View Full Version : considering messiah for this project...opinions?

02 February 2006, 01:42 AM
Ok, Iīm an old timer regarding Lightwave but know very little on Messiah. All what I know comes from playing with the demo I got around here.
Iīm going to make a cool project and it will require quite a lot of character animation, and SPECIALLY I want to make a cool rig for the characters (there are several but all of them look quite the same, so the setup would be exactly the same as well).
Let me say I know my way regarding LW setups and I feel right at home using all the fancy stuff including expressions and similar features.

Now, I would really prefer to do this completely in LW as it wouldnīt require learning anything new, but Iīm afraid a few things make me lean toward using Messiah. Please give me your opinion on the following and feel free to correct any misconceptions you find here:

1- The character welds a sword. Itīs two handed, but occasionally he might go single-handed...always single-handed with the same arm.
I want to animate the sword from a control null at the base and force the arms to follow, so I was thinking on using IK for one arm, and IK/FK blend for the other and parent both goals to the swordīs base control null, so that when I move this null both arms follow, but I can deactive the IK for the IK/FK arm so that for those frames that one wonīt follow.
Another way for doing this might also be using dynamic parenting for the "rebel" armīs IK goal (parent/unparent to the control null) instead of IK/FK blending.

All this sounds like it should work nicely, but in my opinion both FK/IK blending and dynamic parenting are not very responsive features in LW. FK/IK blending solutions Iīve seen so far donīt look nice at all, and Parenter is the devil, specially with IK involved around.

2-As Iīm going to spend quite a lot of time with the character I want the setup to really shine, so I could show off a bit when the projectīs done. Armatures really look like the best way to show off with a cool setup :deal:

3- Expressions evaluation speed might be (or not, not sure yet) an issue.

4- I will need to load a video at the background for reference, and maybe (not sure) occasional rotoscoping animation.

5- I will need some soft body dynamics. Not really something brutal, but some motion for the lower end of the cloak of the character (not really a cloak but wide trousers) and also a couple of cords at the back of the character. Something similar to a hair braid or pony tail but less "important" for the character. I will need collisions for both of this. They are pretty secondary, so really I wouldnīt want to have to animate them would slow quite a bit the process.
I donīt know how efficient soft body dynamics are currently at messiah.

6- Super fast OpenGL is surely not going to hurt :D

7- Rendering will be done in LW. No doubt about this.

So...your opinion? I go for Messiah, or do I keep my faster work flow in LW (faster because I would have to learn Messiah) even with the limitations? Any problems I might find at Messiah that you could anticipate?

02 February 2006, 06:07 AM
No question. Get Messiah. Its the perfect tool for this project.

02 February 2006, 10:41 AM
messiah is a big step up for a lightwave user

all your questions Messiah is the answer

02 February 2006, 10:47 AM
I would specifically like to know your opinion on the Messiah soft body dynamics state, because Iīve read both good and bad things about it so Iīm a bit confused on how well they will behave.

02 February 2006, 03:29 PM
Not in answer to your last question but having come from LW to messiah for character animation - I can say that I would never rig a character in LW again - I'd always go Messiah:animate, connected to LW via Point Oven Pro. That's a top tip - don't connect the two unless you have to - for larger projects/scenes, POP is the way forward!

02 February 2006, 03:30 PM
I happen to know of an instructional video that walks you through how to get some fairly compelling results from soft bodies in Messiah. . . <link> ;) (

02 February 2006, 02:09 AM
Messiah expressions are a BLESS !

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