Magpie?

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  10 October 2003
Question Magpie?

I'm a very new LW 7.5 user (started yesterday in fact, upgrading from a LW6 license I bought a little while ago).
I need some help rendering an animation I got from a client in LW (5?) format.
It's a talking head, apparently using Magpie (?) plugin to make the mouth move.
Any ideas how I can render these animations without having to buy Magpie? Or is it not possible?
From what I found on Magpie pages they have free downloads of "render time" plugins for Max etc, but no such things for LW?
 
  10 October 2003
Magpie exports a Morph mixer file that controls the Morphs
in Lightwave
So you shouldn't have too much trouble with it
( when i say that I'm thinking the morph mixer file format didn't changed from Lw 5 to LW 7.5 ...

but even then, You should be able to load LW 5 format
without any hazzles
 
  10 October 2003
If all else fails the latest issue of Digit mag has a free copy of Magpie Pro 2 beta plus a few other things. It's a 'limited' version but not sure what it measn by limited. I never picked in up but if I'm by the bookstore this afternoon I might just get it to check it out. You might also just do a google search to see if there is a dl of this beta availble someplace.
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  10 October 2003
yeah it is easy to use. I use it from time to time.

Make all your endomorphs for the mouth shapes.

in Magpie name each of the letters (phonemes?) with the same name used for the endomorph it will control.

I have AH as an endomorph so in magpie I have a letter named AH as well.

When you export the morph mixer file it will control the endomorphs for you.

In LW add morphmixer to the object from the properties panel. in the morph mixer panel there is a load option. just click it and select the file you exported from magpie.

that's it.

If something isn't working make sure the naming matches between magpie and your endomorphs.

I've also just loaded the character up in a new scene. did all my lipsync there then save out what I did from morph mixer and load it into the main scene.

Oh make sure the lipsync starts on the same frame it will in the main movie. there is no way to easily move the imported lipsync to were you want on the time line. So don't make a dialogue starting on frame one for example and expect to load it to frame 600 in the scene. Everything comes in on the same frame it appears in magpie.

Hope that helps,

Jay
 
  10 October 2003
...another way to do it is to just take all of the morph files, load them into a background layer of the base object, and then simply use background to morph which upgrades it to lwo2, or Lightwave 6+ file format upon saving and you'll have endomorphs and 1 object instead of alot of different objects. It instantly creates endomorhps and avoid all of the headaches of working outside the box.
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Last edited by Jonathan : 10 October 2003 at 02:19 PM.
 
  10 October 2003
The morph mixer file is a text file with time code and % for the channels of the endomorphs?

What morph are you talking about Jonathan? Not familiar with what you are talking about. Magpie can export actual model files?

I'm confused.

Jay
 
  10 October 2003
Magpie exports a file that morph mixer can read that has all the endomorphs in it...it doesn't export an actual object file. I have 1.5 Pro but have never had a chance to use it...but I'm working on an animation now...maybe I'll get to use it then!!
 
  10 October 2003
Morph files?
Looks like I didn't get all the material needed to rerender that clip? I only got lws and lwo files.
As I've only been using LW for a day there's naturally a lot of things unknown to me..
I'll see if I can get Digit tomorrow.

My client had this animation made by someone a few years ago, but now they need to have it rerendered because they only have the original in composited form on tape. Now hey need it rerendered to composite it with some new background footage.
 
  10 October 2003
Worst case, I might be able to figure out how to use my copy of Magpie Pro and export the file you need if I got the scene files and lwo.
 
  10 October 2003
IIRC, magpie works similar to Joe Alter's Lipservice where you needed an object for each morph with objects prior to LW6. You mentioned in your first post that the objects you got were in LW5 format which means they don't have endomorph as LWO2 file format didn't come into play until LW6. This means that you should have a file for each morph position.

This being the case you have to convert the file to an LWO2 object to take advantage of endomorphs. Basically, "save as" from modeler LW6+

Upgrading the file to LWO2 gives you the ability to use endomorphs and you won't have to remodel anything if you have all of the morph positions objects.

1. Load your rest model into modeler, preferably layer 1 but it really doesn't matter.

2. Load the morph position objects into subsequent layers.

3. Select the layer of your rest model (Base model in layer 1) and then background select one of the morph position models. You can tell a background selected model because it has a black wireframe and is not actually in edit mode.

4. Under the maps tab in modeler there should be a button named [BKG to MORPH] then type in the name of the new endomorph. Do this for all subsequent layers until your base model has all of the morphs.

5. Delete all of the morph position layers and save as and now you have his model in LWO2 format with all of the endomorphs. Now how to implement those morphs in the lws scene you got from your client is questionable since they too are probably made for LW5 scene files. Without using the magpie plug it may prove difficult, however if it's nothing but a text script file like LWS files are, then implementing it should not be much of a problem.
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Last edited by Jonathan : 10 October 2003 at 06:28 PM.
 
  10 October 2003
Quote: Originally posted by Jonathan
IIRC, magpie works similar to Joe Alter's Lipservice where you needed an object for each morph with objects prior to LW6. You mentioned in your first post that the objects you got were in LW5 format which means they don't have endomorph as LWO2 file format didn't come into play until LW6. This means that you should have a file for each morph position.
This being the case you have to convert the file to an LWO2 object to take advantage of endomorphs. Basically, "save as" from modeler LW6+

OK. They are in LW 5.6 format, according to Deep Exploration.
I guess I should either ask the client for more files, or try recreating the mouth animation, which is very crude BTW - just a black blob scaled up and down, and with eybrows doing the same thing.
Guess I'll have to do some more studying before attempting this though...

Thanks a lot.

 
  10 October 2003
Black blob scaled up and down...I'm sure you could do something better than that (but only if the client OKs it of course). Maybe they like the black blobs talking.
 
  10 October 2003
Hi bkn,

I'm also fairly new to LW and Magpie, but I've been working with it for a couple of months now. I'm doing a simple open or closed mouth morph for my animations. MagpiePro2 comes with two 'recognizers' - one that needs all the phonemes (A, E, I, U, etc) and another that reacts to the amplitude of the audio file. (If it's loud use one morph, if it's not use another.) Magpie also has settings where you can tweak the sampling rate, and set how loud is 'loud' before it switches to the other morph.

Magpie then generates a .txt file that is used to generate a curve that can be seen (and edited) in the Graph Editor. You can also edit the curve in Magpie before sending it out.

If all you need are two black blobs, then the amplitude recognizer is the way to go. If you are going to get MagpiePro2, then I'd just ditch the existing morphs and create a new one in LW7.5. (EDIT: Assuming you have/can get the audio files too.) The smaller blob is the (base) called maybe mouth.closed, and the larger blob could be called mouth.open (the object.status nomenclature is important) The morph object is imported to Magpie which then generates a curve that can be loaded into the morph motion in Layout.

Hope this helps. I had to go through the steps a few times for it to sink in. Here's a tiny image of the Magpie aamplitude recognizer at work. The actual quality is much better, had to get in under the file size limit. That graph is the one that shows up in Graph Editor in LW.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg liptest2.jpg (17.6 KB, 16 views)

Last edited by Tom Wood : 10 October 2003 at 01:27 AM.
 
  01 January 2006
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