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View Full Version : Maestro Demonstration Videos!



NanoGator
02-04-2005, 07:41 PM
Hey All,

I work at a small studio that's working on an all CG animated movie using Lightwave. In the process of working on this movie, we've developed a couple of plugins to streamline the rigging and animation process.

http://www.stillwaterpictures.com/AutoRig.jpg

First is AutoRig. It's a tool designed to rig any character quickly and easily. The video really tells the story better than I can, have a peek:

Click here for a demonstration video of AutoRig in action. (http://www.stillwaterpictures.com/Maestro-1-AutoRigger.avi)(10.05 megabytes) DivX 5.2 (http://www.divx.com/divx/download/) required.

http://www.stillwaterpictures.com/Controller.jpg

Next is Controller. On the surface, this plugin looks like an ordinary character picker. But there's really a lot more to it. Have a peek at these next videos and you'll see what I mean. I really think you'll be impressed. ;)

Click here for an introduction to Controller. (http://www.stillwaterpictures.com/Maestro-2-Controller.avi)(10.05 megabytes) DivX 5.2 (http://www.divx.com/divx/download/) required.

Click here for a demonstration of how to customize Controller. (http://www.stillwaterpictures.com/Maestro-3-CustomizationI.avi)(8.22 megabytes) DivX 5.2 (http://www.divx.com/divx/download/) required.

Click here for a more detailed look at customizing Controller. (http://www.stillwaterpictures.com/Maestro-4-CustomizationII.avi)(11.99 megabytes) DivX 5.2 (http://www.divx.com/divx/download/) required. (Note: This link has been fixed. Sorry about that!)

Maestro will be available for sale, soon. If you'd like to recieve an email when it's made available, feel free to email maestro AT nanogator DOT com. (Sorry, trying to avoid spam...)

If anybody has any questions, please, feel free to post them!

Dodgy
02-05-2005, 03:32 AM
Where's the last video?

Looks cool:)

ericsmith
02-05-2005, 08:20 AM
Misstyped link. Here's the correct link:

Click here for a more detailed look at customizing the controller (http://www.stillwaterpictures.com/Maestro-4-CustomizationII.avi)

Dodgy
02-05-2005, 11:18 AM
MMMM that's really nice...

How much :)

ericsmith
02-05-2005, 11:32 AM
We're pretty much settled on $150, with an introductory price of $120.

Expected release is within the next week or two.

Eric

Fausto
02-05-2005, 11:42 AM
Wow, creative, intuitive and time saving. Excellent example of using one convention to address many different things. Only one tiny suggestion and I suspect this has already been considered, perhaps it already exists and I just missed it "labels for the hotspots". Aside from that, it's some much needed functionality for LW. I look forward to it being available commercially.

Cheers,

ericsmith
02-05-2005, 11:57 AM
Yes, you can label hotspots. This is demonstrated in the fourth video, if you want to see it in action.

Eric

blabberlicious
02-05-2005, 02:23 PM
Looks brilliant - very well though out.

Now, It the utterly predictable mac question:


...wait for it....



Will there be a mac version of this plugin?

:-)

ericsmith
02-05-2005, 02:50 PM
Yes. The good news is, we've developed one version that works on both Mac and PC. So there won't be any extra waiting for the Mac crowd.

Eric

blabberlicious
02-05-2005, 04:21 PM
Yes. The good news is, we've developed one version that works on both Mac and PC. So there won't be any extra waiting for the Mac crowd.

Eric


great news - so is it lscript?

NanoGator
02-05-2005, 04:30 PM
great news - so is it lscript?


Yes it is! I'm very happy to say that even the compiled version runs on both Mac and PC. So no need for two plugins.

riki
02-05-2005, 05:20 PM
Yeah to Mac

Looks good, but how, when, where, can we get a copy :)

CB_3D
02-05-2005, 06:57 PM
All the videos begin with "Ok". Lol.

But itīs an interesting plug!

ericsmith
02-05-2005, 09:14 PM
Yeah, well, pthbbbt.

