003, 05:20 AM
i belive someone mentioned motion builder, it has from what i remember seeing in it a dope sheet cause people like having that, it has curves, it animates just like segas animation program. i didnt get to mess around with it i just saw some videos. but you grab a guys arm drag it down , the whole body moves according to your movement its amazing i think its really cheap too. kaydara is always impressing me.

http://www.kaydara.com/products/motionbuilder/index.php

oh yah its all real time, i remember them saying that. buzz had this alien animated in maya it was really slow, in motion builder it moves on the fly . thats pretty impressive as is.

steveblake
06-09-2003, 02:16 PM
I was just digging back through these pages...

Originally posted by keithlango
Back when Big Idea used to be an animation studio, I was heading up some character rigging R&D for a future film (which won't be made) and Michael Comet and I kinda figured a simpler arm IK/FK system that didn't require switching....It's hard to explain in text, but it's really pretty butt-simple to set up and use. And best of all, it requires no switching keyframes to manage. I can do a short description/tutorial and throw it up on my website if folks are interested.
-k

I was wondering Keith, do you have time to outline your method a little further?

I'm sure many people here would benefit from your an approach...

:)

MadS
06-09-2003, 06:23 PM
Very interesting thread. I actually saw the Animanium demo videos before I came here, and I must say I was blown away by the relative simplicity and power balled in one. I have always kinda shyed away from animating, simply because it looked like such a daunting task, to keep track of everything. But after watching animanium, it looks like there is hope after all. You worry less about the little things, and get right to the fun part. I am sure animanium has it's quirks that require working around, too, but it looks like it would be more fun to work with. I hope A|W truly tackles this type of technique, as it would catapult them into a new level. Too bad Mirai(which I still use to model, thanks to Ambient Whisper :beer:) got left behind, and never really got the recognition and user-base that it truly deserves, cause if it did, we'd have one hell of an app today: Mirai 5.0 The king of 3D apps. :applause:

GrafOrlok
06-09-2003, 08:01 PM
Originally posted by keithlango
Back when Big Idea used to be an animation studio, I was heading up some character rigging R&D for a future film (which won't be made) and Michael Comet and I kinda figured a simpler arm IK/FK system that didn't require switching....It's hard to explain in text, but it's really pretty butt-simple to set up and use. And best of all, it requires no switching keyframes to manage. I can do a short description/tutorial and throw it up on my website if folks are interested.
-k

What! did I really miss this post! Yeah, Keith, please do! Can't wait!
:bounce:

xynaria
06-19-2003, 11:38 AM
I missed this thread till today when someone ICQ'd me the link and I really think this should have a pointer in GD or something cos it's evolved quite rightly into something other than an app specific thread.. it affects anyone with any ambition to animate regardless of app used and is perhaps one of the two most pertinant topics at the moment.. the other also referring back to Mirai which I'm lead to believe has the ability to allow mesh editing almost at any stage unlike most others that very obviously don't. :)

Levitateme
06-20-2003, 12:57 AM
keith , im sure everyone would like to see what your doing. post ,would be great.

BillyGoatGruff
07-02-2003, 09:33 PM
just stumbled across this thread.

these other tools look neat, but i would much prefer to have it in maya, like J.S. is saying. let the world come to me, dammit

i would love to see an example of the dual/simultaneous arm controls keith lango mentioned. does anyone have an example rig they'd like to send me, or have a link to something that uses the same concept? i don't necc. need a step-by-step tutorial, but i don't quite understand how to build it from the description.

ngrava
07-14-2003, 01:54 AM
Ok, this is getting ridiculous. ;-)

You guys seriously need to check out MotionBuilder. I does exactly what you've all been talking about. Animanium and MotionBuilder basically work the same way. Joints can either be rotated or moved. IK can extend throughout the whole body. you can "Pin" down joint and freely move the rest whenever you want. You don't have to think about what mode you're in. The IK is smart enough to figure out what you want.

That's really the issue here if you ask me. Most IK systems are just to litaral. There not smart enough to figure out that when you grab the elbow, your really just doing a combination of rotating the chain (twist control) and changing the pole vector or moving other joints around. IK needs to just be more on top of things. ;-P

Smart IK systems are just now coming out. Kaydara have one. Maira seems to be out of the picture for now but the new Sega system is something to look forward to if (for some unknown reason) you don't like MotionBuilder. Anyway, another great thing about MotionBuilder is that it's really inexpensive. I got a one year license for $100. And the main version is like $600-700. There's also a great plugin for Max

-=GB=-

Levitateme
07-14-2003, 02:37 AM
motion builder is amazing, i have tried it out for about a week. it has so many great options, real time animation... oi, layers, the pinning is so nice. i cant wait to try animanium, it would be nice if it was better than MB, but MB i think is already really fantastic.

1000101
07-14-2003, 10:09 PM
I have motion builder here; but I'd rather not have to bounce back and forth between a couple different programs to do something.
I've been beating my head against the wall with various things and I still can't get this figured exactly right.

Is anyone still working on this or has everyone given up to "MB does it so why should I worry" ?

or has it all stopped in waiting for whatever izware has in store for siggraph?

Thoughts?
jason still alive out there?

Wigaru Wiyamoto
07-14-2003, 10:46 PM
I have no problem bouncing between more than one program for animation. My problem with Motion Builder is that it's interface is needlessly convoluted. Animanium seems like it will have an easier learning curve. I'm just crossing my fingers for a demo at SIGGRAPH.

1000101
07-15-2003, 05:40 PM
to me bouncing back and forth takes time away from what I'm doing. Or are we going back to the days of Power Animator to model and using Soft|3d to animate?

Seems to me adding more programs to do a job is taking a step backwards.

BillyGoatGruff
07-15-2003, 06:00 PM
Originally posted by 1000101
Seems to me adding more programs to do a job is taking a step backwards.

yeah, totally. haven't used motion builder, but it seems like you would trade the pinning thing for everything else i like in character animation software. does MB even have any scripting? how would you build a character interface window for your character?

the thing i like about maya is that everything is right there in the software. you can build anything you need in mel. someone will probably make a primitive version of this pinning thing in mel - maybe even a good version.

i.e. you have the tools and the interface you want for any job, and once you get everything set up, things go smooth and fast. if you start bouncing back and forth between apps, you lose that immediately.

the difference in the power and convenience you get from keeping everything in maya is subtle, but it's enough to make maya as dominant as it is.

Levitateme
07-15-2003, 06:12 PM
to have like a plug in or mel in mayayto fo this would be a god send. it would be nice if some one could make sucha thing.

ambient-whisper
07-16-2003, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by 1000101
to me bouncing back and forth takes time away from what I'm doing. Or are we going back to the days of Power Animator to model and using Soft|3d to animate?

