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massmusic
10-07-2013, 10:43 PM
Iím new to FBX, BVH & LW11. Iíve got an upcoming project where I will have to take FBX & BVH files and render them in LW.

Iíve looked for tutorials and have read this had been a problem since LW9, but it seems that LW11 still doesnít have FBX right.

On my test runs, Iíve used a basic posing dummy with pretty simple geometry and a 550 frame motion in an FBX file. Iíve loaded it from scene and it takes about 12 minutes to load.

Afterward, the parts that make up the model are all over the place (something I read about in my research on LW & FBX import/opening) the skeleton has the proper motion.

In another test, Iíve loaded an OBJ bi-ped. Comes in fine in T-pose. I then import a BVH file. I can see the key frames on the timeline, but canít see where to assign the motion to the object.

So my questions:

1: Is an FBX file an FBX file an FBX file? Or will I need to run the FBX files I get through Motion Builder (which I do not have in my tool set) in order to open a proper model with motion?

2: If I am forced to use OBJ files, how do I apply BVH data to it?

Thanks for your help.

BeeVee
10-08-2013, 02:10 AM
LightWave can load scenes in FBX format with no problem. You just use File > Load scene and they will be in there. For retargeting you would want the new NevronMotion plugin for LightWave.

B

lardbros
10-08-2013, 05:10 AM
Unfortunately, loading 3dsMax's FBX scenes isn't the greatest thing in the world. If there are characters, or something done using character studio, the helpers and bones can be ALL over the place, and weird scales.

Also, on importing 3dsMax FBX scenes into LW, it feels the need to duplicate surfaces that are named the same in Max, but names them sequentially in LW, for EVERY model that is imported. So, you can have a scene in 3dsMax with 100 objects ALL with the same material on, but LW will import this with 100 different materials on it!!!!! NIGHTMARE!

You also can't go into the Surface Editor, multi-select and re-name them all to the same thing... you have to do them individually!! That's just 100 materials... imagine an FBX scene of a building... 1000's of materials, and 10,000 objects! It's not workable unfortunately... and I do wish Newtek would take me up on my offer to help them fix 3dsMax FBX importing! I'm more than willing to help, and have written fogbugz reports to try and get this sorted!

prometheus
10-08-2013, 07:21 AM
Unfortunately, loading 3dsMax's FBX scenes isn't the greatest thing in the world. If there are characters, or something done using character studio, the helpers and bones can be ALL over the place, and weird scales.

Also, on importing 3dsMax FBX scenes into LW, it feels the need to duplicate surfaces that are named the same in Max, but names them sequentially in LW, for EVERY model that is imported. So, you can have a scene in 3dsMax with 100 objects ALL with the same material on, but LW will import this with 100 different materials on it!!!!! NIGHTMARE!

You also can't go into the Surface Editor, multi-select and re-name them all to the same thing... you have to do them individually!! That's just 100 materials... imagine an FBX scene of a building... 1000's of materials, and 10,000 objects! It's not workable unfortunately... and I do wish Newtek would take me up on my offer to help them fix 3dsMax FBX importing! I'm more than willing to help, and have written fogbugz reports to try and get this sorted!

I think someone just recently made a script for renaming multi surfaces, canīt remeber wich thread though.
I used deep exploration for renaming surfaces with over 3000-5000 different surface names, that needed to be merged down and renamed, worked as a charm, but probably not an option here.

zardoz
10-08-2013, 07:31 AM
ah and it doesn't import the camera zoom (from max at least)

RebelHill
10-08-2013, 08:07 AM
The problem is that FBX is a pretty broad standard, and some things that some apps do themselves (internally, having nothing to do with fbx) is different from how LW does things... this makes it hard sometimes for everything to be understood properly, and line up.

If meshes are coming away from bones... then for a start, the animation (or one of the animations) MUST have a bind pose frame present, where the bones are matched to the base modeled pose for the mesh. You should also open the imported version of the mesh itself in modeler, and check it is rotated correctly in there (Y up). Provided both those things are a go, then in layout you just go to the bind frame, select all the bones, and hit "r" to rebind them to your mesh.

