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Gungho3D
01-30-2019, 09:19 PM
There's heaps of helpful posts on DAZ here on this forum, and I've gotten as far as exporting a figure and importing it into LW using latest currently downloadable DAZ install ...

... however, even with the "Animations" checkbox ticked in DAZ, when exporting to either .fbx or .bvh, no go: nothing actually animates in LW.

Do I need a "Pro" version of DAZ for that to work? ... or for some component of DAZ to be paid for?

Any advice gratefully received ...

Ma3rk
01-30-2019, 09:47 PM
Your best luck is probably going to be with FBX. Unfortunately, decent documentation on export settings is hard to find so it's sort of a trial & error game. But to answer your question, no you shouldn't need anything special or extra. I believe the free version pretty much is the Pro version. Daz has adopted the biz plan that George Eastman used for Kodak; give them the camera, sell them the film.

Most of what I've been doing with Daz lately has just been with static exports of assets. With the FBX you get a bone heirarchy, but I won't want to try & animate with it. I just do minor tweeks. I know I've exported a short animated test sometime ago but probably got it to work by accident.

I'm going to be off line for a week or so in the morning so can't really give you much help beyond this for now. There'll be others chiming in though no doubt.

Gungho3D
01-30-2019, 10:52 PM
Your best luck is probably going to be with FBX ...
Hey thanks Ma3rk - as I was saying I have exported (with the "Animation" checkbox ticked) both .fbx as well as .bvh, but there is zero, nada, by way of any movement of skletons/bones in LW once I've imported from either format ... :(

Ah well, hoping another guru can shed some light on what I'm not doing / doing wrong :)

Gungho3D
01-31-2019, 05:48 AM
Ok so here's what's shakin':

DAZ is not exporting anything animated via its aniMate plugin - it will make it move, whatever, but a look at the installed plugins (under DAZ Help menu) shows a link leading to a paid plugin. I'm guessing this means a pay-to-export anything using aniMate motion … ?

However, animating a figure pose-to-pose does "work". Yep, the moves and interpolated pose-to-pose movement is exported all right … along with the mess of a doubled-up bone structure I think Prometheus mentioned in one of his posts

For .fbx:
- Deleting the additional bones is a first step
- Also, there are stacks of insane endomorphs literally killing the base mesh
- After you get rid of the above two items, for the .fbx import only about "a third of the movement" seems to show up in LW

If you take the mesh imported via .fbx and delete all of the bones and disable endomorphs
- export the same pose-to-pose anim from DAZ to .bvh
- import that and attach to your mesh
- presto - you will have an end result "fairly close" to what you might have expected

It seems that DAZ exports weight maps (at least with .fbx), and so bending elbows and knees is not totally bizzare

prometheus
01-31-2019, 06:39 AM
I have never purchased any animate pro plugin, I use the free daz 4,9 pro, and that came with animate lite.
So there is some animate blocks that should work.

What you do need to understand, you need to bake the animate blocks to studio keyframes before you can export to fbx which contains that animation.

Gungho3D
01-31-2019, 07:32 PM
I have never purchased any animate pro plugin, I use the free daz 4,9 pro, and that came with animate lite.
So there is some animate blocks that should work.

What you do need to understand, you need to bake the animate blocks to studio keyframes before you can export to fbx which contains that animation.
Ok that sounds really helpful - I'll need to put it through its paces a bit later and see how I go. Thanks.

Gungho3D
02-01-2019, 06:16 AM
Ok so the advice to bake an aniMate Lite animation to Studio Keyframes definitely allows for a version of the DAZ animation to be exported … thanks again for that insight.

Importing the .FBX into LW 2018
Some kind of extra rigging happening for each mesh object output
- if I delete those portions of the rig in LW associated with items of clothing and just keep the one for the base character
- then there remains a single, cohesive rig which does "something" … just not the full range of expected motion (e.g. arms remain close to T pose, feet drift in the air)

Also the morphs loading with the mesh (base character) on their own tear the mesh apart
- disabling this is essential

Applying an exported .BVH of the same animation to the .FBX imported base character
- deleting the above rig and replacing it with the .bvh version of the animation "works"
- … i.e. the rig imports fine and goes through the full motion range fine
- … however it knows nothing of which weight maps are linked to which bones

Is there some trick way of overlaying .bvh motion data onto an existing rig?
- I suppose there is always the alternative of object sequencing
- and maybe .mdd?

----------
This exercise is simply about exploring "the art of the possible."

