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View Full Version : Lightwave rigging controllers - What's available?



Paul_Boland
01-24-2014, 02:18 PM
Hi Folks.

Before I was a Lightwave user, I was a Caligari TrueSpace user and one piece of plugin software I had for it as part of their Anipak was a tool call Puppeteer.

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Puppeteer allowed me to set the movement and rotation limits of a joint and then to control those quick and easily via it's scrollbars. I totally loved this as it made animation character (or anything) keyframes very quick because you guys moved to a frame number, adjusted the scrollbars in puppeteer to get the stance I wanted, and moved onto the next frame.

Lightwave has movement properties to allow you to set movement constraints for joints, but it's implementation of sliders is terrible!! The Sliders interface is very poorly done and very hard to work with and it puts me off using it. I've been looking around for something similar to Puppeteer for Lightwave but I can't find anything.

So I was wondering if anyone out there could point me to wards a controller interface, either already in Lightwave or as part of a plugin, that is similar to Puppeteer and will allow me to quick and easily post my characters for animation?

And if you're wondering about the knight character above, you can view his movie here:
http://youtu.be/PXTtUS4Kd3Y

LW_Will
01-25-2014, 10:33 PM
Um... IK Booster?

Dodgy
01-26-2014, 07:07 PM
I would definitely recommend Maestro. It has an auto character setup rig, but for me the main thing is the controller panel. It's amazingly configurable and useful.

http://stillwaterpictures.com/maestro/

bobakabob
01-27-2014, 03:56 PM
Those control panels do look good. Does Maestro work with LW 11.6? Alternatively does anyone know if Rhiggit offers an accessible way into setting up facial animation control panels?

Paul_Boland
01-27-2014, 06:24 PM
Thanks for the feedback. IK Booster looks great for quick setting up but it doesn't offer a control interface. Maestro looks great but it's specifically aimed at character animation. With Puppeteer I could rig and control anything. A door. A character. Anything that moved or rotated on a point. If I wanted the knights hands closed in a fist, I just selected the knight, opened Puppeteer, and without even having to see his hand, I just grabbed the sliders that controlled his fingers and slid them all to close the fingers forming a fist. This is what I'm after, a quick way to control a rigged object, to just open an interface and move or rotate parts of a rigged object be it a door, a character, anything. Is there something like this available?

UnCommonGrafx
01-27-2014, 06:51 PM
Not as you want: presets for all the actions in the character.
That is to say, nothing will set it all up in an auto way like you speak of.

Maestro does fit this bill if you set the object up with all the schtuff you want. From there, it is just jumping in and moving 'sliders'.

Dexter2999
01-27-2014, 07:12 PM
Or just use the native sliders in the Properties>Geometry>Add Custom Object>Sliders And set what attributes you want the slider to control? Like for that door you seem to keep thinking of. Works on position, rotations, morphs... William Vaughn did a video where they had parts moving on a jet for the landing gear opening out and closing all tied to one slider. Native and everything.

Paul_Boland
01-27-2014, 07:41 PM
Or just use the native sliders in the Properties>Geometry>Add Custom Object>Sliders And set what attributes you want the slider to control? Like for that door you seem to keep thinking of. Works on position, rotations, morphs... William Vaughn did a video where they had parts moving on a jet for the landing gear opening out and closing all tied to one slider. Native and everything.

Sliders is EXACTLY what I'm after but Lightwave's Sliders are implemented very poorly. They are constantly on screen and appear in every view point window on screen. If the Sliders appeared in a window like other Lightwave properties do, I'd be delighted (hint, hint, Lightwave development team...).

Paul_Boland
01-27-2014, 07:51 PM
I've popped this request into the Feature Request forum:
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?139880-Lightwave-s-Sliders!!&p=1364732#post1364732
Thanks for all the feedback.

Dodgy
01-27-2014, 08:03 PM
Yeah, I tried it in 11.6 just to check and it works okay.

LW_Will
01-28-2014, 01:51 AM
Thanks for the feedback. IK Booster looks great for quick setting up but it doesn't offer a control interface. ...

well... there is an interface for IKBooster, but it is very small and actually IN the character. When you need to move part of a character, you click on the center of a bone and then you can move it.

Take a look at chazriker's (Ryan) The IKBooster User Manual http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?138658-The-IKBooster-User-Manual&highlight=ryan+royce and if you think that'll work, try his video series... http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?138742-The-Comprehensive-Guide-to-IKBooster-(Parts-1-and-2)&highlight=ryan+royce.

Very nice, simple, and horribly powerful.

Paul_Boland
01-28-2014, 09:01 PM
Awesome!! I just looked at the first video there and it's amazing!! Will definitely read through this and watch the other videos. But it still doesn't address what I want, controls on screen without having to see the object in question I want to control. For example, if I rig a hand with IK Booster and want to close an open hand into a fist, I first have to move a camera around to see the hand and then I have to select each part of each finger in turn and close them. With a Slider setup I don't have to see the hand, I just open the sliders and drag the controls I need all the way across to a closed position. I'm quite surprised Lightwave's Sliders aren't implemented better and that there is no alternative to them like Puppeteer.

RebelHill
01-28-2014, 09:20 PM
There's probably not much geared this way because the idea of animating something without bothering to look at it is quite anathema to most animators... its not an interface many are gonna want.

However sliders main problem is the viewport clutter. You can just hide the items that you apply sliders to, creating multiple banks of sliders for different items or parts, and when u select each from the scene editor or whatever, the slider bank will appear (due to being selected).

spherical
01-29-2014, 04:24 PM
But it still doesn't address what I want, controls on screen without having to see the object in question I want to control. For example, if I rig a hand with IK Booster and want to close an open hand into a fist, I first have to move a camera around to see the hand and then I have to select each part of each finger in turn and close them. With a Slider setup I don't have to see the hand, I just open the sliders and drag the controls I need all the way across to a closed position. I'm quite surprised Lightwave's Sliders aren't implemented better and that there is no alternative to them like Puppeteer.

Would page 272 of LightWave 10-Layout.pdf Tools > Sliders help?

SaturnX
01-29-2014, 06:01 PM
Yeah, I tried it in 11.6 just to check and it works okay.

Hey Dodgey.
Are you able to view key frames for objects inside maestro?
Mine has been broken since 11.6
I'm hoping there's a fix for it. I've a feeling the objectID update May have affected it.
The Only reason I still do character animation at all in lightwave, is maestro's dope sheet window.

Dodgy
01-29-2014, 11:10 PM
Doh, I only have version 1... I really should upgrade for that dopesheet goodness...