View Full Version : I somehow feel I'm missing the point...

11 November 2006, 11:00 PM
...of Motionbuilder when used with Max or Maya.

I understand that it's great to get an auto FK/IK rig for bipeds and quadrapeds with dynamics etc, but can MB do more complex animation (like animating fingers and toes, and very complex custom rigs for facial animation)?

Otherwise, surely Autodesk could just have put the FK/IK rig functionality in Max (and more recently, Maya).

What are the benefits of using MB for, say, facial animation (using a complex custom rig), over scripting something in Max or Maya?

Can it handle blendshapes as well as bones?

Please don't think I'm criticising the app - it obviously has some great features. Can someone just explain to me the benefits? It was a bit of an impulse "I need to spend money" buy!! :)



11 November 2006, 11:08 PM
In terms of facial animation, no, I don't think there is a benefit to using MB. Actually, I would say it isn't as nice as using something like Maya or Max

MB is a great MoCap editing tool, and I would say that is where you will see it shine.

If you are going to just be keframing something, and have the ability and time to create a great rig, then I would say stick with Maya or Max.
On the other hand, if you need a quick rig that works, and are going to be dealing with and editing a lot of MoCap, I would say that MB is worth a look

11 November 2006, 11:19 PM

Thanks for the (very quick!) reply. That has basically confirmed what I was thinking re facial animation.

I am starting to look at moCap more and more. What is the "standard" biped rig like in MB? Is it suitable for highly realistic animation (ie is it a detailed rig)? I can't really tell from the demo videos I've seen.

I guess MB would prove useful if I was doing moCap which I could then export to Maya as clips for use in Trax...?



11 November 2006, 01:36 AM
I think that you can get quite decent results with it.
It does have controls for fingers and toes, but I am not very familiar with them.
The best thing to do would be to download the free version and play around with it, doing some tutials from the Autodesk site

11 November 2006, 11:54 AM
One of the best features on MB. And a must for editing mocap.

It helps a lot on keyframing from scratch also, but I don't know if you can so easily edit mocap without layers (I've only done that in MB).

It's hard to understand it as a concept, the best is to try it yourself to understand why is it so handfull.


11 November 2006, 02:03 PM
I use motionbuilder almost exclusively for keyframe animation - including the fingers which is quite easy. I also use blendshapes (you can also use bones or clusters) in MB for facial animation. Facial setup takes longer than the body rig, but I always save anytime lost with realtime animation feedback. My 0.02 :).

11 November 2006, 11:40 AM

My entire animation pipeline is completely inside MotionBuilder. MotionBuilder has some pretty powerful tools that most people may not be aware of. The Relations constraint tool is probably worth it's weight in gold to TD/Rigger type people since they can hook up expressions and constraints, in a visual way, and tweak values while the animation is playing back in real-time. Not too many other packages can do that. The other big feature is the interoperability of the FBX file format. As long as you have the current plug-in, it's fairly easy to get models/bones/cameras in and out of MotionBuilder, after laying down your animation and going to light and render.

Using the Relations tool and the import function from Maya, I was able to recreate Jason Osipa's "Stop Staring" rig in less than a day (the marker controllers for the shapes are hidden because I only rendered Objects). It may not mean much since you already have the rig working in Maya but combine this, with real-time audio playback, real-time animation playback, deep constraints and visual constraints system, and you will get work done ALOT faster than working in Maya or Max.

Everyone has a package they love and will fight over it religiously as "the best". I can only recommend that you evaluate MB and decide for yourself if it's something that you want to use. Each package has it's strengths and weaknesses and it's up to the user to overcome them and provide the talent to make them sing.

To each, their own.

-=Lone Canuck=-

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