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rdolishny
12-17-2014, 10:31 PM
I had a remarkable and enjoyable down day so I decided to explore a few Lightwave artists I've had on 'watch later' for months. Of note, Lino, Chazriker, Brent3D and IvanBarb4 and his incredible 2 x 90 minute comprehensive breakdowns.

What an incredible wave of talent and output coming from Lightwave over the past few weeks, and this 2015 release has really kickstarted a lot of incredible work.

Of note is Genoma and now Genoma II. I'm very late to this game, but haven't touched it since its release because I'm not fond of cludges and tacked-on plugins, and I was just afraid of how to set up Genoma and edit something it automatically created. After watching a few demos including that 90 minute eye opener from Top of 33, I decided to give it a shot.

Below is the result of less than 9 minutes from a crude modelling session, my first time loading Genoma I, and IK animation in Layout. I never thought I would ever see this in Lightwave and I'm a believer now.

126147

http://youtu.be/AnFm1OQjXzs

Seems I'm not the only one. I spent an hour reading through a Modo thread about 2015. Seems a lot of ex-pats are suitably impressed with the development of Lightwave of late, and of course probably have a bit of nerves with this whole investor sell-off proposed.

http://community.thefoundry.co.uk/discussion/topic.aspx?f=4&t=94209

There is some fondness (and bitterness, for sure) for Lightwave. It's very interesting to read.

Anyway, enjoy my 4 seconds of Genoma. I had so much fun. I have had personal projects on the back burner for years that I can definitely revisit.

Thanks to everyone mentioned at the top of this message and probably a few more for working so hard to share the great news about Lightwave.

JohnMarchant
12-18-2014, 12:13 AM
Well most of it is speculation and no one knows. Many Modo users are now closing ranks because they think they can see the vultures gathering. If AD go for The Foundry then we will really see them start to wonder. If AD go for The Foundry it wont be for Modo and then of course what will happen to Modo, XSI a far more capable and rounded product bit the dust and thats what makes people nervous so of course as many of them switched from LW to Modo, they feel a need to defend their decision in the face of uncertain times ahead.

Im not sure AD will be interested in The Foundry at all, after all there is very little there to interest them and certainly not Modo but with AD track record i would be very, very nervous if i was a Modo user and AD did buy The Foundry. Also if AD do buy then the price is bound to go up and a yearly subscription will be the model and there are enough threads on AD forums about cost of yearly subscriptions and lack of any really new features.

Overall im happy with the way LW Layout is going and im hoping in the next few years modeler will catch up as it is woefully inadequate for the 21st Century. Im hoping LWCAD 5 will take up allot of that slack though, we will see in the next few months.

Blender is the one to watch

jeric_synergy
12-18-2014, 01:50 AM
After watching a few demos including that 90 minute eye opener from Top of 33, .....
"Top of 33"???? You lost me there, what is that??? Tnx.

rdolishny
12-18-2014, 07:02 AM
Sorry I did forget that link. This user has really captured the good stuff and is so interesting to watch work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ9oP_pFhS8

You should check out all of his work. There's a flying gargoyle with different body parts that really captures the potential of Genoma.

chikega
12-18-2014, 09:38 AM
Also be sure to check out the Genoma 2 video tutorials that Lino just posted yesterday. Although I'm a big fan of Rhiggit 2 (no back and forth to Modeler), I'm glad to see that Genoma is advancing.

https://www.lightwave3d.com/learn/article/genoma-2-for-character-animation-in-lightwave-2015/?utm_source=mailer_12162014&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=lw_2015_videos

jeric_synergy
12-18-2014, 01:01 PM
Excellent thread, I've been intimidated by Genoma for quite a while. I'm more likely to approach it now.

CaptainMarlowe
12-19-2014, 01:43 PM
I've loved Genoma from day 1, it has been a real game-changer for me, especially to rig my mechas and robots. I can't wait to get a look at Genoma 2.

lino.grandi
12-19-2014, 04:17 PM
And a Genoma2 Unity Biped Preset is coming very soon! ;)

MentalFish
12-19-2014, 04:28 PM
And a Genoma2 Unity Biped Preset is coming very soon! ;)
Oooh neato :)

Ryan Roye
12-19-2014, 05:43 PM
I've loved Genoma from day 1, it has been a real game-changer for me, especially to rig my mechas and robots. I can't wait to get a look at Genoma 2.

