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stevegraymusic
08-24-2013, 07:14 PM
I have used Lightwave for many years. Great renderer. Reasonable learning curve. Great community of users and tutorials galore. Thousands of plugins etc. But every single character animation I've ever done or seen is not up to par with Maya. You cannot achieve Hollywood quality character animation. Pixar Disney Sony Blur studios etc etc etc with this software. In all of the years I have used this program I believed that eventually I would achieve or at least see someone do it but ALL of the character animation is choppy, amateurish, clumsy looking. I have made great renders of characters. Even moving characters using motion files. I have used the soft body functions for bouncing breasts and realistic cloth movement. But when it comes to putting the whole thing together to make convincing character animation, Lightwave falls short. Lip sync and deformations are ok but when compared to Maya they really stink. Why would you put together such a great rigging system like Genoma and not include a face rig??? Most of us are artists not techies. Somebody please show me any examples of Lightwave character animation that can stand up to anything on DVD or even on Youtube that was done using Maya. The Ghost warrior project was ok but it's not on par with Hollywood animation. PEOPLE ALWAYS bring up animation in space movies and buildings being demolished AND robots or other characters with very little facial expression or body movement etc. but you never see any good character animation in Lightwave. Please show me some examples and prove me wrong.

hrgiger
08-24-2013, 07:44 PM
While its true that LightWave lacks some of the advanced tools that some other packages have such as muscle systems, advanced deformers, things like blend shapes like in Maya and numerous other features, I believe it has a lot more to do with how well one knows the software and knowing animation. On the same token, using a program like Maya or Softimage doesn't automatically make you able to do great character animation, does it? You have to know the tools. I've seen great stuff done in Animation Master and Truespace and I would put both of those (for the most part) below LightWave's featureset and abilities. Besides, a lot of people these days use motion capture which you can obviously do in LW and of course you can always animate in another program like Messiah or Softimage and use LW for everything else.

As far as Genoma and it not having facial rigging... Genoma was just released last year as part of 11.5, I'm sure that it will be developed further. Its only like a version 1.

But here are a few really nice things I've seen done in LW.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2yigliim0U
http://youtu.be/4pvqT0ab3Z4 (Trailer)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1caLE8z8vA (Final)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGW0aQSgyxQ (this is kind of a bad quality video on YouTube- Anyone know where there is a higher rez render?)

stevegraymusic
08-24-2013, 08:13 PM
But here are a few really nice things I've seen done in LW.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2yigliim0U
http://youtu.be/4pvqT0ab3Z4 (Trailer)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1caLE8z8vA (Final)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGW0aQSgyxQ (this is kind of a bad quality video on YouTube- Anyone know where there is a higher rez render?)


Thank you so much for your reply...It's not the fact that I don't know the tools. Believe me, I know this software! I have done so many tutorials and read so many books and articles it would make your head spin!
I don't work for Pixar but I do believe that I have some talent - http://www.youtube.com/user/sgmusic1987?feature=watch

I have seen the examples you provided before...they are o.k. but...they are not on par with what is produced in Maya...even by amateurs.

#1 is mechanical
#2 and 3 are primarily lighting effects, walking and fighting which can easily be done with motion capture files
#4 Is clever, there is a lot light of cinematic lighting and sound effects that help mask the fact that there isn't much in the way of up close facial character animation.
There is a lot of eye blinking and an occasional morph expression but no lip sync.

Lightwave in it's current form cannot achieve anything like these...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgZ2-e6Wink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_XxR5Pce9w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5o_mZZHRiuQ

Even the student projects from the 11 second club site surpass anything I've ever seen done in Lightwave as far as organic character animation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHGZpgLyYF4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtL_fHNdg0w

There are thousands of examples on Youtube of great character animation done in other software but there are NO great examples of outstanding organic
professional looking character animation (including squash and stretch and lip sync done using Lightwave. Somebody please prove me wrong...) thanks again for your reply

sukardi
08-24-2013, 08:28 PM
For me, you use a software for what it can do.

If you are a dedicated character animator in a large project, I definitely do not recommend you to use Lightwave. The same is with dynamics. You would use Houdini or Real Flow or an inhouse tool. For renderer, you would probably use Renderman or Arnold.

Having said that, I think LW currently have good enough character tools to tell the story for small projects or for a medium project in which character animation is not the dominant theme. The are loads of projects that fall into these categories.

If you don't want to use LW for character, that is fine. LW exchange tools are getting better, so you can probably do all your character in Maya and render in LW - but only if you want to...

nickdigital
08-24-2013, 08:34 PM
Does this short satisfy your criteria?
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OGW0aQSgyxQ

Ryan Roye
08-24-2013, 08:34 PM
Not sure what you are talking about, the animation in those examples provided is mostly subpar motion hidden behind cliche polished pixar-wannabe models.

Deformation tools and workflows I (and many others on this forum) will agree could use quite some improvement and Newtek staff is well aware of that weakness in Lightwave, so there's not really any argument there. For motions though, I strongly disagree. The tools to achieve things for animation (motion, NOT graphics!!) aren't really well documented but there are very, very few things that other packages can do that Lightwave can't. Believe it or not, you CAN do things like springy wires and bone dynamics and motion capture editing, retargeting, switchable automation etc etc.

The problem is that there aren't many character animators who use Lightwave, which is another reason why people underestimate its motion tools. Understand that abundant character animation projects available on youtube DO NOT equate to Lightwave's inability to produce quality animation... quite frankly I'm getting tired of the "if it doesn't exist, it must not be possible" argument; it is poisonous and does absolutely nothing to help the community.

We published an animated project recently (http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/623922), give it a watch :D

hrgiger
08-24-2013, 08:46 PM
Lightwave in it's current form cannot achieve anything like these...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgZ2-e6Wink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_XxR5Pce9w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5o_mZZHRiuQ

Even the student projects from the 11 second club site surpass anything I've ever seen done in Lightwave as far as organic character animation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHGZpgLyYF4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtL_fHNdg0w

There are thousands of examples on Youtube of great character animation done in other software but there are NO great examples of outstanding organic
professional looking character animation (including squash and stretch and lip sync done using Lightwave. Somebody please prove me wrong...) thanks again for your reply

I don't see anything in these cartoony animations that couldn't be done in LightWave at all. The problem as I see it is that there are very few schools which use LW as a teaching tool so most people who are looking to get into animation are using the programs that are being used in major studios. So all the usual Autodesk lineup and Houdini. I thought you were actually talking about film level animation like full CG characters in live action like in Star Wars or Avatar. But again, I don't see anything in these animations that you posted that couldn't be done in LW (maybe some of the fluid effects I saw but if we're just speaking character animation....). But the actual animation and character expressiveness have a lot more to do with the talent and knowledge behind the animators and less to do with a specific software.

Sekhar
08-24-2013, 08:56 PM
I don't think the OP really wants an answer, looks like he registered to start a flame war. I suggest we don't get all defensive here.

stevegraymusic
08-24-2013, 09:05 PM
I don't see anything in these cartoony animations that couldn't be done in LightWave at all. The problem as I see it is that there are very few schools which use LW as a teaching tool so most people who are looking to get into animation are using the programs that are being used in major studios. So all the usual Autodesk lineup and Houdini. I thought you were actually talking about film level animation like full CG characters in live action like in Star Wars or Avatar. But again, I don't see anything in these animations that you posted that couldn't be done in LW (maybe some of the fluid effects I saw but if we're just speaking character animation....). But the actual animation and character expressiveness have a lot more to do with the talent and knowledge behind the animators and less to do with a specific software.

You really consider blur studios work something that can be done in Lightwave??
Everyone is so quick to defend Lightwave...probably because like me you've spent a lot of time and money...but no one can ever show you the actual work...by the way The Passenger was submitted as an example already and I commented on it earlier.
Have you seen the trailer for The Goon? The examples I chose were just a few quick random examples of cartoon animations...Yes they are cartoons but Lightwave is not even capable of that...If it is, please show me a valid example ANYWHERE! Everyone talks a good game but where are the examples? Not robots and BHV files and spaceships an cars or even composited dinosaurs. The cartoony (as you say) stuff that's making billions of dollars in Hollywood...the stuff that a large percentage of the users want to create? Show me one bonified well animated organic character animation created with Lightwave. You will argue that it can do it but you cannot provide even one single legitimate example? Of the tens of thousands if not millions of projects available to view on the Internet can you provide one well done Pixar like animation done with Lightwave? NO

jasonwestmas
08-24-2013, 09:07 PM
Last time I tried to do anything serious with LW's "character animation" options was 9.6. The workflow and performance was just too slow for the kinds of designs I wanted to use. I don't think the CA people who left LW a while ago have had a reason to come back to animating in LW because the competition in this area is pretty steep on a very basic level. I'm talking more about basic skinning, volume deformation correction and keyframing workflows and less about complex muscle and dynamics stuff.

I am curious how far LW has come in this arena and if it would save me time in some areas verses using point cache form another app. for every little thing. I would definitely consider using LW's animation tools for some things. LW is fun to render stylized animation with (renders really fast) and so the curiosity is knocking at my door.

stevegraymusic
08-24-2013, 09:08 PM
I don't think the OP really wants an answer, looks like he registered to start a flame war. I suggest we don't get all defensive here.

No sir...far from it...Ive used this s*** for 9 years. I'm invested just like the rest of you. Maybe just answer the damn questions or don't comment at all!

Join date 2004!
The year before you joined

- - - Updated - - -

stevegraymusic
08-24-2013, 09:09 PM
Jasonwestmas
YES...thank you sir...anyone else care to be honest this evening?

Dexter2999
08-24-2013, 09:22 PM
I don't see anything in these cartoony animations that couldn't be done in LightWave at all. The problem as I see it is that there are very few schools which use LW as a teaching tool so most people who are looking to get into animation are using the programs that are being used in major studios. So all the usual Autodesk lineup and Houdini. I thought you were actually talking about film level animation like full CG characters in live action like in Star Wars or Avatar. But again, I don't see anything in these animations that you posted that couldn't be done in LW (maybe some of the fluid effects I saw but if we're just speaking character animation....). But the actual animation and character expressiveness have a lot more to do with the talent and knowledge behind the animators and less to do with a specific software.

ratio: user base size to quantity of quality product

But to the OP point, people don't want to jump through hoops if they don't have to. Other packages have better CA solutions so some use those. Some use plug ins or Messiah to work around the hurdles inherent in LW.

I like LW but let's not be "fanboy-ish" in our defense of it. CA has been a long standing shortcoming.

Sekhar
08-24-2013, 09:30 PM
Let's be honest: if you want to be a millionaire, you got to go with Maya. Seen the Become a millionair! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O_h6N2Qms4) tutorial?

3D Kiwi
08-24-2013, 09:31 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3F5SHvkERQ

Wasnt the Jimmy Neutron movied done soley in Lightwave? Not sure about the tv spin off?

stevegraymusic
08-24-2013, 09:38 PM
Not sure what you are talking about, the animation in those examples provided is mostly subpar motion hidden behind cliche polished pixar-wannabe models.

We published an animated project recently (http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/623922), give it a watch :D

But at least they move expressively and they give the illusion of life which is the point of cartoon animation.
You really think that Elecktroshock and Gentlemens duel are pixar wannabe models? Its funny that those dont even impress you yet Lightwave has no examples that even come close...I saw your clip...again its decent but lets be real. You know that every example I gave...even the student stuff kills anything Ive ever seen done in LW as far as "cartoony" animation goes. Why are you guys defending it so hard? I'm not trying to hurt the community...I'm just waking up to the fact that Lightwave is not for cartoon character animation. It should be marketed to CG and effects people. Cars and robots and structures and compositing etc. I should have known that just by looking at their promo reels. They can animate the hell out of a space ship or some mechanical object but they don't do character animation that is competitive with anyone else by any stretch of the imagination.

stevegraymusic
08-24-2013, 09:40 PM
Does this short satisfy your criteria?
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OGW0aQSgyxQ

No...please see my comment above about The Passenger clip

Megalodon2.0
08-24-2013, 09:47 PM
Wasnt the Jimmy Neutron movied done soley in Lightwave? Not sure about the tv spin off?

From what I recall, Jimmy Neutron was done with Lightwave and Project Messiah for animation. The series (I think) moved to Maya.

stevegraymusic
08-24-2013, 09:48 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3F5SHvkERQ

Wasnt the Jimmy Neutron movied done soley in Lightwave? Not sure about the tv spin off?

The earliest stuff including the pilot episode was done purely in Lightwave and that clearly sucks. The later stuff was much better but it was not purely lightwave. I believe they used Messiah or some proprietary software in addition to LW for that.

Megalodon2.0
08-24-2013, 09:49 PM
They can animate the hell out of a space ship or some mechanical object but they don't do character animation that is competitive with anyone else by any stretch of the imagination.

That's why I like Lightwave and motion capture. :D

stevegraymusic
08-24-2013, 09:52 PM
Yes...Ive done lots of cool BVH stuff...and Lightwaves modeler and renderer are great

stevegraymusic
08-24-2013, 09:59 PM
Let's be honest: if you want to be a millionaire, you got to go with Maya. Seen the Become a millionair! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O_h6N2Qms4) tutorial?

This thread was not titled how can I become a millionaire as a character animator...with the character content you are able to produce in Lightwave you would be lucky to get an internship with an independant studio.

jasonwestmas
08-24-2013, 10:00 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3F5SHvkERQ

Wasnt the Jimmy Neutron movied done soley in Lightwave? Not sure about the tv spin off?

no, messiah and then maya. Rendered in LW.

stevegraymusic
08-24-2013, 10:03 PM
ratio: user base size to quantity of quality product

But to the OP point, people don't want to jump through hoops if they don't have to. Other packages have better CA solutions so some use those. Some use plug ins or Messiah to work around the hurdles inherent in LW.

I like LW but let's not be "fanboy-ish" in our defense of it. CA has been a long standing shortcoming.

That's all I'm saying. LW has a lot of great features and is very useful...just not Character animation...not yet anyway.
I was actually hoping someone could prove me wrong.

Megalodon2.0
08-24-2013, 10:07 PM
with the character content you are able to produce in Lightwave you would be lucky to get an internship with an independant studio.

I will have to disagree with this. IMO, it really does depend on the animator. While LW does lack some of the better CA tools, in the hand of a good artist they character work can be there. The fact that there is little to none good character work available to view is simply because LW doesn't have those tools that a traditional CA artist really wants and that has not been the focus of any LW artist, sad to say. As you've already stated, LW's forte is in hardbody work - ie spaceships and VFX. That of course does not preclude that LW CAN do character animation. Hopefully one day soon a good LW artist will show us pretty good CA. For me... I'll stick with motion capture. :)

nickdigital
08-24-2013, 10:15 PM
No, it was done in messiah. Series was in Maya. LightWave was used for rendering for the movie. I'm 99% sure it was for the series as well. At least that's how the DNA assets looked to be setup from what I can tell.

nickdigital
08-24-2013, 10:23 PM
That's all I'm saying. LW has a lot of great features and is very useful...just not Character animation...not yet anyway.
I was actually hoping someone could prove me wrong.

I don't recall your comments about The Passenger. If you don't think that was an example of high quality work then to each their own.

I would say it's the rigging that makes LightWave suffer. There are no deformers like lattices, deform by spline, etc that one can layer into a rig. Something like Maya's channel box would be welcomed in LightWave. With LW you find yourself having to manipulate a lot of items to get to a single pose. So the actual process of animating can be very laborious. Ergo time consuming which is no good. LightWave also suffers from a serious performance hit when rigs become very complicated so that will definitely steer people to other programs if they're relying on character work.

So while it's possible to produce quality work, don't mistake LightWave for a program like Maya. There's a reason why messiah was a plugin for LightWave back in the day.

stevegraymusic
08-24-2013, 10:26 PM
I will have to disagree with this. IMO, it really does depend on the animator. While LW does lack some of the better CA tools, in the hand of a good artist they character work can be there. The fact that there is little to none good character work available to view is simply because LW doesn't have those tools that a traditional CA artist really wants and that has not been the focus of any LW artist, sad to say. As you've already stated, LW's forte is in hardbody work - ie spaceships and VFX. That of course does not preclude that LW CAN do character animation. Hopefully one day soon a good LW artist will show us pretty good CA. For me... I'll stick with motion capture. :)

Of all of the artists in this forum and the many other LW forums and all of the LW (character animtor) users out there no one has posted anything that's even in the same universe as some if the examples I posted. And these were just random clips. There are many many more...Even the well respected Lightwave experts...Timothy Albee etc. do not produce impressive competitive results in this area.

shrox
08-24-2013, 10:35 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiARsQSlzDc

stevegraymusic
08-24-2013, 10:52 PM
I don't recall your comments about The Passenger. If you don't think that was an example of high quality work then to each his own.

No...don't get me wrong. I thought that The Passenger was decent...it was a well done project but, for the most part it was a lot of lighting effects...eyes blinking and a couple of frightened Morph expressions but it certainly wasn't the detailed nuanced smooth character animation, lip sync and expressiveness that we have all become accustomed to seeing produced in other software packages.

stevegraymusic
08-24-2013, 10:56 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiARsQSlzDc

Hilarious!..Now that's character animation!

Surrealist.
08-24-2013, 11:13 PM
This to me is one of the best character animations I have seen in LightWave.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGW0aQSgyxQ

http://thepassengerfilm.blogspot.com.au/p/useless-information.html

My conclusion is that it mainly has to do with talent. And second to that willingness to remain dedicated to LightWave despite all and a generous helping of patience.

I am not going to get into the argument about LightWave CA tools as I think it is not really that productive. I think LW Group is well aware of the limitations. Hopefully they are working on it.

I prefer other Character Animation solutions personally. But I think it is a personal thing and many factors play a roll in a decision, and it is up to the individual to decide. There are lots of better tools for this outside of LightWave in my opinion. Even Blender has a great CA toolset. Messiah is a great LW companion.

stevegraymusic
08-24-2013, 11:29 PM
This to me is one of the best character animations I have seen in LightWave.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGW0aQSgyxQ

http://thepassengerfilm.blogspot.com.au/p/useless-information.html

My conclusion is that it mainly has to do with talent. And second to that willingness to remain dedicated to LightWave despite all and a generous helping of patience.

I am not going to get into the argument about LightWave CA tools as I think it is not really that productive. I think LW Group is well aware of the limitations. Hopefully they are working on it.

I prefer other Character Animation solutions personally. But I think it is a personal thing and many factors play a roll in a decision, and it is up to the individual to decide. There are lots of better tools for this outside of LightWave in my opinion. Even Blender has a great CA toolset. Messiah is a great LW companion.

The fact that 3 or 4 of you mentioned the Passenger clip just further proves the point. Talent is not the only factor. A carpenter could drive a nail with a vice grip but that's what hammers are for. LW for character animation is like trying to drive a nail with a vice grip. Now that's a dumb *** analogy so I'm going to leave this senseless debate at that. For all of you that were honest with me about LW s limitations...much respect...as for the rest of you minions enjoy your 11.6 vice grip.

Dexter2999
08-24-2013, 11:32 PM
Still, we haven't seen an "apples to apples" comparison in this thread. Most if not all of the LW examples have been done by a single person. Whereas the other examples posted were done by teams. Meaning the animation portion is very likely being done by specialists.

Are there any good examples of CA being done by peole in other packages as a "one man band"?

Rayek
08-25-2013, 12:07 AM
Wow, this thread is beginning to taste a bit sour.

To regain some perspective: none of the major 3d applications are great at all sub-areas of 3d work. Lightwave is excellent at some things, and not as strong as other packages in other areas. Likewise for Cinema4d, Maya, Blender, Houdini, Max and Modo. Cost-wise you'd be able to add Messiah to your LW license for great character animation tools, and still save a lot of money compared to Maya. Dreamworks animators work with character animation software that is developed in-house.

Myself, I love doing my character animation work in Blender: the workflow is very smooth, and I prefer it over other applications. (I started using Blender for character animation a few years ago while participating in the first iAnimate terms). Then I export as an mdd to Lightwave (if required).

I mean, I've seen brilliant work done in Lightwave, and though character animation work is much less featured, compared to Cinema4d it's basically the same situation: their latest demo reel almost no character animation shown at all (none, if I recall correctly) - mostly (granted, great looking) broadcast and motion graphics related stuff. Character animation can be done in LW and C4d, but those two do not exactly have the strongest or most efficient tools for that type of work. At least, in my opinion.

Something like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o9Fod9KigU was textured and rendered in Lightwave, and animated in SoftImage. Which shows the strengths of each application.

My motto: whatever works best for you, and is the most flexible/efficient in your workflow (and your team's). I'm very pragmatic.

Megalodon2.0
08-25-2013, 12:16 AM
Cost-wise you'd be able to add Messiah to your LW license for great character animation tools, and still save a lot of money compared to Maya.

+1

Yes, this is a great combination. If you can't do great character work with Messiah, then you probably can't do great character work in ANY package. Conversely, if you can do great character work in other packages, you can do it in Messiah as well. And since Messiah started out as a LW plugin... ;) (IMO of course.)

djwaterman
08-25-2013, 12:55 AM
CA in LW needs some work, it's true. Thanks for raising the issue.

Nemoid
08-25-2013, 01:16 AM
The OP is a bit harsh, but i find he's right.
Lw is a capable app but since it's origin it was never meant for heavy CA, especially cartoony things which tends to have rapid movements and lots of nuances in expression of the face, lip synch, squash and stretch or even more odd deformations and so on.

It's easier to animate a more realistic creature with Lw than doing a cartoon hand made animation with all bells and whistles, and subtleties, for sure.

I think also this is because of Lw origins. It was made mainly for vfx, sci fi stuff like Babilon 5, and grew up on this.
So you can achieve good things with robotics, spaceships and alot more, rendering is great, surfacing is awesome, and much more strong points are there,but not heavy char animation.
Maya instead was conceived with heavy CA in mind since the start. They tried to nail all the tools for that purpose, in a way that animation has always been one of the strongest points of the software, especially compared to modelling and rendering in which it has always been rather weak.

