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pooby
01-05-2007, 04:00 PM
It might be good to have a thread suggesting where LWs animation tools can be improved.
I am using XSI as a comparison but I'm not trying to 'sell' XSI or belittle LW. I just think it's good to know where other packages are 'getting it right'

Here's a vid demo-ing the setting up of IK in LW compared to XSI.

http://s24.quicksharing.com/v/1867731/ik.rar.html

pooby
01-05-2007, 04:18 PM
And this is something that I really like about LW's IK...the ability to distribute roll down a chain on the bank... I don't know of another package that lets you do that with IK.

http://s24.quicksharing.com/v/5706997/bankik.rar.html

UnCommonGrafx
01-05-2007, 04:28 PM
Thank you, Pooby. I've learned some 'exotic' stuff from you and appreciate you starting this thread.

Fix the lack of communication betwixt all of lw so that expressions and plugs can 'hear' each other. Also, give us a global area to manage all of this as opposed to having to deal with the individual pieces of an animation. Grouping, or some such organizational method, would make this that much more readable at a glance.

Deprecate all the built-in expression systems and replace them all with Relativity code.

FONGOOL
01-05-2007, 04:47 PM
My main complaint of the moment is the difficulty involved in getting detailed corrective joint morphs to work correctly. Setting them up is a breeze, no complaints there, but getting a result that actually looks like what you sculpted in modeler is annoying.

In the end, to get something anywhere near what I scuplted required me to push the morph amount to 200% and then blend out the edges of the weightmap to 50% strength to smooth the resulting "ledge" around the edges of the weightmap created by the 200% morph value.

And even then it wasn't exactly what I had sculpted, which in this case is annoying because it's supposed to be a shapely female behind, and it's kind of obvious when it doesn't look exactly right.

The ability to use basic modelling tools in layout could help make the process of doing the corrective sculpts much easier. (I'm not a big fan of fully combining layout and modeler, I actually like having them seperate, but a little bit of crossover where it makes sense isn't a bad thing. ) but I've heard the core problem I'm encountering has something to do with the morph being calculated before bones or some such...

kilvano
01-05-2007, 05:03 PM
I dont mind the animation tool in LW. In fact i think that they arent too hard to set up but i main problem is the work flow.

As the video pooby made suggests, it often take AGES to set up the simplest rig.

I think some sort of character interface (another window) that can assign weight maps to rigs and bone heirarchy (i know there is one but its a pain) as well as thinks like IK/FK option all in tabs instead of having to go into every motion option for one then the next then the next and then...well you get the drift.

cresshead
01-05-2007, 05:31 PM
this could be a good idea as long as it does degenerate into a app war:thumbsup:

i'll post a couple of things over the weekend from a 3dsmax perspective.

Speedmonk42
01-05-2007, 05:39 PM
'does' or 'does not'..... lol

This does go back to a question I asked in another thread. What 'can' they do? Where does workflow/interface and IP collide?

hairy_llama
01-05-2007, 06:06 PM
Glad you posted this thread... Here are a couple of ideas on how to improve the animation system....

Some things I have had problems with when doing
any advanced rig.

Problems with the New scene editor (not classic).
need more options in scene editor for FILTERS. more include/ exclude options.
FIX BUG. AFTER applying a filter, you set the scene editor to show items in a list instead of hierarchy, the items that were hidden in any hierarchy
will not show up, until you disable then re-enable the filter.

the new scene editor needs to go to OGL or something. The refresh speed is terrible, can't keep dope sheet open and animate.
the new scene editor needs CUSTOM HOTKEYS. I hate having to select my keys, right click, scroll down, find "delete" then click it.
I should be able to just push DEL on my keyboard. or CTRL+C to copy, CTRL+V to paste.



Motion options.

We need IK, TARGETING, PINNING, ORIENT CONSTRAINTS, motion modifiers expressions etc to WORK WITH EACH OTHER.
ALL MOTION OPTIONS need to be stackable and the user needs to be able to tell them to calculate before/after and where in the order of IK/TARGETING/other motion option plugins/parenting/expressions.



Quaternion booster is "almost" awesome. I found out with one of my rigs that sometimes you get motions that rotate 360 degrees over 1 frame,
creating problems when you render with motion blur.



We need a bone setup mode that creates a "hidden" keyframe for all rest positions. This keyframe is NOT editable on your standard timeline.
I've screwed my rig up countless times because of this.
The bone edit mode MUST DISABLE ALL MOTION modifiers, IK, EXPRESSIONS etc.
As lightwave is right now I have no way to edit my rig after I set it up with my motion plugins expressions etc.



TARGETING AND IK need to work in quaternions... or something. I've had countless problems with my muscle bones when they
rotate 90 degrees from each other. They seem to do a 180 bank flip and my deformations look terrible.


