Smoothing LightWave Keys - Any Easy Way?

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  08 August 2012
Smoothing LightWave Keys - Any Easy Way?

Hi All,

Hey, is there any way to easily smooth out lightwave keys?
Here's a screen grab below that has the key's velocity (the yellow/white line) turned on.

https://skydrive.live.com/#cid=3E7D...480DE7888%21592

Notice how jagged and unsmooth the velocity on the keys are. I can spend a minute and delete 2/3 of these and the smoothness will improve, but I'd have to take maybe 10 minutes to mess with the TCB setting to get it as smooth as I'd like. FYI, this is a mouse capture animation test in LW10. Taking 10 minutes to tweek a few seconds of an animation channel is not big deal, but if I had hours worth of messy curves like this...

Is there a built in function that I'm just missing?
If not, surely there are plugins that I'm not finding...the math would be easy.


Thanks. -Mike
 
  08 August 2012
I solved my own question below (thanks Mike!).
This technique should be quite useful to anyone working with motion capture of any type (or dealing with "dense keys" in general) in LightWave.



Below is a quick test that took me about 3 minutes (on around 3 seconds of mouse captured animation on one channel). The before and after graph editor screengrabs below show that the final motion is quite similar to the initial, but is much smoother (compare final velocity to the initial). Basically what you do to smooth out animation is just delete as much of the non essential keys as you can (ALL THAT ARE NON ESSENTIAL), then use the TCB controls to smooth up the motion even more. A plugin would be better, but manual works. *Furthermore, this test is getting me excited about LightWave puppeteering with 3d Connexion mice.

https://skydrive.live.com/#cid=3E7D...480DE7888%21594



Hope this helps LW people. I've seen questions like this asked before without them really being answered.

-Mike

Last edited by Mike Pauza : 08 August 2012 at 08:08 PM.
 
  08 August 2012
A couple of things to note in the Graph Editor. Mike, what I did was to first set down a Footprint for the curve, then used Keys > Reduce Keys starting with very low values (as set in Keys > Set Key Reduction Threshold).

Naturally, additional keys can be deleted if they don't contribute significantly to the curve shape (not at a peak or valley).

I then tweaked some of the remaining keys using the footprint as a guide to restore the overall shape as needed.
 
  08 August 2012
Originally Posted by Mike Pauza: Basically what you do to smooth out animation is just delete as much of the non essential keys as you can (ALL THAT ARE NON ESSENTIAL), then use the TCB controls to smooth up the motion even more. A plugin would be better, but manual works.


You might want try KeyStrainer from Joe Angell. Works in LW 11 but only x32. Check out the Smart Freeze mode. It will automatically remove keyframes based on the Threshold value. You can preview the value that provides the better result.



Gerardo
 
  08 August 2012
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