Lw now could evolve in better even for heavy char animation, Genoma is also great for rigging but to allow heavy CA many issues in Lw animation system and core have to be solved.

Another problem is that too few arist do serious animation within Lw, and newbie especially find no great tutorials about this for LW, and so its easier for them to start in other programs, like Maya, XSI or even Blender.

LW_Will
08-25-2013, 02:12 AM
Okay... Japanese front;


Hide and Seek; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XcPVmygyDw yamataworks first production (short)

FREEDOM Project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_unKwoQzow0 (muisc video with shots from the first epi. 7 X 30) (http://freedom-project.jp/ website)

Koi Sento http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu2XPqP9arg film

Short Piece http://shortpeace-movie.com/ theatrical movie made of 3 pieces, each using Lightwave.

Now, please go away. ;-)

RebelHill
08-25-2013, 02:21 AM
Hmmm... this all seems like a bit of a red herring to me...

But anyway... High quality, subtle, nuanced CA can be done with anyting... pencils, plasticine, you name it (ok, well not ANYTHING, sofas, plumbing equipment etc are probs a no-no), the only factor at play is the time taken to wrangle it out. A good example is the IKFK thing... You CAN do a walk cycle with perfect solid foot-ground contact locking using FK, it'll just take you a fecking AGE to do it. To that end LWs animation system surely is left wanting when compared to (say) maya, its not that the same level of quality of performance cant be achieved, its simply the fact that its not as easy or straight forward. Its tool limited by compare.

The passenger however, is a good example of such being done and done well. Yes its short, no it doesnt have a great "variety" of performance animation going on in it... but to compare it to the likes of blur, pixar, et al, is plain ridiculous. Those studios produce top quality work because they have the capacity to do so... whole teams of artists working on, not just animation itself, but all the other stuff that goes in, modelling, shading, etc. And the passenger... one guy. Put Favre on his own against any full high school team and Ill bet he loses big time.

But its all horses for courses... Id like to see a one man show done in maya or SI or whatever else that stands out as so significantly better against something like the passenger... One man shows (even rare as they are) dont often go with maya because its such a huge unwieldly beast... similarly high end animation studios (or even animators) dont often go with LW because its toolset will cost them in terms of turn around time.

Thats really all there is to it.

hrgiger
08-25-2013, 02:39 AM
You really consider blur studios work something that can be done in Lightwave??
Everyone is so quick to defend Lightwave...probably because like me you've spent a lot of time and money...but no one can ever show you the actual work...by the way The Passenger was submitted as an example already and I commented on it earlier.
Have you seen the trailer for The Goon? The examples I chose were just a few quick random examples of cartoon animations...Yes they are cartoons but Lightwave is not even capable of that...If it is, please show me a valid example ANYWHERE! Everyone talks a good game but where are the examples? Not robots and BHV files and spaceships an cars or even composited dinosaurs. The cartoony (as you say) stuff that's making billions of dollars in Hollywood...the stuff that a large percentage of the users want to create? Show me one bonified well animated organic character animation created with Lightwave. You will argue that it can do it but you cannot provide even one single legitimate example? Of the tens of thousands if not millions of projects available to view on the Internet can you provide one well done Pixar like animation done with Lightwave? NO

Sigh...this isn't about defending LightWave or being fanboyish. If you've been around these forums at all in the last 12 years, you would know I'm probably one of the largest critics of LightWave in terms of improvments it needs to make. My point is, where are your high quality animations done with other packages? Why can't you show me even one legitimite example of that? You seem to think that its LightWave holding you back from producing Blur Studio quality animation when as Rebel Hill mentions, that is work being done by teams of 3D artists. LightWave is and has been for a long time at the price point that makes it affordable for individual artists as well as smaller studios and so those are they type of users who make up a large if not most of its user base. So why would you expect to see a lot of Blur Studio quality work?

hrgiger
08-25-2013, 02:52 AM
I like LW but let's not be "fanboy-ish" in our defense of it. CA has been a long standing shortcoming.

Of course it is and I'm right there with the many in pointing out the shortcomings. From the first time I heard that LW was being used in Avatar, I knew right away that it wasn't for character animation. But I was just pointing out that in this case, I don't see anything impossible in LW about the examples he posted. Every facial expression, every pose, every nuance that I saw in those examples are achievable in LW. Its just if you have the time, ability, and resources to do it.

Personally, I think the CA weaknesses in LW are the reason you don't see a lot of quality CA being done. That may seem obvious but that also doesn't disprove that this type of work couldn't be done. I just think that very few people want to jump through all the hoops involved in working with LW to achieve the same quality of work. But impossible, no. But LW3DG has some big changes to make if they want to make LW an animator friendly application.

vncnt
08-25-2013, 03:06 AM
workflow

Ah, finally the right direction!

I must agree that I also have not seen a lot of exellent character animation done in LW and I liked The Passenger for storytelling and animation.
In the examples provided it was easy to identify the issues that are "below standard" and many clips have general issues:
- nothing to tell == no story
- boring cliché
- autistic repetitions of effects
- fixed facial expressions
- bad model designs
- no human-like interaction between characters with true emotional impact
- no character
- bad motions (in walkcycles you need to move the spine, hips, shoulders, etc)
- motions without intention (acting?)

It seems these animators are focussing mainly on the technical parts of animation instead of the art and acting.

Design issues can be resolved by NOT using LightWave: pencil and paper. And planning.
Then listen to the honest feedback you receive and do something with it.
If you really want to learn character animation, watch the e-critiques on the 11secondsclub and then start thinking of a new approach for yourself.
Make a new start.

For anyone who loves to continue using LW for CA and doesnīt know it yet: Iīve developed 2 plug-ins to improve workflow for character animation.
It maybe not much but they may help to focus on the right stuff: telling interesting stories.

LW-link:
builds LW scenes based on NLE timeline and handles the preview still/video, updates event length/in/out/fps/bgimage(s)/markers, renders with ScreamerNet, collects the output sequences in a Fusion comp file and links to SynthEyes (for matchmoving) and Reason for (music and soundFX). The ideal tool to focus on storytelling instead of technical issues. And then I discovered something was still missing: I was creating many scenes with a number of characters but was not able to modify their rigs without modifying 45 scenes with 6 character rigs that had the same issue. One possible solution: detach the rig from the animations. Thatīs why I started to develop RigManager - without LScript experience.
LW-link is a free and open (readable == editable) plug-in for Vegas Pro but it is meant for LW-ers who need to deal with multiple LW scenes (shots) that form stories. It is also meant to inspire NewTek and prove that it is possible to link their NLE and LW together in a very functional way: 1+1=3

RigManager:
import a character rig, then animate, save motions/envelopes when the scene is saved, and update both rig and motions/envelopes when (re-)loading as scene, handle orphaned motions/envelopes.
RigManager is currently in development and all difficult issues are taken care of already.
I post details in: http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?136828-How-to-change-a-rig-in-45-scene-files

Yes there is still a lot to do for the LightWave architects.
I understand they focus on the interface these days but what character animators really need is additional tools to fill the gaps.

Examples:
- NLE style timeline that handles all animation including layered animation (motion mixer is a good starting point)
- deformers
- facial rig (I know Lino is on the right track)
- Schematic viewport organizer
- improved dual screen support (the VPR window is a very good starting point)
- improved handling of poses and motions (library, visual references)
- envelopes of current xyz/hpb/XYZ in DopeTrack that do not need select/refresh (because you already have selected an item + tool that limits the number of channels)
- OpenGL viewport without rig wireframe/overlay + save to output file that works on most media players
- improved markers and ranges to assist in converting an idea into animation
- support markers/ranges from audio file
- rotate around center of selected objects (ever tried to rotate hips+feet+shoulder+head+eyes at once?)
- search in itemlist (ever tried to setup rig elements in a scene that has 1000+ items?)
- pen marker for adding visual remarks per frame
- project management (everybody is part of a project: status report, priorities, targets, feedback, assignment details, surrounding shots, time spent?)

RebelHill
08-25-2013, 03:10 AM
I think the CA weaknesses in LW are the reason you don't see a lot of quality CA being done.

Exactamundo!

Iain
08-25-2013, 03:22 AM
Why is there a need to be proven wrong on something that is a given?
If you need a better character animation package, go get one.

No trolling please, we don't really do that here.

vncnt
08-25-2013, 04:18 AM
If you need a better character animation package, go get one.

... or help them to improve by indentifying where it hurts the most or what could help you - you can't always run away from everything if it does not fit.

Then let the architects and the managers decide on universal solutions for the widest range of users.

We'll see in LW12 how well they have listened.

Surrealist.
08-25-2013, 04:31 AM
Well at least this thread proves one thing. Even though Character Animation has died a slow death in LightWave, it is alive as a subject people are passionate about. The new tools are a step in the right direction. But as mentioned the core tools need an overhaul badly.

RebelHill
08-25-2013, 04:34 AM
... or help them to improve by indentifying where it hurts the most or what could help you

Yeah... thing is, a LOT of us have been doing that for years... thus far to no avail. Ive pointed out near countless problems with various animation or rigging tools and they NEVER get fixed... I mean take the non-interactive nodal deformation bugs introduced in 11... it was denied it was even LW at fault for the best part of a year (blamed on 3rd party tools), despite numerous people submitting bug reports and demonstrations of things.

Dont get me wrong, I use LW cos it fits what I do and need (horses for courses), but I have UTTERLY no faith whatsoever that many of these things will be addressed, nor that anyone (on the NT side) even seems to understand the problems and needs. Put another way... LWs failings in the CA arena are nothing more than a reflection of the failing of the folk at NT to fully grasp the needs and processes of CA.

erikals
08-25-2013, 04:34 AM
Lw Stinks For Character Animation!

well... i wouldn't say it stinks, but you certainly need to read alot to get the most out of it.

Chris Jones - LightWave Hand test


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

erikals
08-25-2013, 04:42 AM
"Fully Lightwave CA job..." also rendered in LightWave

Rhythm & Hues - Banjo Kazooie


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZqNvln2Qck

erikals
08-25-2013, 05:04 AM
Animated in LightWave by 1 guy...

David C. Bryant - Rhinos


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk749x2selY

vncnt
08-25-2013, 05:24 AM
Yeah... thing is, a LOT of us have been doing that for years... thus far to no avail. Ive pointed out near countless problems with various animation or rigging tools and they NEVER get fixed... I mean take the non-interactive nodal deformation bugs introduced in 11... it was denied it was even LW at fault for the best part of a year (blamed on 3rd party tools), despite numerous people submitting bug reports and demonstrations of things.

Dont get me wrong, I use LW cos it fits what I do and need (horses for courses), but I have UTTERLY no faith whatsoever that many of these things will be addressed, nor that anyone (on the NT side) even seems to understand the problems and needs.

I recognise that. This kept me from sending in any more bug reports or crash dumps.
Actually NewTek is the first company that responds dismissive to my crashdumps - thatīs weird: their program is crashing for some reason, I take care of the process to send the dump file to them, and then they ask me for evidence and demonstration files to narrow down the search. If you need to make a living by using this software, then there is almost no time to prove that my crashdump/complaint is legitimate. If I knew how to isolate the problem then I could solve it by using another approach that is still working. Be glad I sent the file. The result: crash dumps are only sent to NT if there is absolutely no work-around.
So less crashdumps does not necessarily mean that the software is getting better.

By example Vegas Pro does crash now and then, it sends the dump to some place maybe with some explanation what I was trying to do that moment, within weeks or a few months the programs asks me if I wish to download a new version. What could be fixed is fixed, what could not be fixed is still there or maybe a trace system has been introduced to identify errors. No evidence, no fuzz. A simple and clean workflow. Just restart the application and continue with your work with or without work-around for the time being.

I understand that architects are searching for generic solutions. Unfortunately, offering a box with universal tools is not enough for character animation: we need a streamlined workflow with coherent tools. All steps in the process need to be fully supported by the software, even small ones that seem meaningless to the architect because nobody succeeded to convince him/her.

Thatīs the direction Iīd like to see LW is going.

- - - Updated - - -



Animated in LightWave by 1 guy...

David C. Bryant - Rhinos


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk749x2selY

Nice but very subtle facial animation.

RebelHill
08-25-2013, 05:24 AM
"Fully Lightwave CA job..." also rendered in LightWave

Oh yeah... lets also not forget...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GnjRTH6cgM

vncnt
08-25-2013, 05:30 AM
"Fully Lightwave CA job..." also rendered in LightWave

Rhythm & Hues - Banjo Kazooie


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZqNvln2Qck

Strong ideas, nice story, slightly limited animation. Especially in the face.
Category: saturday morning.

vncnt
08-25-2013, 05:36 AM
Oh yeah... lets also not forget...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GnjRTH6cgM

Nice.
But when standing on one foot, he needs to balance. Using his hips, spine, shoulders.
No soft body tissue. Little secondary motion.
Nice facial animation but limited to pose type expressions.
No FX (dust, debris, breathing air).
Hair of fur?
Shadow direction.

wesleycorgi
08-25-2013, 06:04 AM
Did Menithings do all LW for Battle for Terra: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT-seshyqUM

RebelHill
08-25-2013, 06:08 AM
Did Menithings do all LW for Battle for Terra

Nope, animated in maya, rendered in LW.

erikals
08-25-2013, 06:20 AM
Nice.
But when standing on one foot, he needs to balance. Using his hips, spine, shoulders.
No soft body tissue. Little secondary motion.
Nice facial animation but limited to pose type expressions.
No FX (dust, debris, breathing air).
Hair of fur?
Shadow direction.

all of those things are left out because of time. it takes time to animate this stuff... in any package.

the only big challenge i see doing in CA LightWave is Muscle / Squatch & Stretch / BendyRigs

RebelHill
08-25-2013, 06:53 AM
Muscle... next to no chance atm. SnS and bendy is possible currently (within certain limitations)... but the truth is that there are much deeper issues that prevent you doing things that are taken for granted in other packages. The ability to have multiple constraints operating on a single item for example, but there's also a whole host of other things such as being able to manage keysets better, esp the ability to reuse sets for blocking out longer more repetitive actions... and, possibly most of all... interaction speed. LW is dog slow at rig handling. (they tried "deferred evaluation"... that didnt speed up anything worth a damn and ended up wrecking things that previously worked... any progress on fixing that back up?? nope).

IMO though, the top priority should be fixing up some of the stuff thats been there for ages and is left half baked. Joints, for instance... so close to being awesome, but some utterly stupid failings that just dont get any attention from NT.

Iain
08-25-2013, 06:59 AM
... or help them to improve by indentifying where it hurts the most or what could help you - you can't always run away from everything if it does not fit.


I haven't run away from issues within LW. I've had many frustrations but you won't find many artists or studios who try to do everything with one package. Sculpting, modelling, animating and rendering can all be efficiently done in different apps and generally speaking, are.

That's not the issue at stake here though. The OP has asked to be proven wrong on something that is a well known point of fact. It's a pointless proposition.
He then scorns others for defending LW as a good all rounder when in fact, it is he who is stubbornly sticking with an app that doesn't suit his needs.

chikega
08-25-2013, 07:15 AM
The other Terra ... Terra Nova was also animated in Maya, rendered in LW.

erikals
08-25-2013, 07:15 AM
Rebel, yes, big pitfalls, sometimes i wonder why you don't jump to Blender, but i guess that has it's downsides as well. It looks very-very good for CA though...

Personally i will challenge LightWave a bit more...
i know,... but i believe i can kick it... just been focusing more at modeling these years...

where is Lattice in Layout...
where is Weightpaint with weightblur in Layout...

agh...

vncnt
08-25-2013, 07:30 AM
all of those things are left out because of time. it takes time to animate this stuff... in any package.

Or spread the workload with a team.
Or reduce the workload with a complete toolset that has clever tools. Not fancy, just clever.


Muscle... next to no chance atm. SnS and bendy is possible currently (within certain limitations)... but the truth is that there are much deeper issues that prevent you doing things that are taken for granted in other packages. The ability to have multiple constraints operating on a single item for example, but there's also a whole host of other things such as being able to manage keysets better, esp the ability to reuse sets for blocking out longer more repetitive actions... and, possibly most of all... interaction speed. LW is dog slow at rig handling. (they tried "deferred evaluation"... that didnt speed up anything worth a damn and ended up wrecking things that previously worked... any progress on fixing that back up?? nope).

IMO though, the top priority should be fixing up some of the stuff thats been there for ages and is left half baked. Joints, for instance... so close to being awesome, but some utterly stupid failings that just dont get any attention from NT.

This is all true and important.
But even then itīs still difficult in large scale productions if you canīt solve "daily problems" easily like updating a rig without destroying your animation, or applying library poses and expressions to almost similar but still different rigs.

When working in a large team, everybody needs to speak the same language.

When working in a small team or alone, you can use other tools. The tools you like or the tools you can afford. But these other tools need to be streamlined because, as erikals noted, you need time.
You need time to modify and add details. You need time to evaluate and expand the original idea.

You donīt want to search for storybeats when you could have imported markers from the audio file.
You donīt want to manually save and load motions and envelopes in every scene when a rig changes slightly.
You donīt want to Ctrl+F2, select channels, resize/fullscreen, zoom, select keys only to modify one key ---> this channel should be ready for editing in the dopetrack.
You donīt want to search in a handful of different animation systems to re-time several parts of the action.

Bugfree clever tools for a streamlined workflow.

RebelHill
08-25-2013, 07:47 AM
i wonder why you don't jump to Blender... It looks very-very good for CA though...

Simple... because it has very limited use in pro pipelines so Im unlikely to find any productions using it... and secondly... because it DOESNT seem that great to me from a CA stadpoint. To date, the only decent CA work Ive seen done in blender has been done by the blender group themselves, and on every single film, they've had to have developers on hand to create new tools or fix up existing ones when they hit the wall with stuff. It just doesnt appear to be a robust, self contained system atm that can really be used unless you're able to manually modify or add to the system yourself.

Oh... and not forgetting the chief thing that keeps me in LW...

The renderer!

jasonwestmas
08-25-2013, 07:58 AM
"Put Favre on his own against any full high school team and Ill bet he loses big time."

LOL! Yes, let's be real about what we are comparing.

chikega
08-25-2013, 08:08 AM
I remember when messiah:animate was the secret weapon in Lightwave before pmG introduced the standalone messiah:studio. That was in the mid-to-late 90's.

VonBon
08-25-2013, 08:09 AM
Work flow is a problem, things that others have mentioned but also the GUI when
it comes to CA stuff. Its all over the place and especially the List scrolling :devil:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNiuRnisK98

Oyea, Good animation comes from good animators.
The program determines how "easy" it is for them to get what they want.

Spinland
08-25-2013, 09:11 AM
Oyea, Good animation comes from good animators.
The program determines how "easy" it is for them to get what they want.

I skipped ahead, not being interested in reading five pages of arguing. IMNSDHO VonBon just summed up everything here, anyway.

chikega
08-25-2013, 09:39 AM
Work flow is a problem, things that others have mentioned but also the GUI when
it comes to CA stuff. Its all over the place and especially the List scrolling :devil:


Ryan Roye introduced a more streamlined approach that eliminates the list scrolling yesterday at the Lightwave Users Group Meeting. He demonstrated the use of Matt's "Coord Tools" pack combined with LScript commander.

http://www.lightwaveusers.com/tutorials.html
http://www.pixsim.co.uk/

It should help some.

Chris Jones
08-25-2013, 09:46 AM
No...don't get me wrong. I thought that The Passenger was decent...it was a well done project but, for the most part it was a lot of lighting effects...eyes blinking and a couple of frightened Morph expressions but it certainly wasn't the detailed nuanced smooth character animation, lip sync and expressiveness that we have all become accustomed to seeing produced in other software packages.
Well, in my defence... ;) The Passenger was made mostly with 13 year old tech, and I hit some pretty insurmountable rigging/animation obstacles back then. I think your examples are entirely replicable in modern day LW though. Whether it would still be easier to do it in another package is another matter...

(c:

Serling
08-25-2013, 10:18 AM
No...don't get me wrong. I thought that The Passenger was decent...it was a well done project but, for the most part it was a lot of lighting effects...eyes blinking and a couple of frightened Morph expressions but it certainly wasn't the detailed nuanced smooth character animation, lip sync and expressiveness that we have all become accustomed to seeing produced in other software packages.

Story drives animation and FX. I don't know how you can suggest the CA in The Passenger was just decent when it effectively told the story. Is there any other reason for any storytelling tool to exist except to tell an effective story?

I'm not an animator. Hell, I'm barely a modeler. But I am a storyteller, and when a story engages you, that's good enough for me. The Passenger was a fun and engaging story and the tools served well in the telling of it. I'm not sure what else you're looking for.

Serling
08-25-2013, 10:22 AM
I sometimes think we lose sight of why we all got into this craft in the first place: to tell stories. The tools are a means to that end. Whatever tool works to tell the story is the one to use. I'm not sure it needs to be anymore complicated than that. ;)

RebelHill
08-25-2013, 10:27 AM
I sometimes think we lose sight of why we all got into this craft in the first place: to tell stories.

Speak for yourself...

I just thought it seemed like a better career move than waitressing.

Serling
08-25-2013, 10:38 AM
Speak for yourself...

I just thought it seemed like a better career move than waitressing.

"We" in the context of this discussion is a polite euphemism for "some". Not looking to step on any toes here. ;)

chikega
08-25-2013, 11:14 AM
speak for yourself...

I just thought it seemed like a better career move than waitressing.

lol :ohmy:

Nemoid
08-25-2013, 11:14 AM
Hey guys wasn't Menithing going to make a feature entirely on Lw ? I just recall to have read something like that on his old website. Do someone knows anything about that ? He wrote something like : last project we had to use Lw and Maya but next one will be all Lw based ?
In this case, a real animated feature film done in Lw, could also be a good occasion for the team to have a great feedback for improving tools...

