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hrgiger
06-05-2006, 06:05 PM
Due to a recent thread ( http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51603 ) I thought I would conduct a poll on IKBoost and who is using it for character animation. IKBoost has been out now for a couple of years since LW8 was released and it's reception in that time seems unclear.
Are you using IKBoost for character animation? Does it give good results?

It seems that most of us agree that LW still needs work in the CA department and Jay Roth has assured us that this area will receive significant attention during the 9.x cycle.

Celshader
06-05-2006, 06:18 PM
I see no listing on this poll for folks like me:

"I am currently learning IKBooster."

T-Light
06-05-2006, 06:19 PM
Looking at OmeOne's video's it seems to have a lot to offer. But I'm undecided whether Newtek are going to revamp it and give it usable docs and clearer menus, or just put this puppy down once and for all.

Powerfull, but lost in translation.

ps I answered 'I use it but find the workflow leaving a lot to be desired'
psps Like Celshader I'm also still 'learning it'.

hrgiger
06-05-2006, 06:40 PM
I see no listing on this poll for folks like me:

"I am currently learning IKBooster."

Well, that is kind of my point if you think about it. IKBoost has been in Lightwave for the last few years, why are you just learning it? That's nothing against you, but it just seems like there has been a lot of attention drawn to this tool lately and I'm wondering why a lot of us have never gotten around to using IKB before now. I just played around with it (extensively) for the first time myself a few nights ago.
For myself, there are some hurdles. For one, and this has been pointed out, the docs on it are extremely limited. I'm also finding animating the rigs made by IKB unintutive. So my opinion of it as of right now, coupling with the fact that it doesn't seem to be in widespread use and my experience thus far, is that it is unusable so that's what I picked. That doesn't necessarily mean that I won't change my opinion later....but hopefully with CA tools improving in 9, I won't have to change it.

I would also add that I have yet to see one video on actually animating with IKB. As far as I know, there is very little training material devoted to using IKB, and none that I know of that deals with animating with it.

Celshader
06-05-2006, 06:53 PM
Well, that is kind of my point if you think about it. IKBoost has been in Lightwave for the last few years, why are you just learning it?

I've been meaning to learn it since mid-2004, when its abilities were first brought to my attention. Work kept getting in the way, though, since job after job keeps landing on my head.

Since then I heard more and more good things about IKB from folks using it in production. Then IKBoost.com (http://www.ikboost.com) appeared. Watching the first two IKBoost.com videos helped me a lot, though it may be some time before I can devote myself fully to learning and using IKB. I still haven't had a chance to watch the other five videos omeone posted!

JVitale
06-06-2006, 02:43 AM
I would also add that I have yet to see one video on actually animating with IKB. As far as I know, there is very little training material devoted to using IKB, and none that I know of that deals with animating with it.

the very little material there was on IK Boost was completely misleading or downright wrong...I just wait for people like Larry Shultz to figure it out and teach to me....
By the way, his IK Boost CD teaches you everything you need to know

Lightwolf
06-06-2006, 03:33 AM
Well, I was looking for the "I've tried IKBoost but found it unsuitable for animation" - not the missing "character" ;)

I might just try it again though... :D

Cheers,
Mike

Joscci
06-06-2006, 09:39 PM
I find that IKBoost is useful for simple character work (IMHO). For advanced or professional character work I think that there are some things to be desired, but overall, I think that IKBooster has a lot of potential to grow and become something unique. It's one of those things, I'm not fond of, but that I also welcome.

I suppose the poor documentation regarding IKBooster has made it difficult for this unique approach to animating from gaining popularity -- though, there seems to be a newfound interest in it.

I really do enjoy the simplistic approach to just dropping down a few bones, activating IKBoost, and BAM, you have an IK rig, no-fuss, ready to go. I think that LW is sitting on something unique here -- but I do agree that there's room for growth and improvement.

Anyways, I voted.

Cheers.

SplineGod
06-07-2006, 12:15 AM
Joscci,
Im finding that IKBoosts workflow isnt as unique as I had thought except for maybe the motion binding. Check out Jeff Lews site (www.jefflew.com). Hes got a free 30 minute section from his DVD there. Works very similar to IKBoost.
Pretty much everything he talks about is already in LW namely:
*Keyframe modes - parent child, current item, all items etc
*IK/FK and very easy posing.
*Dopesheet
*Easy editing of complete animations such as cutting, pasting, saving, mirroring and reloading of motions on a whole or any part of a rig.

