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pekka varis
11-11-2017, 04:09 AM
How can I export the very simple plane ( 4 corners, just one polygon, basically ) animation data from Lightwave to blender?

colkai
11-11-2017, 06:42 AM
The easiest way is to ewxport an FBX from Lightwave, use the autodesk FBX converter to convert it to an FBX 2013 version then import that into blender

Surrealist.
11-11-2017, 07:16 AM
Blender will also import mdd and Alembic.

jeric_synergy
11-11-2017, 12:59 PM
Curiosity: does FBX include animation data? Or just geometry?

Marander
11-11-2017, 02:47 PM
Curiosity: does FBX include animation data? Or just geometry?

Animation, Rigs, Morphs, Geometry, Textures, Lights, Cameras, LOD etc.

jeric_synergy
11-11-2017, 03:54 PM
Wow.

pekka varis
11-12-2017, 02:03 AM
Thank you very much! Only thing i can find is this: https://www.autodesk.com/products/fbx/overview

Will it convert the animation & cameras from Lightwave generated FBX file to blender?
I am worried abou this since here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9McOw1q238s

somebody says: "Last version is 2013 and is garbage as it doesn't convert from a file into FBX which is the most valuable."

pekka varis
11-12-2017, 03:11 AM
Thank you everybody! I now try to do this, but I cannot find export an FBX from Lightwave Layout. See the attached image please. Where is it?

prometheus
11-12-2017, 03:19 AM
Thank you everybody! I now try to do this, but I cannot find export an FBX from Lightwave Layout. See the attached image please. Where is it?
Go to edit/edit menu layout, and write/search for export fbx, it should be located there, but obviously it isn, it should also be in the i/o tab..so check there first.
if you find it in the edit menu layout, drag it from the comman window to the main menu windows under file/export.
if itīs not even in edit menu, do a rescan of your plugins folder, the plugin is valkyrie.p it also holds the collade import export, and you donīt have that either, so I guess your valkyrie.p isnīt loead properly.

pekka varis
11-12-2017, 03:32 AM
Great! I found it and added it to file/ export menu. See attached images.
But now It does not show all the options for Export FBX as I see in manual. See the difference? Why do I not have the option to select cameras & lights?

138520
138521
138522

gerry_g
11-12-2017, 04:06 AM
the dialogue in the manual is for LW 2015.3, what version are you using, instead of loading a specific plugin try scanning the whole directory of your Newtek install, or try a menu refresh by hitting alt F10 and in the top right corner of the dialogue toggle open the menu and change it to anything other than what its on, let go to close it then reopen it and set it to default this should force update all menus - actually it should be default for any of the eleven X series too

pekka varis
11-12-2017, 04:29 AM
Thanks Gerry! I scanned my LW 2015.3 plugins directory and then I added the file/fbx export command to my menus. Problem was that I was using the modeler/fbx export plugin.. Now it looks the same as in manual! Now I need to export models and camera to blender. What options are important here? Do I just go on with default and see what happens? I have also installed the Autodesk FBX Converter 2013.2.

gerry_g
11-12-2017, 04:33 AM
I am no expert on this but last time I exported an entire scene with the default setting I got cameras too

colkai
11-12-2017, 04:42 AM
Blender will also import mdd and Alembic.

I thought MDD was only good for mesh deformation rather than straight object animation. Admittedly, it wasn't something I looked at when using LW.

Surrealist.
11-12-2017, 05:15 AM
I just mean using point cache is good for anything mesh related. Soft, hard or whatever. It is just another option. And it has less overhead. Also very easy to control and manipulate. But of course preserving scene data, objects and rigs and all of that needs to be FBX or Collada.

So if your main concern is preserving mesh animation and just setting up camera and lights in Blender, then Alembic or mdd is a good option because it removes all of the other interchange hassles. Currently Blender has some nice tools for handling point cache. Just mentioning it as an option. :)

bazsa73
11-12-2017, 09:31 AM
If you load vertrex cache animation Blender will mess up the Y and Z axises, so you have to fix it manually unless it has been solved.

bazsa73
11-12-2017, 09:41 AM
Moriens,

try this if you want to load a .mot file onto a Blender object. "how to use" included in the header.
138524

jeric_synergy
11-12-2017, 12:41 PM
I thought MDD was only good for mesh deformation rather than straight object animation. Admittedly, it wasn't something I looked at when using LW.

well, it's where the points BE, so you can use it to brute force all animation, but I get your meaning. MDD can be the mode of final choice if nothing, NOTHING else works. The nice bit is IME it tends to scoop up everything, motions, deformations, distortions, so it's got that going for it.