Seems to me adding more programs to do a job is taking a step backwards.

not really if you got great tools to speed things up.

i dont see how creating a good working rig in a weeks time is better than exporting to another app to do it automatically so you can just get down to animating is a bad thing..

if you can model place else to speed things up.. then so be it.
same goes for animation...texturing..

but for now i REALLY doubt you can build anything remotely close to what you got in MB or Animanium out of mayas mel.
if you could then it would be REALLY slow.
you would most likely have to look to the C++ API, since most of the things that maya is missing right now are more dynamic tools. ( ie. smart IK bones, dont think this is even possible with just mel. )

1000101
07-18-2003, 03:51 AM
I'm not even sure if the API can rescue it haha.
I've given up on finding a MEL solution. I've tried though.

Anyhoo motion builders got a great posing system; its just when I start wanting to tweak things that .fbx doesn't support or that motion builder doesnt do that it becomes a problem.

Of course its a great solution in the mean time.

Firas
07-18-2003, 12:36 PM
hi all..

i have some ideas to solve the PIN thing .. using mel .. i like to call it SMART IK .. and soon i'll post a simple chain of bones connected using normal IK, Constrains & small mel with interface.


the setup works .. its simple .. and i'll leave the evaluation to u ..

Levitateme
07-18-2003, 08:00 PM
wow firas, but can you animate just like in motion builder? like your character is a puppet? or is it just pinning?

Firas
07-31-2003, 11:02 AM
Levitateme, am not sure what does motion builder do.. but am testing my setup .. its not friendly .. but when i write the script it will be very simple to use ..

its based on deleting the old ik handels .. then set prefeared angle , and building new ik setup automaticly when u Pin joint ..

sorry .. because i was late in reply .. but i took 10 days off to c my family ..

no am back

the first step now is write simple script for simple chain of joints.

ngrava
08-28-2003, 07:33 AM
Hey Firas,

How's it coming?

1000101
09-11-2003, 08:12 PM
Is this discussion as good as dead?

muckywetnoodle
09-12-2003, 01:50 AM
Would it be possible to make a bone system that let you build your own IK and controls and then bake it all to a simple IK/FK control skeleton? It'd be similar in theory to building and decomposing trax mov clips.

verbal007
10-16-2003, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by Levitateme
motion builder is amazing, i have tried it out for about a week. it has so many great options,

Yup, have to agree... motionbuilder is good stuff. If only I could make customize the dolly/zoom/tumble keys... I would be one happy camper.

- Jeremy

SirCharles
10-24-2003, 08:52 AM
Hey Jason, long time no talk. How's it going?

And Ambient-Whisper, do you have a place where I can download your video? The 2 links for it in this thread are both dead.

ambient-whisper
10-24-2003, 02:26 PM
sorry:( i dont. the link went dead and i lost the video in a hard drive death a few months ago. but if someone else still has it, it would be nice if i could grab it off them so i could find a host for the video again.

SirCharles
10-24-2003, 05:58 PM
Man that is a real bummer! Does anyone have it who could post it again?

1000101
10-24-2003, 09:27 PM
I may still have it; when I get home I'll look
what was the name of it?

ambient-whisper
10-24-2003, 09:51 PM
SkeleFun ?

Atwooki
10-24-2003, 10:10 PM
ambient-whisper:

I have 'Skelefun'.... ;)

But how to upload 35 mbs to my site?

Advise please :shrug:

Atwooki

Wigaru Wiyamoto
10-25-2003, 04:22 AM
I have it too. I could maybe temporarily put it on my website.

SirCharles
10-26-2003, 04:56 AM
that would be awesome!!! Could you do that and then post the link here so I can download it?

Wigaru Wiyamoto
10-27-2003, 06:33 AM
(EDIT: Link Removed)

I'll leave it up for a week, though I reserve the right to remove it if my bandwidth gets hammered. :p

Wigaru Wiyamoto
11-02-2003, 09:05 AM
Uh...your welcome guys.. :annoyed:

Hope someone grabbed it.

circle frame
11-04-2003, 01:27 PM
So is it possible to upload it to a site that works?
Would really want to see what all the fuss is all about.

bentllama
11-04-2003, 03:56 PM
Originally posted by circle frame
So is it possible to upload it to a site that works?
Would really want to see what all the fuss is all about.

moi aussi.

[mee too]

Wigaru Wiyamoto
11-04-2003, 04:52 PM
Where were you guys a week ago when I uploaded it? :shrug:

I know at least 4 people downloaded it from me, maybe they can pass it along now.

CharlesAnderson
11-04-2003, 10:26 PM
Well crap...I wasn't around at all the last few weeks..after I posted that and I missed it!!! Crap! Thanks for posting it anyway. If anyone else is willing to post it again that would be awesome! I really wanna see it. I will be checking back more often now that I am back to work.

ambient-whisper
11-04-2003, 10:38 PM
ill get it hosted soon hopefully.

Wigaru Wiyamoto: thanks :)

bent: ? i thought you already worked with mirai before,... way back..

MikeRhone
11-05-2003, 02:27 AM
<---Wants in too.

I'de love to check out any new/different rig styles and hopefully develop some Maya solutions for it.

I have some webspace to host, but I can only do it for short stints so my allotment doesnt get chomped.


...Waits.

m

Wigaru Wiyamoto
11-27-2003, 03:38 AM
Hah, I'm a dumbass. I forgot to actually remove it from my server. May as well leave it up for those who want it:

(this is not the link your looking for)

Firas
12-04-2003, 06:51 PM
hi all,

i just download the trial version of Sega|Animanium ..

very small and easy to use software for keyframing ..

there is no classical FK/IK joints.. but only snaping skeletion & draging.

very powerfull but it has lots of "BUT.."

i was working on adding those features to maya using complex mel.. and after i reach 70% of what i want .. i realize that its waste of time to do it in mel... it should be a plugin for two reasons :

speed & custom minapulaters.

anyway i wish all maya rig people try animanium to shear the experince of this type of character control.

www.animanium.com

joie
12-04-2003, 08:18 PM
Hi there:

I've just downloaded that trial and works fine, but my computer is so slow that can´t make almost anything..., I like it and will try it at work in order to test it in depth.
I would want to save what I do in order to test the "export to MAYA" quality but..., what a pity.

Wigaru Wiyamoto
12-04-2003, 08:18 PM
I'm glad I was finally able to try it out myself. I love the simplicity of it, I think if it was a little cheaper it would perfect. I don't know if I could ever get used to moving/rotating in screen-space only, though.

Doogie
12-04-2003, 08:58 PM
Firas > dont feel like you've wasted your time, lots of people code their stuff first in MEL to test their ideas out and then make a plugin out of it. This keeps them from having to recompile and bother with all that comes with coding a plugin until they know how everything works.


I'm real interested in seeing your implimentation of this. Seeing how theirs was taken from a (Tokyo University) recently finished "autonomous action simulator program for humanoid robot(s)" (algorithms dumbed down of course).

I downloaded it, but the zip file is sitting on my desktop awaiting free time.

Peechylyfe
02-12-2004, 04:36 PM
WOW.. i just got through all 9 pages of this thread. I’m glad u started it Jason!!!

VERY INTERESTING STUFF... I hope it’s not dead.

