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Blazoneer
11-22-2016, 12:00 PM
Is there a clear tutorial on how to import and animate an FBX file? I purchased a rigged FBX off Turbosquid, and I've also imported rigged FBX files, but none of them import with bones -- they show up with individual objects / parts, but not with the IK connectivity that might allow me to, say, grab a foot, and pull it and have the entire leg follow as I create a pose and assign a keyframe. Instead, the foot separates from the rest of the mesh. I checked Lightwave's compatibility, and it advertises FBX compatibility. What simple thing am I misunderstanding?

prometheus
11-22-2016, 01:41 PM
I donīt fbx support to maintain inverse kinematics, not sure though, you could apply ik booster to get fast ik...but thatīs not the real issue you got, you say you get no bones?
I reckon the files you got is a mesh that is split into groups, not welded.

Take a screenshot of the model in wireframe with bone xray on, and post here, also check scene editor..what does it say? bones or not?

And you did import from layout directly right..not modeler?

prometheus
11-22-2016, 02:08 PM
If you take this example, a free hulk rig..in collada format for instance, I do not get the bones properly posed or scaled, no matter how I import it in lightwave layout, so I went to blender..imported this collada file to blender, and in blender it is all posed properly, I then used the fbx export from blender to save out fbx, and then the hulk is properly imported with a good bone rig, so that may be a workaround.
proīs are probably using special stuff like motion builder etc to get the rigs right.

so here blender comes to rescue with a collada rigged fil.
But on the bad side for blender, importing daz studio genesis files with fbx didnīt work out well for me, at least not the later fbx versions, so that is something lightwave does better.

http://tf3dm.com/3d-model/hulk-47056.html

Ztreem
11-22-2016, 03:11 PM
Collada seems to have a weak support in most major apps. Blender seems to do quite a good job with collada but has quite week fbx support, but its getting better each time. Overall it feels like fbx and obj is the best formats for transfering between apps but it will always be some small things that doesn't work perfectly.

prometheus
11-23-2016, 11:17 AM
Collada seems to have a weak support in most major apps. Blender seems to do quite a good job with collada but has quite week fbx support, but its getting better each time. Overall it feels like fbx and obj is the best formats for transfering between apps but it will always be some small things that doesn't work perfectly.

My experience with collada for lightwave isnīt that nice either, it of course depends on what main app is used to export it I guess, simple sketchup stuff may work decently, this hulk model is made for /from? machinima
It is a free download in collada format with textures and a rig, in lightwave the bones only shows up in the same place and completly off scale compared to the mesh, but importing it instead directly to blender with itīs collada format will give you correct bones, then export out to fbx and you will get this figure in to lightwave with bone rig quite correct, and textures and uv is intact, so that may be a way to go for many tf3dm models like this.

and as you say, importing fbx to blender..not so god, at least not daz figures that gets screwed up, in lightwave that is working much better.

Free model..mesh, rig, textures, low poly but nice..and can be subpatched, use implicit rig, import to blender, export to fbx and open in lightwave layout, or clear the rigt and make one from genoma.
http://tf3dm.com/3d-model/hulk-47056.html


http://tf3dm.com/imgd/l85645-hulk-47056.jpg

Greenlaw
11-23-2016, 11:56 AM
Is there a clear tutorial on how to import and animate an FBX file? I purchased a rigged FBX off Turbosquid, and I've also imported rigged FBX files, but none of them import with bones -- they show up with individual objects / parts, but not with the IK connectivity that might allow me to, say, grab a foot, and pull it and have the entire leg follow as I create a pose and assign a keyframe. Instead, the foot separates from the rest of the mesh. I checked Lightwave's compatibility, and it advertises FBX compatibility. What simple thing am I misunderstanding?

Here's what I know about FBX in a nutshell:

LightWave's FBX works. I use it for transferring rigs, mocap and other motion data, and cameras. It will, in many cases, support UV maps, weight maps and textures, but it does not support most shader properties that tend to be application specific. It also supports lights but I don't generally transfer light settings except maybe to get position and angles because ligthting properties vary from program to program--usually, a null is enough for this.

FBX does not support IK and scripted rig features because that tends to be program specific. It should preserve all nulls/locaters and all bones though. You'll have to add any special controls, like IK, in your animation program. This is why many LightWave animators use Merge Only Motion Envelopes when transferring animation from another program--this way they can use motions created elsewhere (like mocap, for example,) and apply it directly to a rig specifically setup for LightWave.