Also, a really great thing could be use the same method Blender foundation uses, and is to setup community projects onto which development could be based... just my thoughts.

vncnt
08-25-2013, 11:19 AM
Well, in my defence... ;) The Passenger was made mostly with 13 year old tech, and I hit some pretty insurmountable rigging/animation obstacles back then. I think your examples are entirely replicable in modern day LW though. Whether it would still be easier to do it in another package is another matter...

(c:

Re-read your story. Love the Ensoniq - just dumped mine after many years collecting dust - switched to Reason7.
You did what many of us only can dream doing: create one (short) animation movie before you die.

With your experience, what should be enhanced in the LW workflow (apart from the necessary CPU power) to speed-up your production?

3dWannabe
08-25-2013, 11:20 AM
I found this thread interesting, certainly some stunning work (and a few flared tempers ha ha) coming from LW, .

But, if starting today with a clean slate, which tool, irrespective of cost, is the 'best' for CA?

Houdini, 3ds Max, Maya, Messiah, Blender, etc.

And I'll qualify 'best' as working for a one-man team, where learning curve is also a factor, but cost really isn't.

I'm currently more familiar with rigging in 3ds with CAT and skinning in 3ds with BonesPro, and then importing this into LW for rendering. I also use a lot of mocap with MotionBuilder.

But, I'm not really happy with AD support (have 2012 studio, unsure about upgrading to latest), don't currently have a facial animation workflow, and am open to other solutions.

BTW - the most troubling statements regarding LW in this thread were from the massively competent RebelHill "LWs failings in the CA arena are nothing more than a reflection of the failing of the folk at NT to fully grasp the needs and processes of CA" and from vncnt, who rarely submits bug reports or crash dumps as they seem pointless (they should talk to the 3d-Coat author who spent some time working on his crash dump reporting a while back to actually provide enough useful info to work with).

vncnt
08-25-2013, 11:35 AM
and from vncnt, who rarely submits bug reports or crash dumps as they seem pointless (they should talk to the 3d-Coat author who spent some time working on his crash dump reporting a while back to actually provide enough useful info to work with).

Actually I use 3D-Coat now and then. Their support is quite good.
I can't even remember their software crashed at all.

jasonwestmas
08-25-2013, 11:43 AM
Jasonwestmas
YES...thank you sir...anyone else care to be honest this evening?

NP, but I wouldn't go so far as to say Lightwaves CA capabilities stink. Just slower. As I said, there are alot of CA options available that are much faster than LW when dealing with more complex ideas and designs.

jasonwestmas
08-25-2013, 11:51 AM
Well, in my defence... ;) The Passenger was made mostly with 13 year old tech, and I hit some pretty insurmountable rigging/animation obstacles back then. I think your examples are entirely replicable in modern day LW though. Whether it would still be easier to do it in another package is another matter...

(c:

Since you're here. . .although your animation, and most importanty the expressiveness in it is solid and very very amusing, the camera work is some of the best I've seen.

Sekhar
08-25-2013, 11:55 AM
Actually I use 3D-Coat now and then. Their support is quite good.
I can't even remember their software crashed at all.
Sadly, my 3DCoat crashes my system EVERY TIME after a few minutes of use. I tried DX/GL with/without CUDA. It starts out by my fan freaking out shortly after I start doing anything...and after a few minutes, boom. It's not just the app crashing, but the entire machine shuts down, forcing me to reboot. I'm guessing it's an overheating issue. I've rarely had issues like this with LW on the other hand. I'm on 11.6, which is supposed to be not fully GA, but even that is fine. I do get random crashes once in a while to be sure, but nothing that brings the entire machine down...yet anyway. I'm on Windows 7 64 bit.

WRT support/forums, I tried reporting an issue on the 3DCoat forums about the popups appearing/disappearing when I hover my pen over the buttons (very annoying!), and all I got was a rather boorish comment suggesting that I don't hover over the buttons! NT forums on the other hand are easily the best I've ever come across, where people almost step over each other to help. It's something to be see to be believed; and I've been seeing this since 2005.

Obviously not everything is hunky dory, but hey let's give credit to NT/LW where it is heavily due.


I sometimes think we lose sight of why we all got into this craft in the first place: to tell stories. The tools are a means to that end. Whatever tool works to tell the story is the one to use. I'm not sure it needs to be anymore complicated than that. ;)
Very true, but I doubt wise/thoughtful comments like this have a place on threads like this. :)

vncnt
08-25-2013, 11:55 AM
Since you're here. . .although your animation, and most importanty the expressiveness in it is solid and very very amusing, the camera work is some of the best I've seen.

Confirmed.

vncnt
08-25-2013, 12:00 PM
Very true, but I doubt wise/thoughtful comments like this have a place on threads like this. :)

I disagree. I don't have the budget nor time to switch one my main applications depending on the wind direction.

LW_Will
08-25-2013, 12:07 PM
Speak for yourself...

I just thought it seemed like a better career move than waitressing.

Yeah... you don't have the legs for those skirts, RH. ;-)

vncnt
08-25-2013, 12:13 PM
Yeah... you don't have the legs for those skirts, RH. ;-)

How do you know?

Spinland
08-25-2013, 12:16 PM
I don't have the budget nor time to switch one my main applications depending on the wind direction.

Amen. There are reasons my one-man studio went with LW, and one of them is the cost. I don't have any budget I don't earn myself, and (apart from low-cost add-ons like TAFA and Nevron) if LW doesn't provide it I learn to work without it.

RebelHill
08-25-2013, 12:17 PM
Yeah... you don't have the legs for those skirts, RH. ;-)

Its the miniskirt combined with the third leg...

Children start crying when I hussle over the pancakes.

vncnt
08-25-2013, 12:31 PM
its the miniskirt combined with the third leg...

Children start crying when i hussle over the pancakes.

OMG

Check!!!!

Sekhar
08-25-2013, 12:32 PM
I disagree. I don't have the budget nor time to switch one my main applications depending on the wind direction.

Disagree with what? That it's all about telling stories? That wise/thoughtful comments don't have place on threads like this? Or something else you had in mind when you posted? Why on earth would you think I suggested you switch the application? I think you quoted the wrong comment.

hrgiger
08-25-2013, 01:38 PM
I have a few modeling projects to finish up, a small commerical project, and then I want to get back to character animation and work on personal projects again. So maybe towards the end of this year. I suppose I will see what I can do with LightWave but I stopped trying character work in LW quite some time ago being frustrated with some of its issues. Maybe if theres an affordable rental solution for Softimage once AD goes rental this fall I might go that way. But most likely I will end up doing what I can with LightWave. Maybe LW12 will offer some better solutions but I can't count on it. Vastly improved deformation speed and joint correction within Layout would be a huge step in the right direction over what I'm used to in LightWave but thats really just a few things in a barrel of wishes I would have for animating characters within LW.

Rayek
08-25-2013, 02:11 PM
Simple... because it has very limited use in pro pipelines so Im unlikely to find any productions using it... and secondly... because it DOESNT seem that great to me from a CA stadpoint. To date, the only decent CA work Ive seen done in blender has been done by the blender group themselves, and on every single film, they've had to have developers on hand to create new tools or fix up existing ones when they hit the wall with stuff. It just doesnt appear to be a robust, self contained system atm that can really be used unless you're able to manually modify or add to the system yourself.

Oh... and not forgetting the chief thing that keeps me in LW...

The renderer!

It's a bit like the chicken and the egg: if only a very small percentage of users do character animation in Lightwave, only a couple of good examples will be on display. And that not only impact negatively on users' view of LW as a character animation package, but also Newtek's focus on what areas to develop. The renderer is brilliant indeed. But the competition is stiffening that department.

In regards to Blender: a crucial difference is also that many users and a growing number of small animation studios actually DO use Blender for character animation, and many (free) good rigs are available. On BlenderArtists the character animation topic is very active. This translates in good support from the community, and longer shorts and full productions that are/have been done in Blender.

And this is exactly how Ton Roosendaal envisioned Blender. Because of all this activity the quality of character animation done in Blender is steadfastly improving, as are the character designs. And larger teams have been using Blender for their shorts, so the overall scope of the animation is improving as well. Saying the only decent CA work was done in Blender by the foundation itself is just not true! (Well, it seems to be true you have not seen it, then)

I really like doing char animation in Blender - it's quick and efficient for me. And for others, otherwise all those smaller studios would not be picking it up in their pipelines in some shape or form.

Some more current examples. There are many, MANY more, and I did not have to look for long. I also left out many examples of Blender being used as a major part in a "professional" pipeline with Maya, Max, Vray, Nuke, Afx. etc. This just goes to show that lots of decent and commercial character animation work IS being done in Blender, as opposed to Lightwave, unfortunately.

http://www.iceboxstudios.co.uk/en-passant/watch/index.html
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/08/05/video-cif-active-gel/
http://reversionmovie.blogspot.ca/
http://www.plumiferos.com/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/07/29/coca-cola-tv-commercia/
http://urchn.org/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/07/19/reel-hjalti-hjalmarsson/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/07/17/short-lost-senses/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/04/23/charged-short-animation-in-blender/
http://chamananimation.com/onefineday/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY1L76WwOHg
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/06/25/how-animation-is-made-oranguerrilla/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/03/11/red-legend-trailer/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/03/05/opening-sequence-of-the-adventure-of-wanara/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/02/12/video-yellow-ribbon/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/02/05/studio-pitchi-poy-moves-to-blender/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/02/04/steve-teaser/
http://www.blenderguru.com/27-inspiring-blender-animations-that-will-make-your-jaw-drop/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZYUL40jstE (Naughty 5 Indian feature length Animation)

robertoortiz
08-25-2013, 07:21 PM
Good for Blender,
It is great piece of software, but this is not after all a Blender board.
Personally I wish Lightwave would end its dependance for 3rd party apps to handle its character animation shortcomings.
In the past we depended heavily on the great program SoftImage, and look were sadly that dependance has led us.


But I am 100 sure the new dev team is aware of this mayor blind spot lightwave has.


OK here is question I have to ask you guys.

If you could start for redo from scartch the workflow of LW, and make it perfect for character animation,
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Rayek
08-25-2013, 07:38 PM
I would like to see something entirely different. The bones paradigm might need an update of some sort. What that would be, I am unsure. What I do know is that rigging is overly technical, and in my opinion should be simplified. Let the software do the hard work for us.

I'd like to see an incredibly simple to use muscle system that automatically creates skin bindings. Drag and drop interaction, simple mixing of poses, and so on.

jasonwestmas
08-25-2013, 07:42 PM
Good for Blender,

OK here is question I have to ask you guys.

If you could start for redo from scartch the workflow of LW, and make it perfect for character animation,
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

That's an excellent question but I thought we all already answered this several hundred times elsewhere. But by all means continue. . . :)

Rayek
08-25-2013, 08:00 PM
Good for Blender,
It is great piece of software, but this is not after all a Blender board.
Personally I wish Lightwave would end its dependance for 3rd party apps to handle its character animation shortcomings.
In the past we depended heavily on the great program SoftImage, and look were sadly that dependance has led us.


I am not trying to come off as a Blender fan boy - rather, for me it acts like a very good "character animation" plugin that is free for any Lightwaver to use. Interoperability between the two is very good.

We can wait 15 more years for improved character animation tools, but I'd like to animate with good tools now.

Which does not mean I wouldn't want to see modern revolutionary character animation tools in Lightwave - I very much do.

motivalex
08-25-2013, 08:04 PM
There are many good posts dating back at least 10 years on how Lightwave character animation workflow can be improved. Maybe the Lightwave3D group will have the time and resources to implement some of those great ideas and workflows in LW12. Genoma is a good step in the right direction regarding rigging setup at least.

shrox
08-25-2013, 08:16 PM
Has the OP admitted defeat yet?

Chris Jones
08-25-2013, 09:49 PM
Re-read your story. Love the Ensoniq - just dumped mine after many years collecting dust - switched to Reason7.
You did what many of us only can dream doing: create one (short) animation movie before you die.

With your experience, what should be enhanced in the LW workflow (apart from the necessary CPU power) to speed-up your production?
I should offload my ASR-10 as well - haven't touched it for years.

I have very limited experience with other software, so to speak broadly I'd like more automation and artist friendliness. Rather than constructing things from rudimentary components so that they behave like you'd expect things to in the real world, they should be set up to work that way to begin with. For example, in terms of rigging (since we're talking CA), I spend inordinate amounts of time trying to comprehend the mathematical logic of why bones have to be assembled in a certain order and orientation relative to one other, instead of just deciding how many limbs I want and which direction I want them to bend in. The tweakability can still be there, but keep it under the hood for those that want to actually change the mechanics of reality.

Another unrelated example - I've just spent hours and hours trying to optimise a scene for rendering. At no point in reality have I ever found myself having to deal with motion blur passes, reconstruction filters, sampling patterns, sampling thresholds, number of samples, ray recursion etc. It's as if some of the code has spilled out onto the interface leaving us to deal with it, rather than the system intelligently taking care of it for us.

It's probably all been said before though, and no doubt this is all part of the grand plan anyway.


Since you're here. . .although your animation, and most importanty the expressiveness in it is solid and very very amusing, the camera work is some of the best I've seen.

Thanks, camera anim is one of my favourite things to do. :)

Surrealist.
08-26-2013, 12:08 AM
@ Chris,

Your work is very inspiring. You mentioned limited experience with other software. I can offer some insight to your specific idea about automation. I can think of only 3 instances where I have seen this. One is in Face Robot, which under a great artist's hands would do wonders. I watched your facial rigging thread with some bit of pain. Mostly because I just finished up some training on Face Robot. It basically does exactly what you describe. There is a quite extensive set up process. But it is mostly in fitting the rig to your character and painting in the areas where you need the wrinkles and tweaking the deformation regions. Once that is done. All of the magic happens underneath. You pull on a controller and it activates the right muscles in the correct way, wrinkles automatically form etc. It is the most advanced facial rigging technology I have seen and worked with personally. And I plan on using it extensively on a personal project.

The other instance is with spine rigs in XSI. Here you basically set up the base and the target and the rest is done internally and you for the most part don't have to tweak it that much. There are some settings, but the math is all done underneath and you don't have to deal with it at all.

Maya Muscle I have not worked with at all, so I can not comment. But I have a feeling it is more automated. (this would be the 4th and probably more to add if I knew Maya rigging any better)

But I think you are on the right track as a rigger. From what I know and understand of the process, custom rigging is doing exactly what you do. There are not very many short cuts. But I agree with you it would be great. I spent quite a bit of time rigging in XSI using the various constraints to come up with my own rig for the lower part of the body to get the feet hips and knees working in a way I thought looked natural. I had my moments where I had it working and all I had to do was move a few controllers and a walk cycle would look so natural. Like nothing I have ever seen from an IK rig. But I kept running into gotchas and finally realized I was mathematically over my head. So I accepted defeat. But someone such as yourself could probably crack it. There is also ICE rigging which brings in a whole other area of potential.

Then finally there is the HIK system in MotionBuilder. This is exactly what you are talking about. All of that complex math is under the hood. Granted, not for the fine control you are looking for in some parts of the body. But as a system for moving the broad strokes of the character, it is like nothing I have seen anyplace. And it is an automatic IK/FK switching rig set up. In other words, you move an IK controller for the hand from point A to point B and it plays back in an arch. You can then animate a slider to have it follow IK or FK movement. Same is true for the feet. I don't think it is a great system for the type of control you get from custom rigs, but the trade off in this case is you can move one controller such as the hand and have the entire body move naturally to compensate. Similar to IKB only it actually works and you can actually pin down the feet etc. The HIK solver is based on the mathematics of natural human movement. When used with Rag Doll Dynamics it brings in another level of coolness that can also be controlled and animated.

Just some thoughts. LightWave is a very very long way from any of this.. LightWave is still good for what it is good for. I feel as if a great artist owes it to himself to avail himself of the best tools and spend less time fussing and more time creating. Just my opinion for that it is worth.

If you ever want to look into any of these solutions it does not take money. Educational versions are available for free to experiment with.

Regardless, your work as I say is inspiring to say the least!

Chris Jones
08-26-2013, 02:04 AM
But someone such as yourself could probably crack it
I doubt it... I'm useless at maths, and rigging is my least favourite thing to do. It's just through sheer determination that I get anything rigged at all!

I like the sound of those tools, expensive as they are... although even at the building block level I'd like things to be more like their real world counterpart. Eg, pole vector constraints might make perfect sense from a programming perspective, but stop motion armatures don't have or need them (or maybe I just can't see them...?). Armatures generally don't develop gimbal lock in their joints either, and you can reconnect the arm to the pelvis without fear of the hand flipping inside itself etc etc.

Again, I'm sure I'm not saying anything new, and judging by developments like Genoma I guess they're already onto it.

Thanks for the compliments,

(c:

Surrealist.
08-26-2013, 02:44 AM
I think much of what you are experiencing with rigging is simply because it is limited in LightWave. Outside of LightWave, even in Blender or Messiah, you'll find lots more options and more robust and faster working systems. The constraint system in Blender simple to use and set up and powerful. There is also a rig building plugin that creates an entire rig for you, or do it in parts similar to what Genoma is basically emulating that has existed for years in other places. The main issue I see with Genoma is that your are still in LightWave with all of the typical limitations and ancient workflow.


You can build rigs from scratch in MotionBuilder. Then there is the characterization process which uses the HIK rig and solver. For the HIK rig there are no pole vectors. You simply grab onto a knee or elbow controller and move it. It is all handled internally.

For my XSI rig I did not use IK conventionally at all. So again I had control at the joint level because of the complex string of constraints and counter-constraints I had set up. I used IK in on some parts of the rig just to solve certain issues. But not in the conventional places. For the most part it was all constraints. I have no idea how to really do that in LightWave. Not saying you couldn't. I just don't know how.

It was when I compared what I had struggled so long to try and set up in XSI to what was available out of the box in MotionBuilder that I pretty much threw in the towel. No sense in trying to reinvent the wheel.

But for rigging I am with you as far as the easy set up. There are also rig presets in XSI which are pretty nice. Also you can build rigs with predefined components such as an IK chain, spine and so on. Also it is interesting to note that when you create a chain of bones in XSI it automatically sets up the IK chain with a goal.

And another interesting thing to note is that Maya also includes the HIK solver and rig system with many of the elements you find in MotionBuilder.

Messiah also has a very nice Autorigger.

hrgiger
08-26-2013, 02:45 AM
Good for Blender,
It is great piece of software, but this is not after all a Blender board.
Personally I wish Lightwave would end its dependance for 3rd party apps to handle its character animation shortcomings.
In the past we depended heavily on the great program SoftImage, and look were sadly that dependance has led us.


So what? You know I'm really starting to tire of the endless threads about what would we change or what we would like to see. There are already hundreds and hundreds of posts and threads with all the things we would like to see. There's almost nothing we can ask for that hasn't been asked for before. If LW3DG is unaware of the difficulties facing character animation in LW or the things it is lacking, then we are just out of luck I'm afraid. And if its going to remain so underpar in LightWave, I for one would like to hear about good alternatives like Blender or others to look at to do character animation. So thank you Rayek.

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 02:57 AM
What I do know is that rigging is overly technical, and in my opinion should be simplified. Let the software do the hard work for us.


Rather than constructing things from rudimentary components so that they behave like you'd expect things to in the real world, they should be set up to work that way to begin with. For example, in terms of rigging (since we're talking CA), I spend inordinate amounts of time trying to comprehend the mathematical logic of why bones have to be assembled in a certain order and orientation relative to one other, instead of just deciding how many limbs I want and which direction I want them to bend in.

This is that same ol same ol Ive heard time and time and time again, and its just NOT POSSIBLE.

If you've not already... have a peek at these vids...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktqVWIA0AMk&list=PLTds3QePYrWEWipwKkLmyNT4Tf_JTigM2&index=9
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmTIvqQUCWA&list=PLTds3QePYrWEWipwKkLmyNT4Tf_JTigM2&index=10

And then think about it... Think about ALL the massive number of possibilities of character shape, of body plan, of what controls may be desired by an animator for any single "one" and all the possible variations of control setups that could be built for the same one. Think about it... its GARGANTUAN. Near infinite, infact.

There are only 3 ways to solve this "simply"...

1. You have a fixed, preset rig. This would be like MB, or HIK... a great rig, but only good for humanoids. So how do you make it do everything and anything?? You build EVERY possible rig... Yeah, that'll be easy for a software developer to do. And then, if, as an animator, you desire extra features, or for things to work/operate slightly differently... well, too bad. This is effectively the approach taken, to some degree, by my RHiggit tools. The rigs are prebuilt for you, well thought out, well laid out, etc... and, as it happens since they're LW native, user extendable if desired... But still... PRESET. Sure I could keep on adding presets for horses and beavers and scorpions and people with 2 heads... I should have all the major bases covered in about the next 10 yrs.

2. You create a system that contains every possible part, rigged every possible way, and provide an interface for the user to choose from them all. Not only is that a set of checkboxes several thousand lines long to trawl through... it STILL requires the user to UNDERSTAND what the system is trying to and how it does it before you can put things together the right way and get proper predictable operation out of the finished products. Ofc in both this and the previous example... you're still at the mercy of what has been preset. Like Genoma... lots of snap together parts, but not all of which are setup all that well, which can make things a pain to aniamte, or with some things that just break in certain poses. So when you run across some such problem... what you gonna do?

3. Make a nice smart system that just figures it all out for you. LOL... again, lets go back to the huge amount of variation of character and the extended variation about how an animator might wish to interact with each given character... You expect a computer to be able to "intelligently know" all that stuff and get it right??? What this would amount to would be an AI operating at a level never before constructed by man... this aint some kinda stochastic tree searching chess player... this is real intelligence you're asking for. Is it possible to do... yeah, maybe... Should only take 20yrs and cost a few hundred million dollars, no biggie.

Its basically asking for a "make good render" button (figuratively speaking)... or asking for a character animation system where you can just click "run cycle" and the character does a run... Now should that be a fast run, a slow jog, are they running toward something expectantly, or away from something in fear of their life, is that a realistic human run, or a cartoony one... oh wait... is that a biped, quad, octopus??

