PDA

View Full Version : Rigging and Lipsync 3rd Party Plugins - Advice Requested Please...



optikanet
12-01-2013, 04:37 PM
Hi,

I've been using LW for over ten years now and I just upgraded to v11.6. I've just been using modeller and I haven't done anything with the models I've built, but now planning to do some animation and I'm a bit scared about rigging.

So I decided to buy an autorigging plugin and after a little bit of googling I've narrowed it down to Maestro and Rhiggit. Now, here's the thing; I can't buy both. It seems to me that Rhiggit is probably the more powerful, more flexible option, but it might be harder to begin with whereas it looks to me like Maestro will get me going straight out of the box, but ultimately will not do everything I need to do.

I had just about decided to go with Maestro, when I see the features of Rhiggit v2 and now I'm undecided again!!! Can anybody suggest how I can best decided between these two, or perhaps warn me if there is a better third option that I've overlooked?

Similarly I'm looking for a lipsync plugin. I've had my eye on Magpie for some time now, but am I missing something else?

Can anybody give me any advice?

Kind Regards
Dave

chikega
12-01-2013, 05:18 PM
I have both Maestro and Rhiggit and they both compliment one another really nicely. I know that doesn't help. For lipsyncing, TAFA is still well received: http://macreitercreations.com/index.php

jasonwestmas
12-01-2013, 06:04 PM
Tafa, Rock and roll! Best realtime feedback for this kind of thing. Which is extreeeeeemely important for subtle and quick deformations. I seriously wouldn't waste my time with doing facial animations in Lightwave if you have a lot of it to do.

Megalodon2.0
12-01-2013, 06:27 PM
For lipsyncing, TAFA is still well received: http://macreitercreations.com/index.php


Tafa, Rock and roll! Best realtime feedback for this kind of thing. Which is extreeeeeemely important for subtle and quick deformations. I seriously wouldn't waste my time with doing a a whole lot of facial animations in Lightwave if you have a lot of it to do.

Couldn't agree more about TAFA - it's the very best. It's very easy to get allot of lipsyncing done quickly.

I bought it when it first came out at $495. IMO it's worth much more than that. And at the current price - if you REALLY want great and fast lipsyncing - it's truly a steal.

jasonwestmas
12-01-2013, 06:28 PM
Also keep in mind that maestro will not work in LW 11 I believe.

Davewriter
12-01-2013, 10:03 PM
Maestro autorigger fix for lightwave 11.5
Is a thread that says there is a fix.

"Maestro autorigger fix for lightwave 11.5


Just found the fix for maestro's interactivity problem on post lw 9.6 versions. Just turn Virtual Studio to Live and maestro will be near realtime again using the animation panel/picker. This doesn't just work on maestro rigs but also wherever you used the animation panel."

Haven't tried for myself. But hopefully...

Dodgy
12-02-2013, 12:06 AM
The Maestro panel works fine in 11 as far as I can tell.. The only problem seems to be the squares don't draw straight away when switching to a new panel, you need to refresh it.

optikanet
12-02-2013, 03:16 PM
I have both Maestro and Rhiggit and they both compliment one another really nicely. I know that doesn't help. For lipsyncing, TAFA is still well received: http://macreitercreations.com/index.php

Can you tell me how they compliment each other please? If there's good reason to by both I'll consider it, but I need good reason!

I'd like to thank everybody for their kind and useful responses.

Kind Regards
Dave

dballesg
12-02-2013, 03:40 PM
Hi,

BOTH are autoriggers.

Maestro is an autoriger, auto-walk system, pick system (with customizable panels) and a very nice dopetrack system.
Maestro Rig is "closed" unless you are decided to play with LScript and the subset of LSCript Macros that Maestro has to create your own rigs.
I did it a few years ago and is not for the faint of heart unless you have knowledge of LScript.
But is quite well explained on their manual how to modify it.
Maestro programmers put a lot of effort on it to make it quite rock solid. Sadly has not beign updated on a long time.