Some other things that are great:
* IKBoost Track - dopesheet like editing right in the timeline. IKBoost allows the timing on single poses, range of poses and parts of poses to be slid and adjusted without opening the dopesheet
* Enable/Disable IKBinding at will. IKBinding makes a rig stick if FIX is applied to a controller. If you try and move the body it will stop moving when the bones reach their rotation limits. Simply by holding the ctrl key down IKBinding is temporarily disabled. This means doing things like flips or rolls becomes very easy.
* Dynamics - You can control the weight, spring, resistance etc like you can with standard dynamics, as well as grouping and so forth. Dynamics can be applied to just the bones you want.
* Dynamic Effect - Not the same as dynamics but allows you to manually add a dynamic effect (wobble) to a range of keyframes. Its a simple way to add secondary motions.
*Ghost mode aka 'onionskinning for the whole rig or current bone.
* Easy reuse of rigs with other characters. Rigs can be completely readjusted and keep their settings. Complete or partial rigs can be saved and reused and still keep their settings.
* Easy to read whats applied to a rig just by looking
*A character rig can be completely changed on the fly without effecting motions currently on each bone.
*Any item parented to a bone (or item) that is part of an IKBoost rig now becomes an IK/FK controller in that rig. It can be used to create motions. Later if that item is unparented or removed the motions on the bones remain.

Theres a bunch of other things but Its a very impressive list. Ive tested most of these things and find them very predictable and robust. Again most people arent aware of the full capabilities due to the lack of good documentation. IKB isnt just a rigging system but a full blown animation system and quite advanced.
Lets pretend that tomorrow Newtek were to come out with the same list of features I just listed above. Everyone would be extremely happy. The sad part is its already all there. :)

Carm3D
06-07-2006, 12:42 AM
The sad part is that they're not very accessible or intuitive.

SplineGod
06-07-2006, 12:53 AM
Everything accessible right there. Theres no separate windows or interfaces to open or jump to.
Menus are located here:
controller menus - right click on controllers
channel menu - right click on HPB, XYZ right next to node
Keyframe modes - left side of IKB Track
IKB Menus - right side of IKB Track
Right click menus - right click on IKB Track
Right click and drag menus - right click and drag on IKB Track to open menus

Theyre very accessible, just not obvious :)

Carm3D
06-07-2006, 01:21 AM
Geez, they're all over the place! Doesn't sound very accessible to me.

omeone
06-07-2006, 02:00 AM
I tend to agree with Carm here, the idea behind the interface was brilliant and just what the users asked for... but it fell down in execution. It wasnt designed by any Jakob Nielsen fans, that's for sure :D

For me it is both this combined with the documentation that were IKB's biggest obstacles. This is a great example of the importance of UI design.

Hat-tip to the LightWaveVX project.

radams
06-07-2006, 02:34 AM
Hi Colin,

I know you mentioned in another thread you're working as an engineer now...and looked at your profile at the NT site. Nice one BTW...

I would like to see if you would comment on another thread in regards to your thoughts about LW and a more general 3D design workflow and real world needs..

http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52032

Cheers,

Wonderpup
06-07-2006, 02:42 AM
Powerfull, but lost in translation.

Newtek produce a japanese language version of Lightwave that must include a japanese language version of the manual- so the idea that they have failed to document IKB because it was created by a japanese programmer doesn't ring true to me.

I also find it hard to belive that it is beyond the wit of Newtek to understand the UI of IKB, given that these same people can create something like Nodal.

So I can only conclude that the lack of follow through on IKB is a decision Newtek have taken for good reasons- which is what makes me doubt the long term future of IKB in the software and makes me reluctant to invest time and money in learning it.

hrgiger
06-07-2006, 02:55 AM
So I can only conclude that the lack of follow through on IKB is a decision Newtek have taken for good reasons- which is what makes me doubt the long term future of IKB in the software and makes me reluctant to invest time and money in learning it.

Quoted for agreement.

