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Wegg
06-18-2003, 02:04 AM
I just got back from a hands on demo. The demo guy from Kaydara sat down with me and we worked together on seeing how Motion Builder would work in our pipeline.

I'm sorry but I don't know what the hell all the hype was about. The guy was really nice and all but. . .

A. I would have to place all of my bones in the host app. In our case LW which is just. . . nasty.

B. I would have to paint all my weights for every bone on every character. Ick.

C. It would cost me over $3,000 per workstation. THREE GRAND! That'd buy me almost ten new render machines. Yikes!

D. Make Keyframe button. After every change you have to remember to hit the make keyframe button. I have never seen anything more backwards in all my friggen life. I remember having to do that ten years ago in LW 2.5. . .

E. No fun dynamics or nifty muscle bones or anything that really gives us the edge. It would all be whatever you could get out of the host app. Yawn.

The one thing that I did envy was the internal quat interpolation of keyframes. You still edit your channels with XYZ (HPB) but internally its all quaternion. I couldn't make anything gimble like I can in Messiah.

So from my perspective. . . the grass is NO greener on the other side of the fence. . . accept for that one bright green spot that somehow got in there when the dog hopped the fence and did his thing. . .

I do not post this with any intent to start any flame wars or anything. . . but in the past I was defending Messiah's position without any real hands on experience. Now that I have had that experience I feel much more qualified to comment.

My Fault
06-18-2003, 02:25 AM
I think the biggest reason Motionbuilder is getting such a push is that an individual can pick it up so cheaply and that it works a little better with Lightwave then Messiah does, i.e. it's not just a deformation plugin.

3 grand... ouch!!!

Michel Besner
06-18-2003, 12:23 PM
I am sorry to hear that you did not like MOTIONBUILDER ...

Pricing:
At SIGGRAPH, we will be launching two product configs:

Standard Edition : $995
Professional Edition : $3495

Unless you are a major studio, most users will be very happy with the Standard Edition.

Promotion until July 31st:
If you buy the $100 one-year license (www.kaydarastore.com), you can upgrade to a permanent license of MB Standard Edition for another $100 (a discount of $795!)

M.

Wegg
06-18-2003, 05:43 PM
Wow. . . President Kaydara, inc.

As you can see. . . the Messiah:Animate forum on CGTalk has been lumped in with MotionBuilder's. . .

While traffic isn't exactly high on either of these two areas. . . I'm finding it a little frustrating to sit under the "Kaydara MOTIONBUILDER™" name and not have avid MB users hop in and make recommendations for users to leave Animate for the "better faster less expensive" MB.

Before now I fealt a little un-qualified to assert Messiah's credentials and value. I'm very glad I was able to sit down with a Kaydara demo artist and finally see for myself what it was all about.

If you were to list features of the two very similar applications side by side, its easy to see how people can get confused and go with the less expensive option. Hell thats how Animation Master has stuck around for so long.

I am very very confused over your pricing structure though. Nowhere on your website is there mention of "Standard Edition" and "Professional Edition" or what features each of those applications are.

What that does is lead me to believe that the "Standard" version is a toned down application that does not have the "Pro" tools my studio would need.

The "$695.00 must have Maintenace Plan" I see recommended by your re-sellers alone is more than Messiah Animate's base price and that includes FREE technical support.

It is confusing, misleading and is (frustratingly enough) working very well for you.

Good luck to you. . .

Geco
06-18-2003, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by Michel Besner
I am sorry to hear that you did not like MOTIONBUILDER ...

Pricing:
At SIGGRAPH, we will be launching two product configs:

Standard Edition : $995
Professional Edition : $3495

Unless you are a major studio, most users will be very happy with the Standard Edition.

Promotion until July 31st:
If you buy the $100 one-year license (www.kaydarastore.com), you can upgrade to a permanent license of MB Standard Edition for another $100 (a discount of $795!)

M. thanks for your answer to point C (over $3000 for workstation = $3495) but what about point A, B, D and E?

tOd
06-18-2003, 08:48 PM
Ive used both MB and MA so I thought I might give my 2 cents worth.

In regards to:

A) With the ortho pack this isnt an issue plus who knows what is ahead for 8. As hard as your being on MB I wonder why your using LW at with all its short comings.

B) Weight painting in LW or adding extra holder bones in MA. (insert violin music) Both take time. Seems to be wash. I dont see why this is such an issue.

C) Been addressed.

D) No Auto Key. Yes would be nice but dont see this as a deal breaker either. Thats pretty lazy not to want to hit a key on the keyboard.

