View Full Version : More motion designer madness

06-13-2003, 06:26 PM
Ok, it's not really total madness - more like a REALLY irritating quirk.

When motion designer reaches the end of a long and complex calculation and I'm not sitting there to stop it (hit the 'continue' button) - why on earth does it decide to reinitialize (automatically dumping the previous calculation) and start over from the beginning?

Am I missing a step that ensures that motion designer performs a calculation once and once only? Right now, if I'm not sitting in front of the computer at the exact moment that MD completes a simulation, then a 1hr calculation automatically becomes a 2hr calculation (3hrs if I miss it again).

Then again, maybe it's just me?

Julian Johnson
06-14-2003, 01:18 AM
It's not just you :-). You're doing nothing wrong, it's a longstanding quirk. I'm not quite sure what provokes it but MD is particularly susceptible to keystrokes that happen even when Layout is defocused and you're using another app. For example, if you press CTRL whilst MD is calculating in the background, it will still abort. I think the repeating calc might have something to do with the length of time you hold the Start button down for (and whether it pops back up when you release the mouse). Never been able to duplicate it at will though. Sometimes it stops, sometimes it doesn't.

I feel your pain. I just had to do a CG character jumping on to a backplate bed and ruffling the duvet with MD. The calculations were taking 50 mins each time and 50% of the time they would restart unless I sat by the machine on the last frame. Would be nice to find a workaround :-)


06-14-2003, 01:56 PM
Thanks, Julian. Sorry you have to be the one to share my pain, but then 'misery loves company' - and I couldn't ask for better company. :-)

While I'm at it, I've noticed that no matter what number I set the 'steps' to in the options panel, MD still calculates on every frame (step gets reset to '1'?).

MD is potentially one of the most powerful tools LW has to offer - if Newtek would just take the time to reinforce it. No new features, really, just get the kinks out and speed it up.

Julian Johnson
06-15-2003, 12:58 PM
Yep :-). Same thing with the step setting. The OSX version of MD is also single threaded unlike its PC counterpart; MD metaplug is broken and it's all a little tatty round the edges. The core simulation engine seems to be really great but the interface and glitchiness make it hard to work with. If it was easier to tap into and more robust it would be a killer enhancement in LW8. Rationalising the parameters - springiness, viscosity, sub structure, hold structure, resistance etc. into something more intuitive and providing 'saner' value graduations (not spring values from 1 to 1000000) and a host of other presets would go a long way towards capitalising on it's underlying excellence. Integrating it more deeply within the application so that you could use MD as a kind of 'motion engine' for bones, particles etc. would get really interesting as would some kind of understanding of weight maps. It all seems to be there but, as yet, untapped......but, I agree, getting it more solid and faster for 8 would be the priority for me, too.