It seems almost pointless at this point to spend money or invest time to get familiar with IKB until we see what improvements Newtek is going to be bringing improvements to the character animation tools in 9.x. This poll is confirming that IKB is not exacty a "hit" with the users, hopefully, Newtek will keep that in mind either by VASTLY improving IKB or giving or an entirely different solution. I prefer the latter myself.

DiedonD
06-07-2006, 04:01 AM
Not only have I never used IKBoost, but I just now made the connection between Animation and IKBoost. So its a tool to use for animations huh?
I see.

I think the reason behind this is its name. IKBoost means to me like another tool that you should buy so as it could better help you rig thats all.

I was going to get into animation recently, luckily I have the IKBoost tutorial.

Why the name form crying out laud. Or if the name MUST be so, couldnt they make the fact more known that its used for CA?! Must I understand about it on a poll like this?! Why isnt there "A GREAT ANIMATION TOOL IKBOOST" thing?

SplineGod
06-07-2006, 04:02 AM
I hope people and Newtek dont take that attitude about things that they dont understand, dont like etc. We could end up losing Nodal, APS, Relativity, Dynamics and a host of other useful things. Many of those things arent 'hits' with everyone either. Nodal in particular, while being very powerful is not well understood by many and wont be. This is why Newtek left in the layers way of dealing with textures. I look at IKB in a similar vein, if it doesnt fit your way of working dont use it and go with the standard way of doing things. That still works fine.

Guessing Newteks reasons at this point is just that; guessing.

Wonderpup
06-07-2006, 04:55 AM
I have no problem with anyone using IKB or any other tool to get their work done, but I do have a problem with the constant insinuation from some that Newtek are not competent enough to document their own software properly and that 95% of users are too stupid to learn it properly- which is essentialy the explaination offered for IKBs lack of success. I simply don't find this a credible position.

omeone
06-07-2006, 05:08 AM
...that 95% of users are too stupid to learn it properly...

AH... it is very saddening for me to hear that, I can assure you that that could not be further from my own intentions. I recognise my own poor levels of skill when it comes to communication - and if I ever gave you that impression - I apologise unreservedly.

for the record, I blame the lack of documentation and a badly designed interface, the underlying reasons why these occured with the introduction of IKBosst are unknown to most of us... anything you read regarding this on these boards is most likely speculation and not worth the paper it wasnt written on.

Lightwolf
06-07-2006, 05:11 AM
I simply don't find this a credible position.
Yes and no. I don't think anybody truly argues the fact that the documentation for IKBoost is severely lacking... as seems to be the case for PFX/Dynamics as well. The difference being that PFX is a lot easier to grasp.

I think it would help a lot of whoever is writing the docs would have a week with Ino to sit down and go through every single part of his tools. And then add some time to write it down. However... it would take time.

Any other documentation (without Inos involvement) is just guessing by judging different perceived properties of the tools. Imho not ideal, nad it shouldn't need to be that way.

A complete and concise reference would be a very good start, and give those who attempt to dig their way through the tools at least a solid foundation.

Cheers,
Mike

Carm3D
06-07-2006, 05:33 AM
I think IKBoost suffers from an alien / poor interface. Name one other tool in LW that is used by digging through layers of right-mouse button menus. Tools should be consolidated and integrated. IKBoost feels like it was slapped on at the last minute. Give me a properties panel that has all the functions right in front of me and I'm good to go.

t4d
06-07-2006, 06:22 AM
I think IKBoost suffers from an alien / poor interface. Name one other tool in LW that is used by digging through layers of right-mouse button menus. Tools should be consolidated and integrated. IKBoost feels like it was slapped on at the last minute. Give me a properties panel that has all the functions right in front of me and I'm good to go.

yeah agree
with all software if it's 3D or a web or office you learn the basic logic of the program and as you get time to uses different things that logic, you become more a custom to the gerenial work flow

If you jump into soft body or Hypervoxels or whatever
the generial LW logic is always there for you to show the way

IKB feels like Houdini or Zbrush logic Slapped in the middle of LW land.
NO real doc's add to it's problems
and alien CA workflow coming from any other 3D app be it LW, Maya, or whatever, the CA logic is just hard to see.:stumped:

and even it's fans are happy to admit it's got interface and feature problem and that IKB need more development by Newtek Has me asking Why spend so much time on it ?

has they ever been a feature that has divided users so much ??
Shockmonkey is one of those cool secrets features in LW ( no real doc etc ) but it really works to it's full
yet no one battles over that ??