Making those videos wasn't as easy at one might think. Especially starting out, okay? ; }

Eric

cresshead
02-06-2005, 08:52 AM
what's the main advantages to this rigger compared to t4d rigger or the setup machine or ACS4?

once rigged can you use the scene on any install or lightwave?....can you use it on a pc with the scene without the l scripts?...[mainly for rendering out]

does it run fast?..i found the td4 rigger to bee really slow..like dragging you feet thru tar...maybe that was down to it's expressions calculating...as a xsi rig or a 3ds max biped rig aor a normal hand setup rig [lw] were just fine on the same pc using the same mesh character.

can you load this rigger onto any lw install or is it node locked?

...load of questions!...sorry..still waiting for the video to download!

ericsmith
02-06-2005, 10:13 AM
what's the main advantages to this rigger compared to t4d rigger or the setup machine or ACS4?

I could go point by point and compare Maestro against other autoriggers, but I think what it really comes down to is this.

The autorigger - no other autorigger is as customizable or easy to use. The nature of our command line macro executer means you can tell Lightwave exactly what to do, and just as important, what order to do it in. Additionally, setting up a character to autorig only involves taking our skelegon structure and fitting it to your character. It couldn't be more simple. You don't have to worry about placement of control nulls. The rigger automatically places them where the bones are in your character. You don't have to worry about naming conflicts. You can load up any number of characters in a scene and rig them one after another. The autorigger automatically keeps the different characters sorted out.

The controller - This is the really unique aspect of Maestro. There is so much power in this thing I don't really know where to start. One of the biggest problems I encountered beffore we developed the controller was this: when animating a scene with multiple rigged characters, there was so much confusion with all the item shaped control nulls that I couldn't tell which control null affected which character. It was a mess. With the controller, I can hide all those control nulls and see just my characters in the scene. It's a wonderful thing. Also, when I animate with the controller, I don't have to go through the process of "select item, select proper translation tool (move or rotate), try to get my mouse right on the little arrow or ring, and then drag" I can just click and drag on different hotspots and move my character around. It speeds up the process of animation, as well as decreasing the level of stress, exponentially.


once rigged can you use the scene on any install or lightwave?....can you use it on a pc with the scene without the l scripts?...[mainly for rendering out]

The rig itself doesn't use any plugins, just expressions. So it is totally Lightwave Native. There is a possibility in the future that we will create our own constraint motion plugins, so that the rigger will be able to communicate with them, but if we do this, we will make them freely distributable, since Lightwave already provides their own version of these tools.

The controller of course can't be run unless it is installed.


does it run fast?..i found the td4 rigger to bee really slow..like dragging you feet thru tar...maybe that was down to it's expressions calculating...as a xsi rig or a 3ds max biped rig aor a normal hand setup rig [lw] were just fine on the same pc using the same mesh character.

I've taken a character and just converted the skelegons to bones, and then manually rotated the bones, and then fully rigged the same character. There was no perceptable speed difference. Honestly, I'm not sure that t4d was the culprit in your slowdown experience. There are a lot of factors in Lightwave that can either speed up bone calculation/mesh deformation or severely slow it down. But I can say definitavely that the rig itself animates in real time. there's no lag. The only thing that will slow it down is a character mesh that has too many polys. This is a Lightwave issue that will happen with any rig.


can you load this rigger onto any lw install or is it node locked?

We are not locking Maestro to one CPU. We want to make a licencing process that doesn't punish our legitimate customers.

Don't be afraid to ask more questions!

Eric

pat-lek
02-06-2005, 04:02 PM
It s seem be very interresting.

Is a demo version will be available?

Do you think add rigging for "quadrupedes" like dog, horse etc... in the futur?

Good work.

ericsmith
02-06-2005, 04:50 PM
We are planning a demo version of some sort, and quadruped rigs will be included in the release, as well as components for things like wings and tails.