Rhiggit v1 is an autorigger as well, and includes more base "rigs" than maestro, a motion capture specific one, and IIRC a Motionbuilder one.
Rhiggit v2 is modular, something that this days is common on high end autoriggers. And has a retargetting system that Maestro doesn't has.
It lacks of the auto-walk system AFAIK.
Remember that Rhiggit v2 is still in beta.
But Rebellhill really puts a lot of effort on gave a finished and rock solid product as well.

Seeing what Craig is doing, I will wait a bit if you can and get Rhiggit v2, or enter in the beta if you wish.
Later you can pick up Maestro if you need it.

Cheers,
David

Surrealist.
12-02-2013, 04:03 PM
Another thing not to overlook is Messiah which is still going strong. AFAIK it still works with LightWave 11+. And it is its own separate program with lots of animation features as well as surfacing and rendering. So for the price it is hard to beat. It also has an auto rigger as well as a host of tools you can use to do facial animation. And a some real nice tools you won't find elsewhere like Point Animation.

http://www.projectmessiah.com/x6/index.html

Originally it was primarily a plugin for LightWave with its own separate interface. And you would sync it up with LightWave layout to update animation. Now it has grown way past that but as far as I know it still works with LightWave. But it also exports and imports the mdd file format which bypasses the need to even worry about that, if all you are doing is animating there. There are pluses and minuses to that workflow. I have not used it specifically in this capacity but others here have and can comment.

Here is a vid on a character facial rig set up in Messiah:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAL-MD9ttS4&list=PLAB7BBB4DA337248F&index=1

The plus side of Messiah is that it is not just rigging and some animation, it is really a whole approach to character animation. A quirky interface and a workflow a tad hard to get used to. But the tools are really outstanding.

For staying in LightWave add my vote for RHiggit v2. Jump on the beta.

optikanet
12-02-2013, 04:41 PM
I'm strongly considering going for the Rhiggit beta...

Thanx again for the advice.

Kind Regards
Dave

optikanet
12-02-2013, 04:44 PM
Basically, there's a lot of stuff for me to learn, even with the ten years experience I have playing with this stuff, and it's taken until now for me to really get confident with modelling. So I want whatever I can find/afford to get me up and running with the least fuss. It could take years to learn rigging from scratch, so I need to shortcut that so I can spend more time learning the animation side and building my models (I've delayed working with Layout because I wanted to build my model assets!!!).

Lots still to do, and it was partly the power and sophistication of Rhiggit that was putting me off, but it looks like it may be the most worthwhile tool, especially if Maestro is not being updated.

Kind Regards
Dave

chikega
12-02-2013, 05:39 PM
I agree. If I had to choose one and stay within LW, then Rhiggit V2 would be my primary choice - mainly because it's current. Rebelhill is very active in it's development. messiah is a superb CA application with many features that LW has yet to add after many years such as stretchy/bendy limbs and 'lattice' deformation. Actually messiah has three different types of cage or lattice deformers available. Nevertheless, Rebelhill has done a exceptional job pushing the limits of LW's older underpinnings.

Ryan Roye
12-02-2013, 07:03 PM
By technicality there are no true autoriggers... think of anything labeled "autorigger" more as a "template-based" system more than anything because they will not do all of the work for you. They still require you to position and plot out the points of your character and think about how to place bones or points optimally to ensure proper deforming of whatever you wish to animate. So, they may be shortcuts, but you will still need to understand Lightwave's various rigging tools in order to get the controls schemes and setups that YOU want. You should also consider layout playback performance if you want to go with these solutions because there is a point to where you will end up having to juggle scene files in order to make layout workable (as in, you can disable *everything* and still have to split up your scene files due to choppiness). This is because in order to achieve the level of user-friendliness, performance will always take a hit and in nearly all cases multi-character/full scene scenarios will be difficult to manage. Also be aware that workflows exist in Lightwave which allow you to have a modular rigging workflow (using template rigs of your own) without a huge time investment.

