View Full Version : Acs4

02-25-2004, 05:57 PM
Does anyonw know if you need to setup up bones or anything to make ACS4 to work. Lets say I a model model with only 1 layer and all it has it a model of a dragon, could i use ACS4 to setup my character rigging?

02-25-2004, 06:05 PM
yes,...if you look around the acs4 site you'll see they have a dragon rigged up...acs4 supports quadropeds and bipeds with tails and wings...you just match up the rotational points of the bones to your model then run the plugin in layout and your rig will be with you in about 15 seconds..ready to go..just a few tweeks with wieghtmaps for quadropeds...with bipeds yu can by without weight maps with the no weights versions of the biped rigs.

it's a stunning plugin BTW

02-25-2004, 06:12 PM
I think I will be buying it tomorrow after work, unless someone has something very bad to say about this plugin.

02-25-2004, 06:23 PM
there's a few rigging scripts around

there's TSM "the setup machine" which is pretty good but costs about $199..from what i've seen it's not as fast to setup as acs4 but you can customise the rigg quite extensivly.

ACS4 at $90

and the newest one that's $25

acs4 can rig bipeds and quadropeds plus can cater for models with no weightmaps and has arm ik and no arm ik rigs for you..

the $25 dollar rigging plugin can currently only do a biped i believe [please post if i have this wrong..but i think i'm correct here]
the $25 rigging script just uses lightwave "as is" so there's no additional plugins to install.

ACS4 has some custom plugins for controlers etc so if you need to move your rigged scene you'll need to move the plugins that are the controlers [not the actual acs4 plugin though]..so if your sending your scene to a render farm you'll need to ask them if they have the plugins controlers in the installs of lightwave...
no big deal but you need to be awear just in case.

remember that if your already waiting for lw 8 then rigging will become very simple for most characters in lw8 [when it ships]
i still think that acs4 will be used in lw8 as it has some nice contolers in there and is a breeze to use..and they have several rigs in there for you to play with as well.


02-25-2004, 07:01 PM
i use acs4 heaps and would not be without it. well worth the money.

02-25-2004, 07:05 PM
I use ACS4 regularly and like it very much. The cost of the plug-in is easilly outweighed by the time saved on character rigging with this tool.

02-25-2004, 07:27 PM
If you don't need it immediatly, I would wait for LW8. The features in that will make acs obsolete.

02-25-2004, 09:13 PM
ACS4 is very good, the thing i like the most is the sliders attached to the fingers : you need to move a finger or two -> just move the sliders, no need to zoom in and try to select the tiny bone anymore.

02-25-2004, 10:35 PM
I like ACS4 very much also.. It saved my butt on a quick test I had to put together last year (using the gremlin in my avatar). The one downside (which is really a problem with LWs expression engine and not ACS4) is things bog down to almost unusable levels if you setup more than one character. Maybe LW8 will be more robust in this respect.


02-26-2004, 12:23 AM
I'm a major fan of Acs4

02-26-2004, 02:12 AM
Well, I can not wait a month for lightwave 8 to come out and a other for that no one has send anything bad about it. from what I can see, If it can rigging Any type of character (ie: human, dragon, anything) then I know this will save me time is rigging and let me have more time for animation. I need something to be rigged by march 2 and some aimation too so LW 8 is out.

02-26-2004, 02:44 AM
I am just wornding, it says 90 dollars on the website but when you goto but it, it say 90 EUR. What is 90 EUR in Dollars (USA) so so i know how much they are charging me becuase they do not say the dollars amount?

02-26-2004, 04:46 AM

currency converter!

90.00 EUR
Euro = 111.866 USD

02-26-2004, 06:05 AM
Originally posted by zecryan
If it can rigging Any type of character (ie: human, dragon, anything)

It can't really rig anything, only the things for which they have a rig, but they are coming up with more rigs all the time.

I think The Setup Machine can really rig anything.

But what ever you buy, I'm warning you it will only be really worth while untill LightWave 8 comes out (which many people here suspect will be March 21st). Once it comes out rigging will be completely different (set up just as fast as an auto rigger) though you will still be able to use the auto riggers.

