Did ya know...[Motionbuilder tips&tricks thread]


That you could double click on those double entries on the left of the fcurves pane and effect the numbers of those nodes connected?
I thought that was cool as [expletive]!

Share what you’ve learned.

I wanna change the keyboard shortcuts to resemble my 'program of choice… Another thread…

Help us learn MB – Post your “Did ya know…” :applause:


Good idea , the thread in the wings forum was pretty helpful , lets have one for mb too :slight_smile:



Have you been trying to get one take to another and just not had the luck? Try this:
spacebar-rtclick on the hips of the skeleton that has the motion you want. In the fcurve panel, select them all, copy. Go back to the take you want to paste it to. Simple.
Must be the same skeleton, it seems.


Anyone have anyting at all on the constraint system???

I saw a foot stabilizing vmt once and can’t find it for the life of me! What was the TRICK! Drag what where? :hmm:


What happened, did everybody run out of tips?


Select an element in the view window and hold down the Alt-key while dragging the element to the constraints window. This places in in the window for use.

Right click on an element in the relational constraints window to select Local Coordinates for the element.

This works for multiple selections as well.

No secrets here, these were all in the VTM’s.


some of my workflow habits.

  1. The Effector pinning feature is quite cool. Try pinning the chest cell and then rotate and move around the hip, you’ll get nice and fast contra-posto.

  2. I also like to pin the rotation of the head cell. That acts as if you have a head target.

  3. If you have pinning on the hand cell, try grabbing the shoulder or the elbow cell, hold down the “q” key (release) and rotate them to get FK movement.

  4. Checking off and on the “Crtl Rig In” option on the Character Control pane will reset your character to the t-pose.

  5. F1 = drag mode, F2 = local, F3 = global

  6. check out the playback speed. Sometimes I use 1/3x speed to check my arc and transitions between my keys.

  7. Copying and pasting keys are as simple as crtl + c, and crtl + v. You can copy/paste multiple selected keys. I like to use this feature to create my hold keys.

  8. left and right arrow to jump from key to key.


If you need a Lightwave to Motion Builder Skeleton, go to this post;



Does anybody have the same skeleton setup for Maya??

By the way, cool thread :thumbsup:


  1. I find that you can maximize your view of the scene by double clicking on the view pane. Kinda like preview mode, but you can still see your mouse cursor.

  2. double click on the zoom bar in the transport pane can toggle between max frame range and the zoomed frame range.

  3. I don’t know how useful is working in body part mode is. Perhaps it’s the way to offset your keyframes on the rig so that not everything stops at the same beat. Some keying behavior I noticed: key any Ik or FK effector on a limb will set key on all effectors of that limb. Set key on the hip effector seems to set key like in regular body mode.

  4. Might give this a try. The Export feature in the File menu can save out an fbx file that is just containing animation data that is necessary for merging back with your host package. The export fbx approach creates a smaller file. So if you are working on a big scene, that would be our master file. You can export a smaller file that would serve a temp file to get your animation back to the host program.


Hey guys,

Keyboard shortcut templates will be coming in Motionbuilder 5.0. Change from Motionbuilder layout to Maya, 3dsmax or XSI.




[I resisted a multitude of ???. :wink: ]


Toonshady, does #4 take into account all animation? From what I recall, the export feature didn’t take facial animation of endos into account when merged back into LW.

That was 4.01 though.


For the guy that asked about Blending stabalisation object above.

You must have an over lapping blend between 2 takes.

Then, select a “stability” object (something on your main skeleton that is stationary over the course of the blend preferably), alt-drag it to the OVERLAPPING (important) section of the resultant blend in the blend editor.
If succesfull the name of the object will show on the blend graph.
Then click on “match pivot” and viola, all matched up :slight_smile:

…yummy :slight_smile:


i was wondering how smooth an animation can be made using motionbuilder and maya or is it best to just stick with maya keyframing and mocap imports


Dont know if anyone has mentioned this, Ctrl+1,2,3, this is to toggle between world and local rotation and translation, it really helps me! Hope it helps you,



I recently used MB and Maya to do an animation test and it worked out great. You can view it here:

Turtle Test


OK…I’m sure everyone is familiar with this interface aspect in Motion BREAKER - the surfer dude in the character controls window?

Does anyone know how to change it? It would be nice if the pic reflected the character you were working on.

Too bad MB’s interface itsn’t as customizable as Maya’s.


If you folks have some issues regarding batch processes and the like in MB5, you should note that MB5.5 Pro include a scripting feature that expose a lot of functionnality. :cool:


lets see now…

  1. When adding layer keys use rotational IK on everything that doesnt require contact to another surface, it will give you better blending interpolation.

I find that the best ik setup for working on mocap is usually, TR on hips, feet, R on first spine, head and shoulders…everything else is FK

  1. Pasting a pose on a layer at a specific frame means that character at that frame will be in your decired pose…however it does not mean that the keyframe must be on that frame. Ones pasted you may move the keyframe to another point in time to deal with interpolation issues like sliding feets and such when matching poses.

  2. Keyframes on a ‘Actor face’ object can be used to drive a ‘Character face’ setup without mocap by the use of user channels in the character face. This can be used to simulate mayas setdriven keys on any joint. (Like for making a hand setup with sliders).

  3. You may save a fbx containing only poses by selecting it in the interface and using the ‘Save selected’ item on the file menu.

Oh and for the guy asking about changing the picture of the character…all icons in motionbuilder are located in [MB]\bin\system\ in TIF format, the character icon is called ‘character-picture.tif’