View Full Version : Native rigging/FK/IK vs. 3rd party?

11-15-2004, 09:20 AM
Let me just preface this by saying that I'm not trying to start a "don't call my baby ugly" thread, but I'm starting to dive into learning character rigging and animation and am looking for some straight truths about third party offerings. Namely, I'm interested in knowing what a solution like messiah:animate or MotionBuilder brings to the table that LW[8] can't do natively. LW's bones/skelegons, weight maps, and FK/IK seem quite powerful to me. So what do messiah and MotionBuilder do better, as they're obviously popular tools used even by LW artists?

Thanks in advance for the info.

11-15-2004, 02:26 PM
I've never used Motion Builder but I've heard good things about it.

Messiah I used. Some parts of it were more advanced than LW.. The ability to re-arrange the order of when expressions (including IK) happen is very VERY cool. And Messiah is extremely fast.

I'm not a big fan of Messiah's graph editor and it's MetaEffector system really pales in comparison to using LW's native weightmaps.

I eventually sold Messiah and I'm back to LW.. But I am looking closely at Cinema4D.

11-15-2004, 02:52 PM
Lightwave on the surface looks rather weak for character animation.
There is no obvious way of setting up things like IK/FK blending etc..
It also has quirky tools like Ik booster which are not properly explained and seem of little use.
BUT.. with a bit of ingenuity, Lightwave is actually very capable of supporting very good rigs to animate with. you just have to be a bit ingenious to put them together.
I used to use messiah. In fact, some of my messiah work is used on PMG's site to promote the software, but I don't use it anymore. I find that lightwave 8 has enough really good tools to do the job. (although when I first got 8 I was very disappointed indeed and nearly went over to XSI.. It took a while to see how many of the features could be used)
I think, as Carm3d said.. expressions and speed are the main advantages.
But then, they dont have metalink and hardlink, which I couldn't do without now.

11-15-2004, 04:56 PM
Yes I use FXMetaLink and it's very good. I haven't figured out how to use HardLink yet. :)

11-15-2004, 06:13 PM
Hardlink is just the same as metalink, but works better for things made up of lots of smaller non-flexible things like armour plate or cuffs etc. I think it's amazing :)