Eric

Grace
02-06-2005, 07:00 PM
oooooo....quadrupeds, wings and tails....now my ears are perking up and the drooling begins :D

cresshead
02-06-2005, 07:48 PM
this is all sounding pretty positive so far..and thanks for the replies to my questions as well.

badllarma
02-07-2005, 01:31 AM
What I'm thinking is by using custom back grounds and the Channel boxes etc.. You could build interfaces up a little like the skins in VT.

E.G Say you wanted a controler for a lighting array, you could have an image of a lighting board (sliders etc) under your hot spots and each hot spot could relate to each slider

This would be really cool if you could assigin a hotspot an actual graphic image so when you moved the hotspot the image moved over the main back image ground :D

Just out of intrest is the Maestro Interface Controler in layout saved with the scene or the object or both???

kurv
02-07-2005, 09:22 AM
This plugin is going to ROCK!!!!!

ericsmith
02-07-2005, 09:27 AM
This would be really cool if you could assigin a hotspot an actual graphic image so when you moved the hotspot the image moved over the main back image ground

At this point, you can only assign one image to the background. We actually kicked around your idea for awhile, but there were certain logistical problems, like what if you resized the hotspot to a different size than the graphic, that made us steer away from that idea.


ust out of intrest is the Maestro Interface Controler in layout saved with the scene or the object or both?

The controller is saved with the scene file.

Eric

badllarma
02-07-2005, 10:17 AM
Great minds think alike :D
thanks for the info looking forward to getting hold of it now :)

Wonderpup
02-07-2005, 12:40 PM
Hi,

I was wondering if there are any issues with using motion mixer- are the Maestro rigs compatible with it?

I don't buy many plugins, but this looks too good to pass up!

ericsmith
02-07-2005, 01:40 PM
There's nothing non-Lightwave native about the rig, so I can't think of any reason why Motion Mixer wouldn't work.

Eric

js33
02-07-2005, 11:24 PM
Eric,

This looks very good. The process of rigging is too tedious for most people. Even once you get a character rigged then animating it is even more of a nightmare, well to get good animation. Something like this has been needed in LW for a long time.
I know there have been other auto riggers but yours seems to be a total solution.

Looking forward to getting this one.

Cheers,
JS

02-18-2005, 01:40 AM
Will the controller also work with IK booster?
Can you have more than one pane for a single character? I'd like to build multiple panes for handling facial animation as well as a main character control page etc.

I'm interested in this plugin, but not so much for the auto rigging. I'd prefer to make my own setups with it using my own skeletons and panes. I've been wanting the ability to wire up different parameters between objects etc for awhile now and this looks like a good solution.

Are there any plans to expand on the capabilities of Maestro? For instance, I'd love to see that same level of wired control be applicable to scene objects/nulls, etc for use as controllers as well, rather than hotboxes and sliders within a separate window. This would bring LW even closer to being able to match messiah's armatures.

Dodgy
02-18-2005, 03:25 AM
First request, I move my content directory ALL THE TIME, and so this doesn't work for me. Please change it to use a config file or some other method of locating the maestro directory.
Thanks,
Mike

ericsmith
02-18-2005, 08:24 AM
Will the controller also work with IK booster? Can you have more than one pane for a single character? I'd like to build multiple panes for handling facial animation as well as a main character control page etc. I'm interested in this plugin, but not so much for the auto rigging. I'd prefer to make my own setups with it using my own skeletons and panes. I've been wanting the ability to wire up different parameters between objects etc for awhile now and this looks like a good solution. Are there any plans to expand on the capabilities of Maestro? For instance, I'd love to see that same level of wired control be applicable to scene objects/nulls, etc for use as controllers as well, rather than hotboxes and sliders within a separate window. This would bring LW even closer to being able to match messiah's armatures.



Panes- You can do whatever you want. You can have up to 16 panes that can individually be associated with any "character" in the scene. Any or all of them could be associated with the same character. One thing I would like to note here is that associating panes is not strickly necessary. It's just a method of making default setups usable for different characters. But you can have hotspots hard-linked to any object without this relative association.


