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cyborg_ty
05-19-2015, 09:00 AM
Over the almost year (off and on) of learning Lightwave, I only played with keyFrame animation. This week I decided to work a little with mocap. I created an animation of a character swinging a sword, kicking, etc. all brought together in iClone and imported to Lightwave. The animation looks good when applied to the character in Lightwave, but there are parts that need to be tweaked. I figured if I brought it into motion mixer I could easily fix the over-swinging, not kicking high enough, etc.

However, when I convert the mocap to a motion mixer motion and add it to the motion mixer timeline, the character just glides forward; none of the joints bend (no arms swinging or legs kicking). I have NOT seen this problem when converting any of my hand-keyed/keyframe animation to motion mixer motion clips. Is there something I need to do with the imported mocap motion before using it in motion mixer?

I'm using Lightwave 2015.2.

Davewriter
05-19-2015, 08:33 PM
Depending on what kind of Cleanup you need, while taking for granted that you probably don't have MotionBuilder, some IKB might be an easy gol
You might give Ryan's tuts a look. I think he is wonderfully clear with his explanations.
http://www.liberty3d.com/2014/06/ryans-animation-kit/

cyborg_ty
05-20-2015, 10:34 AM
I decided to directly edit the mocap keyframes in the graph editor to make the needed adjustments to the motion(s).

I have gone through Ryan's IKBooster videos and I was very inspired by them. However, I was disappointed because with a project in which I chose to use IKBooster extensively, I had difficulty selecting the controllers. I became discouraged and had not gone back to using it, until within the past week. Poor performance in a scene with multiple characters (with genoma / rhiggit rigs; long pauses when moving between frames; tried all kinds of things - even scene with just the characters) has led me to look at simpler rigs and what IKBooster could bring to them. I'm willing to try again now that I'm using a newer version of Lightwave and believe I know the software better.

In case you are wondering, my workstation may not be the fastest, but its not the slowest either (i7 3.2 ghz, 16 GB mem, 1 x 780gtx, 1 x780ti, etc.)

Greenlaw
05-21-2015, 12:52 AM
You have whole lot more computer than than the creaky old thing I use in my studio to create our animated shorts. (Working on our fifth now, which used to be our third but we finished our fourth earlier this year, so now it's become our fifth. If that's confusing, don't worry about it.) My workstation's specs are i7 2.8Ghz, 9GB RAM, Geforce GTX 460, although most of the work is actually done on an old tablet PC with far lower specs.

The trick is to optimize everything in your scenes. Even when I worked on big budget commercials or video game trailers and cinematics, we optimized the poop out of everything we did. Time is money, as they say, and we usually had very little time in our schedules. Working as smart and efficiently as possible became our mantra.

Speaking of working smart, how do you like working with mocap in iClone/3DXchange? From what I've seen, it looks like a good low-cost alternative to Motion Builder. I have the full suite of iClone 5/3DX here but haven't gotten around to actually trying it yet. Our present pipeline depends on Motion Builder for retargeting and editing, and I don't want to change that until our current short film production finished. That said, I do want to move away from MB when I can find a viable alternative that's less costly to keep updated. (We're frozen at MB 2011, which is okay since Autodesk isn't serious about upgrading it anyway.) :p

As for editing and cleanup in Lightwave, the way we used to do it in the Box at Rhythm & Hues was we created skeletons with three layers of bones: one for mocap, one for motion override, and one for deformation. We also used Motion Mixer but that was for mixing multiple motion clips or retiming motions--we didn't really use that for clean up. That said, I'm not sure why it's behaving the way you describe--sorry, it's been several years since I last used Motion Mixer though so I'm not much help here. FYI, we used Lightwave for all of the character animation (hand keyframed and mocap) in our Call of Duty commercials, Banjo Kazooie, Mercedes Beast, Ninja Gaiden, Turok, and a bunch of other stuff. All that would have been Lightwave 9.6 and earlier, and the machines we had were even less powerful than my personal workstation.

I still haven't learned how to use IK Boost myself but from what I've seen Ryan Roye do with it in his videos, it certainly looks like a good way to do the same and with with a simpler rig too! I tried to use IK Boost years ago when it first came out but it was so buggy back then that I've since shied away from it. I really should give it another shot tough. Maybe later this summer.

Anyway, keep at like you have been. Once you figure out a few tricks, it does get easier. (Of course, every time you learn a new trick, it tempting to try it on something a lot harder.) :D

G.

cyborg_ty
05-21-2015, 09:44 PM
Speaking of working smart, how do you like working with mocap in iClone/3DXchange? From what I've seen, it looks like a good low-cost alternative to Motion Builder. I have the full suite of iClone 5/3DX here but haven't gotten around to actually trying it yet. Our present pipeline depends on Motion Builder for retargeting and editing, .......... I still haven't learned how to use IK Boost myself but from what I've seen Ryan Roye do with it in his videos, it certainly looks like a good way to do the same and with with a simpler rig too! .........................
................Anyway, keep at like you have been. Once you figure out a few tricks, it does get easier. (Of course, every time you learn a new trick, it tempting to try it on something a lot harder.) :D

G.

Thanks for your reply and encouragement. I considered using Lightwave to do the final re-timing, but the problem I had with Motion Mixer changed that. I am finding iClone to be a low cost alternative to MB. It has a retargeter, library of motions, easily extendable motion library, etc. (it also has one camera kinect mocap support). I could take the pesky motion back there, build a bit of a proxy scene, and fix the over rotations, re-time, etc. just as one would do with MB. However, iClone doesn't have a graph editor. Instead, you use 'transition curves' and 'time warp' features that seem to work well for most things. Like anything, the more I use it the more efficient I'll become and I'll get better at conceiving the required workarounds. :-)

Regarding IKBooster, the difficulty I had with selecting the bone controllers really derailed me. I invested in a few of Ryan's video tutorials and felt I was on a roll before getting discouraged while working on one of my few personal projects. However, I played with it within the past week as I was try different ways to import bvh files. I believe as a test, I'm going to create a short movie comprised mostly of mocap, but will have keyframe animations where needed. I will humbly post the results somewhere in this community.

Over the next few days I'll have a little more time to work on this. I'm sure I'll have successes to report.