As for BVH... you cant just load a bvh motion onto a model like that (not in LW nor any other app really), you have to apply its motions to a set of bones. LW doesnt really have anything for doing that with bvh... there's some ugly hacks (dont waste your time). The way ull wanna go to get those motions onto LW meshes is to rig up a basic (preferably FBX standard) bone hierarchy in your mesh... send it out to some retargeting app (if no MB try iKinema web animate... free/awesome)... Do the bvh retarget to your character there, get the finished anim, merge back to LW. Details on that kinda exchange process can be gotten from this vid series...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clia07kKtKs&list=PL5F0EDCD3471EE8FC&index=1

geo_n
10-08-2013, 09:50 AM
First thing newtek could do is add presets for most popular appz for fbx import and hire guys(that actually use these appz) to test fbx in each application. There's already one volunteer for free in this thread.

Loading in layout there's some issues already mentioned above, and then when you check the .lwo created by layout they're rotated which makes them useless.
Loading the same fbx file in modeller surprisingly would have the correct orientation. But they dont have the same point order,etc afaik so you can't swap them with the models from layout.
Really strange modeller and layout interprets fbx differently.

zardoz
10-08-2013, 09:59 AM
presets for every exporter....obj included

massmusic
10-08-2013, 08:33 PM
If there were a trial version of Nevron, I'd be more than happy to test it to see if it is a solution for what I need to do now, which is to use existing MoCap data with existing biped meshes that will be delivered to me for rendering in LW. Working in LW with NM is a consideration for future projects.

After having been burnt once by a rigging, FBX, BVH, MoCap, retargeting software package that three years after purchase, still remains in beta stage and worthless to me from the day I downloaded it, I'm no longer willing to make software purchases based on what I hope it will do for my workflow.

Afalk
10-19-2013, 02:19 PM
I'm pretty excited by Nevron myself and purchased it largely for the retargeting aspect. There are some wonderful videos up on YouTube already: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nevron+motion&oq=nevron+motion&gs_l=youtube.3..0.817.3009.0.3366.13.8.0.5.5.0.174 .851.4j4.8.0...0.0...1ac.1.11.youtube.f0b2fNuyB-I

Maybe you can put the word out in your local area and see if anybody if using it out your way? As it stands, even though I've only taken baby steps into it so far, it looks to be doing exactly what it promised so it might serve you well.

Good luck!

jwiede
10-22-2013, 08:06 PM
After having been burnt once by a rigging, FBX, BVH, MoCap, retargeting software package that three years after purchase, still remains in beta stage and worthless to me from the day I downloaded it, I'm no longer willing to make software purchases based on what I hope it will do for my workflow.

Heh, I'd bet a dozen folded paper cranes I know just which package you mean, and am a customer as well. :devil:

jaxtone
10-29-2013, 09:04 PM
It seems like there are different opinions here. When reading the whole thread it definitely seems like the problems with FBX actually are for real and in that case Geo_n:s suggestions seems to be very logical!


First thing newtek could do is add presets for most popular appz for fbx import and hire guys(that actually use these appz) to test fbx in each application. There's already one volunteer for free in this thread. Loading in layout there's some issues already mentioned above, and then when you check the .lwo created by layout they're rotated which makes them useless. Loading the same fbx file in modeller surprisingly would have the correct orientation. But they dont have the same point order,etc afaik so you can't swap them with the models from layout. Really strange modeller and layout interprets fbx differently.

prometheus
10-30-2013, 08:51 AM
LightWave can load scenes in FBX format with no problem. You just use File > Load scene and they will be in there. For retargeting you would want the new NevronMotion plugin for LightWave.

B

not entirely true:)
Fbx comes in flavours..
the fbx from from latest daz studio pro 4.6 seems to bake in new subdiv algorithms that crashes lightwave 11 and up, but not 9.6, however...
unchecking the subdiv information in daz studio fbx export makes it working again.
so they correct answer might be..fbx export with CORRECT export settings imports fine in Lightwave:) then again.. That goes without saying perhaps:)

Michael

jaxtone
10-30-2013, 10:36 AM
By following discussions about import/export between different softwares itīs obvious that itīs not always a rose garden. I guess many software developers donīt even download, purchase or add other suites from competitors for their inhouse develop teams. Maybe this is a way to keep budgets and save money but in the long run I guess this is exactly what a company lose on in the end. Itīs not a secret that users nowadays sometimes have to work with different softwares to reach their goals and meet their customers desires and I guess I am not the first or the last man on this planet to experience problems when udates and new software releases are released!

