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View Full Version : Chronosculpt Review and Demonstration by Tanadrine Studios



Ryan Roye
01-06-2014, 09:32 AM
In this video, I give some constructive criticism about Chronosculpt, then show how it can be used to eliminate complexity in character rigs (in any 3d application) and give you total control over deformations at the same time. Don’t think it is just a tool for “tweaking” things, it can also be used as the primary tool for deformation-based motion.


http://youtu.be/86Jpcln6nag

jeric_synergy
01-06-2014, 10:11 AM
"the simple and easy to use interface kinda masks the sheer power..." Where have we heard that before? *cough*IKB*cough

Thanks a ton for the explication, Chazriker, very helpful indeed. I believe you've earned a discount from LW3dG.

bobakabob
01-06-2014, 11:22 AM
Very informative and clear tour of workflow and advantages. Thanks for uploading. Looks like a great investment, I'm keeping an eye on any deals LW3DG may have in store.

Julez4001
01-06-2014, 11:44 AM
I really like his review.
I think Newtek should should add allof his request in a free upgrade rathe than try to sell ChronoSculpt 2.0
They need to try to push CS to all of his potential customer base.

I also think they need to compete against LIPSERVICE and match its feature set.
Because thats what bobakabob just did to review CS...

- Layers
- Frame base PSD export for repetitive use in other scenes (who wants to redo the same deformation < bicep increase, character saying "o"> over and over again).
- Audio track for soley doing facial animation

- - - Updated - - -

http://www.lbrush.com/

jeric_synergy
01-06-2014, 12:59 PM
Possibly everyone but me understands what Chazriker meant by "layers", but I'd like to read some more exposition on that request.

Julez: why PSD? Wouldn't FBX be more to the point?

Audio: IMO this should receive precedence, as something that's probably not too onerous to implement and so immedieately useful to character animators, a submarket that LW3dG is anxious to woo.

Davewriter
01-06-2014, 08:44 PM
Thank for the share!
CS had been one of those "ya, but would I ever really use it?" items.
And though I loved watching all the demos and internally drooled (which is rather hard to do) I just never could get around the idea that this was for a level of work I would never be looking at doing.
But now... I can almost hear one of my credit cards wilting... maybe, just maybe...

jeric_synergy
01-06-2014, 10:58 PM
The more demos we see of people USING Chronosculpt the more customers will imagine new ways to use it

Perhaps a contest for "Most Innovative Use of Chronosculpt" would chum the waters.

tyrot
01-07-2014, 08:03 PM
now that is THE REVIEW i was expecting for chrono. I think LAYER idea is great.

Also i guess we can use chrono for all kinds of squash/stretch - animation what do you say?

I will give it a go. I was really thinking i ll invest chrono after a client ask me to destroy something... Thanks Ryan!

jasonwestmas
01-07-2014, 08:52 PM
Not sure what you mean by "Layers" in this context. You can in fact layer as many morph clips on top of each other as you want. Granted there is no way to label them like Eyes, Mouth Brow etc. Glad you are liking the program, you are definitely picking up on the same strengths that I see in it. It does need some way to import audio, that would be a huge plus.

I was also impressed with how easy it was to copy and paste the morph clips so we can reuse them for later on in the same track. But again, no way to label or easily store those clips in a bin or anything.

Ryan Roye
01-07-2014, 09:09 PM
Also i guess we can use chrono for all kinds of squash/stretch - animation what do you say?

I will give it a go. I was really thinking i ll invest chrono after a client ask me to destroy something... Thanks Ryan!

Yep. It makes a lot of things related to organic animation that used to be work-intensive (especially in Lightwave's Layout) a trivial matter.

Chronosculpts applications for character animation was grossly under-stated in all of the content i've seen that is currently available for it. Like shown in the video, the advantage of being able to fully animate something with with extreme efficiency and control without doing much rigging is nothing short of groundbreaking... no matter what program you're using to do 3d animation with. Think of how much time some people spend getting things to move the way they want... and how Chronosculpt can allow artists to almost bypass a large chunk of the work otherwise required to get to a usable result. Also, think about those "one-time" shots artists would typically hesitate to do because it'd be a huge waste of time rigging (or even programming!) something for that specific moment... CS almost eliminates that problem and puts one of the biggest advantages of traditional artistry into the hands of 3d animators.

