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BigHache
03-30-2010, 02:24 PM
Hey there, I'm looking at animating and lip syncing a jack-o-lantern with VO. Is this something that could be relatively easy to do with LW's standard tools or should I consider adding to this? My budget may allow for something like Messiah, but not another 3D package. I have access to Maya 2008 but am completely unfamiliar with it. Thoughts?

Rasscal
03-30-2010, 03:34 PM
I would suggest Magpie Pro if you have a few bucks around $250. It works flawlesly with Lightwave and just about everything else out there. XSI, Maya, Affer Effects, Flash....

tyrot
03-30-2010, 04:07 PM
mr.CAUUUUUUUUUUUGHT somewheeeeeeeeeereeeeeeeeee in timeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ahemm sorry... i just love this song so so so much..

my dear friend mega, wrote me many times..try tafa...you will be blown away..Well if there is ONE single reason which will take me to burn in 3D hell after i die...is NOT to use TAFA from day one. My life would be totally different. It is THAT much important piece of software. Just try it yourself...download the demo... Play with it.. Watch timothy's awesome introduction and mate... you must cATCH This Softwareeeeeeeeeeee thisssssss timeeeeeeee....

SplineGod
03-30-2010, 04:40 PM
Another useful and free solution is papagayo for lipsync and Mike Greens free papagayo importer. :)

Scazzino
03-30-2010, 06:05 PM
Here are Mike Green's Plugins, under the Plugins link...
http://www.mikegreen.name/
If you use MotionMixer with IKBooster you'll also want to grab Mike's MotionMixerControl LScripts that enable you to use enable/disable motionmixer so that you can go back and forth between MM and IKB...

BigHache
03-30-2010, 11:04 PM
Tyrot... that's awesome.

Thanks for the replies. I forgot about Tafa, I remember seeing it a bit back. Is it Windows only? I only have a Mac at work which is where this particular project is for.

Here's what I keyframed in AE last season:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jl5OWQlWtP4
I did several spots and had decent success with this method. The main obstacle I had was the footage was already shot (the pumpkin faces originally did not move) which makes writing new scripts more difficult.

My goal would be to fully create the scene digitally so anything could be imagined/written instead of relying solely on existing footage to constrain the scripts. I would also like to give them more life like being able to turn them, bounce them, etc.

jrandom
04-01-2010, 11:10 AM
I forgot about Tafa, I remember seeing it a bit back. Is it Windows only? I only have a Mac at work which is where this particular project is for.

I was very excited about TAFA until I discovered its Windows-only nature. Grr.

jrandom
04-01-2010, 02:23 PM
Yes, TAFA currently is Windows only. Mac Reiter has said that version 2 will also be for the Mac. Can't you "Mac guys" run Windows programs anyway? I thought that was one of the great new features of the new Macs - one that I thought was VERY enticing since you can have the best of both worlds!

The machine I get next year will be a triple-boot OS X/Win 7/Linux system, but I'm keeping my iMac OSX-only for the moment.

I have seriously considered putting Win7 on it via bootcamp just so I can get 64-bit versions of all the 3D software I have. It strikes me as odd how long its taking companies to get 64-bit versions of their Mac software out.

jrandom
04-01-2010, 04:00 PM
AFAIK, the move to 64bit everywhere has been rather slow. Didn't Photoshop JUST get a 64bit version, and AfterFX won't until CS5. There are many programs for Windows that haven't been updated. I guess we haven't hit critical mass yet. I'm just glad we can still run 32bit programs inside of 64bit Windows. And thank the gods for 64bit LW! :)

I think it's something Mac-specific since the 64-bit Windows versions are showing up much, much faster than their Mac counterparts.

BigHache
04-01-2010, 07:04 PM
Yes, TAFA currently is Windows only. Mac Reiter has said that version 2 will also be for the Mac. Can't you "Mac guys" run Windows programs anyway? I thought that was one of the great new features of the new Macs - one that I thought was VERY enticing since you can have the best of both worlds!

Yeah unfortunately I'm still running a Motorola based Mac at home and I have no authority to install bootcamp on my work Mac. My best of both worlds is separate Mac and Windows computers side-by-side. I may bring my Windows system into the office. At least this would allow me to render unhindered then flop back to AE and FCP.

Free stuff is great too. I'm not necessarily looking for a free solution, just a good tool. Papagayo looks great but I don't think it's going to garner me much over what I've already set up in AE.

Time to play with the Tafa demo!

BigHache
04-01-2010, 11:51 PM
I've been going through the tutorial videos and this tool looks perfect. I've done zero character animation in LW so this should be fun.

geo_n
04-02-2010, 04:00 AM
I think papagayo can do those pumpkins.
But if you have the cash might also check out mimic and download the trial.
http://www.daz3d.com/i/software/mimic?_m=d

it doesn't have the cool interface of tafa but the autosync is a timesaver and the timeline editor is easy to get. Its similar to di-omatic for max which Blur studios use.

Can remap exisitng morphs as well.
http://www.daz3d.com/sections/software/mimic/vids/AdvancedRigging_Web.mov

Shame both tafa and mimic aren't developed anymore.

geo_n
04-02-2010, 09:32 PM
Ah you're right. I just read that he will update to 2.0 possibly in a year. He announced it last jan 2010. Prior to that I don't think Tafa was updated at all for several years which led people to believe that it wasn't going to be updated anymore.
One guy even asked if its still available. Its good that he will sell v1 for 200US and v2 for 500US for those that don't need the new features.
I hope he takes a look at di-o-matic features for tafa v2. :)

BigHache
04-09-2010, 08:44 PM
Beginning work on getting these guys into LW. The pumpkins themselves are starting to look pretty good, the faces are proving to be interesting.

