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silviotoledo
05-29-2011, 03:09 PM
Is it possible to have a rig over a mocap ( baked motion ) ?

So it would act like an animation layer to do mocap correction.

I know we can have an IK over key, but I want more. Not everithing is good to be animated with IK.

How?

silviotoledo
05-29-2011, 03:46 PM
I use to do a copy of the bones and add an expression to blend motion, but in this case I need to add expression for each bone and add a controller to blend each chain ( arms, legs... ).

I also have no idea if, in case of using IK to drive bones and IK blend to disable, the expression will blend between the hand animated controlled bones and the baked mocap ones.

Any ideas?

Greenlaw
05-29-2011, 04:16 PM
Back when we worked with mocap directly in Lightwave, we would provide out mocap vendor with a layered Lightwave rig. If I remember correctly, it was a rig with the mocap bones at the base, animation bones on top of each mocap bone, and finally deformer bones on top of the animation bones. This allows us to additively adjust the mocap bones in a nondestructive manner. Of course this was just a poorman's version of a layer system like the one in Motion Builder, but for small animation changes it worked well.

I've only been using Motion Builder for a short time but long enough to see that, yes, it would awesome to have something like MB's animation layer system in Lightwave. I doubt that will happen anytime soon though and probably not ever in 'classic' Lightwave.

FWIW, you can do something like this using IK Boost, but it is destructive.

Netvudu
05-30-2011, 04:40 AM
Once again, we did have a layer system with Keytrak. That super cool and simple plugin which Newtek only half-copied for the current dopetrack. Keytrak doesn´t work anymore with LW and the dopetrack doesn´t have selection sets, nor layers...it was so simple, and it was already there...*shrug*

silviotoledo
05-30-2011, 09:07 AM
The problem in using the relativity script ( motion blender in ask professor ) that does blending between 2 bones rig ( one from mocap and other for the animaton rig ) is that I can't do the animation rig follow the mocap rig, so, when I turn my slide blending 100% on for animation rig it will back to the last position I posed and will not start from the relative position we have in mocap rig.

So sad lightwave is not prepared to deal with mocap :(.

need start learning and using motion builder.

geo_n
05-30-2011, 10:19 AM
The problem in using the relativity script ( motion blender in ask professor ) that does blending between 2 bones rig ( one from mocap and other for the animaton rig ) is that I can't do the animation rig follow the mocap rig, so, when I turn my slide blending 100% on for animation rig it will back to the last position I posed and will not start from the relative position we have in mocap rig.

So sad lightwave is not prepared to deal with mocap :(.

need start learning and using motion builder.

Is motionbuilder cheap? How much is it compared to 3dmax? With characterstudio in 3dmax you can do mocap quite easily with animation layers, pose system, etc and has its own retargetting. We go straight from a mocap vendor to 3dmax so I wonder what we're missing without motionbuilder. The only drawback is no stretchy bones by default with Cstudio.
It would be great if lightwave had something like characterstudio so we won't rely on Animeeple, Motionbuilder. Maybe get a rebelhill rig, make it parametric, add animation layers, pose system and mocap retargetting.

The Wizzard
02-05-2016, 04:30 PM
I hope this helps a few people... I have a new tutorial up: Lightwave to MotionBuilder & Back Again 2 - Multiple Characters!

http://3ative.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/new-tutorial-lightwave-to-motionbuilder.html

Davewriter
02-05-2016, 09:17 PM
I hope this helps a few people... I have a new tutorial up: Lightwave to MotionBuilder & Back Again 2 - Multiple Characters!

http://3ative.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/new-tutorial-lightwave-to-motionbuilder.html

Thank You Mr Wizard!
Short, Very sweet and all so Very Helpful!

CaptainMarlowe
02-05-2016, 10:52 PM
Wouldn'to NevronMotion do the trick ? it's made for overriding mocap data for corrections.

The Wizzard
02-06-2016, 02:51 AM
Thank You Mr Wizard!
Short, Very sweet and all so Very Helpful!

Thank you but, enough about me - What did you think of the tutorial. LOL

Ryan Roye
02-06-2016, 04:47 PM
So sad lightwave is not prepared to deal with mocap :(.