This is why CG disciplines are divvied up the way they are... artistic and technical, and when you have teams, all this goes away. The artist wants a particular thing and doesnt want to have to worry about the technical side of how to achieve it... he passes it off to the technical director, job done. So the problem really stems from the much smaller teams and one man bands... but y'know what a one man band does?? He plays the guitar, and the drum, and the harmonica and the trumpet ALL by himself and all simultaneously... If he cant do that either because he's incapable or unwilling... he's not a one man band, and asking for instruments that play themselves while he just sits there aint gonna make him one, it'll just make him a jukebox attendant.

Greenlaw
08-26-2013, 03:11 AM
Joints, for instance... so close to being awesome, but some utterly stupid failings that just dont get any attention from NT.
Sigh! Yeah.

G.

zardoz
08-26-2013, 03:32 AM
I didn't read all this. I just want to say this: of course the app helps to get to your goals but in the end it all depends on the monkey behind the keyboard

LW_Will
08-26-2013, 05:19 AM
its the miniskirt combined with the third leg...

Children start crying when i hussle over the pancakes.

lol!

LW_Will
08-26-2013, 05:27 AM
Personally I wish Lightwave would end its dependance for 3rd party apps to handle its character animation shortcomings.
In the past we depended heavily on the great program SoftImage, and look were sadly that dependance has led us.

3rd Party? IKB, Nevron, Genoma... think those are all from LWG or actually IN LW.

If you jump into CA, those tools on their own will get you started. No redesign required.

There seems to be more 3rd party tools for Max, Maya, and XSI CA than LW!

Chris Jones
08-26-2013, 05:32 AM
This is that same ol same ol Ive heard time and time and time again, and its just NOT POSSIBLE.
Not sure whether we're on the same page... I'm talking more about building blocks for constructing rigs, not pre-made or automated rigs. I'm also talking without regard to current knowledge or technology, just observing an aspect of 3D that I find far less intuitive and requiring a different skill set than its real-world counterpart, whereas this tends not the case with other aspects of 3D.

gristle
08-26-2013, 05:39 AM
Wow the op threw a cat among the pigeons with this thread. I like the link they made to their YouTube work. After seeing that why did anyone take the op seriously?

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 06:11 AM
Not sure whether we're on the same page... I'm talking more about building blocks for constructing rigs, not pre-made or automated rigs. I'm also talking without regard to current knowledge or technology, just observing an aspect of 3D that I find far less intuitive and requiring a different skill set than its real-world counterpart, whereas this tends not the case with other aspects of 3D.

Ok, I see what you mean... but... the building blocks for constructing rigs are basically the following...

Joint positions (pivot points) which determine where a given bit bends.
Orientations of those joints, which determine the direction in which they bend.
Relationships between those joints, which map how they "work together"... which is constraints, IK, and other motion control.
Then deformers, yadda, yadda... but lets ignore those for now.

And thats basically manual, ground up rigging... anything else is a PRE-MADE rig, because it combines those blocks into a ready structured whole, and you're back to the points I made previously. You're either limited by the pre made parts supplied and available, or you need a system that delivers an enormous choice of such parts... really enormous. There is, ofc, a third way, which involves having these pre made parts that the user can then alter manually to fine tune for a specific task, as you can with both rhiggit and genoma, but once again... that requires the technical knowledge to do so which is identical to the technical knowledge required to build each part from scratch.

As for comparisons to real world counterparts of such... To my mind, I can only think of 2 such possible counterparts... stop motion puppets, or robotics... And the construction of both of those is a very technical art (very, very in the latters case) requiring specialist knowledge to achieve.

DogBoy
08-26-2013, 06:31 AM
I like the link they made to their YouTube work. After seeing that why did anyone take the op seriously?

No, they were trolling.

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 06:40 AM
I dont think they were "trolling" in the strictest definition... I just think they found themselves frustrated at their own ability to produce character animation and rather than looking to the real source of the problem, decided to blame the software.

erikals
08-26-2013, 06:46 AM
Has the OP admitted defeat yet?

i think he left the building...

hrgiger
08-26-2013, 07:07 AM
craig what are the issues you see with genoma? i havent gotten to really try out genoma yet but im curious to know what to look out for. in your previous posts you were discussing the impossibility of creating an automated rigging process for every conceivable rigging scenario but isnt part of the idea behind genoma to give you connectors and other "parts" to allow you to modify your rig to fit your particular character? i already know that you cant modify a rig after youve animated with it without destroying that animation, thats just a LW limitation, im talking about issues with the rigs themselves. what kinds of things need improved there? i think a certain amount of automation is good like the spine setup in softimage being a good example. i respect your knowledge of the rigging process and would really like to hear your thoughts on the state of genoma and what parts are limiting.

Chris Jones
08-26-2013, 07:15 AM
@ RebelHill

As per my example earlier, stop mo armatures don't need pole vector constraints and such - you just grab the knee or elbow directly. Richard mentioned that the HIK rig in MotionBuilder works this way. I'm not familiar with MotionBuilder, but obviously something different is going on there, and it sounds like the kind of simplification and proximation of reality I'm interested in. Also I remember when I was using Softimage that it auto generated the nulls and IK, so that would be another example of speeding up the process.

I made a stop motion armature once; the hardest parts were cutting up the bits of aluminium and trying to get the joints to work smoothly (ie the easy parts in CG). There was no setting up of IK or gimbal lock to speak of - just bits bolted together and nature does the rest. When rigging in LW, I find myself using the parts of my brain that are normally reserved for geometric puzzles, maths and such. Hence, I find the latter considerably more mentally taxing. But that's just me. :)

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 07:41 AM
craig what are the issues you see with genoma?

Well, to save on too much repeating, there's some stuff in this thread...
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?135946-Genoma-problems&highlight=genoma

Aside to that, see this video...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlFlbU9I6Fs

Now the rigs shown in that vid are from the 11.5 content and are all rigged with genoma... now if you observe the various flips, breaks, etc... All I can say is that (imo) an autorigger is only as good as the rigs it produces. Its fine being able to rig all manner of creatures, but if those rigs dont function properly... what have you achieved?? Most of these problems observed are simply down to bad design and misuse of LWs tools (the compounded rotation in "twist sections" is down to using constraint blending rather than multiplication... the flipping bones is down to using pitch when the part ought use heading)... its basically just a lot of bad rigging practice.

Then there's the things that really just get in the way of animation... the inability to align control handles properly with the part, like the demonstrated mismatch between the orientation of the IK goal and the hand... forcing you to animate (and thus graph manage) 2 channels to flap the hand in a single direction. Also, ofc... the only arms available in genoma (at present at least) are IK... but the majority of the time FK is the preferred method for animating arms... Clearly IKFK switching is preferable... but if you're not going to provide that, then the default should be IK for legs, FK for arms.

Rigs by themselves arent really worth a damn, imo... they're there for one purpose, and one only and that is posing and animation. If the controls get in the way of that, or make more work for the animator, or just plain not have controls available, meaning certain poses/movements cant be achieved... again, what have you achieved?

I think genoma is great in many ways... modular rigging is a fine idea (my own "home" version of rhiggit has been modular from the start, it grew out of my own modular rigging practices... but that's a VERY manual process and Ive just yet to find good a way to deliver that in a user friendly package)... Also if you know rigging, then you can easily use genoma as a jumping off point to lay down some basics which you then go in and refine manually... used this way... as a rigging TOOL rather than a "do it all" autorigger... its a far more usable system... There is ofc a good chunk of info on using genoma this way in the new tutorial set.

But my primary complaint is still about design. The rigs are very basic, poorly laid out, they break, and the general design of the "interface" (meaning the rig itself as a character interface) is very, very poor... I know that some will try to say (a they always do) that thats just my "opinion"... but its really not. the design ethics I follow in rig construction arent my own... I didnt invent them. they're the well known, tried and tested methods that have been industry standard for years (and across ALL apps... grab something move it, grab something rotate it... same in every app). Me, and my work... hell... Im just standing on the shoulders of Jason Osipa, Paul Neale, et al.

There is ofc nothing wrong with breaking convention, and designing things new and afresh... but if the result is lesser functionality than the established standard... what has been achieved?

Surrealist.
08-26-2013, 07:42 AM
@ RebelHill

Richard mentioned that the HIK rig in MotionBuilder works this way. I'm not familiar with MotionBuilder, but obviously something different is going on there, and it sounds like the kind of simplification and proximation of reality I'm interested in. Also I remember when I was using Softimage that it auto generated the nulls and IK, so that would be another example of speeding up the process.




Yeah some things can and are made much easier.

Such as in XSI where yes, it automatically creates am IK chain for you with a root and a goal. And then as I mentioned the spine generator. Completely automatically creates a spine from the hips to the chest based on a few different presets. And once done all of the math along the curve is done automatically. You can use it for a neck as well. Not only is it a great time saver for rigging it is much simpler to animate with.

here is a video for the spine rig:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPu1yJr9tCM

EDIT: I realized we posted the same link at the same time on the Genoma thing. Left me wondering if that was ever going to get fixed. Are they really interested in fixing this stuff?

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 07:51 AM
grab the knee or elbow directly. Richard mentioned that the HIK rig in MotionBuilder works this way.

No it doesnt "just work" that way. The MB rig ALSO can rotate the banking of IKd arms or legs in either character space or world space, where each mode causes a different "follow through" onto the limb when rotating some other part of the body. Once again... to use it properly, you need to understand the difference, and set the rig in the appropriate mode whilst working (and switch it correctly during animation to alter the behaviour at different points and ofc manage those switch keys along with the other in your rig). And you dont HAVE to use pole vectors in LW either... you dont. You just have to have them if you want a non local space orientation constraint for the limb.


when I was using Softimage that it auto generated the nulls and IK, so that would be another example of speeding up the process.
The make joint tool has been in LW since 9.6 (over 4 years)... does EXACTLY that.


I made a stop motion armature once; the hardest parts were cutting up the bits of aluminium and trying to get the joints to work smoothly... just bits bolted together and nature does the rest.
But a virtual computer environment ISNT nature... In the real world the hard part was getting joints to operate smoothly, in the computer its getting the rotations to handle properly... you're arguing apples for oranges. You may as well say that when you toss an action man on the floor you get real world physics with flailing limbs and all... why can't you "just do" that in the computer??

Because its a computer, and it only knows how to do what you, or someone, somewhere along the line, tells it to do... explicitly, formally, and exactly.


When rigging in LW, I find myself using the parts of my brain that are normally reserved for geometric puzzles, maths and such.

So??

Animation is an artistic process... rigging is a technical one. It is what it is, mate.

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 07:53 AM
Are they really interested in fixing this stuff?

That's what irks me... the answer appears to be "no".

Ive raised these issues with genoma since the start, and Ive either been ignored or told thats just "my opinion".

Not to mention whats already been said regarding things like the operation of JointBones... which i and others have pleaded for attention for for years... so far... nothing.

I wouldnt hold your breath.

jasonwestmas
08-26-2013, 07:59 AM
Not sure whether we're on the same page... I'm talking more about building blocks for constructing rigs, not pre-made or automated rigs. I'm also talking without regard to current knowledge or technology, just observing an aspect of 3D that I find far less intuitive and requiring a different skill set than its real-world counterpart, whereas this tends not the case with other aspects of 3D.

yeah, I'm someone who takes prebuilt rigs and autorigger results and snaps them together and adds to them in different ways to save lots of time. It's not entirely like playing with legos but that's the idea. In some setups you can quite literally scale the rest length of your bones to fit your differently shaped characters without wrecking the IKFK setups.

The only way to really speed up the setup process (setup by default is painfully slow no matter what I'm doing) without being a regular scripting jockey, is to either hire scripting jockeys or make huge collections of scripts. In maya, max and softimage land those kinds of scripts are all over the internet fortunately for free. . . and you can buy some of the better ones for a small fee with tutorial guidance. In the end I still have a library of scripts in the form of many many buttons but the idea is always to reduce the number of button presses and mouse clicks even if a single script is only saving you three steps, every time you use it you save yourself 3 clicks or 3 button presses, it adds up huge by the time you finish. . . .when you are editing hundreds of "items" and each one has a set of properties it's no wonder why we need help to speed up this process. No shame in that especially if we are just artists.

May sound obvious but sometimes we artists don't really think in terms of saving pennies to save ourselves throusands of dollars in the end. Fortunately for Lightwave users we have a few people to write great scripts to save us tons of time too.

Dexter2999
08-26-2013, 08:14 AM
Perhaps, sitting in meeting justifying hours/money spent on "fixing stuff" doesn't go over well. "Fixing stuff" doesn't create a new marketable feature to attract new users/sales. Also, when faced with finite resources using them to create new features seems more appealing/productive.

Just guessing.

But as a user, and not a potential customer, I completely see the point here. By making better CA tools, hair tools, etc.. they make the user base better equipped to make better CA. It would be nice if LW helped win an Emmy for CA VFX. Instead of pointing to past success with space ships and robots. (Which by the way, Bullet needs some "fixing" as well from the threads I've read.)

If LW3DG wanted to kick this image of crappy CA (perceived or real) I wonder what it would take for them to create a short film that could actually compete in the animated short category at the Oscars? Think that would make the general public think again? And in taking on such a project and being faced with the issues first hand as users, would they be more inclined to make changes? (Much like the course of action the Blender team faced with projects.)

Ryan Roye
08-26-2013, 08:32 AM
Until they can find a way to preserve things like expressions, motion modifiers and morph null control setups after updating without workarounds that the average person probably won't know about, Genoma's usefulness will remain pretty limited. It is pretty difficult to justify having to save out multiple scene files and do copy/pasting to preserve these kinds of things across updates.


EDIT: I really think genoma should operate more like Mike Green's update bones script. It has gotten some heavy use in my rigging workflow and I highly recommend giving it a try.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JseT7R8xmXQ

jasonwestmas
08-26-2013, 08:32 AM
Also, these discussions I've had with other people about designing the right sculpting brushes is really not all that different from rigging if we think about it. I've had talks about how Zbrush should only use two or three brushes and why it must have all those different settings, they just slow things down right? Yes, but only if you don't know how to organize those settings. Why can't we just get three brushes to do everything we need. Most of the time I'm consistently switching between 8 brushes. So we'll call that my core/generalized toolset and then I take the time to make the UI so that those core tools become easily accessible.

But every once in a while I will need more specialized brushes, the brushes that I only use on every other character or prop and not every one. Specialized tool sets can therefore become numerous and overwhelming if I am not able to quickly gather them all up and use them together using flexible UI and hotkey scripts. So that is the same set of principles as rigging. Getting your buttons and tools organized and grouped in a way that suits your core/generalized operations verses your specialized case operations is a great way to set things up quickly for you to get to work artistically. Computers will not read your mind ever, we always have to teach it what to do.

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 08:33 AM
Perhaps, sitting in meeting justifying hours/money spent on "fixing stuff" doesn't go over well. "Fixing stuff" doesn't create a new marketable feature to attract new users/sales. Also, when faced with finite resources using them to create new features seems more appealing/productive.

I can understand that... I REALLY can, and to a certain extent, i dont even have a problem with it.

But its when things are "coming online" in the first instance that things need to be gotten right. Again, the problems with joints, and the changes that would make them far better... my notes, and reports on this (and not just mine, but those of others) go right back to when they were first introduced during the 9.5 cycle... nobody really seemed to "get it", the feature was released as is, and hasnt been touched or improved upon since.

As for the genoma issues... right from the beginning I went straight into trying to open up a dialogue about design ethic... animation requirements, industry standards, etc, etc... with the intention of trying to help genoma a more rounded and productive system, and provieded, by way of example, the same "one controller finger" that's noted in my "what is rigging" video there... Just as an EXAMPLE of the sort of "theoretical" ideas I was trying to get at...

You know what the response was...

"We've added a hand with 3 controls per finger"

Its a fecking joke, and completely ridiculous... Its becuase of things like this that I have no faith in NT to be able to either address this sorta stuff, or provide something that actually advances things in any meaningful way.

Dexter2999
08-26-2013, 08:44 AM
I can understand that... I REALLY can, and to a certain extent, i dont even have a problem with it.

But its when things are "coming online" in the first instance that things need to be gotten right. Again, the problems with joints, and the changes that would make them far better... my notes, and reports on this (and not just mine, but those of others) go right back to when they were first introduced during the 9.5 cycle... nobody really seemed to "get it", the feature was released as is, and hasnt been touched or improved upon since.

As for the genoma issues... right from the beginning I went straight into trying to open up a dialogue about design ethic... animation requirements, industry standards, etc, etc... with the intention of trying to help genoma a more rounded and productive system, and provieded, by way of example, the same "one controller finger" that's noted in my "what is rigging" video there... Just as an EXAMPLE of the sort of "theoretical" ideas I was trying to get at...

You know what the response was...

"We've added a hand with 3 controls per finger"

Its a fecking joke, and completely ridiculous... Its becuase of things like this that I have no faith in NT to be able to either address this sorta stuff, or provide something that actually advances things in any meaningful way.

THIS is why I don't particularly have a problem with 3rd parties coming up with answers to the shortcomings.

Chris Jones
08-26-2013, 09:01 AM
No it doesnt "just work" that way. The MB rig ALSO can rotate the banking of IKd arms or legs in either character space or world space, where each mode causes a different "follow through" onto the limb when rotating some other part of the body. Once again... to use it properly, you need to understand the difference, and set the rig in the appropriate mode whilst working (and switch it correctly during animation to alter the behaviour at different points and ofc manage those switch keys along with the other in your rig). And you dont HAVE to use pole vectors in LW either... you dont. You just have to have them if you want a non local space orientation constraint for the limb.

Much as I try to understand, I can't quite get my head around it...


The make joint tool has been in LW since 9.6 (over 4 years)... does EXACTLY that.

Haven't come across that as yet, I'll have to check it out. Still getting up to speed since 6.5! :o Is it something you'd recommend though, or are there caveats?


But a virtual computer environment ISNT nature... In the real world the hard part was getting joints to operate smoothly, in the computer its getting the rotations to handle properly... you're arguing apples for oranges. You may as well say that when you toss an action man on the floor you get real world physics with flailing limbs and all... why can't you "just do" that in the computer??

Because its a computer, and it only knows how to do what you, or someone, somewhere along the line, tells it to do... explicitly, formally, and exactly.

But isn't the whole idea to take the best from both worlds - the perfection of the virtual and combine it with the accessibility and "automation" of reality? And don't we have flailing action man sims already?

With practice, making smooth armatures is something I could feasibly do. It's just shaping and being accurate, which is what I normally do anyway. That I can get my head around. Rigging more often just leaves me scratching it (my head that is).

hrgiger
08-26-2013, 09:10 AM
Craig i know a pretty well known animator who provided a lot of valuable input to NT and he felt as well that his input was all but ignored. no longer using LW now because of some these issues which is too bad. I wish that LW3DG would not waste these opportunities to get some real input from people who actually know what theyre talking about. its shameful really. they should be opening up dialogues with seasoned animators instead of driving them into the hands of other software.

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 09:33 AM
Much as I try to understand, I can't quite get my head around it...

Its like this...

When you're doing push-ups, your hand is fixed in place (IK) but the arm (as a whole) rolls in and out as the body lifts up and down. This is LOCAL space twist... the roll is inherited from the motion of the body (its parent). If you're standing at a bar/counter, with your hand resting on it, turning left and right to chat up women... your body turns, but your elbow points in a fixed (world relative) direction... it IS rotating, but that rotation is counteracting against the movement of the body... This is world space. You CAN simply counter animate the arm roll (in local space) to achieve the same effect... but that's WORK... with the pole vector, u just pose it once, and teh elbow orientation holds irrespective of the body rotation. When driving a car, (gangsta rap style) as your hand "orbits" the wheel, your elbow goes around with it... in this case you have the elbow point in GOAL SPACE.

The different methods are there to reduce workload basically... to prevent you either having to add animation, or counter animate (along with managing that additional animation when you're refining timing, etc)... see the knee examples in one of those 2 vids I referenced before.


Is it something you'd recommend though, or are there caveats?

Of course there are... its an automated setup, a one click solution... if you want or need the IK setup in a slightly different fashion (generally oriented differently) then you cant use that tool. If you add enough options to the tool to allow for all these alterations and conditions, you've got no less to do than you would by not using it.


But isn't the whole idea to take the best from both worlds - the perfection of the virtual and combine it with the accessibility and "automation" of reality? And don't we have flailing action man sims already?

As I say... it may be the idea... doesnt mean its practicable though... and yes, there are plugins for some apps that'll do ragdoll stuff... give you nice, humanoid flailing... but what if I now want a flailing dinosaur?? back to square 1... unless again, someone goes and MAKES it. Ofc you could have a "general" solution that provided for any arrangement of limbs... but thats a LOT of development work, and also less automation, because the user then has to go in there are start tailoring the simulation to their specific character to remove the generality and make it specific to that instance.


With practice, making smooth armatures is something I could feasibly do. It's just shaping and being accurate.

And that's EXACTLY what rigging is... following a process, being accurate, and getting it down to second nature through practice... again... apples and oranges. I may be brilliant at math and rubbish at footie... but no matter how much I may WANT to be able to do it, I aint gonna be able to "calculate" how to be a better player.

Rigging IS a technical task, and its NEVER going to become any more "artist friendly" than is fixing a washing machine.
And automated tools for rigging won't make it more artistic either... they'll just shift the technical burden to another individual (the one making the autorigger) at which point, you, the user, are forced into using whatever it is they have provided with no recourse to customise things.

I know what you want... REALLY... I do, I get it... I made my autorigger (or the setups that would later become my autorigger) because I wanted a faster, easier alternative to building things from scratch time after time... Ive walked the line between artistic production and technical development for years, but the 2 are very separate... its jsut the way it is.

Sure... in years ahead, who knows what previously inconceivable innovations may come through... all things may be possible one day.

But for the forseeable future... your are NOT going to be able to "paint" a rig any more than you can "calculate" a painting. no matter how much you may want it.

Surrealist.
08-26-2013, 09:37 AM
That's what irks me... the answer appears to be "no".