We need native "pole vector" setup like the RV_rigtools "RV_Orient" free plugin has. This
plugin allowed me easily pose and to have stable and IK.


Need native stretchy IK, apply-able with a couple of clicks.

Need native 1-click(or 2) muscle bones.

Need native squash/stretch setups, where the child is not affected by the parent, so when we squash the BODY our arm bones
remain the correct shape.

we have plugins for nearly all of this. Now it needs to be consolidated.


Motion modifiers, eg. simple orient constraints, should be in a place such as the scene editor, where it takes one click to set
it's "target objects". I don't want to go to motion options, add a modifier, open its interface, click a button that opens up another
interface, then scroll down a 300 object list to "try" and find an object/channel, with 40 more bones to go. TIME CONSUMING!!!

I think we should have ONE location that is for all motion options. Expressions, IK, TARGETING, MOTION MODIFIER, CONSTRAINTS. and
they should all work together. Why not make these motion modifiers nodal? That way they can all effect each other/multiply/divide each other...
Why do we need "parenting"? Why not make it another node "motion option" that is blendable, changeable.


The whole skeleton creation process needs to be completely redone. Copy messiah. It's click, drag, done.


The new bone tools "joint move, tip move, bone twist" etc. are partially there. But they feel like plugins acting on an archaic system.

....and I'd love an app that I did not have to save sequential saves of my scene every 45 seconds because that is my ONLY hope of undoing something!


after all of that is done we need new spline deformer tools.

I forgot to add. We need some kind of a POSE blending system for object positions. I have a nice rig with muscle bones around the eyes and mouth. It would be extremely nice to be able to store poses
for them! Almost like a "morph" for object positions.

Hopefully some of that made sense, a lot of it is pretty advanced...

bobakabob
01-05-2007, 06:29 PM
Thanks for the informative video, Pooby. IK / FK blending would be great to see in Lightwave.

prospector
01-05-2007, 06:56 PM
Transferrable weightmaps !!!!

Like this:
Arm or thigh bends foreward and it uses forward weightmap, as it swings it changes percentages to a rearward weightmap,
then when it bends up it uses percentages of the up weightmap and forward weightmap.

perfect deformations every time with any IK or IK/FK or IKBooster system.


And those DING DANG Radius morphs!!! no more straightline stuff.

SplineGod
01-05-2007, 07:02 PM
And this is something that I really like about LW's IK...the ability to distribute roll down a chain on the bank... I don't know of another package that lets you do that with IK.

http://s24.quicksharing.com/v/5706997/bankik.rar.html

I also like that instead of having to add multiiple bones one at a time I can draw one and split it into as many as I need and fuse bones into a single bone.

I also like the fact that I can select multiple bones and add IK to multiple channels at once. So in your example I could multiselect the bones and apply bank to them all at once. Heres an example:
http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/examples/dog_leash.mov

SplineGod
01-05-2007, 07:04 PM
Thanks for the informative video, Pooby. IK / FK blending would be great to see in Lightwave.

I like how simple it is to do IK/FK blending in the free PLG IK Tools. Would be nice to be able to do that natively.

jat
01-05-2007, 09:01 PM
pooby...wow.........you can bet though that these Newtek guys are working their butts off because they don't want to be left behind.....lets hope anyway.....

SplineGod
01-05-2007, 09:05 PM
Hopefully theyre shooting for not what others can do now but something beyond that. This was the idea behind the development of the VT series. They developed with the idea with what PCs would be capable of later down the road because PCs that were current at the time were too slow. :)

t4d
01-05-2007, 09:12 PM
LW needs more then just a Ik/FK slider, it's the layers of operators on top of each other that really bring power to the rigger and the character animator.

here is a simple exsample to what a standard toon leg looks like in another package. ( this one is XSI, tho i have done the same rig in messiah )

http://www.thomas4d.com/legexsample.rar

lightwave/newtek have to aim for this type of Control, But do it in a LW style.

Silkrooster
01-05-2007, 10:29 PM
Hopefully theyre shooting for not what others can do now but something beyond that. This was the idea behind the development of the VT series. They developed with the idea with what PCs would be capable of later down the road because PCs that were current at the time were too slow. :)
I am hoping for the same.
Silk

hrgiger
01-06-2007, 01:18 AM
My main complaint of the moment is the difficulty involved in getting detailed corrective joint morphs to work correctly. Setting them up is a breeze, no complaints there, but getting a result that actually looks like what you sculpted in modeler is annoying.



I disagree that setting up corrective morphs are a "breeze". Bending your bone in Layout on your finished rig and then within Layout sculpting your corrective morph, now that would be a breeze. And it's what we should have. Modeler shouldn't have anything to do with it. I shouldn't have to use two programs (layout and modeler) just so I can get the one program (Layout) to function like it should.