Natively, and even with Nevron Lightwave's toolset leaves a little to be desired I agree.

However, with IKBooster and a little scripting knowledge working with motion capture is a trivial process in Lightwave. I cover all of these workflows in my video content. I also demonstrate non-destructive editing using completely interpolate-able full time IK on existing animations.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDOCbVIrj8E&feature=youtu.be

This is all perception neuron-generated footage by the way.

jasonwestmas
02-06-2016, 10:18 PM
Been looking into perception neuron too. Looks amazing. Hows the workflow for you Ryan, pretty good it appears?

Surrealist.
02-07-2016, 01:38 AM
Ryan, could you give the bullet points in specific about what you are able to do with your set up compared to what you can do with MotionBuilder?

I don't mean this as a challenge or anything like that. Merely as an interest as to what extent you have gotten it thus far.

I assume you have used MotionBuilder or have a fairly good idea. If not I will give you the quick bullet points of what I commonly do:

Retargeting of Course

In Story the ability to do the following:

Mix and match different mocap files so they are stung together as one clip. A large part of this is the Match feature wich allows you to choose a bone from the animation in a previous clip and orient the next clip to the previous orientation.

Here is a video showing the process:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdpQ82RM7Sg

This is a fairly important feature for editing various clips together. But it is also handy for cutting up a single clip into parts you want and don't want so it plays continuously etc.

HIK

Of course this is a fantastic system and it is more than just full body IK. Too much to go into here.

But there is the ability to pin down parts of an animation. Similar to how you can do it with IKB. However a tad more advanced.

Layers

And this is another big on and it works with HIK as a feature which is real cool.

But basically the ability of the layers to operate as Additive or Overrride. And the layer influence can be keyframed.

For example sliding feet can be corrected with an override layer and hey framing the layer.

Additive animation on top of the modap data, or completely replace parts of the animation and so on.

Floor Contacts:

Another huge one. Automatic correction for foot passing through the floor.

One of your clips shows this problem. Wonder what you did to solve it.

That is about it.

vector
02-07-2016, 01:46 AM
Not exactly the asked question but interesting what DigitalMind stuff does

https://youtu.be/uGRqrydOmV0

Ryan Roye
02-07-2016, 08:34 AM
Ryan, could you give the bullet points in specific about what you are able to do with your set up compared to what you can do with MotionBuilder?

I've worked with motion builder briefly, but not in a true production environment. My knowledge is limited to tutorials available and my own interactions with the software.

With Python there isn't much that motion builder does that can't be replicated in Lightwave (by this I mean reasonable similarity in the speed of the workflow). That of course comes with the cost of needing to know scripting, and in return for that demand of knowledge you acquire the ability to make whatever tools you need for the job instead of being stuck with what's available. Software can only take a user so far, and this is why developer's kits exist for practically every 3d software. There are of course several 3rd party tools available that help in the mocap adaptation process as well. Instead of spending over $4000 (and/or a monthly fee) on a one-trick-pony software, I find it more valuable to just rely on scripting to develop the tools I need. Almost all of the lower level functions, like floor contacts, re-positioning clips, fixing sliding feet (which is something you do NOT have to do in IKBooster), is trivial to an experienced animator.

This isn't all butterflies and unicorns though, and for some users touching upon scripting is not reasonable. That said, here are the things I can't replicate in Lightwave that motion builder offers:

- Mass Keyframe handling. Unfortunately, Lightwave stumbles here. I know how to work around these limitations Lightwave has for the most part, but loading in large mocap clips can be a huge time-waster. My longest clips take Lightwave 3 minutes to load... and the only way I can make things faster is to load multiple instances of Lightwave to load multiple clips. This is a fault of the keyframe system, which is something that can't be fixed with scripting.

- Performance. Although IKBooster rigs offer a huge degree of efficiency in the entire animation workflow, the same cannot be said for complex deformers. You can almost always make scenes workable, but usually you will want to turn off any deformers for all but one character for optimal playback performance. Perhaps this will start to change in LW 2016. This isn't to say LW is bad in this area, but Motion Builder is better.