Ive raised these issues with genoma since the start, and Ive either been ignored or told thats just "my opinion".

Not to mention whats already been said regarding things like the operation of JointBones... which i and others have pleaded for attention for for years... so far... nothing.

I wouldnt hold your breath.

Interesting. Thankfully I don't rely on LightWave for CA. But that was a very strange response in that thread. Boggles the mind actually.

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 09:39 AM
Craig i know a pretty well known animator who provided a lot of valuable input to NT and he felt as well that his input was all but ignored. no longer using LW now because of some these issues which is too bad.

yeah... I was on a gig a few years ago with a fella, Mark, who was previously a character rigger at pixar, and who'd had enough and was taking time out to retrain and practice as a character animator... he sure had plenty to say about animation in LW...

Ofc, not HALF as much as he had to say about the rigs which I was supplying him with, which were fired back at me so many times for alterations and fixes... honestly... the way you see folk complaining about rigging... wow... this gig woulda made u put a gun in your mouth. (on the plus side, he LOVED my foot setup, and told me plainly, that he would be stealing it, which... Im ok with).

Its also because of experiences like this that I take no truck with folk who say Im being "too critical"... IME, the world of production IS a world of criticism... "your rig/animation/picture is shite... what am I paying you for?? do it again!!"

As the song goes... "Ive been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage"

Thats showbiz!

VonBon
08-26-2013, 10:38 AM
There are many things that I would like done. :cool:
One of the main things I would like done 1st would be the
reorganization of the GUI so i can better use what we have now.
(I think that want happen anytime soon tho if it is tied to deep underlying code)
If not then lets getr done :D

So, my other 1st (talkn bout CA) would be to have it where Genoma accepts
custom 3rd party rigs to be saved and shared. (why wasn't this done initially)

Or can this be done already? :eek:

Rigging isn't that bad or time consuming, unless your trying to make
"1" Rig that does everything. Create the Base Rig first and add control
as it is needed.

Get RH's Rigging Tutorials yea its like 50 hours long :sleeping: but you'll be glad you did.

Chris Jones
08-26-2013, 10:41 AM
And that's EXACTLY what rigging is... following a process, being accurate, and getting it down to second nature through practice... again... apples and oranges
Except that I find the apples inherently easier to digest than the oranges, and no amount of orange eating has made them any easier to digest over the years...


Sure... in years ahead, who knows what previously inconceivable innovations may come through... all things may be possible one day.

Now you're talking.:thumbsup:

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 10:49 AM
would be to have it where Genoma accepts custom 3rd party rigs to be saved and shared. (why wasn't this done initially.

I assume you mean design your own setup... with whatever number of items, IK, whatever other kinds of motion controllers you have added... and save that out as a preset??

Not possible, currently.

You would have to have LW be able to "deconstruct" the setup you had made, and "downconvert" it into a scripted setup... essentially making a plugin which made an autorigger. Thats no easy thing. There's certain info not currently available to be gotten from LW (such as blend percentages that are currently set, which channels are set to IK, keys, sai) and there's also the fact that if you had used modifiers like follower, etc, that there's no way to script those onto a rig (or pull the info off them). I guess it would be possible to keep the presets in scene files which could then be parsed directly, line by line, to pull elements, or some kinda load from scene... but that may be getting a lil flakey.

I wouldnt really blame LW nor genoma too much for that though... Im not aware of any tool for any app that can "reverse engineer" a rig automagically like that, I imagine primarily cos there's no real programmatic way to be able to inperpret the "intention" of the rigger, nor how the preset fits in to a greater rig structure contextually.

jasonwestmas
08-26-2013, 11:11 AM
Well, to save on too much repeating, there's some stuff in this thread...
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?135946-Genoma-problems&highlight=genoma

Aside to that, see this video...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlFlbU9I6Fs



wow, I would never use those genoma rigs. Those orientation, pole vector and flipping problems couldn't possibly be acceptable.

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 11:20 AM
No... I wouldnt use them "as is" either... they're not production ready, not by a long shot.

However...

As I said before, approached as a rigging tool, as a springboard to get a rig started, which you then tweak, customise, and fix up manually... genoma can be VERY useful... Check your PM to see how.

Ryan Roye
08-26-2013, 12:15 PM
I assume you mean design your own setup... with whatever number of items, IK, whatever other kinds of motion controllers you have added... and save that out as a preset??

Quoted for emphasis. I cannot stress enough how much of a setback this is for Genoma's usability in an actual production.

Matt
08-26-2013, 12:39 PM
Let's turn this into something more constructive! ;)

Of course, we have plans for CA tools in LightWave, but I have some questions.

What do you feel is missing that would aid character animation in LW?

Which existing areas do you feel need fixing / enhancing?

What do you feel is currently possible, but difficult / time-consuming in LW?

Cheers
Matt

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 01:02 PM
Is there honestly not enough in this thread that describes the issues... do I have to repeat them ALL again??

Look, Matt, with all respect... this is exactly what I find so irksome... its asked... "what could be fixed", answers are given, YEARS go by, nothing gets done, the same complaints come up and once again its gets asked... "what can be fixed?"

Do you think maybe we could get off this merry go round??

*Fix*
Joints
Morphs
IK
Layered constraints
Interactive motion handling
Interactive node handling
Faster motion evaluation
Faster transform evaluation over hierarchies
Genoma preset redesign
Motion loading

*New*
Pick sessions
Lattices
Deform stacks
Motion eval stacks
Bi-directional constraint cutoffs via weights

I could probs think up some more, but thats just off the top of my head... But have some fogbugz tickets too while we're at it...
https://fogbugz.newtek.com/default.asp?42062_4gf2ff9rsoohgrgg
https://fogbugz.newtek.com/default.asp?43331_94d3mman5qm4um8e
https://fogbugz.newtek.com/default.asp?44605_0iirg337l5d7flfj
https://fogbugz.newtek.com/default.asp?52586_baer7pgdh1cjvpre
https://fogbugz.newtek.com/default.asp?54629_nvuimk28kqh0kam9

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 01:09 PM
Doh... I forgot vertex map/point manipulation in layout... Im such a scatterbrain.

jasonwestmas
08-26-2013, 01:11 PM
No... I wouldnt use them "as is" either... they're not production ready, not by a long shot.

However...

As I said before, approached as a rigging tool, as a springboard to get a rig started, which you then tweak, customise, and fix up manually... genoma can be VERY useful... Check your PM to see how.

Indeed. . .it would appear we just need to approach the IK with a straight on T Pose, so doing a necessary prebend/straightening of the mesh limbs would ensure correct orientation of the nulls to ensure proper IK planes. All the other problems with Genoma's scripts appear to be incorrect values for negative and positive rotation setup and motion.

I would agree, can we get off the merrigoround. We never know when NT is listening or just dismissing what we are saying entirely. There are countless threads on this subject of character setup.

tbagger
08-26-2013, 01:12 PM
But its when things are "coming online" in the first instance that things need to be gotten right. Again, the problems with joints, and the changes that would make them far better... my notes, and reports on this (and not just mine, but those of others) go right back to when they were first introduced during the 9.5 cycle... nobody really seemed to "get it", the feature was released as is, and hasnt been touched or improved upon since.



Quoted for total agreement... As a 15 year LW user who has moved to Houdini over the last two years I can honestly say that the reason I left is because of the poor implementation of tools. No tool in LW is developed to any standard of excellence compared to the other apps on the market. In fact, the only reason I open LW these days is to use third party tools that were developed to a far higher standard than 99% of what NewTek itself has produced.

That being said, The grass is not always greener on the other side, and LW still does some things faster than Houdini IMO, mostly modelling and rendering tasks, not better, just faster to set up. The reason that LW is still around after all these years is because 50% of the 3d tasks that need to be done, it can do them in a fast immediate manner at a good quality. It is an artist tool, and IMO will be around for a long time to come, but will only be used in certain situations and for certain reasons...CA isnt one of them. It is possible in LW, but only if you enjoy self torture.

Newtek really need to step up their quality control BIG TIME! Take Bullet for example, how can they look at the other implementations on the market and then feel comfortable selling their implementation to their FAITHFUL customers. It is insulting and why I moved on. And that is just this time around, this goes on with every major release.

jasonwestmas
08-26-2013, 01:13 PM
Doh... I forgot vertex map/point manipulation in layout... Im such a scatterbrain.

ROLF, how could you forget that! That was my request from 8 years ago. ;)

Ryan Roye
08-26-2013, 01:13 PM
Let's turn this into something more constructive! ;)

Of course, we have plans for CA tools in LightWave, but I have some questions.

What do you feel is missing that would aid character animation in LW?

Which existing areas do you feel need fixing / enhancing?

What do you feel is currently possible, but difficult / time-consuming in LW?

Cheers
Matt

I feel this thread has too much noise in it and I think things will be more cohesive in its own area (not to mention easier for you guys to read/reference). I made a new thread here. (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?137322-What-can-be-done-to-improve-character-animation-workflow-in-Lightwave)

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 01:17 PM
That was my request from 8 years ago.

Guess Ive got a while to wait yet for my 4-5 yr old requests to get a look in then.

Butler, bring me another margarita while I wait. And a cigar!

shrox
08-26-2013, 01:22 PM
I declare Lightwave victorious over the OP.

bazsa73
08-26-2013, 01:37 PM
I declare Lightwave victorious over the OP.

Amen to that. I pour wine into my glass.

lino.grandi
08-26-2013, 01:48 PM
Aside to that, see this video...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlFlbU9I6Fs



Some comments about this video:

1) The octopus tentacles are setup like that because I didn't want to have Nulls and Bones controls mixed. Of course that's just a sample of how to use the Genoma IKBooster Subrig in a setup and,o f course, is not a very efficient choice, speed wise...and that's due to IKBooster slowness more than to the Control Nulls used in the setup. This kind of control is now best managed using the new Spline IK available in LightWave (the specific Subrig will be available in the next, improved version of Genoma).

2) Putting the Root external to the character is a very relative choice in this case. First, because we're talking about a very skinny character, so talking about external or internal in this case is really something "delicate", to say the least.
And of course this is something that can be easily changed by the user, moving the Root or adding another one in Modeler, in any wanted position. Genoma doesn't really constraints the user to put the Root external or internal...it really depends on the user itself.

3) The problem with the control oriented to match the orientation of the bone is another relative one. I may agree on the fact that we could prefer to have the control oriented exactly as the bone hand is (and that's something I can fix in Genoma....but at the moment all you need is a perfect T-Pose).
Talking about the Heading rotation leading to a twist of the wrist, as I already pointed out in some thread, you have the exact same problem with you own Rigs, RebelHill.

4) The "key frames" all items is an option I can see used by professional animators while working with full FK controls or working on defining Key Poses, even if I can see something like selecting all the controls and keyframing them as something more natural....else is a very wrong practice (talking about keyframing bones instead of controls).
If you select all the objects in a Genoma rig and create a selection set, you have the right tool to use if you want to create a KeyFrame for all the controls of the rig.

5) What you do with the feet rotation (talking about the inverse foot control) goes well beyond what you would normally do with an inverse foot control using this character. ;) If you don't want any foot twist (as it happens in your rigs, where there's no twist at all for it), that can be easily be turned off.

6) Of course the femur Twist in this case shouldn't be used at all, since the character is practically a skeleton, and you shouldn't have any twist on "real" bones.

7) The deformation on the chest can be fixed using weights, or adding an anchor bone.
And of course, since we have no limits on this rig, we can rotate controls at a point where deformation may show some issues (talking about the shoulder).

8) The RasperCow twisting can be solved using the controls of the leg that you're completing ignoring in the video. The legs are perfectly posable using the controls. ;)

The Genoma content samples should be used as a starting point to play with the Genoma Rigging system and experiment with that. They do not represent the "perfect" rig you may want to use in production.

A TD can use Genoma to quickly build a rig and then add anything needed in Layout.

Of course anything can be improved, always.

I'm actually working on a Video Tutorial that will deeply explain Genoma concepts and clarify a lot about it.

In the meanwhile, I can see a lot of cool productions using it effectively. ;)

http://www.theasylum.cc/product.php?id=224

https://www.lightwave3d.com/news/article/the-day-dragons-attacked-the-world/


And something I should mention....people in the Developing team are perfectly aware of what is needed to improve LightWave's character rigging/animation tools. We're constantly listening, and future LightWave releases will provide tools and workflows we all so much need.

Ryan Roye
08-26-2013, 01:59 PM
Some comments about this video:

and that's due to IKBooster slowness more than to the Control Nulls used in the setup.

To be clear, the keyframe mode combined with the # of items being controlled impacts on how fast IKBooster operates on dense rigs. So, for denser rigs it is very helpful to stick "Current" keyframe mode. "Parent" mode can be slow if the rig hierarchy is set up in such a way where a lot of non-moving bones/objects are being calculated with movement.

lino.grandi
08-26-2013, 02:02 PM
About Chris Jones and his animation (The amazing The Passengers and his incredible tests), all I have to say is that they show what can be achieved in LightWave fighting with its own limitations.

Our main target is to make the awesome results that Chris achieves something he shouldn't get crazy when trying to get them.

Of course he's using his incredible artistic skills in his animations, that as always, are well more important than any technical knowledge.

But LightWave absolutely needs some new Rigging and Character Animation tools/workflows. And that's something we're hardly working on. ;)

kosmodave
08-26-2013, 02:04 PM
Some comments about this video:

1) The octopus tentacles are setup like that because I didn't want to have Nulls and Bones controls mixed. Of course that's just a sample of how to use the Genoma IKBooster Subrig in a setup and,o f course, is not a very efficient choice, speed wise...and that's due to IKBooster slowness more than to the Control Nulls used in the setup. This kind of control is now best managed using the new Spline IK available in LightWave (the specific Subrig will be available in the next, improved version of Genoma).

2) Putting the Root external to the character is a very relative choice in this case. First, because we're talking about a very skinny character, so talking about external or internal in this case is really something "delicate", to say the least.
And of course this is something that can be easily changed by the user, moving the Root or adding another one in Modeler, in any wanted position. Genoma doesn't really constraints the user to put the Root external or internal...it really depends on the user itself.

3) The problem with the control oriented to match the orientation of the bone is another relative one. I may agree on the fact that we could prefer to have the control oriented exactly as the bone hand is (and that's something I can fix in Genoma....but at the moment all you need is a perfect T-Pose).
Talking about the Heading rotation leading to a twist of the wrist, as I already pointed out in some thread, you have the exact same problem with you own Rigs, RebelHill.

4) The "key frames" all items is an option I can see used by professional animators while working with full FK controls or working on defining Key Poses, even if I can see something like selecting all the controls and keyframing them as something more natural....else is a very wrong practice (talking about keyframing bones instead of controls).
If you select all the objects in a Genoma rig and create a selection set, you have the right tool to use if you want to create a KeyFrame for all the controls of the rig.

5) What you do with the feet rotation (talking about the inverse foot control) goes well beyond what you would normally do with an inverse foot control using this character. ;) If you don't want any foot twist (as it happens in your rigs, where there's no twist at all for it), that can be easily be turned off.

6) Of course the femur Twist in this case shouldn't be used at all, since the character is practically a skeleton, and you shouldn't have any twist on "real" bones.

7) The deformation on the chest can be fixed using weights, or adding an anchor bone.
And of course, since we have no limits on this rig, we can rotate controls at a point where deformation may show some issues (talking about the shoulder).

8) The RasperCow twisting can be solved using the controls of the leg that you're completing ignoring in the video. The legs are perfectly posable using the controls. ;)

The Genoma content samples should be used as a starting point to play with the Genoma Rigging system and experiment with that. They do not represent the "perfect" rig you may want to use in production.

A TD can use Genoma to quickly build a rig and then add anything needed in Layout.

Of course anything can be improved, always.

I'm actually working on a Video Tutorial that will deeply explain Genoma concepts and clarify a lot about it.

In the meanwhile, I can see a lot of cool productions using it effectively. ;)

http://www.theasylum.cc/product.php?id=224

https://www.lightwave3d.com/news/article/the-day-dragons-attacked-the-world/


And something I should mention....people in the Developing team are perfectly aware of what is needed to improve LightWave's character rigging/animation tools. We're constantly listening, and future LightWave releases will provide tools and workflows we all so much need.

So in other words it aint going to be fixed.......! Really, I wish if it was that easy to fix why not provide a proper working example in the first place. I can see how genoma is a good starting point but is really not on a par with what others have spoke about in other packages.

A very interesting thread that I am looking at real close as to ascertain Newteks seriousness in listening to users. I have had a slight turn around in finances and will probably be in a position to spend more on software but really need to convince myself that lightwave is the way to go. Need to see some real commitment to fixing these issues that have been here for ever before I jump in again.

Dave

lino.grandi
08-26-2013, 02:07 PM
To be clear, the keyframe mode combined with the # of items being controlled impacts on how fast IKBooster operates on dense rigs. So, for denser rigs it is very helpful to stick "Current" keyframe mode. "Parent" mode can be slow if the rig hierarchy is set up in such a way where a lot of non-moving bones/objects are being calculated with movement.

Very true. What you're suggesting and setting the Mesh subdivision to 0 can really help to speed up things when moving the controls in IKBooster mode.

lino.grandi
08-26-2013, 02:15 PM
So in other words it aint going to be fixed.......!

Well, that's not the way you should read this. I will probably will have to make a video about what I wrote so to be more clear.



Really, I wish if it was that easy to fix why not provide a proper working example in the first place. I can see how genoma is a good starting point but is really not on a par with what others have spoke about in other packages.

I think the main problem with Genoma is the fact it needs more documentation and videos. And I already stated that anything can and HAS to be improved.



A very interesting thread that I am looking at real close as to ascertain Newteks seriousness in listening to users. I have had a slight turn around in finances and will probably be in a position to spend more on software but really need to convince myself that lightwave is the way to go. Need to see some real commitment to fixing these issues that have been here for ever before I jump in again.

Dave

We're absolutely listening, and I thing this has been proved in so many ways.
Character animation and rigging problems really need some deep changes to be properly addressed. ;)

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 02:34 PM
First off... do note that the video was made as a demonstration of common rigging mistakes people make, it wasnt specifically a demo of genoma... It just so happened that the content rigs pretty much all demonstrated some pretty bad flaw or other common error or design flaw, and I would have been uncomfortable taking private individual users rigs scattered about the net and showing them up... and I couldnt be bothered to spend the time making purposefully bad ones to demonstrate some common errors.


2) Putting the Root external to the character is a very relative choice in this case. First, because we're talking about a very skinny character, so talking about external or internal in this case is really something "delicate", to say the least. And of course this is something that can be easily changed by the user, moving the Root or adding another one in Modeler, in any wanted position. Genoma doesn't really constraints the user to put the Root external or internal...it really depends on the user itself.
So you missed the bit in the video where I said... "this is an easy fix, just put it where it should be"... And its not relative, its just plain wrong. Honestly... go to youtube and find me 1 pro rigging reel where the root pivot point is located external to the character... just 1. (animatable/slidable pivots notwithstanding).


3) The problem with the control oriented to match the orientation of the bone is another relative one.
Nope... again... its just WRONG... poor practice, whatever terms you wanna use. Nobody does it... It creates more work for the animator, forcing them to animate "cross axis" for simple moves. If you think making an animators job harder is just a matter of "relative choice" for a TD... jeez... I honestly dont know what to say. Think I'll just do a facepalm.


5) What you do with the feet rotation (talking about the inverse foot control) goes well beyond what you would normally do with an inverse foot control using this character.
What... you mean... bending the foot up and down. This character/that character... makes no odds, just because its no big deal on this character doesnt mean it wouldnt be on another which would be setup using the exact same system... point is, you rotate the foot to 90 degs and the geo of the lower leg flips... This is EASILY solved by using heading which has a broader euler domain. What would you rather... have a function and not need it, or need a function and not have it?


If you don't want any foot twist (as it happens in your rigs, where there's no twist at all for it)
Im not sure which twist you're referring to.. No twist control for the foot? No distributed twist for the shin? I can assure u, mine have both/all.


6) Of course the femur Twist in this case shouldn't be used at all, since the character is practically a skeleton, and you shouldn't have any twist on "real" bones.
I guess you also missed where I say something to the effect of "this character being a skeleton, its not so important, but imagine if it were a smooth skinned human".


7) The deformation on the chest can be fixed using weights, or adding an anchor bone. And of course, since we have no limits on this rig, we can rotate controls at a point where deformation may show some issues (talking about the shoulder).
Well, Im hardly rotating the clavicle a crazy stupid amount... its within a plausible limit. And sure, it can be fixed... but as is... its ugly. Do you honestly think (and this goes for the octopus too) that having something in an "unpolished" state as demonstration content is really the best way to show off what can be done??


8) The RasperCow twisting can be solved using the controls of the leg that you're completing ignoring in the video. The legs are perfectly posable using the controls.
Im not ignoring them... look at that pole... Move it on its regular axis, things go wonky.. Do you not think this may confuse an animator? And even if it can be fixed on a pose by pose basis by rejigging this or that control, do you not think that maybe, rather than having to do this constant back and forth between multiple controllers to fix flipping issues that it might just be a better idea to build a rig that doesnt suffer the problem in the first place? Something that helps the animator and makes their job easier, not harder and more confusing?


The Genoma content samples should be used as a starting point to play with the Genoma Rigging system and experiment with that. They do not represent the "perfect" rig you may want to use in production.
Again... thats good demo content to offer up to the world is it... sub standard, non production ready, faulty rigs? Im sure that'd make me wanna buy in if I were looking over from some other app.


A TD can use Genoma to quickly build a rig and then add anything needed in Layout.
Tell me about it... Thats EXACTLY what Ive said elsewhere in this thread "use it as a rigging tool, NOT a do it all for you autorigger" But... isnt genoma being "put forward/sold" (whatever word) as an INSTANT rigging system that removes the need to "be" a TD?