E) Wow having dynamics gives you an edge? I guess we better get Maya then so we can get ahead of the pack. :rolleyes: We have produced many great animations without musclebones or dynamics. Its about skill not software features. Anyway MA and MS softbodies and particles are not really usable at all.


As for MB we can do our lip synching in half the time it would in MA plus MB sees endomorphs. MA has YET to do so. The MA plugin to LW is better but still weak. With MA we have to ad motion designer to the characters to get motion blur in LW. Not a problem with MB cause is uses LW bones to deform the mesh. And hey guess what we can add muscle bones in LW to the skeleton after we bring it back in from MB.

I guess we could render in MS (that we paid for over 3 years ago) but wait its STILL not done. No UV support, no motion blur on objects, no network rendering, and slow.

As for tech support Kaydara has been one of the best I have ever worked with. Fast response and quick updates with thier software.

PMG is also good in this area minus the quick updates but I understand they do thier best. So I see this a non issue.

Dont get me wrong I like many things about MA. I find MB a great tool. The grass may not be greener on th MB side but it does grow faster then o nte MA side. 3 years waiting for grass is a long time.

I just thought Id give another perspective. Especially one that wasnt biased going in.

Wegg
06-18-2003, 09:26 PM
A) With the ortho pack this isnt an issue plus who knows what is ahead for 8. As hard as your being on MB I wonder why your using LW at with all its short comings.

Its Renderer

B) Weight painting in LW or adding extra holder bones in MA. (insert violin music) Both take time. Seems to be wash. I dont see why this is such an issue.

It is when your client wants a different shirt on a character. Once have your bones placed in MA and the mesh is within the same proximity of the bones. . . your done.

C) Been addressed.

D) No Auto Key. Yes would be nice but dont see this as a deal breaker either. Thats pretty lazy not to want to hit a key on the keyboard.

How can a much faster system of animation be lazy. . .

E) Wow having dynamics gives you an edge? I guess we better get Maya then so we can get ahead of the pack. :rolleyes: We have produced many great animations without musclebones or dynamics. Its about skill not software features. Anyway MA and MS softbodies and particles are not really usable at all.

As have we. But it is sure nice to have those tools available. Muscle bones are used extensivly in most of the rigs we create for our characters. The bulging of musles in just the right place at the right time is something you don't "need". . . but gives you that extra pop that really makes something look more alive. Seeing it work as I animate is a big plus. . .

As for MB we can do our lip synching in half the time it would in MA

I wasn't able to see that in action but. . . we are pretty damn quick with the tools we have. I'd be surprised if any automated system could produce the same quality we are getting with our current tools.

plus MB sees endomorphs.

Your saying that having to hit "Make Keyframe" for every change is not a big deal but the ONE time you have to export out the facial shapes and import them. . . thats now valid?

MA has YET to do so. The MA plugin to LW is better but still weak.

I don't understand how it is weak. . .

With MA we have to ad motion designer to the characters to get motion blur in LW.

I can do motion blur all I want. I was told that about a year ago and have yet to run into an instance where Motion Blur didn't work.

Not a problem with MB cause is uses LW bones to deform the mesh. And hey guess what we can add muscle bones in LW to the skeleton after we bring it back in from MB.

I guess we could render in MS (that we paid for over 3 years ago) but wait its STILL not done. No UV support, no motion blur on objects, no network rendering, and slow.

No argument there. . . but I was talking about Animate.

As for tech support Kaydara has been one of the best I have ever worked with. Fast response and quick updates with thier software.

PMG is also good in this area minus the quick updates but I understand they do thier best. So I see this a non issue.

Dont get me wrong I like many things about MA. I find MB a great tool. The grass may not be greener on th MB side but it does grow faster then o nte MA side. 3 years waiting for grass is a long time.

I just thought Id give another perspective. Especially one that wasnt biased going in.

Carm3D
06-20-2003, 11:46 AM
I am loving this thread. :thumbsup:

Andy741
06-27-2003, 03:03 AM
Wegg, could you go into more details on why you think Animate is better than mb?

a)how does facial animation compare in both packages?

b)Is Animate faster in opengl?

c) Can you explain more the limitations of mb compared to ma?

d) What limitations does Animate have as far as your ambitions if any?

Plus anything else you can think of.

Thanks,
Andy

Wegg
06-27-2003, 05:31 PM
Wegg, could you go into more details on why you think Animate is better than mb?


I don't really know if "better" is the right word. They both do 3D animation better than 90% of most built in solutions.

a)how does facial animation compare in both packages?