geo_n
04-10-2010, 08:38 PM
Have you tried papagayo? I recently tried it and I think it would be good for your animation.
I highly recommend Mike Green's papagayo importer. After trying out tafa, mimic, I have the easiest time with papagayo. It makes it easy because it deals with words not just phenomes.
I had a hard time with tafa to pick which phenome would I drag to the timeline (my problem I guess being non native english speaker). Mimic made it a bit easier because of the autolip feature and like tafa you can drag and drop, delete, extend phenomes, expression, etc in the timeline. Overlapping layers of expression is also there. No joystick control like tafa though which is fun in tafa.
With papagayo it was much easier for me to drag per word start and end point in the timeline and it creates the phenomes for me automatically. I import it to lw and the keys were clean and minimal making it easier to edit morphmixer

BigHache
04-11-2010, 05:34 PM
Have you tried papagayo? I recently tried it and I think it would be good for your animation.
I highly recommend Mike Green's papagayo importer. After trying out tafa, mimic, I have the easiest time with papagayo. It makes it easy because it deals with words not just phenomes.
I had a hard time with tafa to pick which phenome would I drag to the timeline (my problem I guess being non native english speaker).

I'll take a look at this importer and see if it can get the job done, thanks!

Technically, anyone should be able to lip lync any language even if they aren't familiar with the language. There are only so many shapes a human mouth can make. I wouldn't let a language not being your first stop you.

This project is future research, well future for October. I'm right in the middle of my broadcast season so I'll be working on this as I can. I may not be able to update every week, but I will post updates as I make progress. I still have the VO's from last season to test with so this should be fun!

BigHache
04-15-2010, 09:26 PM
After deliberating my production work flow I've decided against modeling the pumpkin faces. I took many liberties with the facial animation that would be too limiting if they were actually modeled (sorry Megalodon).

The pumpkins are still in LW and will be animated as such. What I'm leaning towards is continuing to sync the faces in AE and apply them to the pumpkins with either Motion Tracking in AE or as an animated texture in LW.

Also what I've decided to do is composite the porch scene, which we used as the establishing shot, entirely in AE. This will give me the most flexibility for creating multiple spots while giving me short render times. This shot is composed so far of 50 layers in AE. All 3D elements such as the door and window walls were rendered in LW. This shot only winds up being a couple of seconds long. You can pick apart the lack of detail staring at the still, but it will be harder when it's moving.

BigHache
04-18-2010, 10:06 PM
Agreed! :D

Yeah that's why I'm doing this NOW, instead of in September.

Is there a reasonably feasible way of rendering a shadow pass in LW? What I resorted to doing was was setting up essentially a green screen that had the objects' shadows and just keyed it out with Keylight in AE. Yeah, I know, sounds stupid because I've lost my alpha, but it worked fine. Just wondering if there's an equivalent solution with as few steps.

TeZzy
04-18-2010, 10:47 PM
turn the object you want to receive shadows into a 'shadow catcher'. The way we do it at our studio is save the object with a different name, ie Ground_Shad_catcher.lwo.

Turn the surface of that object to black and raise the diffuse to 100%. In the advanced tab there is a pull down menu next to alpha channel, change that to shadow density.

Once you are done with that, turn anything you want to cast shadows to unseen by camera(don't worry, it will still cast shadows.), hit render...you pretty much only see black, but when you check the alpha channel you will have shadows.

Hope I am clear enough.

erikals
04-19-2010, 07:46 AM
for mouth movements capture this looks to be ok,
zign track,
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=81327

BigHache
04-19-2010, 01:00 PM
Thank you TeZzy, that worked really well. :thumbsup:

erikals, that looks pretty sweet. I'm not going to get a chance to be with the VO talent so I won't be able to videotape them. I'll definitely keep that in mind if the need arises. Thanks!

geo_n
04-19-2010, 10:26 PM
A bit off topic. Megalodon if you're selling your license of mimic since I read you have it, I would love to get if off your hands at a discount maybe:). You did say you're only using tafa.
Though I love papagayo, I'm not having luck with japanese words. The only one that works a bit is mimic. I just bought maestro recently and only need a lip sync software to make my character exercises.
If anyone is not using their mimic lic pm me.

TeZzy
04-19-2010, 10:54 PM
Thank you TeZzy, that worked really well. :thumbsup:

erikals, that looks pretty sweet. I'm not going to get a chance to be with the VO talent so I won't be able to videotape them. I'll definitely keep that in mind if the need arises. Thanks!

no problem mate.

geo_n
04-20-2010, 04:25 AM
I wasn't planning on selling it, but I have no use for it since TAFA does things so much better. I seem to recall though that DAZ doesn't permit selling Mimic licenses since it doesn't use serial numbers or any piracy protections AFAIK. If you contact DAZ and they allow it, I have no problem selling the license since it will only be collecting digital dust here.

Emailed daz support. Will wait what they have to say. :)

erikals
04-20-2010, 07:09 AM
you might also want to look into another LW plugin, Maestro

geo_n
04-20-2010, 08:51 AM
you might also want to look into another LW plugin, Maestro

read my post above. :D

ericsmith
04-20-2010, 09:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by erikals
you might also want to look into another LW plugin, Maestro

read my post above.

I've kind of kept out of this thread because I didn't want to come off as pushy, but now seems like the right opportunity.

Maestro is actually an excellent tool for lipsync. Using pose hotspots for phonemes is the key, and it's already integrated into the facial rig. I can achieve a rate of around a minute of final lipsync an hour with it. Even faster when I'm "in the groove".

Once I get to a starting point, I just hit the right arrow key to advance, listen to the sound of the voice, and slide the pose into place. I try to key every two frames, but occationally I have to key every frame, and then I'll go back and blend the poses together a bit so it's not so choppy.

It may not be quite as sophisticated as TAFA, but it's darned close, and it all happens within lightwave, which means you don't have to export the animation back into lightwave. This is really important if you find you want to tweak the lipsync in the midst of the main character animation.