I really would love to see that Mirai Vid - ambient-whisper or Wigaru Wiyamoto -
and Keith if I would have known you had that Rig set-up when you were at Ringling, oh well… I would still Love to see that as well. I’m also working on a Rig in maya trying to set up what I I saw in the sega vid. Pinning any part of the character, this would be a dream come true for Maya users!

I’m gonna keep working at this. Hopefully this is still alive!



Jay

:thumbsup:

pappuftp
02-17-2004, 09:57 PM
hi , Wigaru Wiyamoto

it seems the link to your ambient whispers video is not working. .please , I would like to have a look at this beauty .. thnxx

And yes i would like something like what jason mentioned in maya and most other 3d apps:)

yinako
03-14-2004, 01:50 PM
Its been a year since I read this post, and today I finally got the chance to try out motion builder5...and wow it is something every major company should of woken up to.

If anyone still have a that mirai video from ambient, plz let me know, email me or PM.

It would be great to have this kind of quick character setup(MB5) in a modeling app like maya, because then I could move joints around, reveal areas under armpits/abdomen to model those deformend areas, as seen in that bayraitt video (http://cube.phlatt.net/home/spiraloid/movies/bayPlayMirai.avi)

wouldn't it be more fun to model that way...

ambient-whisper
03-14-2004, 02:52 PM
some things are brewing in the mirai world. so when a new version is released, ill make an updated vid. ( im not sure where or if i still have Skelefun. so you guys will have to wait a bit )

pappuftp
03-16-2004, 06:34 AM
err can u guve us an approximate date, ambient?would like to know please.:)

ambient-whisper
03-16-2004, 06:43 AM
ask izware when the new version will be released, cuz i really got no clue.

BlueFish
03-25-2004, 02:08 AM
http://www.izware.com

Mirai is back...

mustique
04-02-2004, 11:29 AM
CS is crap. Its like you’re trying to educate pinokyo against his will. Aminanium and Mirai’s character tools really look cool. But what really blew me off my seat was MB once as I saw it in action and used it myself!

:bounce: Man you hold the “Q” key down and are working instantly on an complete FK skeleton. Put your keys let the key go and there is your skeleton with the IK pinned to wherever it was before...

:bounce: You store poses, paste and mirror paste it with “offsetting from any skeleton part” and boom. Your character comes to life...

:bounce: You mix and edit what and wherever you want with curve editing tools and a neat NLE editor...

:bounce: You get animation data from whichever charachterized character, paste it to another and all data accomodates to the scale and structure of a total different character...

I know I sound like a spokesman of Kaydara here but believe me I just scratched the surface.

I really really hope maya will adopt similar features in the near future. Till then I won’t even bother to spend time on rigging in maya but will improve other skills...

BigSky
04-16-2004, 07:45 AM
I'll agree. Trying the demo of MB, it really feels intuitive and well constructed. The constraints, switching FK/IK, real pinning of translate and rotate, the cool blending and warping tools, scripting, real time speed. Sheet...I sound like a kaydara PR as well.
Roll on an overhaul of the maya API so we don't have to approximate and fake.

davijin
04-18-2004, 07:05 AM
have any of you ever used animatium? either the demo or the regular ver. I have the demo and just from a couple of minutes of playing around with it I saw how good it was. the ease of creating complicate movements was just so cool. Now all I want to know is how good it is at exporting rigging and animation to larger commercial packages such as maya, XSI, max and others.

orre
04-23-2004, 12:48 PM
A response to everyone who thinks that Motionbulder is the answer.

I've tried MB for a couple of weeks. At a first glance it seems superior. But my experience is that it's not that good. Full body IK seems like the technical directors wet dream, but it can be the animators worst nightmare. It has to be really well implemented to be a bless.

In Motionbuilder's case, its not. I couldn't seem to find a good and fast workflow. All i got was alot of secondary motion. Motion I found it really hard and complicated to control. Maybe MB is a good program if you need to do animations quick or if you don't know about the basic animation principles. MB's rig seems to add alot of up'n'down and weight change motion without your approval. Maybe this is a good thing. But I consider it a flaw, since it gives you less control.

This is my impression of MB, but its just my opinion and i've only tried it for a couple of weeks.

Altough I think that MB is a great program to deal with motioncapture and animation data. Their unified character makes animation retargeting really easy.

I dont know anything about animanium or mirai. Maybe they work really well. After all I would love a good FK/IK solution!

Oskar

bclark
07-30-2004, 09:08 PM
Full body IK seems like the technical directors wet dream, but it can be the animators worst nightmare. It has to be really well implemented to be a bless.



This is my impression of MB, but its just my opinion and i've only tried it for a couple of weeks.

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
Hi yeah it takes more than a few weeks to get used to the animation system in Motionbuilder.
You can quicky and easily tell the full body system to not afffect other parts of the body at any point, pose all IK pose in FK, mix the two, layer it, bake it down and start over if you needed to. I have used it for years and still find things that are funky but there really is nothing else like it on the market, If you had serious problems with useing the tools then take a few min, write up your wishes/ probelms with a short .. this is what would make it better or this is what I expected it to do and did not and email them. They are very open to the right kind of input on the software.

Motionbuilder 6 sound like they have steped up the contorl over the rigs alot and the character programer that created the contorl set is a great guy that just wants to make damn good tools...............

No I don't work for Kaydara but I have used and been a part of the alpha and beta team for years.

There needs to be more programs dealing with character issues and there are very few doing it fast and well.. The time of fighting limited contorls and weeks of hacking on a rig to get even close to the speed and interactivity and flexablity of the Motionbuilder contorl rig needs to come to an end and I hope that Alias, XSI and Max step it up as all the character tools are laging.

mustique
09-24-2004, 02:17 PM
MB 6 features really look neat.
And now that Kaydara and Alias joined their forces things look even more exciting. IMO this was the most meaningfull aquisition of a company since years in the 3D industry.

I hope though that the development pace of MB will continue and that maya and MB will melt into one superior product in the not so far future.

Of course by keeping MB seamlessly accessible to other apps as well.

pixeloddity
12-23-2004, 01:05 PM
maya's fk/ik blending still requires you to know what you're doing.. and it doesn't work on feet & hands. it's fine for arms, but you can't lock a hand down, or a finger, or a toe, or the ball of the foot and blend in and out of IK w/out setting up a complicated blending system.. and w/out having the animator have to keep track of which "mode" they're in.

The blending in 5.0 is better than it was in 4.5.. which, in turn is better than 4.0 and previous versions.. but it's more like a patch on a problem, it's not a true solution yet.

nemirc
12-23-2004, 01:28 PM
... it's fine for arms, but you can't lock a hand down, or a finger, or a toe, or the ball of the foot and blend in and out of IK w/out setting up a complicated blending system..
I think that's one of the few features I like about character studio... well to tell the truth what I don't like about it is the way that you edit your curves :rolleyes:

Speaking about MB. I think I will have to try that one some day

VM
02-27-2005, 01:54 AM
Still, Animanium seems like a better solution for character animation, because of it's simplicity and ease of use - which leads to speed and quality, because quality depends on feedback and flexibility.

Just like I presume Marionette at Pixar is built, the ideal animation tool should allow you to build poses really fast and lock anything anywhere. Period.