I've spent about zero time ever messing with character animation, it would be good to know what the boundaries are …
… hence all help gratefully received

ianr
02-01-2019, 07:51 AM
Gung,
Ryan @ liberty3d.com has great training on the very subject

https://www.liberty3d.com/2016/07/the-daz3d-to-lightwave-motion-capture-utility/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6UL4W-UVVc

Ryan's is always great & spoken in well modulated way for learning

Markc
02-01-2019, 11:36 AM
A Quickstart for you (Genesis 2):
1.Make sure the animation is baked to the timeline.
2.Export FBX.
3.Figures/Morphs/Animation checked.
4.fbx2011 binary.
5.embed textures.
6.merge diffuse/opacity.
7.merge clothing to figure.
8.allow degraded skinning.
9.allow degraded scaling.
10.in LW scale 1.0/motion plugin/LW joints.

Genesis 3/8 don't work very well.

Gungho3D
02-01-2019, 11:17 PM
Gung,
Ryan @ liberty3d.com has great training on the very subject

https://www.liberty3d.com/2016/07/the-daz3d-to-lightwave-motion-capture-utility/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6UL4W-UVVc

Ryan's is always great & spoken in well modulated way for learning
Thanks Ianr - that looks really good and useful ,,,

Gungho3D
02-01-2019, 11:26 PM
A Quickstart for you (Genesis 2):
1.Make sure the animation is baked to the timeline.
2.Export FBX.
3.Figures/Morphs/Animation checked.
4.fbx2011 binary.
5.embed textures.
6.merge diffuse/opacity.
7.merge clothing to figure.
8.allow degraded skinning.
9.allow degraded scaling.
10.in LW scale 1.0/motion plugin/LW joints.

Genesis 3/8 don't work very well.

That heads up regarding trying G2 + fbx-2011 was worth its weight in gold, so thank you very much indeed!

I've been trying G8 with nothing good happening, the G2+fbx-2011 combo did the trick, everything animated in LW perfectly "straight out of the box" via fbx import (also it's not trying to be clever with morphs either).

Markc
02-02-2019, 01:38 AM
That’s good news...:thumbsup:
If you get Ryan’s plugin, you can export a T-pose fbx (no anim) and apply a bvh mocap file in LW, which works fantastic.

jaxtone
05-02-2019, 09:29 AM
I use Genesis 8 characters and are very disappointed with DAZ3D´s new export routines.

I seems like bugs and errors have infected the DAZ character.

I started to animate a fight sequence in DAZ and this is what came out!

Marander
05-02-2019, 10:54 AM
I use Genesis 8 characters and are very disappointed with DAZ3D´s new export routines.

I seems like bugs and errors have infected the DAZ character.

I started to animate a fight sequence in DAZ and this is what came out!

Your joint orientation in LW seems wrong, you might have to change your import settings.

I export from DAZ all the time (Gen1/Gen2/Gen3/Gen8) and import in LW or Cinema, no issues at all.

However I wouldn't do the animation in DAZ itself but in your target application (LightWave).

jaxtone
05-02-2019, 02:01 PM
Marander!

I had no problems earlier with the import to LW from DAZ. But this is the first time I try with Genesis 8.

Thanks for your advice but I cannot find anything positive with LW:s character animation part whatsoever. Its still one of the most lousy on the planet.

Do you really mean you skip the DAZ 3D character with all bones and morphs that are already integrated in their characters?

Jack

Marander
05-02-2019, 03:33 PM
Marander!

I had no problems earlier with the import to LW from DAZ. But this is the first time I try with Genesis 8.

Thanks for your advice but I cannot find anything positive with LW:s character animation part whatsoever. Its still one of the most lousy on the planet.

Do you really mean you skip the DAZ 3D character with all bones and morphs that are already integrated in their characters?

Jack

Jack,

No, I also load DAZ characters with their rig but in their base positions (T-Pose / A-Pose).

Indeed it seems that there is an issue in LightWave with posed / animated Genesis 8 characters in some cases and even in the standard pose the rig is sometimes shifted (but nevertheless working). Other Gen8 characters load fine with all Joints / Bones set properly. Sorry for my previous statement about no issues at all, this doesn't apply to LW in all situations.

In the FBX import settings in LW you can choose between LW Bones, LW Joints and Maya Style Joints, I remember that in some cases I had to switch in order to have correct Joint rotation (that's what I meant in my previous post).

It's not an issue with the DAZ FBX export in my opinion. I use my DAZ characters 98% in Cinema 4D where I load them posed and non-posed (to use with a crowd sim plugin with native DAZ rig support) and maybe 2% in LW and others but it seems I haven't tested Gen8 posed characters enough in LW. That's also due to the fact that there's an OpenGL / Viewport bug in 2018 and 2019 that heavily slows down deformed objects and makes it unusable for me. I already filed a bug report for 2018 about that.

In other applications like Cinema 4D or Akeytsu DAZ Gen8 characters look exactly as they do in DAZ Studio (custom or default pose) except in rare cases where an additional Geometry Shell is used, but there's a tool to transfer weight maps to fix that.