I put up a video that touched on this topic a long time ago, but maybe I should do one that goes a bit more in-depth.

Eric

geo_n
04-20-2010, 09:34 AM
I put up a video that touched on this topic a long time ago, but maybe I should do one that goes a bit more in-depth.

Eric

Would love to see the video on how maestro does lipsync.
The phenomes don't exactly match japanese furigana but maybe its possible to customize the .ngo file in maestro.

ericsmith
04-20-2010, 10:45 AM
http://www.stillwaterpictures.com/Maestro2Vids/Maestro2-Lipsync.avi

This video is pretty old, and the interface is a bit different in Maestro now, but it will give you the rough idea.

One other point I want to clarify. In my previous post, I mentioned that you don't have to export the animation back to the main character animation, and in the video, I talk about the benefit of animating on just a head and exporting the motion back to the main character. These concepts may seem to contradict each other, but in reality they don't. Animating on just the head (without the full skeletal rig) gives much better interaction speed and makes animating go smoother. But when you export the animation back to the main character, it's still keyframes on the rig controllers, so you can modify the animation keyframes in the final scene just as though you had done all the animation there in the first place. In TAFA, I believe the export is either MDD on the mesh, or at least, exporting to morphmixer data (with keyframes on every frame?). In either case, editing that animation within Lightwave on the fully rigged character would be problematic if not impossible.

To answer your other question, yes, you can modify the phoneme poses, or create your own to fit your needs. The base setup is just a starting point, and can be completely customized.

Eric

erikals
04-20-2010, 05:51 PM
Eric, this still goes?
"when dragging on a hotspot, you don't see your character move until the mouse motion stops"

ericsmith
04-20-2010, 05:58 PM
Only if you're working in LW 9.2 or 9.3. As it says just below that paragraph on the website, the issue was resolved with 9.5.

Eric

erikals
04-20-2010, 06:20 PM
ah, sorry, cool stuff! http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/smile.gif
think i'll give it a test run, might as well buy it... http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/wink.gif

btw, what's the disadvantage of Maestro though?

ericsmith
04-20-2010, 08:06 PM
btw, what's the disadvantage of Maestro though?

I'm not quite sure how to answer that. Do you mean in comparison to something else? If so, what particular alternative were you comparing to?

Eric

erikals
04-20-2010, 08:29 PM
just in general really,
like does it prevent gimbal lock? are all positions poseable? can i make a character take e.g. a salto? (http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Middle_East/Israel/Tel_Aviv/Tel_Aviv/Netania/photo1010740.htm)
is there an easier way around the lock issue today? http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=399257#post399257
can i easily add bones to a Maestro rig?

(sorry, i'm a CA newbie) http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/question.gif

anyway, bought it, looks great http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/smile.gif


......

ericsmith
04-21-2010, 12:49 AM
like does it prevent gimbal lock?

I'd say yes. The fact that it uses RPR to zero out bone rotation in the rest state makes rotations much more predictable and stable, and makes sure that bones aren't already gimbal locked in that state to start with. I have yet to experience a situation where this has been a problem.


are all positions poseable? can i make a character take e.g. a salto?

I've pushed the character into as many crazy poses as I can think of and it's performed well. The one thing to keep in mind is that in some cases, if you want the IK to perform well, you need to adjust other parts of the body to give a good starting point. For example, if you had a character sitting down with their knees up at their chest, you'll find that you need to rotate the pelvis forward in order to make the IK on the legs behave properly. If you observe a real person, you'll find that's what people need to do to get into these positions as well.


is there an easier way around the lock issue today? http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthr...257#post399257


That problem was really a non-issue once I looked at it rationally. If an item is hidden, there's no way to accidentally select it in the viewport. So locking it as well was really just redundant and unnecessary.


can i easily add bones to a Maestro rig?


Absolutely. The only rule is that you have to give them a name that isn't already used in the provided skeletal structure.

Eric

geo_n
04-21-2010, 04:22 AM
Thanks for the vid. Looks like a flexible facial controller.
Since we're talking about maestro, is it possible to have stretchy limbs with maestro?
and also, I notice a motionbuilder rig in maestro. Would it be possible to use mocap directly on maestro rigs like the way mocap are handled by biped in max?

ericsmith
04-21-2010, 09:24 AM
The current rig doesn't do strechy limbs. Back when it was designed, that was not so easy to do in LW. Now with Joints, it should be pretty straightforward.

At some point, I really need to build a new rig that utilizes some of the new rigging features in 9.6. I've just got to find the time.

But that brings me to a point that I've made before, but bears repeating.

Maestro's biggest strength is it's adaptability. We've made it a very straightforward process to modify existing rigs or build your own from scratch. At it's heart, the rigging component of Maestro is really a macro executer, and any command native to LW (which can be reviewed, copied and pasted from the Command History), along with several custom commands we've created, can be put into a simple text file and then tied to a hotspot. Even the walk generator works this way. The same is true for the hotspots themselves. For example, all the buttons on the upper right side are simply command hotspots, and the button graphics were built in photoshop. You could build your own interface to do whatever you want.

This ties into your question about mocap as well. I wanted to create a mocap rig, but the problem was that I couldn't find one standard skeletal structure. But if you have a specific skeleton you use, you could create a custom rig file that would get the job done.

