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3dworks
09-21-2014, 01:31 PM
please have a look at this mixamo generated FBX file. it is a free motion and a free mesh model (so there should be no problems to post it here) which i downloaded to see how these import into LW. unfortunately, i cannot get the animation into layout, while the mesh seems to load correctly. whatever options i set, when loading the FBX via 'load scene' in layout, i'm just getting no keyframes at all into the scene. not sure if i'm doing something wrong, so please someone can try it out as well? also, maybe it might as well be a mac only issue.

2 other apps in my toolset, MODO and C4D, import mesh and motion perfectly with default settings, no need to refine anything.

for the file, see attachment please.. i saved the motion from the mixamo site in default FBX format, but also the FBX for unity gives the same results.

my questions are: is it a bug in the FBX importer, or maybe a mac only issue or is it a special mixamo format incompatibility. other FBX files seem to import with motions...

i'm currently trying to set up a few animated characters in LW for a rather simple architectural flythrough scene, but honestly i'm bumping against a hard wall. all other apps in my toolset seem to offer easier solutions to this problem. 'd like to find a solution with ready animated characters to use in my scene, because my deadline is tight and as a one man studio i prefer to spend time on other aspects of the animation rather than starting to rig a dozen of characters with uncertain result. mixamo seems to offer a rather easy solution to this problem, maybe.

any tips or experiences with this workflow are really appreciated.

cheers

markus

Greenlaw
09-21-2014, 01:49 PM
Normally, you would set up your rig in Lightwave with its own deformations, and then use Load Items From Scene - Merge Only Motion Envelopes to extract the animation from the FBX and apply it to the Lightwave rig. This assumes that the Lightwave rig hierarchy matches the rig hierarchy in the FBX file. I try to stick to Motion Builder naming conventions, which seem to work fine with many programs including Lightwave and Maya. The big advantage to importing only the motion data is that your deformations and textures in Lightwave will be exactly what you expect, as opposed to what you may get when importing a rigged, textured object directly from a third party 3D program, which is often not pretty.

I've never used Mixamo, but my 'quick and dirty' workflow when I'm in a crunch is to export an existing 'mocap friendly' rig in Lightwave and export it to FBX as a target rig for your mocap program (Mixamo for example,) or export a 'standard' rig from Mixamo and re-purpose it in Lightwave for your textured character. As long as you don't change the bones names or disrupt the flow of the hierarchy, transferring motions through Load Items from Scene - MOME should work flawlessly.

There are a couple of 'gotchas' to be aware of : 1.) You can only have one Take in the FBX or Lightwave will ignore the motion transfer, 2.) you'll want to use a compatible version of FBX. I typically use 2011 with success. I seem to have trouble with FBX files that have been saved in more recent formats. The problem you're experiencing now sounds like it might be caused by either of this issues. Fortunately, these 'gotchas' should be easy to address.

Hope this helps. I'm not sure I'll have time today but I'll try to look at your file later.

G.

RebelHill
09-21-2014, 02:27 PM
The fbx file has 2 takes in it thats why... LW won't accept them. Use the take manager in the autodesk fbx converter tool to create a 1 take only file.

3dworks
09-21-2014, 03:19 PM
The fbx file has 2 takes in it thats why... LW won't accept them. Use the take manager in the autodesk fbx converter tool to create a 1 take only file.

thanks for the tip, this worked like a charm and solved my issue. hopefully, the next LW release will make this extra step unnecessary...

- - - Updated - - -


Normally, you would set up your rig in Lightwave with its own deformations, and then use Load Items From Scene - Merge Only Motion Envelopes to extract the animation from the FBX and apply it to the Lightwave rig. This assumes that the Lightwave rig hierarchy matches the rig hierarchy in the FBX file. I try to stick to Motion Builder naming conventions, which seem to work fine with many programs including Lightwave and Maya. The big advantage to importing only the motion data is that your deformations and textures in Lightwave will be exactly what you expect, as opposed to what you may get when importing a rigged, textured object directly from a third party 3D program, which is often not pretty.

I've never used Mixamo, but my 'quick and dirty' workflow when I'm in a crunch is to export an existing 'mocap friendly' rig in Lightwave and export it to FBX as a target rig for your mocap program (Mixamo for example,) or export a 'standard' rig from Mixamo and re-purpose it in Lightwave for your textured character. As long as you don't change the bones names or disrupt the flow of the hierarchy, transferring motions through Load Items from Scene - MOME should work flawlessly.

There are a couple of 'gotchas' to be aware of : 1.) You can only have one Take in the FBX or Lightwave will ignore the motion transfer, 2.) you'll want to use a compatible version of FBX. I typically use 2011 with success. I seem to have trouble with FBX files that have been saved in more recent formats. The problem you're experiencing now sounds like it might be caused by either of this issues. Fortunately, these 'gotchas' should be easy to address.