Cageman
11-12-2017, 01:46 PM
I just mean using point cache is good for anything mesh related. Soft, hard or whatever. It is just another option. And it has less overhead.

I will argue against this.

1) A simple plane (4 points) saved as an MDD will have 4 transforms instead of 1. So, 4 times more expensive to handle. Turn this into an object with one million points, you will have 1 million transforms instead of just 1.

2) Other packages handles this very nicely with Alembic; when you export an Alembic from Maya, as an example, all non-deforming meshes will be exported with a single transform, while all the deformed meshes will get exported with the point cache. LightWaves current Alembic implementation treats all objects as if they are deformed, which generates gigantic ABC files and brought into Houdini, everything goes to a slideshow kind of performance.

Many times during our current project, our Houdini artists needed stuff from LW. And Houdini is probably the worst app regarding FBX. so I exported an FBX that I then opened in Maya, and from there generated an Alembic that the Houdini guys needed.

So, I am just saying that Pointcaches are nice, but only if they are needed. If one can solve the rest with single transforms, then that is the way to go forward. :)

Surrealist.
11-12-2017, 03:19 PM
OK. I see. I will be honest. I have never exported Alembic from LightWave. So point taken. I have always come in from other packages, mainly, Maya. To LightWave and to Blender.

I prefer if as an animation pipeline over FBX. But regardless. It is an option to be aware of. You should not exclude it. There is also an Alembic export from Blender. I don't know if it suffers from the same issue as LW though.

At any rate that is all good and valuable info to have. Thanks! :)

Edit: And what I mean mainly by less overhead is no rigs. (which is one of the main accepted and intended reasons for Alembic) But if that is eliminated by poor export from LightWave, that can be an issue.

Surrealist.
11-12-2017, 03:21 PM
If you load vertrex cache animation Blender will mess up the Y and Z axises, so you have to fix it manually unless it has been solved.

The new vertex cache handling in Blender is quite nice. Don't import as mdd through the file menu for example. There are constraints and modifiers for it now that work much better.

prometheus
11-12-2017, 03:47 PM
I did some fiddlings with cloth fx deforms in lightwave on some blankets, then used mdd scan directly from clothf..which usually works well "inside" of lightwave, but blender couldnīt handle that, did a rescan with Lightwave mdd reader and loaded in to blender, that worked, I was then free to weight paint in areas on the cloth and use the weight painted map as fluid emission for fire, since turbulenceFD doesnīt have fluid emission (at least not last time I checked) and since lightwave layout doesnīt have weight paint either(modeler and plugin not included when refering)
Anyway..worked great for having cloth or window curtains getting caught on fire, though for actual effictive handling, I suppose Cageman knows more about that.

jeric_synergy
11-12-2017, 07:56 PM
One of the reasons I wanted NewTek/LWG to hire a Documentation Manager was to incorporate exactly THIS kind of information into the dox on an ongoing basis. Trying to locate this info, despite Google, is excessive overhead for users.

IMO, say U$30K a year dumped on some guy, perhaps the LWiki guy, to constantly incorporate such information in the PDFs would be money well spent.

Surrealist.
11-12-2017, 08:25 PM
They do have a guy. Ben Vost. I do know a few months ago he was working on the docs and it has been his job. Of course I have no idea what is happening now. But, to my knowledge that position has been filled and I am sure as soon as the dust settles here, assuming all comes out well, he would be very approachable.

colkai
11-13-2017, 02:32 AM
Moriens,

try this if you want to load a .mot file onto a Blender object. "how to use" included in the header.
138524

Had not seen that, useful. :-)

- - - Updated - - -

Ben has always been approachable, top guy.

jeric_synergy
11-13-2017, 08:15 AM
They do have a guy. Ben Vost. I do know a few months ago he was working on the docs and it has been his job. Of course I have no idea what is happening now. But, to my knowledge that position has been filled and I am sure as soon as the dust settles here, assuming all comes out well, he would be very approachable.

Ben Vost's (BeeVee?) tasks have, TMK, never included continuous update and correction of the PDFs. Because, TMK, they've never done that at all. I'm struggling to remember even "ommission and erratta" releases.

