View Full Version : Animating over mocap in Maya

11 November 2006, 04:23 PM
Hi to all you generous Maya and Motion Builder experts willing to answer daft questions.

It's been some time since I haven't transferred files from Motion Builder to Maya and vice versa. ( I worked quite a lot on it before Motion Builder was bought by Alias which now has been bought by Autodesk :) )

My question is the following:

I heared that Maya now has a ready made setup which is very similar to Motion Builder's setup. If this is true, is there a way import the mocap and animate over it in Maya?

My sincere thank you to whoever answers this.


11 November 2006, 08:01 PM
heard anything like that. I might just not have run across it if anything. Just wondering why you would want to use Maya to animate? I think Maya is nice to use if you are not using mocap and have a nice rig with cool features that you cannot get with MB. Other than that I think MB is easier to work with and is realtime. I dont like wasting my time playblasting animation, especially when I have a great option to choose from. Good Luck.

11 November 2006, 09:30 AM
Thanks for answering.

It's more a question of building a potential pipeline where the hard core Mocap would be done MB in one unit and more subtle animations, secondary animations and refinements would be done in another unit in Maya.

The rendering would also be done in Maya of course.

So is it the case that the only thing one can import into Maya is the baked animation from MB?

11 November 2006, 05:06 PM
Favian points out one plus that is often overlooked when considering how deep motion builder is foing to be integrated in your pipeline- realtime feedback.

...also locked, scrubbing, waveform track for any audio you are matching. :thumbsup:

11 November 2006, 05:41 PM
Hey softdistortion,

I know well Motion Builder and like it quite a lot.

My problem right now is working with two different studios, and one is not up for changing their animators to MB.

Actually my problem is getting people to animate over .fbx files in Maya :)

11 November 2006, 08:36 PM
really attempted to animate over mocap, for this studio anyways, in Maya. It might be a bit tricky depending on the far as the vector values being distributed back and forth I think thats the way it works. I only use MB for mocap and animation, the other things like dynamics, blendshapes, etc...I dont touch, its just not in our pipeline and we can already get things done faster in Maya.
I hope I answered your question more or less...let me know if I can help further :D

11 November 2006, 01:04 AM
what Richard is refering to the character retargeting tools in maya. These are not really designed for mocap in maya....even though its based off technology from House of Moves.

Its more for retargeting animation from one character to another....although Motion builder works a LOT better for this

As for the mocap, we do all clean up in Motion Builder, and then thrua few tools I wrote here, finish all animation in maya.


11 November 2006, 11:37 AM
Re-targeting stuf would be done in MB, it is the best software for it.

The problem is emulating MB's rig ( which I think is the best one for animating over mocap ) in Maya, which I had heared at the time Alias was going to do, and was wandering if they had done.

I'd like to know more about the tools you've developed.

Do you want to drop me an e-mail? (

11 November 2006, 07:06 PM
In Maya 7, the Maya team introduced Full Body IK, which is essentially the HumanIK engine that MotionBuilder uses for it's Full Body Control Rig. Data can be passed back and forth between the two packages now, including animation on the control rig (with the latest FBX plug-ins! Make sure you update yours!).

The missing piece here is that Maya has no concept of animation layering (unless you 'roll-it-yourself'), so additive layers in MB will not come over into Maya - you will have to plot them out.


Curtis Garton

11 November 2006, 07:17 PM
I appreciate your generosity in answering, you got the essence of my question.

Are there any commercial tools that fill in this gap? Or is it a matter of massive R&D?



12 December 2006, 10:30 AM
I found it to be pain in a butt, dealing with mocap inside maya, even you can import clips so on, but still not so flexible as MotionBuilder!
Yes i wish it had animation layering concept, i was on meeting with Autodesk, i've asked them about animation layring system.
We'll see if that would come in future releases.

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