So, definitely explore your alternatives before deciding to invest in these things because they aren't for everyone. Explore the product trials thoroughly and make sure they fill your needs, but also think about future projects before buying.

spherical
12-02-2013, 09:33 PM
Could be that I'm on edge right now because we just lost a family member and dug a grave today but, while being largely factual, this post seems to be a bit on the "axe to grind" side?

Surrealist.
12-02-2013, 10:41 PM
Well it is an interesting point to bring up.

But from what I understand all auto riggers require you to place bone positions to your character and work with some kind of template and require you to work with at least a very basic understanding of rigging tools. This is what an auto rigger is. I have never heard of or ever seen a rigging system that allowed you to point it to a mesh and say go. Maybe I missed it in the last 20 years. Certainly you'd think if there was one, we'd be very interested. So someone has a "true auto rigger" to share with us, I am interested.

So that asside, what is an auto rigging system by the normal usual definition then?

Well first a look at what rigging actually is:

Excerpt from a tutorial I wrote for 3D Artist Magazine about Blender's Rigify Auto rigging system.


The term rigging has its obvious connection to puppeteering but its earliest
origin is nautical, where it means the ropes chains and other gear used to
control the ship's masts and sails by its crew. It later shows up in theatre to
describe the back stage systems to control curtains, back drops, flying harnesses
and the like by stage hands. And of course any other trades where
control systems and/or structures are designed for use by artists or technicians.
So why do I bring up the origin of the word? Other than being a generally
good idea to know, it also helps us understand what a rig consists of. And
first, we'd have to know that it is not just a simple chain of bones drawn inside
a character with parenting. Sure it can be in its simplest form. But character
rigging usually goes beyond that. It can become complex and seem daunting.
But complexity is really just a series of simple working controls grouped together
or designed to work in concert with one another to solve problems related
to easier/predictable manipulation of the character.
So in character animation a rig is basically a system of structures and control
mechanisms designed to manipulate an animate object into the desired
poses over time that result in (hopefully) fluid animation by the hand of an animator.
The first thing to learn about rigging is simply this: Don't try and reinvent the
wheel when you start out. This is one area of CG that has had many man
hours put into R&D already and there are many workable systems out there
to learn from. It is a good idea to study them first before sailing off into uncharted
waters.

Rigging is not just placing bones. That is only a very very very small part of it. Rigging is a very complex subject.

So when you have something that is an auto rigger it is not an auto - bone placement - what it does is what the name implies. It creates an entire complex, well thought out, well engineered system of controls constraints, expressions, scripting etc. Basically a ton of stuff that is way over most people's head. Certainly way over mine. And thus it is an auto rig based on your initial placement of bones nulls or however it is designed to work so it knows where to place the rigging system inside the mesh.

The reason that Auto riggers are so useful are because, with rigging, you don't want to be re-inventing the wheel. That is a great time waster. Been there, done that. If you really have an interest in learning rigging, then it is something you have to start simple and easy. For LightWave a great book on it is Timothy Albee's Character Animation. Just as a good simple place to start. There are lots of other tutorials as well.

But that said, the bottom line is without an auto rigging system, or a good understanding of IKB and some basic knowledge of rigging in LightWave, you are very limited to your own skills in the area.

And when I say skills in the area, I don't mean the tools and controls in Layout for animation and editing rigs. Those are very simple to understand by comparison. It takes years of practice and work to come up with highly complex rigs that do the kinds of things that you will get out of RHiggit or any other system for that matter. And for most people that means dedicating a life to it and it alone. If you want to animate it can be a very very frustrating time in R&D covering ground others have already covered.

If you want a great rig and you don't want to go through the months years of practice it takes to make really really good ones, then this is what auto riggers are for.

Even if you use the workflows in LightWave to reuse your own riggs, you will be limited to your own rigs. And that is the entire point of doing an auto rigging set up.

But what you do need to study is the actual bone placements. That is pretty key, based not only on human anatomy but what actually works for animation.