Probably better in MotionBuilder due to this auto speech recogizing thinger people talk about. I wouldn't really know for sure though. . . I haven't tried that part. But considering the price tag and how in-expensive Magpie Pro is. . .

b)Is Animate faster in opengl?

Messiah lets you see the Sub-D mesh as you animate. Which is really cool but has to be managed. 5 sub-D models walking around can slow any system down. Its a simple matter of hitting [Tab] to pop em back out. Other than that I think they are about the same.

c) Can you explain more the limitations of mb compared to ma?

Having to rig inside of the host app. The demo artist said "thats how most people work anyway" but. . . most people haven't ever seen how wicked cool the rigging is in Messiah. . .

I can have muscles bulge, fat giggle, tails wag along slick control splines, hair flop around. . . all in realtime as you work. . . its just more powerful and all in one place.

d) What limitations does Animate have as far as your ambitions if any?

Quaternian interpolation. (Which is being fixed)

More intuative NLE of clips. (Which is being fixed)

Better support for a wider range of applications. (Should be fixed once they have their new API out for developers.)

Hard Body dynamics.

More industry acceptance.

Plus anything else you can think of.

Nope. You should hop onto the Messiah mailing list. Some mad buggers are selling their Studio dongles for $500. It doesn't get any better than that. . .

Carm3D
06-28-2003, 01:57 AM
Wegg,

I got my Messiah:Animate used for $250. And it was a STEAL!!

Rigid Bodies?! But that is so cool!

I've never used Kaydara's product, but it seems to me that MB is better for those who are unable or unwilling to create their own rigs, while M:A is the better choice for those technically-inclined enough to make rigs, you will ultimately get more flexibility.

Maybe that's an oversimplification, but that's the vibe I get from all the threads I've read on both products (and from using M:A).

I wish this forum wasn't a child forum of the Motion-Builder forum. It feels like M:A isn't getting proper props this way.

d4rk
06-28-2003, 02:15 AM
This thread is very helpfull in alot of ways. I was wondering what the differences were in the two apps. For a personal user though how cheap can you get into MA? Plus some of the features of MB still seem attractive like the FBX file format. Well it woudl be a while before I came make a move on either.

Andy741
06-28-2003, 07:01 AM
Thanks Wegg :)

Do you think something like the Hulk could be done in MA?

Carm3D
06-28-2003, 07:23 AM
From what I've seen so far.. I doubt it.. Those boys at ILM have super-sophisticated software where they actually model the bones and muscles, program the muscle's behavior and then they just wrap skin around it all like a glove. This lets the muscles slide under the skin like real ones do.

This is how they did the Mummy movies, I can only imagine that The Hulk is an even more advanced evolution of this proprietary software.

Wegg
06-28-2003, 08:46 PM
Actually you could do a basic form of this in Animate. Joe Cosman (our main TD/Animator) has gotten some really nice results with muscles sliding underneath the skin. Its not as hard as you would think.

Carm3D
06-28-2003, 08:50 PM
I'd like to see an example of this.

JoeCosman
06-30-2003, 12:05 AM
actually, you can watch this in person, theres a spherize demo in the 3.3 update that shows a bulging muscleman arm

Carm3D
06-30-2003, 02:18 AM
Oh I found it! There's a wealth of cool stuff in here! Neato!

The muscle arm demo is cool.. It would be even cooler if it used 3 nulls instead of one.. Attatch each end null to a bone, and the middle null determines the flex size. That would behave even more like a muscle.

Thanks Joe!

Qslugs
07-17-2003, 09:11 PM
I'd also like to throw in a question. What's the expression system like in MB? In messiah you must learn expressions. Once you know them you can set up whatever you want. How does MB handle expressions? Are they useful?

jrsunshine
07-17-2003, 10:32 PM
Wegg,

I couldn't help but have Animation Master flashbacks as you reasponded to Andy741. "...being fixed...being fixed...".

lol. Do you miss A:M?

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Roy
:D


d) What limitations does Animate have as far as your ambitions if any?

Quaternian interpolation. (Which is being fixed)

More intuative NLE of clips. (Which is being fixed)

Better support for a wider range of applications. (Should be fixed once they have their new API out for developers.)

Hard Body dynamics.

More industry acceptance.

Wegg
07-18-2003, 12:25 AM
he he. . . yea.

Thing is. . . A:M is being fixed. Just two years too late for my studio.

