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tonyg
02-23-2004, 11:10 AM
Hi all;

We've got a kink in the production pipeline, myabe someone can help?

So we're doing a lipsynch / facial animation, and LW will successfully load and display the audio file (turning off hardware acceleration on the soundcard is a key to this btw). Anyway, everything is working Ok, except when we try to play back (to test) the lipsynch. Of course simply hitting play or trying to scrub is no good -- the audio lags waaay too much. So I tried Preview, which I thought worked fine in years gone by... but it does not! The audio drops out / skips in wierd ways during playback, so I can't tell if it matches the facial moves or not.

This is the last resort within LW, afik, So we are reduced to rendering it out. Now, LW does not record audio into an AVI (I would not usually render an AVI, but for this purpose it seems like a good way to test the synch). So. So. I have been rendering out TGAs in quickshade , comping it with the wav file in another app, and viewing it then. Well, that works, but is not exactly an efficient pipeline!

Anybody got any suggestions to smooth this process out?

Thanks in advance,

Tony

Axis3d
02-23-2004, 12:07 PM
I have been doing lip sync in Lightwave with good success. What I do is set the subdivision very low so that I can hit 'play' in layout and get realtime results. I get rid of all the unnecessary objects in the shot and make a lo-rez version of the object to work with. Go into modeler and cut away all the body parts, clothing, etc. Only leave the head. Save out a different version. Then when you are done animating, just replace object with the hi-rez one. I have also made previews in layout and they do play back fine with the audio. But with the previous method, I get a realtime result by just hitting 'play'.

True, rendering and saving an AVI from the Render Options panel does not save the audio with it. You have to bring it into another program like you did to sync it up.

Mylenium
02-23-2004, 12:12 PM
Well, it's not really a solution to your immediate problem, but you could always go for more RAM ;o). Honestly, I can't complain. LW will playback everything just fine on our systems as long as you stick to the preferred 44 kHz and 16 bit Stereo. If your files are of a different format, try to resample them. I also found, that things work better with lo end equipment such as onboard sound processors. And like I said - make sure your entire file can be loaded into RAM.

Mylenium

tonyg
02-23-2004, 12:13 PM
Mmmmm, thanks to you both.

I am animating on a slightly older system, and even if I hide the character completely, it won't play the audio successfully when I just hit play. It is wierd that yours makes an Ok preivew and mine does not. The machine has 768 MB of ram, and there is memory free during playback Maybe the old sound card? It's an AWE 64 soundblaster. Oddly, I can load the file into another player in the background, and it plays fine (even while I work in Lightwave). It is only in LW that this prolem occours. I guess we'll have to put the animator in a faster computer and see if that helps.

Thanks again,

Tony

Tom Wood
02-23-2004, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by tonyg
(turning off hardware acceleration on the soundcard is a key to this btw).

Hi Tony,

I've always had distorted sound in LW no matter what WAV format I use. Newtek tech support just says, yeah, it's like that. I have a Digital Audio Labs card for recording. How might I check for hardware acceleration?

Thanks!

TW

tonyg
02-23-2004, 01:15 PM
In the Control panel -- "Sounds and Audio Devices" icon (in XP, similar in other OSes) and "Audio" tab -- under "Sound playback" Choose "Advanced" and then "Performance". I recommend the lowest or second lowest setting to get the best results, at least on my system.

Tom Wood
02-23-2004, 01:51 PM
Thanks Tony,

The advanced button is ghosted when the Digital Audio card is selected, so I switched to the Video Toaster card, which was on full acceleration. I can only lower it one notch before the card goes out of synch with existing animation scenes, but it still sounds better. I'm using MagpiePro for the lipsynch curve anyway, so it's not so critical. I use MotionMixer for the facial expressions, so I just wanted to be able to sit through the audio without a lot of static.

Thanks again!

TW

Axis3d
02-23-2004, 06:13 PM
I have never had a problem playing audio in Lightwave even on a slower system. You shouldn't need to fiddle with your sound card settings either. If you hit 'play' in Lightwave and it sounds distorted or is playing fast, make sure that Play at Exact Rate is checked. Hit "O" to open your Options panel, under the General Options tab. This is the most important thing.

Tom Wood
02-23-2004, 06:40 PM
I've had nothing -but- trouble playing audio in Layout. Dual 2.4 Xeons, 2G RAM, triple SCSI RAID. The sound is always static filled even after trying numerous WAV file formats. And if there is an audio file loaded, I can't touch the edge of the graph editor without an instant crash. Tech support couldn't help, so I've just lived with it. Dropping the acceleration helped enough for now.

TW

tonyg
02-24-2004, 06:06 AM
Wierd -- it seems like the audio software only works correctly on some systems. I have had trouble on a couple of different configurations. The "Play At Exact Rate" thing is on by default, so that does nto fix it.

Axis3d -- what do you have for a sound card / OS?

Tom; Glad that helped!

Axis3d
02-24-2004, 07:36 AM
tonyg,

I run Lightwave on my work computer (Dual Xeon 2Ghz, Win2000) with a basic soundblaster card (ES1371). And at home, I run a P4 2.4 Ghz with a basic soundblaster card also, running WinXP. Both use Raid drives and have a gig of ram. You should make sure that your graphics card and Sound card do not share the same irq (although, this was a problem for me using editing software, not Lightwave).

Tom,

Early on, when Lightwave 7 came out I had problems with the graph editor crashing but updating my graphics driver fixed that.

tonyg
02-24-2004, 08:02 AM
Cool, thx.