Mocap/ Keyframe Layering?

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  12 December 2007
Mocap/ Keyframe Layering?

Hi all.

I'm planning a Motion Builder/ Maya pipeline which will (hopefully) integrate optical mocap data with keyframe data in Maya. I don't personally have experience with mocap or Motion Builder which is why I am hoping to get some advice here.

The planned setup is as follows:
  • Optical data is captured and then imported into Motion Builder for cleanup;
  • The cleaned up data is then exported to FBX;
  • In Maya, the setup is based on two rigs. The "MOCAP" rig will have the mocap data from the FBX file mapped onto it. This rig will then 'drive' an "ANIMATION" rig which will be used to add squash and stretch and additional animation. Facial animation would also be contained within the "ANIMATION" rig. The "ANIMATION" rig would serve as a bind rig for the character geometry skinning.
Does anyone have experience with a setup like this? I know it is quite a complex thing to set up, involving complex nodes and expressions. Is it a workable solution?

Thanks in advance.
  12 December 2007
FBX is definately the way to go, get the data out from MotionBuilder cleanly then into Maya onto a binder rig. We use this pipeline all the time and its proved really solid.

Basically we have a Binder Rig that the FBX data is loaded to, this in turn drives the final animation rig which ultimately drives the skinned master character. At this stage because the animRig is bound via offset locators you can make very quick and easy adjustments to the data. Once the animator is happy with the data, they tend to bake it back to the animation rig and delete the fbx bind. This leaves them with a standard Maya rig to animate as they want to.

Its not that hard to configure and really flexible
  12 December 2007
Offset locators & constraints

Hi Mark.

Thanks for your detailed reply! It's comforting to know that the solution seems to be workable!

My only question is with regards the 'offset locators' you refer to. I was planning to constrain the different rigs together directly. How do you implement constraining the different rigs to each other within your system (I assume the offset locators to which you refer are at the core of this)?

Thanks in advance,
  12 December 2007
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