We should have access to verticies in Layout and changes made to them should be keyframable and available through the graph editor just like everything else. I don't know if having that access to verticies would create a lot of overhead codewise but regardless, in one form or another we should have complete control over what our mesh looks like through every frame of animation. Something like lattice deformers would be a step in the right direction but direct vertex control would be much better.

prospector
01-06-2007, 01:41 AM
Something like lattice deformers would be a step in the right direction but direct vertex control would be much better.


Tried that :D
It was a disaster.....in modeler I killed all polys and made points into polys, then extruded polys to small 2 point poly lines (about 1/8 in), turned them all to bones :) then went thru **** parenting them all to a main (say thigh) bone.
worked great then..had control of every vertice. Wasn't much work after that in layout using motion mixer.
Then the disaster...I went back into modeler and did the WHOLE body instead of just leg. Now the model won't load anymore...had 7000 bones on it :D :D
And it's a good thing to cuz I would STILL be parenting :cry:

hrgiger
01-06-2007, 04:15 AM
Well, I would hope that our programmers at Newtek can come up with a bit more elegant solution than that.:)

pooby
01-06-2007, 04:17 AM
It is imperitive that there is a good system in place for making Jointmorphs.
This has to be in layout as you need to make them whilst the object is in an animated pose.

This is XSI's implementation of jointmorphs. I think it would be hard to beat the simplicity of this-

http://s24.quicksharing.com/v/1221860/Jointmorphs.rar.html

pooby
01-06-2007, 04:32 AM
In Layout when we bring up the properties of an item, we can access certain info in the panel, then we have a separate 'Motion options' panel..
Here we can modify channels or control them by IK but I find it strange that on this 'motion' specific panel, we do not have access to the raw keyed Scale rotation and translation channel info of this item.

Look at this way of setting up relations between channels in XSI.. it's not that it can't be done in LW, You can in LW, by a variety of means such as expressions, but here it's just such so simple and it writes the expression for you.

http://s24.quicksharing.com/v/9190635/Linkingchannels.rar.html

bobakabob
01-06-2007, 05:00 AM
I disagree that setting up corrective morphs are a "breeze". Bending your bone in Layout on your finished rig and then within Layout sculpting your corrective morph, now that would be a breeze. And it's what we should have. Modeler shouldn't have anything to do with it. I shouldn't have to use two programs (layout and modeler) just so I can get the one program (Layout) to function like it should.

We should have access to verticies in Layout and changes made to them should be keyframable and available through the graph editor just like everything else. I don't know if having that access to verticies would create a lot of overhead codewise but regardless, in one form or another we should have complete control over what our mesh looks like through every frame of animation. Something like lattice deformers would be a step in the right direction but direct vertex control would be much better.

Access to verticies to create corrective morphs in Layout would be an animation godsend. It would greatly speed up workflow and enable more creative freedom and experimentation. I'm too preoccupied with damaging / distorting the mesh when animating. It must be possible - Minimo was a basic plugin which allowed corrective sculpting in Layout and there's reference to it in this Smart Skinning tutorial (http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/tutorials/animation/smartskin/index.html)

SplineGod
01-06-2007, 08:36 AM
Pretty much every application including blender allows point level animation except LW. Way back at the beginning of the LW 9 dev cycle Newtek said that the modeling tools would be available in layout at some point. It was also mentioned that those point selections would be available to expressions etc in the graph editor.
It definately is possible. I have a plugin developed way back in LW 7.5 days called XTool that allowed points to be manipulated directly in layout and grouped in various ways and keyframable over time etc. The points also showed up in the graph editor and could be parented to other items. It actually worked in LW 9 up until very recently.

hrgiger
01-06-2007, 07:53 PM
Whatever improvements that Newtek makes in the CA department, I would like to see the workflow of rigging and animating become non-destructive. In Messiah for example, after you have rigged your character and animated it, you can change your bone placement and the animation will automatically update with the new information. I would like to see this kind of functionality within Lightwave.

James Edwards
01-06-2007, 11:29 PM
Referencing is an absolute must as well. In our pipeline we often have to start animating characters as quickly as possible, which sometimes means working with a more basic rig and adding to it over time as the need arises. I also implemented a more complex automated rig that works well but has had some bugs fixed and additions requested since I implemented it. With referencing I've been able to modify and bugfix the rig without breaking existing animations that have been created in the meantime. All animated scenes that use a referenced rig automatically update as the rig is updated.

jin choung
01-07-2007, 01:41 AM
howdy everyone,

howdy larry. i agree that newtek should do the best rather than just do what everyone else is doing. BUT... that means they need to know of a better way. and better funded people than newtek who have cared lots more about character animation have worked on this longer than newtek has. and so far, that's found in their apps.

so, my mantra (from UI all the way on down to ca is):

DO AS EVERYBODY ELSE DOES UNLESS YOUR WAY IS B*E*T*T*E*R.... never ever, just to be different. and somewhat conversely, doing what everybody else is doing is not necessarily bad.