Seems to be another LW bug. Maybe a different FBX export format would help. I usually set it to FBX 2012 or 2014 binary but a higher version might work better?

The absolute worst FBX import is in Blender however. Due to their open source license terms they had to reverse engineer the FBX import and it's unusable for DAZ import for me.

However I don't find the animation tools in DAZ great either, even with the keyMate or graphMate installed.

Maybe you could have a look at Nukeygara Akeytsu - great and well prised little tool with nice animation, IK and walk cycle features - do the animation there and then re-import into LW for rendering.

Genesis 8 import didn't work in Akeytsu initially and crashed it but I filed a bug report and it was quickly fixed. The developer explained it was because the FBX exported from DAZ does not contain vertex normals.

jaxtone
05-03-2019, 09:55 AM
Marander!

Thank´s for an excellent review and presentation of your own experiences from Lightwave´s ups and downs when it comes to the import of DAZ characters.

I have been a true Lightwave user since the same year Houdini started up in Canada and I recently checked if this soft possibly could help me out in the matter of import and export characters and rigs from different 3D suites!

The price is only a few hundred bucks more than for Nukeygaras solution and at this state when I hoped and wished that Newtek would increase the CA part of their soft for decades I guess I would even sign up with the devil to see some light in the end of the tunnel. In other words I am sick of it, that the software I really learned to love in so many ways almost been an enemy when it comes to inject some life into my 3D characters.

I guess I will go on with Lightwave for more static simple models and animations probably for the mechanical industry and static animated scenes. I still love the old render engine since it was faster than the new one that is extremely slow for easier stuff if you don´t turn of the gadgets that makes even a fast machine to be ashamed. I must admit that I don´t know how long render processes takes in other 3D software´s but time will tell but I am curious about it.

I am still a fan of Newtek but must confess that it doesn't seem that they appreciate my loyalty just as much. I am 66 now and actually do not have time to wait for Shangri-La any more.

P.S. If you have experienced that other software can import DAZ3D stuff is Lightwave really aware of that its a bug in the software that close the door for import of DAZ3D FBX format?

Marander
05-06-2019, 02:54 AM
P.S. If you have experienced that other software can import DAZ3D stuff is Lightwave really aware of that its a bug in the software that close the door for import of DAZ3D FBX format?

Hey jaxtone

Sorry for the late reply...

No, I didn't file a bug report for this one. Still waiting for the OpenGL / viewport performance bug in 2018 / 2019 to be resolved.

The only character render I did with LW2019 is using DAZ Gen8 skeleton, but I rigged and animated it in Mixamo and then loaded the exported FBX into LW which worked fine.

Currently I'm not planning to do much in LW because most of my assets and scenes are now in the other applications's format.

Also due to work load in my (non 3D) day job I will not have time to test or bug report this issue.

Cheers, Michael

jaxtone
05-06-2019, 09:15 AM
Michael!

Thank you for your answer.

I guess other applications must be the only alternative if you wan´t things done before the sun goes down forever, at least as long as import/export functions in Lightwave doesn't work properly, which reminds me of that its 2019 this year! I mention this because it suddenly felt like an issue that would belong in the past, not in present time.

prometheus
05-06-2019, 10:01 AM
With a simple timeline animation, and fbx 2012 both binary and ascii.
using daz 4.9.4.117 pro edtion and Lightwave 2019.

Imported with both bake rotation and motion plugin, but always using Lightwave joints..not bones.
You could turn off morphs in lightwave in the female genesis 8 shape properties, that should avoid any distortion to the mesh, but then again you may have essential morphs in there.
and you also need to delete standalone fbx base bone transformer bone and the genesis8Female bone, do not delete child items when doing that, this should make the bone getting back to the right track within the mesh, otherwise it is slightly offset.

Marander
05-06-2019, 12:58 PM
With a simple timeline animation, and fbx 2012 both binary and ascii.
using daz 4.9.4.117 pro edtion and Lightwave 2019.

Imported with both bake rotation and motion plugin, but always using Lightwave joints..not bones.
You could turn off morphs in lightwave in the female genesis 8 shape properties, that should avoid any distortion to the mesh, but then again you may have essential morphs in there.
and you also need to delete standalone fbx base bone transformer bone and the genesis8Female bone, do not delete child items when doing that, this should make the bone getting back to the right track within the mesh, otherwise it is slightly offset.

Hello Prom,

The removal of the Genesis8Female bone helps indeed for the slightly shifted bone structure, thanks for the tip!

Hey DAZ 4.9.4 is very old! 4.9.10 is stable and 4.9.11 beta.

Many Gen8 characters (also posed) work, but in some cases (specially when they carry items, hold guns etc.), it's a complete freak show in LW, everything is extremely distorted. Same FBX file works fine in other applications. I can post examples if you like. Also I encounter Layout crashes when loading very complex rigs (with high poly hair and cloth). If it loads eventually, it's unbearable slow to handle, while - sorry to say again - running smoothly in other apps.