There is such a thing called... hm, hm,... "High Level Animation". If anybody has ever seen good quality animation done this way, let me know.

So first there are these companies like Alias or Avid advertising all those fancy tools... that only they are dreaming about, allowing "High Level" stuff, which is not at all "High Level" in the first place because if it would really be that "High", you wouldn't have to fight it and curse its lack of integration, and everybody would say "God bless you computer dear for you give me such perfect inbetweens".

And on the other hand you have the animator, the poor soul that has to use them in a tight production environment...

My point is that, in the end, the animator has to set 100000001 keys anyway, so basically you build a ton of poses, and the more you build within a timeframe, the better the animation - and that's the only thing that matters, because when you let the computer inbetween... oy vey!

So, Alias, give us a pose-to-pose system that works like Animanium, but within Maya!!! Please!!!

graphicsloki
03-03-2005, 10:53 PM
I just purchased Animanium at Turbosquid.com for $595. It looks simple, but very powerful. They have converters that works with many packages out there. I am currently using Character Studio and it works great. The time I am saving is worth the cost. It does wonders for creating great looking pose quickly. I am using it for my current project. It is a great companion tool.

You can get is at
www.turbosquid.com/software (http://www.turbosquid.com/software)

Firas
03-08-2005, 06:27 AM
graphicslok and all,


when i saw animanium .. i thought it will solve the animtor problems in posing the character the right way .. but after testing the demo version .. i found it very diffecult for posing .. first reason ... when u drag with the mouse .. the body part doesnt follow in the same speed .. ( i tried to change the settings of draging) .. second reason .. there is only one Undo .. and thats makes it very hard .. third reason .. its viewport dependend (i know that this is a plus from animanuim viewpoint) but in not real world .. we need to be able to drag on Y-axis or Z-axis only .. and animanium doesnt allow that :(

so.. the best thing is to create similler rig inside maya .. its not easy .. but possible.

graphicslok, if u success in using animanuim as u said .. please post the your feed back in details .. i would love to c some animations .. and hope animanuim people will improve it more.

graphicsloki
03-08-2005, 10:56 PM
Firas,

I don't have anything I can post openly to the public. In regards to your difficulties with poses, see the tutorial and experiment with FK/IK. It took sometime to get use to, because it is so much "simpler" and it takes little learning to get use to. You have to think like an animator not like an engineer...

I recently went to the web-site and down-loaded all the tutorial material.

Good luck...

Firas
03-09-2005, 08:16 PM
thankx for reply graphicsloki,
of course i gave sometime to learn the software.. and i'll give it more since you have said that it worth .. and this software realy has golden features that i didnt see before..

but all my 3 comments about animanuim, came from me (engineer! ) and the cell animator in the company(he is good keyframer in maya) .. we both were searching for something that solves his problems and speed his work..

again .. i would like to said that animanuim can be pushed one step to, and it will be the dream for any animator.

M.E.L.
03-10-2005, 12:49 AM
Just like I presume Marionette at Pixar is built, the ideal animation tool should allow you to build poses really fast and lock anything anywhere. Period.

Talk to your TD about that...a great rig is what can really build a solid stepping stone for great animation. As far as building poses really quick...I've worked with 2D animators gone 3D and they have NO problems doing posing in Maya...go figure.

So first there are these companies like Alias or Avid advertising all those fancy tools... that only they are dreaming about, allowing "High Level" stuff, which is not at all "High Level" in the first place because if it would really be that "High", you wouldn't have to fight it and curse its lack of integration, and everybody would say "God bless you computer dear for you give me such perfect inbetweens".

Dreaming about? Man, you're not much of a big animation guy are you? I don't hear a lot of complaints about animating in Maya very often and usually when I do, it's a simple issue that can either be fixed or something new scripted in...this is the joys of applications like XSI and Maya...creating tools on the fly for production :) As per your comment about Alias and Avid "dreaming" about great tools, might wanna take a look over into XSI's NLA application and rethink that :) Every app has its quirks, I've heard people complain about XSI's keyframe animation but praise NLA while others praise Maya's keyframe animation and complain about TRAX.

And on the other hand you have the animator, the poor soul that has to use them in a tight production environment...

My point is that, in the end, the animator has to set 100000001 keys anyway, so basically you build a ton of poses, and the more you build within a timeframe, the better the animation - and that's the only thing that matters, because when you let the computer inbetween... oy vey!

So, Alias, give us a pose-to-pose system that works like Animanium, but within Maya!!! Please!!!

I think you're really missing one HUGE point here...it's not the program that makes the animator...it's the animator that makes the program. Disney didn't do a fantastic job of Snow White because they had the best 2B pencils in the entire world...they did it because their animators had the knowledge to produce top quality animation.

Nobody ever said animation was easy, even traditional animation is cell after cell of hand-drawn animation so whether it's done on a computer or by hand...GOOD, QUALITY animation takes effort and hard work. The more poses you build in a timeline the better the animation? Dunno about that man...I'd be curious as to how you animate though, post up your process of blocking, staging, posing and adding in-betweens :)

Corduroy Squirrel
04-06-2005, 06:33 PM
I KNEW it was their 2B pencils ...

... bastards.

-C.Squirrel

Corduroy Squirrel
04-06-2005, 07:06 PM
Pinning any part of a skeleton, that would be awesome!

I was sold on the idea when Jason mentioned it, but then he used the whole fall and roll analogy, offsetting the pins so you get all the parts touching...

That would be SO painful with Maya's current FK-IK setup. I'm all for being able to pin something down on a whim. I can just see it... a little option box comes up when I select a joint to pin it and it asks me (pin to object or pin to world?)... mmm... so nice.

If you could define in a skeleton the relationship, both translation, distance, rotations, and all that jazz between each other upon creation and say lock those down, it would be fantastic. Say I pin and arm, and I want to move the body, but since joint creation was started at the hip I'll be just translating the body if I try to translate it around and not rotate it around the arm. However, if I could tell it that there are limits to the distance between the joints in the torso, then it will translate and rotate up to those limits. Weird... I think I just confused myself. Anyways...

If MAYA advanced the way it handles FK - IK interaction it would help make it the program to beat. Right now I feel like they're just adding plugins and not improving the heart of the beast. Oh, and imho, the new referencing in 6.5 is flakey at best. Our studio is staying with 6.0 because 6.5's is a mess to deal with for what we're doing.

- C.Squirrel

gilley
04-15-2005, 05:06 PM
Pinning any part of a skeleton, that would be awesome!