---------------------------------------------------------------

1. ik should not require generating a null separately. there is no such thing as an ik system without a controller so the controller (the null) should be an integrated part of the ik system.

and within that integrated controller should be some method to TWIST the ik chain, to control the aim of the elbow or knee. further, it should be possible to SLAVE that twist control (by expression or integrated button) to an external TARGET should the animator choose that as preferable.

HERE WE CAN DO BETTER THAN OTHER APPS: making setting limits on bones in an ik more visual and interactive with on screen prompts.

2. a modern MOTION MIXER that allows you to trim clips like in premiere or other nles.... right now, it is archaic as all heck and clunky like a motherfer... and we all know how clunky motherfers can be.

also, there should be clear options on how the motions get mixed... either additively or etc etc.

3. SKINNING is HORRIBLE... there's gotta be a better way with much more FEEDBACK about what is being weighted where.... the usual color weight feedback is one thing but we need a way to cleanly see at a glance NUMERICAL VALUES of the verts.

also, there MUST be a way to weight in NORMALIZED MODE. all influence values of all relevant bones add up to no MORE OR LESS THAN 1. the 200% weighting and stuff like that may have uses so allow that as an option but most of the times, this is ludicrous and nonsensical.

also, a spreadsheet that then allows you to type in values and have the remaining weight AUTOMATICALLY REDISTRIBUTED to the remaining relevant bones is HIGHLY DESIRABLE. here, i am thinking of the spreadsheet in MAYA. and of course, the ability to LOCK any value on the spreadsheet so that if you change a value elsewhere, the redistribution will not affect locked verts.

HERE WE CAN DO BETTER THAN OTHER APPS: allow us to different FORCE FIELDS draw around the bones with falloffs shown graphically and with DIFFERENT FALLOFF CURVES (like legacy "HOT DOGS") with this difference - WE CAN CHOOSE DIFFERENT PRIMITIVES SHAPES as your force fields... not just hot dogs.... stretched cubes, spheres, and USER DETERMINED GEOMETRY (falloff regions being projected along the geometry's normals)...

AND

the option to BAKE this influence into an equivalent vertex map so that we can use the "forcefield weights" in animation if we want OR we can bake to verts and simply use it as a "first pass" weighting tool.

no matter what other methods are available to bind the geometry to bones, everything should be bakable into a traditional vertex map as the LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR for export into other apps and game engines.

4. as i mentioned in earlier requests a UNIFIED interface inside GRAPH EDITOR... every way in which you move geometry etc in layout should also apply inside of graph editor... i get keys and buttons mixed up in jumping from lw to maya to photoshop... it should not happen WITHIN LW FOR CRUD'S SAKE!

i'll think up more! don't worry!

jin

pooby
01-07-2007, 04:37 AM
i agree that newtek should do the best rather than just do what everyone else is doing. BUT... that means they need to know of a better way. and better funded people than newtek who have cared lots more about character animation have worked on this longer than newtek has. and so far, that's found in their apps.

so, my mantra (from UI all the way on down to ca is):

DO AS EVERYBODY ELSE DOES UNLESS YOUR WAY IS B*E*T*T*E*R.... never ever, just to be different. and somewhat conversely, doing what everybody else is doing is not necessarily bad.


Absolutely.. and furthermore, what you see in these other apps is a result of consulting professional riggers and animators over years and asking them what they need and what they wished for, then trying to implement that.

Newtek have a big hill to climb in being taken seriously for professional C/A as it is, and they don't have the benefit of a huge base of professional animators from whom to draw inspiration and ideas.

t4d
01-07-2007, 05:12 AM
also agree there is no point in doing something just to be different to try and find a magicly new way of doing everything.

dreaming of magic features that makes LW a CA app, Won't be taken seriously by the industry or it's users, unless it has a solid flexiable standard base first. ( IK, stackiable operators, open interface that gives access to all elements, etc etc )

xsi have done this and now focus on bring other app's workflows into XSI and out again ( check the XSI 6 video's ) and that's how they are winning studios and freelancers over.

the systems and workflows in other apps are mostly the same be it Maya, XSI, Max, messiah etc, and for good reason, because they have been developed with many years of interaction with they users and studios.
something LW is missing.

Pixar is the only studio i know that that uses inhouse software, But even they uses Maya for layout, hardbodies, particles etc and even the Pixar animators uses Maya, XSI and Hash at home without issues ( even wish Pixar inhouse has this or that and those things get added to the inhouse software over time )

These threads have beening happening for many years
I'm sure/hope Newtek read them.
But when will we see Newtek movment on these issues ?

prospector
01-07-2007, 08:41 AM
also agree there is no point in doing something just to be different to try and find a magicly new way of doing everything.

