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View Full Version : Suggestion: Motion Blending Tools in Layout (Like Motion Builder)



robertoortiz
06-27-2013, 11:02 AM
Ok this thread is not about ideas for Layout
Anyway now that that is out of the way.

I work a couple of block from the" Center of Missing and Exploited Children".

A small team of 3 artists develop A TON of animation characters using of all things "Motion builder".

http://www.netsmartzkids.org/

The animators explained to me that MB allowed them to generate a vast library of actions and that they would blend them fairly quickly to develop content fast.


So I was thinking that it would be cool to have strong motion blending tools in Layout.



What do you guys think?
I am looking forward to your suggestions and ideas.

-R

Ryan Roye
06-27-2013, 11:25 AM
While motion mixer does this, I will agree that I'd like to see it become a faster process.

EXAMPLE:

In motion mixer, you typically don't want XYZ bone positions to be applied to a new, similarly-built rig's motions... yet there's no way to toggle them on/off without manually going to each and every bone and checking off XYZ. Multi-selecting appears broken (it never worked in LW 9.6 either).

So, while you COULD have a vast library of motions/etc via motion mixer, the process of managing them is incredibly difficult if you are trying to apply those motions to more than 1 rig.

Now, you can download mapmotion2 and hmot saver... but it really requires a video tutorial to really grasp how they work and the documentation for those tools are in japanese. They are superior to motion mixer though in their item management functions, I can tell you that.

RebelHill
06-27-2013, 11:44 AM
Motion mixer doesnt, sadly, do it anywhere near as we as MB... for specific reasons...

The reason MB does al the magic it does is because the tools are built around a predefined rig structure (which in MB is the "character" structure, which is different and distinct from just a particular set of bones/hierarchy). Its this structure that allows MBs blending to put things in and out of match poses, etc, operating IK or other constraints along side and inside... its essentially one big "solve". Basically, this means that MBs blending tools (and all other tools) can "understand" the rig structure in use (independent ofc of hierarchy, joint orientations and everything else)... without that, all you have is value blending which is what LWs such tools already do (and why they fall so short of what MB can do). Simply put... MBs bending tools do not stand alone... they're a "sub-tool" of a MUCH bigger system, designed to be integrated from the ground up.

So Im afraid that "better blending tools like MB for LW"... is a very vague, and essentially meaningless request unless you have all the other infrastructure there to support it.

robertoortiz
06-27-2013, 12:33 PM
Motion mixer doesnt, sadly, do it anywhere near as we as MB... for specific reasons...

The reason MB does al the magic it does is because the tools are built around a predefined rig structure (which in MB is the "character" structure, which is different and distinct from just a particular set of bones/hierarchy). Its this structure that allows MBs blending to put things in and out of match poses, etc, operating IK or other constraints along side and inside... its essentially one big "solve". Basically, this means that MBs blending tools (and all other tools) can "understand" the rig structure in use (independent ofc of hierarchy, joint orientations and everything else)... without that, all you have is value blending which is what LWs such tools already do (and why they fall so short of what MB can do). Simply put... MBs bending tools do not stand alone... they're a "sub-tool" of a MUCH bigger system, designed to be integrated from the ground up.

So Im afraid that "better blending tools like MB for LW"... is a very vague, and essentially meaningless request unless you have all the other infrastructure there to support it.

Point made.

How about an expansion of what the Genoma rigging system can do. And take it into the next level with pose control and the aility to do motion blending?

-R

RebelHill
06-27-2013, 12:47 PM
The genoma rigs are pretty limited and basic (no IKFK switching, etc, plus there are design faults in other ways)... its SO FAR from the MB "character"... but all that aside... those are simply "vanilla" LW rigs, and so you're limited by that system even if you do have some kinda "master" design that all rigs are conformed to...

Point is, you need an ENTIRELY new motion evaluation and animation system thats designed as a holistic unit... not different, incongruent pieces bolted together.

The simple truth is to ask for "cant we have this like motionbuilder"... is basically just to ask for motionbuilder... Its no simple thing.

Ryan Roye
06-27-2013, 12:50 PM
Point made.

How about an expansion of what the Genoma rigging system can do. And take it into the next level with pose control and the aility to do motion blending?