When I get time to do it I'd like to see what could be done with Genoma2 using its built-in python script option. I can see quite some value in having presets that take advantage of user scripts to enable layout-only functions to be deployed via Genoma. (IE: make a genoma rig template that automatically sets up dynamics-based constraints).

I do know I could make a genoma preset that deploys a custom IKBooster rig with settings preserved in genoma... but they'll come later as I'm super busy! ;)

jeric_synergy
12-19-2014, 06:04 PM
(post got lost in cyberspace...)

Is Genoma so good that no discussion was necessary? 'Cuz I didn't see a lot of threads about it. :stumped:

lino.grandi
12-20-2014, 06:15 AM
(post got lost in cyberspace...)

Is Genoma so good that no discussion was necessary? 'Cuz I didn't see a lot of threads about it. :stumped:

Did you see the new Genoma2 videos I made? At the moment we have just 2, but the number will increase shortly.

There's still a lot to be covered about it.

I'm working on the Unity Preset at the moment (just the first of many others), and I'll make a video showing how to use it.

Then I'll make more videos that should be especially useful to expert riggers that want to create their own Presets (and possibly share them with the community!).

Fsoto
12-20-2014, 10:03 AM
Looking forward to more videos on Genoma. Thanks.

vncnt
12-20-2014, 11:21 AM
Below is the result of less than 9 minutes from a crude modelling session, my first time loading Genoma I, and IK animation in Layout. I never thought I would ever see this in Lightwave and I'm a believer now.

126147

http://youtu.be/AnFm1OQjXzs

Good to see that Genoma is triggering more animation demo's.
And your spider looks cute in every frame, even if itīs a very short demo.
Attractive characters are the foundation for successful productions.

Especially character animation seemed to be an underexposed area.
And now with Genoma2, LightWave is becoming increasingly interesting for small projects.

Just a few more development steps with Legato and Iīll be happy to start a project with multiple characters.

Our baby is growing up!

jeric_synergy
12-20-2014, 12:00 PM
Lino, not the extremely helpful videos, but forum threads. Apparently Genoma is so good nobody needed to ask questions about it! :thumbsup:

lino.grandi
12-20-2014, 12:13 PM
Lino, not the extremely helpful videos, but forum threads. Apparently Genoma is so good nobody needed to ask questions about it! :thumbsup:

A video is the best starting point for a forum thread. Did you see the latest ones?

jeric_synergy
12-20-2014, 12:37 PM
I'm holding off until I upgrade, since the new ones are all G2, right?

sami
12-20-2014, 01:56 PM
And a Genoma2 Unity Biped Preset is coming very soon! ;)

This will be fantastic!!

I have not delved into Genoma 1 or 2 for the very absence of these. I could not understand it's benefit over Rhiggit which has had the awesome lightweight FBX biped rig which exports to Unity beautifully. It will be nice to have the option to use either rig for games and real-time sims.

And as much as I like these new videos you've uploaded, I still note that this many years later after Rhiggit (which I include in this criticism), despite their power, for real-world, production use, so very many steps and gotchas are glossed over in these videos. There is FAR more work than depicted to get things "right"/perfect. Alignment of joints/bones and weight map editing is not just a 10min job if you care about subtle deformations in game engines. For example, many engines have limits to how many bones can influence a point in the character from LW, and you definitely don't get in the game engine what you see in Layout. Not everybody is rendering out static characters for film in LW.

I have a 2 page bullet point checklist I have made to ensure I don't miss a subtle step and end up with more work down the pipeline. From what I can tell, Genoma does not remove that many steps from Rhiggit's workflow - it only saves time comparing to if you did it from scratch.

I'm not complaining, Genoma 2 looks awesome and I'm looking forward to the new lightweight exportable rig, but sadly there is still a ton of surrounding usability improvements that desperately need to be made to character rigging in LW. From weightmaps to perfect precision in bone placement to ensuring correct exportable deforms, is still desperately needed. Precision and not just slapping out a sloppy animation is necessary. And a lot of UI improvements around these areas would help.