- C.Squirrel


You are right, pinning any part would be great in Maya. I just got a job at Sony Computer Entertainment and have switched to Maya from MAX. At my old job we used MAX's older IK system. Not the newer one with the IK handles, etc. but the one where the IK was "baked" into your skeleton. This older IK system allowed you to bind down any joint you want in your skeleton at any time, without the need to IK/FK blend. Even though it doesn't totally lock the bone down like this "newer IK", it's damn close. It's such a useful feature and I'm really scratching my head as to why other programs(MAX in particular) aren't using this in their IK systems.

darkjedi1929
04-19-2005, 08:40 AM
Ok people. This is a helluva thread. But I just got one small question......What is pinning? What do you mean by pinning down the elbow, etc.?

andy_maxman
04-19-2005, 08:56 AM
Ok people. This is a helluva thread. But I just got one small question......What is pinning? What do you mean by pinning down the elbow, etc.?

consider this jedi -

The great thing about this idea (I don't know if character studio can do this), but you can lock down other parts of hte body besides feet and hands.. for example, an elbow. How many times have you wanted to have a character rest their elbow on a table & have to make a funky setup just to handle that case? Or what about knees? I know a certain character (Gollum! Gollum!) which would have been a lot easier to animate if I could lock the knees down instead of having to counter-animate & key frame by frame to get the knees to stay in one spot.

i vaguely remember js mention of a situation wherein a character is resting on his elbows on a table and he pushes himself back on his wheeled-chair while the elbow is still in place.

so with pinning elbows makes that kind of move a lot easier. hope i made some sense.

darkjedi1929
04-20-2005, 08:17 AM
consider this jedi -


i vaguely remember js mention of a situation wherein a character is resting on his elbows on a table and he pushes himself back on his wheeled-chair while the elbow is still in place.

so with pinning elbows makes that kind of move a lot easier. hope i made some sense.

yeah....am beginning to form a vague idea. Correct me if I am wrong here on the priniciple:

So you have a character resting it's elbows on a table and the he pushes himself away. Now with a normal IK/FK system, you would have to key and counterkey the motion, to make sure the elbow stays where it is supposed to (i.e., on the same place on the table top). But with this "pinning" system, you get a natural lockdown of the elbow, i.e., you can animate everything else, but the elbow doesn't move till it's supposed to.

Thing is I am not really a full fledged animator, I am just in the process of teaching myself some animation. Thing is, I have faced a similar kind of a problem while making a character walk, i.e., the foot keeps slipping between two poses. I used to think that perhaps it was something which I was doing wrong.....:wise:

andy_maxman
04-20-2005, 09:43 AM
bangOn! mate....you got that right.

and about your foot slipping between two poses...check if the keys in the graph are linear rather than in spline mode.
-andy

darkjedi1929
04-20-2005, 11:19 AM
Thanks andy man.
Yup thats cleared up a whole lot of this discussion for me. I sure was :banghead: about this discussion.

About the keys, I suppose linear keys wold work, but, well, wouldn't that make it really linear???:curious: I mean the animation will become pretty snappy won't it?

Phearielord
04-20-2005, 07:34 PM
or, instead of making those keys linear, just flatten the tangents for those 2 keys....where it lands and where it lifts off :)
that way the foot will stay put between those 2 keys. :)

darkjedi1929
04-21-2005, 05:28 AM
thanks lord.

Will check it out....

yenvalmar
05-24-2005, 09:57 PM
i like the pinning concept, though functionally you can (and probably many of us have at some point) do the same thing in maya with animating contstraints, fk/ik switching, and all the rest of that complicatedness, and as somebody pointed out, a good TD could probably even make it work pretty easily for the animator in maya, i think that is more the question of a TD and animator or TD/animator hashing out the MEL, but its all time that has to go into a project, and time is money.

BUT do these tools give you animation curves to edit what is pinned on what frame, or what? i mean say you want to do some fairly radical retiming, changing how both arms and legs are pinned..

Firas
05-29-2005, 02:11 PM
hi all..this is a test scene for the idea of making FK arms setup .. with IK pose option ..

i didnt test it in animation yet .. but i notice small problem (not a problem but its the difference between the FK & IK inbetween ) even Animanum has this problem .. but they fix it using extra cleanning proccess...

I didnt post this in new thread because i think people here are more intersted in testing new setups.

waiting the feed :)
Firas.

Andrei2k
07-11-2005, 06:18 AM
Love this thread.

I tried the SmartIK and it seems that you should add the twist to the CharSet and also lock the translation of the FK Controlers. What I don't get is why the IK animation just gets "baked" into FK and when you go back to IK the animation is gone. This is a bit confusing but perhaps you can start a new thread and contivue discussion for your tool.

gmat
07-29-2005, 10:58 PM
Hey all, Im new here and have some troubles to export an a fbx archive from maya to motion builder, it works with a low poli model but not with a hig poli one.
Anybody have someidea why !?? :cry:

VM
07-31-2005, 03:31 AM
Talk to your TD about that...a great rig is what can really build a solid stepping stone for great animation. As far as building poses really quick...I've worked with 2D animators gone 3D and they have NO problems doing posing in Maya...go figure.
Dreaming about? Man, you're not much of a big animation guy are you? I don't hear a lot of complaints about animating in Maya very often and usually when I do, it's a simple issue that can either be fixed or something new scripted in...this is the joys of applications like XSI and Maya...creating tools on the fly for production :) As per your comment about Alias and Avid "dreaming" about great tools, might wanna take a look over into XSI's NLA application and rethink that :) Every app has its quirks, I've heard people complain about XSI's keyframe animation but praise NLA while others praise Maya's keyframe animation and complain about TRAX.
I think you're really missing one HUGE point here...it's not the program that makes the animator...it's the animator that makes the program. Disney didn't do a fantastic job of Snow White because they had the best 2B pencils in the entire world...they did it because their animators had the knowledge to produce top quality animation.
Nobody ever said animation was easy, even traditional animation is cell after cell of hand-drawn animation so whether it's done on a computer or by hand...GOOD, QUALITY animation takes effort and hard work. The more poses you build in a timeline the better the animation? Dunno about that man...I'd be curious as to how you animate though, post up your process of blocking, staging, posing and adding in-betweens :)