In the meanwhile, I can see a lot of cool productions using it effectively.
And that's the proof of the pudding is it... someone used it, therefore its good. What about the folk who dont and wont use genoma, because to their minds (like mine) it doesnt work... which ofc, I know about, because they talk to me about it (and use rhiggit to make up). You do know that the asylum also have a studio lic of rhiggit right?? Im sure they dont use it though.

Same ol, same ol... There's nothing wrong, its just "opinion", oh its not meant to be production standard... Excuses, excuses.

kosmodave
08-26-2013, 02:56 PM
We're absolutely listening, and I thing this has been proved in so many ways.
Character animation and rigging problems really need some deep changes to be properly addressed. ;)

Well I hope so but I think many need a lot more convincing, well I do. Things that have remained broken for so many years eg CC subdivisions and others that have just plainly been ignored are a big negative to Newtek not mention the fact that the obviously stretched devs are now committed to developing three apps I can't see many of these issues being addressed. I think more "TOYS" like Genoma will be thrown to keep people interested in the product without really looking at how functional they really are.

I have said before I hate how the software industry is the only industry that can sell you a broken product and get away with it. If you buy a car and only two of the gears work properly there is no way in hell anyone would accept it, but software company's just chuck in a read me file which states this and that dose not work and we all accept it.

Time for a revolution me thinks...... Power to the people:). ( Just don't ask me what the answer is though........)

Hey Matt if you are watching, what every happened to your LightwaveX ideas are they long forgotten? some of the GUI examples for animation might help people out here.

Dave

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 03:01 PM
Well I hope so but I think many need a lot more convincing, well I do. Things that have remained broken for so many years eg CC subdivisions and others that have just plainly been ignored are a big negative to Newtek not mention the fact that the obviously stretched devs are now committed to developing three apps I can't see many of these issues being addressed. I think more "TOYS" like Genoma will be thrown to keep people interested in the product without really looking at how functional they really are.

My feeling exactly...

If you really wanted to improve rigging/character stuff, then there were plenty of things that could have been addressed that people have been asking for for years... but does any of it happen, no. Instead we just get more new stuff (which is also dysfunctional to some degree) heaped on top while all the previous issues get left behind.

UnCommonGrafx
08-26-2013, 03:12 PM
To Matt's question:
- Lattice Deformer;
- Ability to animate in VPR, at a quick clip. That is: bones work, render works, everything follows my mouse in this condition;
- The forum scoured for ALL the old stuff, and fixed based there upon;
- People who have shown expertise to be absorbed by NT for a year as "Artist in Residence" so that we can all benefit from their knowledge. Rebelhill (Craig) comes to mind in this context.
As of late, NT has only absorbed. I'd rather see the visiting scholar scheme come back.

lino.grandi
08-26-2013, 03:36 PM
First off... do note that the video was made as a demonstration of common rigging mistakes people make, it wasnt specifically a demo of genoma... It just so happened that the content rigs pretty much all demonstrated some pretty bad flaw or other common error or design flaw, and I would have been uncomfortable taking private individual users rigs scattered about the net and showing them up... and I couldnt be bothered to spend the time making purposefully bad ones to demonstrate some common errors.

Well, so using genoma samples only to show "common rigging mistakes" has not been a great choice. ;)



So you missed the bit in the video where I said... "this is an easy fix, just put it where it should be"... And its not relative, its just plain wrong. Honestly... go to youtube and find me 1 pro rigging reel where the root pivot point is located external to the character... just 1. (animatable/slidable pivots notwithstanding).

No, I didn't missed that bit. I've just confirmed what you said there.



Nope... again... its just WRONG... poor practice, whatever terms you wanna use. Nobody does it... It creates more work for the animator, forcing them to animate "cross axis" for simple moves. If you think making an animators job harder is just a matter of "relative choice" for a TD... jeez... I honestly dont know what to say. Think I'll just do a facepalm.

I even said that is something that can be easily fixed. Missing quote?



What... you mean... bending the foot up and down. This character/that character... makes no odds, just because its no big deal on this character doesnt mean it wouldnt be on another which would be setup using the exact same system... point is, you rotate the foot to 90 degs and the geo of the lower leg flips... This is EASILY solved by using heading which has a broader euler domain. What would you rather... have a function and not need it, or need a function and not have it?


I'll work on the Heading fix.




Im not sure which twist you're referring to.. No twist control for the foot? No distributed twist for the shin? I can assure u, mine have both/all.


Yes, you're right. I was looking at the only one not showing it (the RH_Adam rig). You forgot to quote about the twisting problems affecting your rigs as well when rotating the hand control on its heading...something that happens regardless the fact you have your control aligned to the bone or not. ;)



I guess you also missed where I say something to the effect of "this character being a skeleton, its not so important, but imagine if it were a smooth skinned human".


On a human you would get a whole different result. That makes a big difference. A skeleton shouldn't twist at all.



Well, Im hardly rotating the clavicle a crazy stupid amount... its within a plausible limit. And sure, it can be fixed... but as is... its ugly. Do you honestly think (and this goes for the octopus too) that having something in an "unpolished" state as demonstration content is really the best way to show off what can be done??


That's more a skinning problem anyway, that can be solved with proper weighting.



Im not ignoring them... look at that pole... Move it on its regular axis, things go wonky.. Do you not think this may confuse an animator? And even if it can be fixed on a pose by pose basis by rejigging this or that control, do you not think that maybe, rather than having to do this constant back and forth between multiple controllers to fix flipping issues that it might just be a better idea to build a rig that doesnt suffer the problem in the first place?


The leg setup "clarity" can be improved for sure...I will work on it (and on a proper quadruped leg subrig...the one used now is built using a combination of other subrigs).



Again... thats good demo content to offer up to the world is it... sub standard, non production ready, faulty rigs? Im sure that'd make me wanna buy in if I were looking over from some other app.


They're just very quick samples that can be studied and improved. Using the "production ready" definition really doesn't go so well with the intention of these kind of rigs.
Can you make some animation using them? Yes. Are they perfect? No.

Genoma is still missing several things (IK/FK blending just to mention one). The idea when I created it was to use what was already there (Skelegons, Powergons and LScript) to build something new, modular and (possibly) useful.
Next version will probably show some more muscles, but some Video Tutorials about the current one are needed for sure....



Tell me about it... Thats EXACTLY what Ive said elsewhere in this thread "use it as a rigging tool, NOT a do it all for you autorigger" But... isnt genoma being "put forward/sold" (whatever word) as an INSTANT rigging system that removes the need to "be" a TD?

It really depends on what you really need to achieve. Genoma can help a lot both a beginner and an expert user. Then, if we want to find problems in ANY rig, well, that's something pretty easy to achieve. ;)

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 03:51 PM
Well, so using genoma samples only to show "common rigging mistakes" has not been a great choice.

They were just to hand and the errors displayed are common errors Ive seen many make over the years, rather than specific to genoma.


You forgot to quote about the twisting problems affecting your rigs as well when rotating the hand control on its heading...something that happens regardless the fact you have your control aligned to the bone or not.
Yes, I did forget that, you're right. The answer to it (which I also noted in the other thread) is that by having the controller aligned to the direction of the limb, you can switch to local axis rotation on the null, thus lining the handles back up in parallel to the forearm, allowing for rotation without the falloff twist. But thats only possible if you have correct alignment.


It really depends on what you really need to achieve.
The point of rigging ought be to achieve animation. The aim of good rigging ought be to support and reduce the animators workload as much as possible and provide them with as much control and posability as can be delivered, ideally within a framework that they can use as befits their own animation style (and I think Ive encountered just about as many animation styles as I have animators, which speaks to the scale of providing such). And the aim of an autorigger ought be to produce soild, dependable, production ready rigs with the minimum amount of intervention required by the user.


Genoma can help a lot both a beginner and an expert user.
Expert, sure... beginner, I would TOTALLY disagree as they will run into problems, flips, errors, whatever and have no idea how to correct them. They wont know if its the system thats done something wrong, or if they have. This is a VERY discouraging thing for a noob.


Then, if we want to find problems in ANY rig, well, that's something pretty easy to achieve. ;)
Well sure... if you go doing "unwise" things you often can, push things beyond limits etc, sure. Thing is, most of the problems I point out you get within a normal range of motion, you dont have to do something "stupid" to produce an error, and you dont have to dig around much to find them. They're too close to the surface.

tyrot
08-26-2013, 03:53 PM
holy cow best thread ever on character animation.. keep the fire burning!:)

lino.grandi
08-26-2013, 03:57 PM
I think more "TOYS" like Genoma will be thrown to keep people interested in the product without really looking at how functional they really are.

Ehi, did you have a chance to take a look at what is possible to produce using this toy?

http://www.theasylum.cc/product.php?id=224

https://www.lightwave3d.com/news/art...ked-the-world/

Not to speak about Nikelodeon:

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/36300219


The conversation going on between Rob and Ernest is soooooooo interesting.

There are different approaches to animation, especially when you're in production.

Look at this:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/12286806/Shark_Anim_01.mov

This is a sample I've created using the new Spline IK available in LW. Everything has been setup in minutes. A very simple approach for what I think is a pretty cool result. ;)

(go to about 00:42)

hrgiger
08-26-2013, 04:01 PM
While I appreciate the thought and effort behind Genoma, I'm just wondering why it would be implemented before some of the foundational problems behind character animation were addressed? (deformation speed, deformer stack, lack of mixed constraints, etc...) Was it just to give us something to hold us over while the other things were being addressed? Or can we really not expect some significant improvements to the real problem issues with CA in LW? It just seems like giving us rigging solutions before the rigging and animation problems are fixed is like putting the cart before the horse.

116616

Cageman
08-26-2013, 04:16 PM
I used Genoma to rig a Quadroped in less than 1 hour. I sent it to the guy who needed it, and he did some modifications to it in Layout to fit his needs. I didn't have to use RHRiggit or any third party tool to deal with it. Was it perfect? No, it wasn't, but it was good enough (and quick enough) to provide a TD (who didn't have Genoma = earlier version of LW), with a very good startingpoint.

lino.grandi
08-26-2013, 04:17 PM
While I appreciate the thought and effort behind Genoma, I'm just wondering why it would be implemented before some of the foundational problems behind character animation were addressed? (deformation speed, deformer stack, lack of mixed constraints, etc...) Was it just to give us something to hold us over while the other things were being addressed? Or can we really not expect some significant improvements to the real problem issues with CA in LW? It just seems like giving us rigging solutions before the rigging and animation problems are fixed is like putting the cart before the horse.

116616

Again, I made Genoma using what was there already. We need deep changes in LightWave. And they're coming.

hrgiger
08-26-2013, 04:21 PM
Sorry Lino I must have missed where you said that. I was reading on my phone today and so I usually miss stuff that way. Thanks for your input in the thread.

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 04:24 PM
I used Genoma to rig a Quadroped in less than 1 hour. I sent it to the guy who needed it, and he did some modifications to it in Layout to fit his needs. I didn't have to use RHRiggit or any third party tool to deal with it. Was it perfect? No, it wasn't, but it was good enough (and quick enough) to provide a TD (who didn't have Genoma = earlier version of LW), with a very good startingpoint.

Yep... springboard to get a rig started... VERY useful. But you do need to know what you're doing as a rigger to really get the good stuff out.

Cageman
08-26-2013, 04:25 PM
While I appreciate the thought and effort behind Genoma, I'm just wondering why it would be implemented before some of the foundational problems behind character animation were addressed? (deformation speed, deformer stack, lack of mixed constraints, etc...) Was it just to give us something to hold us over while the other things were being addressed? Or can we really not expect some significant improvements to the real problem issues with CA in LW? It just seems like giving us rigging solutions before the rigging and animation problems are fixed is like putting the cart before the horse.

116616

I guess you have followed Ikedas posts about LWs Mesh-system and Hydra? When Hydra is in LW, I expect to see a huge speedbost in deformation handling in LW. All what you are asking about really needs a new Mesh-system to begin with. So, I guess you answered your own question there; Genoma is a system developed using tools that have been in LW for years and as such, does not require any additional and cumbersome programming to get working (as in dealing with a huge lump of legacy Amiga days kind of stuff). It's something to use to speed up certain processes in LW; semi-auto rigging.

Those Amiga days things will have to be dealt with at some point, but in the meantime, I am happy to see any improvements or tools to speed things up, without taking too much focus off the long term stuff.

VonBon
08-26-2013, 04:28 PM
While I appreciate the thought and effort behind Genoma, I'm just wondering why it would be implemented before some of the foundational problems behind character animation were addressed? (deformation speed, deformer stack, lack of mixed constraints, etc...) Was it just to give us something to hold us over while the other things were being addressed? Or can we really not expect some significant improvements to the real problem issues with CA in LW? It just seems like giving us rigging solutions before the rigging and animation problems are fixed is like putting the cart before the horse.

116616

:i_agree: and I don't even know what a deformer stack is ;D
Lets make sure they all work together 1st too (like they should) "Deformers - Constraints - Animation Tools"
without having to jump all over the place to get things to talk to one another. (GUI consolidation/optimization)

Spinland
08-26-2013, 04:31 PM
Yep... springboard to get a rig started... VERY useful. But you do need to know what you're doing as a rigger to really get the good stuff out.

I guess this is partly why I haven't had problems using Genoma for what CA projects I have gotten since it came out. I started rigging (after doing it as a student in Maya) in LW by dint of Lino's Rigging Revealed videos, with which I spent a few intense days in study. When I generated my first Genoma rig I immediately spotted Lino's techniques all over the place, and was very comfortable with the resulting rig and whatever it might need for effective use. I also never use the complete Genoma rigs, I build my own using the smaller sub rig units because there are aspects to rigs like the default biped that I don't care for and my "toon" style characters often have odd shapes or proportions that need several extra bones the default rigs don't provide.

I recommend anyone who uses Genoma first learn to rig by hand, and I consider Lino's course a top notch way to prepare so you can get the most out of the new tools.

Just my zwei Pfennigs Wert.

lino.grandi
08-26-2013, 04:34 PM
Sorry Lino I must have missed where you said that. I was reading on my phone today and so I usually miss stuff that way. Thanks for your input in the thread.

No problem, it can happen!

What i have to say, is that we all here to make LightWave better! Craig videos, any conversation going on between users is something really important to make LightWave grow up! Let's take the best of this.

hrgiger
08-26-2013, 04:35 PM
I guess you have followed Ikedas posts about LWs Mesh-system and Hydra? When Hydra is in LW, I expect to see a huge speedbost in deformation handling in LW. All what you are asking about really needs a new Mesh-system to begin with. So, I guess you answered your own question there; Genoma is a system developed using tools that have been in LW for years and as such, does not require any additional and cumbersome programming to get working (as in dealing with a huge lump of legacy Amiga days kind of stuff). It's something to use to speed up certain processes in LW; semi-auto rigging.



While a new mesh system is badly needed in both modeling and animation, its only a small part of a better character animation process in LightWave. I'm more concerned with how LightWave handles deformations as well as a powerful constraint system. And then of course there's the whole having actual component modes in Layout and be able to deal directly with points and polygons in joint correction and manipulation.

Cageman
08-26-2013, 04:36 PM
No problem, it can happen!

What i have to say, is that we all here to make LightWave better! Craig videos, any conversation going on between users is something really important to make LightWave grow up! Let's take the best of this.

Amen! :)

Cageman
08-26-2013, 04:39 PM
Yep... springboard to get a rig started... VERY useful. But you do need to know what you're doing as a rigger to really get the good stuff out.

Absolutely true... is there any system out there (auto-rigger) that doesn't have this as a requirement? I mean... I havn't seen any auto-rigger that makes everything 100% perfect, not even Facebuilder is perfect, even if it is darn good.

lino.grandi
08-26-2013, 04:40 PM
I think no one have noticed this! :D

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/12286806/Shark_Anim_01.mov

RebelHill
08-26-2013, 04:47 PM
I think no one have noticed this! :D

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/12286806/Shark_Anim_01.mov

Yeah... Ive said it before and Ill say it again...

You're gonna need a bigger boat. ;)

Cageman
08-26-2013, 04:49 PM
While a new mesh system is badly needed in both modeling and animation, its only a small part of a better character animation process in LightWave. I'm more concerned with how LightWave handles deformations as well as a powerful constraint system. And then of course there's the whole having actual component modes in Layout and be able to deal directly with points and polygons in joint correction and manipulation.

Oh... absolutely so! I'm just not sure if we will see things like that before a new Mesh-system though. A new Mesh-system would most likely be a lot more suited to the component modes and everything related to deformation such as deformer stacks etc.

Constraints though, is another thing that possibly could be tackled right off, like, right now, and is not depending on what features and capabilites a mesh-system can give. On the other hand though, Constraints might also need an architectural change in LW in order to replicate, lets say, Mayas constraint system. I mean... we are talking about completely different workflows as well. The current constraintsystem in LW is basicly Motion Modifiers that are isolated islands. In Maya, a constraint is a node, and you can modify it quite much and create some interresting results by adding some nodes inbetween etc.

So... are there any specific ones that you have in mind that could work out as a Motion Modifier, or are the architectural change needed to make more advanced constraints?

:)

Cageman
08-26-2013, 04:57 PM
I think no one have noticed this! :D

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/12286806/Shark_Anim_01.mov

Needs more secondary motion on the fins... like this one (http://hangar18.gotdns.org/~cageman/CODFISH/Cod.avi)... ;)

Rigged and animated in LW by myself, transfered to Maya for light/shade/render by Radek. :) This was done around 5 years ago. :) Darn... time flies!!! :D

hrgiger
08-26-2013, 04:57 PM
Its just funny that I started out with Animation Master back in 1999 I believe it was and I took for granted things like orientation and translation constraints as well as a easy as pie smart skin feature giving you perfect joints. I really missed those things when I attempted to use LightWave for CA. LightWave was better at everything else I found, but still not as good as Animation Master when it came to character tools. But probably not really surprising since that was their main focus.

VonBon
08-26-2013, 05:39 PM
Is the GUI code really that embedded that there can't be anything done at the moment?
Because once we add all this stuff and make things more complicated, Items and Information
management is going to be key. It'll be like we went and bought furniture for a 3500 square
foot house and trying to fit it in a 700 square foot apartment.

jburford
08-27-2013, 02:08 AM
It's a bit like the chicken and the egg: if only a very small percentage of users do character animation in Lightwave, only a couple of good examples will be on display. And that not only impact negatively on users' view of LW as a character animation package, but also Newtek's focus on what areas to develop. The renderer is brilliant indeed. But the competition is stiffening that department.

In regards to Blender: a crucial difference is also that many users and a growing number of small animation studios actually DO use Blender for character animation, and many (free) good rigs are available. On BlenderArtists the character animation topic is very active. This translates in good support from the community, and longer shorts and full productions that are/have been done in Blender.

And this is exactly how Ton Roosendaal envisioned Blender. Because of all this activity the quality of character animation done in Blender is steadfastly improving, as are the character designs. And larger teams have been using Blender for their shorts, so the overall scope of the animation is improving as well. Saying the only decent CA work was done in Blender by the foundation itself is just not true! (Well, it seems to be true you have not seen it, then)

I really like doing char animation in Blender - it's quick and efficient for me. And for others, otherwise all those smaller studios would not be picking it up in their pipelines in some shape or form.

Some more current examples. There are many, MANY more, and I did not have to look for long. I also left out many examples of Blender being used as a major part in a "professional" pipeline with Maya, Max, Vray, Nuke, Afx. etc. This just goes to show that lots of decent and commercial character animation work IS being done in Blender, as opposed to Lightwave, unfortunately.

http://www.iceboxstudios.co.uk/en-passant/watch/index.html
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/08/05/video-cif-active-gel/
http://reversionmovie.blogspot.ca/
http://www.plumiferos.com/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/07/29/coca-cola-tv-commercia/
http://urchn.org/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/07/19/reel-hjalti-hjalmarsson/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/07/17/short-lost-senses/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/04/23/charged-short-animation-in-blender/
http://chamananimation.com/onefineday/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY1L76WwOHg
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/06/25/how-animation-is-made-oranguerrilla/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/03/11/red-legend-trailer/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/03/05/opening-sequence-of-the-adventure-of-wanara/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/02/12/video-yellow-ribbon/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/02/05/studio-pitchi-poy-moves-to-blender/
http://www.blendernation.com/2013/02/04/steve-teaser/
http://www.blenderguru.com/27-inspiring-blender-animations-that-will-make-your-jaw-drop/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZYUL40jstE (Naughty 5 Indian feature length Animation)


Wanted to say, Great Post! And, yes, it needed to put out, since there was an earlier post about not much being done in that manner with Blender. (Thought was funny about this not being a Blender Forum comment)

And as stated earlier, really easy to add to the Lightwave Workflow. (free Plugin)

Thanks again for posting!

safetyman
08-27-2013, 08:26 AM
I hate to throw this in, but hey, it's my perspective as an amateur rigger and I think it's pertinent to the conversation. Plus the fact that HRGiger gave me a little window to peek my head out of with his earlier comments regarding other apps.

I've been using LW for about 15 years and I was never able to fully grasp rigging characters effectively, not that I had a great need to since the majority of my work revovles around hard-surface static models. Character work is my passion, though, and I couldn't get a character rigged to save my life, even with the introduction of Genoma and such. Lino's Rigging Revealed tutorials were really helpful and I enjoyed them immensely, but for some reason nothing was working well enough for me to get a character finished. I even dabbled with Maya and 3DS Max tutorials, but they still seemed overly complicated to me. Again -- I'm not a master character artist by any stretch, but I just couldn't wrap my brain around some of the more technical stuff.

<Ducks behind the counter to avoid thrown objects> When I started using Blender to rig my characters things just started working, almost automatically and with minimal effort. Why was this? What did Blender do for free that other packages failed to do for me? I don't really know the answer other than to say, everything made more sense and the tools to acheive simple tasks were.... simple. No complex menus to sort through, no hidden features that only the "pros" knew about (how many times have you seen "10 hidden tips the pros use"?). All the tutorials I looked at basically said the same thing and used the same techniques: Add a meta-rig, move the bones to line up with your model, parent it using auto-weights (or not, your choice), and then it just worked. Add an IK bone, add an IK contstraint, boom.... works.