I hope these things are in the works too!

lino.grandi
12-20-2014, 03:03 PM
This will be fantastic!!

I have not delved into Genoma 1 or 2 for the very absence of these. I could not understand it's benefit over Rhiggit which has had the awesome lightweight FBX biped rig which exports to Unity beautifully. It will be nice to have the option to use either rig for games and real-time sims.

I think what I'm working on is a pretty nice compromise between simplicity and efficiency.



And as much as I like these new videos you've uploaded, I still note that this many years later after Rhiggit (which I include in this criticism), despite their power, for real-world, production use, so very many steps and gotchas are glossed over in these videos. There is FAR more work than depicted to get things "right"/perfect. Alignment of joints/bones and weight map editing is not just a 10min job if you care about subtle deformations in game engines. For example, many engines have limits to how many bones can influence a point in the character from LW, and you definitely don't get in the game engine what you see in Layout. Not everybody is rendering out static characters for film in LW.

Games have their own rules about weighting. With the rig I'm also providing a model with a typical weighting perfect for Unity, so that what you see in Layout is what you get in Unity.
Aligning bones in Genoma2 is something very fast (you have several ways to align the skelegons, and now it's possible to use one single item to control the alignment of multiple bones).
I'm deeply testing the rig with Unity. And it's workng really well so far.
Of course weigthing is a time consuming operation in any case, especially if you're doing it for games.



I have a 2 page bullet point checklist I have made to ensure I don't miss a subtle step and end up with more work down the pipeline. From what I can tell, Genoma does not remove that many steps from Rhiggit's workflow - it only saves time comparing to if you did it from scratch.

Once you've done your prototype rig in Genoma2, all you have to do when rigging similar characters using the same rig is adapt the bone's positions. Pretty fast.



I'm not complaining, Genoma 2 looks awesome and I'm looking forward to the new lightweight exportable rig, but sadly there is still a ton of surrounding usability improvements that desperately need to be made to character rigging in LW. From weightmaps to perfect precision in bone placement to ensuring correct exportable deforms, is still desperately needed. Precision and not just slapping out a sloppy animation is necessary. And a lot of UI improvements around these areas would help.

I hope these things are in the works too!

The videos show just the tip of the iceberg about Genoma2.

But I totally agree, LightWave needs a deep rework of the available rigging tools. We need new and more "smart" skinning methods (loads of great papers out there on this topic)....and deformers.....and corrective morphs....and weight painting in Layout....and.....
Well. We know! ;)

Oedo 808
12-20-2014, 03:28 PM
Games have their own rules about weighting. With the rig I'm also providing a model with a typical weighting perfect for Unity, so that what you see in Layout is what you get in Unity.
Aligning bones in Genoma2 is something very fast (you have several ways to align the skelegons, and now it's possible to use one single item to control the alignment of multiple bones).
I'm deeply testing the rig with Unity. And it's workng really well so far.
Of course weigthing is a time consuming operation in any case, especially if you're doing it for games.

Are you going to be able to use joints with this? The naming offset that requires the use of dummy joints when using them with Unity et al certainly doesn't help with the time consuming part. Or is there already an export solution to this that I've missed?

RebelHill
12-20-2014, 03:46 PM
I could not understand it's benefit over Rhiggit which has had the awesome lightweight FBX biped rig which exports to Unity beautifully. It will be nice to have the option to use either rig for games and real-time sims.

And as much as I like these new videos you've uploaded, I still note that this many years later after Rhiggit (which I include in this criticism), despite their power, for real-world, production use, so very many steps and gotchas are glossed over in these videos. There is FAR more work than depicted to get things "right"/perfect. Alignment of joints/bones and weight map editing is not just a 10min job if you care about subtle deformations in game engines. For example, many engines have limits to how many bones can influence a point in the character from LW, and you definitely don't get in the game engine what you see in Layout.

You should try V2... you dont need a unity/fbx preset anymore... every single RHiggit rig is export skeleton ready (when using the nulls/deforms rig type)... biped, dinosaurs, hippos... every rig, including hold structures, muscle parts, etc. As for the weighting issue... I don't think it's really "glossed over"... I make plenty mention of it, I just don't go into all the intricate detail of doing it as its purely an LW side thing (one presumes the user knows how to weight stuff, although it is a subject I cover in my rigging tutorials).

