Motion builder and LW character animation

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  04 April 2003
Motion builder and LW character animation

It seems motionBuilder is all the rage inthe minds of some people.
any one care to coment on its usefulnes as a Character animation alternative to lightwaves native tools??

Does motionbuilder open your lightwave rig
like I can with lifeforms 3.9?
do you animate or apply BVH motion the rig in motion builder and send the animated rig back to lightwave, like I can in lifeforms3.9?
(lifeforms to lightwave tests)
http://66.70.166.29/promo/reduced.mpg
http://66.70.166.29/promo/getup.mpg

Can motion builder reverse character animations for backward walks
like i can in Lifefroms 3.9??
(Dont violate the 9pm curfew!!)
http://66.70.166.29/promo/brigade.mpg

Motionbuilder looks cool at $100 but im wondering if its just
another BVH transfer app with "poser" like mannequins

Any wavers here tried it ????

Thanks
 
  04 April 2003
Nearly anything you can get is better than LW for animation--especially character animation. I say give it a try or get project:messiah/messiah:animate.
 
  04 April 2003
Can't comment on other aps. fwiw, that walk cycle would benefit from the shoulders not following the hips heading.
They should move in opposing headings.
Also, parenting the camera to the body's y translation makes the viewing a bit odd.
 
  04 April 2003
Quote: Originally posted by CIM
Nearly anything you can get is better than LW for animation--especially character animation. I say give it a try or get project:messiah/messiah:animate.


I'd love to ty Messiah but alas no mac version :annoyed:

I have the motion builder Demo
but im not going to bother installing it until
Someone can show me that it has any major advantage over lifeforms3.9
for outside animation and applying mocap to a lightwave rigs
 
  04 April 2003
I bought Motionbuilder a few months ago for $100, and I'm super-pleased with it. I've never used Life Forms, but everything you've shown, Motionbuilder is definitely capable of doing.

Here's a quick test that I did with one of Proton's free characters and a mocap file that came with MB:

Noodle Run Test (181K, Quicktime 6 MP4)

Basically, the way it works is that you set up your skelegons according to the naming convention that MB expects, bring it into Layout, and convert them to bones. Save this as your base scene. Then through the FBX exporter, export the scene to Motionbuilder. Fire up MB, click a button to rig your character with full FK/IK control, and you're literally animating in a matter of seconds. It's very easy to apply mocap data (just drag and drop the file onto your character from the asset browser), and it's also got some really powerful tools for keyframe animation as well. You can have multiple layers of animation, similar to how I imagine Key Trak must work (don't know since I've never used it)...there's a pose mixer for blending poses and motions....there's a dope sheet, Fcurve editor, you can add audio, see the waveform and scrub it in real-time....I could go on and on. But basically, once you're done animating, you plot the motion data to the skeleton (again, simple click of a button), which basically makes a key for every bone on every frame). Save your FBX from Motionbuilder, then fire up LW and load your base scene. In the FBX plugin interface, you select "Merge with FBX", and you're all set....set up your textures, any lighting or camera moves that you want and render away.

I'm definitely planning on incorporating it into my workflow for personal projects...the constant realtime feedback is such a nice thing to have, that alone makes it well worth the $100.
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  04 April 2003
Quote: Originally posted by Chewey
Can't comment on other aps. fwiw, that walk cycle would benefit from the shoulders not following the hips heading.


Your being Kind

that chick walking is horrible but it was one of my first attempts at importing
a lightwave rig into the Lifeformsģ walk generator
and exporting it raw back to lightwave
auto walk generators are a good starting point but
they dont spare anyone learning how to tweak and refine in Graph Editor
 
  04 April 2003
Quote: Originally posted by Triple G
I bought Motionbuilder a few months ago for $100, and I'm super-pleased with it. I've never used Life Forms, but everything you've shown, Motionbuilder is definitely capable of doing.



