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View Full Version : Anima 3D People for Lightwave COMING! with your help



tcoursey
07-18-2013, 08:43 AM
We need to get the community behind this. I spoke with the developer about Lightwave support. See below there response....


We don’t have a connection plugin for LW yet, but it is something we would like to do as soon as possible. We are a small team and we are working on anima 2 development right now so all our “power” is concentrated there. We have tried to contacted NEWTEK people in order to see if they would be interested to develop a plugin or even integrate anima inside LW but at the moment no one answer tu us. Maybe you know someone at Newtek?

I’m sorry I cannot offer you a solution right now. Believe me, I would like to make anima compatible with all the 3D softwares available in the market. It is just a question of time. However, as Newtek seems to be pointing their product to the Arch. Viz market, the development of anima for LW it is probably a priority.

If your not familiar with Anima it's basically a package that allows MAX, Maya, Cinema4D to incorporate 3D people with motions into there archViz projects easily. With avoidance, escilators, random motions, paths etc...etc.

It seems that alot of things are produced for these 3 other major packages and Lightwave is left out or last on the list. Help get support for thid development for leaving comments and suggestions here. NewTek/Lightwave 3D Group needs to hear us, as well as the developer at Anima.

Thanks!

Anima Info Here: https://secure.axyz-design.com/anima-crowd-simulation-software-home

hrgiger
07-18-2013, 08:48 AM
ive heard that now a few times, that Newtek is focusing more on archViz... but is that the case? other then bundling LW along with LWCAD for a limited time what else has been done in that direction?

tcoursey
07-18-2013, 09:44 AM
ive heard that now a few times, that Newtek is focusing more on archViz... but is that the case? other then bundling LW along with LWCAD for a limited time what else has been done in that direction?

I can't say that I've seen that "big push" either. But if you think about it alot of what Lightwave has been used for in the past is "environments", along with VFX. The bundle with LWCAD in my opinion was a way to get some of the tools that LW needs to compete with other products "included" with purchase.

The render engine has always been incredible for LW. I've talked with many Max and Maya users that are amazed at the renders I get for little time. Yes VRay and others are great if you go to school to figure them out and have 10's of thousands of processors :)

The more Lightwave can differentiate itself from other packages the better chance it can have to continue to succeed.

Now back on topic....Anima for Lightwave. Anyone use it on the other packages and like to see it in Lightwave? How about features unique to Lightwave Anima that other packages can't/don't have. Instancing? etc.

Cryonic
07-19-2013, 09:52 PM
This isn't the first time they've bundled LWCad into Lightwave. I got version 1.5 with a previous update to Lightwave and I've been keeping it up to date since then.

Amurrell
07-20-2013, 04:25 AM
I should have kept up with LWCAD after I got the bundled deal years ago, but then again I didn't have the same income back then.

Lewis
07-20-2013, 01:21 PM
Would be nice to hear LW3DG contacting them. I guess they are very buss ynow with Siggraph preparations but definitely somethign where they should approach 'coz it's great timesaver for arch-viz market.

kopperdrake
11-29-2014, 01:51 PM
Guys - to resuurect an old thread - is anyone playing with the demo of anima? It comes with five characters, and looks to be uncrippled - even the full blown version is well priced in my opinion.

Just wondering if anyone else is playing around with it - still learning here after a few hours, yet to get something into LW that's usable, but I thik it's just a question of finding the right export/import options. If I can, it's defintely worth buying for me.

adk
11-29-2014, 02:56 PM
You definitely can export kopperdrake. There's a thread somewhere which shows what options need to be ticked. The peeps come in as one object with one mdd applied.

SteveH
11-29-2014, 03:12 PM
I'd be interested in what you come up with kopperdrake. Are you exporting out FBX or some other format into Lightwave?

3dworks
11-29-2014, 03:58 PM
i would be extremely interested into using anima in my projects but here is (still) no updated mac version. the first mac version 1.0 for mac was a joke in terms of buggyness and instability. looking forward, however, keeping fingers crossed.

Megalodon2.0
11-29-2014, 04:10 PM
Very interesting software. Is that price for a perpetual license? Seems like you should be able to export the characters using Collada. As soon as I have some time I'll give it a shot.

wesleycorgi
11-29-2014, 04:26 PM
Guys - to resuurect an old thread - is anyone playing with the demo of anima? It comes with five characters, and looks to be uncrippled - even the full blown version is well priced in my opinion.