The simple story is this though...

Use 1 bone per weightmap... turn on "use weight map only" and "normalisation", and you *should* get the exact same deforms you see in layout in game engines, motionbiolder, maya, etc, etc. Yes there's the additional caveat in game engines that there are restrictions on how many influences there can be per vertex... but is usually either 3 or 4, and if you turn on "faster bones" in layout, that restricts layout to 3 influences per vertex.

These are the same "restrictions" you'll have working in max, maya, or others. The difference there, ofc, is that you can paint weights in the same "space" as you're manipulating the character, which makes the whole weighting process go far faster, and feel more intuitive.


Are you going to be able to use joints with this? The naming offset that requires the use of dummy joints when using them with Unity et al certainly doesn't help with the time consuming part. Or is there already an export solution to this that I've missed?

No point... if a game engine is your destination, you should use zbones.

lino.grandi
12-20-2014, 03:54 PM
Are you going to be able to use joints with this? The naming offset that requires the use of dummy joints when using them with Unity et al certainly doesn't help with the time consuming part. Or is there already an export solution to this that I've missed?

It would make no sense.
Just get ready for something that will work great with Unity.

Oedo 808
12-20-2014, 04:32 PM
No point... if a game engine is your destination, you should use zbones.


It would make no sense.
Just get ready for something that will work great with Unity.

Thanks chaps, I'm barely competent just using joints. I'm content using them and would like to export them (well I do with the offset method) but I guess I can go zbones only if there is no advantage to using joints with simpler rigs.

Sorry, did you mean I could just export joints as zbones?

RebelHill
12-20-2014, 04:58 PM
No I mean the only advantage to using joints exist in LW... for exporting, the extra stuff they do doesnt work, so it makes more sense to avoid them if export is the end destination.

Oedo 808
12-20-2014, 05:16 PM
No I mean the only advantage to using joints exist in LW... for exporting, the extra stuff they do doesnt work, so it makes more sense to avoid them if export is the end destination.

Right, thanks, if I have any trouble getting rigs to behave the way I want with zbones I'll send out an S.O.S, simple though it may be to others less plebby.

All right I won't take up any more of the topic, I look for to seeing what Genoma 2 can deliver.

sami
12-20-2014, 05:47 PM
Lino, Thanks very much for your reply!


I think what I'm working on is a pretty nice compromise between simplicity and efficiency.

Games have their own rules about weighting. With the rig I'm also providing a model with a typical weighting perfect for Unity, so that what you see in Layout is what you get in Unity.
Aligning bones in Genoma2 is something very fast (you have several ways to align the skelegons, and now it's possible to use one single item to control the alignment of multiple bones).
I'm deeply testing the rig with Unity. And it's workng really well so far.
Of course weigthing is a time consuming operation in any case, especially if you're doing it for games.
...
But I totally agree, LightWave needs a deep rework of the available rigging tools. We need new and more "smart" skinning methods (loads of great papers out there on this topic)....and deformers.....and corrective morphs....and weight painting in Layout....and.....
Well. We know! ;)

Weighting is insanely tedious to get perfect/efficient - especially with all the back and forth one has to do for the export into the game. Say you add an animation for use in game and then you find out the weighting needs to be tweaked to account for that new animation, going back up the chain of steps to export is a tricky path which can destroy hours/days of work unless you are extremely detailed about the path you take. This is why we were working on a very user friendly LW tool to help with weighting (and all kinds of maps) but with no one apparently interested in this, and with Lscript/Python being extremely tedious to make an interactive UI in, for the moment, we've abandoned releasing it, and just using it internally with its quirks for now. No one seemed to think this sort of thing was needed - no real feedback or clamoring for this kind of tool - but we find it VITAL for the character animation to Game engine workflow. And we have great ideas about how the UI would eliminate steps, provide very easy to use interactions and revolutionize this workflow, but we spend too much dev time fighting with LightWave's sdk and languages to get the UI to do what we want, that we have to jump through so many hoops, the dev time becomes less worth it. We are thinking of developing the whole thing and UI in Unity now to read LWOs & LWSs and make FBXs and just have Lscript controller data-passthrough plugins as a wrapper. But you guys would be better at this sort of thing.