Now I'm not saying it's the greatest rig since sliced bread, but I've rigged about a dozen or so character models since I switched to Blender for this task, and they just work. You can go as simple or as complex as your skills allow and you can be animating in less than an hour. And a I haven't even mentioned the Rigify tool that adds IK/FK switching and snapping, hides all the deform bones for you, and generally will set up a fully working rig with just 1 button. You can do all your weight painting on a mirrored object and when you're done, apply the mirror and all the weights transfer over to the other side and are named properly. Pose your character, hit a button, boom, saved pose. Move an arm, hit a button to copy, hit a button to paste, boom, pose mirrors over to the other side. The most difficult thing to grasp has been the shape-key drivers which control morph targets associated with bones and can be done on the fly while animating.

The point is, I understand that LW CA needs improving and will require a lot of work, understadably. But I don't see how you can make it this easy to use without a complete re-write. Tacking things on to the existing system won't cut it for me because it's so foreign. Heck, I went in a completely new direction with a totally new tool and picked it up in just a few days.

You can't beat that, and it's a huge problem because I love LW and I want to see it grow and succeed. I think RH said earlier that he didn't see Blender as a viable CA tool because the Blender Foundation used a team of coders to fix problems as they popped up to get the work done. That's the point of Blender really and the Open Movie Projects -- see what you can do in a real production environment and fix the things that need fixing, then release the updates FREE in the next iteration of the program (3 or 4 times a year for official builds). I'll shut up now.

116632 116633

jburford
08-27-2013, 09:25 AM
Good Info safetyman.

Have you messed with exporting then out of Blender with FBX and into Lightwave later for rendering?

jasonwestmas
08-27-2013, 09:27 AM
It's a good feeling when you become totally convinced and say, yep this is it! This is the system; This is the pipeline that will get this kind of project done the fastest!

jasonwestmas
08-27-2013, 09:30 AM
Good Info safetyman.

Have you messed with exporting then out of Blender with FBX and into Lightwave later for rendering?


I'm excited to try Alembic.

Rayek
08-27-2013, 09:32 AM
Good Info safetyman.

Have you messed with exporting then out of Blender with FBX and into Lightwave later for rendering?

You can also export as a ligthwave point cache (.mdd). FBX never was great in Blender, though in the last couple of weeks a greatly improved new fbx importer has been worked on.

safetyman
08-27-2013, 09:52 AM
You can also export as a ligthwave point cache (.mdd). FBX never was great in Blender, though in the last couple of weeks a greatly improved new fbx importer has been worked on.

I haven't played around with FBX much from Blender, but I will say that Blender imports LW files directly and even gives you the option to apply a subsurf modifier upon import, and like Rayek said, supports .mdd format very well.

vncnt
08-27-2013, 01:15 PM
... he didn't see Blender as a viable CA tool because the Blender Foundation used a team of coders to fix problems as they popped up to get the work done. That's the point of Blender really and the Open Movie Projects -- see what you can do in a real production environment and fix the things that need fixing, ...

I can only hope that Genoma (and other functions) will go that direction in the hands of the new LW3D group.


... I don't see how you can make it this easy to use without a complete re-write. Tacking things on to the existing system won't cut it for me because it's so foreign.

I would not be so sure about this.
In my experience you can put almost everything in a black box.
It might be needed to tackle existing bugs and to create new interfaces to improve control but if you really want to, it's possible.

bazsa73
08-27-2013, 02:01 PM
Thanks safetyman, I had similar positive experience with Blender, I did some experiment with the fluid system, they have improved it.
I should test the CA tools too but I had no any information on it. Maybe now.

stevegraymusic
08-27-2013, 02:43 PM
dear safetyman,
not in a gay way but...I think I just fell in love with you!

stevegraymusic
08-27-2013, 02:51 PM
Character work is my passion, though, and I couldn't get a character rigged to save my life, even with the introduction of Genoma and such.
116632 116633


Thank you so much for your post. You have touched on alot of the same things I have been thinking. I haven't been using LW as long as you have (only 9 years to your 15) but I understand what you're saying. Lightwave does not appear to be built for passionate artists to express their ideas. It seems to be built from the perspective of techies and filmakers looking for a solution for motion graphics problems that they face during productions. How to make a more convincing hard body effect, how to composite a moving realistic mechanical object into a scene etc. I'm just glad someone could relate.

safetyman
08-27-2013, 07:52 PM
dear safetyman,
not in a gay way but...I think I just fell in love with you!

Not sure what you mean, but... thanks?

shadowshifter
08-27-2013, 08:19 PM
I've never been able to get Blender to import Lightwave files :( it says it does but then either crashes or simply doesn't. So stuck with exporting to obj. Will see if I can find enough bravado to hit the CA tools (it's just Blender's interface, I hate it).

Not a pro by any stretch of the imagination but have been naffing around with LW rigging for a while (I like building the things from scratch because I'm weird like that), and have actually found Genoma pretty easy to initial set up (about an hour to adapt one of the full rigs to my base human model, a bit longer snapping parts together, and I'm still currently working on assembling one from component parts to see what the bits and pieces do), but haven't yet gotten around to doing all the annoying little fiddly things to get things deforming properly etc. Not being able to easily mirror weight maps has been a vast annoyance, as has been the null insanity I used to get into making controls for all the bones (which doesn't seem to be much of an issue in Genoma as most of the controls are there already, however I don't rig or animate like a pro).

Rayek
08-27-2013, 11:43 PM
I've never been able to get Blender to import Lightwave files :( it says it does but then either crashes or simply doesn't. So stuck with exporting to obj. Will see if I can find enough bravado to hit the CA tools (it's just Blender's interface, I hate it).


? That's weird. It loads every lwo file I have tried, including all the demo objects from LW. As for the interface, just switch to a different theme, like Modo, for improved visual familiarity.

I also like to use Accutrans: far more control over LWO object conversion, and back to Lightwave.

And btw, I completely disagree with the notion that Lightwave isn't supposed to be made with "passionate artists" in mind - I think it is. It just depends on the individual user's preferences, and the type of work you'd like to focus on. It might not be the perfect tool for CA, but compared to many other render engines LW's is pretty easy to grasp and use. The material system is also very nice - arguably better than, let's say, Modo and Cinema4d.

Just saying - it's easy to criticize from a personal emotional viewpoint. As mentioned many times before, it all depends on your personal workflow and preferences.

djwaterman
08-28-2013, 02:07 AM
How do you import LW objects into Blender? Do I have to set that up in the preferences, I don't see a LW extension anywhere when I try to import plus LW objects don't show up when I navigate to a folder and try to load them.

Oh I just found it as an add on in the preferences.

Surrealist.
08-28-2013, 03:57 AM
Make note of that. Because a lot of the features in Blender that are addons don't get enabled by default. When I first install a new version of Blender it is always a routine to go and turn on all of my favorite features. I think the idea was to keep things uncluttered and have you decide what you want enabled.

dballesg
08-28-2013, 04:20 AM
To Craig and Lino, fancy a Snickers? :D


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4mP9pR-mzU

The pissing contest you to get involved about wich rig is best "yours" or "mine", doesnt help. 8/

Now I will post some "suggestions" on how to fix long standing issues...and coment that Shark video (and yes I noticed)

Cheers.

dballesg
08-28-2013, 04:27 AM
I think no one have noticed this! :D

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/12286806/Shark_Anim_01.mov

Hi Lino,

Yes I did, and as you named it is "cool", that means is perfect no?

To starters the model has such a musculature and you're not providing any secondary motion to it.
I know you perfectly aware on how "fake" that looks. So why do it on first place?
A more smooth natural model will look way better.

That video screams more "look you can displace ZBrush maps in LW" than really anything about Spline Control. 8/

Cheers,
David

RebelHill
08-28-2013, 05:04 AM
The pissing contest you to get involved about wich rig is best "yours" or "mine", doesnt help.

I can appreciate the appearance of such, but do let me point something out so that everyone can KNOW the real standing here... (obv, speaking for myself)

I do like and respect Lino aplenty... I consider us both colleagues and friends... but... There's a clear separation to be had between the personal, and the professional. The discussion that you see (from my end) the critiques, etc, etc come purely from the point of work and working practices. To that end, its not (to my mind) a pissing contest, not one bit. But what it certainly is, is a VERY hard nosed and hard fought PROFESSIONAL debate, and that means gloves off, game face on. This is my day job afterall, and you can bet your butt I know my shinola... and I WILL push and fight HARD for what I believe in, with the aim of getting the best results attainable for both myself, and every other user out there who wants to get the same, and I would expect NO LESS from Lino in return. My respect for him would be diminished if he were to not fight for his own beliefs or he were to just roll over.

I can understand if folks think it dont look pretty, but this is how progress is made... through contest... because the weaker ideas dont survive it, and the best ideas (or the best parts from each quarter) eventually rise and merge to give the best overall outcome. Im extremely glad for this "rivalry" (if you wanna call it that) because Lino's work and achievements help to drive me forward to better my own, and I hope mine do the same for him.

We're working towards the same end here... and we're working HARD.

dballesg
08-28-2013, 06:02 AM
Comments about what improve:

Lino was saying that many internal systems need improvement to get new tools, correct me if I'm wrong, but are not Master Plugins what are there for?
I will dare to say that Spline Control looks like that (and I even didn't installed LW 11.6 yet), a clever master plugin that adds other "plug-ins" to the items used and "orchestrate" everything behind the curtains?

I think using such mechanism basically MANY things on LW can be rewritten without disturbing the "old" ones. Until they can fully replace them.

Many things need fixing, and as Craig suggested, they've been pointed so MANY times that is obscene they are asked again by Matt, asked politely or not, it means that no one on NT look this threads?, take notes on a red folder called Character Animation (High Priority) and then bring them up on the development meetings? Yes High Priority because theese are not new requests, they've been asked for many YEARS!!!

List of things to fix:

Gimbal lock:
Gimbal lock can be minimized. Use Quaternions AND Euler angles, and allow "order of rotation", give the user the power to choose.
So far there were a couple of experiments by NT to include Quaternion on LW, but that is it, "experiments".

Deformations: (see Order of Operation as well)
We need to be able to stack them. We can right now up to certain point, but is like a "stack per object".
Their stack need to be by scene and by item.

As I comment on the Bones section of this post, separate the fixed parts as new Deformation Plugins.
This is not a new idea, NT has done it with the Texture Displacement plugin, it is there so you can make it play nice with other deformations instead of the "fixed" Displacement map.
So why we still have the Displacement Map as a "fixed" information carried out on every single item?

Motion: (see Order of Operation as well)
Motion needs to be splitted on their basic components. What if I have an item only "moving" on a straight line? Do I need it's rotations and scale "stored" as well?
Think on make motions more modular, aloow adding of custom individual or sets of channels, where the user can add a Rotation or Scale independently if they need them.
Yeah Translation is always need to determine the "position" of the object.

Bones: (see Speed Ups as well)
Z-Bones need an "interactive way" to see their "automatic influences on the viewport. look the Skelevision video posted by someone and that is a fetaure request by Jason Westmas and Fori implemented it really quickly into Messiah 6.
No more guessing placement of bones and "figure out" what they are affecting.
Z-Bones need their Rest Lenght animatable. To allow easier setup of Squash and Stretch.

Yes, I will keep this "smart bones", for certain rigging tasks they make the work way more easy.
But I will "separate" the "influence part" as a new type of deformation plugin.
I suspect LW does this internally, a bone is a Null, with Custom Drawn operations and a "hidden" FIXED deformer.
This new "influence" type will allow the traditional automatic one.
And a Weight Maps deformer, or even better Weight Containers. Yes this is a modo feature that is superb.
So imagine Bones meet Custom deformers on top of them.

Properties Panel:
All this suggestions include modify the Properties Panel, and I think there it lays one of NT reluctancies of adding more "deep" changes, the number of new panels that will appear to accomodate such changes.
What about to add a SINGLE new Properties that will be more clever showing all this information in "context"? Kinda of Advanced Properties???
LW Does this right now when you have a Light Selected, open the Properties Panel and you select a Camera.
What if this Panel Properties will allow to arrange the order of execution simply by drag and drop sections of the panel?

Order of Operation:
Right now, we can't decide the order of operation on many things. The "old" scene editor allowed something like it, when you dragged items one of top of another changing their internal id's and therefore making LW "execute" the scene in certain order.
The Scene Editor need to outline this better, and allow to determine the order of execution of plugins.
Right now, we have TWO scene Editors, that shows that a THIRD one can be created, or better, add this functionality to the "second" one.
Yes the Second new Scene editor we got long ago, is a Master Plugin.

Speed Ups:

Many users doesnt realize how many times per second LightWave draws EVERY item on a scene.
For example to draw a bone, LW draws 12 lines (without counting if it's shaded, then needs to draw the insides as well, and with transparency).
Multiply 12 x Number of Bones x Number of Characters x Time to draw each line, and I think thw time spent will surprise more than one.
And that affects interactivity.
It will be way more easy represent a bone drawn with a single line and a darker "dot" to show where its head (for Z-Bones).
Right now you can get a similar effect putting the Bone Icon Size to 0%. But I suspect is still drawing the 12 lines that compose the "Bone" shape.
I suggested this before.

Another misconception I see by users is they want "everything" on the screen, and Real Time, and interactive.
Deformations, Hair, Textures, Lightning.
That is not going to happen on the foreseeable future.
Simply there are too many calculations involved to the "real" hardware to deal with it.
We're getting there, but we "aren't" there yet.

We need easier ways to turn on/off the representation of big hierachies to one mode or another.
Like make all bones to lines in one click, or turn a "whole" character to proxy "cubes" shapes.

Let's see how this suggestions are taken.
I say this with a pinch of salt, because as Craig, I feel that banging the same drum for so long,
and getting an answer after YEARS of asking for it (Spline Control is living proof)
only shows that even when they listen they are quite "deaf" to big changes :(

Cheers,
David

hevjudo
08-28-2013, 06:03 AM
I can appreciate the appearance of such, but do let me point something out so that everyone can KNOW the real standing here... (obv, speaking for myself)

I do like and respect Lino aplenty... I consider us both colleagues and friends... but... There's a clear separation to be had between the personal, and the professional. The discussion that you see (from my end) the critiques, etc, etc come purely from the point of work and working practices. To that end, its not (to my mind) a pissing contest, not one bit. But what it certainly is, is a VERY hard nosed and hard fought PROFESSIONAL debate, and that means gloves off, game face on. This is my day job afterall, and you can bet your butt I know my shinola... and I WILL push and fight HARD for what I believe in, with the aim of getting the best results attainable for both myself, and every other user out there who wants to get the same, and I would expect NO LESS from Lino in return. My respect for him would be diminished if he were to not fight for his own beliefs or he were to just roll over.

I can understand if folks think it dont look pretty, but this is how progress is made... through contest... because the weaker ideas dont survive it, and the best ideas (or the best parts from each quarter) eventually rise and merge to give the best overall outcome. Im extremely glad for this "rivalry" (if you wanna call it that) because Lino's work and achievements help to drive me forward to better my own, and I hope mine do the same for him.

We're working towards the same end here... and we're working HARD.


Thankyou.. I work in a completely different field, you have to be an 'expert' and also believe in the outcomes you want. When the best outcome is not achieved its usually because someone is letting pride get in the way. Give advice to help someone, and take advice to improve yourself.. keep moving forward.

My 2 cents.. Messiah Studio. I dont know why a lot of lightwavers dont look into it. Its cheap and very very effective. I cant see LW changing anytime soon as the CA tools need a re-build from the ground up. Ive always been a fan of blender but the deformation system is harder to control (yes the drivers do help), and Im also becoming impressed / intrigued with the development of the rigging / animation tools in modo.


I know a lot of people are probably aware of this, and Im a fan of his work and style of rigging / design / and animation - Franck - Messiah user, and lightwave user AKA maker of the Atomictoon Rig Tools (for Messiah). I believe most of his work is a Messiah / Lightwave workflow:

http://vimeo.com/64015651

...

Great discussion in this thread.. keep it up.

dballesg
08-28-2013, 06:20 AM
I can appreciate the appearance of such, but do let me point something out so that everyone can KNOW the real standing here... (obv, speaking for myself)

Sorry if my little joke was taken so serious, but as you said the appearance of it is what confuses the users, because looks like one is not doing things the right way, and viceversa.


I do like and respect Lino aplenty... I consider us both colleagues and friends... but... There's a clear separation to be had between the personal, and the professional. The discussion that you see (from my end) the critiques, etc, etc come purely from the point of work and working practices. To that end, its not (to my mind) a pissing contest, not one bit. But what it certainly is, is a VERY hard nosed and hard fought PROFESSIONAL debate, and that means gloves off, game face on. This is my day job afterall, and you can bet your butt I know my shinola... and I WILL push and fight HARD for what I believe in, with the aim of getting the best results attainable for both myself, and every other user out there who wants to get the same, and I would expect NO LESS from Lino in return. My respect for him would be diminished if he were to not fight for his own beliefs or he were to just roll over.

I can understand if folks think it dont look pretty, but this is how progress is made... through contest... because the weaker ideas dont survive it, and the best ideas (or the best parts from each quarter) eventually rise and merge to give the best overall outcome. Im extremely glad for this "rivalry" (if you wanna call it that) because Lino's work and achievements help to drive me forward to better my own, and I hope mine do the same for him.

We're working towards the same end here... and we're working HARD.

I do respect YOU both too, but you know from personal experience that when drastic changes are suggested, specially on the so many years "neglected" area of Rigging and CA, Lino, yourself or even me, get the answer of certain users that think everything is pretty and dandy with LW. That is not true, and is not true for ANY other app in the market (open source or commercial), ALL have flaws and limitations, and I agree I prefer a "gloves off, game face on" than looking any 3D application with "pink glasses" anymore, and getting up-lifting, marketing sales BS that "We are listening".

The proof is in the pudding, if it cooking a pudding takes you years, better think a change of career! ;)

If you, and I, and others got a cent for everytime we get those uplifting answers, instead of physical proved changes, we will be retired beign millionaries and living quite well doing nothing! :D

It will be better if everyone started to look all this suggestions we do with an open mind.
And realize we try to suggests ways to improve LightWave (or ANY other application) for EVERYONE, not ourselves. (Don't apply this to you or Lino please, I know you both have that open mind).

Cheers,
David

RebelHill
08-28-2013, 06:24 AM
Sorry if my little joke was taken so serious, but as you said the appearance of it is what confuses the users, because looks like one is not doing things the right way, and viceversa.

No, not taken seriously... but the fact that the joke is there to be made means the perception exists and I jsut wanted to be sure and clarify for anyone who may perceive such things as purely rivalrous rather than part of the way things get pushed forward for all.

chikega
08-28-2013, 07:07 AM
I believe the LWG needs to take a long deep introspective look at all the different solutions that have been developed over the YEARS to help address Lightwave's CA weaknesses. Why were they created? What issues or weaknesses were they trying to address? Some of the developers listed below have moved on to other software. Some have just moved on. Some are still here. I'm not sure about the dates - just a best guess on my part. I'm probably missing a few. But these are the ones that come to mind off the top of my head.

2000 pmG messiah:animate plugin
2000 Timothy Albee FA and various plugins
2002 ACS4 by Lukasz Pazera
2003? Thomas 4d Rigging Tools
2005 Maestro
2008? Rhiggit
2012 Genoma

jasonwestmas
08-28-2013, 08:05 AM
Pawel Olas addressed a few things. A maya user who wanted to add some functionality to lightwave. Smart Morph is still cool, it permits working with morphs in a non-linear fashion. There is clearly something going on under the hood that I can't get by conventional means.

http://www.polas.net/smorph/index.php

Ryan Roye
08-28-2013, 08:16 AM
If future motion-dependant character animation tools are made, I'd like to see the devs take notes on why IKBooster was made the way it was and incorporate that mindset into development... Take the best of IKB and make it native in Lightwave so software developers can expand on its functions. Almost everything about the tool is specifically designed to reduce the number of actions the user must do to achieve a result and this is *EXACTLY* how character animation tools should be designed; animation is a work-intensive, often repetitive process and the less time that can be spent doing stuff, the better.

IKBooster's shortcomings, and why it was not adopted as a primary production tool despite its incredible advantages that are still many years ahead of its time (yes, even despite the fact it was made 10 years ago):

- No usable documentation. The content that was put out left out so many things it may as well have never been made.

- Not enough user error checking. IKBooster's tools were not designed to prevent the user from doing invalid actions (a bad thing). Example: If you save a pose, loading that pose/motion simply won't work the way the average user expects... there's "hidden requirements" to using it properly that really shouldn't exist. It works beautifully if the user knows about it.

- Training people to use it is increased as a result of less error checking AND no documentation. The issue of training is partly why I'm making a manual and video for it, but the poor error checking thing can still frustrate users even with the benefit of learning materials. It still increases the learning curve.

- There are some elements that are context-sensitive when they shouldn't be; because it contradicts what the user expects to happen. (IE: having keyframes selected in the timeline will affect the values inserted into RMB-Drag IKB dialogues.... this is counter-intuitive in most cases).

The point is, the LW3dG can learn a lot from this tool's advantages and disadvantages. Take the best from tools like this and put them into the workflow without the drawbacks. Cut out as much as the pulldown lists and windows and tabs and whathaveyou as possible without sacrificing user friendlyness, and you have yourself a better character animation workflow (in reference to motion, at least).

raymondtrace
08-28-2013, 08:20 AM
...these are the ones that come to mind off the top of my head.

2000 pmG messiah:animate plugin
2000 Timothy Albee FA and various plugins
2002 ACS4 by Lukasz Pazera
2003? Thomas 4d Rigging Tools
2005 Maestro
2008? Rhiggit
2012 Genoma

Not mentioning any names but one of these technologies can stand pretty well on its own for animation and rendering and NT may be wise to buy the product or hire the developer, if such were for sale.

jasonwestmas
08-28-2013, 08:46 AM
Yes messiah is the schnizzit. It has what I like about layout (and even IKB) but with faster workflow and performance. Needs better owners.