I'm not talking about animation being easy, just about the tools in 3D animation being easy to use. I can draw a hell lot faster than I can pose in Maya, but of course, I mean sketch, not draw details. So if people could pose as easy as sketching that pose, in 3D, that would help 3D animation enormosly. BTW, I just bought a pen& tablet, and I'm posing with them in 3D, and it's so much nicer than doing it with a mouse!!! More accurate and faster, feels a bit like drawing... :)
I'm not complaining about Maya, and actually you can't even compare Maya and Animanium. Animanium is just a tiny and very limited application, while Maya is one huge and extremely flexible 3D animation studio. But the WAY that Animanium handles character (well, body actually) animation is fantastic. Limited, yeap, but it allows you to pose faster than anything else I've tried. And I really tried a bunch. If you could blend the ease of use of Animanium and the flexibility of Maya...
Now, I believe that if you work pose-to-pose, the ease and speed of posing is vital (in other words - how much time does an action take you - any action, like rotating a joint (which includes selecting!!!) - 1 minute? 1 second? 0.00001 of a second? yeah, I'm exagerating, but my point is that if you can pose in "real time", like you do when sketching - that's almost "real time", if you could pose as fast as thinking it - that's what I'd call "real time" - , the computer wouldn't be just a box. It would be an organic part of yourself, just like the pencil is.). Quality doesn't necessarily have to be involved in this equation. Lots of good animators plan their work on paper (well, that paper can be a 2D application if you have a pen&tablet and feel very comfortable using them), because it's so much more flexible and faster. Immediate feedback, right? That's what we all want. I strongly believe that if you give animators a system that eases and speeds up their workflow, that will have an impact on quality as well - Richard Williams: "I actually think the video and computer have saved animation" - my comment: because of the power of feedback!
My way of working is entirely FK, although I might animate IK feet sometimes... but I'm not very comfortable with IK. My big problem is locking, of course - so I do it by hand, in FK, and ghosting helps a lot with that. It's a trade - I'm trading the speed and locking possibilities of IK for the accuracy of FK. IK for me is like "taking the long shortcut". I just can't work with it. Well, that's just me. I guess lots of people use IK to lock stuff, and otherwise use FK extensively... (so I'm not a fan of Animanium's legendary IK engine, but of its rotating-through-translation approach, which is what I miss in Maya).
As you say, "GOOD QUALITY animation takes effort and hard work" - of course, but I'd rather spend my time planning and replanning and hyperplanning. The posing part should not be more complicated than sketching. Milt Kahl, take him for example (no quotation on Milt, but I'll quote the same Richard Williams, from the "Animator's survival kit"): "Milt often told me that by the time he'd plotted everything out this way [planning and replanning and hyperplanning - my note], he'd pretty much animated the scene - even including the lip sync"
Simplicity!!! Same good ol' Richard says that animation is complicated enough as it is, why make it more complicated? I think we should be thinking more on body dynamics and arcs, and of course, on acting, rather than how to select, deselect, etc. Free your mind and simplify your life - that doesn't mean you won't work as much as you did before, or maybe even more ('cause if you're excited...), it only means you're going to be more efficient.

gilley
07-31-2005, 09:27 AM
...other good stuff snipped...

Simplicity!!! Same good ol' Richard says that animation is complicated enough as it is, why make it more complicated? I think we should be thinking more on body dynamics and arcs, and of course, on acting, rather than how to select, deselect, etc. Free your mind and simplify your life - that doesn't mean you won't work as much as you did before, or maybe even more ('cause if you're excited...), it only means you're going to be more efficient.

Couldn't have said it better myself dude. You bring up some great points, simplicity being one of the most important. I just switched over to Maya about 5 months ago, and I still haven't gotten over how complicated they make things. I asked alot of Maya users how they select objects, and I get the "I select things in the outliner/hypergraph" answer alot. I also hear how they have a GUI to select their controls or whatever. I'd much rather select things in the viewport but this doesn't really work in Maya cause of how it treats selections within hierarchies. If I select say...the pelvis node and the hand node, not only does the pelvis and hand turn white, but so does all the other controls/bones inbetween, so you don't know exactly what things you have selected. Hence the need to have to use the outliner/hypergraph to select objects. It's just minor things like this that are too complicated that shouldn't be.

and M.E.L.
I've got a complaint about Maya. I'm coming from a MAX animation environment and I don't know if you are familiar with it or not, but they don't have pole vectors for leg/arm IK chains. MAX never gets that "flipping" that occurs in maya once the IK handle reaches that 180degree line. I've been told by my TD's that you have to have those pole vector controls on your rigs in Maya. I couldn't belive this at first but it does make sense seeing how every free rig I've downloaded of the net has these pole vector handles. I've learned to just deal with it. It's just another thing that makes posing more "complicated" in Maya.....Why don't the knees just keep their orientation damnit!!! :) I hope I don't turn this into a MAX/Maya thing, I'm just trying to point out problems I see within animation environment in Maya that could possibly be improved. Anyways, if anyone has any ideas on how to get rid of those annoying pole vectors please let me know.

I've seen that list of new stuff they're putting into Maya 7 and I noticed the inclusion of Motion Builder's full body IK system. I know alot of Maya animators might not be familiar with what this is, but you are in for a real treat! I've used Motion Builder a little bit, and it has the ability to pin/lock any joint in place. MAX's old Interactive IK has this same system. Imagine being able to lock, say....an elbow down while you move the pelvis instead of just locking the hand. You could also, for example, pin the head down and then move the pelvis and whole torso would move somewhat similar to a spline IK controller. It works with rotation too, not just translations. If you have a torso with 3 main controllers and the middle controller is all twisted too much, just lock down the other 2 controllers, then rotate that middle controller till the torso has a nice even curve to it. The other two controllers won't go anywhere and will be locked in place. This allows you to not only pose characters even faster than before, it also allows you to go back and make tweaks to your animations even faster too. I'm just crossing my fingers hoping Alias doesn't make this new IK more complicated.

pappuftp
07-31-2005, 03:18 PM
but they don't have pole vectors for leg/arm IK chains

That would be the bIped in max and not Traditional max bones which are subject to the same pole vertor issue as are thye maya and XSi bones...

gilley
07-31-2005, 06:24 PM
That would be the bIped in max and not Traditional max bones which are subject to the same pole vertor issue as are thye maya and XSi bones...


I've never used Biped. Biped is Character Studio, where did I mention this in my post?

Create some bones for a leg in MAX and put an IK solver on it. Move the IK handle around in a circular motion around the root. Notice how the knee doesn't flip. All MAX IK solver has is a twist value for the knee. Their "pole vector" always stay perpendicular to the IK handle.

pappuftp
07-31-2005, 08:19 PM
Biped is Character Studio, where did I mention this in my post?

I never said u did, mate ..

Create some bones for a leg in MAX and put an IK solver on it. Move the IK handle around in a circular motion around the root. Notice how the knee doesn't flip. All MAX IK solver has is a twist value for the knee. Their "pole vector" always stay perpendicular to the IK handle.

my bad: it does exactly that..but ..

Assuming u created the bones in the left viewport then if u move the ik handle around on the YZ plane then its all hunky dory.. but if u were to move the ik handle on the XZ plane that no longer seems to be the case-we get the same familiar flipping

If u try the sc plane solver in maya u will get the same result as u do in max
( tho the twist and the pole vector do not work in that case- atleast I couldn't get it to work ) maybe it has to do with the fact that the SCsolver tries to match the handle's position as well as the orientation.. something which the RPsolver does only for the position and not the orientaion .. by virtue of which it gives more predictable results and is the prefered solver with the caveat that u have to use the twist attribute or the polevectors for joint flips.
But after the creation of the Rp solver if u put 90 as the value for the pole vector x and 90 as the value of the twist .. and then manipulate the IK handle u get the same result as max even tho u use the RP solver..
As u said In max the polevector is perpendicular to the solver plane right from the start .. in maya's Rp solver it is on the same plane.. its an additional step for u, but like many things in maya its exposed for us to manipulate

I hope I haven't been confusing .. now then .. the implementation of motion builder's Ik system would be a very wecome addition in maya's arsenal.

gilley
07-31-2005, 08:40 PM
I hope I haven't been confusing .. now then .. the implementation of motion builder's Ik system would be a very wecome addition in maya's arsenal.

No problem, I understand what you're talking about.

I also remember seeing something in the list that said they're going to implement a "Spring IK" controller. Said it was useful on stuff like insects legs. Not really sure what they mean but it sounds interesting.