There isn't????
Not picking on you personally, but just this thinking process in general.

If that be true then every refregerator would be exactly the same (why look for new ways when the first one invented worked?)

Why go thru millions of dollars in research for a rain tire when the first one worked ok?

Why build Enzos when the Ford model T worked fine ? (got the first car anology in :D )

Because difference is human , same is sheep. Humans ALWAYS look for something different, everthing else is just pack (mob) mentality.

I agree LW need some stuff, but I don't agree that it needs it because brand A has it and it needs to be done that way (which is the way I am reading these suggestions).

So program A can do something with 1 less click of a mouse. Even at 1000 less clicks a day you only save 500 sec (half sec a click), you only save 8.3 min for the day. If you work for someone that says get it done 8 min faster than the next guy or your fired then you work for someone that is way too anal and need to leave.

I always go back to Newteks way of originally getting thier products out.
They were made for the INDIVIDUAL, to give the INDIVIDUAL the same stuff the 'big boys' have without the 'big boys' prices and the 'big boys' mob mentality.

So I say go ahead Newtek, get us some new tools, but keep it going the Newtek way. Difference is wonderful.

pooby
01-07-2007, 09:01 AM
Whatever Newtek do will be different.

-But I think the point is that there are certain tools that you just NEED.
In the same way that you need a hammer, a screwdriver, a saw, screws, nails, nuts and bolts.
There is no need to invent new ways of constructing until you have the basics working together nicely.

The way they are implemented into LW will be Newtek's way, but we still need a full set of those tools.
The clever part (and where innovation is required by Newtek) is in the design of the system which specifies how these tools can be stacked and combined without causing exceptions and dead ends.

At the moment, we have a lack of tools and many of the tools we DO have, cant be combined to make more complex operations.

pooby
01-07-2007, 09:09 AM
Why go thru millions of dollars in research for a rain tire when the first one worked ok?

Yes, improve the tyre by all means, but don't try to make something to replace the tyre unless you've got a better idea than the tyre.

prospector
01-07-2007, 10:11 AM
Yes, improve the tyre by all means, but don't try to make something to replace the tyre unless you've got a better idea than the tyre
Indeediedoo
So instead of making a single app I would like the HUB (which some seem to dispise) to become realtime interactive.
Fix weights in modeler and see realtime updates in Layout tho hitting F12 isn't a real pain.

Make skelegons in modeler, see realtime bone updates in Layout,and not have to go thru convert skelegons again (which makes a completly new set of bones).

Redesign or remake geometry in modeler (where modeling SHOULD take place) and have realtime updates in layout.

Fix endomorphs in modeler (it IS modeling after all), with realtime updates in Layout (set weights, move points).

Set up something where we can go from 1 texture to another without building an AVI first.

Fix the bone panel in modeler so we can manipulate model WITH bone panel open.

Lots of things can be updated (improved on) without changing LW basics to look like other programs.

I think we need a 'FIX THE HUB' crusade.

pooby
01-07-2007, 10:53 AM
One crucial element that need to be implemented is the manipulation of CURVES in layout, and a good curve constraint.
This example shows a (half finished) facial rig I'm making in XSI using curves to give the face organic movement.
In Layout you can't animate the curves, or constrain to them properly.
(I've experimented with stretchy bones to do a rig like this in LW and it achieves about 10% of the features of a curve based rig)

http://s24.quicksharing.com/v/7396708/curves.rar.html



Fix endomorphs in modeler (it IS modeling after all), with realtime updates in Layout (set weights, move points).

The example doesnt have any morphs yet, but when it does I want to make them work in conjunction with the curve setup.. which means I'd make the curves hit an 'OO' shape, then add the extra modelling to neaten it with a morph..
This HAS to be done whilst the object is in it's pose, so making a morph in a separate application just wouldn't work at all. It would be completely impossible to 'guess' what that morph would look like without the curves animation in place.
I used to fall into the 'keep them separate' camp, but from an animation point of viewn it doesn't make sense having a separate modeller.
I guess that by Newtek integrating modelling AND keeping modeller separate, it'll keep everyone happy. ( but I'm sure that once people realise that it's just as easy modelling in layout, then 'Modeller' will just fade away)

Wonderpup
01-07-2007, 11:21 AM
I would rather Newtek just stole all the best ideas out there at the moment and focused their efforts on a good CA workflow, rather than chasing innovation-(so no more ik boosters please. )

The time to innovate is when you already have a solid foundation in place. I have a long term CA project coming up which I would really like to do in lightwave but to be honest I'm too scared of ending up trapped by the current systems limitations to do it, So I'm currently trying to stuff XSI into my head as fast as possible to get the job done.