-R

I'd think expanding motion mixer's capabilities to be more user friendly and accessible would be a better route. I am still exploring Genoma, but it still seems that it would be more beneficial for motion blending/manipulation tools not be exclusive to it. Motion Mixer doesn't need to compete with specialized programs like motionbuilder, just provide a practical, easy to understand workflow with less "gotchas" or hidden tricks required for optimal use. There are simply too many steps required to get animation going in Motion Mixer. I use the hmot format to achieve motion save/loading and motion blending, but I don't operate inside of Motion Mixer to achieve that. It wouldn't take much to make motion mixer a production-level tool...

Surrealist.
06-27-2013, 03:53 PM
This is true with a lot of things in LightWave sadly. Because there are a long list of things in LightWave that "it would not take much to..." But they don't. Or haven't. And things remain untouched.

But I do think that they should create some kind of tool for this considering they are entering into the mocap field. Not sure that the Motion Mixer tool is the best place to do it. But considering that in no way this will compete with MotionBulder, it will be yet another thing that LightWave could do reasonably well with some limitations. And a better way to mix motions would be the next step.

MotionBuilder is off the charts here in it's entire system. And I think that is the place to do it frankly not mess about with LightWave. But for some people it would be a handy and welcome feature to go in hand with another feature coming soon that likewise will not be of the quality of MB.

jwiede
06-27-2013, 07:45 PM
What do you guys think?
I am looking forward to your suggestions and ideas.

I definitely agree, hunger and tragedy are sad, while bunnies and puppies are cute.

Glad we cleared up where everyone stands on such pressing issues. :devil:

LW_Will
06-28-2013, 02:16 AM
I'd think expanding motion mixer's capabilities to be more user friendly and accessible would be a better route. I am still exploring Genoma, but it still seems that it would be more beneficial for motion blending/manipulation tools not be exclusive to it. Motion Mixer doesn't need to compete with specialized programs like motionbuilder, just provide a practical, easy to understand workflow with less "gotchas" or hidden tricks required for optimal use. There are simply too many steps required to get animation going in Motion Mixer. I use the hmot format to achieve motion save/loading and motion blending, but I don't operate inside of Motion Mixer to achieve that. It wouldn't take much to make motion mixer a production-level tool...

Here, here.

LW_Will
06-28-2013, 02:25 AM
This is true with a lot of things in LightWave sadly. Because there are a long list of things in LightWave that "it would not take much to..." But they don't. Or haven't. And things remain untouched.

But I do think that they should create some kind of tool for this considering they are entering into the mocap field. Not sure that the Motion Mixer tool is the best place to do it. But considering that in no way this will compete with MotionBulder, it will be yet another thing that LightWave could do reasonably well with some limitations. And a better way to mix motions would be the next step.

MotionBuilder is off the charts here in it's entire system. And I think that is the place to do it frankly not mess about with LightWave. But for some people it would be a handy and welcome feature to go in hand with another feature coming soon that likewise will not be of the quality of MB.

Sure, it would only take so little for NT to fix X... but it does require a person to find the bug, fix the bug, fix the fixes for the fix, etc... That doesn't say what will happen with the new thing. There will be... what? 100 users (OMB number) who notice, maybe a dozen or so who actually care. Compared to Bullet Cloth, which I think the entire user base is waiting for, I think that putting your programmers on the bigger things is the better way to use resources. Plus, the team might be working with a cohesion that they did not have before. Ron said in an LA meeting... something that I might be saying out of turn, so I won't. Just know that they are working hard and pulling all in the same direction.

Also, I know these people. I think I've met most of the programmers, I always say thank you to them. Cus that's what they need.

Surrealist.
06-28-2013, 05:39 AM
Well I am not sure how it is you determined from what I said exactly the nature of the things I am talking about. It was just a passive comment.

I don't see anything wrong with what you said.

For what it is worth, I am talking about non-trivial things. And I am all over why NewTek is developing the things they are. Just that I have commented on all of this stuff in other threads and don't really feel like repeating myself.

tyrot
09-15-2013, 11:12 AM
Lets keep this thread as MotionMixer thread.

Is there a way to CLONE character with MotionMixer attached to it?

- i have BOY01 character which has an Actor name (Boy01_ACTOR) and a motion (Walk).
- I cloned it (hierarchy) Now i have BOY01(2) character. Unfortunately this character is NOT an actor (and motion mixer data is not applying on it) Is there a workaround for this?

