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Paul Goodrich
12-02-2010, 08:02 PM
Got a question out there. Is it possible in Lightwave to animate using a simple control rig so as to speed things up and then swap the rig out with one with advanced deformation (ala some of Rebel Hill's rigs) and have the animation be intact? I know you can swap/import/export rigs but I would imagine that if you had any animation on it, would it be, what? Be lost? Got weird? My question is that I hear/read about workflow at some places using proxy models and stripped down rigs for quick animation and then at render time swap out the model for a high rez one (this I know we CAN do in Lightwave) and also transfer the animation info to a deformation rig with hair/fur/muscles, etc. Which I'm wondering is if that's possible in Lightwave? Or is there a script or other work around to do this? Or is it just not doable in Lightwave? One of the reasons I ask this is that one of the rigs that I have from his tutorials things slow down quite a bit. So is there another option to switch parts (the things perhaps slowing it down) of the rig on and off? Thanks all.

Paul Goodrich

evenflcw
12-02-2010, 09:24 PM
Never lost. You can save an load motions between items. As long as your rigs are driven by similarly placed items it'll be fine.

But it is a good idea to rig in layers - at the very least an animation rig and a deformation rig. As such you can swap out and mix and match between either. Most often you'd be swapping out the latter though.

Swapping out deformation rigs (keeping animation rig intact) would then mean you'd have to somehow have the newly loaded rig setup to follow the animation rig. There is no native function for that. You can do it manually, but you're better assisted with a script. I think RH new rigging tools (rhiggit was it called?) does this within it's own system, but I suppose one could write something more generic aswell.

nickdigital
12-02-2010, 10:46 PM
The MultiMotionGN script will export/import out multiple motion files.
http://thespread.faulknermano.com/_theoldspread/index.htm

I've used it to transfer animation from one rig to another. As long as your items are in the same place this'll work.

You could also check out these threads:
http://newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94004&highlight=multimotion

http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=798946

SplineGod
12-02-2010, 11:29 PM
Its possible to do so using IKBoost, motion mixer and other tools.
Another option would be to build a rig that you animate with that is fast and light. Build a more complex rig that includes deformations, expressions etc that is more complex but apply something like relativity to it so that the base animation bones of the complex rig FOLLOW the same animation bones of the basic animation rig. Relativity has the option to bake all motions at once and then remove relativity.
This can work for hand keyed animation or imported mocap.

RebelHill
12-03-2010, 05:13 AM
Ok... well as you'll have noticed from the tuts, my rigs contain 2 rigs... an animation/control rig, and a deformation rig, with the deform rig trageting onto the control rig.

Smashing.

So all you need to do, is after setting up your character fully, is save a copy of the scene, and delete the deform rig in its entirety, leaving you with a faster preforming control only rig, which, ofc, has the exact names/hierarchy as the control rig driving the deform one in the master scene.

You can animate this control only rig, setting up some basic deforms on it in wahtever fashion to give you a proxy to work with, or make a copy of the model, chop it to pieces and parent them into the appropriate places on your control only rig.

Once done, you can then load the motions from your control only rig back onto the control rig fo the main scene, and there you go.

Now you'd think, that the easiest way to do this would be to use LWs own load from scene, using merge only motion envelopes... but sadly, this is broken, as doing this on a rig with constraints setup will break all the blends on those constraints... so instead you'll want to use something like multimotionGN, as mentioned, which'll let you copy the animation perfectly across.

Paul Goodrich
12-04-2010, 06:41 PM
First thanks everyone . So let me see if I have this correct. I would want to set up the full rig first. With all the deformers and do-dads and so on. Then save the scene and then strip items off of it to speed things up (and perhaps use a proxy object as well). My next question (sorry) is what items or things are the biggest hit on speed. And which of those can be removed without mucking things up. Joints (for muscle bones, etc,), expressions, targets, weight maps, motion modifiers, normal and/or displacement maps, large texture maps, node setups, what of these should and/or can be removed safely? Thanks again.

Paul Goodrich

nickdigital
12-04-2010, 09:21 PM
If Rebel responds he'll have a more complete and fleshed out list but this is what I know.

High poly geometry.
Work at the lowest possible sub'd level as possible. You could even go the extra step of cutting up your geometry and then just using parent-child relationships to attach geometry to your bones. This way you avoid having to actually deform geometry.

Morph mixer on objects with a lot of points.
When possible only have morph mixer on just the geometry that needs it. For example, if only morph mixer needs to be on the head because of lip sync, then have the head be it's own layer.

Expressions.
A rig with a lot of expressions can pull down the speed of your rig.

Optimize your rig as much as possible. A fast and fluid rig will help speed up and make the animation process more enjoyable.

SubDProxy
12-06-2010, 10:07 PM
Morph mixer on objects with a lot of points.
When possible only have morph mixer on just the geometry that needs it. For example, if only morph mixer needs to be on the head because of lip sync, then have the head be it's own layer.

In my short two years of animating I never once thought of doing that! Thats a good idea! Thanks!

Glen

Paul Goodrich
12-07-2010, 01:22 PM
What about weight maps. I see a lot of tutorials out there that seem to dis them and use hold bones instead. Do weight maps slow down a rig? And multiple IK chains or hierarchies of bones, are those a problem and how would you solve that? Thanks again everyone.

Paul Goodrich

nickdigital
12-07-2010, 07:18 PM
What about weight maps. I see a lot of tutorials out there that seem to dis them and use hold bones instead. Do weight maps slow down a rig? And multiple IK chains or hierarchies of bones, are those a problem and how would you solve that? Thanks again everyone.

Paul Goodrich

I'm not sure about weight maps. The dis on weight maps might be more that they're a pain to setup. I don't know of many people who enjoy painting weight maps.

The more complicated the rig (more ik chains, bones, etc) then the slower the rig will be. Try to build a basic control rig so you can get the gross motion down. From there transfer to a deformation/final rig for final rendering.

Paul Goodrich
12-09-2010, 09:34 AM
OK, more fun. I'm doing a short animation on a character using morph targets. I find that I'm unhappy with one of the morphs. I go back to Modeler and revise the object and save it under a new name. Now it has a new morph target in the object. In my scene I replace the object with the new one. The new morph doesn't show up in Morph Mixer. I have animation on the object now and want to add to it but Layout doesn't see the new morph but it shows up in Modeler fine. How can I get layout to see it? Is this an issue where I can't add Morphs after already animating? Any ideas? Thanks again.

Paul Goodrich

nickdigital
12-09-2010, 09:55 AM
Remove Morph Mixer and re-apply it. I believe the newly added instance of MM will preserve your animation but you could save out the MM file before removing it.

It would be nice if Layout auto-updated your morph list when you add one.