I think NT have a wonderful opportunity here to learn from the current state of the art and give us something that just plain works- that would be worth more to me than a truckload of IK Booster gimmicks.

pooby
01-07-2007, 11:54 AM
Using modelling tools for animation..

I'm hoping that once modelling tools are put into layout, It will be possible to use them as deformers too, so, effectively they work 'live' as it were.
This example shows a smoothing operation that can be run on any part of the mesh AFTER the bones have done their work.
It's applying this on every frame.
This is Extremely handy if you want to just smooth out a bit of geometry that might not be deforming well enough with the bones alone.
I recently applied this to a character's face which had some extreme cartoony deformation going on, and it ironed out any unwanted wrinkles in the cheeks and kept the face deformation really neat during the animation.

http://s24.quicksharing.com/v/2276137/modellingtoolsforanimation.rar.html

by the way. the overall effect of this operation can be blended on and off and keyed over time as well as all the parameters within the operator.

hrgiger
01-07-2007, 11:55 AM
Indeediedoo
So instead of making a single app I would like the HUB (which some seem to dispise) to become realtime interactive.
Fix weights in modeler and see realtime updates in Layout tho hitting F12 isn't a real pain.

Make skelegons in modeler, see realtime bone updates in Layout,and not have to go thru convert skelegons again (which makes a completly new set of bones).

Redesign or remake geometry in modeler (where modeling SHOULD take place) and have realtime updates in layout.

Fix endomorphs in modeler (it IS modeling after all), with realtime updates in Layout (set weights, move points).

Set up something where we can go from 1 texture to another without building an AVI first.

Fix the bone panel in modeler so we can manipulate model WITH bone panel open.

Lots of things can be updated (improved on) without changing LW basics to look like other programs.

I think we need a 'FIX THE HUB' crusade.

I don't care if they ever touch the hub again. We need to get past thinking adjust this, flip over to layout, flip back, adjust again, blah blah blah.
I'm all for keeping modeler modeler and Layout Layout but let's keep modeling for modeling and Layout for animation.
I just think we need to move tools like weights and anything to do with skinning over to Layout. This back and forth crap needs to go the way of the Dodo. Darwin rules.

pooby
01-07-2007, 12:25 PM
CONSTRAINTS !

This, I think is about the most important bit to get right (maybe equal to deformation)

At the moment, we don't really have a constraint system in LW which is what makes rigging limiting and frustrating.
For example, the 'point constraint' in LW will only work after IK, so you can't use it to drive an IK chain, whereas 'Follower's' (which works either before or after IK) effect can not be blended.
In XSI there is no concept of 'before or after IK'.. IK ALWAYS works with the contraints and every parameter can be blended and keyframed.

As you can see from this example, Constraints and IK are the backbone of rigging. You can build up really complex mechanisms easily with a good unbreakable implementation of constraints.

http://s24.quicksharing.com/v/3804149/constraints.rar.html

pooby
01-07-2007, 12:59 PM
It would be good to see some Maya Max C4D etc examples of good animation ideas and workflow, if anyone's got the time.

James Edwards
01-07-2007, 03:42 PM
Animation Layers

http://www.golemworx.com/pub/XSI_Layers1.jpg

http://www.golemworx.com/pub/XSI_Layers2.jpg

New as of XSI 6 - probably my most anticipated feature since I started using XSI. I freaked out when I first started using LW for animation because I had already had access to animation layers through Character Studio in max using Biped. Motion Builder helped ease the pain for awhile but I really dislike using 3rd party solutions for animation. I prefer to do everything in my core application as it is less hassle when assets need to be changed or modified down the line. Not to mention the constant import/exporting required for every single sequence.

prospector
01-07-2007, 03:53 PM
Pooby, didn't someone show how to do those curve animations in LW ?

I remember someone doing just what you were showing with curves but in LW it was called a cage if I remember right.

t4d
01-07-2007, 04:20 PM
Well, a rather funky example is modo's way of texturing. You know, I slowly get my head around the nodes in LW, pleasently surprised find that I finally get to understand the texturing process in XSI or Maya (in a way), and now there comes a software that thinks 'try it this way' while I think 's***w you, I'm just at the tip of the iceberg with nodes'. I just don't like that way of shading* and so I ignore it (for now). T4D is absolutely right, some procedures need to be touched with care, because old habit's die slow. Which does not rule out innovation. :goodluck:

Greets.
Oliver.

*mainly because I already use a non-european-standard software, so why learning another one that tries to not fit in. *lol*


agree I hope we have the same point here I'll just say it my way :agree:

Personally I have stopped learning Modo renderer ( but still model and paint in it ) because that shader layer system is too far away from Nodes I love them in XSI and LW.

and LW / Max type the old shader panel system which is simpler and Works much better.

