View Full Version : Applying motion capture to an animator friendly rig

01 January 2008, 05:31 PM
Hi there,

I'm new to mocap, and was wondering how I can get data on to an animator friendly rig where it can bet massageed and tweaked with an animator friendly rig (similar to all those cool free rigs out there like SimpleGuy, FinalRig, etc.).

A lot of sites out there only go over how to apply it from one bare skeleton to another. And having animators (or anyone) work with joints is yuk :)


02 February 2008, 01:03 PM
I recently had to create a mocap short (which was against my expectations, totally awesome) and I also wanted extra control.

While porting mocap data directly onto another existing rig might be hard, but what I did was copy the supplied skeleton and build some basical control for it (IK arms and legs to lock the hands and feet if necessary) and a control to to change the orientation of the head, since when you act in an empty studio, your acting doesn't always match up with the environment you built.

It's very similar to how you'd build an IK FK switch, only the FK is simply the exisiting mocap data. In the case of the head it was just a control built on top of the standard mocap data. There's realyl no limit to how much controls you can add. All you need is a rig with the mocap data, a rig for control, and one rig which you can use to blend between the two, and skin the actual model to.

A warning though, while the mocap studio who cleaned and supplied us with the mocap data ensured us the rotational values wouldn't exceed normal values, I often had crazy rotatonal values where some axis went above 720 degrees and stuff like that (and since I was the noe acting it out, I can assure you my elbow is pretty far from that flexible). This is a problem when blending between different rigs.

Althought this might not nearly be the control you'd want, I found working with mocap data to be very tricky and often was best of working with what I had in a creative fashion, rather than trying to have every movement perfect like I would when animating by hand and not finishing the project on time. :)

Good luck!

02 February 2008, 05:03 AM
Thanks very much for the info! My take on the whole process is that a lot of specific control is sacrificed by going with mocap, especially in the spine, no? The solutions for pinning the arms/legs with IK sound pretty good, but how do you keep the mocap "micro movements" when using the IKs?

Do you know of any commercial rigs for Maya that will take mocap data, similar to Biped in Max?

Thanks again!

02 February 2008, 02:08 PM
what i did for a similar project was i did all the mocap animation and keyframe blending in biped then exported an fbx to maya. was very fast

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