Messiah Animate is more than prooven itself production ready for us. And these "Being fixed" things are just icing on the cake.

jrsunshine
07-18-2003, 12:38 AM
Thing is. . . A:M is being fixed. Just two years too late for my studio.

I know. I'm just giving you a hard time. :)

I had to jump ship on A:M too. It's a great tool in concept, but the guys over at Hash need to go through some classes on Software dev practices and QA procedures.

MA is a good product too.

Best to ya,

Roy

LFGabel
08-06-2003, 11:37 PM
Greetings,

I have MB and Messiah 1.5.7. I have rigged complete characters in Messiah and Maya, so I am not a stranger to rigging.

As far as I can see, both packages are very good at what they do. MB focuses on biped and quadruped characters (with it's automatically generated control rigs). Since I have not used M:A, I assume the same can be done.

M:A offers a lot more flexibility to do other things, like softbodies, hardbodies, dynamics, spline animation, etc. The armature feature is very cool. It's a lot like MB's control rig, but a lot more flexible since it can be applied to anything.

I see MB as something that was designed to do one thing really well: biped/quadruped character animation. M:A was designed to do many more things well. I love working in animation layers (akin to photoshop), and mapping one character's animation to another is dead easy. You could probably say that about M:A too.

What else can I say? Both are really good programs for character animation. MB just gets me animating faster. Use the tool that produces the best results for you.

For me, getting MB4 for $100 was well worth the price. If I can swing the cash, I may just upgrade both MB and M:A, in addition to LW.

Thalaxis
08-07-2003, 05:32 PM
Originally posted by jrsunshine
I had to jump ship on A:M too. It's a great tool in concept, but the guys over at Hash need to go through some classes on Software dev practices and QA procedures.


Don't forget customer relations... that's probably their worst trait.

Wegg
08-07-2003, 05:40 PM
Such a pitty because it really is an amazing animation package.

<sigh>

DaveW
08-09-2003, 07:24 PM
A. I would have to place all of my bones in the host app. In our case LW which is just. . . nasty.

There's a cheap plugin for LW called OrothoPack that makes placing bones in LW as easy as it is in Messiah. It's been integrated into LW 8. And there is a premade skelegon obj you can get that is already setup properly. A little parenting needs to be done in Layout but you can record a script to automate that.


B. I would have to paint all my weights for every bone on every character. Ick.

Since you're host app is LW, no you wouldn't. LW had that Messiah style bone weighting before Messiah even existed :) The FBX exporter "bakes" the weights so the autoweighting works in MotionBuilder.


C. It would cost me over $3,000 per workstation. THREE GRAND! That'd buy me almost ten new render machines. Yikes!

Yeah, too rich for my blood :) The PE version is cool but I can't use it at work. The $995 version 5 has all the features I want though, and the upgrade from PE is very reasonable.


D. Make Keyframe button. After every change you have to remember to hit the make keyframe button. I have never seen anything more backwards in all my friggen life. I remember having to do that ten years ago in LW 2.5. . .

Well there's a shortcut for it (k) but yeah, there really should be an autokey feature.


E. No fun dynamics or nifty muscle bones or anything that really gives us the edge. It would all be whatever you could get out of the host app. Yawn.

Yeah, but again LW's dynamics, although slow, produce good results. It's just that learning how to use them sucks because it's so time consuming. I was forced to learn them though, as Messiah's dynamics (as of v3.3) are broken. And LW8's new dynimcs are looking pretty good.

If the release of Messiah:Studio 1.5 is good I will probably get that instead of MotionBuilder, it's just more flexible and I find it easier to use. MotionBuilder is a cool app, but I agree Wegg, the grass isn't any greener :)

Andy741
08-10-2003, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by Wegg
Such a pitty because it really is an amazing animation package.

<sigh>

Yeah, I think it was designed from the ground up for character animation. I don't think there's another complete package that can say that. Although MA and MB were designed just for character animation, but without the rest of the tools.

Michel Besner
08-30-2003, 11:26 PM
If you want to compare Messiah with MOTIONBUILDER, we now have a trial version of MB5 on our web site ...

http://www.kaydara.com/products/motionbuilder/index.php?filename=download

M.

Wegg
09-01-2003, 06:54 PM
Oh Michel you little spammer you. . .

;)

I enjoyed your aticle in 3D-World on story telling.

Geco
09-01-2003, 07:46 PM
http://www.geocities.com/kl_aktuell/temp/sword2.txt http://www.geocities.com/kl_aktuell/temp/shocked.txt http://www.geocities.com/kl_aktuell/temp/sword1.txt
________ Michel

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