Again, CS was advertised as a tweaker's tool... which in my opinion wasn't the right approach. It is more accurate to say that it is a primary weapon in an animator's arsenal. One hour with this software convinced me that I can't continue working seriously as an artist without it... it is that good. As a side perk, people who don't own or can't afford Zbrush will find CS's modeling applications highly useful (create endomorphs faster, work on dense meshes and inject changes into modeler, etc.).

I hate to sound fanboyish in my commentary here, but I honestly do feel CS is worth every penny. But then again, animation is practically all I do, so CS may not have quite as high a value to someone who is more into modeling and visual design.


Not sure what you mean by "Layers" in this context. You can in fact layer as many morph clips on top of each other as you want.

I mean in the context that keyframes cannot be isolated in their own keyframe space. Animators need to be able to work on a fresh, uncluttered track when layering motions. Honestly, I can wait for this functionality as the multi-mdd workflow can tide people over... audio playback needs to take priority.

jeric_synergy
01-07-2014, 10:41 PM
I mean in the context that keyframes cannot be isolated in their own keyframe space. Animators need to be able to work on a fresh, uncluttered track when layering motions. Honestly, I can wait for this functionality as the multi-mdd workflow can tide people over... audio playback needs to take priority.
Dang dog, I'm STILL unclear as to what that means, or at least how one would implement such a feature.

hrgiger
01-08-2014, 12:37 AM
Dang dog, I'm STILL unclear as to what that means, or at least how one would implement such a feature.

Eric, think of Photoshop layers. You could add individual layers(and name them individually), and when you select each layer in the stack, they would contain their own keyframe data and so only those keyframes would show in the timeline. Select a different animation layer, and only that layers animation keyframes show in the timeline.

jeric_synergy
01-08-2014, 01:43 AM
Hmmm, okay, that's clearer.. so it would be more like the Anime Pro Studio timeline than the AE timeline.....

Man, there's a LOT of ways you could go with that. For one thing, if a set of used keyframes were rather short, you could select a range, and duplicate it further down the main timeline, but in the same layer. That block could then be slid earlier or later. And of course the whole layer could be slid earlier/later (which is already implemented, I believe).

Or layers could have 'adjustment layers', essentially multipliers, conceptually " 0.5 of this move", or "2x of this move". (Like f-curvers in SI.)

tyrot
01-08-2014, 03:48 AM
I guess layer idea really the core request so far. For example, different parts of the body or face will be controlled by the different layers (as you guys mentioned) and blending layers would be really amazing.

So If CS comes up with something like "pose tool" in zbrush or 3dcoat... means.. if you can control and lock the translations (just like bones but without bones/rigging etc) - man you have a complete animation fixer (even creator)...

Anyways it is really great review changed my idea about CS.

jasonwestmas
01-08-2014, 02:51 PM
I guess the ability to add more tracks and then be able to name each clip and track would qualify for a "starter" Layering system.

Julez4001
01-08-2014, 03:15 PM
Make it like LIPSERVICE -- read my LIPS! -- you almoist there anyway. (Heck add a soft dynamics solver and you got a hell of a app)


First thing first, add audio track layer to ChronoSculpt version 1.3

- - - Updated - - -

If they pay attention to this thread, we basically can a workspace (ala Adobe products) for doing facial/lip synching.
Add some feature Albee's toolset. This would be a mini - game changer!

jasonwestmas
01-08-2014, 04:33 PM
Well, Lbrush is designed to work in tandem with deformers though, not point cache so I see CS going in a different kind of direction, a more efficient direction imo. I already like the CS sculpt brush better than the many Lbrush brushes and Lbrush has been in development for over a decade, so that tells me something.

In other words Lbrush is 10x more complicated in what it can do, but that doesn't make it AS user friendly, stable or efficient.

ianr
01-09-2014, 09:56 AM
Julez you's cookin,

i agree 1,000% still got ma little Lipservice Sigh!

As I have said in an old E mail, it seems that alot of function tool

atrribtutes lies scattered on the Floor ( LW DATUMN) it justs needs

fusing together to give fresh impetus.

It would recharge alot of things just like Rusho's Cage & lattice are & will do.


Harrie somone about this idea dude.

Daphne
01-28-2014, 10:21 AM
Thanks for the great review. CS has tons more flexibility than I realized.

Matt
01-28-2014, 07:16 PM
Great video Chazriker.

Just wanted to let you know this video has been passed on to the developers. We will certainly be looking at your requests and issues (along with others we have received from users).

