View Full Version : Mdd?

04-10-2012, 06:29 PM
This is probably bordering on a rhetorical question, and hopefully might help others like myself who don't have a clue. :)

The term, "MDD" appears very few times in LW 10.1 docs, and only once in LW11 docs (under Flocking). The impression one gets is that since Motion Designer is old, MDD is also relegated to "legacy" status. MD_Reader, for instance, is a "legacy tool."

Not being an animator myself, focusing primarily on modeling, texturing, and lighting, I had little use for this technology, until Bullet was introduced in LW11.

In fact, I couldn't find much of anything in the docs that explains what MDD actually is. I happened to stumble on MD Multi Baker, read the docs and experimented trial-and-error-style with it until I was able to export MDD for my sim objects, and then used MD Pointer to refer to the motion data. Voila!

Wow, how cool is that?!? :)

Now I'm just wondering where LW users learn about MDD and other formats that (who knows?) might be even better, and how to best use them? ... It can't really be from reading the manual can it?

04-11-2012, 03:52 AM
mdd has been around in Lightwave as a file format since the time that Motion Designer was introduced to LW as a 3rd party plugin. Later, Newtek aquired the technology from the author and renamed it clothfx and soft/fx. MDD files are created when motion data is baked on an object on a vertex by vertex basis. Other applications have similar schemes and call it point cache data. Since that time there are other applications, 3rd party plugins etc that support the format.

04-11-2012, 09:13 AM
Thanks for your kind reply.

As knowledge is gained, I think one of the first things we lose is the ability to remember what it was like to NOT have the knowledge. This seems to be the critical element missing in the LW docs. Although the history of MDD is interesting, I'm just wondering how new users learn about it NOW. It's not covered in the docs.

The LW11 docs are better than previous versions, as they give some examples (simple tutorials) on how to use some of the new capabilities. I just don't want NT to forget how important this is to new users, and fall back into their old ways.

04-11-2012, 11:26 PM
Theres probably alot of things the manuals dont cover or dont cover in nearly enough depth. You also have situations where its not clear how to use a tool or other creative uses for a tool. In those cases I generally do what you did- post to this forum :)

04-12-2012, 01:22 AM
Whoa.... Am I seeing things?...

SPLINEGOD :bowdown:

It's great to see you posting on the forum Larry. How is the recovery going and how is life in New Zealand. Hope you and the family are well.


04-12-2012, 03:05 AM
Thanks! Things are going fairly well. Thought it might be a good time to start hitting the forums again. :)

04-12-2012, 03:17 AM
You can find out about the details of the mdd format by googling as it is now widespread. I know PointOven website has specs of it - likely gotten off the original Motion Designer docs.

But if you're a user, you shouldn't don't need to know the exact details, unless you're that special kind of person that enjoys and prefers detailed/indepth knowledge. It should also be said that knowing the mdd format is not enough for skilled usage, as it is dependant on the tools that record and play them back, and these vary in features.


Good to have you and glad to see you back, Larry!

04-12-2012, 02:03 PM
Thanks, everyone, for your responses.

You can find out about the details of the mdd format by googling as it is now widespread.

MDD = Major Depressive Disorder? :D

04-12-2012, 03:09 PM
MDD = Major Depressive Disorder? :D
There have been times but, nah, usually it works great. :p

04-12-2012, 06:47 PM
Thanks! Things are going fairly well. Thought it might be a good time to start hitting the forums again. :)

Good to see you here again Larry! Welcome back! :thumbsup:

04-12-2012, 06:59 PM
Thanks Mike! Good to be back. :)

04-12-2012, 07:00 PM
Welcome back Larry.....

04-15-2012, 08:21 AM
Thanks Mike! Good to be back. :)

Hi, Larry! Great to have you back!

So, I'm finding that the dynacache that comes with bullet is a bit slow and there seems to be no way to freeze it. So if I accidentally change anything in modeler, the cache is gone and I have to simulate again, usually getting a different (and sometimes unwanted) result.

The only cache that I could then use was the old trustworthy MDD, but now I am finding myself in the situation where I need to simulate a new bullet object interacting with the MDD cached ones, and I can't get the dynamic (parts) object to interact with those.

My MDD'd objects are set as dynamic, always active, and my new object is set as dynamic, parts, activating after it's last key (which I checked is properly before the interactions. My new object does interact with itself and properly begin breaking apart, but it gets traversed freely by the MDD objects.

Any ideas?