Project Messiah 6

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  04 April 2013
Quote: No need to export anything out, unless, you have a very specific, narrow pipeline.

I wouldn`t call the export for game needs or for rendering in another app a specific or narrow pipeline
  04 April 2013
Perhaps you could pass on some files that were trouble in the past, and let those using/testing Messiah V.6 check it out and get back to you.
  04 April 2013
PMG has those files. Ask them. I am done with this app. But thanks for the offer.
  04 April 2013
Ok, so messiah v5 isn't good for import/export to game engines. Duly noted. The focus of the developer (yes, one guy) is animation and rendering for short film and vfx production. Artists who wish to use messiah for that type of work may find messiah useful.
Chad Gleason
Creative Director
Outpost 12 Studios
  04 April 2013
I've been exporting via FBX to Unity from messiah for over a year and have not had any problems with that. I set the materials up in Unity, the UVs and everything else you need to do that all come across just fine. I've always set up my materials and lights in the final target application, be that rendering or games. This makes sense because this data is stored and treated differently in different applications.
Character Modeller/Rigger/Animator/Programmer.
  04 April 2013
Once you set up your materials in messiah:studio, they stay. You can now continue to change your model and when you re-load your changes the material options you pick remain with the surfaces that are in your scene. I use the OBJ format most of the time and the quick process of loading in my images and applying them to their UV is a tiny micro-fraction of the time it takes to then set up my rig, animate, light, render etc. I think .mtl support would be nice but it seems a little odd that that is such a deal breaker for you.
  04 April 2013
Interesting that you folks continues to ride at this material issue, and ignore the main issue

No. That`s just a sidenote with the mtl file. One of those many annoyers that can be found in Messiah, and one that gave me a big laugh. Geez, a 3D developer that doesn`t know that a Obj file always comes with a mtl file too, rofl! But nope, that`s not the deal breaker.

The deal breaker is that i have no pipeline. It doesn`t help me that FBX seems to work for others. It didn`t work for me. When i export a mesh with more than one Material with FBX, then i get the first UV working. And the second and any further UV gets killed at the character. The mapping is destroyed then. And FBX is the only useful format in Messiah for exporting bones animations.

The story with the Obj is equal to FBX. But here it kills the UV not only at export when there is more than one material applied, but already at import. So even when leaving the mtl issue asides, Obj is not really implemented very well.

The story with 3DS and DXF is that it simply crashes. And exporting with LWO was simply no option. Does it even have the ability to transfer bones animation? I can`t remember. I just remember that this was also no working pipeline for me.

And that was it with the file formats. Nothing more left. I have no pipeline. Could you agree with me that no working pipeline is a deal breaker?

And the other deal breaker was that the support simply has quit responding after they got the example files, and has left me alone with the problems. I can live with bugs. I`ve been a beta tester for a 3D software in the past. I know that shit happens, and was always a happy helper in such cases. But simply ignoring its customers without reason is something that`s not acceptable.
  04 April 2013

Again, if you're coming out of Messiah via FBX, why would you be doing anything inside Messiah with materials? I don't follow there. Yes, I get that it doesn't do what you expect it to do. I get that when you put more than one mat on an object and export it, you hit the bug wall. My question is why that HAS to be your pipeline. I don't get it, I know the other Messiah users posting don't get it and you've not explained it.

It's like you're driving down the road and you see the bridge is out. You can stop your car and swear at the river or you can take the detour. Which do you think will get you to your destination first? I pointed out two other pipelines that work fine for folks in production using Messiah. Ulven's described his pipeline to Unity that works fine for him. Messiah users use OBJ-in to create their animations all the time as Wegg describes. So you're not without options, you just can't use the pipeline you think you should be able to use.

My original point to you, which I think you've missed (or simply don't care to acknowledge), is that Messiah works in a specific way. That way may or may not line up with your preferences and priorities. PmG's development budget focuses on what a core group of users that Fori respects tell him needs to be addressed and what he himself chooses to focus on. He doesn't take requests from the room, so to speak and he doesn't make himself accessible often via Setuptab. Setuptab's not PmG's website, mind you. It was set up by Wegg, a very valuable Messiah user, out of the goodness of his heart. So if Messiah doesn't do what you need in its current state, set it aside. However, don't trash the app because it doesn't work the way you think it should.

To new users considering Messiah I will say this. More than any other application I've used, Messiah requires the good will of your fellow users to gain any proficiency with. The community at Setuptab is your manual to the program for all intents and purposes. They're helpful, smart... and very busy folks. Most importantly, they're people. First impressions are important. Tact is important. PmG is a small developer with a very closed culture. All that together can make learning Messiah a daunting task. Have that in mind, before you lay down your coin.
"I am a leaf on the wind..." -Wash
  04 April 2013
Quote: Again, if you're coming out of Messiah via FBX, why would you be doing anything inside Messiah with materials? I don't follow there.

"Not working" must be really hard to understand, heh.

I don`t do anything with the materials inside of Messiah. I talk about shot down UVs with a character that has more than one material applied.

Let`s say i have a character with a body, a sword and a helmet. Each has its own texture and mapping, and so its own material. Now i import the parts by using LWO, and union this to one character at one skeleton. After export by FBX the UV of the body is intact. But the mapping of the sword and the helmet is destroyed.