Generally speaking, when transferring animation from other programs, you want to bake the keys first. The data will still translate without baking but it may not be accurate because different programs may interpret curves differently. If you bake the keys, the data should match up exactly. LightWave's FBX exporter can bake keys if you tell it to. For other programs, check the documentation for specific details on how it handles FBX.

Over the years, I've found LightWave's FBX to be compatible with Motion Builder, Maya, and Fusion. I avoid using recent versions of FBX because AD keeps breaking things with it (for me anyway.) I think FBX 2010 is usually a safe bet for LightWave but experiment and see what works best for you.

prometheus
11-23-2016, 01:05 PM
Here's what I know about FBX in a nutshell:

LightWave's FBX works. I use it for transferring rigs, mocap and other motion data, and cameras. It will, in many cases, support UV maps, weight maps and textures, but it does not support most shader properties that tend to be application specific. It also supports lights but I don't generally transfer light settings except maybe to get position and angles because ligthting properties vary from program to program--usually, a null is enough for this.

FBX does not support IK and scripted rig features because that tends to be program specific. It should preserve all nulls/locaters and all bones though. You'll have to add any special controls, like IK, in your animation program. This is why many LightWave animators use Merge Only Motion Envelopes when transferring animation from another program--this way they can use motions created elsewhere (like mocap, for example,) and apply it directly to a rig specifically setup for LightWave.

Generally speaking, when transferring animation from other programs, you want to bake the keys first. The data will still translate without baking but it may not be accurate because different programs may interpret curves differently. If you bake the keys, the data should match up exactly. LightWave's FBX exporter can bake keys if you tell it to. For other programs, check the documentation for specific details on how it handles FBX.

Over the years, I've found LightWave's FBX to be compatible with Motion Builder, Maya, and Fusion. I avoid using recent versions of FBX because AD keeps breaking things with it (for me anyway.) I think FBX 2010 is usually a safe bet for LightWave but experiment and see what works best for you.

You forgot Daz studio :), at least for import, and at least for genesis1 figures, that usually works great though you may want to remove certain standin bones in order to use ik booster on top of daz figures for animation in lightwave with IK.
For animation in Daz and then fbx export, yes..bake to studiokeys if you use animate for instance.

Greenlaw
11-23-2016, 01:56 PM
Nah, I didn't forget...I was only talking about my personal experience with FBX and I've never used it with DAZ. That's good to know though! :)

Greenlaw
11-23-2016, 02:03 PM
BTW, when I say "LightWave's FBX works," I mean from version 11.something and up. In LightWave 9.6 and earlier, FBX support was awful. (I know because that's when I started working with 'homebrew' mocap for my short films.) LW3DG did a major overhaul of FBX support during the 10 cycle and got it working pretty decently in the 11 cycle.

I know they continued improving FBX in the 2015 cycle. I haven't used it quite as much lately but I did move cameras and non-animated geometry from Maya to LightWave using FBX this past spring and it worked perfectly!

Ma3rk
11-23-2016, 02:26 PM
FWIW, I updated Poser to the 11 Pro version awhile back and FBX exports to Lightwave 2015.3 works quite well. There are a few options to check during the export steps, but most of those are intuitive. IK doesn't come across but that would be very easy to recreate in Layout after the fact. FK works as expected so you can bring in animation and season to taste as needed.

Not meant to be a substitute for full on animation in LW, but if you need something quick to spruce up some architectural work say, it's a worthwhile consideration.

prometheus
11-24-2016, 10:08 AM
FWIW, I updated Poser to the 11 Pro version awhile back and FBX exports to Lightwave 2015.3 works quite well. There are a few options to check during the export steps, but most of those are intuitive. IK doesn't come across but that would be very easy to recreate in Layout after the fact. FK works as expected so you can bring in animation and season to taste as needed.

Not meant to be a substitute for full on animation in LW, but if you need something quick to spruce up some architectural work say, it's a worthwhile consideration.

Let me know if ik booster works nicely with poser 11 pro fbx export, for daz studio it works if you remove the fbx standin bone, and the genesis bone, then you should be able to use ik booster without the bones going outside of the mesh, which otherwise happens if you just run ik booster directly on the fbx imported rig.