I hope Maya also takes a look at Motion Builders viewport speed too, it's rediculously fast. We were able to take our high-res cinematic model(40,000+ polys) and get ~80fps playback rate in MB. I'm lucky to get 30fps on our 5,500 realtime model in Maya.

pappuftp
07-31-2005, 11:07 PM
Wow ! 80 fps on a film res character ..

ps: u Might want to hand around to check the biped tweaks they have reportedly done in max 8 ..if rumors are true then its has euler cntrls for roation in Biped ( yaaaaay finally function curves in Biped )
and wrist twist, upper arm twist etc..maybe as a competition to the upcommiong MB IK sys in Maya.

but what these upgrades do is bring my dream ik sys nearer to reality .. no FK/ IK/ Skin bind joints crap and fumblimng around for keys when the director decides to change his mind and wants the character to do something totally diff..grrmaybe a shtgun would do

BigSky
08-03-2005, 01:40 PM
Looks like the ball that JS got rolling with this thread finally came tumbling out of Alias:
FULL BODY IK (http://www.alias.com/eng/products-services/maya/new/demos.shtml)

nemirc
08-07-2005, 06:44 AM
Not familiar with Motion Builder so I will ask something that will sound dumb... dumb or not I don't care so I'll ask anyway :D

How good is the full body IK to the ik-fk blending stuff?

Thanks
*dumb mode off*

gmat
08-07-2005, 07:18 PM
OK... ·Dumb mode on·
I'm really are a new motion builder user, so I dont know ho is the better path. My experience is shortly and I find more intrested to use the skeleton in motion builder than maya because it let me see the animation on real time, but for know, I find a strange way to do the job. Is something like use the motion builder to create the movements on the skeleton and later export it like fbx to maya, so you have a skeleton with the the same name bones in each softwear, and then you can paste the motion builder animation in maya, with a good skining and a correct IK.
I know is very amateur.. sorry.. but for now is the better way that I find. If someone knows another more professional way just let me know !!

·Dumb mode off·

VM
08-10-2005, 05:06 PM
OK, this'll sound very SF, but I was thinking of a system where you'd only draw over your character, in the 3D viewport, and all bones would rearrange themselves interactively, as you draw. Of course, while maintaining their rigidity. And you would have locks too, on any part of the body, and all kind of fall-offs, on many things, to help with the fluidity of posing/moving bones by drawing. And of course, all this would be very interactive and intuitive to use :)
But you should control depth somehow... maybe, as you move the camera you'd only draw on one plane - perpendicular to the camera (but maybe with some freedom, maybe the pen's pressure sensitivity could move the skeleton perpendicullary towards or away from you).


Back to Earth - I was hoping Maya 7 will have Motion Builder integrated. I like MB but i didn't like the skeleton limitations you had when transfering from Maya 2 MB. I hope the integration is really solid, and we'll have full flexibility.

niralrajani
09-11-2005, 06:17 PM
Hi all

maya is still not able to achive the perfect ik/fk blending , uptill maya 6 threre was bug,while blending when ikhandel is rigged i.e point constrain to nurbs controller..blending was not achived controller use to snap.
recently working on one movie project i made a rig with four sets of joints where is able to achive ik/fk blending but still not as softimage......
i am starting my next poject in maya7 i am full of hope to exploer may new thing is maya 7in char setup ..

nemirc
09-11-2005, 07:47 PM
i am starting my next poject in maya7 i am full of hope to exploer may new thing is maya 7in char setup ..

I am very keen to know the results :buttrock:

Leionaaad
12-15-2005, 10:22 AM
About pinning parts of the body and not to be concerned about the FK and IK methods: A while ago we had to test MotionBuilder.
IT DOES EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR! But unfortunatelly the program is good only for bipeds and quadrupeds. You can't really make custom rigs. You can only extend an existing one, but in the end is still a compromise. And it has an extremely good constraining system.
As a summary: You can lock the rotation, the translation or both transforms for certain body parts. +it has full body IK.

pappuftp
12-15-2005, 11:16 AM
Might have been mentioned before but Mirai had this good IK-Fk system..or am i mistaken ???

mustique
12-15-2005, 01:40 PM
...Back to Earth - I was hoping Maya 7 will have Motion Builder integrated. I like MB but i didn't like the skeleton limitations you had when transfering from Maya 2 MB. I hope the integration is really solid, and we'll have full flexibility.

Unfortunately FBIK in maya 7.0 is far from being well integrated. Lots of problems especially when undoing... Realtime viewports and intant FK rig behaviour while pressing "Q" lack too of course. I doubt MB will ever be fully integrated into Maya. Maybe in a nextgen app that brings all the good things together. (Character Studio + Motionbilder + Maya + 3dsmax.)
It's not going to be easy especially for a mamouth like Autodesk. But if they manage to pull it out, it will probably take over the industry as Maya did back in '97.

gilley
03-09-2006, 05:21 AM
Might have been mentioned before but Mirai had this good IK-Fk system..or am i mistaken ???


I keep hearing this from various threads so I decided to check out an old copy of Mirai. I heard how it has this Inverse Forward Kinematics system. After reading through the manuals I found no mention of this system, only the regular FK and IK systems. I haven't actually tested out the FK and IK systems yet, but after reading through the manuals I can tell you that Mirai's kinematics system is identical to MAX's old Interactive IK system(which is still in MAX). It's a FK chain that is also driven by these IK end-effectors. There is no FK blending into IK(or vice versa) like in Maya. You actually animate on the bones, and every curve in the graph editor is just a rotation curve. Only the root node(the pelvis, COG) has translation. It even supports pinning of any joint just like MAX's old system. It's a really great system for animation IMHO because it allows the animator to concentrate on the performance of the character he's animating and not get bogged down with technical things.

robioto
06-02-2006, 12:21 PM
"OK, this'll sound very SF, but I was thinking of a system where you'd only draw over your character, in the 3D viewport, and all bones would rearrange themselves interactively, as you draw. Of course, while maintaining their rigidity. And you would have locks too, on any part of the body, and all kind of fall-offs, on many things, to help with the fluidity of posing/moving bones by drawing. And of course, all this would be very interactive and intuitive to use :)"


I read in a post somewhere that Disney feature uses a tech like that in their anim system, you basically draw over the bones to rearrange and tweak the pose. In that post someone else mentioned that puppetshop for 3dsmax by Kees Rijnen had some kind of similar feature. I haven't used it and the sites www.puppetshop.com and www.keesrijnen.com are down.

mrxzof
02-10-2007, 11:12 AM
hi all..this is a test scene for the idea of making FK arms setup .. with IK pose option ..

i didnt test it in animation yet .. but i notice small problem (not a problem but its the difference between the FK & IK inbetween ) even Animanum has this problem .. but they fix it using extra cleanning proccess...

I didnt post this in new thread because i think people here are more intersted in testing new setups.

waiting the feed :)
Firas.