Just wondering if anyone else is playing around with it - still learning here after a few hours, yet to get something into LW that's usable, but I thik it's just a question of finding the right export/import options. If I can, it's defintely worth buying for me.

I've been playing around the last few days; hence, my inquiry here: http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?144642-Anima-and-Lightwave-Collada-Cleanup

If I can figure this out, I will take advantage of their 25% off BF/CM sale.

tcoursey
11-29-2014, 07:09 PM
I've been playing around the last few days; hence, my inquiry here: http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?144642-Anima-and-Lightwave-Collada-Cleanup

If I can figure this out, I will take advantage of their 25% off BF/CM sale.

We've played w it. Very promising. Use collada format comes in very clean. But have to remap textures. You can export individual geometry or all as one. Love to see your results....

spigolo
11-30-2014, 01:33 AM
Realy hope Newtek keep pushing this is something we need a lot in our work and is frustrating to have to use complicated workflow to add animated people etc..

wesleycorgi
11-30-2014, 09:37 AM
I made it harder on myself than need be. By exporting out the results as one big model (vs. individual models), then it is much easier to set up the materials and add one MDD file. I still had to open up the Collada file to fix the file structure to textures (this may be ok in Windows, not so much for Mac).

And by using Nodes to re-associate the textures, it makes it that much quicker.

3dworks
11-30-2014, 10:58 AM
I made it harder on myself than need be. By exporting out the results as one big model (vs. individual models), then it is much easier to set up the materials and add one MDD file. I still had to open up the Collada file to fix the file structure to textures (this may be ok in Windows, not so much for Mac).

And by using Nodes to re-associate the textures, it makes it that much quicker.

thanks for the tip, will try this here, finally got a decent graphics card for my windows machine (which usually just works as a render slave) where i can test it.

wesleycorgi
11-30-2014, 01:59 PM
thanks for the tip, will try this here

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get the one MDD file to work (it creates a big mound of meshblob). Still playing with all the different export settings, though.

wesleycorgi
11-30-2014, 03:08 PM
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get the one MDD file to work (it creates a big mound of meshblob). Still playing with all the different export settings, though.

Actually, I take that back. For some reason Anima in a Parallels VM on Mac OS X doesn't export out a proper MDD file. However, when I went back to my PC laptop and exported out the Collada plus MDD file, it worked (just wasted about six hours driving myself crazy).

wesleycorgi
11-30-2014, 06:28 PM
Here's a quick render from LW of the default Anima scene (exported Collada + MDD). I just added a ground plane; that's why you will see some weird things going on (like people floating through the plane): 125757

Lewis
11-30-2014, 11:21 PM
Looks good, very good. How do textures/UVs come out of anima? Is it "per character" or one big group*texture now when you exported all into group ?

wesleycorgi
12-01-2014, 12:05 AM
Looks good, very good. How do textures/UVs come out of anima? Is it "per character" or one big group*texture now when you exported all into group ?

Both. I initially tried per model, but with multiple models it would take forever. In the default example, there were a couple dozen figures doing various things (riding escalators, walking, sitting, etc.) but there were only two unique models (the man and woman). However since they were separate models, you would have to re-associate the textures for all of them — as well as, you would have to associate the respective MDDs. As one big mesh, you would need to only associate the unique model textures (in this case the one man and woman) and then one or two MDDs.

But in my tests yesterday, when I took the time to reapply textures to individual models and tinker with the individual settings, the model looked pretty good close up considering the meshes are relatively low poly. Anima exports out these textures: Color, Specular, and Normal (plus Transparency for hair). I used Nodes to link these up, but for some reason Transparency didn't work (I used regular shader). Also, you have to invert transparency (similar to most imported texture maps).

I using the LW 2015 demo, so not sure if that was the root of the transparency node thing. Also, I was messing with the HDR Studio demo as well while playing with the Anima import.

wesleycorgi
12-01-2014, 12:14 AM
One thing to note, you can not currently import your own characters. It is scheduled for v2 (due out some time soon). But the full version comes with 50 characters and with nodes you probably can create even more permutations.

Lewis
12-01-2014, 12:25 AM
I probably didn't explain it well so let's try again :).

Can you texture each character separately (2 in your case as you said) and to still be part of single mesh in layout and have just one *.mdd and get 50 clones of characters textured automatically (i.e. reusing same one just with different behavior)? Like instancing it.

thanks

Lewis
12-01-2014, 12:53 AM
Got the demo working and got so many materials for each mesh regardless of me being told it to be all-in-one :). I hoped for each mesh single texture at least so that I don't have "head, eyes, hair, skin.." for each character.