Cheers
Matt

sami
02-06-2014, 02:36 AM
Excellent video Chazriker. Personally I haven't been doing much vfx dynamics which needed tweaking lately so I had only picked up Nevronmotion and not Chronosculpt yet. This video shows a great usage of the tool I had not thought of, so it makes me a lot more likely to pick it up. Especially if the UI is as easy to pick up as you demonstrate. Nice work. Hopefully videos like these will spur the dev team to releasing more usable (and less techy) tools and also let them know their work is appreciated.

geo_n
02-06-2014, 08:26 AM
Nice review. With audio import feature this could easily be an alternative to TAFA.

tyrot
07-09-2014, 02:47 AM
actually - i just had time to download and play with chronosculpt - i have some idiotic questions.. bare with me

1-How do you save out your MDD's in order to read by Chronosculpt using MDD baker or clothfx mdd saver?

2- I have a character - should i bake just CAGE - subdivide - or cage and subdivide (lightwave) only?

3- I have tried lightwave only (cage+subdivide) but MDD file partially loaded - any idea why?

4- Should i save out LWO within mdd baker too?

jasonwestmas
07-13-2014, 02:10 PM
1-How do you save out your MDD's in order to read by Chronosculpt using MDD baker or clothfx mdd saver?

Either will do just fine.

2- I have a character - should i bake just CAGE - subdivide - or cage and subdivide (lightwave) only?

subdivide the mesh first and then bake it to point cache. . . but you don't need to subdivide if you don't need it. Do what your computer can handle, higher rez always looks better when animated but only if you take advantage of it using CS or some other deformer system.

3- I have tried lightwave only (cage+subdivide) but MDD file partially loaded - any idea why?

There appears to be a bug with the baker so definitely try cloth FX to create the mdd.

4- Should i save out LWO within mdd baker too?

You can but you can also just load your lwo into CS manually. As long as the point count is the same as your baked mesh then it should work.

jwiede
07-13-2014, 03:06 PM
Like shown in the video, the advantage of being able to fully animate something with with extreme efficiency and control without doing much rigging is nothing short of groundbreaking... no matter what program you're using to do 3d animation with.
Chaz, as far as I can tell in the video, the functionality you're referring to as "groundbreaking" is essentially the same as the point-level animation (PLA) feature most other "major" 3D packages have supported for years. For those with both PLA and NLA (non-linear/tracked+mixed animation -- again, most other "major" pkgs offer this), such PLA work can even be "layered"/"tracked" in the sense that individual PLA changesets over time can be relegated to NLE "tracks" non-destructively and then mixed with other animation tracks (of same or differing sources of animation).

If you believe it is different, can you please clarify how what CS offers is different from PLA tracks? From what you demonstrated in the video, I could see very little difference between the "groundbreaking" animation techniques you were showing, and what PLA functionality allows in other packages.

Ryan Roye
07-13-2014, 03:17 PM
If you believe it is different, can you please clarify how what CS offers is different from PLA tracks?

Performance. I've yet to see or even read about any examples that come anywhere remotely near what Chronosculpt offers for animators. I've seen examples of similar functionality in other programs like C4D, Maya, 3ds max... all of them have the same issue with becoming sluggish to work with on denser models and scenes; in other words, unsuitable for filmwork or heavy-detail commercial content. And i'm not just talking about a character standing by themselves in a scene... I'm talking about a full blown environment with multiple characters and being able to see all of that in real-time at full FPS.

This of course comes at the cost of being a destructive workflow (understandably a major turnoff to many folks); something I'd like to see change to some degree in the future. For animators who need to be able to point-edit their meshes and have them work with the rigs they are using at the same time, the 3rdpowers tools fit the bill nicely given proper knowledge on how to optimize performance when using those tools (making sure to assign unique group names, assigning weight maps for cages, optimizing cage density, etc.)

For people who work with low-to-mid detail meshes, I'd consider cage deformer/lattice over Chronosculpt for its non-destructive workflow.

jasonwestmas
07-13-2014, 04:24 PM
Sculpting and Pinning dense geometry using clips of animation are the main advantages. Point cache is also a more flexible medium when it comes to repurposing assets due to the fact that you can change the speed of the animation; The default silhouette of the model; and create detailed deformations very quickly (and do all these things in one environment) using the same clips. Not only is performance better but the sculpting and NLE workflow is better for making deformation changes later or at any time during the animation process.


I can also see CS as being an animation concepting tool later on, not too far off from motion builder's staging of props, motion and real time shading. The main difference being that you can have more control over your deformations in real time.