Will the controller also work with IK booster?

IK booster is still kind of a grey area. It generates a lot of channels that we can get at, but we don't really know what to do with them. Honestly, I don't know what to make of IK booster at this point. It doesn't act like most of the elements in Lightwave that I'm used to. I'm just hypothysizing here, but I think the deal with IK booster is that the nodes are not really elements that you can move or rotate, but rather something like a proxy rotator for the underlying bones. So I guess the short answer at this time would be that you can't move an IK booster node around with the controller, because it doesn't really exist as an element to be modified.


Can you have more than one pane for a single character? I'd like to build multiple panes for handling facial animation as well as a main character control page etc.

Yes. Each pane can be linked to any "character" in the scene, regardless of other panes. Also, pane association isn't strickly necessary, it's just a feature that allows you to take a controller setup and apply it to other objects than the one it was originally created for. So if you have a hotspot that controls a null called "Joe RHand", reassociating the pane from "Joe" to "Jane" would make that hotspot look for a null called "Jane RHand".


I'm interested in this plugin, but not so much for the auto rigging. I'd prefer to make my own setups with it using my own skeletons and panes. I've been wanting the ability to wire up different parameters between objects etc for awhile now and this looks like a good solution.

Maestro fully supports using your own rig setups and bones. The thing is, if you have rig setups that you apply frequently, you could use Maestro to automate them. All of the provided rigs are really just macros. You can create your own, and then re-use them.


Are there any plans to expand on the capabilities of Maestro? For instance, I'd love to see that same level of wired control be applicable to scene objects/nulls, etc for use as controllers as well, rather than hotboxes and sliders within a separate window. This would bring LW even closer to being able to match messiah's armatures.

At this point, I don't think that we have enough access to do what the controller does within a viewport. It's something that the LW core would have to support.

Eric

badllarma
02-18-2005, 11:00 AM
Dodgy can you not just copy and paste the content into each of the content directories you use? Pain in the arse but aleast you know it's there for you when you need the rig's etc. :)

Hope you guys had a good meeting the other day BTW :D

colkai
02-18-2005, 11:09 AM
Dude - the meeting is tomorrow ;)

Dodgy
02-18-2005, 12:41 PM
Dodgy can you not just copy and paste the content into each of the content directories you use? Pain in the arse but aleast you know it's there for you when you need the rig's etc. :)



I could, but I absolutely hate that kind of faffing. What if all my plugins had to do that? I'd have to add 95 meg to any content dir. Plus the content dir is there for you to apply it to individual projects, which can be many.... I have 3 just at work!

NanoGator
02-18-2005, 01:01 PM
I could, but I absolutely hate that kind of faffing. What if all my plugins had to do that? I'd have to add 95 meg to any content dir. Plus the content dir is there for you to apply it to individual projects, which can be many.... I have 3 just at work!


I agree with Dodgy, we need to address this. (It didn't occur to me that the content directory would be changed on a daily basis. I'm sorry about that oversight.) I can't commit to anything now (I'm lowest on the totem pole) but I do want you to know I have this issue listed as something we need to correct.

badllarma
02-18-2005, 03:25 PM
Dude - the meeting is tomorrow ;)

Cooooooooooooooool that means I should be able to come along :D
Thought it was last week :eek: That's what working nights does to you :rolleyes:

colkai
02-19-2005, 03:18 AM
Sweet - hope to see you later mate :D

Dodgy
02-19-2005, 12:50 PM
Don't get me wrong, I love the Character panel, it looks just like something I've been waiting for, this is just an annoyance on an otherwise lovely piece of kit!

Rory_L
02-20-2005, 11:25 PM
We are not locking Maestro to one CPU. We want to make a licencing process that doesn't punish our legitimate customers.
Now that it`s on sale, what have you done regarding this? Is it locked to the LW dongle? I want to be able to use it at home and at work too. This is possible, isn`t it?

Cheers,

R