IN LightWave you have three choices. 1) Learn traditional rigging. 2) IKB with at least some traditional rigging or 3) An auto rigging system. And of course combinations of these.

But right now as we speak this is a good time for CA in the LightWave as we no know it. With a new manual and tutorials rolled out for IKB, thank you chaz... and the current offerings from RH, I think animators are better armed for attack than any time since I have been around in the last 20 years.

You can not have enough tools and enough people around coming at this thing from all the angles. As as I see it. All these efforts are needed. Not one over the other.

And the more tools and knowledge you can get under your belt the better. Be cocked and ready for anything. One word of advice to anyone. Don't limit your choices.

CaptainMarlowe
12-02-2013, 11:23 PM
I may ask a stupid question, but why don't you give a shot to Genoma first ? It won't certainly be as precise and versatile as RhRiggit 2 , but it is included in LW and does a pretty decent job at first. You can still decide to go for a third-party plug-in later, such as RhRiggit 2, when it's released. Frankly, with Genoma, I've been able to rig things I wouldn't have dared before, such as a centaur or a quad-legged mechs. If I were you, I would start from there before deciding to spend some hundred bucks on another plug-in.
I bought Rh Riggit 1 around one year before Genoma was out, and I used it a lot. But since then, I've been using almost exclusively Genoma instead, and right now, I don't think I will buy into RHR2, despite all its qualities, as far as we can see on the beta video, as Genoma suits my needs (yet, I'm only animating as a hobby, and this changes perspective).

RebelHill
12-03-2013, 06:33 AM
But from what I understand all auto riggers require you to place bone positions to your character and work with some kind of template and require you to work with at least a very basic understanding of rigging tools. This is what an auto rigger is. I have never heard of or ever seen a rigging system that allowed you to point it to a mesh and say go.

Well ofc... else you may as well say that planes dont have autopilots because you still need to punch in a flightplan to tell the plane where it needs to go... its a bit of a nonsense.

Bone (or perhaps more rightly joint/pivot) placement HAS to be a choice left up to the user, its part of the artistic direction and interaction that you're trying to achieve, and other than perhaps arguments that can be made about anatomical knowledge, it hardly requires much skill or thought to do and is a very quick and trivial task.

The 2 things an autorigger is for are, 1, To pick up the technical slack which requires a lot of specialised know how and deliver to the artists the ability to create the kinds of control/interface systems that are required to drive a character accurately and efficiently during the animation process, and... 2, To automate the otherwise very time consuming task of building such systems and defining all their connections for those who are (otherwise) technical riggers.

optikanet
12-03-2013, 07:38 AM
My concern is messing
bout with weight maps and things, I
also don't know how to rig efficiently - for example, I know a lot about anatomy but is it necessary to place a bone for each vertebra? The radius and Luna are two parallel bones to allow wrist rotation, but LW bones can freely rotate, so is this needed? What about the seven bones of the wrist? What about the Carpels and Metacarpels? Can you use a single bone for the foot (toes excluded) or do you need five?

All the tutorials I've viewed are for cartoon characters and I want realism, which is where my knowledge-gap occurs and why I feel I need an trigger...

Kind Regards
Dave

optikanet
12-03-2013, 07:43 AM
Ulna not Luna, damned autocorrect.

- - - Updated - - -

Autorigger, not trigger... I really hate autocorrect.

geo_n
12-03-2013, 08:55 AM
Maestro works for lw 11.6 but sadly its not developed anymore. There's a lot of good things in it. The control picker integrated with a dopesheet is extremely useful. Its not exactly easy to pick items in the lw viewport if the scene is crowded. The dopesheet makes it easy to re-time, stretch, reverse keyframes without opening the GE, etc.
Rhiggit gives you a versatile rig that could save you days or hours depending on how much you know about rigging. If you are doing paid ca work you can't do without Rhiggit. When time is critical you really just want the best and fastest tool available and cheat as much as you can and finish the job. Rhiggit will do that for you.
But no autorigger will teach someone animation but a good solid, predictable rig can help the learning process.

ianr
12-03-2013, 10:38 AM
Like Mega Said TAFA >ALL THE WAY @ $200 bucks still!

