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View Full Version : The Comprehensive Guide to IKBooster (Parts 1 and 2)



Ryan Roye
11-16-2013, 09:46 AM
I think I'll just let the video do the talking...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqjq3o31Pp0

tyrot
11-16-2013, 10:24 AM
What if i told you - JUST WOW!
what if i told you - THIS IS "THE GAME CHANGING" TUTORIAL!...............
the HOLYPOLY moment of my animation career!

thank you so much - for creating this!

djwaterman
11-16-2013, 01:53 PM
I reckon you'll do okay with that.

RudySchneider
11-16-2013, 02:02 PM
I'm just a hobbiest, Ryan, and haven't done the sort of character modeling and animation you do, but I have to say that this looks very cool! You seem to have a real knack for putting together concise, relevant, interesting, and easy-to-understand informational videos. On top of that, you're voice and the contextual content makes it an easy listen.

This is great stuff, and I'm sure the rest of the LightWave community feels the same.

erikals
11-16-2013, 11:30 PM
Liberty3D Link >

Get the Comprehensive Guide to IKBooster today at Liberty3d.com!
http://www.liberty3d.com/2013/11/new-video-series-the-comprehensive-guide-to-ikbooster-by-ryan-roye


Awesome! http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif

Eagle66
11-17-2013, 05:59 AM
I'am missing the relation, combination between IKBooster and Genoma?!

What sense has IKBooster with the new Genoma modular instant rigging system? I'am wrong?

erikals
11-17-2013, 06:20 AM
Genoma is more for setting up bones at the moment, as it's controllers etc need much more work to be efficient for animation. but even then, Genoma couldn't do anything like IKBooster. it might be possible to create the bones using Genoma for then to be controlled with IKBooster though without too much hassle, but haven't tested this that much just yet.

IKBooster is a totally different thing, it's created to animate a character fast, it's unique in the industry in that way.
it's very powerful.

Some of us have questioned the need for baking /binding in IKBooster, but i'm sure that will be covered here.
it's a completely different approach to animating characters compared to the traditional way.

also it can be used, as seen in the video, to easily import and edit mocap.

it's also the best tool for animating chains / tails / tentacles.

plus it can be used to create a stretchy-rig.

it has a pose-saver, but slow to operate afaik. (you need to load the pose from a pop-up window)
LightWave just got back an old pose-saver plugin though, also sold on Liberty3D. i might get that one.

hrgiger
11-17-2013, 06:40 AM
IKBooster is a totally different thing, it's created to animate a character fast, it's unique in the industry in that way.
it's very powerful.


it's also the best tool for animating chains / tails / tentacles.

Well i wouldnt say its unique. Modo has a very similar method of creating a full body IK rig thats very similar in appearence to IKB. But i will certainly say its one of the least understood and overlooked tools in LW and the lack of decent documentation has not helped that any. I have
to admit that ive overlooked IKB because Ive heard very few people say much good about it. Honestly Ryans recent exposure of IKB is the most information ive seen on it since IKB was released in version 8. He has certainly made me reconsider IKB as a useful system inside of LightWave. My only concern is that suspecting LW3DG is planning on improving character animation tools, how relevant will IKB at that point? That's not to say that IKB would be any less useful by adding new tools, just concerned that new systems (like a proper deformation system for example) might not be able to be utilized by IKB.

also concerning your last point on animating tails/tentacles, you dont think the new spline tool in LW11.6 isnt the best tool for that?

erikals
11-17-2013, 06:48 AM
i'll let Ryan answer this one for you... http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif

RebelHill
11-17-2013, 07:15 AM
Well i wouldnt say its unique. Modo has a very similar method of creating a full body IK rig thats very similar in appearence to IKB.
The modo system is Ikinema (also available as plugin for maya, or middleware for game engines)... It is VERY similar to IKB (in terms of chain manipulation), with one VERY important difference... Ikinema does FULL TIME IK...


ive overlooked IKB because Ive heard very few people say much good about it.
It depends on the context of usage... for dense keyframe editing (like mocap)... IKB is fantastically good, very fast, easy and versatile. As a mocap editor (though not retargeter) it almost, very almost, as good as motionbuilder. The place where it falls down is doing regular hand keyed animation, which is due to it only being a part time IK system (meaning FK keys/animation with IK posing). This means slippy feet/hands/whatever else that are supposed to be "locked" in place. IKB "fixes" this by baking the range.. sure it WILL lock down motion, but its a HORRIBLE workflow. You cant see things "fixed" whilst keying, which throws off "your eye" (so to speak)... and if you bake things, and then want to go changing timings, spacings, etc, you gotta remove the bakes, adjust, rebake, back n forth, back n forth. This is why the "industry standard" rigs in all apps are the way they are/work the way they work, and why every serious, professional character animator who has tried IKB has rejected it as a viable tool for hand keyed workflow.

Ofc, there are other things within the IKB "system" that are disconnected from these rig issues... the dope track, key management, screen space manipulation... all of these can work with LWs regular toolset and provide a great workflow boost if you like the way of working. There CAN be issues sometimes (like certain key management features wont work if you've got other motion modifiers/constraints)... so... good stuff and caveats (like most things).


also concerning your last point on animating tails/tentacles, you dont think the new spline tool in LW11.6 isnt the best tool for that?
Again, depends... For taily/whippy/wavy things... IKB/expressions/cyclsit type controls are all good... But for snakey tentacly things spline control is the only viable solution because its the only tool which can push chains along a path... IKB cant do this, nor can any other tool (save the ol plgCurveBone tool, which wasnt ideal, or by "jerry rigging" DPs spline control node).

Oh, and IKB wont do stretchy rigs, it only performs IK manipulation of rotations, not scale nor positions (with the exception of the "root" of a hierarchy which can be "puled").

jasonwestmas
11-17-2013, 07:38 AM
The modo system is Ikinema (also available as plugin for maya, or middleware for game engines)... It is VERY similar to IKB, with one VERY important difference... Ikinema does FULL TIME IK...




and IKinema has pinning that actually works unlike IKB's pinning, which is less useful to me because I don't want to have to bake down several keys just to get a full time IK effect. Baking IK just seems to be opposite of a quick turn around workflow.

As mentioned elsewhere though, anything FK or Part time IK related, I think IKB is very strong in these areas as a helper toolset. Hence the name "Booster".