Hope this helps. I'm not sure I'll have time today but I'll try to look at your file later.

G.

thanks for the insights!

cheers

markus

3dworks
09-22-2014, 01:19 PM
still no luck with this. unfortunately, this trick seems to help ONLY for certain ready characters in the mixamo characters pool. as soon as i use the fusion character designer, all imported models look like this

124429

no matter if i convert to FBX version 2011, merge the mesh and relink the hips to the mesh - there seems no way to fix this francis bacon like mess.
again: cinema 4d and modo seem to have absolutely no issues with importing this! valkyrie seems to be the problem, now i even found some desperate forum messages on the mixamo internal forums which seem to confirm all this. even their support is saying this:


As far as we are aware. LIGHTWAVE has fbx import problems and skeletons to do not import properly from Mixamo.com. We have yet to find a way to do it.

However if anyone knows something we don't we would be happy to publish the information.

-Oliver

i'm more and more convinced that importing any kind of ready characters via FBX into LW is just a roulette game. maybe definitely time to move on for this time of jobs.

of course, if anyone has some help to offer it would be extremely welcome.

Greenlaw
09-22-2014, 01:54 PM
Just a guess but it might be a weight map offset issue. When using a joints based rig, for some crazy reason,Lightwave requires that the weight map is offset to the next joint--no other program requires this, and it's not even consistent with Lightwave's own bones system. Anyway, check the weight map association for the joints--you may need to move them up (or down--sorry, I forget which at the moment. I'm sure RH will pop in with more precise info.) Hopefully, that's all it is. :)

If you get a chance, send a polite note to LW3DG about this. The weight map offset issue is a long standing one that drives everybody using mocap in Lightwave nuts. Maybe if enough users complain about it, it will get fixed.

G.

RebelHill
09-23-2014, 03:56 AM
Lw employs a different method for binding meshes to bones than other apps, that's why some fbx imports from other apps seem to work straight off, and others don't, like this... Just depends on how the original skinning was setup in the other app, and fbx doesnt carry information about the approach used, so LW cant interpret it.

You just need to rebind... its real simple. Go back to tpose, rest all you bones.

You can see the exact same issue when using ADCG characters here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4nUt2-08Fs

Greenlaw
09-23-2014, 10:35 AM
Ah, see...you can always count on RH for a simpler answer. :)

This also points out why you should set up your character rig in LW to begin with and import only the motion data from the FBX as described above. (LIFS-MOME)

G.

RebelHill
09-23-2014, 10:37 AM
This also points out why you should set up your character rig in LW to begin with and import only the motion data from the FBX as described above. (LIFS-MOME)

That only makes a difference if your round tripping a character originally created/boned in LW out to some other app to bring the motions back in. If you're getting a ready packaged character and matched motions it doesnt make the slightest bit of difference.

Greenlaw
09-23-2014, 10:40 AM
What I mean is that by having the rig set up and working in Lightwave beforehand and importing only the motion from the FBX saves you from having to rebind the character each time when you import the entire contents the FBX instead. It's a lot more efficient to work this way--otherwise you're just wasting a lot of time.

That goes for shading too--set it up right in Lightwave first and you'll only need import/apply the motion from your FBX.

G.

3dworks
09-24-2014, 03:28 AM
Lw employs a different method for binding meshes to bones than other apps, that's why some fbx imports from other apps seem to work straight off, and others don't, like this... Just depends on how the original skinning was setup in the other app, and fbx doesnt carry information about the approach used, so LW cant interpret it.

You just need to rebind... its real simple. Go back to tpose, rest all you bones.

You can see the exact same issue when using ADCG characters here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4nUt2-08Fs

indeed, after watching again some more times your exhaustive FBX tutorials - i must say, it's all in there ;-). thank you so much for your patience replying here on the forums. my impression is that LW is quite capable doing all this, but you seem to need a lot of roundtripping and extra knowledge to do so. i'm more specialized in architectural images and not a character rigger, so this is maybe just going to far into the details for me.

as a practical solution, i did following: import the fbx rigged characters with motion into cinema 4d or modo (both seem to work well for all characters, no extra steps needed than just to import them) and then from there export the corresponding MDD files to layout. there are special plugins for MDD export, riptide pro for c4d and mad cox's free plugin for modo. as most animations are loops anyway, this seems to be a good solution if you don't have time and the manpower to set up all those rigs in LW.

gar26lw
12-18-2018, 11:36 PM
this problem still exists in lw2018 :(

need Lightwave to handle multiple takes in fbx plus work straight off to load rigged animated meshes, like the aforementioned apps.

submitted a bug with data.

jaxtone
12-26-2018, 11:11 PM
After two decades of struggle with to put it mildly a lousy CA part inside Lightwaveīs core that I never felt comfortable with, I donīt get this.

