View Full Version : Is possible retargeting without NevronMotion?

07-17-2014, 09:15 PM
I donīt have the resources to get NevronMotion at the moment, just neet to use some BVH files aplied to my genoma rigged characters in LW.... is there a way to do this?
I load the BVH files, and the animations are great! I just see the skelegons walking and jumping beautifully... and I canīt animate my character like this, even that it works fine Ik and everything, Genoma is a time saver and works fine.
I just need to work out a pipeline to show that I can do this job, and after the first payment, I can get NevroMotion and fly away...
Any one knows a way?

Ryan Roye
07-17-2014, 09:32 PM
With IKBooster it's pretty simple when you pair it with lscript commander and same as item constraints you can achieve direct retargeting which is suitable for most scenarios. You essentially pair 1 rig with a mocap rig (or any rig), then you can use it on every single animation file that uses that skeleton template (with relative motion loading, proportions of the character become largely irrelevant). The only thing that stumps most people is converting the pivot of the XYZ movement of objects that have differing pivot points as most mocap rigs move the character from the HIPS bone, whereas most Lightwave rigs move the character via the character object, center of gravity bone, or master null. I do cover the workflows for native retargeting in my IKBooster series (check the signature), but that's commercial content... it is significantly cheaper than the alternatives, however and you get a ton of extra production-proven workflows under your belt to boot.

Nevron's retargeting is a mixed bag in my opinion... the workflow is fairly easy to understand, but for more experienced animators it can be inefficient to use and difficult to pair with hand-animated actions using the rig provided; there's no option to use a custom rig with Nevron though there are workflows that allow you to do it indirectly... also covered in my content.

That said, I would strongly recommend developing a solid workflow for motion capture, whatever solution you adopt BEFORE taking on a commission that requires it.

07-18-2014, 04:14 PM
There are online retargeting/editing programs you could try. IKinema Webanimate (http://www.ikinema.com/webanimate/) and Mixamo (https://www.mixamo.com/) are two that come to mind. I haven't used these services myself but I've been told by other artsits that they work well for them. It sounds pretty straightforward: you upload your data, retarget and edit, and when you're satisfied with the results, you download it.

I just checked Ikinema Webanimate's site and using it is apparently free with some limitations. With the free account, you can download five FBX a week and 10 BVH a week. If you need to download more frequently, you can pay for a subscription that allows you to do so. They also have a large library of stock motions you can use. If your budget is tight or you're just curious, it's certainly worth a look.

Also, I agree with Chazriker about establishing a reliable mocap workflow before committing to a paying job. Working with mocap for production quality results is not a trivial matter. It may sound 'easy and fun' but there are many gotchas to be aware of, and learning how to deal with them will take a bit of time and experience. Once you get a good system worked out though, it actually can be easy and fun. :)

Good luck!


Ryan Roye
07-18-2014, 06:07 PM
but there are many gotchas to be aware of...

To expand on this bit of advice:

- Making characters interact with things and the environment is difficult to do with motion capture. Only the most expensive, advanced motion capture systems allow the actors to interact with eachother and props enough so that minimal changes are required. A good example: If a character swipes something off a table, and the motion capture data has the character's arm well over the object, you gotta know how to delete and keyframe things so that the action is seamless and correct.

- You will be asked to add detail on top of the motion capture animation. Even the best systems can leave out details that are hard to capture.

- Proportions will always differ between the actor and the character being animated. Therefor, errors in animation are practically unavoidable; you need to know how to fix these errors quickly.

- Some actions are impossible to do in the real world. If you are animating for a cartoon show, you'll be asked to exaggerate actions so that they have more impact (IE: the motion capture actor jumps in surprise... and what is called for in the script is much higher than a human can jump).

- Most motion capture systems and software can't detect self/environment clipping.

- You have to know how to re-position the animation in the timeline to line up with the scene's desired duration.

- Your hand-animation quality must be able to match the quality of the motion capture.

- You need to know how to handle not-so-great data. If the legs are shaking or sliding, you have to know how to use full or part-time IK to fix things like that.

... so, knowing how to do retargeting at any level is only a small bit of the equation. In a way, working with motion capture is kind of like animating with templates... you're still in for a good bit of work, but instead of doing it all by hand, you are instead given a starting point to work on top of.

07-24-2014, 08:02 PM
Thanks a lot!! I didnīt know about IKBooster until now... pretty amazing chazriker.
and Thank you too Greenlaw, nice thing online that IKinema... very promissing stuff...