View Full Version : Multiple characters with Lightwave...

07 July 2003, 12:46 AM
Hi all,

What's the best workflow for handling multiple characters with the greatest flexibility between Lightwave and MB? I have some scenes with 3 of my characters, some with more, some with less.


Jim Arthurs

07 July 2003, 05:15 AM
Setup each character individually and create the FBX file for setup in MB. Use the load from scene function to combine all three LW setups together in one scene. Do the same in Motion Builder, except you use the append scene selection when adding to a scene. This way each character has it's own LWS and FBX file.

07 July 2003, 06:29 AM
Hi and thanks Dave.

Wow, I'm really missing something here. Let me first mention that I've had success with the single character scenerio. Back and forth from LW with no issues.

I've tried creating a combined scene using load from scene on three characters, then doing the same in the same order in MB. Trouble with re-importing the final combined fbx with the new combined LW scene. Merging brings up error messages saying it can't find each bone in turn.

Have you done this successfully, or is this just a working theory of what to do with multiple characters? I must be leaving out something very critical, but can't see what that would be.

Thanks again,

Jim Arthurs

07 July 2003, 06:46 AM
You can't merge all the characters.
You have to plot each character in MB, select it's root and branches, then "save selection" - so each character gets it's own fbx file out of MB.
Then merge each character's fbx file with it's corresponding LW scene - then create a new LW scene and "Load from scene" each animated character from it's scene into this new scene.

that's it.

07 July 2003, 03:07 PM
Thanks Cman, that's the ticket!

I'd originally tried this procedure but spent way too much time deleting all the other characters in my combined .fbx instead of just exporting the desired character selection. Duh! Your method works well, thanks.

However, much needs to be done by Kaydara to improve this workflow. I've got a couple scenes with 11 interacting characters. So, for this one scene I have 11 original .lws files, their 11 companion .fbx files, the mondo merged .fbx with all characters, then the 11 exported .fbx's and 11 temp .lws and the final combined Lightwave scene. That's a total of 46 separate files to manage for one scene. Yikes!

No massive army of Orcs possible with this method, at least not with Lightwave. Is the workflow for multiple characters this unweldly for 3DS and Maya?

Thanks again Cman and 3DDave.

Jim Arthurs

07 July 2003, 05:27 PM
Acording to this thread ( it seems the answer is yes - at least maya.

07 July 2003, 02:36 AM
I thought by making sure the names of the reference node of each character was different, you could just use one scene.

Has anyone tested this?

07 July 2003, 02:43 AM
Good link, CMan.

I would try this in LW. Name your bones as per MB's naming convention, but add a prefix to it that is tied to the character.

Like you have CharA and CharB, the hips on each would be called A_Hips and B_Hips.

I do realize that you can't autocharacterize now (unless MB 5 had a prefix filter with pattern matching... :) ), but it would be a matter of dragging and dropping the bones in the proper spots... I think the time saved would be well worth it.

But I would try renaming the reference node first.

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