DiedonD
06-07-2006, 06:58 AM
Im just undergoing a tutorial about IKB. Its not so bad. I surely like it more than the standard LW way of CA. It gives me more control.

So IKB has devided users you say? Howcome? Its just an alternate.

omeone
06-07-2006, 07:00 AM
Im just undergoing a tutorial about IKB. Its not so bad. I surely like it more than the standard LW way of CA. It gives me more control.

So IKB has devided users you say? Howcome? Its just an alternate.

:ohmy:

ah that's the biggest laugh I have had all day.. thanks diedond... no offence to you! but that innocent little question could spark off a 14 page debate! :D

Sarford
06-07-2006, 07:03 AM
What I find strange about this argument is that the fans of IKB can produce lists of why its a very good tool.
Yet the people who don't like it only complain about the documentation and the interface...

Now, I havn't done any real character animation yet but I have set-up a character with IKB and I must say this was a breeze! It was actualy fun to do and very fast. Setting limits was very easy and I had the character moving in minutes.
I did try the stuff with nulls and all like it used to be before IKB and for me that was a **** of a lot more complicated, time consuming and no fun at all.
For me IKB seems like a giant leep foreward from where we came but I haven't realy tested it to the max yet so I might be wrong.

What I would like to see is a list of what's wrong with the tool, not just the documentation (a big problem, I agree, but people are working on that) and the interface (LW users are used to a strange interface, If I want to render an image I have to check four or five panels from different locations...)

edit: What's this? Is the house of satan also a swear word??? Stupid political correctness :thumbsdow

Wonderpup
06-07-2006, 07:16 AM
Hi Sarford,

The problems with IK Boost start when you try to animate with it- take a look at Dan Ablans IKB video for his Inside Lightwave 8 book- a comedy classic. And this guy is a lightwave guru!

Wonderpup
06-07-2006, 07:37 AM
Hi omeone,

Sorry if I gave the impression my remarks were aimed at you- they weren't. But I have found that whever the shortcomings of IKB are discussed the argument is put that the problem lies in Newteks inability to document and the users inability to learn- where is the evidence for these claims?

I agree that the documentation is poor- but I belive now that the reason it has not been improved is not due to Newteks inability but because they intend to sideline IKB as a CA solution, and so see no real point in updating the docs.

Joscci
06-07-2006, 08:20 AM
Joscci,
Im finding that IKBoosts workflow isnt as unique as I had thought except for maybe the motion binding....


...


...Theres a bunch of other things but Its a very impressive list. Ive tested most of these things and find them very predictable and robust. Again most people arent aware of the full capabilities due to the lack of good documentation. IKB isnt just a rigging system but a full blown animation system and quite advanced.
Lets pretend that tomorrow Newtek were to come out with the same list of features I just listed above. Everyone would be extremely happy. The sad part is its already all there. :)


Hello, Larry...

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you whole-heartedly here. All these features you mention were exactly the same things I was thinking of when I said that I thought IKBooster was pretty unique.

Mind you, on a fundamental sense all the basic elements are there, just as you have mentioned and perhaps there's nothing unique about that, but the way these elements and features are presented in LW... that's what's unique about it in my humble opinion.

The presentation, and the workflow (whether one thinks is good or bad) in comparison to the old way of doing CA work in LW is what is unique about IKBooster.

So, as far as your positive points, I agree with them.

I understand IKBooster pretty well... I don't use it much (I use messiah), but I understand it. As you've said all the features and functions are right there accessible via RMB-menus:

There's Null/Handle Menus, Base Bone Controller Menus, Channel Menus, Bone Tip Controller Menus (e.g. goals), there's Controller Edit Mode, there's Dynamic Controller Edit Mode, there's Dynamic Mode RMB Menus, IKB Menus, DopeSheet Menus, and the list goes on and on. I should know, I have my notes right here I created when IKB first debuted because I was as confused about it then as some people are now. Pretty unique stuff really, but the approach is also what's keeping users from intimately getting to know IKB and thus preventing them from realizing its full potential.