RebelHill
11-17-2013, 07:44 AM
and IKinema has pinning that actually works unlike IKB's pinning, which is less useful to me because I don't want to have to bake down several keys just to get a full time IK effect.

Im presuming you're referring to rotational pinning... IKB only REALLY does positional pinning, to get rotational you have to pin an item AND its immediate child. It does make sense when you think that holding both the item and its child in position must cause the first to also hold its rotation... but its certainly less obvious, and ofc yet another thing thats "set" which you have to keep track of. I personally like MBs way, where you have quick lil buttons on the UI to pin either pos, or rot, or both for any given item.

jasonwestmas
11-17-2013, 07:55 AM
Im presuming you're referring to rotational pinning... IKB only REALLY does positional pinning, to get rotational you have to pin an item AND its immediate child. It does make sense when you think that holding both the item and its child in position must cause the first to also hold its rotation... but its certainly less obvious, and ofc yet another thing thats "set" which you have to keep track of. I personally like MBs way, where you have quick lil buttons on the UI to pin either pos, or rot, or both for any given item.

It's been a while since I've touched it but yeah that makes sense. Yes I've always wanted IKB to function like a MoBu Rig/pin. I think it's the act of being able to quickly turn on/off specific IK behaviors quickly without a lot of setup. That's what is appealing about it.

Ryan Roye
11-17-2013, 08:15 AM
also concerning your last point on animating tails/tentacles, you dont think the new spline tool in LW11.6 isnt the best tool for that?

This is one of those questions that don't really have a clear answer, because the needs are situational.

For tails, ropes, etc (things that dangle around or swish)... I actually use relativity in many cases because it yields an ultra-smooth cascading movement easily. Just manipulate a single channel and watch the whole thing go. This is explained in the video.

Now, if your character needs to *INTERACT* with those tails, ropes, etc, or you need highly choreographed movements, nothing is going to beat IKBooster. You can take, for example, a kid holding a bunch of balloons, and have the IK chain of every single one of them reacting to the kid's hand. Easy, without tedious manual setup and without putting burden on the scene.

Spline control is something I actually haven't used much yet since I decided to wait until I was done doing these videos to upgrade. But, I do believe it makes a great replacement for things like "align to path" as it doesn't appear to suffer from the flipping issues it has when things get pointed straight up or down. I do feel that the idea of trying to manage 3-5 controllers to control a chain of bones is a pretty bad workflow... but that is strictly my opinion and I know some will disagree with me.


The place where it falls down is doing regular hand keyed animation, which is due to it only being a part time IK system (meaning FK keys/animation with IK posing). This means slippy feet/hands/whatever else that are supposed to be "locked" in place. IKB "fixes" this by baking the range.. sure it WILL lock down motion, but its a HORRIBLE workflow. You cant see things "fixed" whilst keying, which throws off "your eye" (so to speak)...

This is because people try to animate and block out their motions with IKB at 24-30 FPS... which, trying to do animation at that rate is a bad idea in any program (flash, Blender, Maya, Lightwave... it doesn't matter) that allows interpolation because it is a giant waste of system resources and greatly increases the number of keystrokes/actions the user has to do while animating... which is a very bad thing. There is virtually no difference in quality or end-result between character animation keyed at 10-15 FPS versus that which is keyed at 24-30 FPS. The floaty/slipping issue almost vanishes at this point because the amount of detail in keying is closer to the "bake" threshold... this yields a final result that it is perfectly valid to send to clients for preview or review purposes, which I know is a big concern to a lot of artists.

Also, re-baking does not always involve deleting. In a lot of cases you can just re-bake on top of the old frames and have things good to go. You also do not need to delete keyframes in order to adjust a large block of them; that's what tools like auto-apply are for.

RebelHill
11-17-2013, 08:43 AM
This is because people try to animate and block out their motions with IKB at 24-30 FPS...
Which is exactly how most animators work... Ive worked with enough of them to know... Sure, they may block on 2s (even 4s or 8s)... but as soon as you start tweening, or doing straight ahead work, you always want full frame rate. (you even get some folk doing games work who want to go at 50-60 fps so as to better visualise how things'll come out in engine).


trying to do animation at that rate is a bad idea in any program (flash, Blender, Maya, Lightwave... it doesn't matter) that allows interpolation because it is a giant waste of system resources and greatly increases the number of keystrokes/actions the user has to do while animating
Im afraid thats just not true... and as I said, its how everyone works. Greater frame rates will always require more system resources, thats just a given, and precisely the reason why people go to the effort of setting up proxy rigs and similar to enable the maximum interactive framerate they can achieve.


There is virtually no difference in quality or end-result between character animation keyed at 10-15 FPS versus that which is keyed at 24-30 FPS.
Oh yes there is... a notable difference, which is one of the main reasons WHY people choose to work as described above.


Also, re-baking does not always involve deleting. In a lot of cases you can just re-bake on top of the old frames and have things good to go.
Quite true... but what you cant do is see those changes immediately and interactively whilst adjusting your timings... its just a big start-stop kick out in animation workflow.

hrgiger
11-17-2013, 09:55 AM
yeah i think the 'slidey feet' discussions after IKB was released was what kind of turned me off from getting too much into IKB and keep using LW's traditional character tools. I didnt like the idea of having to bake keys just to see what the final result would look like. Now when i was doing more character animation one thing i got used to doing was to adjust the tension on the animation curves to keep the feet from sliding or floating from the natural motion of the TCB splines for say a foot keyframed to the ground during a motion. How much better of a workflow is that then baking keys while using IKB? I mean dont we still have to do a fair amount of adjustment on normal keyframe animation since we are dealing with smooth curves? And that we have to do by going into the graph editor but you can bake your keys right in the dope track without going into the GE. So how much worse is baking keys while animating with IKB then other more common methods of animating?

jasonwestmas
11-17-2013, 10:11 AM
It's a lot quicker to change the FCurve to linear or change the tension to 100% ime, especially if you setup some shortcut keys. I don't think LW can have interpolation hotkeys by default but there may be a script out there that enables something like that. A lot of animators animate with linear or stepped curves to begin with too and then change the keys that need a smooth arc at any time in a graph editor or use shortcut keys to do that at any time they wish.