But on the bright side *.mdd worked fine :).

Megalodon2.0
12-01-2014, 04:04 AM
Did I read their website correctly - about $325 US for the full package? Because if so, that seems very reasonable for a perpetual license.

wesleycorgi
12-01-2014, 05:54 AM
Did I read their website correctly - about $325 US for the full package? Because if so, that seems very reasonable for a perpetual license.

This is the pricing for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. I'm trying to determine whether the workflow isn't too onerous before the sale runs out. On the positive side, I like what it does and there is a chance Axyz may develop a native LW plugin; it natively imports LW objects for buildings/structures reference. On the negative, no Mac version and the cleanup of Collada materials import.

wesleycorgi
12-01-2014, 06:02 AM
Got the demo working and got so many materials for each mesh regardless of me being told it to be all-in-one :). I hoped for each mesh single texture at least so that I don't have "head, eyes, hair, skin.." for each character.

But on the bright side *.mdd worked fine :).


Do you know if LW Collada import should be able to read all the various textures on import? I imported into Sketchup and Blender. By editing the file structure data, both showed the textures fine. Modo 701 SP5 wasn't able to read the DAE file at all.

Lewis
12-01-2014, 06:15 AM
Do you know if LW Collada import should be able to read all the various textures on import? I imported into Sketchup and Blender. By editing the file structure data, both showed the textures fine. Modo 701 SP5 wasn't able to read the DAE file at all.

Deep Exploraiton reads it fine from exported *.DAE file so it certainly saves/read textures. I need to test will it work if i put images inside modeler prior loading model file, maybe is just location issue hmmmmmmmm.

Lewis
12-01-2014, 06:23 AM
AHA, i got it working this way:

1. Export DAE from Anima
2. Load DAE into Deep Exploration (all textured applied on characters fine)
3. Save LWO/LWs out of DE
4. Load tha tLWo into LW and all works/textured fine

So my only conclusion is that LWs Collada import don't see/ask for textures (i tried even to load them on start but no luck) :(.

tcoursey
12-01-2014, 07:07 AM
I made it harder on myself than need be. By exporting out the results as one big model (vs. individual models), then it is much easier to set up the materials and add one MDD file. I still had to open up the Collada file to fix the file structure to textures (this may be ok in Windows, not so much for Mac).

And by using Nodes to re-associate the textures, it makes it that much quicker.

When you say Nodes are quicker to setup, I'm guessing because you can copy your structure from object to object and then just replace the images used?

wesleycorgi
12-01-2014, 09:48 AM
When you say Nodes are quicker to setup, I'm guessing because you can copy your structure from object to object and then just replace the images used?

Each character mesh has 5 surfaces: Clothes, Eyes/Mouth, Hair, Skin, and Head. Each surface has 3 to 4 texture maps: Color, Specular, Normal, and transparency (for Hair). You can go into regular Surface Editor and re-associate the various surfaces; however, I found that using nodes that there were less clicks and pop-up windows to deal with.

However, in a separate thread, Clinton 3D noted that his Collada Import Fixer should resolve the LW not reading in these textures. I tried using the Fixer plugin a couple of days ago, but it didn't work. When I have time later today, I'm going to try again because that would help greatly reduce all this busy work.

wesleycorgi
12-01-2014, 09:51 AM
I decided to pull the trigger and get Anima. I use quite a bit of DAZ/Poser stuff right now for background people. This seems to make a lot of stuff much easier (despite some hurdles). And I rarely animate my background people.

kopperdrake
12-01-2014, 02:29 PM
Sorry I haven't replied since posting - I started playing with it but got somewhere/nowhere, ran out of play time and have been on live projects since.

I set a test scene up with several people doing their thing, exported it as a collada file and whilst it opened up in LightWave, the characters were all bunched up in the middle of Layout. Now I see from above that characters come in lumped as one object. I tried exporting an mdd file, and adding that in LightWave, and whilst the blob of characters moved around as one, and some of the verts were in the right place, there were an awful lot of verts that weren't. I'm guessing, from reading the comments above, that I'd probably applied the mdd data for one object, to the bunch of several characters, hence the geometry breaking.

I need to find a way to get this to work with vanilla LightWave - I don't have Motion Builder to play with. Next chance I get I'll have another play, I really would like this in my armoury - it's a neat solution to getting people into a scene, for me, and the price is decent.

wesleycorgi
03-08-2015, 09:24 AM
FYI, they now have a Mac version of Anima v1.7.