LW_Will
10-30-2013, 01:39 PM
Nevron is a great plugin, granted I didn't pay for it (won a copy at Siggraph this summer) but I certainly would have. It requires your brain to be in the right alignment, but once it is it works amazingly.

I find it weird that Autodesk would take a format for an interchange saving format (ie. FBX) and make it work with their programs, but not exactly work with all the other pieces of software. Hmmm... (/SARCASM)

FBX is NOT a universal format. It just not. It is a format that CAN be loaded across MOST of the 3D packages. at least that is how Kayadera intended it in MotionBuilder long years ago...
IF you use it to save things that are universal, say from Lightwave TO Maya, 3d Max, or DAZ, you can use it as such. You can't save Bullet in FBX and have it work in 3D Max or Maya. They both have Bullet, but they implement them different. Same for MDDs... FBX won't handle the conversion of MDD to Maya Point Data.

So, you have to watch what you are trying to move. I have found a good use of Daz (only) to Lightwave with Daz Studio 4.5... and I am not changing.

jaxtone
10-30-2013, 02:49 PM
LW_Will! You are right! My last message was only there to agree on Promotheus reply on BeeVeeīs text which I found very confusing since I personally have experienced FBX as different from case to case!

"LightWave can load scenes in FBX format with no problem. You just use File > Load scene and they will be in there. For retargeting you would want the new NevronMotion plugin for LightWave."

When mentioning Nevron I didnīt have the same luck as you! I bought me a copy but never made it work since the renaming part before retargeting didnīt succeed! I did get some good information and support but then my computer crashed. Well I got me a new one and are now ready trying to learn more about 11.6 and Nevron. I am very pleased by the fact that guys like BeeVee has patience with a technical idiot like me. Itīs well appreciated even if my frustration that 6 months without tools have transformed into a PMS ***** from time to time.

LW_Will
10-30-2013, 04:07 PM
If I might make a suggestion, switch to decaf. ;-)

the thing that caught me up on the Nevron plug in is that it is a function of the Virtual Studio. Here, I didn't think that I'd ever use VS, now, I'm totally engaged with the program. Get the section about Virtual Studio from the docs and read them.

jaxtone
10-30-2013, 04:24 PM
LW_Will! Excuse me when asking a few questions!

... what is decaf?

Is it this the virtual studio you are mentioning?

http://www.reallusion.com/contentstore/iclone/pack/vr_set/default.aspx

Dodgy
10-30-2013, 04:57 PM
No he means virtual studio which comes with LW.
Decaf-feinated coffee :)

jaxtone
10-31-2013, 01:36 AM
Hohoho... I donīt drink coffee but glad to have learnt something new today!

I have to check up on Virutal Studio now when I got a computer that hopefully doesnīt screw things up!

Thanks Dodgy!

hunter
12-14-2015, 12:14 PM
Hi,
We just got Motionbuilder 2015 in the office. I had a look around for answers but still can't figure out why I'm getting the Unknown Scene Format error in Layout when I try to open the MB fbx file. I watched this nice tutorial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eju1edD7k0A)and did everything the same but when I try to load from scene nothing happens. No load dialogue just, nothing. If I try to just open the fbx I get the unknown scene error. And I'm getting that error on everything saved out of MB.
Any ideas?
Thanks.

JohnMarchant
12-16-2015, 01:38 AM
Biggest problem i had with FBX is the version number and depending on what program you are exporting from and importing to.

lardbros
12-16-2015, 11:19 AM
I've heard many reports that any FBX version which is 2014.2 is buggy as hell and potentially broken. Have you tried exporting 2014 or earlier?

JohnMarchant
12-16-2015, 01:47 PM
I tend to use the earliest i can, it also depends the the 2 software's you are moving them between.

Lw seems to like the earlier versions, however ive not tried it lately in LW 2015

hunter
12-16-2015, 03:47 PM
I found out if I save as fbx ascii from MB it will load into lightwave, albeit wonky, and unusable. The quest for useful FBX into lightwave from DAZ continues...