How do you guys that spend uncountable hours, days, weeks, months or years to solve something that still works the other way compared to the rest of the industry find time to relax and erase the problem part of Lightwave?

I am not saying this to be rude but personally this ever going part of Lightwave that never seems to be right makes my sick!

Anyway, its nice to see that some of you now got more skills than the rest of the world in finding solutions that must be a heavy burden for Lightwave to carry!

A Happy new year to all of you!

gar26lw
02-20-2019, 07:57 AM
mixamo rig imports to lw 2019 if taken through the fbx converter (the now dead fbx converter which spits out fbx 2012)

takes must be removed even thought there is a master plugin for takes within lightwave and a ui button to play a take.

I don't get that but its great the mixamo rig will come in correctly. its a start :)

incidentally, modo will load the mixamo generated fbx perfectly with takes. no hassle or conversion needed.

mummyman
02-20-2019, 08:34 AM
mixamo rig imports to lw 2019 if taken through the fbx converter (the now dead fbx converter which spits out fbx 2012)

takes must be removed even thought there is a master plugin for takes within lightwave and a ui button to play a take.

I don't get that but its great the mixamo rig will come in correctly. its a start :)

incidentally, modo will load the mixamo generated fbx perfectly with takes. no hassle or conversion needed.

I've tried this... removing the take in fbx converter and then using 2019.. but the animation still doesn't show. Not sure what I'm doing wrong. Of course..now that I posted this.. I'm going to retry... and that usually makes it work! Ha..

and... yes.. got it to work, but it only worked if I didn't export the mesh/skin.

gar26lw
02-20-2019, 09:46 AM
i tried in maya also and that was flawless. it also worked better with unreal.

i tried exporting just the rig with anim to unreal from lw and that won’t import to unreal. does with maya export.

i get a crash if i do load from scene on the animated rig and try and load the mesh in. thought this might be needed in lw to export.

loading an fbx with a mesh and rig with anim worked but you have to use joints otherwise it’s a mess but then lw seems to make extra joints on the end of fingers, head etc.

i did get z bones to work correctly in one import but then they didn’t in others. they must have been the raw mixamo fbx. i think to get the best result, run all mixamo fbx’s via fbx converter, then import that fbx choosing lw bones and baked motion.

i wish this stuff just worked. i think fbx rig and animations is an area that needs a good look at in lw.
devs should load a rig to modo, maya and lw etc, then compare and fix up lw system to really be on par or better.

this is the first time where i am debating with myself as to whether i upgrade lw. done so since 5, i think it was.

the issues like this have been there for decades now. other packages just work. it’s quite frustrating as i do like the package but it’s wasting so much time and energy.

mummyman
02-20-2019, 09:48 AM
Yes.. got mine working through Maya... then back to LW2019.

jwiede
02-24-2019, 06:27 PM
So is the "interchange bridge" referenced in the second item of https://www.newtek.com/lightwave/2019/features/ different from the usual file-IO-based FBX import/export? If so, does it work any better for FBX rig & anim import? Or does it suffer from the same issues?

mummyman
02-25-2019, 07:39 AM
So is the "interchange bridge" referenced in the second item of https://www.newtek.com/lightwave/2019/features/ different from the usual file-IO-based FBX import/export? If so, does it work any better for FBX rig & anim import? Or does it suffer from the same issues?

I haven't gotten that far as to test that. Sometimes it's hard to remember all the different ways to implement things into a workflow. Thanks!

- - - Updated - - -


So is the "interchange bridge" referenced in the second item of https://www.newtek.com/lightwave/2019/features/ different from the usual file-IO-based FBX import/export? If so, does it work any better for FBX rig & anim import? Or does it suffer from the same issues?

I haven't gotten that far as to test that. Sometimes it's hard to remember all the different ways to implement things into a workflow. Thanks!

BeeVee
03-01-2019, 10:46 AM
The new Interchange Bridge system goes much deeper into FBX capabilities, supporting partial import, building a new FBX file from multiple scene elements and animation takes.

B

AnimeJoex
03-01-2019, 01:51 PM
Between LightWave and Maya, I've had mixed success with importing Mixamo fbx files. I was able to import one of the Mixamo characters into Maya complete with its animation but wasn't able to in LightWave. And then Maya wouldn't import the blue Mixamo robot character whereas to my surprise, LightWave imported it perfectly, complete with animations.