It will get you talking to your characters in no time.

I hope Mack brings out TAFA2 soon or NewTek employ Him!

Davewriter
12-03-2013, 08:24 PM
I, as a Learning Experiance (ie - foolishly) set about using Poser figures in combination with Maestro and Mimic.
Foolishly only because the Poser and Daz figures are so much like me in that they are so dense. You can use them, but it really bogs Maestro and LW down. But I (foolishly again) didn't really want to learn about modeling, and all of that Poser stuff is out there just begging me to grab hold of. And when using the Poser morphs, Mimic for LW is pretty straight forward and easy to use for lip sync. I also found Maestro so nice and easy to work with. I didn't need to be Rig King to get something out of it and you don't need to get carried away with weight maps. I did a couple of things not using a single weight map.

But it really comes down to what you are expecting to get out of it and your levels of expectation.
Obviously I am far from pro.
I was doing things for personal entertainment (frustration) and learning.
What I quickly learned was that I do need to learn more about rigging because those Poser figures just have too many dang polys.
Maestro is a wonderfull tool, but I really do need to learn more about rigging. RH's material is fantastic and highly recommended. I've also bought the new RHPro 2. I just haven't cracked open the wrapper yet to try.

From the snibbets I've seen from your posts here and there I get the idea that you have some very specific things in mind.
Perhaps if you were to layout a bit more detail on your project there might be some other thoughts or ideas tossed your way.

chikega
12-03-2013, 08:42 PM
My first thought concerning the dense Poser models is to use a low-cage mesh to drive the high-poly mesh. I'm not sure if that's possible in LW, but it is in messiah 6.

http://www.eggington.net/6Promo/metamation_multi_mesh.htm

Davewriter
12-03-2013, 08:56 PM
My first thought concerning the dense Poser models is to use a low-cage mesh to drive the high-poly mesh. I'm not sure if that's possible in LW, but it is in messiah 6.

http://setuptab.com/index.php?board=47.0

Good thought!
I'm sure that using a proxy figure would also have made my life easier. But I was trying to hit certain beats... with some of those coming from dialog... so I went about it kind of with the bull headed approach. And it wasn't too bad. It just slowed Maestro down a somewhat.

And the high-res figures didn't want to deform very nicely.

But with the new RHPro 2 and deformers... and... well, I am looking forward at abusing it :)

Ernest
12-03-2013, 10:46 PM
By technicality there are no true autoriggers... think of anything labeled "autorigger" more as a "template-based" system more than anything because they will not do all of the work for you. They still require you to position and plot out the points of your character and think about how to place bones or points optimally to ensure proper deforming of whatever you wish to animate.

Well, there's JimmyRig's automated volumetric approach.

Megalodon2.0
12-03-2013, 11:56 PM
Good thought!
I'm sure that using a proxy figure would also have made my life easier. But I was trying to hit certain beats... with some of those coming from dialog... so I went about it kind of with the bull headed approach. And it wasn't too bad. It just slowed Maestro down a somewhat.

I used Poser figures - actually DAZ Hiro3 and Aiko3 with TAFA and LW and they worked fine. Of course I only used the heads imported into TAFA and they were essentially the only items that were full res - although later I did use the full res hands. And I did use them with mocap so there was very little keyframing. I liked that I could use Poser to make the morph targets for the various phonemes and other facial shapes relatively easily and then use TAFA. Good workflow for me.

optikanet
12-04-2013, 07:26 AM
From the snibbets I've seen from your posts here and there I get the idea that you have some very specific things in mind.
Perhaps if you were to layout a bit more detail on your project there might be some other thoughts or ideas tossed your way.