Eric

erikals
04-21-2010, 11:10 AM
thank you Eric,.. http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/smile.gif

btw, it would be very welcome to see _ s-t-r-e-t-c-h-y _ bones _ http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/hammer.gif

erikals
04-22-2010, 07:03 PM
just an idea, if you go for it, it might be you can add stretchy bones using Zbones, like Mike did,...
http://www.mikegreen.name/Lscripts.html#Make_Stretchy

geo_n
04-22-2010, 08:21 PM
just an idea, if you go for it, it might be you can add stretchy bones using Zbones, like Mike did,...
http://www.mikegreen.name/Lscripts.html#Make_Stretchy

have you tried on maestro rigs? Will the rig go screwy I wonder.
I'm loving the controller in maestro. More fun to use than anything I've used.

erikals
04-22-2010, 08:46 PM
unfortunately i haven't, just got Maestro like 1-2 days ago.
my guess is no though, because of the way Maestro is set up...

this does make a big limitation in Maestro, though, as making Cartoon rigs is limited.

ericsmith
04-23-2010, 09:09 AM
my guess is no though, because of the way Maestro is set up...

this does make a big limitation in Maestro, though, as making Cartoon rigs is limited.

I've actually got something pretty cool to show you. I'll do my best to get to it over the weekend.

Stay tuned...

Eric

geo_n
04-23-2010, 09:40 AM
I've actually got something pretty cool to show you. I'll do my best to get to it over the weekend.

Stay tuned...

Eric

Is it another rig with stretchy limbs? :D
I really have to say that maestro makes animation in lw so much more fun. I miss using it whenever I switch to using to max to edit some mocap. If there was a maestro version for max biped that would be so cool!

erikals
04-23-2010, 09:49 AM
that sounds Fantastic... Very curious over here..!! http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/king.gif

erikals
04-23-2010, 09:56 AM
geo_n
you might want to check this video out, http://www.kurvstudios.com/lightwave/importing_mocap.php

geo_n
04-23-2010, 10:12 AM
geo_n
you might want to check this video out, http://www.kurvstudios.com/lightwave/importing_mocap.php

I have it. It is good if you only use lw and have to deal with mocap.

geo_n
04-24-2010, 08:40 AM
Just going thru the video tutorials and about the handpinning, (btw are there more?) I'm not getting the same result as the hipcenter and handpinning video tutorial.
When I try to bake from keyframe 10 to 20 by pressing handpin, maestro bakes from keyframe 0 to 20. The rotation of the hand is wierd after baking. Sent an email already to eric. :D
I'm sure its user error. :devil:

ericsmith
04-24-2010, 09:13 AM
Yup, I replied to your email.

Eric

geo_n
04-24-2010, 09:45 AM
Yup, I replied to your email.

Eric

Read the email and tried it on the default biped. It is user error. :D
Didn't realize the rig for the short project character was different because of that luggage parenting. :devil:
Thanks for the quick reply :thumbsup:

ericsmith
04-24-2010, 10:25 AM
Alrighty then. Here's a quick and dirty video on stretchy limbs with the Maestro rig.

I haven't spent much time with it, and there may be some issues I'm not clueing in to, but at this point, it looks pretty promising.

http://www.stillwaterpictures.com/Maestrodemos/StretchPreview.mov

Eric

ericsmith
04-24-2010, 11:50 AM
Oh, and here's the scene if anyone with Maestro wants to tinker.

Note that I only did the right arm and right leg, but it would be easy to duplicate the same thing on the left side.

Eric

erikals
04-24-2010, 12:12 PM
got some presents this weekend, and this was definitely the best one...
Awesome! http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/icon_biggrin.gif

adding this to Maestro would kick! http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/smile.gif

Castius
04-24-2010, 12:21 PM
Nice work. I really like the independent stretching.

geo_n
04-24-2010, 06:29 PM
Ok when I saw that leg stretch the first time in the video, made my eyes pop and think about the possibilities. :D
Please integrate similar rigs in maestro! :D

ericsmith
04-24-2010, 08:40 PM
I will. The solution is too simple to have any excuse not to.

I just want to mull on it a bit and get some outside feedback so the final solution is not sloppy.

For starters, I'm thinking that the way the arms were done is better than the legs. I can use the arm solution on the legs if I split the thigh and shin. This will add four more bones to the overall skeletal structure, which will of course add a bit more of a CPU hit (ie. it will slow down interaction a smidge, but it may not be enough to even be noticable).

But I'd like to hear other's thoughts on this, as well as any other issues or thoughts anyone has on the matter.

Eric

erikals
04-24-2010, 08:43 PM
cool. http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/smile.gif
(i'm thinking the implementation of deforming points too, where one use a cage around the model to deform it, gosh, can't recall what the function is called. it might be very hard to implement though...)

erikals
04-24-2010, 08:47 PM
lattice deformation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELkkKNW2MFY

ericsmith
04-24-2010, 08:49 PM
cool.
(i'm thinking the implementation of deforming points too, where one use a cage around the model to deform it, gosh, can't recall what the function is called. it might be very hard to implement though...)

Harmonic coordinates?

Yeah, that's a bit more than just adding a few expressions to the rig.

Eric

erikals
04-24-2010, 08:55 PM
yep, pretty much. probably much major work.

erikals
04-24-2010, 08:59 PM
boned or morphed metalink / metacage does something similar... (problem, it requires calculation)

geo_n
04-26-2010, 01:28 AM
lattice deformation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELkkKNW2MFY

I think that's not possible in layout without an ffd deformer.

erikals
04-26-2010, 08:49 AM
most probably,...

geo_n
04-27-2010, 05:29 PM
I wasn't planning on selling it, but I have no use for it since TAFA does things so much better. I seem to recall though that DAZ doesn't permit selling Mimic licenses since it doesn't use serial numbers or any piracy protections AFAIK. If you contact DAZ and they allow it, I have no problem selling the license since it will only be collecting digital dust here.

Got a response from daz regarding mimic

Response (Kraig Hausmann) - 04/27/2010 08:58 AM
Hi,

Thanks for your interest in Mimic Pro for Lightwave. Unfortunately, a license transfer is not possible under this circumstance.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Guess its like AD policy. :devil::sleeping:

geo_n
04-30-2010, 04:23 AM
I will. The solution is too simple to have any excuse not to.

I just want to mull on it a bit and get some outside feedback so the final solution is not sloppy.