Quite disappointing for the fact that they changed the FBX exchange in LW2019. I haven't seen any advantage in my workflow but maybe the improvements are only for exporting FBX?

In addition to that, the Alembic import is also partly broken in LW, not supporting changing geometry for fluid or particle simulations. The use of object sequence is tedious in my opinion, when other apps have Alembic support with built-in keyframe interpolation, non-destructive retiming, sub frame motion blur etc.

prometheus
05-06-2019, 01:17 PM
Hello Prom,

The removal of the Genesis8Female bone helps indeed for the slightly shifted bone structure, thanks for the tip!

Hey DAZ 4.9.4 is very old! 4.9.10 is stable and 4.9.11 beta.

Many Gen8 characters (also posed) work, but in some cases (specially when they carry items, hold guns etc.), it's a complete freak show in LW, everything is extremely distorted. Same FBX file works fine in other applications. I can post examples if you like. Also I encounter Layout crashes when loading very complex rigs (with high poly hair and cloth). If it loads eventually, it's unbearable slow to handle, while - sorry to say again - running smoothly in other apps.

Quite disappointing for the fact that they changed the FBX exchange in LW2019. I haven't seen any advantage in my workflow but maybe the improvements are only for exporting FBX?

In addition to that, the Alembic import is also partly broken in LW, not supporting changing geometry for fluid or particle simulations. The use of object sequence is tedious in my opinion, when other apps have Alembic support with built-in keyframe interpolation, non-destructive retiming, sub frame motion blur etc.

removing those bones that I mentioned..also seem to be essential if you want to add ik booster on top of a daz rig..or else the bones will not follow the mesh properly.

I have a lot to go through yet ..in regards to fbx import and export in lightwave.

Ma3rk
05-06-2019, 08:29 PM
Let's see if we can track something, anything down here. Maybe if a few of us put our heads together we'll come up with at least a partial RebelHill mind. :stumped:

Here's a rather complex character put together in DS 4.10 in that he has clothing & a prop phone. I can export that out as an OBJ and everything imports 100% in place, just no rigging of course. With FBX export it's another story. I've tried the various flavors from 2012 to 2014 but can't find any useful, correction, just make that ANY info on setting the Export Rules so it's "Hunt 'n Peck" at that stage. Haven't tested the older flavors of FBX export so might try that later.

144908

Even so, this is where things go awry. I've no animation just the pose at 0, but tested selecting everything & creating a Key at 0 in the Timeline. There was a quick progress bar so it did something, but the export still had the problems. I'm examining the resulting FBX in PolyTrans to bypass any LW flavoring but the same thing shows exactly the same there too.

144910

The red is the heirarch for the cel phone WAY up there. As you can see, most of the coat is correct except for the arms which are ~ 90% conformed. Georges Left Hand is all whacked whereas his Right is how I posed it in Daz. Hat is ~ 90% too.

144909

So in short, it's how the FBX is getting exported from Daz, but what do these clues reveal?

Marander
05-06-2019, 11:43 PM
So in short, it's how the FBX is getting exported from Daz, but what do these clues reveal?

Hi Ma3rk, thanks for chiming in. Yes it seems that when character uses props it distorts the mesh. Not only hands, when a Gen8 character holds a larger gun the figure looks horrible.

This happens only in LW for me but maybe other applications have the same problem. Also I only see the issue with the Genesis8Female bone occurring in LW. DAZ exports just fine in my opinion as I have created many custom characters and exported as FBX already. I might look at it again when I'm back home tonight.

jaxtone
05-06-2019, 11:48 PM
Hi guys!

I read your comments and admit it is with my deepest respect I like to see your active engagement when trying to sort things out that in my opinion should have been included in the soft long ago. I have now spent the last 30 years trying to figure out why Lightwave that once where a star on the 3D heaven never followed the development of presets when it comes to the weakest links of the program that summary are also the most complicated, criticized and time consuming parts.

I guess the problem especially with Lightwave´s CA, fluids and hair parts depends on a gap between "Average Joe" users and an old fashioned team of technically skilled aristocrats which I of course respect and envy for their supersmart inside of heads and hearts. But it doesn't seem like their efforts in assist helps as long as the engine itself misses some crucial parts to make things happen the way one can expect in 2019.

Some may define my thoughts as unfair but to be honest it´s obvious that some parts aren´t as good as they could be and I wonder why these parts still lives in limbo?

The "new world order" in 3D and VFX are spelled "rapid, instant or on the spot" rather than force the users to scratch their heads without compass directions or waterproof guidance that are easy to catch up with at any level at all.

I wan´t answers that clearly explains why the developers and technical team does not prioritize the weakest links in the software that have become a part of myself?