There`s just this pipeline across FBX. There is no alternative. So please stop talking about alternative workflows, stop trying to twist the issues here. The mtl issue and this material thing is something completely different. The showstopper for me was the shot down UV at export. The only available pipeline is not working for me.

And yes, i have already understood that this works for others. But it did not work for me. And i got ignored when i reported this issue.

Quote: My original point to you, which I think you've missed (or simply don't care to acknowledge), is that Messiah works in a specific way.

I have already understand that point. Use it as is. When it works, then fine. When not, then leave. I just saw no need to discuss this any further.

Point is, when nobody is willing to ask the developer for a change and bugfixes, when nobody wants to tell him what he does wrong, then nothing will happen. When everybody who still uses Messiah is just fine with the software, and all other users gets scared away, then we end in something like we have now. A big and nearly useless mess with a few hardcore fans left that are happy with everything that the developer does.

It would be a different story when this software would be freeware. But it is not. I have paid money for this software. I expect it to work. What counts for me is if the software does the job, that`s why i buy it. But Messiah did not do the job. And i got ignored at the support end, which is the second no go. Nuff said.

Quote: Setuptab's not PmG's website, mind you.

The only moment when i mentioned Setuptab was the moment when i mentioned that PMG doesn`t even have a own support forum. But a userdriven Fanforum. I didn`t even mention the name. So what`s this note about here?

I didn`t even mention my negative experiences with it. Well, now i do because you force me to. A forum filled with fanatic fans is never a good support forum. Ive had my portion of the Setuptab friendliness already, thanks. And i will not go into detail here. But that`s the reason why it is important that there`s not only a forum full of fans. But an official support forum. Which is missing. Missing like an actual manual, or a flickerfree viewport, or working file formats, or ... ah there`s so much.

Just curious, does Version 6 still come with the Manual from Version 4, or did he write the Version 5 manual already?

At the moment we have a Messiah car that has wheels without rubber, the motor is loosing oil, the steering wheel is broken, the seats are missing, i cannot even move because the coupling is broken too, and you tell me that i have to live with that. That nobody needs seats, the car moves fine when you push it by hand, that it doesnt matter where the car moves to as long as it moves, that the wheels also works without rubber. And that the Messiah car is the best car of the world.

Well, when you are satisfied with this car, fine. But i am definitely not. I have wasted time and money here.
  04 April 2013
K, I'm following you, Tiles, and everything you've said about PmG is pretty factual. I myself have had similar experiences with bug reports not being addressed. To give you a bit of anecdotal background, one of the things I bought Messiah originally for was the armature feature only to discover bugs in it that made it unusable for what I had planned. I reported the problems, even got on the Beta group to help out with testing. My issues didn't get fixed though. I was lucky enough to get gimbal view rotations in though, so I know my suggestions weren't being completely ignored. As I said, Fori listens to a core group of his users and that request must have been mirrored by the right people.

I concur on the atrocious state of the docs. When I, a new user, have to explore and correct documentation for existing functions (chainwave() for example), there's a problem. This is what I mean when I say, the community is your manual. That's not something I'd ever experienced before using Messiah and I can't say it's a selling point.

As for SetupTab and its culture, my experience was a positive one there. I will say this, the community at SetupTab can mirror Fori in unpleasant ways. They like the tool, they use the tool in their work everyday. They don't like people to trash talk their tool, because among other things it questions their own judgment. So when folks come in and start yelling about this not working the way it should or that being broken, they often say something along the lines of what you've seen here. To paraphrase, "Messiah doesn't work that way, it works this way. Learn how to use it the way that works." It's a very pragmatic view, a work with what you have and get the job done sort of view. It's also a view that turns off many folks because they feel their concerns are not being addressed, like yourself.

I feel a little disingenuous for debating you on Messiah's merits when I myself use Maya in my day to day now, for exactly some of these reasons you describe. When I came out of AM I went looking for an alternative to Maya for cost reasons primarily. So I gave Messiah a serious try (1.5 to 2 years as I said.) I learned quickly that you get what you pay for. Messiah is a serious character animation tool, but it is a tool built by a few people with limited resources, interests and competencies. PmG doesn't employ a team of folks to keep documentation up to date. They don't have a team for QA and bug tracking (at least not publicly). They're a small group who put their tool out there for you to use, take it or leave it. I eventually tired of bumping my head up against undocumented problems and blind alleyways. So I girded my loins and went back to the tool I knew despite having to deal with the devil that is Autodesk.

I spoke up, because I know for a lot of users Messiah is a great tool. As the cliche goes, it's a poor craftsman that blames his tools. That said though, it would be a lie to say that PmG couldn't do a lot better at supporting and connecting with their users. I guess it just that I feel there needs to be a balanced and hopefully unbiased view point when it comes to the software, so that potential users can make an informed decision. They should know that Messiah is a great character animation tool, but that it's also a very quirky and mercurial one. They should know up front that its not like one of the big three (Max, Maya and XSI), where you can sit down with the docs and find your answers. New users are going to have to dig, they're going to have to ask questions and their going to be reliant on the good will of their fellow users to learn the software. If they know this up front, then hopefully they can avoid buyer's regret and they can set their expectations accordingly.
"I am a leaf on the wind..." -Wash

Last edited by nimajneb : 04 April 2013 at 11:31 PM.
  04 April 2013
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