Joint rotation errors when exporting animation from MoBu

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  07 July 2013
Joint rotation errors when exporting animation from MoBu


I am attempting to export some mocap animations from MotionBuilder 2012 to 3ds Max 2012 and Unity game engine (either would be fine), but I find that rotations of some joints are wrong in the exported animations. Here is an example of one such animation:

For example, if you view this animation side by side in MoBu and Max and compare the pose of the right arm at frame 625, you will notice that the pose appears incorrect in Max. The exact same issue is present when I import this animation into Unity 3.

I suspect there is problem with my workflow, but I'm not sure what it might be. Here is a rough overview of what I did:

1) WaitForBus animation, like all the others I'm working with, originate from the "MoBu-friendly" distribution of the CMU mocap database from cgspeed -

2) After importing the motion into MoBu (File -> Motion File Import), I retarget it to a particular character (originating from 3ds Max; skinned; fully defined MoBu naming template and correctly defined T-pose) and immediately bake it (Bake (plot) Skeleton).

3) Next, I perform some basic cleanup. In particular, for WaitForBus animation I performed some keyframing in AnimLayer1 to fix rotations of upper arm joints, and these joints are the ones that look wrong in the exported animation. I don't think that's a coincidence.

4) I export the animation by going through "Da Vinci menu" -> File -> Save Character Animation. This produces the FBX file I submitted above.

5) I tried importing this FBX file into Max in several ways:
i) File -> Import in Max itself
ii) Sending it from MoBu: File -> Send to 3ds Max -> Send as New Scene

In all cases, the animation looks the same (i.e. wrong).

Does anyone have an idea what I might be doing wrong? Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. Please let me know if you require more information.
  07 July 2013
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