Having a dual monitor setup allows for easier time with the graph editor too. Not having overlapping panels is nice.

hazmat777
11-17-2013, 10:27 AM
Just a quick question. I'm still on LW 9.6 and was wondering if IK Boost has changed much since then. Thanks!

RebelHill
11-17-2013, 10:35 AM
How much better of a workflow is that then baking keys while using IKB? I mean dont we still have to do a fair amount of adjustment on normal keyframe animation since we are dealing with smooth curves?... So how much worse is baking keys while animating with IKB then other more common methods of animating?

Well... first off, with IKB you ALWAYS have to do the run round of baking. Using regular, you can start your animation using linear or stepped by default (as many do) so the TCB slide thing never happens to begin with. Even if you don't though, and you do go back and "lock off" your TCB... you still only do it that once, you then have a "landing" frame and a "leaving" frame, and you can drag these around interactively whilst watching your animation as you adjust timings and spacings. you dont have to keep redoing it every time you wanna make an alteration. Also, when you come back later and want to do more complex alterations to you timings (often for the whole character) you've got those singular keys in your "set" which are much easier to manage.

It simply comes down to the fact that having dense sets of keys in an animation make adjusting and interacting with that animation harder (or should I say when you've got "blocks" of dense keys mixed in amongst regular, spaced out/curve based keys elsewhere). The fewer keys you have to deal with in your graph/timeline when doing hand animation... the better... See this classic Lango article... http://www.keithlango.com/tutorials/overlap/overlap.html then try to imagine the hell of having "chunks" of dense key data mixed in amongst all that overlap.

Ofc, going back on the whole "TCB slide" thing... one thing thats common in other apps 9though, surprise surprise, not in LW) is a "flatten" button in the GE... whereby you dont have to care about the spline interpolation between hold keys, as u hit the button and boom... it auto flattens those for you. if you want similar function in LW (as well as a few other things animators elsewhere take for granted), get the "animTools" pack of my site which includes a "holdFlat" tool specifically for this purpose.

Actually... there is one place in the hand animation pipeline where IKB CAN be a godsend... and thats in the polishing phase. Sometimes, at or towrad the end of an animation, you know everythings locked down, timings, etc are DONE and you just want to add a lil bit of final polish... some extra lil nuances... and sometimes, that can become a lil tricky to do without interrupting the curves you have set on items and so on... it can be a bit of a pain. But since IKB does work so well on dense, mocap like data, a good move at that point can be to just bake your entire character to keys, delete the rig/controls, then throw on IKB to do some final polish, or even create multiple variations of the animation to be reused in different shots.

geo_n
11-17-2013, 11:01 AM
Congrats Ryan. Finally done. I'll be sure to pick this up just so swamped with work.

jeric_synergy
11-17-2013, 11:26 AM
Congrats to Ryan for a job well done AND bringing IKB back into the light. (Larry would be proud.) :thumbsup:

Now that it's out there, and reading the comments, esp. RH's, it seems like bringing out which more subtle bits of IKB that avoid the well-known issues and are still viable and valuable animation tools for Lightwavers would be welcome. Especially how IKB and Genoma relate to each other and any advantages that can be had from combining the two.


And shame on NewTek for making their users create documentation that they should have done YEARS ago!

+++
AND: is IKB still being developed, or is it just purely legacy code?

hrgiger
11-17-2013, 01:10 PM
so IKB could be vastly improved if they could make it a full time IK solver? what else does it need?

RebelHill
11-17-2013, 01:37 PM
Basically full interaction with everything the regular constraint/motion system has, (and scripting access for all its functions and features wouldnt go amiss).

But doing that would (essentially) be no different from using the constraint system already present and using IKB as the keyframe management system... the only problem with doing that atm is the fact that many of IKBs functions wont work with items that have other kinds of motion control. Sorting that out would be awesome as IKB does work wonders as a key/track system... though tbh, I suspect it'd be easier to clone that functionality back into LWs "regular" key/graph than it would be to go the other way.

Fixing up full time IK alone to give a more solid pinning function alone wont cut it... just look at motionbuilder... great pinning style workflow with full time IK and IKFK switching, yet by far the majority of character animators dont like it for hand keyed work, its far better suited to dense keyframe manipulation. Customised, constraint driven setups are the industry standard in all other apps for a reason.

@Jeric... so far as Im aware.. IKB was bought from the developer for LW8 (almost 10yrs ago) and hasnt been touched since.

jeric_synergy
11-17-2013, 01:53 PM
Customised, constraint driven setups are the industry standard in all other apps for a reason.

@Jeric... so far as Im aware.. IKB was bought from the developer for LW8 (almost 10yrs ago) and hasnt been touched since.

RH, by 'customized', do you mean on a case-by-case basis, or generally,like "shop-by-shop"?

IKB History: I suspected as much.

Thanks man-- and let me thank you for being so very helpful in general!

LW_Will
11-17-2013, 01:54 PM
Ryan - "What if I..."

Me - "Shut up and take my money!"

Great news, Ryan. Thanks a billion times.

RebelHill
11-17-2013, 02:03 PM
RH, by 'customized', do you mean on a case-by-case basis, or generally,like "shop-by-shop"?

I mean case by case... where given a particular character/project/shot TDs are able to design custom solutions that can best serve the specific needs of the character, its necessary mode of animation and, if required, tailor things so as to produce setups that the animator is most comfortable/familiar with using or specifically requests.

Infact... requests is the real big player here... These "industry standard rigs" I keep talking about are the way they are because this is what animators have requested over and over throughout the years, forcing character TDs to deliver. Thats why you see the same (broad) design/approach/control layout in max and maya and SI and so on, its what has "evolved" to be the best solution, and that has been animator driven. Animators are (I would argue) the most "spoiled" users in CG... Other artists get "well, thats how the material system works, learn it"... animators are told "this is how the rig works" and when they reply... "yeah, Id rather this control worked this other way"... they GET IT!

Dodgy
11-17-2013, 02:14 PM
so IKB could be vastly improved if they could make it a full time IK solver? what else does it need?

I would use it a lot more if it solved full time like IKCinema, which shows what it might have been with more development.

erikals
11-17-2013, 02:21 PM
Oh, and IKB wont do stretchy rigs, it only performs IK manipulation of rotations, not scale nor positions (with the exception of the "root" of a hierarchy which can be "puled").

well, i've seen a video where Larry made a stretchy rig, and it looked quite alright.