I'm not trying to tell you to not buy an auto rigger, I just don't want you to spend money and then be disappointed. There are some free autoriggers that are exellent (at least for me), if you need one before LightWave [8] comes out. I'm just trying to show some other points of view. :)

02-26-2004, 08:59 AM
As have opinoin only ACS3 becuase I know it is free? I will try it asap anyways just want to get you opinoin. also Does anyone KNOW FOR SURE that the rigging tools in lightwave 8 is going to be as good as the ACS4 and The setup Machine?

02-26-2004, 10:31 AM
Originally posted by zecryan
also Does anyone KNOW FOR SURE that the rigging tools in lightwave 8 is going to be as good as the ACS4 and The setup Machine?

In a way it is the oppisite. With ACS4, as with most other auto riggers (I'm not sure about The Set Up machine), you load a character with skelagons in modeler and modify the position of the bones/joints. Then you bring it to layout where you apply the auto rigging.

With LightWave [8], you load a .RIG file in layout (there will probably be many from the community to download + ones that come with the content), and then adjust the bones with the new tools. I think it will be much better/simpler/faster than any of the autoriggers out there right now, but I'm not sure since I haven't tested it. What I am saying here is based on the features that have been shown.

Also with LightWave [8] the rigs will be completly different and better (because of the IK booster and things of the sort).

There is more than just ACS3 that is free. I know of at least two more.

02-26-2004, 10:47 AM
I think there is more value in ACS4 and other auto-rig tools than in just modifying the position of skelegons and coverting it into a usable rig.

ACS4 and T4D tools automatically set up the FK / IK stuff and provide very handy controls to manipulate the rigs directly in layout.

I'm sure someone will point out that this can be manually done in LW7.5 with all its organic tools or that it will be even easier in LW8 ... but I have to say I like the 'automate' feature ACS4 and T4D offer. I know I could eventually figure it out with organic LW toolsets, but I don't have the time to master those aspects of character rigging just yet.

ACS4 and T4D let me spend more time trying to master other aspects of LW for now. Maybe that will change with LW8 ... we'll see.

02-26-2004, 11:27 AM
Cobalt- it looks to me like the .rig files you can import in LW8 will have those controls built in. For instance, I think you can mix and match your favorite arm rigs, leg rigs, body, etc... import them with goals and expressions already set up, conform them to your model (in layout), and you're done. Even with a bit of extra customization, it may be easier/faster than ACS4. I just hope it results in more efficient rigs. I'm-a-gonna wait and see...


02-26-2004, 12:28 PM
Well, since i dont want to waste 110-120 dollars before lightwave 8 comes out, What do you guys think about thomas 4D rigging system since it is only $25? can i rig most human like charater's with that?

02-26-2004, 12:45 PM
here is a screenshot of the ACS4 sliders, it's the only plugin that does this (sliders linked to finger bones), it's extremly useful and it does improve your workflow a lot :

02-26-2004, 11:16 PM
I should really give a try to ASC4, it's sitting on my hard drive for so long....

Question... can I sell my ACS4 license....?

02-27-2004, 01:22 AM
My opinion is that the rigging tools in LW8 will far surpass whats in ACS4 or setup machine.
Youll be able to save out rigs or parts of rigs in the new rig file format.
Youll be able to reuse those rigs and rescale the whole rig or parts of rigs to fit the new character.
The rig file saves out all expression and IK information on that rig.
Once the rig in mostly in place you can tweak the joints, heirarchies, break and fuse bones and a ton of other things.
You can name and rename heirarchies, clone and mirror heirarchies and again, lots of other things directly in layout without jumping back and forth to modeler to tweak settings.
Ive used ACS4 generated rigs and I personally dont like them.
Too much clutter IMO and slow. Skelegons were a kludge to begin with and Im not real big on things relying on a kludge.
Rigging should take place where the animation does and not somewhere else.
Another thing about LW8 is the dope sheet and being able to create selection sets one the fly. This is greatly superior to slider setups for fingers because you dont have to take the time to setup sliders. You have far more control then any slider setup can give you and its fast to setup and change on the fly.

