HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: Crowd Simulation


#1

Ok in order to clear the air, I have decided to post a series of threads
where ideas on how to improve Lightwave can be posted in an organized fashion.
The idea is to provide an one stop place where developers (from Newtek, or independent)can come in and get ideas.

This thread along with its sister threads:

HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: Character Animation
HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: Dynamics
HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: Effects
HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: Layout
HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: Modeling
HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: Rendering
HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: SDK and plug-in development
HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: Interoperability with other apps
HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: Workflow
HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: Expressions

…will be used to provide input on ho to move Lightwave back into the forefront of CG graphics.

But in order to keep things positive (glass half full), and make it something
worth while, there are some rules for this thread:

1) STAY ON TOPIC:
Please dont provide rants, just provide your ideas.
2) NO BASHING:
No bashing Lightwave or any other app. I mean it.
3) LINKS:
If new research is pointed out, please provide links to it.
4) PROVIDE EXAMPLES:
Show us real life examples on how your idea would help you.
5) WORKFLOW
Please along with your comment, provide suggestions of how to
implement the concept or idea on the workflow. Workflow is one of the
things that make Lightwave what it is.
6) KEEP IT POSITIVE
The can do attitude is what made this community once great, cynicism is
killing it. Someone once told me “Optimism is an act of defiance”.

Thanks,
-Roberto


#2

I made a micro tutorial over at Spinquad in the tutorial section some time ago on how to use the Bugz program combined with Lightwave. Bugz works allright though it is nothing fancy.

The walk simulation itself is possible doing using either Bugz or LW dynamics.
The hard part is to get the characters to interact. (fight, etc)

An idea would be to make several .mdd files, then automatically make a prog choose if the character is running/ walking/ fighting/ jumping etc. This would be done by calculation the character speed and speed decrease/increase. Also finding the closest “warrior” to attack.
These mdd files would have the ability to gradually morph from a walk cycle to a run cycle to make the simulation more realistic.
(I’ve unfortunatly yet to figure out a way to do this, cause the .mdd files would have problems morphing from a walk cycle to a run cycle, it wouldn’t look natural) So maybe the solution would be using bones or dynamics/metalink instead.

Another thing they could make would be the ability to make soldier-B die, then make soldier-A “understand” that soldier-B is actually dead, for then to attack soldier-C, and so on. This could have been precalculated i guess to make things easier.

Anyone knows what Massive or simillar progs do, do they use bones to animate the characters, or morphs?


#3

oh no more lemmings:)


#4

I was wondering if they used bones or morphs. I could be getting ahead of myself cause I havn’t used Motion Mixer or created any crowd simulation, but it would nice if you can use clips of animation and randomize the clips through the crowd, or be able to “paint” a range for clips to affect certain areas of the crowd. (on/off)selection sets, grouping and enveloping.


#5

yes plz, lets implant it! :slight_smile:

mlon


#6

Good idea vonbon :wink:

FXlink or Metalink could be part of the solution, here’s a interesting tutorial using FXlink.
http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/tutorials/animation/FXLink/index.html

Also adding,

  • Make characters automatically run slower+bend the knees when running up a hill.
  • When running in a turn, the body behaves like a motorcycle, it leans more compared to what it would if it was walking.


#7

AFAIK, Massive is using a skeleton rig for its characters and agents. It can use morphs, but they usualy go with mocap rigs. They have some wonderfull ready-to-use libraries with stand, walk, run and fight mocap cycles (i think from House of Moves), that anyone can use and setup a scene for render in no time.

I’m still waiting for a 25K euro job, to justify a Massive license and those libs…
And of course, a Lightwave import-export option…
Till then i just :drool: on their site…

Gregg


#8

This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.


#9

Re-opened the thread.

-R


#10

Well, as far as I am concerned a new animation system should have a lot of physic-based features, as I wrote in the other thread, how would you lift a cup of coffee. As far as I can see the best way to do this is by either using a physic-simulator to help the fingers grab the coffeecup, or, do it manually first, then the next time you needed one you would ‘just’ load that preset onto another character. The problem with that type of presets is that it would be very hard to ‘morph’ different presets together so it looked good, also it would require tons of presets. (Having LW saving presets to an ftp database where LW-users could share-load-tweak thousands of presets however could be cool, but that’s for another thread)

So, I’m basically back to that character animation has to be physics based in the future, if not now, it will be in the future. Natural Motion -Endorphin is something to take a look at.

So since CA in the future imo has to be physics based, or at least have highly integrated physics that works together with bones/morphs etc, that means that crowd simulation also should take this under concideration.

As for crowd simulation in general, the biggest problem to me seems to be to make the fighters interact, then collapse, then start a fight with another character.
Also, making a character walk slowly, then star to run, jump over a fence, slide down a hill etc. etc. is very challenging, esp. when you have to set this up for 1000+ characters and make them interact.
However, this is most probably a too big project for NT to start, so my suggestion would be to start small, but take under account that what I mentioned above has to work out in the future.

While at it, a “start fight” button would be good : )


#11

This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.