For starters, I'm thinking that the way the arms were done is better than the legs. I can use the arm solution on the legs if I split the thigh and shin. This will add four more bones to the overall skeletal structure, which will of course add a bit more of a CPU hit (ie. it will slow down interaction a smidge, but it may not be enough to even be noticable).

But I'd like to hear other's thoughts on this, as well as any other issues or thoughts anyone has on the matter.

Eric

Any updates? :D

erikals
04-30-2010, 06:32 AM
it'll probably take some time, never-the-less i'm very glad it works. http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/023.gif

Eric, quick question,
in not to long i'll prob. be making a T-rex anim, is a Quadruped setup best to use?

ericsmith
04-30-2010, 10:16 AM
Any updates?

My goal is to update the rig this weekend. Honestly, I was hoping to get more discussion going about this before I dove in, but that hasn't happened. What I really need to decide on is the legs. Do I use the method from the test, or do I split the thigh and shin bones and do it more like the arms. I'd really like to not have change the skeletal structure, especially if it means adding more bones, but the arm method does seem more "right". Although, the problem with the leg setup would only be visible if you really stretched things a lot.


Eric, quick question,
in not to long i'll prob. be making a T-rex anim, is a Quadruped setup best to use?

I would actually use the biped, considering the fact that they never walk on all fours. Just remember that the "heel" is actually up the air and looks almost like a backward knee when setting up the skeletal structure.

Eric

erikals
05-01-2010, 09:59 AM
thank you, :]

well, there is one more thing,
in addition to having a stretchy rig, also making it being able to be curved as well...
http://www.christophercrouzet.com/images/ccRig_snap.gif

(i saw a LW tutorial on it some time back, will see if i can find it)

edit: here we go, ftp://ftp.newtek.com/multimedia/movies/w3dw/Joint.mov
turns out it was only a morph, so guess it's redundant...

ericsmith
05-01-2010, 03:20 PM
Yeah, that morph trick is clever, but in my opinion, it's not real production worthy. First off, you have very few loops on the arm, so you'll have to crank up the subdivision level pretty high on the whole character to get decent smoothing. Second, if there's any texturing at all on the arm, it will stretch away from the elbow as you morph into the curve.

As far as I can tell, the only way to get this effect properly is with some kind of spline deformer. And that's a whole different kettle of fish, unfortunately.

Eric

erikals
05-01-2010, 08:31 PM
hm, didn't know

i tested using this method though
old morph objects and metalink.
the morph (or rather object) is then tweaked using the MeshEditTool
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSyCoEgB6oo)
but will have to make more tests to see it deforms with smoothing smooth.
a big drawback of course is having to calculate.
maybe not such a good idea after all...

SplineGod
05-01-2010, 09:45 PM
Shift Spline transform works well along with bones and respects weight maps. The nodes are null objects so bones can be parented to them etc.
Also its possible to also use PLG curve bone plugin as well.

erikals
05-01-2010, 10:05 PM
thanks Larry, i was sure those anchor points couldn't be animated... (wrong again, which is good http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/wink.gif)
http://erikalstad.com/Thank_You_Shift/Shift_SplineTransform.htm

...have yet to try PLG curve bone
http://homepage2.nifty.com/nif-hp/index2_english.htm

geo_n
05-02-2010, 01:57 AM
Any maestro veteran want to comment on the stretchy rigs? Ive only used it for a couple of hours so cant say much.
Tim albee has a way to do stretchy rigs using weight maps but not sure how he sets up the bones. They look disjointed to enable stretchy limbs. So i think no scaling of bones.
Btw the trex has reverse leg like mechwarrior or chicken legs. Is it advisable to use biped?

erikals
05-02-2010, 02:45 AM
about T-Rex,
no, actually, it does not, it just walks on its toes :]
it's called digitigrade

so if we did the same we would have this long feet,...
http://www.kimgrahamstudios.com/images/legs1.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v697/The_Raevyn/Blog%20pictures/stiltpaws.jpg

here we go
http://www.ansp.org/museum/jefferson/images/equus_lateral-hoof.gif

....

ericsmith
05-04-2010, 08:54 PM
Okay, so I've got the stretchy limbs built into the basic biped rig. I've got to propigate it to the other variations (full, torso only, etc.), but I've got a couple of questions I'd like some opinions on.

1. Interface. Adding five extra hotspots is making the interface start to look pretty busy. So I'm thinking about putting the stretch controls together in a box to the right of the character so they don't just blend in with the other controls. I've attached an image to illustrate.

2. Torso/head. Right now, I've created two seperate controls for the torso and head. But it could be interesting instead to have one control, with vertical movement controlling the torso, and horizontal movement controlling the head.

So anyone who's interested, please weigh in on these two points.

Eric

jasonwestmas
05-04-2010, 09:08 PM
Any maestro veteran want to comment on the stretchy rigs? Ive only used it for a couple of hours so cant say much.
Tim albee has a way to do stretchy rigs using weight maps but not sure how he sets up the bones. They look disjointed to enable stretchy limbs. So i think no scaling of bones.
Btw the trex has reverse leg like mechwarrior or chicken legs. Is it advisable to use biped?

I don't know much about maestro but Stretching limbs can be done easier with joints imo. Just guessing but I think that is the biggest reason NT decided to add them to LW.

That is not to say Zbones can't do it well but it will take extra setup time. Eric is of course setting things up for you all nicely.

jasonwestmas
05-04-2010, 09:13 PM
1. Interface. Adding five extra hotspots is making the interface start to look pretty busy. So I'm thinking about putting the stretch controls together in a box to the right of the character so they don't just blend in with the other controls. I've attached an image to illustrate.

I think that would be a good idea Eric.
I love to color code things, can that be done?

2. Torso/head. Right now, I've created two seperate controls for the torso and head. But it could be interesting instead to have one control, with vertical movement controlling the torso, and horizontal movement controlling the head.

