Lightwave Skeleton File for Motion Builder Users


Yeah, Okay, but still don’t know why half of my characters head is getting left behind?


Hmm. Some reasons for your head to be left behind could be…

  • some errant bone weighting
  • some points not weighted 100%
  • if your object is in layers, each layer has to use the same set of bones

If it’s just a few points on the head, it’s probably a weighting issue.


mmmm. I think it’s cause of the eye bones. I think they are not parented to the head bones (unless that is done by default?). Then if they don’t move when the head bone does, that’ll explain it!

Need to try this later!


Concerning wieghts. Is there anyone out there who has a method for freezing a subpatch model that has had wieght maps already applied?

If I freeze a model at a higher subdivision than 1, the wieghts don’t get added to the additional vertices (in Modeler or in Layout in the fxb export process), of course, giving me an unusable model.

It seems that the fxb plugin will freeze your model at export from LW Layout using the ‘Display Subpatch Level’ setting in the meshes properties. But still doesn’t re-apply the wieght maps to the newly created vertices if the setting is higher than 1. Going back and re-applying wieghts after a freeze is a real pain.



Solar Power, I don’t see this happening. I’m running LW7.5c and weights get properly assigned when frozen in modeler.

Perambulator… very few things are done by default in CG… :slight_smile:


Many thanks for the great skeleton.

Some people seem to be having some problems getting it in and out of LW and MB

Here is a little how to for thoes that are having problems

You need lightwave, motionbuilder 4.x+ and the latest motionbuilder plugins and last but not least for this to work 3Ddaves LW MB skeleton rig

Make character in T pose
Open FW/working_gfx/base_models/Skeleton.lwo into layer 2
Press ctrl F5
Double click layer 2
Rename to “*skeleton”
Adjust bones to fit character in poit mode with symetry on
Save file
Select weight shade render style in perspective viewport
Select both layers
select map>weightand colour>more>bone Weights, set 0 for threashold and clip
Select some points
select the apropriate weight map
click on Map/General/setmapvalue
set the apropriate value in box 1
Repeat as necessary

save your work

Send the object to lightwave

In layout add>Bones>convert skelegons to bones

select object layer one

Shift B for bones
p for item properties
select use bones from layer 2 *skeleton
make sure scene/parent in place is active
make hips the parent of Right_Leg_Link and Left_Leg_Link (hit F1 select it hit m and select head as parent)
make Head the parent of Right_Eye and Left_Eye
Select each bone in the scene builder
hit m to bring up the bone properties
Make sure each bone has the correct weight map
set the bone to use weight map only
turn off multiply strength by rest length
Add a null called Character_Ref_Null at the 0,0,0 origin

Your character is now bacically mapped

Export to motion builder


Open Motion Builder

select character from the asset brouser and dragg onto Character_Ref_Null
click on characterise
Rename the character to something apropriate “my new guy” by right clicking on the character in the navigator

Save the scene

dragg a motion from the asset brouser to the preview pain and import the motion
double click the my new guy in the navigator and select the character settings tab
change input type to character input
change input source to the animation skeleton you have just added and check the active box

Save your scene by the name of the animation

Exporting back to lightwave

In the navigator window select LWS:FXB_Root
Right click and select branch
In the key controlls window select Animation plot all properties check plot all takes and cllick on plot
from the file menue select save selection
check all the options and save with an apropriate name

In Lightwave Layout select scene/generics/mergeFXB
select the apropriate motionbuilder scene file that you have just saved

click ok a couple of times

thats about it



great post, cleared up a couple of things for me!



I found your thread with rig showing LW to MB, much helpful advice, thanks!!!

I have one question, hope you are still monitoring this thread.

I have a character rigged in LW, and trying to alter it to reflect your rig, to use in MB. But I’m having trouble figuring out what to do with the extra bones in, say, the legs and upper arms. I don’t know what weight maps to assign them to ( I have WMs on my fig.), or how they are supposed to work with weights. Is there a sample weighted character around to demonstrate this, or any advice you can give?

Many thanks,


My suggestion is to use the same weight map for the leg and arm roll bones as the leg and arm bones. The Roll bones are used when the arms and legs twist. This is usually more visible with motion capture clips.


Many thanks, 3DDave, you’ve been a big help!



Hey guys, im creating a model in Lightwave 7.5 and trying to send it out to Motion Builder 5.1 to throw a motion on it. the model is simple, weight maps are good, but the Bones in the skeleton that i downloaded from dave has problems in MB. it doesnt seem to like the leg link bones. and the link legs arent parented to the hips.

can u guys post a working skeleton for me to use, or what can i do to fix the bone structure?

this would be greatly appreciated, im using this for portfolio work.

  • Ryan


The trick is to parent the leg_parent (or ‘_link’ in older versions of the skeleton), to the hips, either in LW before exporting to MB, or you may be able to do it in MB prior to characterization.


Originally posted by 3DDave
Symmetry should work now with Rev E.

Is the “Rev E”, Version 2.3? If so, symmetry doesn’t work. (And i fixed it by myself).

By the way motionbuilder is realy realy realy great! :buttrock: .
(I was waiting LW8 for ca tools but you know… dissapointment.)
But MB was the right path.

Ok, everything is fine in my model except the fingers.
In lw layout, it seems ok first. I am adjusting the skeleton in modeler as suitable to my model. But after sending it mb, the fingers go mad. The finger skeletons… can i modify one by one in mb?
Or the solution is, making weight maps for them?

Thanks guys.


Version 2.3 is the latest build of the Skeleton.

I am working on a an updated version for 8.0 that will use the RIG format.

Motion Builder is up to 5.5 now (free update).


thats good.
youre my man dave…:thumbsup:


thanks Dave…

ur skeleton work fine for me…is really save up my time…

anyway…can u show me how to constraint the eyeball in MB…



I would also realy like too know that so if somebody could answar how too constrien the eyes so the follow a null or some thing please


Hi 3D Dave and all the Motionbuilder users.

I wander if anyone can help me out. I have managed to use the 3D Dave skelegons successfully using MB5.5 from Lightwave 8.

My problem is the foot roll controls. I can successfuly control the feet, Foot(Ankle/Toes)Roll and also pinn the ball of the foot with included proton model, but when I use the 3D Dave skelgons, they work fine, but I can’t figure how to get the foot roll, as the little red effectors are at the ends of the toes instead of at the ball of the foot. I have tried modifying the skelegons without success, as Motionbuilder always now puts the red effectors at the end of the toes, no matter how much I modify them to look like the Proton setup, with same names and number of bones.

Please, can anyone help me out with this, especialy if they you have successfuly acheived the foot roll and pinning yourself.

Best Wishes



The Ninja feet setup is different than the one I made. I followed the MB 5 format.

Looking at the file, the Ninja has two bones added after the footend bone. I would try that out and see if that gives you what you looking for.


Is the new rig for LW 8.01 finished yet? if so where can you get it?