I'd appreciate it if you could look at this thread:

http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?140127-MapMonster-%28alpha%29-Modeler-plugin-needs-you!-%28User-centered-plugin-design-%29

and let me know if you can look at our plugin & have time to have a look at the idea of some of these UI ideas of how we could improve workflow - not just around the Genoma skeleton itself, but around the entire workflow, weighting, baking animations, ensuring deformations are exact in export, and drop-in edits without much rework. That's where we were heading with this for our work, and up until now Rhiggit FBX export rig was the only option. If you need the plugin/source or something, please let me know - most of the code deals with the UI stuff which should be the easiest. Tools like these are the kind of thing I'm talking about around the whole process of rigging with export in mind. and that's just the surface - we have other mockups and ideas that we simply can't implement in LW without a lot of pain or time. Hopefully these are the sort of things you recognize when you are saying more is in store! :)

sami
12-20-2014, 06:06 PM
You should try V2... you dont need a unity/fbx preset anymore... every single RHiggit rig is export skeleton ready (when using the nulls/deforms rig type)... biped, dinosaurs, hippos... every rig, including hold structures, muscle parts, etc. As for the weighting issue... I don't think it's really "glossed over"... I make plenty mention of it, I just don't go into all the intricate detail of doing it as its purely an LW side thing (one presumes the user knows how to weight stuff, although it is a subject I cover in my rigging tutorials).

The simple story is this though...

Use 1 bone per weightmap... turn on "use weight map only" and "normalisation", and you *should* get the exact same deforms you see in layout in game engines, motionbiolder, maya, etc, etc. Yes there's the additional caveat in game engines that there are restrictions on how many influences there can be per vertex... but is usually either 3 or 4, and if you turn on "faster bones" in layout, that restricts layout to 3 influences per vertex.

These are the same "restrictions" you'll have working in max, maya, or others. The difference there, ofc, is that you can paint weights in the same "space" as you're manipulating the character, which makes the whole weighting process go far faster, and feel more intuitive.


When I say "glossed over" don't get me wrong, your videos are incredibly detailed and probably have the most detailed information about deformations and rigging issues of any videos I've seen. But what I mean, about yours as well as the new amazing features in Genoma 2 (which I haven't tried yet), is that there are still many many tedious steps and gotchas in the workflow, and potential rework - which happens as clients and stakeholders require animations, models etc to be continually changed (i.e. Agile) - often causes massive refactoring.

It seems there should be better understanding of the entire workflow and better interactive and non-destructive UI to make things easier and allow the artists to concentrate on the animations and refinements as opposed to the (in my case) 2 page list of bullet points for rig setup, weighting, animation baking, export, test, and refinement.

I'll ask you in an email or another thread about your new changes to Rhiggit, as I don't want to hijack this thread - sounds exciting and as you know your product helped me out a lot and despite it being so cool with the animation and rigging side of things, it was still tricky and tedious when you take the entire workflow into account - hopefully this has improved with Rhiggit and now Genoma 2. I really need to dive in to Genoma 2 to see the differences, and learn about your new changes too - Rhiggit has been the first at the game engine export workflow and really was worth it and very helpful! But I'm still not loving the level of pain that currently exists with CA & game engine export in LW. Perhaps that's about to change now... ;)

lightscape
12-20-2014, 09:18 PM
Does G2 have its own motion retargetting?

spherical
12-20-2014, 11:44 PM
Let's not start an abbreviation that is confusing. When I read this, I went: "Since when does G2 (http://www.worley.com/E/Products/g2/g2.html) have anything to do with anything other than lighting and shading?"

RebelHill
12-21-2014, 06:13 AM
When I say "glossed over" don't get me wrong, your videos are incredibly detailed and probably have the most detailed information about deformations and rigging issues of any videos I've seen. But what I mean, about yours as well as the new amazing features in Genoma 2 (which I haven't tried yet), is that there are still many many tedious steps and gotchas in the workflow, and potential rework - which happens as clients and stakeholders require animations, models etc to be continually changed (i.e. Agile) - often causes massive refactoring.

It seems there should be better understanding of the entire workflow and better interactive and non-destructive UI to make things easier and allow the artists to concentrate on the animations and refinements as opposed to the (in my case) 2 page list of bullet points for rig setup, weighting, animation baking, export, test, and refinement.

