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RebelHill
09-04-2010, 08:40 AM
So...

The exchange between LW and FBX has a lot of people confused, and its not hard to see why. Changes to both the FBX standard, the implications of the joints system added to LW, and LWs new native FBX import/export tools have never been explained anywhere that clearly or succinctly.

So here, to clear up the confusion for you all, I have produced a lil guide to the things you need to know to get LW and FBX working together simply, and seamlessly.

An example character, and reusable joint based rig that you can refit into your own characters is provided.

http://rebelhill.net/html/lwandfbx.html

Hope this is useful to those with interest in this stuff.

zarti
09-04-2010, 02:19 PM
very much appreciated , thank you !

Greenlaw
09-04-2010, 05:33 PM
Yes, thank you!

I've been trying to work with fbx lately for a personal project, but I'm getting tired and frustrated with all the trial and error tests I'm having to do. The lack of basic information about what features will come through and what won't in a given version of LW's FBX can get maddening. (It's even worse with Collada and I've pretty much given up on that format for now.)

Anyway, I'm looking forward to watching your vids! :)

G.

RebelHill
09-04-2010, 05:54 PM
Yeah... collada is a bit of a pain for me too atm.

Specifically, ive been looking for an exchange as clean and simple as the one for fbx, but with collada so as the setup works just as cleanly for animeeple. motionbuilders out of teh range of a lot of folks pockets... hell, as u can see Im still on 7.5 and havent upgraded, mainly due to that very issue.

Problem Ive found with animeeple is that it totally screws the co-ordinates... Z becomes left/right, Y becomes forward/back, and X is up/down... which is totally screwy with respect to LW, maya, max, mb, and... well, pretty much everything I think.

Now animeeple itself uses normal XYZ order, you can see as much in the viewport, but its collada export is bonkers, as described above... adn its definately animeeple's export, as Ive converted the collada with fbx converter, and the co-ords still come out the same... so at least we know that LWs valkyrie is doing things "right".

Now is this just the way collada works, or is it just animeeple's export thats up the stick... I dunno... but Im hoping to find some answers.

I guess next is to try the fbx plugin for animeeple, but Ill give that a shot at a later date I guess. More important things for the now to be doing.

edit; OK, gotta be animeeple... if you export collada from LW and bring it back in... with or without pumping it through MB or fbx convert, then it comes back in again just fine, with co-ords ordered correctly. Go figure, right.

Greenlaw
09-04-2010, 07:06 PM
I'm hardly an expert on the subject but I've had much better luck using Animeeple's FBX exporter with Lightwave than the Collada exporter.

To be fair, I shouldn't pick on just LW because I'm not really sure where all my Collada woes come from. The more I work with the format, the more it seems like every developer is doing their own take on it. My tests with FBX have at least been more consistent and with fewer surprises. I personally feel buying the Animeeple FBX plug-in was worth it just for the reduced hassle factor alone. :)

I haven't been able to get back to my testing for the past month, but hope to get back to it very soon. My wife and I started a new Gothtober project and we're trying to set up an iPi DMC-to-Animeeple-to-LW workflow. I'll post some WIP stuff when we get to that point.

G.

RebelHill
09-04-2010, 07:17 PM
Ahhh... sweet, testing out the FBX plugin for animeeple is defo on my to do list... If you did get a few minutes to take the example rig I posted with the vids, export it as shown, slap an animeeple motion on it, and export as fbx, then import to LW via the process shown, and let me know if its a go, that'd be AWESOME.

Im also interested in the ipisoft system, been umming and ahhing over it for a while now (and in part preparing to kick myself if it is a goer and I didnt buy in sooner while it was cheaper), so Id def be interested in hearing any feedback on that lil fella too when you get back around to your testing.

Greenlaw
09-04-2010, 09:45 PM
Hi RH,

I just watched the first video, and I wanted to THANK YOU again! That was very informative. To be honest, the last time I did LightWave character rigging was before the introduction of the new joints system, so some of the weirdness I was seeing in FBX and Collada was a total mystery to me. Now I think I have a better understanding of what's happening and what to watch for.

BTW, we're going to do some iPi Studio sessions later this week, and I'd be happy to send you some iPi files for testing if you like; let me know if there's anything specific you'd like me to do. In theory we're supposed to be able to bring in alternative skeleton which may be useful in our project, and I'll let you know how that goes.

Okay, off to watch part 2 of your presentation. :)

Greenlaw

P.S., I downloaded your file. Will try the test tonight or tomorrow night if I can make time.

RebelHill
09-05-2010, 05:28 AM
Yeah, smashing. That'd be great. If theres an option to bring in alternative skeletons that'd be interesting, to be able to have an fbx hierarchy ready mapped out of it. Otherwise though, ive also been playing recently with other sutff in MB, such as the cleaning of bvh data in MB, as well as using the actor system to pull motions out of c3d marker arrays, and so on.