VonBon
09-15-2013, 10:13 PM
I definitely agree, hunger and tragedy are sad, while bunnies and puppies are cute.

Glad we cleared up where everyone stands on such pressing issues. :devil:

:ohmy:

prospector
09-16-2013, 04:55 PM
I'd like to see it become *something* like Story in MB.
Even if we have to use the Motion files Motion Mixer puts out so all data from same rig is the same...just being able to line a string of motions together and have the subject start right where the other ends and being able to match *some* of the bones would be a nice start...

jwiede
09-17-2013, 12:34 PM
I'd like to see it become *something* like Story in MB.
Even if we have to use the Motion files Motion Mixer puts out so all data from same rig is the same...just being able to line a string of motions together and have the subject start right where the other ends and being able to match *some* of the bones would be a nice start...

Something kind of like how Aniblocks work in DazStudio, then? It'd be nice, agreed, as would some kind of built-in "motion library" system (also per DazStudio). However, I suspect you'll be satisfied far sooner by just _using_ DazStudio (or Carrara) for that work, and then exporting the overall motions to LW somehow. The amount of change required for "aniblocks in LW" seems to exceed the amount they're generally willing to put into a single improvement area at one time.

You could also write and ask the GoFigure folks, who originally wrote the aniblocks system for DazStudio/Carrara, to port it to LW as a plugin somehow.

Ryan Roye
09-18-2013, 11:26 AM
Even if we have to use the Motion files Motion Mixer puts out so all data from same rig is the same...just being able to line a string of motions together and have the subject start right where the other ends and being able to match *some* of the bones would be a nice start...

a demo of Relative motion loading and blending via IKBooster (none of the clips, including the run cycle, have shared start/ending frames):


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpEXVrObRRI

tyrot
09-18-2013, 12:07 PM
THIS is COOLEST IKB demo video ever. Even Larry is watching from heavens...!

Surrealist.
09-18-2013, 02:46 PM
IKB the most over and underacted feature in LightWave. Always a source of controversy but always proof that someone at NT had the right idea at some point about what a Character Animation is all about and was able to code a plugin within Layout to make it happen.

This is great stuff.

I would not go as far as to compare this in any way to MotionBuilder. Because I know better. But it is just proof that IKB is the system that should have replaced the CA system in LightWave and that it should have been and should be developed further.

There is no way (as mentioned already) that LightWave with IKB and Motion mixer even begins to rival MotionBuilder. Not even close. But at the same time you have to give credit where credit is due and this is a well thought out system and looks to me like a very well implemented use of it.

So well done!

prospector
09-18-2013, 02:47 PM
yea, you have tut somewhere?
Don't think I've seen that before in IKBoost....

"I would not go as far as to compare this in any way to MotionBuilder. Because I know better. But it is just proof that IKB is the system that should have replaced the CA system in LightWave and that it should have been and should be developed further."

Totally agree..If this was kept in development from beginning it would rival Motion Builder all around, and Motion Mixer would run neck and neck with Motion Builders Story.

tyrot
09-18-2013, 03:15 PM
Original coders of both tools (Ino for IKB and Mark Brown for MotionMixer..AFAIK) are not with NT. So is there ANY possible way to update these amazing tools? What can we do about it? I mean I would buy an updated MotionMixer+IKB plugin in a heartbeat instead of Nevron..

Ryan Roye
09-18-2013, 03:18 PM
yea, you have tut somewhere?
Don't think I've seen that before in IKBoost....

This and a lot of other "hidden" things will be included in my commercial IKB tutorial... I am working hard to try and get it done by October. Maybe I'll give Newtek staff a free copy so they can know the production beast they've left in the closet that could use some love... even if that love is just in the form of simple bug fixes (IE: notice the IKB track is no longer aligned with the timeline in LW 10+; that's annoying!!) . It will be the 100% complete documentation (visual AND written) IKB has always needed from the start. Sadly, 10 years late... but at least it will finally happen.