I'll ask you in an email or another thread about your new changes to Rhiggit, as I don't want to hijack this thread - sounds exciting and as you know your product helped me out a lot and despite it being so cool with the animation and rigging side of things, it was still tricky and tedious when you take the entire workflow into account - hopefully this has improved with Rhiggit and now Genoma 2. I really need to dive in to Genoma 2 to see the differences, and learn about your new changes too - Rhiggit has been the first at the game engine export workflow and really was worth it and very helpful! But I'm still not loving the level of pain that currently exists with CA & game engine export in LW. Perhaps that's about to change now... ;)

Other than the difficulties of weighting (which really is a skill unto itself, there is no quick way round it)... I can't think what other gotchas you'd be likely to come up against... at least not with RHiggit 2. You can change rigs any time during/after animation... if the changes are larger scale, you can transfer animations from any RHiggit rig to any other. The baker is now a one click deal, with bone rotations auto filtered and key reduced if required, along with a whole host of tools that make the business of animation itself quicker and easier than its ever been.

Go check out the videos... https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTds3QePYrWGUd7fMuNAivIsORvpnKDqX

Its nothing short of THE most fast and flexible toolset available for CA in LW bar none.

rdolishny
12-21-2014, 02:31 PM
Good to see that Genoma is triggering more animation demo's.
And your spider looks cute in every frame, even if itīs a very short demo.
Attractive characters are the foundation for successful productions.

Especially character animation seemed to be an underexposed area.
And now with Genoma2, LightWave is becoming increasingly interesting for small projects.

Just a few more development steps with Legato and Iīll be happy to start a project with multiple characters.

Our baby is growing up!

You can demo technique all day but it's the demos recently that have shown Lightwave in a new light. My demo took me all of 9 minutes to build, rig, and animate. I'm so excited about what I can do with some time, and like I said I've got so many ideas in my mind now that I think I can finally do something about it with Lightwave.

Attractive characters is the focus of a training demo I saw on the Modo forum from Warner McGee. I'm on video 3 of about 20 and it's amazing. I'm learning so much about making characters that look good. I've attached a frame grab of his work.

https://www.behance.net/gallery/20577537/Tutorial-Girl

126214

I'm going to be releasing a few stills from a new project that has been blown away with new animation now.

What a positive and inspiring thread. Keep the demos coming everyone!!!

brent3d
12-21-2014, 03:14 PM
(post got lost in cyberspace...)

Is Genoma so good that no discussion was necessary? 'Cuz I didn't see a lot of threads about it. :stumped:

Here is the forum thread I posted regarding Genoma 2, not much of a discussion but more about viewing..lol

http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?144882-Lightwave-2015-Genoma-2-Rig-amp-Pose-Demo

brent3d
12-21-2014, 03:18 PM
Thanks for the mention rdolishny:thumbsup:
For those who've been out of the loop:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HybYtTyjnOw

jeric_synergy
12-21-2014, 04:56 PM
Bah, Genoma 2 is too recent, and I'm not upgrading for a while. BAH! I say. ;)

jeric_synergy
12-22-2014, 12:54 AM
(can't append)

So, now there's 2 Genoma threads: did it just take those # of months until some sort of critical mass was reached? Or did the recent release of Genoma Deux shake a bunch of people out of the trees or what?

rdolishny
12-22-2014, 08:25 AM
(can't append)

So, now there's 2 Genoma threads: did it just take those # of months until some sort of critical mass was reached? Or did the recent release of Genoma Deux shake a bunch of people out of the trees or what?

In my case it was a set of demos from relative newcomers that showed me Lightwave being used in a different way.

And to the 'newcomers' I know I'm being too general. Many have been active for a few months or years, I just didn't find you until recently and the tutorials seem to really play well off each other to create a coherent set, albeit co-incidentally.

vncnt
12-22-2014, 09:12 AM
(can't append)

So, now there's 2 Genoma threads: did it just take those # of months until some sort of critical mass was reached? Or did the recent release of Genoma Deux shake a bunch of people out of the trees or what?
For me itīs the bi-directional workflow that Genoma2 can handle.
I want flexibility to reach a goal - not 10 employees.