Hello, the switching act doesn't seem to be keyable, so I can not make this working.

republicavfx
06-11-2007, 12:21 AM
dunno if anyone mentioned this but biped in max has an elegant IK/FK solution...u can grab a hand and animate ik or joints and go fk and its seamless with no switching sliders and doesnt feel like stopmotion although u can also do it in a posebased way if u want

theres not many things imiss about max but biped is very cool

seansimonanimation
11-13-2009, 03:29 PM
dunno if anyone mentioned this but biped in max has an elegant IK/FK solution...u can grab a hand and animate ik or joints and go fk and its seamless with no switching sliders and doesnt feel like stopmotion although u can also do it in a posebased way if u want

theres not many things imiss about max but biped is very cool

I am actually working on something similar to that using a dual-IK setup along a single joint chain, and I got it to work 99% except the damn elbow controller refuses to follow along with the IK movements of the arm.

I'd up a picture, but I can't find the upload button right now.

FarleyC
10-08-2011, 06:29 AM
So reading through the forum, I think I should show the new system that I have been working on since finishing making a stable more fluid version of enhanced IK. I am testing out the final kinks.

I developed a translative FK system which basically makes the animator use the translations of the elbow controllers to rotate the upper arm and a wrist controller to rotate the upper arms X axis and the rotation of the elbow. This eliminates deciphering rotations in the graph editor and lets the animator move the arm to an exact position and lock it there.

i was looking to see if this technique would interest anyone so let me know what you think and I'll have a vid link up by the end of the weekend.

I'll try to get pinning and a revers Ik system working with it too. I never thought of that so it seems like a fun challenge.

ngrava
10-08-2011, 08:57 PM
Ahhhh.... YES PLEAS!

FarleyC
10-11-2011, 02:52 AM
Sorry it tool a while to post, but here are the links to the method I mentioned. I also am uploading some videos about Enhanced IK. There is a Creative Development course on Digital Tutors for more info on that. What it does is extend rotations through the joint hierarchies. For instance moving the feet forward will rotate the hips and joint through the center of the back to compensate for the movement. I'm hoping for some feedback on both Enhanced IK and TranslativeFK as I improve on them and prepare them for full production. Here are the Links to the videos below. while I'm sure internal software is more powerful then both for plane jane freelancers, I haven't seen anything similar.

Video1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzfbXW4D2aI)

Video 2 sticky controls (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBirSfBhx8g)

Firas
10-11-2011, 07:46 PM
Sorry it tool a while to post, but here are the links to the method I mentioned. I also am uploading some videos about Enhanced IK. There is a Creative Development course on Digital Tutors for more info on that. What it does is extend rotations through the joint hierarchies. For instance moving the feet forward will rotate the hips and joint through the center of the back to compensate for the movement. I'm hoping for some feedback on both Enhanced IK and TranslativeFK as I improve on them and prepare them for full production. Here are the Links to the videos below. while I'm sure internal software is more powerful then both for plane jane freelancers, I haven't seen anything similar.

Video1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzfbXW4D2aI)

Video 2 sticky controls (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBirSfBhx8g)

This is very impressive, I would like to hear the animators opinion on it...can u post simple character rig for that ?

FarleyC
10-12-2011, 04:53 PM
This is very impressive, I would like to hear the animators opinion on it...can u post simple character rig for that ?

I'm working with some animators now who are testing it out. I'll be sure to post updates while I get this out of prototype phase into a fully working rig with enhanced Ik setup. Once that's complete I will probably upload it somewhere for more testing. Right now though I trying to use all these crazy rigging mechanisms to getting some studio work for awhile.

Also thanks!!! anything you think it needs? I have a months worth of freetime on my hand to rebuild my reel so now is the time.

Firas
10-12-2011, 06:01 PM
Great, the question is? Can this solution compete the fk-ik classic rig? Can it be developed to have the best of fullbody-ik and stay friendy ?

FarleyC
10-12-2011, 08:19 PM
I think so, the other method I developed worked well in production and I did not understand it as I do now. If you are unfamiliar with "Enhanced IK" I just posted three videos since the ones on DT don't really give people a chance to see the level of movement that is derived from a couple of controls. Tying these two methods together I think I can have a rig that's more intuitive then the standard. Hopefully it will make teaching and doing animation that much easier without the need for extensive scripts or plugins. I included the demo videos below.

I've been using this method for awhile and I'm starting to see fullbody Ik and it becoming very similar. I think since people will know how it's built it will be friendlier. here are the links to the Enhanced IK system below.

enhanced Ik intro (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxRa8E66Yac)

quick addendum video Enhanced IK 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CzGXuTJUF8)

Enhaced Ik on a quadruped (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvp0AHsVch4)

Calebos
01-19-2012, 12:07 PM
It is good method in Mirai, but in case of Maya I would like to see IK methods(solvers, especially ikSpringSolver) work properly rather then new features there ... When all things work as suppose to do many, really many issues will dissappear. Especially ikSpringSolver as mentioned above. Pole vector doesn't behave properly and scaling of joints aswell. I know I am off toppic little bit but I have to mention this thing here. We submitted the bug with scaling of bones already with no result. Now we prepare to do it again with very clear sample scene(simple leg setup with global scale transformation node with ability to stretch IK leg setup) with comparioson between RP solver(it works well) and ikSpring one ... and at the end: if I am not wrong thanks to Maya's prehistoric DAG architecture it is very complicated to implement features like bidirectional constraints, etc. ...

FarleyC
03-01-2012, 04:50 PM
This is a little something I've been working on... actually figuring out how to make it work efficiently with squash and stretch was the problem. In the link below it shows the first stage of my new leg rigging technique. The knee doesn't pop and the leg doesn't need to stretch to make the calculations correct.

No pop knee explanation video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9-XatMkI-o)

I am thinking about making a public release of a final rig so please leave me a comment if you have questions and like it if you think its a good idea.

cineartist
01-13-2013, 02:04 PM
Yeah!

That is looking promising. I am planning to go through your rigging tutorial at DT, (it is on my list of tuts to do) and I suspect you have not stopped improving on those ideas.

So I'd definitely be interesting in a rig if you were to make it public.

gfk
09-25-2014, 03:17 AM
This is a little something I've been working on... actually figuring out how to make it work efficiently with squash and stretch was the problem. In the link below it shows the first stage of my new leg rigging technique. The knee doesn't pop and the leg doesn't need to stretch to make the calculations correct.

No pop knee explanation video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9-XatMkI-o)

I am thinking about making a public release of a final rig so please leave me a comment if you have questions and like it if you think its a good idea.

He seems to have dropped off the Internet (did he get hit by a bus?) and I can't find any sign of this stuff, except as a long DT series. I don't want to reinvent the wheel, especially without being able to try it out first. I wonder if the actual rig is in the DT project files, or if it's just a template. Good project files should have complete data at every major step, I don't want to pay for an account upgrade just to find out it's just a step 1 skeleton...

My first impression looking at this is that it looks like it makes initial poses easier to make, but adjusting poses seems harder, if moving one leg causes the hip and other leg to move. You don't want your character adjusting his center of gravity when you're making adjustments. Seems like it would want pinning, like HIK.