The whole point of relative motion loading is "load it and be done with it". Motion Builder is a specialized program so of course it'll do things better, but I like to think this provides a high degree of similar functionality (with some disadvantages of course) without the cost and all while keeping everything in 1 program. I have a very large library of motions and I simply got sick and tired of having to "manage" it all during production. Motion Mixer doesn't handle bulk motion files well, and previously I fought with trying to get my motions seamlessly inserted into the timeline. I owe Larry a lot of credit for the development of the workflow because a large chunk of it builds on his teachings. A part of the earnings from the commercial tutorial will go to his family because of this. I will admit some parts of the workflow depends on some 3rd party plugins... most people probably already have these tools (IE: MF motion baker), but it should be mentioned.

Here's an earlier proof of concept demo I did a bit back. Foot placement is a bit clumsy, but a lot of research has gone into perfecting and understanding what the optimal (fastest and cleanest) methods of motion transfer are.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaTK51hNBIY

prospector
09-18-2013, 03:29 PM
Put me on list for first copy.
And as we all know..somewhere in solar system it's October now so I expect it in mail tomorrow :)

Surrealist.
09-18-2013, 03:29 PM
IKB the most over and underacted

oops... I meant to type "underrated". Spell checker got me!

And yeah, good work on using Larry's knowledge base. I always found his posts inspiring when I was getting into learning IKB. There is so much under that hood. And it can be used in so many ways.

One of the biggest misconceptions I find is that you have to use IKB as a stand alone system and that is not true. You can use it with your own custom rigs and use it - as intended - to boost your IK.

After using IKB I would never go back to animating in LW native. That's just my preference.

prospector
09-18-2013, 03:35 PM
Original coders of both tools (Ino for IKB and Mark Brown for MotionMixer..AFAIK) are not with NT

Yea, Newtek keeps saying that every time I bring this subject up, but they have the code and must have ownership of it as it's still included in LW, so it can't be so complicated as to not be able to be read by coders they have now.

tyrot
09-18-2013, 03:59 PM
Prospector, i guess you know that "CODER" mentality. My code, my world thingy. Nobody probably wants to take that path.

Ryan(chaz) you are a great individual and personally i wanna thank you all your hard work and re-discovering IKbooster and sharing your insights. After colin's Ikboost.com i was thinking this tool will be never understood. But here you go.

You are doing a great job for various reasons,
1- You simply didn't quit on IKB where many of us (including me) couldn't figure out. It is a great effort. I know it because i spend literally weeks even months and felt simply idiotic. I didn't even touch IKB until you release your own tutorials.
2- I really miss Larry so much. I mean his presence here was so encouraging and inspirational. Sharing earning with his family is a great gesture. Larry for me is like Santa of Lightwave world. His endless "you can do it so fast in LW" posts kept me here when i was almost leaving.
3- Also thanks for producing -one of the best- training videos i ever watched. I know your commercial tutorial will be immensely useful and inspiring.
4- And also big thanks for adding various tools into IKB videos. Because you are ONE man animation team, we know how important to make things faster and efficient for a one guy. So if you were working in a big animation firm and producing these videos wouldnt be so much fun for us , because you would have MANY other team members for various aspects of animation. So in your tutorial i always find great insights for small animation team or lone guns..

Thanks - and it is really hard to wait!

Surrealist.
09-18-2013, 04:31 PM
yea, you have tut somewhere?
Don't think I've seen that before in IKBoost....

"I would not go as far as to compare this in any way to MotionBuilder. Because I know better. But it is just proof that IKB is the system that should have replaced the CA system in LightWave and that it should have been and should be developed further."

Totally agree..If this was kept in development from beginning it would rival Motion Builder all around, and Motion Mixer would run neck and neck with Motion Builders Story.

For this to happen it would have to be a stand alone app, not in LW native.

And it would also have to built around something like this:

http://gameware.autodesk.com/humanIK

I would agree it had the potential to be on the same level if it had met these basic criteria and also had the backing to be developed separately. Part of of the power of MB is the fact that it is separate and only being used for animation. MotionBuilder is built on real time 3D architecture. And that is one of the main reasons it is so useful. I don't think you could do that in native LW.

The Wizzard
05-23-2014, 11:29 AM
I finally did a tutorial on: "Lightwave to MotionBuilder and Back again "
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eju1edD7k0A

I hope it helps some of you :)

The Wizzard
05-25-2014, 04:49 PM
I've uploaded the next tutorial...
"Lightwave to MotionBuilder to ENDORPHIN and Back again"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSkDM-l38hM

Enjoy :)