should MotionBuilder have it's own skinning process?

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  08 August 2013
should MotionBuilder have it's own skinning process?

okay... unless i'm missing something it seems odd motionbuilder doesn't have it's own skinning process.

you'd think software that specializes in character animation would have it

  08 August 2013
From my limited understanding of the inter workings of MotionBuilder I would say there are two main reasons. First of which is that MotionBuilder's strengths are not in manipulating point data and modeling or editing polygons. It is a streamlined system for recording and playing animation and simulations in real time. It is considered a Real Time 3D Engine. That is something more on the lines of a game.

It would seem as if weight painting would require the same kind of code base you'd have for a 3D app (that can manipulate and edit objects as well as points) which Mobu is not. To change that would likely change how fast and efficient it is at animation which is why we use it.

The second reason is that MotionBuilder is just an animation package that already has to rely on other apps for all of the other aspects of production. So it would be a redundant tool to add that would not be necessary considering everyone already uses other tools for this. And it makes more since to keep point and polygon data on that side of it anyway. Relating back to the first reason.

This is mostly conjecture. I really have no idea what makes it tick inside other than you can know by reading the same things I have.

Such as:
Richard Culver
Protfolio Facebook WIP1 WIP2

Last edited by cineartist : 08 August 2013 at 04:59 AM.
  08 August 2013
Those are all interesting points... i do love working in Motionbuilder. but i do find skinning a pain-in-the-but process sometimes.

maybe down the road a fast skinning process will be added.

thanks for the thoughts!
  08 August 2013
Well you are right. Skinning is indeed a very tedious process and there is really no fast track to it. Body deformation can be extremely hard to get right in certain places.

I find though that it is a process of 3 main things you have to consider.

1) Modeling.

Here is a great website that talks about how important polyflow is to good deformation. Lots of good examples and theory on the subject.

A good study and it looks like he has some new stuff on facial animation that is going to be a good read.

2) Bone placement. For this references to actual skeletons are helpful to see where the joints fall within the mesh.

3) And finally skinning.

It is a balance of all of these things that makes it work. And is one of the reasons why when you are skinning you want to be in the modeling and rigging app. They are all related.
Richard Culver
Protfolio Facebook WIP1 WIP2
  09 September 2013
Really great site!.. Thanks. i'll spend some time looking over all that info.

that's the first site i've seen yet that has practical info about character animation.

and your right about those 3 factors... and they're the kind of things you don't know until you really get in there and start doing it.

thanks again
  09 September 2013
You're welcome. I can't remember where I got the link to that site the first time. Someone on a forum.

Regarding his examples. As an exercise a while back I took and copied his body polyflow, vert by vert and made an exact duplicate. I don't think you have to copy him like that, but it helped me understand his theory much better.

And by the way, I have not mastered this yet. Like you I am still a student of the process and I am just sharing what I have learned so far. Hope it helps.
Richard Culver
Protfolio Facebook WIP1 WIP2
  09 September 2013
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