Ryan Roye
11-17-2013, 02:45 PM
I'd much rather debate the synergy of methods rather than "X workflow is better than Y"... because people can argue and counter-argue until their faces turn blue, but it doesn't solve problems nor does it leave other readers with anything useful. I can only imagine some people are rolling their eyes and going "Oh no here we go again".

The sum of the parts are greater than the whole here. I could only imagine the synergy, for example, of relative motion loading with normal IK workflows (because the techniques behind it work for ANY rig no matter what the artist prefers to work with). IKBooster can be combined with other workflows so even if the artist prefers to be more "technical" than "traditional", IKBooster still contributes incredible value to Lightwave regardless.

Lightwave developers have their hands full and they have shown they really do care about their product especially in the last year... so I feel there is so much more to be gained if we can take the best of what are apparently contrasting opinions/workflows and let the readers decide what is best for them.

Understand that... we're all on the same team here. The more options and choices the user has concerning Lightwave's animation tools and methods, the better chance more people will choose to use it, and the better off everyone will be... developers and users alike.

RebelHill
11-17-2013, 03:11 PM
I'd much rather debate the synergy of methods rather than "X workflow is better than Y"... ... ...

Broadly I agree with u there. On certain points of workflow and which is suited better to what, there can be debate... but there ARE glaring, obvious facts too... Its not just a matter of opinion. Go look at the demos of the bishop rig at animation mentor, go look at animationrigs.com, the setup machine, behind the scenes of the blender movies, countless animation reels on youtube... its the same thing over and over... custom, structured, rigs used for hand animation. You can call that "just an opinion", or "just one argument" all you like... but its clear to anyone who looks that it's (pretty much) the opinion of the entire industry and the vast majority of professional working animators most of whom, Im sure, know far better than either you or I. End of.

But I certainly agree that there is functionality available in the IKB system that would be awesome if it could be mixed in with traditional rigging in LW... even a lot of the "little" features Id kill for... onion skinning, screen space manipulation on handles. Relative motion loading also would be AWESOME... but that'd take a PROPER retargeter be built that can handle hierarchical differences as well as differences in base LRA orientations and still match properly between them.

And ofc I recognise the value that IKB contributes to LW... as a dense key data/mocap editor its phenomenal... possibly second only to motionbuilder in that regard out of all the apps out there (the only reason I dont use for such myself is because I have MB... else you can be sure I would)... Trying to do that kind of work with the "regular" system is beyond a joke in LW... so ofc IKB adds HUGE value there. And that does (or at least SHOULD) give people more reason to choose LW as a pretty capable ALL ROUND animation package.

And plenty reason to get hold of your forthcoming parts 3-5... which Im sure will be great for getting folk up and running with that side of things too.

Edited because...

Surrealist.
11-17-2013, 03:37 PM
Yeah I think if you LightWave for character stuff you gotta have IKB as a tool. So this is a good project and it is not the first time in the last 10 years that someone has taken this up as a project. I learned a lot from Collin. So it is good to see this come up again in a meaningful way.

And don't sweat the controversy. Let it roll.

Not like we are talking politics here. There are lots of good factual points brought up and they need not challenge the validity of IKB. And they are valid points to discuss.

It is what it is.

Threads like this can inspire artists to dig in and find out for themselves what a tool can do for them.

In this industry there is definitely no such thing as too much information.

Thanks for doing this project. Good move in my opinion.

geo_n
11-17-2013, 08:26 PM
Also people might be forgetting that the industry is not only about the high end AAA cg like pixar, dreamworks. There's lots more projects that could be made in low to med which from Ryans own animation portolio, shows ikb can produce good enough results. Or maybe Ryan is just damn good at animation to produce that much content. I haven't seen any single lightwaver with that much ca animation work in his belt.

Ryan Roye
11-18-2013, 07:13 AM
I bundled this little bonus demonstration video with my content because I realized after finishing that I only really focused on bipedal characters. I thought I'd share it here.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6B-bjJ2mHA#t=92

colkai
11-18-2013, 07:23 AM
Ryan, does this video tutorial rely on LW11.5? I am stuck on 9.6 and any upgrades are out of the question, (jobless), so how much use I'd get out of it depends on if it is "backwards compatible" as it were.

Ryan Roye
11-18-2013, 07:27 AM
Ryan, does this video tutorial rely on LW11.5? I am stuck on 9.6 and any upgrades are out of the question, (jobless), so how much use I'd get out of it depends on if it is "backwards compatible" as it were.

Nope! You can use versions of Lightwave as early as 8 and everything should work just fine. I do remember watching one of Larry's version 8 IKB tutorials and noting that the UI menus were slightly different in how they were organized, but I don't believe any major changes have been made since then.

This includes the 3rd party plugins I mention and recommend in the tutorial content (they aren't required, but save tons of time)... they should all work for you. NOTE: I haven't tested macs, so I can't guarantee compatibility/availability there.

Afalk
11-24-2013, 10:55 PM
I've really enjoyed the first installment, as I figured I would. IKB offers a fast and flexible system that IMO plays well with others - this makes it a perfect enabler to my animation work. IKB, Nevron, Genoma and 11.6 are a pretty nice package of goodies to work with (and I keep Messiah up to date JIC) hehe. Awesome work Ryan, thanks again!

Ryan Roye
11-25-2013, 06:58 AM
I've really enjoyed the first installment, as I figured I would. IKB offers a fast and flexible system that IMO plays well with others - this makes it a perfect enabler to my animation work. IKB, Nevron, Genoma and 11.6 are a pretty nice package of goodies to work with (and I keep Messiah up to date JIC) hehe. Awesome work Ryan, thanks again!

Glad you found it useful! Kat has been nagging me to get the second installment (parts 3-5) done ASAP, but I promised Delura's fans some new animated content for the month of December... plus it gives me some fresh, postable examples of work to show off. I'm the only animator on the team right now, but I can get it done thanks to IKBooster :)

As a side note, I feel the small bit of extra time gives people some room to absorb the content of the first half of the series before delving into the more specialized and advanced workflows of parts 3-5.