I think for something like this I would prefer the torso and head to have separate controls, just works with my brain better.

geo_n
05-04-2010, 09:53 PM
Okay, so I've got the stretchy limbs built into the basic biped rig. I've got to propigate it to the other variations (full, torso only, etc.), but I've got a couple of questions I'd like some opinions on.

1. Interface. Adding five extra hotspots is making the interface start to look pretty busy. So I'm thinking about putting the stretch controls together in a box to the right of the character so they don't just blend in with the other controls. I've attached an image to illustrate.

2. Torso/head. Right now, I've created two seperate controls for the torso and head. But it could be interesting instead to have one control, with vertical movement controlling the torso, and horizontal movement controlling the head.

So anyone who's interested, please weigh in on these two points.

Eric

Thanks for the update :D

1. That looks logical. I think you could maximize the space even more and change the box color for the strecth controls to something bright color. Just an opinion because I know we can change it in photoshop ourselves and move the controls in maestro itself.
2. I think it could be made separate just in case there's some modification that other people want to do and they can do so per part. Can't really give an absolute opinion until we can test it.

geo_n
05-04-2010, 09:59 PM
I don't know much about maestro but Stretching limbs can be done easier with joints imo. Just guessing but I think that is the biggest reason NT decided to add them to LW.

That is not to say Zbones can't do it well but it will take extra setup time. Eric is of course setting things up for you all nicely.

I see. I havent touched joints yet. I've only seen rebelhill use it on top of zbones as a deform rig in his tut. I have to watch the tuts again its so detailed and deep.

I watched todd grimes old school animation tuts. He squashes zbones effectively to create stretchy limbs. A good animator like him makes basic zbones with fk do great animation.

erikals
05-05-2010, 12:13 AM
1 sounds good to me, not so sure about 2...
wonder, how would you reset the stretch back to zero stretch?

geo_n
05-06-2010, 02:09 PM
1 sounds good to me, not so sure about 2...
wonder, how would you reset the stretch back to zero stretch?

mmb on the control box resets. Works for all control box. Not sure if its equal to undo I haven't fully read the manual.

erikals
05-16-2010, 09:15 AM
i'm trying forever to think of a bend solution,... http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/confused.gif

geo_n
05-16-2010, 09:20 PM
i'm trying forever to think of a bend solution,... http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/confused.gif

bend solution?

erikals
05-17-2010, 04:50 AM
yep, the bend /curve problem,...
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1014287#post1014287

jasonwestmas
05-17-2010, 08:41 AM
yep, the bend /curve problem,...
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1014287#post1014287

What are you trying to animate the spine?, A tail?

erikals
05-17-2010, 01:56 PM
the goal is to use Maestro in conjunction with a bend/spline deformer
to create a bent leg like this,...
http://www.newtek.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=84899&stc=1&d=1274126004

i'm thinking like Larry says that Shift SplineTransform might be best,
http://erikalstad.com/Thank_You_Shift/Shift_SplineTransform.htm

this will probably mean that i need to at occasions be able to turn off the Maestro legbones automatically,
for then to use the plugin.

jasonwestmas
05-17-2010, 05:33 PM
Yeah I'm not sure how LW bones or joints would do that and still have an plausable ankle knee and hip pivot. Probably the best way is to get something to deform the mesh itself and still position the legs with a traditional IK setup. That sounds like what Splinegod is saying with that spline deformer. I would say use endomorphs if the mesh was simple but the interactivity issue might pose a problem.

SplineGod
05-18-2010, 02:25 AM
also try plg curve bone plugin

erikals
05-18-2010, 03:35 AM
...but plg curve bone plugin doesn't allow for stretchy bones, does it?

still, plg curve bone would be difficult to animate the normal way i suppose...

geo_n
05-18-2010, 06:46 AM
any update from eric? the stretchy rigs :)

jasonwestmas
05-18-2010, 07:53 AM
...but plg curve bone plugin doesn't allow for stretchy bones, does it?

still, plg curve bone would be difficult to animate the normal way i suppose...

Correct, as much as I love plg curve bone (it behaves a lot like spline IK)
I don't see how you could use it to deform the mesh alone. Neither do I see how you could apply IK to a bone chain leg and still have a recognizable ankle, knee, hip motion as he walks.

ericsmith
05-18-2010, 09:00 AM
any update from eric? the stretchy rigs

Sorry I've been a bit absent. The past couple of weeks have been a flurry of family drama (we had to sell my mother-in-law's house, and she's got like 50 years of junk that has to be sorted through, and she's dragging her heels the whole way. Ever seen that show "horders"?)

The design work is done, I just have to do the grunt work of implementing the changes across all the rig variations.

I'll get it out the door as soon as I can get my head above water.

Eric

geo_n
05-18-2010, 09:05 AM
No hurry. Just excited. :)

erikals
05-18-2010, 03:38 PM
well, Shift Spline Transform does look interesting,
http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7777&postcount=21

wonder, is there a way to turn off the effect of bones gradually?
(so that the Shift Spline Transform deformer would do the transformation instead)

jasonwestmas
05-18-2010, 04:52 PM
well, Shift Spline Transform does look interesting,
http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7777&postcount=21

wonder, is there a way to turn off the effect of bones gradually?
(so that the Shift Spline Transform deformer would do the transformation instead)

You can't transform well enough with the spline on top of the bones?