But nodes are clearly a much more powerful way to attack the problem, that's why most 3d systems now uses it, including LW ( but like the way LW has Both :thumbsup: better then XSI there :lwicon: )

Modo has to get nodes sooner or later, it's layer shader system workflow wise in better then a shader panel, but no where near as powerful as nodes..

so personally I think they had a miss fire there and have to come over to what everyone else is doing soon and thinking, and Lightwave nodes are alot like XSI and messiah and it's that way because it just works,. people have been doing 3D now for 20 - 30 years, it has evolved in that direction accept it, get it, THEN try to do something different.

bobakabob
01-07-2007, 05:29 PM
But nodes are clearly a much more powerful way to attack the problem, that's why most 3d systems now uses it, including LW ( but like the way LW has Both :thumbsup: better then XSI there :lwicon: )

Modo has to get nodes sooner or later, it's layer shader system workflow wise in better then a shader panel, but no where near as powerful as nodes..


OT: I've heard rumours XSI will eventually include a Lightwave style layers shading system!

jin choung
01-07-2007, 05:29 PM
There isn't????
If that be true then every refregerator would be exactly the same (why look for new ways when the first one invented worked?)


ah, but see, they changed when they found a genuinely BETTER way. they made it different not to be different but BETTER.



Why go thru millions of dollars in research for a rain tire when the first one worked ok?


again, because it is not just DIFFERENT. it is BETTER.



Why build Enzos when the Ford model T worked fine ? (got the first car anology in :D )


again, BETTER.



Because difference is human , same is sheep. Humans ALWAYS look for something different, everthing else is just pack (mob) mentality.


humans exhibit a great deal of mob mentality and not all of it is bad.

you have the traditional artistic objection to non-novelty and that is understandable. but when it comes to this - tools/how things work - it can all be summed up in one word:

INTUITIVE.

is it?

same-ness fosters it. difference creates alienation.

to expand on your AUTOMOTIVE example, it is the equivalent of switching the placement of the brake and accelerator and making the steering wheel turn opposite of what is expected.

they even make the layouts of supermarkets similar from store to store so that people can find their way around better.

i would imagine there would a great amount of unintended death and mayhem should the interface of GUNS were radically different one from another.

further, we are talking about:

STANDARDS and standardization.

having standards is a good thing. what if all weights and measures were radically different from territory to territory? heck, even the fact that we have metric and english units presents difficulties (sometimes lethal in some cases).

how inconvenient is it that there is an HD-DVD vs. BLUE RAY battle now? or DVD+R DVD-R or VHS vs. BETA. uniformity is sometimes EXTREMELY valuable!

how many ludicrous misunderstandings in newtek forums would be avoided if we used the fairly standard term "MATERIAL" instead of the term "SURFACE" where everywhere else it refers to the geometry?

FINALLY, the thing about a tool is that we want to USE IT to MAKE SOMETHING or DO SOMETHING.

we want to spend our time working, NOT LEARNING HOW TO USE THE TOOL.

if it works similarly to other tools out there, it facilitates this very good aim.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

but all that i have argued for from the very beginning does NOT PRECLUDE THE NOTION OF CHANGE!

as i have said from the start, IF IT IS BETTER. B*E*T*T*E*R... then do it. as you say, if it saves a mouse click, if it makes it faster or easier to understand. if there is something WRONG with the standard, CHANGE IT!

by all means.

but again, NEVER EVER just to be different. because then you gain difference and uniqueness at the cost of convention, intuitiveness and standardization.

and as much as the artist inside of you revolts to some of those terms, when they apply to how things work, and uis and tools and such, they're good things.

jin

prospector
01-07-2007, 06:35 PM
But it begs the question is it really better ?

All friges run on freon, the freeze the freezer and cool the interior, every brand does it and it does it the same in each, the DIFFERENCE is the way they implament the tubes or sizes of the tubes or design of the compartment. Freon is freon and by laws of physics it cools, so really is 1 'better' than the other or 'different'.

And again tires remove water from between tires and road when treads are put into rubber. Yet we have all 'different' designs. They all remove water. They just do it differently.

So in LW, it makes a poly by making 4 points and connecting them to make poly.
Other programs..?....dunno, never tried them...but you end up with a poly.

so they all can make a poly. Is LWs better or XSIs or Mayas' ? or are the ways to make them different but no poly is 'better'.

Is animation 'better' in other programs or just faster and different ?
All programs can produce the same outcome if all are aimed for the same outcome. If I bend a knee in LW and use morphs and weights and hold bones and get a perfect deformation, and someone else does the same result in another program, which deformation is 'better'? They are both the same..perfect. Different ways to get there but results are the same.