Afalk
11-25-2013, 11:03 AM
I've happily watched all the Delura episodes to date, so I'm actually looking forward to that too.

tyrot
11-26-2013, 05:41 AM
PLEASE LISTEN KAT! -- Delura fans can wait a bit more - why dont you complete the amazing thing you done:) come on

kei_ch
12-02-2013, 07:58 AM
Ryan,I get your video and start to learning IKB.Thanks to your plain english,it's not hard to understand your explanation.
I am getting to know How efficient IKB is.
Although I've just watched part1 of the video series,I opne scene file"Dijard_IKBSuit" and try to manipulate IKB rig.
I notice that the rig's bhavior is SLOW when wrist controller is moved.This doesn't occur when I manipulate elbow controller.
I guess this issue can be seen in your YouTube Tutorials.
Do you have any solution?

thx!

Ryan Roye
12-02-2013, 08:42 AM
I notice that the rig's bhavior is SLOW when wrist controller is moved.This doesn't occur when I manipulate elbow controller.

I don't get this issue on my end, but I'll detail some factors that can affect IKBooster's performance while manipulating rigs that may help you:

1) With the object (Dijard) selected, hit "P" for properties, and set the subdivision order to "First", and display subpatch level to "1". This will give you a big boost in performance and these are the settings I typically animate characters with. On occasion, I sometimes work with objects set to "0" subpatch level when lots of characters are present at once.

2) The keyframe mode setting. "All Mode" is the slowest of the settings, "current" is the fastest. I usually work in Parent keyframe mode (which is also the default) while animating characters.

3) For slower systems, as shown in the video, tweaking the "FKIk size" option within the IKB Menu will allow you to adjust how far something needs to move before IKBooster starts calculating IK related to fixed points (fixed points get calculated even if you are not manipulating them directly). The higher this number, the less burden you place on the CPU, and the smoother the rig will operate while manipulating it. Try using a value of 5m or 10m for this option and you should notice improvement in rig responsiveness. If performance is an issue, then you should set this value as high as you can tolerate... in most cases i've never really had to change it. Keep in mind that how high this setting needs to be set to in order to affect your manipulations will vary depending on the scale of your scene's content.

4) Motion modifiers that are a part of the IK chain can impact performance since IKB is calculating what things it need to omit and factoring that into how it operates. Generally, mixing automation with IKB controls isn't a problem and still yields highly functional rig responsiveness, but do keep this in mind when *LOTS* of automation is desired, as you may need to tweak settings described above for optimal performance.

Also, I'm glad you found the content's narration easy to understand. One concern I had was in reference to translation difficulties, or folks who want to benefit from the content but would find it much easier to learn from the content if it were in a different language. If I had the resources, I'd really love to be able to translate subtitles so that anyone who prefers something other than English could, for example, load up Japanese, German, and other subtitles.

Finally, I'm not sure how helpful this will be, but there are free programs out there that can translate my tutorial's bundled .SRT (subtitle) files into the language of your preference. I did not include pre-translated files because I have no way to check the quality of the auto-translation.

erikals
12-02-2013, 09:51 PM
bought it http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif

there are some tricks in there that certainly are very-very useful. (and i've just glansed at small parts of the video)

good job Ryan! http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/king.gif http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/king.gif

i think both you Ryan and Craig need to watch each others rigging techniques...
great tricks from both of you...! http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/047.gif http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif

spherical
12-02-2013, 10:14 PM
i think both you Ryan and Craig need to watch each others rigging techniques...
great tricks from both of you...!

Agreed!

kei_ch
12-03-2013, 05:49 AM
Thank you for reply.
Thanks to your advice, Operation of the rig progress I feel :)

Now I am working on Part2,Rigging and Animation.
It's also exciting and much easier to understand for even though like me,Japanese and almost new to LW's animation.
Your pronunciation is very good, I am easy to understand grammar.
Additionally,the video makes it easy to read mind what you are going to.

kei_ch
12-03-2013, 07:21 AM
Oh...
One of the IKB's hotkey isn't work.
That is IKBooster multiselect.(CTRL (while selecting things)
Disabling "fixed" items while ctrl key held is work.
What happens?

Ryan Roye
12-03-2013, 07:31 AM
Oh...
One of the IKB's hotkey isn't work.
That is IKBooster multiselect.(CTRL (while selecting things)
Disabling "fixed" items while ctrl key held is work.
What happens?

IKB multi-select does not work on anything but baking, fixing, and dynamics unfortunately... I'd like to see this changed in the future. I'll add a note in the manual about it.

EDIT: Check your private messages, I sent you auto-translated subtitles and would like your input as to whether they are helpful or not. If they are, I'll bundle translated .SRT files in various languages for all future content (of course, letting people know beforehand that I cannot guarantee quality of auto-translation).

kei_ch
12-04-2013, 01:45 AM
IKB multi-select does not work on anything but baking, fixing, and dynamics unfortunately... I'd like to see this changed in the future. I'll add a note in the manual about it.

EDIT: Check your private messages, I sent you auto-translated subtitles and would like your input as to whether they are helpful or not. If they are, I'll bundle translated .SRT files in various languages for all future content (of course, letting people know beforehand that I cannot guarantee quality of auto-translation).


It works as you say :)
But IKB's controllers do not light at the same time more than one.
This miss-reads me to think that multi selection doesn't work at all.
In your YouTube Tutorial:Fix Command Explained,both controllers you selected were highlighted.
It doesn't occur for me and I don't have idea why this happens.

Thank you for your private message!
You are very kind.
After I chek the translated subtitles,I'll give you a reply about it via private messages.

Ryan Roye
12-04-2013, 07:09 AM
It works as you say :)
But IKB's controllers do not light at the same time more than one.
This miss-reads me to think that multi selection doesn't work at all.

This has to do with "Controller Size" in the "IKB Menu". If you increase the size, you will be able to see IKB multi-selection, but I prefer in almost all cases to keep Controller Size set at 0 so that they do not clutter my work space. The multi-select should show if you set the value high enough.



Thank you for your private message!
You are very kind ... I'll give you a reply about it via private messages.