Rayek
08-28-2013, 09:10 AM
Yes messiah is the schnizzit. It has what I like about layout (and even IKB) but with faster workflow and performance. Needs better owners.

I agree - I got horribly burned by Messiah when I bought a license and wanted to use it for Cinema4d 7 at the time - it just did not work, and there were many other issues with the software. It was all handled rather badly by PMG, and a lot of users were disappointed / mad about the whole affair. I then sold my license.

Well, water under the bridge. That experience taught me to tread carefully in regards to "hot new" software, and always test, test, test before diving in head over heels.
I decided against getting a cheap license of Messiah a while ago - unfortunately I lost my trust in the owners.

VonBon
08-28-2013, 09:25 AM
Well I still say that the GUI needs to be addressed 1st.
This will help improve workflow a lot with what we have right now.

So, I would like to ask Newtek, what areas of CA tools are you prepared
to address first? So we can all focus on improving the tool that can be
improved right now instead of everyone here just throwing out Ideas all
over the place. What would the "LW3DG" like us to help you focus on
and improve? Cause right now we are all over the place like the GUI.

;D I just had too. Its all :heart: tho

chikega
08-28-2013, 01:38 PM
Take the best of IKB and make it native in Lightwave so software developers can expand on its functions. Almost everything about the tool is specifically designed to reduce the number of actions the user must do to achieve a result and this is *EXACTLY* how character animation tools should be designed

Luxology introduced the Pose Tool in Modo 601 (Jan 2012) which reminds me somewhat of IK Booster:


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

phillydee
08-28-2013, 01:55 PM
I don't know if this would fall under CA directly, but... along with all the other suggestions (Deform stacks, FFDs, selection sets, deformation speedups, yada yada yada) it'd be pretty awesome if we had the ability to change rotation order.

Sure would be cool to reference rigs from setup scenes too... was this already discussed? In any case, commenting for the sake of subscribing to the thread.

Cageman
08-28-2013, 02:35 PM
I will dare to say that Spline Control looks like that (and I even didn't installed LW 11.6 yet), a clever master plugin that adds other "plug-ins" to the items used and "orchestrate" everything behind the curtains?

Na... it uses hierarchies (any type of object) to define the spline, and to make an object follow a spline is to set it up in MotionOptions. ;)

116671

hevjudo
08-28-2013, 03:00 PM
Re: PMG - Yes.. The absolute worst thing about Messiah is the owners.. hands down the worst software owners Ive ever come across. Shame because the best thing about Messiah is Messiah.

Pretty much why Im watching the development of Modo's tools with interest. Messiah set the benchmark for useability (for me). I purchased Modo recently had a question about a product and ended up being contacted by Brad Peebler!! Talk about platinum service! I had a question about the auto character setup (ACS) rig and the developer contacts me! So for me modo is the tool that Im watching the development of for CA.. not lightwave.

Nicolas Jordan
08-28-2013, 03:24 PM
I purchased Modo recently had a question about a product and ended up being contacted by Brad Peebler!! Talk about platinum service! I had a question about the auto character setup (ACS) rig and the developer contacts me! So for me modo is the tool that Im watching the development of for CA.. not lightwave.

The President of the Foundry America and former President of Luxology contacted you! With the amount of stuff Brad does and the places he goes I'm beginning to think there is more than one of him around there probably has to be at least a dozen of him. :D

Megalodon2.0
08-28-2013, 04:24 PM
2000 Timothy Albee FA and various plugins


I don't know about the other dates, but I believe TAFA was around '05 - definitely not '00. I bought it when it first came out at $495 (and well worth it!) and I my files how 2005.

I know Sasquatch came out in summer of '00 as well.

jburford
08-28-2013, 04:49 PM
I've never been able to get Blender to import Lightwave files :( it says it does but then either crashes or simply doesn't. So stuck with exporting to obj. Will see if I can find enough bravado to hit the CA tools (it's just Blender's interface, I hate it).

Not a pro by any stretch of the imagination but have been naffing around with LW rigging for a while (I like building the things from scratch because I'm weird like that), and have actually found Genoma pretty easy to initial set up (about an hour to adapt one of the full rigs to my base human model, a bit longer snapping parts together, and I'm still currently working on assembling one from component parts to see what the bits and pieces do), but haven't yet gotten around to doing all the annoying little fiddly things to get things deforming properly etc. Not being able to easily mirror weight maps has been a vast annoyance, as has been the null insanity I used to get into making controls for all the bones (which doesn't seem to be much of an issue in Genoma as most of the controls are there already, however I don't rig or animate like a pro).


Never ever have had a problem getting LW Files into Blender, same as with Cinema 4D. It simply works pretty darn well.

jburford
08-28-2013, 05:07 PM
Have to agree, Messiah Studio is awesome! But yes, the ways and actions of PMG sucks.

And Messiah plays really well with Lightwave and the majority of most other 3D Software.

hrgiger
08-28-2013, 05:16 PM
Besides improving the character rigging and animation tools and workflows themselves, another important area I would like to see improved further is FiberFx. After 3 major revisions of the software, its still not making fans among users as a reliable and pleasure to work with hair solution.

3dWannabe
08-28-2013, 05:23 PM
Besides improving the character rigging and animation tools and workflows themselves, another important area I would like to see improved further is FiberFx. After 3 major revisions of the software, its still not making fans among users as a reliable and pleasure to work with hair solution.
In the current Computer Graphics World, Inhance Digital noted in their workflow for Grimm:

"We divide the creature work between Autodesk’s 3ds Max and NewTek’s LightWave. The furry or hairy ones are completed in Max, while the scaly, more textural ones are done in LightWave."

http://www.cgw.com/Publications/CGW/2013/Volume-36-Issue-5-July-August-2013-/In-hancing-Grimm.aspx

chikega
08-28-2013, 07:15 PM
Re: PMG - Yes.. The absolute worst thing about Messiah is the owners.. hands down the worst software owners Ive ever come across. Shame because the best thing about Messiah is Messiah.

Pretty much why Im watching the development of Modo's tools with interest. Messiah set the benchmark for useability (for me). I purchased Modo recently had a question about a product and ended up being contacted by Brad Peebler!! Talk about platinum service! I had a question about the auto character setup (ACS) rig and the developer contacts me! So for me modo is the tool that Im watching the development of for CA.. not lightwave.

Unfortunately, it appears that MODO suffers from the same slow downs as Lightwave. I consider messiah the standard for interactivity ... I've found no app as snappy as messiah for rigs, even complex ones:

http://forums.luxology.com/topic.aspx?f=32&t=74984

hrgiger
08-28-2013, 08:17 PM
In the current Computer Graphics World, Inhance Digital noted in their workflow for Grimm:

"We divide the creature work between Autodesk’s 3ds Max and NewTek’s LightWave. The furry or hairy ones are completed in Max, while the scaly, more textural ones are done in LightWave."

http://www.cgw.com/Publications/CGW/2013/Volume-36-Issue-5-July-August-2013-/In-hancing-Grimm.aspx

Thanks for the link.

I am about to do a commerical project making a YouTube channel trailer that will require me to do hair on a couple of characters (animal fur not human hair thankfully). Its going to have to be FiberFx since I don't have time to get up to speed with any other software.

By the way, since Blender has come up a few times during this thread, anyone know how decent the hair and fur is in there?

Megalodon2.0
08-28-2013, 08:21 PM
Its going to have to be FiberFx since I don't have time to get up to speed with any other software.

There's always Sasquatch. While it is limited to the Classic camera, it does great animal fur.

chikega
08-28-2013, 08:24 PM
By the way, since Blender has come up a few times during this thread, anyone know how decent the hair and fur is in there?

Also thanks for the link to Grimm. I enjoy the show.

I followed this tutorial not too long ago and I'd have to say that Blender's hair (with Cycles renderer) gives very nice results and is straight forward:


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

stevegraymusic
08-28-2013, 08:38 PM
The problem as I see it is that there are very few schools which use LW as a teaching tool so most people who are looking to get into animation are using the programs that are being used in major studios.
This thread has turned out to be intense and very informative.
Early in this thread the above comment was made in response to my statement that you can't find any good examples of Lightwave character animation on the internet. Several people suggested "The Passenger". It is a very nice project but there really isn't much in the way of facial animation, lip sync etc. Would any of the Lightwave professionals who frequent this forum be willing to show us some of the character animation you've done as personal projects or side projects. I was hoping to see what users have been able to achieve using LW exclusively for humanoid characters. Anthropomorphic or even alien characters would be great too. I'm sure I'm not alone in my desire to see humanoid character animation done in well in LW that can stand up to work done in Maya, 3Ds, and Blender. Anyone?

Kryslin
08-28-2013, 10:51 PM
There's always Sasquatch. While it is limited to the Classic camera, it does great animal fur.

I've been using Sasquatch with the perspective camera since 9.6, and getting some very good results...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v636/Kryslin/Kryslin/th_krys_genoma_test_q85_zps49e32f7c.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Kryslin/media/Kryslin/krys_genoma_test_q85_zps49e32f7c.jpg.html)
Sasquatch Hair and Fur here, along with a Genoma Rig on the character (Which, admittedly, wasn't all that easy to work with...)

Megalodon2.0
08-29-2013, 12:14 AM
I've been using Sasquatch with the perspective camera since 9.6, and getting some very good results...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v636/Kryslin/Kryslin/th_krys_genoma_test_q85_zps49e32f7c.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Kryslin/media/Kryslin/krys_genoma_test_q85_zps49e32f7c.jpg.html)
Sasquatch Hair and Fur here, along with a Genoma Rig on the character (Which, admittedly, wasn't all that easy to work with...)

Worley confirmed a bug with the Perspective camera where there is a one pixel difference between the hair and the object. When comping hair, it makes difficult results. I have a clear line between the hair and scalp so for me this does not work.

Kryslin
08-29-2013, 01:03 AM
Ah, I did not know that. Thanks.

Greenlaw
08-29-2013, 01:32 AM
Just supporting Megalon's statement--you definitely need to render with Classic camera for compositing.

That was one of many reasons I switched to FiberFX over a year ago--Sasquatch just never seemed to keep up with rest of Lightwave and I was getting tired of coming up with workarounds for every 'hair and fur' job we did in the Box. FiberFX, on the other hand, has come a long ways since 9.6 and it continues to see improvements. This current release of FiberFX is really quite nice. I love that I can use almost any light type and that it works well with Bullet. Also, FiberFX can embed motion vectors in an EXR file, which is freaking awesome! That alone is worth the switch.

My only complaints at the moment: a bad flicker issue when using multi-sample lights (described in the Brudders 2 production log (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?133274-The-Brudders-2-Production-Log-%28Well-sort-of-%29)) and it's not as compositing-friendly as I like yet (difficult to break out a cast shadow pass, and there is no support for Object/Material ID yet,) but other than that I've been very pleased with it. :)

G.

Kryslin
08-29-2013, 02:21 AM
Up until recently (the 11.5 Update) I had some severe issues with FiberFX - as in lock computer and use all 24GB of Ram, then crash issues. FiberFX has been better behaved lately, but I have difficulties getting the same look that I can easily get with Sasquatch. I guess I need to keep playing with FFX...

jburford
08-29-2013, 02:30 AM
Also thanks for the link to Grimm. I enjoy the show.

I followed this tutorial not too long ago and I'd have to say that Blender's hair (with Cycles renderer) gives very nice results and is straight forward:


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


WOW. . . . . . . That is Sweet!

Damn, Blender is really coming a long ways.

RebelHill
08-29-2013, 05:13 AM
it'd be pretty awesome if we had the ability to change rotation order.

We "sort of" do have that...

Rotation order is sort of a "ghostly" thing in a way, as it only makes sense to think of it in terms of rotations along external axis. For instance... Default rotation in LW is HPB, which is also describable as YXZ... first axis turns us about the up/down line, next around the side to side line, then the front/back line. But rotate an item (lets say 90 on B) and record its pivot rotation, your order is still HPB, but NOW you're turning around XYZ (relative to the parent).

Thus, cahnging the order only really gives you different way of "representing" what is essentially the same outcome, and it has its downsides too. If for instance you want different "axis ordering" on different items in a rig, this can confuse an animator, as one item has one order, a different item another, etc. Consequently, what you will sometimes see folk doing in max/maya/etc is to put a "base" item under the thing that would have its order change to "pre-rotate" it (which u can also do in LW as an alternative to rpr).. maintaining "channel order" for all controls, but altering "directional order" on that specific item.

So its not that we lack it... its just a different way of achieving the same outcome.

safetyman
08-29-2013, 06:10 AM
WOW. . . . . . . That is Sweet!

Damn, Blender is really coming a long ways.

What I like about Blender's particle "hair" is that you can use it for other things, like planting various trees on a landscape, grass, buildings, cars, and so on. It's very customizable. The hair combing, styling, etc., is one of the best features and it's a little easier to use IMO than FiberFX, since it's a "mode" and not a plugin.

chikega
08-29-2013, 08:28 AM
So its not that we lack it... its just a different way of achieving the same outcome.

Good info!

hrgiger
08-29-2013, 08:34 AM
im just glad i can style my guides in zbrush now. But sort of like the OP suggested, he hasnt seen any good examples of good animation done in LightWave, i havent seen a lot of good examples of realistic hair and fur from FFX.

phillydee
08-29-2013, 08:55 AM
We "sort of" do have that...

........

Consequently, what you will sometimes see folk doing in max/maya/etc is to put a "base" item under the thing that would have its order change to "pre-rotate" it (which u can also do in LW as an alternative to rpr)..


This is EXACTLY what I did for a cartoon-like bird character I created recently. Pre-rotated, then hid/locked a parent item of the control item that is animatable etc. so that if I moved, rotated and scaled the controls way the heck out, I could hit reset and everything would be back to it's original orientation. I guess that is also a workaround for returning a character to it's default pose.

MAUROCOR
08-29-2013, 09:17 AM
Also thanks for the link to Grimm. I enjoy the show.

I followed this tutorial not too long ago and I'd have to say that Blender's hair (with Cycles renderer) gives very nice results and is straight forward:


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


OMG, how good is that? I would like so much to have something like this in LW.

phillydee
08-29-2013, 10:05 AM
I experimented with blender's particle hair to generate hair guides for LW a while back... it was fun and may be of use for anyone who doesn't have ZB to create hair guides with... I'm not as good at explaining stuff (like NickD and RH) but it was a great way to kind of get to know Blender a bit better just out of necessity and experimentation

http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?130829-Using-Blender-to-Grow-Groom-FiberFX-Hair-Guides

jasonwestmas
08-29-2013, 11:55 AM
If you have Lightwave cad and have a complex hair-do . . .I recommend snapping nurbs curves to polygon hair created in your favorite modeler. Then convert the curves to LWSplines using LWCad and run that through strandmaker. Works great.

Greenlaw
08-29-2013, 02:02 PM
I love using ZBrush FiberMesh for my characters in 'B2'. The tricky bit is getting the weight maps, UVs and morph targets transferred from the body to the guides. I used DrainBGVMap to do this and it works very well. This is an old plug-in though and it's only x32--I hope LW3DG will create a native version that works in x64 because I can really use the RAM (the fur for the cats was really pushing it in x32 Modeler.)

116693

I think if I had to do this again, the cats would be done using the regular FiberFX styling tools. Before I switched to FiberMesh guides, I had a really good look using the FiberFX styling tools in Layout that only took about 15 minutes to create but at the time there were some issues that led me to consider FiberMesh. I think those problems have since been solved but I need to check to be sure. Anyway, the advantage to using FiberFX guides is that you don't have to deal with the vmap transfers and you can use LightWave's advanced deformation options. (With FiberMesh, you can't use sub-division deformations because there is no polygon base to sub-d.)

Just a few things to consider when using non-native hair guides with FiberFX.

G.

Pignoo
08-30-2013, 08:52 AM
Hello everybody,

I think that if Newtek really want to create a whole new modern and flexible system for rigging, they should take a look a this : http://www.anzovin.com/art
This seems very promising because of the simplicity and flexibility...rigtools that can connect together. Good for rigs and cartoon rigs.
Genoma is a good concept, but the problem is that it connect the same old tools that we have for years, it needs a new system like this.

Regards,
Franck.

Greenlaw
08-30-2013, 09:05 AM
At one time they briefly supported LightWave but for many of us who bought in at the time, they basically took our money and ran. I don't want to go into details because that was a long time ago, but I can't say I'm eager to ever support them again.

G.

Pignoo
08-30-2013, 09:47 AM
At one time they briefly supported LightWave but for many of us who bought in at the time, they basically took our money and ran. I don't want to go into details because that was a long time ago, but I can't say I'm eager to ever support them again.

G.
Not support them, but take look at what they do...in my opinion Newtek should go this way for their rigging development.

Franck.

Greenlaw
08-30-2013, 09:58 AM
Ah, I understand what you mean now. :)

G.

Surrealist.
08-30-2013, 08:37 PM
Hello everybody,

I think that if Newtek really want to create a whole new modern and flexible system for rigging, they should take a look a this : http://www.anzovin.com/art
This seems very promising because of the simplicity and flexibility...rigtools that can connect together. Good for rigs and cartoon rigs.
Genoma is a good concept, but the problem is that it connect the same old tools that we have for years, it needs a new system like this.

Regards,
Franck.

I understand this idea. One problem with this particular solution is that apparently it is incredibly slow:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=972344

Advanced Skeleton comes highly recommended and is free:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/archive/index.php/t-977854.html

But for any of this to be useful the underlying system has to be overhauled. Not just the plugin. Overhauling the underlying system would pay back 100 fold any efforts to band aid things how they have been doing. In my opinion. That is if we are talking about a universal improvement and a consolidation of modeling and rigging tools which is the most efficient way to go and what makes the other apps always on another level and LightWave always stuck in it's own unique and always limited past. Until that happens, you won't find much change in how things are done in LightWave.

I am not making any statements about how practical I think that is or the time frame. But I think that it is a realistic view of the state of affairs as they are now.

So I say be happy for the improvements and wait as they implement more technology to see what is possible within any new frameworks that are presented.

jasonwestmas
08-30-2013, 11:34 PM
The anzovin rigs are average playback speed for me. This is 2 years later with a faster i7 machine in maya 2014. It depends on how dense your meshes are too. Setup machine has a mode where you can switch to a quick proxy model for blocking things out. Lots of things we can do to speed things up of course like turn off your fancy spline deformers in the face and such till you need em, animate your faces in a separate scene with the body turned off hidden. . . etc. I like the new game rig they have, it's much lighter.

There's too much I would have changed in LW to really talk about animation workflow in it. There's already a ton of great examples out there for good CA software. And there are lots of different approaches that are totally dependent upon balancing control verses workflow speed.

Surrealist.
08-31-2013, 09:41 AM
Interesting.

Yeah for me as well it is not the animation stuff that interests me about LightWave. But I think it could survive less than stellar animation tools if there were a few other enhancements to cloth and hair for characters. Those need some serious love in my opinion and if you are going to render characters in LW it would be a plus to give hair a boost - at least.

jasonwestmas
08-31-2013, 10:39 AM
No matter what I do with fiberfx, the shading is just too blurry looking to do anything close up. It looks like super soft baby hair no matter what I do to the texture channels. I can say the same for the hair shadows in general. Too blobby and soft for anything other than toon stuff. So yeah you're probably not going to be seeing any photoreal character closeups any time soon, but stylized stuff, sure, why not, we've seen plenty of that already with ffx.

jasonwestmas
08-31-2013, 10:41 AM
Not support them, but take look at what they do...in my opinion Newtek should go this way for their rigging development.

Franck.

I actually like your modular rigging tools just fine Franck. It's a fantastic thing that I wish was in other packages too.

Greenlaw
08-31-2013, 02:06 PM
No matter what I do with fiberfx, the shading is just too blurry looking to do anything close up. It looks like super soft baby hair no matter what I do to the texture channels. I can say the same for the hair shadows in general. Too blobby and soft for anything other than toon stuff. So yeah you're probably not going to be seeing any photoreal character closeups any time soon, but stylized stuff, sure, why not, we've seen plenty of that already with ffx.

Shadow settings can have significant impact on the sharpness/hardness of the hair fibers. For example, if you have depth set too low, everything will certainly look soft and blobby, and may even flicker close up. The light type makes a big difference too--if you use a Distant light, you can get a very crisp look to the hair and still have soft cast shadows because FiberFX does it's own sampling. This is what I used in productions like the Devil May Cry theatrical trailer we did a while back. It's hard to see what the hair looked like in the final production so here are some early concept/test renders I created when R&D-in FiberFX hair for that job:

116730 116731

These images are fairly high res so you can zoom in. Between these two, I think you can see a good range of looks--the first character has softer, younger hair, and the second character has harder, more wiry hair. I think the second character turned out quite well, especially considering this was the very first production where I used FiberFX. IMO, it's not exactly what I would call "toon stuff" but maybe I'm biased. :p

FYI, these examples were was created before I got a hold of ZBrush FiberMesh--the guides used here were created in Modeler using FiberFX Stand Modeler and Rail Cloning techniques in LightWave 11.1. (That said, I wish I had access to FiberMesh back then.) ;)

I think FiberFX Edit Guides in Layout is much improved nowadays. If I were doing this today instead of a year and a half ago, I might have used this tool for most of the characters in that production, reserving FiberMesh for only the female characters with long hair. (Which at the time were also done using Rail Cloning techniques.)

G.

Note: I know the shadows look very soft in the first test image--in this case it was intentional because I knew most of the shots would be set in an overcast environment. If I had turned up Shadow Depth for this test, it would look crisp and you would see the shadow of individual fibers.

jasonwestmas
08-31-2013, 03:43 PM
I've gotten stuff close to that and while it looks nice, it only looks nice in an airbrush illustration kind of way which is perfectly fine for that kind of work and for video game characters. So the word toon may not be the best way to describe ffx but photoreal isn't the right word either. :)

Thanks for your advice, I think I'll try the distant light and have that light the hair only.