Chris S. (Fez)
05-18-2010, 05:40 PM
Step-by-step Max implementation that might be "portable":

http://www.free3dtutorials.com/rigging/3d-max/bendy-limbs-tutorial.php

erikals
05-18-2010, 06:44 PM
You can't transform well enough with the spline on top of the bones?

tested a bit, and it softens the bend, but doesn't have a 100% influence.
not sure if that can be done...

so the idea was to gradually turn off the bone effect

jasonwestmas
05-18-2010, 07:06 PM
tested a bit, and it softens the bend, but doesn't have a 100% influence.
not sure if that can be done...

so the idea was to gradually turn off the bone effect

You can turn a bone influence off completely obviously but I don't think there is a way to animate the on/off with no envelope. If you could get the bones to drive the splines you could then move the splines with IK bones. So IK bones would drive the splines and the splines would have 100% influence over the mesh.

erikals
05-19-2010, 12:20 AM
i can move the anchors of the splines with bones, or nulls,
but the problem is that i need some way to gradually turn off the bones.

hmm... darnit.

geo_n
05-27-2010, 09:42 AM
Just had a thought. Since I see some people sell small useful items for lightwave like mentalfish circlify, lwcad add on packs, why don't people sell prebuilt rigs? In case of maestro which has a powerful rig controller, it would be cool if there was an add on pack for animal rigs, vehicle rigs, etc.
It might not sell thousands at a high price but sell it at a good price and a lot of people will buy it then that's a good some of money.
Sometimes I'm looking for spider rig, a bird rig, etc, for lightwave. But found nothing and I feel lazy to do it myself :D so I get free 3dmax rigs and end up doing it in max. :devil:

Titus
05-27-2010, 10:02 AM
Just had a thought. Since I see some people sell small useful items for lightwave like mentalfish circlify, lwcad add on packs, why don't people sell prebuilt rigs? In case of maestro which has a powerful rig controller, it would be cool if there was an add on pack for animal rigs, vehicle rigs, etc.
It might not sell thousands at a high price but sell it at a good price and a lot of people will buy it then that's a good some of money.
Sometimes I'm looking for spider rig, a bird rig, etc, for lightwave. But found nothing and I feel lazy to do it myself :D so I get free 3dmax rigs and end up doing it in max. :devil:

I don't think people is paying for these things, what happened to that amazing car rigger?

geo_n
05-27-2010, 10:42 AM
I don't think people is paying for these things, what happened to that amazing car rigger?

I think some people would. Some people bought mf circlify already. Pictrix has many affordable plugins.
Many people buy kurv web training because its not expensive and the content is good. Many many people buy models at turbosquid and make a good living there. :D
But add on rigs which you can adapt to models like what I mentioned, nothing for lw I think. There is maestro though which has biped and quadrapeds.

RebelHill
05-27-2010, 12:25 PM
...add on rigs which you can adapt to models...

Patience, patience...

...

Titus
05-27-2010, 12:40 PM
I think some people would. Some people bought mf circlify already. Pictrix has many affordable plugins.
Many people buy kurv web training because its not expensive and the content is good.

Then it's a mistery why we don't have more stuff like this around :D.

erikals
05-27-2010, 02:46 PM
I don't think people is paying for these things, what happened to that amazing car rigger?

it had a limited market.
it's a great tool, but car rigs are seldom needed.

for game trailers or movies like TRON however it is perfect.

so, it has a bigger limitation.

Hieron
05-27-2010, 03:57 PM
well, Shift Spline Transform does look interesting,
http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7777&postcount=21



Still 32 bit only? :)

Someone needs to recode that..

Chris S. (Fez)
05-27-2010, 04:29 PM
Patience, patience...

...

Cool. Keep us updated.

erikals
05-27-2010, 04:32 PM
Patience, patience...

...

Curious...

geo_n
05-27-2010, 06:37 PM
Then it's a mistery why we don't have more stuff like this around :D.

I think its not a mystery. its just that lw has very few skilled riggers compared to other software to distribute rigs for free or for sale. Again also price is important, sell too high and it might not sell at all. I'm speaking from personal experience with selling models on the side. Looking at kurv, they're webinars were 50-60 before and now in the 15-20. I think they're making more money when 1000 people attend they're webinars instead of 100.
Lets see what RebelHill will produce. :D
Also if maestro had an add pack for rigs for animals, etc that would be cool.

Nemoid
05-28-2010, 10:12 AM
was just browsing around a bit after reading this discussion so i found this funny Maya rigging reel.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFyu9sso3Ns
I think it involves some MEL scripting as well, but i like very much like he does squatch and stretch for cartoons as well as bends arms. are these things driven by lattices or something similar? and more important: would they be possible in Lw which AFIK doesn't have lattices and set driven key?

jasonwestmas
05-28-2010, 10:22 AM
was just browsing around a bit after reading this discussion so i found this funny Maya rigging reel.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFyu9sso3Ns
I think it involves some MEL scripting as well, but i like very much like he does squatch and stretch for cartoons as well as bends arms. are these things driven by lattices or something similar? and more important: would they be possible in Lw which AFIK doesn't have lattices and set driven key?

I've never seen the object deformer stuff done well in lightwave, though I know it is possible. Simply nobody (except maybe in Japan) ever took the time to develop a good plugin to do that for reasons I am not aware.

http://flay.com/getdetail.cfm?ID=2584

erikals
05-29-2010, 10:21 AM
i was thinking, maybe it's possible to fake it with a displacement map....

http://www.newtek.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=84899&stc=1&d=1274126004

will test some time later on...

erikals
06-01-2010, 10:04 AM
yep, first test went ok,... very cool http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/smile.gif

hope to see some stretchy Eric http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/king.gif

BigHache
06-11-2010, 03:44 PM
You guys have taken a boring thread on pumpkins and turned it into an interesting discussion on character animation!

I've decided to go for broke and just try to do this thing all out in 3D. I haven't been able to touch this for a time, but recently I think I've gotten the modeling done/pretty much done on the little guy and I should be ready to create the endomorphs. I'm excited about this as this is my first go at morphs for CA of any kind.

erikals
06-11-2010, 03:54 PM
i'm just waiting for Eric to release the update, so i can rig my stretchy bone Moose :]

(nice model, look forward to see it in action :]

Titus
06-11-2010, 05:34 PM
I found another interesting rig, how they do this proxy thing while stretching legs?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Esn-cI-AbqQ&feature=related

BigHache
06-14-2010, 10:15 AM
@ erik - thanks! ;) I'm pretty excited as well. I just started on the morphs today.