GraphXs
09-06-2010, 10:18 AM
Thanks! I'm going to try this with Max. Do you know if it works with CAT Rigs or Bipid? I assume it only works with Max Joints. Again Thanks, you are a LW Rigging GOD!

3dWannabe
09-06-2010, 10:56 AM
Yeah, smashing. That'd be great. If theres an option to bring in alternative skeletons that'd be interesting, to be able to have an fbx hierarchy ready mapped out of it. Otherwise though, ive also been playing recently with other sutff in MB, such as the cleaning of bvh data in MB, as well as using the actor system to pull motions out of c3d marker arrays, and so on.

Just received MotionBuilder - and also have iPi's motion capture (like Greenlaw).

So I'm VERY interested in getting that motion capture into a LW model, as JimmyRIG seems to be taking longer than anticipated to bring out their Pro version.

I'd certainly be interested in seeing how you're using MotionBuilder (the iPi developers seem to feel it is not current technology, for things such as removing skating - so hopefully they are going to surpass it for that purpose?) in this process and will view your two videos today.

Thanks a lot for posting!

RebelHill
09-06-2010, 10:58 AM
Yes... yes I am.

But seriously...

CAT, I believe, is already built ready for fbx, so should work fine by itself. Biped, I believe is its own propietary structure, so how u go about turning .fbx into .bip Ive got no clue. Otherwise though, the same rules I detail in the video about placement, orientation, etc, are fbx specifics, so that info is trasferable across all packages, most especially maya. You can fbx this thing out of lw, import it into maya and the whole thing sings wonderfully. In fact, if you wanted to, you could setup the joint rig Ive put up with IK, etc, in either LW or maya, do hand anim, bake the bones rotations, and fbx your way back across to the other package for transfering bones animation with no issues... so Id assume much the same for max... as for the need to use joints instead of bones, I think it works with either, so you should be able to just import the fbx from LW straight into max (or again vice versa) and it be all ready for use in there too.

Now that Ive done it, Im glad i spent the time I did digging through different versions of fbx rig specs, because its making the transfer of bones animation between packages a breeze.

RebelHill
09-06-2010, 11:02 AM
the iPi developers seem to feel it is not current technology, for things such as removing skating

Hmmm... well, i dont know of anything better out there than MB. In 7.5 the tools for fixing feet placement (which is what I assume u mean by skating) works just great, so if you're jsut starting, and have 2011, I can only imagine that the tools will have improved even more... especially with the addition of the simulation tools working on top of the mocap... omg, drool much? I wish I could justify the expenditure to go up to the latest version, but sadly for the minute, for the stuff Im doing, I just cant. Sad face!!!

3dWannabe
09-06-2010, 11:37 AM
Hmmm... well, i dont know of anything better out there than MB. In 7.5 the tools for fixing feet placement (which is what I assume u mean by skating) works just great, so if you're jsut starting, and have 2011, I can only imagine that the tools will have improved even more... especially with the addition of the simulation tools working on top of the mocap... omg, drool much? I wish I could justify the expenditure to go up to the latest version, but sadly for the minute, for the stuff Im doing, I just cant. Sad face!!!

I mentioned it here to get a second opinion as you have certainly mastered rigging and animation.

iPi's comments where here:

http://www.ipisoft.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=3297&hilit=motionbuilder&sid=a4a19512c4c784ba8cc2821870b7e955

He mentions a 'biometrically-correct skeleton inside the capture application' as one of the possible solutions - and said he's working on it.

Maybe you could get a dialog going with him and give him some advice?

RebelHill
09-06-2010, 12:17 PM
haha... well character rigging and motioncapture, despite their seeming similarities, are very diferent beasts.

Now a biometric skeleton isnt a particularly hard thing to build, and the FBX skeleton is pretty damn close really, save mainly for the small number of spine joints.

However, the kind of implementation I think you'll find he's talking about is more to do with the analysis of motion to "extract" the skeleton. And that's HARD.

The easy way is simply to have a skeletal structure and "stick" it to a piece of video, essentially, automated rotoscoping, and for th most part, this is how a lot of mocap tech has worked. But to resolve the kind of errors he's on about is moving more into the territory of teaching the computer to "look through the flesh" to figure out what the actual skeleton of the performer is doing, or at the very least building a system which emulates this to some degree or other.

To do that requires not rigging, but high level computer science and AI skills, and then once you got both of those down you gotta convert the resultant data back down with overlapping quaternions to calculate the motions to apply to the mocap data skeleton.