Well, since you ask:

I've been working on a CGI film based on my favourite HP Lovecraft story, for which I wrote the script about 8 years ago. For the last 2 years I have been developing models, characters etc to animate, so pretty much all my experience has been with modeller, but I have reseached animation thoroughly, I have a large library of books on the subject, and DVDs, I have gone through animations like Disney etc frame by frame to try and understand how to apply the techniques I've been learning about, and I take every opportunity to watch behind-the-scenes documentaries on animation, as well as reading thoroughly in books and CGI magazines on the techniques. I think I understand the theory quite thoroughly, but I lack the practical experience.

In the last twelve months I've been diverted into a fan-run project to recreate a "Doctor Who" story that was never made in animation, and I have been building a series of creatures to animate, which all need rigging. Some of them will need lipsynching.

Additionally, I have been working on writing my first novel and I have been building models to render as the cover to the novel. I also use modelling as a sort of "pre-viz" to develop things I need to describe in my story. I've also used LW to design shelving units etc in my home!!!

My aim is to try and emulate what Square did for "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" although, for one person this is a fairly lofty goal! Nevertheless I would like to be able to achieve something vaguely photorealistic in my animations if possible. I continually read that, because of the uncanny valley, photoreal CGI is pointless, but I think it's just a matter of experience. I think children, exposed to the medium at an early age, accept CGI much more readily than adults do, just as we accept 2D animation (which I have also played about with) because of early exposure to Disney etc... Therefore the more photoreal animation there is, the more the artform will be recognised, and although I dearly love and respect the work Pixar etc do, their reliance on cartoon-animation does annoy me at times as I feel it is holding the artform back... This is why tutorials etc on rigging tend to be frustrating because they all depend on cartoon-animation and, quite simply, the anatomy is different!!!

For the record, my knowledge of anatomy comes from the fact that I (a) am a biologist, (b) am a bodybuilder and (c) have studied life models etc to learn as much as I can about real-world articulation and how to "render" it...

Kind Regards
Dave

RebelHill
12-04-2013, 07:40 AM
Yeah...

What you're after is going to be VERY difficult and take you a VERY long time.

Also whilst automated tools WILL give you a good headstart and allow you to setup some pretty complex things very quickly (and most of all repeatedly as you try out different variations) there's just gonna be far too much that you're asking for any automated tool to be able to manage, and as a result you are going to HAVE to learn how to do the things these tools do for yourself so as you're able to customise the setups the tools produce, either through modification, or addition.

Best place to start for you is here...

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTds3QePYrWEWipwKkLmyNT4Tf_JTigM2&feature=mh_lolz

optikanet
12-04-2013, 08:30 AM
One of the things I don't know, for example, is when lipsynching - do you move the jaw using bones or as a morph-map??? Or is it a combination of the two? Do they interfere with each other?

I genuinely don't know this!!! It seems to me that the jaw must open in animation other than lipsynch, so surely it should be boned? Can you set morph targets for the bones themselves? How does that work?

Kind Regards
Dave

RebelHill
12-04-2013, 08:37 AM
Either method is valid... each has its pros and cons. Yes you can use both together, but there you've got a set of issues to navigate regarding the order in which the deformers are applied and how that impacts upon the function, and how it impacts on similar "dual" setups elsewhere in the character.

There sure is a lot to learn... but Im afraid spending the time and effort to do so is the only path open to you.

optikanet
12-04-2013, 09:35 AM
I have both Maestro and Rhiggit and they both compliment one another really nicely. I know that doesn't help. For lipsyncing, TAFA is still well received: http://macreitercreations.com/index.php

I looked at TAFA but when I went to download the demo, AVAST! informed me that it is infected with a virus (Win32:Evo-gen).

Anybody got any suggestions?

Kind Regards
Dave

Surrealist.
12-04-2013, 11:21 AM
Well, since you ask:

I've been working on a CGI film based on my favourite HP Lovecraft story, for which I wrote the script about 8 years ago. For the last 2 years I have been developing models, characters etc to animate, so pretty much all my experience has been with modeller, but I have reseached animation thoroughly, I have a large library of books on the subject, and DVDs, I have gone through animations like Disney etc frame by frame to try and understand how to apply the techniques I've been learning about, and I take every opportunity to watch behind-the-scenes documentaries on animation, as well as reading thoroughly in books and CGI magazines on the techniques. I think I understand the theory quite thoroughly, but I lack the practical experience.