All this discussion on stretchy stuff has me wondering what would be a good solution for me to do squash/stretch? This isn't a full character, but more like a bouncy head. Just create a few morphs? Or would something else be better/give more control?

erikals
06-14-2010, 10:24 AM
i'm thinking maybe animate it first, then MDD scan it, and stretch the MDD (using e.g. bones).
not 100% sure if you can stretch an MDD though...

BigHache
06-14-2010, 01:42 PM
I'll have to read up some more on MDD. I've never used it.

I'm pretty happy with my initial test. The process isn't that fast with sliders, but it seems like it's taking about the same amount of time to sync in LW as it did with the mask shapes in AE.

erikals
06-14-2010, 01:55 PM
for this kind of stuff, yep, TAFA is the best (in the industry actually, afaik)
http://ta-animation.com/FA/orderTAFA.htm

BigHache
06-14-2010, 02:21 PM
Yeah, I'll prolly pull the trigger on that for this project. I needed to get these morphs done, next I'll download the TAFA demo and see how that treats me. I've watched the videos and it looks pretty fab.

Now to finish modeling the other pumpkin's face and create his morphs…

geo_n
06-19-2010, 10:33 AM
i'm just waiting for Eric to release the update, so i can rig my stretchy bone Moose :]

(nice model, look forward to see it in action :]

Is Eric making a quad stretchy rig?

geo_n
07-08-2010, 04:13 AM
Patience, patience...

...

So the vimeo vid is out. When do we test it out. Hehe.
Those add on packs i ientioned would still be cool to have besides the biped autoriggers. And stretchy rigs!
Maybe its possible to work with eric in using the maestro controllers. The sliders in are a bit hard to click and messy.

BigHache
07-08-2010, 04:04 PM
Question for you Expression gurus. I'm looking to create the effect of a candle flicker. I'm thinking this would be probably be done with an Expression to control the Light Intensity, I'm guessing something similar to the Wiggle() script in AE. Thoughts?

I do have Larry's LW Expression session by Kurv too, so if my answer is on that then I'll finish watching it.

pooby
07-08-2010, 04:07 PM
Noisy channel modifier on the envelope will do that.

BigHache
07-09-2010, 07:16 AM
Thanks pooby, that works really well. :thumbsup:

BigHache
07-09-2010, 09:52 AM
I've finally gotten the front porch facade modeled, textured, and lit. This is a straight LW render with no post.

When I render out the image sequence I will add things like noise/grain and probably a bit of a vignette to help soften the CG look. The modeling and lighting are based on existing footage so it can't change too drastically. If anyone has suggestions for what can help realism I'm open to suggestions.

With the exception of my gobo, all lights in the scene are DP Lights. For some reason the DP Flood light would crash Layout 9.6 when I went to render using a Projection Image. I really wanted to use the DP Flood light as it gives you the option to interactively blur the Projection Image. With the standard Spotlight I had to blur the image before importing it into Layout (unless there's a step that IDK, please tell if so). Not a big deal but would have been more convenient.

Cheers!

mrbones
07-09-2010, 04:01 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mzrjN7OCKg

Here is a pumpkin man animation I found on you tube.

Seemed related so I post it.

Cheers

BigHache
07-11-2010, 12:07 AM
That reminds me of some PS1 game from way back in the day, can't recall the name of it.

geo_n
07-11-2010, 05:38 AM
Any update on the stretchy rigs for maestro. Im really having a good time using maestro in lw.
Also does anyone have any walk and run cycles for maestro rigs that can be copy paste to scenes?

BigHache
07-16-2010, 03:11 PM
I have an AE question if anyone knows. I'm rendering out my scenes at 15fps because it looks sweeter (and half the rendering time of 30fps, score!). To do this I'm using a Frame Step of 2 in LW. I didn't set the Scene to 15fps because imported audio doesn't play correctly.

With this Frame Step of 2, AE does not like that the sequence is "missing" frames and won't actually render my comp. I'm having to renumber the rendered sequences. Can that be helped?

geo_n
07-17-2010, 06:15 AM
I have an AE question if anyone knows. I'm rendering out my scenes at 15fps because it looks sweeter (and half the rendering time of 30fps, score!). To do this I'm using a Frame Step of 2 in LW. I didn't set the Scene to 15fps because imported audio doesn't play correctly.

With this Frame Step of 2, AE does not like that the sequence is "missing" frames and won't actually render my comp. I'm having to renumber the rendered sequences. Can that be helped?

Theres a checkbox in ae during import to force it to read framestepped sequence. Then just time remap the layer in ae.

BigHache
07-17-2010, 10:53 PM
Thanks! I'll take a look at that on Monday.

BigHache
07-27-2010, 09:15 AM
I was going to wait until these aired to post, but it looks like they won't air. This is a revisit of a spot that ran last year to test the new all 3D look.

All elements are LW. The tight shots were rendered in three layers, foreground, character, and background, then composited in AE. Some post FX in AE to give a bit of a diffuse glow and for the DoF in the background. Enjoy!

erikals
07-27-2010, 10:39 AM
looked fun http://erikalstad.com/backup/anims.php_files/smile.gif

BigHache
07-27-2010, 08:48 PM
Yup! It was fun and a good learning experience. I'm pretty satisfied with this being my first character animation.

TeZzy
07-27-2010, 09:33 PM
that turned out pretty cool! well done

BigHache
07-28-2010, 10:02 PM
Thanks TeZzy!

erikals
09-04-2010, 01:43 PM
just a link to the process on the new Maestro version
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1045748#post1045748