However, I still do feel that the documentation (and perhaps an alternate UI for those who don't want to be dealing with RMB-menus) is what is keeping users from realizing that they're (perhaps) sitting on a gold-mine here.... just maybe. ;)

Cheers. :thumbsup:

hrgiger
06-07-2006, 11:08 AM
I hope people and Newtek dont take that attitude about things that they dont understand, dont like etc. We could end up losing Nodal, APS, Relativity, Dynamics and a host of other useful things. Many of those things arent 'hits' with everyone either. Nodal in particular, while being very powerful is not well understood by many and wont be. This is why Newtek left in the layers way of dealing with textures. I look at IKB in a similar vein, if it doesnt fit your way of working dont use it and go with the standard way of doing things. That still works fine.

Guessing Newteks reasons at this point is just that; guessing.

Ok, first of all, that first statement should not even be of concern. We're not going to lose nodal, or APS, or Relativity or Dynamics. 3 people probably use sock monkey but we still have that, don't we? And by the way,despite the fact that a lot of people can't yet wrap their heads around Nodal, it is already a hit because A) people see what's possible to do with it and B) it's well documented so it already has two advantages over IKBoost. IKBoost is poorly documented and there have been no good examples of it being used in an animation environment. Please everyone, spare me the ease of setting up IKBoost videos and moving some joints around. Woo-wee.
Larry, you gave an example in the other thread of a character jumping and the feet are supposed to be locked but they're clearly rotating through the floor. So I haven't even seen a video that convinces me that IKBoost's bind problem can be easily overcome.
My guess is that IKBoost isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Of course it's an alternative to the current IK system we have and it will probably remain so, at least until we get yet another alternative way of working.

aurora
06-07-2006, 11:20 AM
I use IKB quite a bit. Mind you I rarely do character animation (at least not normal characters unless you call cells, bacterium, viri, accretion disks, galaxy arms, ect... characters.)

wacom
06-07-2006, 11:22 AM
Just to echo hrgiger:

Am I reading a different message board? Nodal is the star kid right now of LW9. If you don't like I Larry so be it, but you'll find that many people are impressed enough by what it can do that they're taking the time to learn it. Also it will have excellent documentation by Tesselator. These two things are VASTLY different than IKB in those regards- which are important differences.

See IKB- bad documention and results that don't make people want to take the time to learn it.

VS.

Nodal- good documentation and obviouse, powerful, illustrated results that make people want to learn it.

Heck- even in the beta forums we have TWO dedicated areas JUST for nodal. Don't even compare them as it's a slap in the face to the new NewTek team.

Celshader
06-07-2006, 11:35 AM
Ok, first of all, that first statement should not even be of concern. We're not going to lose nodal, or APS, or Relativity or Dynamics. 3 people probably use sock monkey but we still have that, don't we?

I found out recently that LW6's gMil shader no longer ships with current versions of LightWave. Also, we haven't had LW5.6's cool Steamer plug-in since LW5.6. I also can't blame NewTek for this, but the "Rotate Path" tool is not found in LW6 and up. "Move Path" is still there, but not "Rotate Path." It is possible for stuff to drop out of the program.

-+-

That said, I am having fun learning IKB. It reminds me of the long hours I spent figuring out celshading and ClothFX -- initially frustrating, but greatly rewarding on future projects.

SplineGod
06-07-2006, 11:51 AM
I like Nodal just fine. I was merely making a simple point:
Dont drop tools simply because theyre not liked or understood by everyone.
Most would agree that Nodal is powerful. Some base their opinion on direct experience, some based on some videos theyve seen and others are just taking someone elses word for it. I personally know others who cant figure it out, feel its tedious or just prefer the old method (which for most cases is probably easier to use).

Jens comments are well taken. She can do things with the dynamics that most cant figure out. This is due to the lack of GOOD documentation.
The same person who wrote the dynamics in LW also is the author of IKBoost. ALL are good powerful things that everyone would agree, could use better docs. I would never advocate removing things or discouraging anyone from experimenting with parts of LW that are already there. :)

jasonwestmas
06-07-2006, 11:57 AM
My guess is that IKBoost isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Of course it's an alternative to the current IK system we have and it will probably remain so, at least until we get yet another alternative way of working.