Thanks! I am predicting that auto-translate will not be great, but at least I would know if it is or is not practical to include with tutorial content.

kei_ch
12-11-2013, 05:26 AM
Ryan,
Although I am still learning part2 of the video,I have a question about the IKBot rig.
I want to make a motion that rises from the state in which he is sitting straight(seiza,you know).
To do this,I fixed all controllers below the knee.
Then,I moved CoG in order to let him kneeling,and made keyframe at this point.
As you said in your video,IKB is PART timae IK system.So lower limbs are moving fluffy.
In order to avoid this,what I did is Baking.I applied it in both legs,but didn't work at all.Entire his lower body still move.
Next,I did Bind Motion.Although this seemed to be working well,his one leg is moving slightly.Then I notice that BindMotion does not work in more than one controller at a time.

So...I have no option anymore.
Legs move together when I move the CoG and this causes the issue I think.
I can manipulate elbow without hand movement while hand"s controllers are fixed.On the other hand, why legs would not be like that?

Do you have any good ideas?
I send the scene file to you via private message.
Thank you in advance for your help.

Ryan Roye
12-11-2013, 07:41 AM
Do you have any good ideas?
I send the scene file to you via private message.
Thank you in advance for your help.

Yes! Short explanation first though:

You are getting this problem because pivoting the body of a character rig from their lower arms or lower legs is an action that must also influence the body (or object, in this case) of the character in order to interpolate properly. Baking finalizes the bending of the legs, but it doesn't actually move the character object which is required to make this specific character action work. This is also relevant in other situations that involve the character's lower limbs where they are anchored down and become the primary influence of the character's body movement (Example: Someone is leaning heavily on a table with most of their weight put on their lower arms). So, you're getting the baked rotations, but not the movement that needs to be paired with it!

Stuff like this is what the Bind/bakespot/autobind commands are very useful for. Use it on either of your character's knees (lower leg) for 20 frames and it'll fix the problem. While you normally want to save binding for when you complete the animation, remember that apply keys/auto apply allow for easy editing if it is needed. Parts 3-5 of the comprehensive IKB guide will cover much more advanced usages of these commands as they are heavily utilized for the relative motion loading workflow (both in terms of preparing and editing the motions).

NOTE: While not a bug, combining FIX with Autobind to drive movements based on bone rotations can cause conflicts because the "FIX" command is trying the hold the bone in place, and the "Bind" command is trying to move the object (they cancel eachother out)... I'm not seeing any notes I took that mention that, I'll need to add it to the IKB manual later.

kei_ch
12-13-2013, 02:13 AM
Sorry for my late reply.
Great!!
Thank you so much !!

I did motion mirror before binding.And that worked pretty good!
I had forgotten that the fix is not adopted only in rotation.
And I notice it a little hard to manipulate IKB rig in that situation which pivoting the body of a character rig from their lower arms or lower legs.
Because the fixed controller moves slightly when I manipulate its parental controller.
But,anyway,the result is very good. And it would be hard to achieve the same things in normal IK rig.
I continue to study IKB :)

thx!

kei_ch
12-18-2013, 07:50 AM
Ryan,
This is just a question.
I made simple 20frames walk cycle (walk in place, not in space) with IKBot.
It's an simple animation, he just swings his legs alternately.

To change the animation from walking in place to walking in SPACE, I did BindMotion on his Lower leg controllers.
Alright, now he is walking forward BUT...
It's so robotic, gawky walking here.

Why this happens ? I tried to figure it out.
Then, I checked controller's motion path. I found that the motion path ,which belongs to the object(IKBot), is different from others.
While other controllers are applied keys at even intervals, its(=the object's) keys are concentrating on when his both legs are grounding.
This caused the robotic walking, I think...

So here is my question, How to solve this gawky walking problem?
But what I really want to know is that can IKBind ,which is the group of 3 nulls as child of the object and you mentioned it in the part2 video, be a solution for that problem?
And it will be covered in next part3 of your video, right?
Probably, IKBot_run_cycle.lws shows the usage of IKBind, but I cannot figure it out.
Additionally, I don't understand how different is IKBind you talked in the IKB comprehensive video from IKBind included IKBmenu!

Same name but totally different thing?
Is IKBind(group of 3 nulls) your invention to achieve perfect foot placement?

Thank you always:)

Ryan Roye
12-18-2013, 08:50 AM
So here is my question, How to solve this gawky walking problem?
But what I really want to know is that can IKBind ,which is the group of 3 nulls as child of the object and you mentioned it in the part2 video, be a solution for that problem?
And it will be covered in next part3 of your video, right?

This is correct. The IKBind workflow will be deeply covered in Part 3 (Relative Motion Loading), which is also utilized for Part 4 (Motion Capture Adaptation). There are certain situations where you want to use IKBind on Bones, and other situations where you want IKBind to be used on separate null objects like those shown in the video.


Same name but totally different thing? (IKBind in IKB menu)

This is correct. IKBind in the IKB menu is only a toggle for whether or not you want your heiarchy to be able to move beyond where they are fixed if they have fixed bones when controlling things. Occasionally, it is useful... most of the time animators should leave the option unchecked for greatest flexibility. IKBind has nothing to do with the BIND command. I really feel IKBind should be renamed to something like "Fix Constrain" or something the describes the function more accurately.


Is IKBind(group of 3 nulls) your invention to achieve perfect foot placement?

Yes, and for any character regardless of their scale and proportions. The concept behind the process really needs a video to explain how, and why the workflow achieves this capability in Lightwave.

kei_ch
12-19-2013, 08:28 AM
Wow!! Great!!
I'm really glad to hear that because IKBind's function is what I expected!
I did a search on IKBind in NewTek forum and found your past posts and video about it.
Now I am getting to know why you say "game changing".
There is a plugin developed in Japan that empowers character animation.
It is called "Automaton" and some of Japanese LW users depend on this plugin for their CA workflow.
This plugin allows you to translate walk cycle to walk forward animation via Footprint like 3dsMax'CAT.
But this doesn't support newest version of LW.
Actually, it isn't available on LW 11.6 at all !

I think now is the time Japanese LW users (especially animators) should reconsider IKB.
Most Japanese TV animation consists just 8 fps.
So, IKB's baking based method won't be a big problem.

Anyway, I'm really , I repeat REALLY looking forward to Part 3.

You are kind man.
You always answer my silly questions politely and uses simple word.
I'm always thankful for the help.