It's been more of a traditional "write the ginormous manual" kind of job, not "monitor the fora and see if there're good tips and workflows that should be added to the documentation so people don't kill themselves trying to do this one thing that Greenlaw figured out three years ago". It's a huge job, and IMO BeeVee has done a solid job on the manuals, BUT i.m.o. that approach is no longer adequate to the task of helping users get the most out of the software.

I believe the manual is a good FOUNDATION for evolving documentation.

One thing they could do, which would cost nothing, zero, nada, is place the entire manual into the public domain.

Surrealist.
11-13-2017, 10:05 AM
Well, contact him. He was, as far as I recall, the first and original LightWiki guy. So if anyone gets the concept continuous updates and user contribution to a live documentation, it would be Ben.

I wrote that Subdivision Surfaces tutorial at his request all the way back in 2007.

Right now. I can tell you as a matter of fact, that documentation, or a person to take it in the direction you would like to see it go, is not at all the issue right at this juncture.

But absolutely contact him.

jeric_synergy
11-13-2017, 11:27 AM
Right now. I can tell you as a matter of fact, that documentation, or a person to take it in the direction you would like to see it go, is not at all the issue right at this juncture.
Oh, we go 'way back, despite my brain fart earlier. He knows my thoughts on the subject. I just don't see Upper Management on board with this, esp. since I've been suggesting it for like a decade.

It's like the lowest of LHF.

(IIRC, the LWiki guy I'm thinking of is Irish-- definitely UK.)(Wow, age REALLY does a number on your memory.)

Surrealist.
11-13-2017, 06:06 PM
Well Ben Vost was absolutely the guy in 2007. I don't know if there was a guy before that. But we all know what happened after.

Regarding everything else. Well clearly something is afoot that is taking priority.

And who knows what we are going to see at the end off this.

But trust me this much. That would be the time to bring this up again.

jeric_synergy
11-13-2017, 07:25 PM
But trust me this much. That would be the time to bring this up again.
You mean, when it ships? :\

If NewTek were doing the same thing with the TriCaster et al, I think I'd have a better shot. For all I know, they are (no idea).

Surrealist.
11-13-2017, 08:47 PM
Yeah, if when, whatever. I am just saying I have information that would be completely useless to you or anyone now.

It was shared with me privately, and I am going to keep it that way.

But whenever this dust settles, whatever the outcome, it will be perfectly productive to talk about this.

Right now, just for the sake of your own sanity. Chill. And trust me when I say you are on the right track.

Does that help?

jeric_synergy
11-13-2017, 09:06 PM
Oh, I'm chill. You could keep a side of beef inside of me.

Now, some of these other guys....

Surrealist.
11-13-2017, 10:06 PM
lol... yeah.

pekka varis
11-15-2017, 01:49 AM
Hey, I cannot select anymore the fbx export command. If I edit plugins, I see it there. If I try to add it to menu layout, it is blurred. I have tried to scan plugins many times.. It always finds a bunch of many beutifull plugins but still I cannot add this plugins/Export FBX Command to my menus. Yesterday it was there! But no more..?

138574

138575

pekka varis
11-15-2017, 03:08 AM
I got it there again, sorry! I now continue exporting the fbx..

pekka varis
11-15-2017, 03:24 AM
Ok, here I go. I exported the scene with settings you can see from image:

138576

I have only deactivated materials & morpsh to keep it as simple as possible. Otherwise it is default.

Then I converted it to FBX2013.

138577

But Blender is not importing it:

138578

Maybe the export from Lightwave is wrong fbx version: FBX201100 ? Thatīs the default..

Surrealist.
11-15-2017, 04:05 AM
Make sure you don't have any constraints in the scene. I think IK is alright. But make sure also you don't have any other constraints or nodes. But also try choosing to Bake Motion Envelopes.

I would also try and export a simple scene first. Make sure you have an FBX export that actually works first.

pekka varis
11-15-2017, 06:39 AM
No matter what options I try to change - I always get the same errors. I need just a basic setting to make this lw - FBX export - Autodesk FBX Converter 2013 - Blender. If somebody knows, please can you take screenshot so I know what to do?