02-27-2004, 05:54 AM
Originally posted by jamesl
The one downside (which is really a problem with LWs expression engine and not ACS4) is things bog down to almost unusable levels if you setup more than one character.
For me it went beyond tolerable levels even with one character alone sometimes. However only when certain objects are selected. And the weird thing is, these objects don't necessarily have to be integrated in an expression or IK chain. Even the most simple setup objects can slow down Layout to unusability. BUT behold! Fortunately some days ago I found out how to avoid this behaviour: "Show Motion Paths" has to be switched off. Then the response still isn't what I would call blindingly fast, but at least usable again. Funny...

02-27-2004, 03:57 PM
after buying some of larrys training cdroms a few weeks back i can see what he means by what he wrote above..acs4 is great for those who have no intention of really getting into character animation in a big way..acs4 is great for casual users who just want a 10min way to rig/pose their character model and do some small amount of animation..i too found the response time of a acs4 rigg a bit shuggish and cumbersome but it serves many people to their tastes of a quick way to rig.

though....once you see just how powerful lightwave is on it's own and what you can do yourself with some great instruction from Splinegod well then you'll be off n making your own rigs and as larry has pointed out lw8 once it finally ships will be so much more powerful than acs4 and TSM..they are after all no more than "Generic" rigging systems which will often only get you so far with your personal character you'd like to animate.

they have their use but are not the holy grail of riggin by all accounts.

steve g

02-27-2004, 04:12 PM
Originally posted by cresshead
...[3pp tools are] great for casual users who just want a 10min way to rig/pose their character model and do some small amount of animation.. That's probably the point though. An animator who sets up rigs costs a bit more than the $100-odd dollars you pay for a tool like ACS. It has a place, and a use, although that place and use might not be yours. I respect Larry's opinion, and the others here as well, but for an inexpensive solution that gives you an easy setup, ACS fills a need.

02-27-2004, 04:13 PM
Thanks Steve!
The other thing that LW 8 will being to the table is not just a powerful rigging solution but the ability to share rigs and parts fo rigs between characters. This will allow mixing and matching of character setups between various people to be easy and painless. :)

02-27-2004, 07:41 PM
Do you offer any training CD'S, NOT CLASSES for how to rig from scratch?, I might be interested in getting them.

02-27-2004, 09:02 PM
My rigging CD is about 15 hours and covers rigging from many different aspects. I cover rigging from scratch, expressions, muscle bones, weight maps, mocap rigs, IK and a lot of other stuff. In terms of a class I dont force anyone to follow a particular structure. I cover a lot of topics around rigging in an organized fashion and as such consider it a course. Its not a class in the traditional sense. I dont make anyone follow any particular hours and I dont test. I answer questions, provide support, critique work, offer suggestions on how to improve and will even fix rigs etc etc. I figure people buy the CDs because they want to learn and I do my best to insure that. At times you may not understand something and so the support is there. I dont force anyone to use the support if they dont want to.
I dont feel comfortable selling something that in depth without providing support for it.
I will say that there is nothing available for LW that covers the subject in anywhere near the depth that my material does.

02-27-2004, 09:21 PM
From seeing that the animation classes are 900 (3 X 300), there is no way i can afford that. There is good news for me, I just downloaded and watched ALL the no character rigging a bones tools for lightwave 8, and when it comes out, it seem that i will not need those tutorials.

02-27-2004, 09:34 PM
What price are you looking at?
Check here: http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/professionalcharacterseries.html
I charge $150.00 per module or $120.00 for anyone who preorders Wordwares TnT Book (http://www.wordware.com/tnt)

The thing to keep in mind that even with the improved bone setup/rigging tools that they may or may not help someone who doesnt understand what a good rig is all about. The Rigging CD doesnt just show how to rig but what makes a good rig. Everything revolves around 12 principles of rigging which are pretty much universal between packages. I build upon that and show HOW to set it up in LW.
Lightwave 8 will only allow someone to set up a good rig or a bad rig faster then before and share it more easily. :)

02-27-2004, 10:21 PM
Yes Lightwave 8 will probably be better for rigging, i hesitated last summer between waiting for Lightwave 8 and buying ACS4, was i t a good choice ? yes definitly.
And i'd love to have more options in the future, i'd love to have a character studio in Lightwave or CAT for Lightwave : http://www.catoolkit.com/home.asp .