Ryan Roye
12-19-2013, 09:44 AM
STATUS UPDATE:

I am happy to announce that I WILL be covering usage with NEVRON in the remaining parts of IKB comprehensive guide as part of the motion capture segment! The funding from the IKB video is allowing me to do this, so a big thanks to everyone who purchased the first parts of the IKB video. Keep in mind that Nevron is NOT required to adapt motion capture to characters... but it does make the process even faster and has some big advantages over native methods.

I may put Nevron in its own "Part" (which will be included), because there are other functions that Nevron is capable of that the LW3DG barely even mentioned in their video content which *BAFFLES* me. For instance, the Nevron Genoma rig combined with Nevron's retargeting serves as a standardized platform to allow people with entirely different rigs (not the genoma rigs, rigs that people built themselves!) to share their animations quickly and efficiently. This is a big deal... this knowledge needs to be put into the hands of users! I am extremely impressed with Nevron thus far and I intend to provide users a way to really take advantage of its features beyond what is demonstrated currently with online content.


Now I am getting to know why you say "game changing".
There is a plugin developed in Japan that empowers character animation.
It is called "Automaton" and some of Japanese LW users depend on this plugin for their CA workflow.
This plugin allows you to translate walk cycle to walk forward animation via Footprint like 3dsMax'CAT.
But this doesn't support newest version of LW.

I think i've seen that "Automation" plugin, it looked really neat and I bet it would have done well if translated and published outside of Japan (if it was, I would not know). It is a shame to hear it isn't compatible with later versions of Lightwave.



Now I am getting to know why you say "game changing".
There is a plugin developed in Japan that empowers character animation.

Indeed! And to think we've had these capabilities for over 10 years! I do have to credit Larry though because he was the catalyst to the developments i've been working on and he spent a lot of time coaching me through IKBooster's more advanced functions... I built upon what he taught me to create relative motion loading workflow.

rdolishny
12-20-2013, 04:25 PM
I'm reading this and watching the five minute demo and think this is the holy grail, the missing link I've been searching for.

I love your voice and your pace... but the characters I'm going to be the first to admit look very dated. The colours are garish, the textures are strange compared to what people expect characters to look like now. I realize this is just a personal opinion but I took a look at the stock models offered by Animation Mentor. I've included an interesting poster that has all of their current rigs. The 'class 01' is the classic Maya rig. Very familiar.

If you could create a demo of IK booster using these kinds of models that look like industry standard basic CA models, and this is again my personal opinion, I suspect your sales would go through the roof. This is what CA students are aspiring to do and I'd love to see it as well. It's not a stretch at all to extrapolate these student rigs into characters from Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs or even Monsters University. In fact many AM grads have gone on to Sony and Pixar, and may of the instructors are from these studios. Give them what they're used to.

I also think a few rendered out examples would help sell the project. Right now wireframes appeal to experienced users but sometimes less experienced animators need to see the finished project.

If you did a fully rendered 'push something heavy up a hill' demo you would give Lightwave something missing since forever.

Just a suggestion. Over the holidays I've earmarked some time to purchase and study your videos. In the mean time I'm really excited about the potential of IK Booster. I had no idea.

118821

Ryan Roye
12-20-2013, 04:50 PM
I love your voice and your pace... but the characters I'm going to be the first to admit look very dated. The colours are garish, the textures are strange compared to what people expect characters to look like now.

I'll see if I can pool some free resources in the upcoming IKBooster release including Lightwave's free content; someone else had suggested elsewhere that I should use some higher res/quality models as well so this just adds to the notion that I should look into it. Of course, the character models I include must be free to use for commercial purposes and not restricted by copyright or any other limitations of use... otherwise I see no reason not to throw them in with the content; promo or otherwise.

Thank you very much for your commentary and I greatly appreciate your honesty and advice.

rdolishny
12-20-2013, 07:57 PM
I'll see if I can pool some free resources in the upcoming IKBooster release including Lightwave's free content; someone else had suggested elsewhere that I should use some higher res/quality models as well so this just adds to the notion that I should look into it. Of course, the character models I include must be free to use for commercial purposes and not restricted by copyright or any other limitations of use... otherwise I see no reason not to throw them in with the content; promo or otherwise.

Thank you very much for your commentary and I greatly appreciate your honesty and advice.

BallGuy. This sort of idea, to start. :)

118823118824

erikals
01-16-2014, 09:43 AM
Looking forward to Part 3

http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif

roadster
01-16-2014, 09:55 AM
I'll see if I can pool some free resources in the upcoming IKBooster release including Lightwave's free content; someone else had suggested elsewhere that I should use some higher res/quality models as well so this just adds to the notion that I should look into it. Of course, the character models I include must be free to use for commercial purposes and not restricted by copyright or any other limitations of use... otherwise I see no reason not to throw them in with the content; promo or otherwise.

Thank you very much for your commentary and I greatly appreciate your honesty and advice.



I think Daz models would be more popular as an option. { I too, wasnt that excited by the models I saw in the demo }

rdolishny
01-16-2014, 10:01 AM
I think Daz models would be more popular as an option. { I too, wasnt that excited by the models I saw in the demo }

Daz are beautiful but any animation instructor will tell you to avoid heavy poly models and just go for nice, controlled, crisp animation, which is what I've seen with the IK Booster potential. This has NEVER been seen for Lightwave, so I really want this series and thought process to succeed.

BTW I purchased the intro set of videos over the break and in 20 minutes I was doing things with my LW test rig I never dreamed possible. I'm so very excited to see this develop further.

I blocked out a 'guy pushing a heavy block up a ramp' in no time at all. All using IK booster and as a result of the demo videos. I'll post for sure.

Right now I'm interested to see if there's a quicker way to set up constraints. Right now my rig is pretty floppy... but I know exactly what to do, I just need time and perhaps some more video tutorials!

erikals
01-16-2014, 10:03 AM
i've noticed in my uploads that whenever the model or the render looks great i get much higher views.

newbies tend to look at that stuff...

rdolishny
01-16-2014, 10:38 AM
newbies tend to look at that stuff...

Precisely my point!

Lightwave needs some new blood, and if we can get students or converts interested in Lightwave, everyone benefits. The strength of IK Booster isn't to create pretty renders, but rather an intuitive and flexible method of creating delightful character animation in Lightwave. Not something you've ever heard anyone suggest on a Lightwave forum.

