Messiah comparison to MotionBuilder?


Can Messiah do everything that MotionBuilder can do?

I’m using Motion Builder right now to edit our mocap files. I’ve seen the new update for Messiah and am very impressed. I like the dynamics, point edit, render engine and fact that it supports bvh, fbx and collada.

I need to know if Messiah can handle editing mocap tracks like MotionBuilder. MB you can load a track and then animate a rig to change the mocap tracks if needed. What is the workflow for editing mocap in Messiah?

Does Messiah import .c3d markers?


Hi danb

The short answer is no, MotionBuilder Mocap treatment is unique, the way you can clean optical data is not something you’ll find in any other package, not even vicon own package. so if your dealing only with acquiring and cleaning c3d data, then stay with MB it will make more sense.

As for everything else, messiah is allot more dedicated as an animation software, whilst MB has similar features and a bit more, like the realtime preview, animation layers (which are crazy to control) and human IK (which is even crazier to edit in the graph ;)). messiah has AutoRigger that comes standard in the package and offers better rig for animation. the BVH import is good as well. So it really depends on what your looking for really and your workflow. Like me for example, I like Mb for mocap, and i would never use anything besides it, but i would never animate in MB, not even a simple bouncing ball, tried that and regret it.

Hope that helps, Cheers :slight_smile:


Thanks for the tips!

I also use cinema 4d along with motion builder. Our mocap software has a feature which allows us to smooth the f curves based on a frequency of keyframes. The software also has a pen tool to fill in and overwrite any jagged f curves. On top of this our mocap suite puts out almost perfect recordings. So we’re finding MB to be a little obsolete and editing the mocap tracks in MB is no longer needed.

We import the BVH into cinema 4d and retarget the bvh to our character rigs. Its an extremely fast and simple process in c4d. The retarget function can be set to use exact hierarchy names or base it on hierarchy structure and no names. Does Messiah have that feature? We then just edit the f-curves in c4d if needed.

C4d is becoming very expensive for our needs. We want to stick to the core c4d package but also want something easy to use for character animation and mocap application of rigs. Also Messiah’s render engine seems to be superior to c4d’s. C4d’s GI render engine is an add on so its not economical to use c4d for more than bodypaint or polygon modelling.

I’ve heard rumors that Messiah uses the old, now new, “Arnold” renderer. Do you know if this is true?


hey danb

Yes messiah can retarget motionclips with ease, the compose tab is is one of the most complete motion clip mixer you can find, it’s extremely powerful. have a look at some of the videos made by wegg on

also by Joe Cosman (Animate2) they show exactly the power that compose have.

As for the rendering engine, yes messiah is based on Arnold, and it’s not old, it’s actually new, while it’s not using the latest Arnold, but since it was based on it, allot of adjustments and new features has been added to it since the purchase of the Arnold engine. for GI work it’s pretty fast, along with host of other really fast rendering features. I tried C4D, and found the native engine disappointing. I mostly use XSI as my main tool and Mr for rendering, but recent projects done with Messiah proved to me that messiah is really good. have a look at my vimeo account, there are a few animations done with messiah along with rendering.

All in all i think messiah does fit your needs perfectly, but like any software it does have a certain workflow, it’s not too foreign but specific, so there is some learning curve, other than that, messiah is just awesome.

if you have any more questions, please feel free to ask here or in



Are there any example scenes i can look at that show the motion clips in action?

Are there any free videos showing the motion clips in action?

Is there an FFD deformer in messiah?

Does the point animation tools use soft, linear and bezier f-curves?

What specific constraints does messiah have? I looked but it only briefly describes the constraint system.


Messiah has a lattice deformer and a cage deformer

Hey danb, Ulven did a couple of vids on constraints in Messiah



Not exactly sure what your asking on this point. But PA has a linear brush falloff, and weights can be used as well.



In 4.5 the mesh can be edited with “Point Animation Module”, while it is being animated. One can do this in other programs as “point level animation”, but the f-curves are fixed. In comparison if one animated a null it could be edited with bezier, linear, soft, etc… f curves.

The reason i asked this is because i have actually seen a method in blender where the point animation can be edited with bezier f curves for ease in and out.

In the demo vid on the pmg site it shows the character being edited with the point tool. Then switching on and off. Is that done with keyframes?

Also i have the demo but am unable to use it because it flickers like mad when i move my mouse around in the viewport. Do i need a special graphics card, screen resolution or open GL/Direct X version in order to use the demo? I have a Radeon x1950 1gb card.


Ok, Point Animation allows access to TBC, bezier, linear, etc for all keys. Below is a example

This thread should help with all your flicker problems,347.0.html



Thanks for the pic, that is very encouraging and powerful.

Has anyone done character animations with GI? I don’t see many on the pmg site.

Thanks for the flicker link.

Is there a preference for graphics cards for messiah?


How do i import fbx in messiah 4.5 demo?


Messiah loads all files the same way, no matter what the purpose is or the file type.

Go to File>Load (or Load As)

And select your file. You’ll then be prompted with a query, where you can select from three options:

“Replace Current Scene”
“Append Current Scene”
“Merge With Current Scene”


I have tried this, but the .fbx file extension is not included in the drop down list. .fbx files do not show up at all when "load"ing files in the demo.


messiah can only export fbx at this point in time.


That’s kind of disappointing. Is there any plans in the near future in adding import of fbx/collada?

I was going to purchase Messiah Pro but not having a .fbx or collada import option will make our pipeline difficult.

Can i assign shaders based on polygon selections?


Messiah selections for shading are based on a weight map or procedural tools, like a mask set. Also vertex groups as defined from your modeling program.



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