View Full Version : motion builder and lw7

03-16-2003, 08:15 AM
hi is anyone using motion builder and lightwave...experiences?? how does it compare with workflow ect against say ACS4?? seeing as the personal edition of motion builder sells for $100 which is just $10 more than ACS4???

i'd really like to hear how it connects to lightwave and the benefits you'll get with motion builder

steve g


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Karl Hansson
03-16-2003, 12:26 PM
I dont think you can compare motionbuilder with ACS4. They have a bit different purpose. ACS4 is for setting up your character rig. Although Motionbuilder involves setting up a character its main porpose animating the characters. Motionbuilder offers some real nice character animation tools in a really cool realtime interface. You export LW scenes to Motionbuidler via the FilmBox (FBX) format. You animate the scene in Motionbuilder and then you export it to LW via the FBX format where you render the scene. It is more accurate to compare Motionbuilder to Project:Messiah.

03-17-2003, 12:32 PM
and the motionbuilder motions files exported for lw do works fine or we need some tweaks in lw to get a fine motions??

excuse my english

03-17-2003, 01:19 PM
hi granted that motion builder is really an animation app that also rigs up your character, compared to acs4 which is a rigger that you animate..there's a percived difference in them but seeing as in the end you'll use either of them to rig AND animate your characters plus the price similarity [messiah is 13 times the cost in comparison so i'll exclude it as an option] being so close i'd like to hear what people think of what are the differnces in abilities and workflow...

one point that draws me toward acs4 that you can rigg a character in around 10 mins....how does that compare to motion builder?

alsoi believe there's some sort of "walk designer" for acs4..am i right?..if so can someone expand on just what it can do for you...

there's also going to be a quadroped rig soon..how soon no one seems to know as yet..

lastly acs4 is a plugin so you stay within lightwave..no need to learn a new app

these are all the plusses i can think of for ACS4 from what i've seen from my reading of the forum and the website so far..

so i'd like to hear from motion builder users that use it with lightwave to see what features i may be missing and also just how good the FBX file format works with lightwave 7.5

steve g


Karl Hansson
03-17-2003, 02:44 PM
Firstly you have to realize that the $100 version of motionbuilder is a one year limited licence. After one year it will expire and stop working. You cant use it in studiopruduction. The regular price for motion builder is $4190USD although its currently on campain: $895USD.

The application motionbuilder has been around for quite some time but has recently changed name from Filmbox to Motionbuilder. It was first made for motioncapture but it also has very meny great features for character animation without motioncapture. One of the cool features is floorcantact where the feet detects the floor which keeps them from going through.

There are some presentation/tutorial clips of the interface and features of motionbuilder HERE (http://www.kaydara.com/support/documentation/kb/index.php?filename=video). Available in both avi and quicktime.

03-18-2003, 12:23 PM
let me "over expliain" my point so it sinks in well...i'm totally aware of the price and history of motion builder..no need for a history lesson or price comparison with it at all.!!.;)

i'm looking for "users experiences" with motion builder with lightwave 7..i already have 3dsmax and character studio and know it's price, usability and history plus i'm aware of character studio 4..so as i look toward moving my way of working from 3dsmax and character studio i'm looking for other plugins and apps that work with lightwave..so far i've discovered ACS4, motion builder and the setup machine for lightwave...
of these 3 i'm keen to here from motion builder users and ACS4 users for their experiences with the plugins and the application known as motion builder, formerly known as filmbox:)
for use in rigging and animating characters which both claim to do with ease.

thanks for lending the time to read this.

steve g


03-20-2003, 07:49 PM
Well I’ve only had motion builder a week or so but….

“one point that draws me toward acs4 that you can rig a character in around 10 mins....how does that compare to motion builder?”

Well create a skelegon skeleton in LW using the motionbuilder naming conventions like LeftUpleg, LeftLowleg ect…

Bring into layout, convert skelegons into bones, Save scene and export as .FBX

Open up in motionbuilder, drag and drop a character rig onto you mesh and set the character input type to control rig.

That’s it. Animate away

Export the .FBX, open up the original scene in LW, the merge back the .FBX

You have to remember that the animation comes back in to LW as FK. The IK rigs are not transferred back in to LW.

Another bonus is your not necessarily limited to LW, you can send .FBX animation to maya and max

One of the best things I’ve seen with MB is the speed. The SPEED. The IK and deformation speeds are incredible. Hit play or drag a joint and the super fast “real time” kicks in.

Once the control rig is in place, you can drag and drop a Mocap bvh or an .FBX file into your scene. Select your character set its input type to Mocap and the character automatically snaps into place.

Take a look at the 3dbuzz.com motion builder VTM’s. They do a good job at introducing you and walking through the steps.

I’m still working through the Buzz VTMs (there are quite a few hours of them)

Hope this helps.