I certainly wouldn't call IKB an alternative to IK. IKBooster is an IKbooster, that's all. Of course using it on the arms without IK works really well I think. And yes IKBooster is poorly documented.

wacom
06-07-2006, 12:00 PM
I personally know others who cant figure it out, feel its tedious or just prefer the old method (which for most cases is probably easier to use).



These would be noobs to nodal shaders or old, salty, LW dogs most likely. I used to debate this very idea- you can find me challenging Tesselator on this about a year and a half ago in several threads on CGtalk and here. Well now that I've been through some mr rendertree "fun" and using nodal I'm happy to say that for many things this is 99% not true for anything past simple mapping (a color map, a specular map...) that has been done in PS or else where. When things start to even get remotly tricky- I think if someone who had learned nodes and layers together at the sametime would opt for nodes. This is esp. true when it comes to editing your surface.

Besides- all you need to do is save a base preset in nodal that mimics many of the ways layers work and that point is even moot.

aurora
06-07-2006, 12:04 PM
I agree with Larry, in my books unless something is improved upon vastly old things should never go away. However I understand why a few things have since theyt were originally created by thrid party (non-NT0 developers and have moved on or out. While this should not mean that NT should abandon it I do understand why such a toll would quit making the upgrade rounds.

Now back to the IKB issue, I honestly think the lack of use of the tool is due to the lack of understand what it does and 'all' it can do. As with all tools it has its major strengths but that does not mean its the solution to all problems. Most people run into problems when learning to use it, not understanding all that it has to it and then quickly gives up on, especially when so many others have already started traveling down the road and quit. It does build up an 'urban legend' that the tool is worthless when in fact it does work wonderfully well when used for the right things and in the right way. Just my 2 cents worth (well maybe only 1 cent).

Celshader
06-07-2006, 12:11 PM
These would be noobs to nodal shaders or old, salty, LW dogs most likely.

I suspect half of the folks using LW9 right now still don't grasp nodes just yet. If it wasn't for Tesselator's great efforts (answering questions, creating video demos, writing 250 pages of documentation), and if those who "got" nodes early on didn't make an effort to help others, I don't think the other half would have even touched nodes. Well, maybe a few bright guys would have figured LightWave Nodes out on their own, but it would have been as popular as ClothFX.

-+-

It's possible for good things to fall through the cracks. Take the Advanced Camera, for example. It's easily as powerful (http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=391809&postcount=15) as Nodes in its own way, but it doesn't have a Tesselator behind it right now. I hope folks soon realize some of the amazing stuff it can do, though. :o

Joscci
06-07-2006, 02:24 PM
...I also can't blame NewTek for this, but the "Rotate Path" tool is not found in LW6 and up. "Move Path" is still there, but not "Rotate Path."...

You mean there used to be a 'Rotate Path'? That's funny you bring that up because I've always wondered why they have a 'Move Path', and not bothered to include a 'Rotate Path' -- I didn't know that there actually used to be a Rotate Path tool.

Interesting.

Celshader
06-07-2006, 02:33 PM
You mean there used to be a 'Rotate Path'? That's funny you bring that up because I've always wondered why they have a 'Move Path', and not bothered to include a 'Rotate Path' -- I didn't know that there actually used to be a Rotate Path tool.

Interesting.

Yup, LightWave 5.6 had Move Path, Rotate Path and Scale/Stretch Path. I don't blame NewTek for dropping Rotate Path, though. Back when LightWave lacked independent motion curves (a key on Y meant keys on XZ HPB and the Scale channels), it must have been much easier to implement a Rotate Path tool. I don't see how they could have kept a Rotate Path for LW[6] and up, where the motion curves are independent of each other.

Joscci
06-07-2006, 03:01 PM
Yup, LightWave 5.6 had Move Path, Rotate Path and Scale/Stretch Path. I don't blame NewTek for dropping Rotate Path, though. Back when LightWave lacked independent motion curves (a key on Y meant keys on XZ HPB and the Scale channels), it must have been much easier to implement a Rotate Path tool. I don't see how they could have kept a Rotate Path for LW[6] and up, where the motion curves are independent of each other.

Interesting stuff. Thanks for the insight. :)

We learn something new everyday.