I've lost count the number of times over a decade when I've checked out a great looking still from a Lightwave WIP or finished project, only to be once again disappointed with the quality of animation.

TD's and students are very familiar with simple shaped characters that demonstrate solid character animation technique, not render quality or poly count. For the first time since I've been using Lightwave on the Amiga, I'm really excited about character animation again. I just with the demo/tutorial models were a lot more basic.

I would even go so far to eliminate any lip syncing. Block out a scene in seconds as opposed to hours using the techniques presented in these videos. Keep it focussed on IK Booster.

No one would argue that the poly count or shading or texturing is the appeal of this kind of animation in the link, below. It's all about creating charming and believable keyframing, that IK Booster may be able to help me with. I can watch this clip and clips like it from Animation Mentor all day.

http://youtu.be/wJSP5Mn4HH8

Thanks!

roadster
01-16-2014, 01:58 PM
Daz are beautiful but any animation instructor will tell you to avoid heavy poly models !

well, that may be true for general animation. However, I animate with higher poly models for film. Im sure
many others do, too, and even for TV, where realism is the goal. I therefore lost interest in this series, when I saw it was focused on game models. I mean lightwaves focus is more film/ Tv. How many game artists think of Lightwave as their "go to" app. Not many I'll wager. I think the Daz, or equivalent higher poly models would be a selling point for this series. At least for one training video.

Ryan Roye
01-16-2014, 03:44 PM
I think with the introduction of Chronosculpt that "can't do it with a high poly model easily" mindset is going to vanish in the near future. Still, my next promo may have a new model or two to help demonstrate the content. There are also a few freebies I want to publish as well so that people can play with rigs and stuff and see what the "traditional" animation style of IKBooster can provide for their workflows... there isn't exactly a whole lot of example content for IKBooster out there right now. There is just so much incredible value in being able to chuck away all that complexity and just click-drag stuff to get things moving.

Also, for those who haven't seen the latest teaser:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L6QCuxAXPs

geo_n
01-16-2014, 08:42 PM
STATUS UPDATE:

I am happy to announce that I WILL be covering usage with NEVRON in the remaining parts of IKB comprehensive guide as part of the motion capture segment! The funding from the IKB video is allowing me to do this, so a big thanks to everyone who purchased the first parts of the IKB video. Keep in mind that Nevron is NOT required to adapt motion capture to characters... but it does make the process even faster and has some big advantages over native methods.

I may put Nevron in its own "Part" (which will be included), because there are other functions that Nevron is capable of that the LW3DG barely even mentioned in their video content which *BAFFLES* me. For instance, the Nevron Genoma rig combined with Nevron's retargeting serves as a standardized platform to allow people with entirely different rigs (not the genoma rigs, rigs that people built themselves!) to share their animations quickly and efficiently. This is a big deal... this knowledge needs to be put into the hands of users! I am extremely impressed with Nevron thus far and I intend to provide users a way to really take advantage of its features beyond what is demonstrated currently with online content.


This was not mentioned at all and we were told that you can't use custom rigs with nevron yet. So you found a quick way to retarget mocap with nevron to a custom rig?

Ryan Roye
01-16-2014, 09:57 PM
This was not mentioned at all and we were told that you can't use custom rigs with nevron yet.

Depends on the context. We know custom rigs can be used with Nevron... but Nevron itself isn't used to make that happen so... it depends on which way the observer looks at it. For anyone curious and hasn't already seen it, check out this thread for more examples/info on this topic. (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?139289-Custom-rig-with-Nevron-and-other-videos) In some of these videos, I'm adapting character rigs of various sorts to the Nevron Genoma rig (and yes, I used the genoma dragon rig in the dragon mocap vid)... The genoma mocap rig is actually pretty easy to adapt a custom rig to due to its friendly rotation order setup and many points of reference.


So you found a quick way to retarget mocap with nevron to a custom rig?

Mostly; the good news is that it only ever has to be done once per character template and the character will adapt to everything the Nevron rig is set to adapt to. Some steps in the process do bear some explanation. For example, one of the steps requires the user to convert the pivot of their character object from their feet to the hips to match the mocap rig. It isn't hard or time consuming to do, but I tell you... it really wrecked my brain for a while in the process of figuring it all out to get the answer without unwanted errors.

Relative motion loading, however, is going to be the key to eliminating one of Lightwave's biggest weaknesses in character animation (for all Lightwave animators, not just people who use IKB rigs). It will finally make motion capture useful, and it will make saving a large library of motions actually practical to do.

Afalk
01-17-2014, 05:36 AM
Great observations about Nevron and its flexibility -- loved the teaser, and I am really looking forward to the next installment!

Davewriter
01-17-2014, 08:16 PM
So when will the magic hat be available?
Will I be able to get it at Liberty3d?
I wear a size 7 and I'd like to get it in tan.

erikals
01-18-2014, 10:22 AM
Ryan, you might find this useful... http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu-btg2lTGE

rdolishny
01-31-2014, 03:33 PM
This is the kind of animation that has eluded LW forever.

https://vimeo.com/74710432

Not so much the lip syncing - the body animation.

After seeing these first 2 videos, I believe IK booster can pull off these kinds of fluid IK/FK.

I'd like to request (a) rendered out examples not wireframes or Previews from layout, and (b) simple loopable animations that demonstrate fluid IK and FK animation, like they teach in the A:M Foundation program.

I love the first 2 videos ... hoping for more easy to apply examples with easy to visualize results.

LW_Will
02-03-2014, 01:00 AM
rdolishny, if you want to limit the density of the model, output an FBX instead of a LWO or an OBJ. it is amazingly more limited and works a TON better
.

LW_Will
02-03-2014, 01:17 AM
Also, I think that LW can do animation that cool. It just seems to me that most of the animation of characters (ie, pilots, motorcyclists, etc) for most professional animated uses of LW just don't need that much work. I think this year things might start to look alot different. Watch this space.

ps. oh, check out some of Ryan's (chazriker) work... interesting... very nice...

omeone
07-17-2014, 10:00 AM
I have to admit that ive overlooked IKB because I've heard very few people say much good about it. :ohmy: you made more posts about IKB than me!

@chazriker great to see someone finally make some decent tutorials!