View Full Version : 1999 Lightwave Animation - SockMonkey + LipService

03-18-2011, 12:25 PM
So, I've finally decided to dig through my old archives and post on YouTube some interesting animations I've done 10-12 years ago using Lightwave in quite non-standard ways. This first one I'm posting I've made in 1999 for a government TV ad which was broadcasted in my state here in Brazil (Sergipe). For the 3D part of the job I've used Lightwave 3D exclusively, but without any bones or traditional morphs whatsoever. Instead, I've employed SockMonkey for the joints deformations - which allowed for much better animation interactivity, considering the slow performance of the machines of the time - and the LipService plugin. LipService worked with SockMonkey just fine - differently from MorphMixer - and allowed (and still allows) for very smooth non-linear morphing which preserves volume very well. Another curiosity is that I've used no IK whatsoever, as far as I remember IK back then was not only slow but quite unstable, so I opted to pin down the feet manually, animating on ones (frame by frame).

For the keying mask I've used Elastic Reality, morphing the mask on 60 fps - a lot of work - and After Effects for comping and color matching. Considering the strong limitations of those days tools and equipment, and my own lack of deeper knowledge about animation (which shows ahem), I'm very proud of the final result. Sorry for the low image quality, it's the only copy I've got and it's actually amazing that I still have any, I've lost many similar "relics" as evil hard drives fail and "delete your history".

Hope you enjoy it at least for its "historic and uniqueness" value heh


PS.: Click on "CC" in the Youtube screen menu to enable english subtitles

03-19-2011, 08:42 AM
You have a copy Of Elastic Reality, I have a copy too, and it works wonders for morphing...Elastic is no long around.

03-23-2011, 08:45 AM
You have a copy Of Elastic Reality, I have a copy too, and it works wonders for morphing...Elastic is no long around.
Well, actually I've started using it back in Amiga days when it was called "MorphPlus" :) Elastic Reality was so much better though. Anyways, last I heard of it it had been acquired by Avid. I've just checked on wiki and according to it the software has "morphed" itself into Avid|DS, an image/sequence compositor that came bundled with SoftImage.

What I missed in Elastic Reality for moving masks was exactly what we have nowadays so easy with After Effects - vector mask motion blur. It's quite noticeable in this animation how I couldn't properly address the actual actor image motion blur, so I ended up clipping the blur at about half way. The broadcasted, interlaced 60 FPS version looked much better for obvious reasons, 30 FPS as in the youtube version really gives away the masking troubles we had in those days.

Anyways, always good to remember how much we have advanced since them. Like any old dog I grind teeth when I realize new artists taking for granted all the goodies we now have, jumping on trends and not wanting to think through or put effort on anything.