138579

gerry_g
11-15-2017, 07:49 AM
take a look at this old LW thread that deals with LW to Blender export in LW 2015.3, last time I took something out via FBX I baked the motion and reimported it for the object at the other end, don't think you can export all in one go the way you are trying – http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?154480-Lightwave-to-Blender-Character-mesh-bones-and-animation

gerry_g
11-15-2017, 08:23 AM
As thought, FBX has to be Autodesk 2015 minimum, LW is too outdate to work, can resend file from Modo and all is fine with FBX 2015, sorry you will have to do it the hard way, objects only + baked motion files, nuts for the cameras etc

Surrealist.
11-15-2017, 05:33 PM
No matter what options I try to change - I always get the same errors. I need just a basic setting to make this lw - FBX export - Autodesk FBX Converter 2013 - Blender. If somebody knows, please can you take screenshot so I know what to do?

138579

As far as I can tell this is a 2.79 bug.

So what you are experiencing is not to do with fBX out of LightWave or into Blender.

And it seems to be new with the current version.

I would suggest creating a simple scene, as you have, as an FBX. Verify that it opens in 2.78 and not in 2.79. And then send a bug report to the Blender foundation.

Maybe get some other people to confirm on Blender Artists website.

Currently Collada export seems to work in 2.79 out of LightWave. But FBX out of LightWave is broken in 2.79 for some reason.

But I would see if you can get others to verify.

Let's just hope it is not a new compatibility issue from the LightWave side of things created with 2.79 changes in Blender FBX import. As we know how far that will go right now.

At least know. Stop going crazy on this. It seems to be a bug. You can try Collada as an alternative.

pekka varis
11-16-2017, 04:33 AM
Ok, 2.78 opens the file! I make a note on this to Blender website..

Now I have the camera with animation also imported.. I study now this more through blender video tutorials. Thank you!!

Surrealist.
11-16-2017, 05:55 AM
Cool.

pekka varis
11-16-2017, 07:31 AM
I reported this bug to blender developers..

Does anybody have imported camera from Lightwave to Blender? I have now ( using blender ver 2.78 ) imported nicely everything. But even I got a camera "imported" to blender I cannot see anything through it. Something must be tweaked about it.. See the images and you surely see what I mean. I have even "converetd active object to camera" in blender but this does not helped me any way.. I still see just a cross-mark as camera in blender.. Not the camera icon as it should be.

Lightwave scene:
138585

Blender Scene:
138586

You can see the "camera" but it is not a real camera. It does not show anything:
138587

In the "broken" camera there is even the movement imported.. It sure is the camera object. I just need to somehow turn it to working camera in blender. If someone knows about this, please help.
If I do not get any answers from here to this, I must learn how to animate, light and texture the scene in blender..

Surrealist.
11-16-2017, 10:27 AM
In the camera properties check the near and far clipping plane distance.

Camera properties are in the panel to the right by default. Look for the small camera icon.

Also check to see if the camera is rotated 90 degrees in the wrong direction.

By the way once you get the scene imported you can save it and open in 2.79 to take advantage of the new rendering features.

Surrealist.
11-16-2017, 08:25 PM
By the way I did a quick check. On my scene the camera came in at 180 degrees the wrong direction. Also the clipping far distance was set to 1. This is the same as 1 meter which may not even be close to what you need depending on your scene scale.

There seems to be an issue with the camera animation. It is off axis, something to do with the Z up in Blender.

I am not sure what the solution to that is off hand. You might have better luck exporting and importing a .mot file. And even then might require parenting to a null in Blender to offset the incorrect axis.

I tried a few different settings on FBX import and using a null in Blender but I have not found the solution yet.

Learning to animate the camera in Blender is not a bad idea. :)

pekka varis
11-17-2017, 12:44 AM
Thanks surrealist very much! I could not even rotate the FBX imported camera..

But look at this solution:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vyjp4aa2dpogj1a/LW%20Cam%20to%20Blender.mp4?dl=0

It is made by Twinville Creative Studios
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKUhZgvE_RqZm9ImzKQ0RjA

I am now trying to install this MF Chan plugin :P

gerry_g
11-17-2017, 03:36 AM
camera needs to put into local mode before you rotate it so that its original axis is used not the zeroed out one that Blender will have given it, also it defaults to radians possibly it aught be switched degrees, but I get this problem always and looking at the forums every one else does too

Surrealist.
11-17-2017, 05:13 AM
Great tips. It is for this and many other reasons I just don't like bothering with an fbx pipeline if I can get away with it.

circleofsmoke
12-02-2017, 08:27 AM
On the subject of exporting animation does anyone know how you export UV maps with alembic data? - me and a friend are trying to export physics animations for 3DS max but he tells me there are no texture maps when he loads the alembic files. cant seem to find much on the net or in the manual.

Thanks

john