Problems with LW / MB merge/import


I’m having a few different problems when it comes to importing / merging data from MB into LW.

Firstly, on a merge, I get one of two things happening;

  1. The animation comes in, but is rotated 90 degrees, however,
    when I try to re-orient it by rotating the ref NULL, it realigns the model but
    the rotation still is seen ‘wrong’ so that instead of walking forwards, the model
    moves ‘downwards’.
    • The motion is imported ok and the mesh is facing the correct way, but there is no Z translation
      of the model, so it walks “on the spot”.

When I try to do an ‘Import’ I get strange things happening like
A) Sections of the model, (e.g. head) are no longer where they should be and are somehow offset.
B) On import, LW comes up with a list of errors such as ‘For unknown reasons the object Spine
cannot be identified inside Lightwave, It most probably won’t be animated’.
(This usually relates to a bone name NOT an object)
‘The bone Hips is linked to more than one mesh, due to Lightwave limitations, it will only be linked
to myobject:mesh’ - Where in fact, there is ONLY one character / mesh in the scene I am working on.
C) Sometimes, (including ‘b’ above) not just the bone animation comes in, but the whole CTRL setup as well,
is this ‘normal’?

Are there known problems with LW8 and the whole Export/MB/ Import (or merge)?
Or are there things you need to avoid when building a character to export, (eg the new bone tools,
bone twist, record pivot rotation, etc…)

Should all properties just be plotted, or once this is done,
should the ctrl-rig be plotted to a characters skeleton?
Does the scene need a character / a ctrl_ref heirarchy?


You need the reference null in the lws.
Always plot from the control rig to the skeleton before merging back to lw.
Backup your original lws that was used to export to fbx. If you alter the skeleton in any way you need to reexport to fbx and recharacterize.
Haven’t tested with lw8 yet… too many other issues to resolve besides fbx compatibility before I start using it. 7.5 works just fine for now so I’m not taking any chances with 8. One thing you could do is merge using 7.5 and then load the merged animation lws into 8.
Don’t use the import feature. It doesn’t work.


Ahh, that may account for all the oddities I’m getting.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that when I export to MB, instead of just getting hips->spine->spine1 I end up with something like…
When this then comes back into LW it seems as if the whole heirarchy is shot, is this another LW8 thing or does it happen in LW7.5?


Hi Colkai :slight_smile:
Are you using the 5.3 fbx plugin update for LW8?

(That’s probably a dumb question, but if you’re not, it might help.)

Also I recommend this 3DBuzz thread HERE
For LW -> MB -> LW discussion, a video tute, and a MB5 variation of 3DDave’s skeleton
(3DDave may very well have updated his skeleton himself since that thread was current, but I suggest checking it out - the video tute is very helpful and there’s a bit of talk about bone naming for MB5 and stuff.)


Yeah, I think I’m going in circles. If I understand it right, any changes to your initial rig scr*ws the pooch when it comes to importing & exporting from LW.
I get different results based on if I try to merge an FBX from different ‘source’ rigs.

I guess the simple question is MUST your source and fina lrig in LW be identical, and if so, do any changes you make to the LW rig mean you have to re-export to FBX and re-characterise?


Yes, your source LW skeleton must remain the same as your merge (characterized skeleton). Making changes to the LW bones requires a reexport and recharacterization.


Right, thanks for that, certainly that would account for some errors I’m having.
Another problem is a lack of forward motion of the model, all the limbs move fine, but it doesn’t progress forward, the hips rotate but not move in the XYZ.
The scene does have a reference null so I’m a bit stumped.


Did you happen to “Record Pivot Position” of your bones before exporting to MB? That could be why you have all those other nodes in there.

I’ve never had to record pivot position. Although I must admit to not having tried this in LW8 yet.


Yeah, I did actually, how come this causes such a problem? I didn’t know there was such an impact on the rig - Would this account for my ‘non-moving’ hips as well?


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