Back to IKB.

Cheers.

aurora
06-07-2006, 03:46 PM
Take the Advanced Camera, for example. It's easily as powerful as Nodes in its own way, but it doesn't have a Tesselator behind it right now. I hope folks soon realize some of the amazing stuff it can do, though.

Grrr, I'm one of those people still trying to figure some of the Advanced Camera secrets. Tess hurry up and finish the Node Editor docs and tackle this one next :D

wacom
06-07-2006, 09:56 PM
Well it just goes to show how good this release is going to be- heck some of the feature documentation in BETA is better than the new features in lw 7-8 were documented.

Advanced camera and CCTV show a lot of promise! Luckly people are figuring them out fairly well given the lack of documention though.

Nitisara
06-08-2006, 11:40 PM
To my mind IKBooster is a great animation tool. It is a wonderful animation solution, and it is one of two reasons why I am using LW (the second one is cloth dynamics).

Good about IKB workflow:
It is an extremely fast rigging solution, with wonderfully-made full-body IK system. Its workflow is a new generation of animation tools available.

Bad about IKB workflow:
IKB is overloaded with features and its workflow is too complicated when it comes to fixing joints to stay at one place during animation. This makes it difficult to completely understand it and to see its best way of implementation. All complaints regarding poor docs reside in this area.
Also it constantly selects all objects around, what makes sometimes extremely annoying to work with IKB.
Also it spams dopesheet with temporary keys which disorient animator greatly.

Good about IKB interface:
Idea to put IK and FK controls at one place is superb. It gives a lot of power to animator when posing character.

Bad about IKB interface:
IKB interface is scattered all over LW, and in many ways it is not intuitive at all. There are many features which cannot be understood by normal mind by just seeing menus - you have to study it carefully from docs and experiment a lot before you will understand how it works and why it is here.
It is fine that you have to read docs, but it could be done much, much easier, and in a more user-friendly way.

SplineGod
06-09-2006, 02:32 AM
Nitisara,
I wish you could show some of your animations, theyre very good. :)
Im curious how you feel the IKB interface is scattered.

omeone
06-09-2006, 02:51 AM
... its workflow is too complicated when it comes to fixing joints to stay at one place during animation

Have you tried using contact points instead of joints?

SplineGod
06-09-2006, 03:00 AM
Ive tried it Ive been able to use a single null and move it around :)

Nitisara
06-09-2006, 03:20 AM
Im curious how you feel the IKB interface is scattered.
Keying modes are on the left, options are on the right, special timeline hides in the center, and main menus are at the joints :)
Plus more drop down menus when special timeline is visible.

And all this instead of just animatable fixes and a couple of options on the base of the character (like joints size etc)! :stumped:

omeone
06-09-2006, 03:22 AM
Ive tried it Ive been able to use a single null and move it aroundwow yeah.. moving them around aswell (single or multiple).... now that's ultimate flexibility!

Nitisara
06-09-2006, 03:24 AM
wow yeah.. moving them around aswell (single or multiple).... now that's ultimate flexibility!
It would be better if IKB would not require IK addons for perfect use - it could do the same by its own means...
This extra IK setup significantly decreases workflow performance and fights against what IKB was designed for - substitute standard Null IK setup.
At least this is my vision...

omeone
06-09-2006, 03:49 AM
It would be better if IKB would not require IK addons for perfect use - it could do the same by its own means...
This extra IK setup significantly decreases workflow performance and fights against what IKB was designed for - substitute standard Null IK setup.
At least this is my vision...

totally agree, thats how I want it too.

I have my main contact points built-in to the RIG, but occasionally you will need to contact at 'abnormal' places like elbows and knees, in the these places - the joint node is inside the mesh so is not suitable for contact and a 'proxy' node is suitable. For me, I just add a child Bone, since I dont have to think about toggling parent in place and then slotting it into the hierarchy, also the coordinate axis is local to the parent.

But what Larry has suggested with Nodes should do one thing perfectly:
Let you freely animate the center of gravity.

