View Full Version : Morphs and mdd files

08 August 2005, 02:00 PM
Ok, having a bit of an issue, wondering if someone can shed some light.

I have animated a character in Maya and brought it into Lightwave via the LW2Maya scripts. For those of you not farmilliar with the process, it basically creates a .mdd file to apply to your mesh in Lightwave. It alleviates the need for one to do character work in Lightwave.

I have my scene set up and everything is working fine, I can see exactly what I saw in maya. The problem I am having is that I am trying to forgo the mophing in Maya, and I am trying to do it directly in Lightwave.

So heres the problem. I apply the mdd file using the mdd plug. I set the Key option to on. I then apply the morph mixer underneath the mdd plug. I get morphs, and I get the deforemed mesh from the mdd file. Everything is working. But... what I also get is the morphs swimming all over the mesh. sort of like textures with world space turned on. Well not quite like that, but its the only thing I can compare it to.

Does anyone have any suggestions to help resolve this issue?

08 August 2005, 03:46 PM
The way the morphs and MDDs work mean that any rotation that your character goes through (in Maya) will be translated into the Morphs as a point translation not a rotation (Morphs and MDDs only translate points). So when you apply your morphs in LW its just moving the points ignoring the bone rotations that would effect it if done in Maya.
Basically there is no way to use morphs with MDDs and get them to work correctly that I know of.
Sorry :(

If someone can come up with a way they can get this to work then I'd love to hear about it.

(I've worked with a similar pipeline on Captain Scarlet and we had to do all the Lipsync in Maya because of this)

08 August 2005, 11:18 PM
Yep, I just said screw the Lw potion of the morphing. I had to resculpt some of the targets, however I got things working fine in the end. It's little things like this that bug me about lightwave.

08 August 2005, 01:29 AM
I work the same way with XSI and LW but uses the point oven plugin
with point oven you can load the MDD into modeler and edit the whole thing there
Check the videos out on the point oven site

I have never done it myself I do everything in XSI and just straight export but It can be done with Pointoven

Sorry not a real usefull post but it may help if you really need it

08 August 2005, 02:09 PM
Hi, T4D
You use pointoven with XSI right?
But still want to ask you, once i use pointoven to bake mdd from maya 6.0 , when i plug the mdd file to lightwave(or even back to maya), nothing was seen, but only a vertice in the origin.

Did you have such experience?

08 August 2005, 02:16 PM
no havn't had a problem yet
the new pointoven doesn't uses mdd file any more
Mark made his own format pod or something:shrug:

but anyway Check out the new version and it should fix your problem :thumbsup:

For me in XSI all i do is hit Pointoven import and everything just comes in nicely

08 August 2005, 05:52 PM
yes...i have try to export the maya scene to LW scene directly with all the exported mesh, psc, mdd...etc,instead of mdd only, but it still doesn't work.

anyway, thx for your reply:)

08 August 2005, 04:37 AM
Hey cheung0402, did you set the subdivision order to last?

08 August 2005, 05:08 AM
did you try this? i had similiar problems and this worked for me.

add md_metaplug_morph after you add md_metaplug.

08 August 2005, 02:55 PM
sure i have set the subdivision order to last

08 August 2005, 05:43 PM
did you try this? i had similiar problems and this worked for me.

add md_metaplug_morph after you add md_metaplug.

So did this help or work for you at all?

08 August 2005, 07:43 PM
I am sorry to inform you that what you desire its impossible.

Morphing works in Relative coordinates, i.e move this point this far, relative to the origianal position. MDD works in absolute world coordinates and applying morphing after MDD will never work.

The MDD baking takes place at the END of the animation process, so you will have to do the morphs before baking.

The KeyMode of MDD is used when you want to "move,rotate,scale" the animation elsewhere in the scene i.e transform the world coordinates by an offset.
You can also apply a procedural texture on top of the MDD tranformation, even though this is a rare case.

Morphing is something very specific and you cannot have such access applied to a baked MDD file.

Hope this helps

08 August 2005, 02:20 AM
I agree with Jeremy Hardin. Is possible to work with morphs and MDD files in Lightwave. Just load a copy of your mesh (the which has the mdd file applied) and parent to it. Then (for this new object), add FX_Metalink, then FX_Metalink_Morph and finally MorphMixer. In FX_Metalink_Morph, set every_time_morph (morph mode), set Subdivision_Order Last and use endomorphs as you desire :)


08 August 2005, 06:34 AM
Pretty weird. I faced this problem long time ago where this plugin didnt exist.
I spent long time trying to find the above explanation and then I gave up.

Seems that INO overtook the limitation. Meta-plugs work like lattice-deformation,
however I am not certain if the morphing is accurate, or is identical to the same result generated by pre-morphing and post-baking.

08 August 2005, 07:53 AM
Panikos, that happens to me sometimes too; seems that tools don't stop of improving :)
at least here, morphs are accurate (if subdivision order to last isn't a limitation)


08 August 2005, 08:07 AM
Gerardo :thumbsup:

Its impossible to remember / monitor everything.
Its great you are in the community :)

08 August 2005, 09:24 AM
Hey! Thanks Panikos. I also appreciate a lot your great and constant contribution, man :)


P.D.: Thanks to Jeremy too, I didn't remember that thing :D

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