In the last twelve months I've been diverted into a fan-run project to recreate a "Doctor Who" story that was never made in animation, and I have been building a series of creatures to animate, which all need rigging. Some of them will need lipsynching.

Additionally, I have been working on writing my first novel and I have been building models to render as the cover to the novel. I also use modelling as a sort of "pre-viz" to develop things I need to describe in my story. I've also used LW to design shelving units etc in my home!!!

My aim is to try and emulate what Square did for "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" although, for one person this is a fairly lofty goal! Nevertheless I would like to be able to achieve something vaguely photorealistic in my animations if possible. I continually read that, because of the uncanny valley, photoreal CGI is pointless, but I think it's just a matter of experience. I think children, exposed to the medium at an early age, accept CGI much more readily than adults do, just as we accept 2D animation (which I have also played about with) because of early exposure to Disney etc... Therefore the more photoreal animation there is, the more the artform will be recognised, and although I dearly love and respect the work Pixar etc do, their reliance on cartoon-animation does annoy me at times as I feel it is holding the artform back... This is why tutorials etc on rigging tend to be frustrating because they all depend on cartoon-animation and, quite simply, the anatomy is different!!!

For the record, my knowledge of anatomy comes from the fact that I (a) am a biologist, (b) am a bodybuilder and (c) have studied life models etc to learn as much as I can about real-world articulation and how to "render" it...

Kind Regards
Dave

You and I have gone down a very similar path over the last 8 years. I won't go into all the details but I have come around to the he conclusion that I am not qualified to rig the kind of realistic stuff I want to make. There is a reason why Final Fantasy and all of the other large productions and all the stuff at Blur use Mocap. I have learned that the hard way.

If I was to try to achieve realistic with rigging I would start here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxRa8E66Yac

So it can be done and a lot of people want to do this. But I don't think it is broadly attempted and I think you'll be limited and frustrated trying it without the knowledge and tools you need to get it done right.

For me I finally settled on Maya and Motionbuilder.

But as I said a cheep alternative is Messiah. Pretty cool stuff.


From my experience and using even Muybride clips in the background, or even other video clips you can get these days for bg while animating, getting realistic movement with a standard IK rig is nearly impossible. I mean I studied this hard and long. And I found out what people were talking about with soft IK. It is the fact that realistic human movement causes poping in IK riggs. There are workarounds, but I have not found anything that looks right at all.

I got around it in LightWave by faking it. I made a rig in the lower body with point to constraints and joints. But it is a horrible hack. I would not wish it on anyone. But I did achieve what I thought was a very realistic movement compared to being restricted by IK. I also created a far more elaborate rig in XSI that did it much better. But it kept giving me issues I could not solve. So I came to realize I was in way over my head after two months R&D full time on that one rigg in XSI!

And this is why I decided if I am going to do that route I'll use Maya and start with the Farely Chery tutorials at DT.

In the mean time I have been working with mocap and MotionBuilder to best make use of the mocap data and edit as well as animate over it.

Whatever you do. It is going to be a long road of R&D for your pipeline. I think it can be shorted by not trying to re-invent the wheel as I did. There are people that have figured this stuff out.

RebelHill
12-04-2013, 11:31 AM
I found out what people were talking about with soft IK. It is the fact that realistic human movement causes poping in IK riggs.

LWs default IK contains softened IK now (since 9.6)... you dont get the "snap out" at full extension (but you instead have a "mis-fit" to goal instead, which needs to be allowed for).


There is a reason why Final Fantasy and all of the other large productions and all the stuff at Blur use Mocap.... getting realistic movement with a standard IK rig is nearly impossible.