I understand the theory and principles of the process just fine, but as far as design, and implementation go, I dont even reach the dizzying heights of NOOB on that landscape.

But thanks for the vote of confidence all the same. (;

The Wizzard
05-23-2014, 11:21 AM
I finally did a tutorial on: "Lightwave to MotionBuilder and Back again "
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eju1edD7k0A

I hope it helps some of you :)

The Wizzard
05-25-2014, 04:42 PM
I've uploaded the next tutorial...
"Lightwave to MotionBuilder to ENDORPHIN and Back again"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSkDM-l38hM

Enjoy :)

jwiede
05-26-2014, 06:42 PM
I've uploaded the next tutorial...
Please stop spamming ads for your product in every vaguely-related thread.

Megalodon2.0
05-26-2014, 08:54 PM
Please stop spamming ads for your product in every vaguely-related thread.

What Ads? What product? These are tutorials that HELP PEOPLE. I don't see them being for sale. If they are, please show me.
\

The Wizzard
05-26-2014, 08:57 PM
Please stop spamming ads for your product in every vaguely-related thread.

I made these tuts after been asked and they took several days to put together. I'm not selling anything to people here, I did these for free and I don't ask for anything in return.

I wasn't attempting to spam - Just trying to get them to people I thought could use them.

:(

The Wizzard
05-26-2014, 09:01 PM
What Ads? What product? These are tutorials that HELP PEOPLE. I don't see them being for sale. If they are, please show me.
\

You just beat my reply to this :)
Thank you for your support. I was kinda thinking I wasted my time making the tuts

Megalodon2.0
05-26-2014, 09:24 PM
You just beat my reply to this :)
Thank you for your support. I was kinda thinking I wasted my time making the tuts

Wasting your time? Not for me. I really appreciate these tutes. You and Chazriker and Rebel Hill have helped me a great deal with your tutes.

Thank you VERY much for creating them!

m.d.
05-26-2014, 09:58 PM
You just beat my reply to this :)
Thank you for your support. I was kinda thinking I wasted my time making the tuts

No....keep it up, good stuff

Greenlaw
05-26-2014, 10:39 PM
He's complaining about the cross-posting across several threads. I know in my case, the same announcement message has appeared about a dozen times in my inbox in the last couple of days. I'm not complaining about the video tutorial itself--I appreciate and encourage all contributions from other LightWave users--but it's generally not good forum etiquette to post the same exact message in many threads in the same forum.

I understand the impulse to do so but it's really not necessary--most posts get read or at least glanced at by most of the users here. IMO, it's better (and more polite) to start a new thread for a new tutorial in the 'LW - General Techniques, Tips & Tricks' section.

Just sayin'. :)

G.

Ryan Roye
05-27-2014, 11:31 AM
I understand the impulse to do so but it's really not necessary--most posts get read or at least glanced at by most of the users here. IMO, it's better (and more polite) to start a new thread for a new tutorial in the 'LW - General Techniques, Tips & Tricks' section.

It would also not dilute the possibility of actual feedback. It is hard to have a meaningful conversation on a tutorial or subject when it is spread all over the forums rather than in its own topic. Making a thread in either the community or tips sections would be more than enough. Referencing what you've made to help drive the conversation or provide a faster means of suggesting a solution isn't a bad thing; it is just that most of the topics I saw these tutorials linked to were done and over with a long time ago so it is largely seen as spam by a lot of folks.

Megalodon2.0
05-27-2014, 07:57 PM
He's complaining about the cross-posting across several threads.

He was also implying that The Wizzard was SELLING something and that he was spamming the threads in order to sell.

JWeide owes him an apology.

djwaterman
05-27-2014, 09:16 PM
Yeah, I didn't mind. Certainly makes sure we don't miss it.

tyrot
07-29-2014, 06:23 PM
actually i wanted to ask some question for optimal LW to MB

1- Should i use - The wizzard's Genoma Rig based approach and let the FBX exporter to the weighting while exporting
2- Should i use Rebel's - FBX ready rig and adjust it for my characters within layout?

Or should i try to LoadBones route to modeler - and update bones with MikeGreen plugin?

It would be nice to have MB friendly skelegons :) for easier adjustment... do you guys have one?

Best

RebelHill
07-30-2014, 07:15 AM
Whats "optimal" for LW<>MB is largely a matter of preference based on your given character/project. The only things you need to have are a bone setup with the right joints set for motionbuilder to make use of, and the joints correctly oriented in LW for the export to work right (which means no pivot recording basically). Beyond that, its pretty open and there's no one fixed way thats better than another, other than on a case by case basis.

tyrot
07-30-2014, 11:23 AM
thank you rebel...is there any SKELEGON for modeler that you might share:) - ok im asking too much but i had strange difficulties when i adjust a bone within Layout...