- True Non-destructive editing and clip blending. Another weak point in Lightwave's workflow as a whole, and though animation layer plugins exist I don't feel they address the biggest issues. If you want to interpolate to mocap clips into eachother interactively and non-destructively... doing that is not impossible, but something I consider impractical to try and replicate in Lightwave right now.

So, in essence the price of motion builder yields convenience and a lower learning curve. If it is worth that cost, it is hard not to recommend using it; I'm just saying there is more value in being able to do what motion builder does directly in Lightwave instead of having to jump back and fourth between programs. Take a month to learn python, and I guarantee it'll be worth way more than $4000 or a monthly usage fee, plus most 3d programs utilize python so it is a skill that transfers between almost every 3d application..

As for clip blending, see example below. Notice that I am not required to mess with the strength of movement, positioning, or rotations of the clips like I would have to do in MotionBuilder. To be fair, there are still times where you will have to rotate a character and do a flat keyframe apply like shown in the previous video in this post; this is usually needed when blending 100% hand-keyed animation into a mocap clip.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3K9MJH_RdqY&feature=youtu.be

Ryan Roye
02-07-2016, 08:58 AM
Hows the workflow for you Ryan, pretty good it appears?

Perception Neuron is amazing, and considering that the only alternative systems like it are well over $10,000 it is the absolute best (and probably only) in its price bracket of $1,500 for the full suit. Even saying that, I can only recommend it for users who know how to work with motion capture data and are familiar with workflows related to it. By itself, Perception Neuron won't give you movie-ready animations and the user needs to know how to do things like:

- Using Euler filters to correct bone flipping
- Reduce keyframes to smooth out jitter
- Know how to insert mocap clips into existing animations
- Calibrate the sensors accurately by ensuring straight limb positioning
- etc.

There is also a learning curve that comes with motion capture acting in itself, which the kinect does well to get a user established with the workflow without a massive cost (get the xbox 360 original version for like $30). Anyone seeking to get into motion capture should first learn how to work with motion capture clips, which the CMU database is a great introduction for that purpose.

jasonwestmas
02-07-2016, 04:00 PM
Thats all expected. Ive been through the pipeline a while back and this sounds great. It doesnt appear the free version of axis has smoothing tools. Some years back i was using a stand alone app to smooth the motion curves before the data even got onto a rig.

Ryan Roye
02-07-2016, 06:09 PM
It doesnt appear the free version of axis has smoothing tools.

The basic version mainly lets you preview, record, and save out motion files (or parts of motion files using a keyframe range)... little else. The pro version, which is currently not a public release, will have a lot of handy tools that will let the user manipulate the motion capture before exporting it; I believe it will be required for clips that involve both feet leaving the ground at the same time, as the free version has no apparent way to disable the "foot locking" used to plant the feet firmly on the ground with each step.

Surrealist.
02-07-2016, 10:35 PM
Well there is no way I am getting into scripting... I mean no way... lol

MotionBuilder out of the box suits me fine. I am not looking for an alternative or replacement.

But it is not always the case that you need this MotionBuilder set up in all circumstances. So this is why I asked. So I can perhaps look into adding this set up with IKB with anything else you have worked out (no scripting thank you very much) in the cases I don't need to go to MotiomBuilder, and as you say, in those cases the trade off of keeping things in LightWave might be worth it. For me anyway. For certain things, can't imagine why I'd even want to try to attempt it in LW. That's my view.

But so, I am curious, do you have all of this stuff worked out in your video series? If so I'd be interested in checking it out.

Additionally if you have some tutorials you have made on the PN, I'd be interested in checking that out too. I have someone who gives me files from the PN and we have run into some issues.

Anyways thanks for all your hard work and I recently stumbled on your IBK website again. Well done!

Ryan Roye
02-08-2016, 04:01 AM
But so, I am curious, do you have all of this stuff worked out in your video series? If so I'd be interested in checking it out.

Yes. In the past, I pretty much had to shelve my personal work when client work started to come in, I just couldn't manage do that and client work at the same time any longer. Having the benefit of usable motion capture will allow me to focus almost exclusively on asset creation, which is my major bottleneck in production. I hope to start publishing new content by the end of this month, and months to follow.