Also, it might add that last bit of power that I thought IKB was lacking in...the ability to easily slide nodes across surfaces... can you confirm Larry?

omeone
06-09-2006, 04:29 AM
Also, it might add that last bit of power that I thought IKB was lacking in...the ability to easily slide nodes across surfaces... can you confirm Larry?

well.. Ive tried it again but I still dont seem to be able to make this idea bear fruit :(

Nitisara, I think we had a misunderstanding there - I don't think Larry's null idea involved Full-Time IK, is that what you meant?

Nitisara
06-09-2006, 04:34 AM
Nitisara, I think we had a misunderstanding there - I don't think Larry's null idea involved Full-Time IK, is that what you meant?
I mean using Nulls with full-time IK to fix some character joints over animation.

omeone
06-09-2006, 04:40 AM
yeah, that might work some times, in some situations for some poeple , but it's not the way forward for me personally. I think Larry was talking IKB only too.

Nitisara
06-09-2006, 04:46 AM
yeah, that might work some times, in some situations for some poeple , but it's not the way forward for me personally. I think Larry was talking IKB only too.
What I would like to see in IKB is that Fixes would be animatable.
Say, if you fix bone - it stays at this place during animation until you unfix it. So it would make keyframes for fixes, editable in a Graph Editor. Easy and simple...

omeone
06-09-2006, 05:00 AM
Have you tried Bakespots ?

They act very much like this and can be animated with 3 drag points.

I think the developer might have felt he wanted to seperate posing tools like Fix from animation tools like Bind/Bake.

Nitisara
06-09-2006, 05:13 AM
Have you tried Bakespots ?

They act very much like this and can be animated with 3 drag points.

I think the developer might have felt he wanted to seperate posing tools like Fix from animation tools like Bind/Bake.
Thank you for the image!
Yes, my point is just to animate fixes, without any extra implementations.

omeone
06-09-2006, 05:26 AM
Yes, my point is just to animate fixes, without any extra implementations.

that would be much better I think too, a bit of the 'consolidation of tools' everyone keeps talking about.

pooby
06-09-2006, 05:34 AM
The fixes should be proper IK, not baked FK.. that would solve a lot

jasonwestmas
06-09-2006, 05:40 AM
The fixes should be proper IK, not baked FK.. that would solve a lot

I agree with your there, baking FK movements is very lame. I would never use that feature if I could avoid it! :)

omeone
06-09-2006, 05:57 AM
The fixes should be proper IK, not baked FK.. that would solve a lot

Animatable full-time IK nodes could solve a lot alright - the final piece of the jigsaw? (forgetting the UI for a second), but only after we get an IK solver that performed as well as some of the competitors. They wouldn't need to be used that much either, so slow-down wouldnt be a big issue.

ColinCohen
06-09-2006, 07:01 AM
Animatable full-time IK nodes could solve a lot alright

:agree:

Nitisara
06-13-2006, 12:57 PM
I know that Larry Shultz (Splinegod) has learning courses available, covering IKBooster usage. Anyone who want to learn how to use this advanced CA tool may ask Larry for assistance.
I say that because personally for me, Larry helped a lot by explaining some advanced rigging techniques using IKB and standard IK rig. Also with the help of his online class he demonstrated me some useful tricks of IKB usage. His lessons saved me a lot of time during my work and let me use IKB at new level of mastering.

TheDude
06-14-2006, 07:09 PM
Had a look at IKB and it hurt my brain.:screwy:
I suspect it will be left to fade away because it isn't really part of the LW core and is probably too hard to fully intergrate into 9 and beyond. (I don't know too much about it's development but it sure feels like a plugin, NT don't even seem to know how it works)
This is always the problem with plugins, you can't easily control they're future development(if they actually have any future development),even when you buy them and plop them into a version release.
I think NT would rather have it's own (new) CA system in place anyway, IKB was just something they added to make 8 look a little more clever.
Hopefully NT will bear in mind all the issues with IKB when they're working on their own solution and hopefully it will appear sooner rather than later.

jasonwestmas
06-14-2006, 08:04 PM
I don't think it's difficult to use after I learned it from people who know how to use IKB. Of course that's been the whole discussion about IKB for a while now.

Nitisara
06-14-2006, 10:57 PM
Hopefully NT will bear in mind all the issues with IKB when they're working on their own solution and hopefully it will appear sooner rather than later.
Currently there is no alternative to IKB in LW. It is always good to develop new tools - but they should be even better than existing!