Tbh... I dont think this has ANYTHING to do with the rigs (provided ofc you do have a decent rig in the first instance)... its ALL about the subtlties of the motion itself. I met a fella along the way a few years back who really COULD hand animate and the result came out looking like mocap/real life... it was amazing. But ask him how he did it, and there was no "straight" kind of answer... it was all... "Ah well, this move, see you want just a lil shift on that part over about 4 frames and it needs to go about 3 degs NOT 4... that'll look wrong"...

The guy just GOT it... he could just "see" the motion somehow.

I think its a lot like when you see those pencil drawings/paintings that are completely photorealistic... Clearly... it is possible to draw/paint at that level of perfection, but the number of artists who are actually capable of doing it is miniscule. Everyone else needs to use a camera.

optikanet
12-04-2013, 01:36 PM
I was actually planning to get actor friends to perform the script on video camera and rotoscope the movement as the basis of the animation,and then tweak it from there...

Kind Regards
Dave

Megalodon2.0
12-04-2013, 03:17 PM
I looked at TAFA but when I went to download the demo, AVAST! informed me that it is infected with a virus (Win32:Evo-gen).

Anybody got any suggestions?

Kind Regards
Dave

This has happened before. It's a false warning. The TAFA download should be fine. If you're not sure, just email them (Mac Reiter) and ask him about it.

Also, TAFA uses only morph targets, not bones. Check out some of the videos using TAFA - you don't "need" to use bones for great facial animation.

Surrealist.
12-04-2013, 05:44 PM
LWs default IK contains softened IK now (since 9.6)... you dont get the "snap out" at full extension (but you instead have a "mis-fit" to goal instead, which needs to be allowed for).



Tbh... I dont think this has ANYTHING to do with the rigs (provided ofc you do have a decent rig in the first instance)... its ALL about the subtlties of the motion itself. I met a fella along the way a few years back who really COULD hand animate and the result came out looking like mocap/real life... it was amazing. But ask him how he did it, and there was no "straight" kind of answer... it was all... "Ah well, this move, see you want just a lil shift on that part over about 4 frames and it needs to go about 3 degs NOT 4... that'll look wrong"...

The guy just GOT it... he could just "see" the motion somehow.

I think its a lot like when you see those pencil drawings/paintings that are completely photorealistic... Clearly... it is possible to draw/paint at that level of perfection, but the number of artists who are actually capable of doing it is miniscule. Everyone else needs to use a camera.

Yeah I think seeing it is easy, or should I say, with a good deal of study. And doing it is possible. Of course it is in the hands of the artist and subtle motion. Why would it not be? I am also aware there is a lot you can do at the rigging stage to eliminate a majority of the tweaking you would normally do for common human motion. I got part way there in XSI, brilliant concept I had that worked very well. But I was in over my head.

Having Soft IK in LightWave is a pretty big deal. Did most of my rigging in LW before that. And coming back to LightWave I will be honest. I completely missed it.

Makes the RHiggit stuff even more interesting.

I have taken other paths at the moment to get similar things with more options, but I think this is a good time for Animating in LightWave.

@optikanet, if you are going to go through all of that why not invest in a mocap set up?

Greenlaw
12-04-2013, 10:34 PM
I was actually planning to get actor friends to perform the script on video camera and rotoscope the movement as the basis of the animation,and then tweak it from there...

My wife and I did that for one of our short film projects a few years ago. The video we recorded wasn't meant for roto but we used it for motion reference and timing, and it helped us knock out an animatic very quickly. Even in that rough form, the motions looked quite natural and contained subtleties we might not have bothered to put in if we had keyframed the animation from scratch. Unfortunately, we had to set that project aside and never got back to it. We are planning on returning to that project next year though and, ironically perhaps, this time we'll be using motion capture for the project.

Back when I was with the Box, long before we were using motion capture, if we needed 'real' motions, we would act it out on video and reference that, and sometimes we would roto it directly if we felt the result would be worthwhile. A skateboard video game commercial and an E3 trailer for a James Bond game we did several years ago comes to mind.

But most of the time, we just keyframed our animations.

G.