All sounds very familiar to me
except that with lifeforms i can take any LW
Rig with no constraints set.
and just import the bones into lifeforms timeline
and apply Mocap or blend hand keyed animation with
mocap with "blendzones"
apply walks of user definable lengths and stride lengths with the
"walk generator"
Define walk paths(up hill or down hill).

i can import sound but dont need it as i do all my sound in post.
I can import backgroung QT footage for rotoscoping.
and after im done I simply export as native lightwave with the "merge"option
enabled and merge character motion back to the original LW scene rig
I also have the option of thinning the mocap DATA to postion frames only
to avoid a nightmare of trying to fine tune 300 individual keyframes in
Lighwave graph editor

CAN MB thin and reverse mocap DATA???
 
  04 April 2003
Quote: Originally posted by anobrin
CAN MB thin and reverse mocap DATA???


Honestly, I don't know. I would assume so, but like I said, I've really just started with the program and I'm sure I haven't even discovered half of what it's capable of.

For me, it's a great program, and fits nicely into my workflow. I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but if Lifeforms is working well and doing everything you need, then why bother looking for another app to do the same job? That's like firing an employee on the possibility of there being someone out there who's better.
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  04 April 2003
is it then alot easier to do character animation with than normal LW tools? alot easier to mix and match than motion mixer?

Last edited by HowardM : 04 April 2003 at 09:42 PM.
 
  04 April 2003
Quote: Originally posted by Triple G

I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but if Lifeforms is working well and doing everything you need, then why bother looking for another app to do the same job?


You dont sound like a jerk to me bro

I am hearing alot of hype in various web forums about MB
and i just waned to see of it offered some major breakthroughs
in stand alone character animation/mocap editing apps .
so far im not convinced it does.
 
  04 April 2003
I don't know if it offers anything revolutionary as far as features...I think it offers a lot of really good features, but probably not much that you can't find in other apps already (though as I said, I've still got quite a bit to learn with it, so I could be wrong). The thing that made it so attractive to me (especially being a Mac user who has grown accustomed to less-than-stellar OpenGL performance) was the fact that pretty much everything you do in this program is real-time. There is no "make preview" button, because it isn't necessary. I haven't really tested it's limits to see how far I can take it, but I've had scenes with two medium-detail characters, fully IK/FK rigged, running around and interacting with each other and I've still gotten 15-20fps playback speed (which is not phenomenal seeing how my machine is not exactly a speed demon), but to try and do the same thing in Lightwave would be impossible if I wanted any kind of feedback that I could animate with.

Another thing that's great is the Kaydara support staff. They are hands down the best, most knowledgeable, most accessible, and most eager to please their customers, support staff I have ever come across. Plus, it really seems like they have a lot of really cool features planned for future versions. I think they've got a great foundation off of which to build, and that's what really convinced me to jump on board.
__________________
Gregg Domain
Visual Effects Artist
www.greggdomain.com
--------------
Get Into Adobe After Effects
 
  04 April 2003
Hey if you donít want to invest the $100 for MB why not get it for free?
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?threadid=55117

Also you could download some of the 3dbuzz VTMís to get an idea of what MB can do and how it works. You can sign up for free at http://www.3dbuzz.com/ and DL hoursí worth of training videos.

Well worth a try
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  04 April 2003
How come you arent useing poser wolfie?
I thought you had said before that poser was very good at this character animation.
Someone over there at lightwave/renderosity wrote a plug to import all morphs for your vicky and mike dolls into Lightwave to animate?
I thought he had something for rigging to?

I might be mistaken.
 
  04 April 2003
Quote: Originally posted by Triple G
. The thing that made it so attractive to me (especially being a Mac user who has grown accustomed to less-than-stellar OpenGL performance) was the fact that pretty much everything you do in this program is real-time. There is no "make preview" button, because it isn't necessary. I haven't really tested it's limits to see how far I can take it, but I've had scenes with two medium-detail characters, fully IK/FK rigged, running around and interacting with each other and I've still gotten 15-20fps playback speed (which is not phenomenal seeing how my machine is not exactly a speed demon), but to try and do the same thing in Lightwave would be impossible if I wanted any kind of feedback that I could animate with.


Yeah being a mac user is what got my interest
the Native OSX support and open GL etc.
Ill play with 30 day demo

Thanks
:airguitar
 
  04 April 2003
Quote: Originally posted by wgreenlee1
How come you arent useing poser wolfie?
I thought you had said before that poser was very good at this character animation.


I am william but its getting bit long in the tooth


Eyes on the horizon bro
Eyes on the horizon
 
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