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View Full Version : Buy iPiSoft Animation Mocap Studio and get the T.O.M.B. FREE



mrbones
05-14-2011, 10:48 PM
Dear Fellow Animators, Great News!

iPiSoft has released a new version of their Kinect (1) camera mocap studio software, that now supports FBX and Collada (DAE).
And you can now export .BVH Motion Files in 5 flavors for 3D Max biped, Motion Builder, Blender, Iclone, and Endorphin!

Check out this little preview for some of the new export options in iPiSoft/Kinect Studio! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRCFIt1gEdk&feature=channel_video_title and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_iG1d8Pzyo&amp

Download the 20 FREE BVH it created! http://bit.ly/jG79nk

Download the New and FREE iPiSoft 30 day demo at http://tinyurl.com/iPiSoft

Plus If you buy any iPiSoft Mocap system (within 6 months) You will also receive as a bonus the entire T.O.M.B."The Online Motions Box)5,000 BVH motions library for Free!(Over a $1,000 value!)

Please help spread this important news to your friends.

Roadwarrior
06-08-2011, 11:05 PM
thx Mr Bones!:D

apaps
06-26-2011, 10:26 PM
Can you please let me know how to transfer the BVH file exported from ipi to my model in lightwave. When I import the BVH file it creates a new boned structure and does not apply the motion to my character! Any ideas?

Greenlaw
06-27-2011, 01:56 AM
I haven't tried this following method myself but technically you should be able to import your Lightwave rig into iPi Studio using FBX or Collada, and retarget the data directly to your rigged character there. You will want to name the bones a specific way to do this automatically. (See the iPi Software Wiki for more info.) After retargeting is done, export an FBX.

Next, you have two options: import the FBX directly into Lightwave or, even better, import only the motion data directly to your Lightwave rig using Load From Scene Use Motion Envelopes Only. This second method is superior because it allows you to use your original Lightwave rig's weighting and custom controls.

That said, I had trouble retargeting Collada from LW 9.6 but my guess is that LW 10.x's Collada and FBX is a lot more compatible with the current iPi DMC. (I'll try to test this myself later.)

Now, here's what I KNOW will work: I prefer to use is Motion Builder to retarget my iPi Studio BVH data for Lightwave. My workflow is to rig in Lightwave, export FBX to Maya for some weight mapping tweaks, then FBX to Motion Builder for final rigging features (various constraints,) retarget the iPi BVH data to the MB Control Rig and add any additional animation (i.e., the current iPi doesn't support head tracking so I use an Aim constraint to add motion; also I like to use MB's procedurals for tail animation and such,) bake down the edited animation to the skeleton and export to FBX. Finally, I import only the motions from the FBX to my original Lightwave rig using the method described above. At this point, if I need to make small tweaks to the animation, I can use IK Boost; if I need to make bigger changes, it's back to Motion Builder. My wife and I use this workflow for a short film we're making and it works flawlessly.

Alternatively, you can use the free Animeeple program to edit and retarget the iPi BVH data to your Lightwave FBX or Collada export, and import the motions from the Animeeple export. I ran into issues with this when using Lightwave 9.6 but I'm told it works well with Lightwave 10.x. I'd like to test this myself but at the moment I'm too busy trying to finish our film. Maybe after we're done.

BTW, if you don't want to make your own Lightwave control rig, Rebel Hill's Rhiggit Pro rig is highly recommended. He includes a Motion Builder compatible version in his kit which should also work well as FBX directly to iPi Studio. Using Rhiggit Pro, you should be able to go directly from Lightwave to iPi, back to Lightwave (via Use Motion Envelopes Only,) and make all your edits and additional animation directly in Lightwave. (I have not tested this method yet; will do so when we start our next project.)

Hope this helps.

G.

Greenlaw
06-27-2011, 02:14 AM
A few more notes: if you use Lightwave Joints, there are a few quirks you need to work around, like adding a dummy joint to the end of each chain. This is because of a long-standing bug in Lightwave's FBX exporter that drops the last joint in a chain. If you do this, you're okay. You also need to be sure your joints are aligned when local rotation set to zero (except the root, which needs to be 90, 0, -90,) otherwise you may see some weird offsets during retargeting. You can rotate the joints to fit your your character after resting them. BTW, I think this only applies to a Joint based rig in Lightwave, not Bones.

I have a pretty good system for working all of this out which I'll put in a tutorial after our project is done, but in the meantime you should watch Rebel Hill's excellent Lightwave FBX tutorial videos (http://rebelhill.net/html/lwandfbx.html). His free and commercial training videos and personal advice has helped me immensely in setting up my own workflow. Cageman also has a lot of excellent videos and advice, and MaDDox is another user who has given me great advice. Do a search in the forums for these guys for further information.

Hope this helps.

G.

toeknee
06-27-2011, 09:56 AM
Hey Green law I have a stupid question. Why don't you just use a bone based rig tell you are through with the mocap process and then select all the bones and convert them in to joints in LW? I image there might be some reason that this would not work but I can't think of it.

Greenlaw
06-27-2011, 11:34 AM
I image there might be some reason that this would not work but I can't think of it.
I don't see an advantage to starting out with Bones and converting to Joints, at least for setting up a basic mocap skeleton, because it's essentially the same process.

IMO, the main benefit to using Bones is being able to use Bone Tools, but these tools are not compatible with Joints after the Joints have been repositioned and rotated. In other words, once you convert Bones to Joints, you can pretty much forget about using Bone Tools or switching back to Bones to use these tools. That said, changing the position of joints is just a matter of dragging them around to fit your character; no special tool is needed.

And there are other ways to edit Joints that make Bone Tools unnecessary. For example, I use Timothy Albee's Rig Ripper plug-in to disassemble my joints rig to freely repo or reset the rotation of joints without upsetting the position of child joints, and then I use his Rig Stitcher plug-in to instantly rebuild the hierarchy. This is a painless process. Another trick: At first, it may seem like you can't 'split' bones between joints, but what I do is I simply duplicate the parent joint, position it where I want, and then I simply change the parenting of the chain. Where this may become tricky is if you need to have the rotation aligned a certain way, like a roll joint, but if you set up a 'perfect T' pose for editing purposes, it's pretty straightforward to make the change and then you can apply your 'natural T' pose with the rotated primary joints. That might sound confusing without illustrations, so I'll make a tutorial at a later date. The free Rebel Hill FBX video covers a lot of this but I had to come with a few additional tricks because of the unusual skeleton proportions and extra joints/limbs used for the characters in the Brudders short.

BTW, the reason I stick with Joints is because the results have been far more predictable (for me anyway,) when moving rigs and character animation data between Lightwave, Maya, Motion Builder, and back to Lightwave again. Without saying anything specific, LW Bones may work just as well after LW 10.1 comes out. We'll just have to wait and see. (Unless you're already involved with the public beta of course; then you already know what I mean.) ;)

Edit: I don't think there's really a right and wrong approach with regards to Bones or Joints. I should mention that there are many users who use LW Bones for mocap retargeting and editing, and they have their own mocap workflow which works well for them. FWIW, the Joints-based workflow I use just works better for me.

G.

P.S., I will leave this topic with one final tip: If you find one or more joints in your LW rig with an errant 'non-zero' rotation, you can use Ripper/Stitcher to quickly fix this. First, select your root and run Ripper. Then select all your joints and set the rotation values to 90, 0, -90. Finally, run Stitcher. The result will be a root joint with rotational values corrected for Maya, MB, etc., and all child joints with rotational values set at 0, 0, 0. Easy peasy.