So I say no program is 'better' than the others. Any program can produce the perfect model or animation or texture. It's just getting there that's what's different.

t4d
01-07-2007, 06:49 PM
So I say no program is 'better' than the others. Any program can produce the perfect model or animation or texture. It's just getting there that's what's different.

well why do you use Lightwave when Blender is free ?

I said this before, the most costly part of 3D is not the software costs
it's the labour.

if software A does it's job quicker and easier ( less workarounds ) then software B .
the job will be more fun and you will make more money using software A.

there is a Major reason most of the LW CA people have added Other tools to they workflows. it's not because they want to more complex workflow or learn something new.

it's becasue they want a Better, cleaner, easier and cheaper workflow.


if you don't beleave me others 3D apps are better at animation,
you need to try a demo or 2 and not dream of a magic one hit fix.

T-Light
01-07-2007, 07:20 PM
I like 'Easy'.

Not easy as in 'Walking to the shops' but easy as in NOT 'climbing the North face of the Eiger'. :thumbsup:

Basic tools as in the other top apps, thoroughly researched and tested and designed from the getgo to be expanded for the future.

Prospector mentioned curved Morphs, Yes, brilliant.

Lots of people mentioned animation tools (some of the obvious currently based in modeler) all need to be in Layout, YES.

We need a MUCH easier and faster way of skinning.

My personal favourite would be a way to fix a bone. Not just to pretend a bone is fixed in place but a genuine fastened in concrete non budging bone. I'd like that across multiple bones with enveloping etc for release.

An instant rig option (could be combined with instant skinning), ball for the head, shoulders, elbows hands etc, click OK, instant fully rigged human with correct bone names for mocap import. Expand for quadrapeds etc.

Easy Importer for mocap that automaticaly resizes to your rig.


Another suggestion. When Newtek start working on this, a terrific way to get the process underway would be to release an alpha, not like the current betas where we come in after the main design decisions have been made but somewhere in the initial ideas stage, Massively cut down layout with the basic features for animation in place. Get the best animators in there and let them play and give comment.

Terrific thread Pooby, what makes this even more interesting is Newtek said they're listening on this issue and we may well be seeing the fruits of this discussion sometime this year.

prospector
01-07-2007, 07:29 PM
well why do you use Lightwave when Blender is free ?

I started with LW and have found nothing to make me change yet.


you need to try a demo or 2 and not dream of a magic one hit fix.

I have tried every program that has a demo.
When I first started with LW it took 10 min to make an object and animate it.
So that's my baseline to go by. Havent seen another program that compares to it.
So if another program comes out that I can best that timeframe without manuals or tuts (same as I did with LW)(so it has to be really really intutive), then I would invest more time into it.

James Edwards
01-07-2007, 07:36 PM
That's a pretty weak comparison formula.

prospector
01-07-2007, 08:27 PM
But they get the same chance I gave LW..what is fairer than that?

James Edwards
01-07-2007, 10:02 PM
I guess I just prefer to be a little more thorough with my comparisons. If I used that same approach I might as well be using truespace or blender for my character work today. Fair has little to do with it... the companies that make my 3d software are competing for my money - I don't owe them anything. Useability is a key factor to consider for sure, but it gets weighed heavily against all the other needs I have of the software. Sometimes it's worth sacrificing a little bit of ease of use for greater functionality or flexibility... that's not something I can typically evaluate in a 10 minute session with a piece of software.

t4d
01-07-2007, 10:06 PM
But they get the same chance I gave LW..what is fairer than that?

with that attuide you should be the head of the Newtek R&D team .. NOT !! :jester:

and you must be a master of IKbooster. ? :question:

prospector
01-07-2007, 11:10 PM
So what would be a 'fair' test?
So 1 program I could get the basics in 10 min, so should I give the others 30 days?
You have to have a starting line. And there has to be a cut off line.
And most important..you have to have a baseline to measure against.

When I tried LW for the first time I also tried Imagine later in the day. LW came out on top for ease of use, plus it came with the Toaster/Flyer.

GregMalick
01-07-2007, 11:45 PM
You know, this thread started out as a very professional discussion about what animation features are wanted in LightWave. It's now degrading into a debate about who's opinion is right or wrong.

How about everybody showing respect for each other's opinion?

:thumbsup:


BTW, Paul - those were some great videos. It's nice hearing a voice behind your suggestions. Really communicates your ideas and feelings - rather than an imagined emotion in written words. A top notch professional attitude in my book.

t4d
01-07-2007, 11:59 PM
if your completely happy with Lightwave stay with Lightwave.:lwicon:

if there are areas you are not happy in Lightwave,
test only those areas in other apps and test the workflow and features LW doesn't have.

AND download manuals, tutorials and whatever else you can find so you don't waste time trying to make another app be like LW, don't discount them just cause you have LW workflow stuck in your brain.

open your mind and Learn the different methods and see if there worth while. I've learn HUGE amounts about character rigging by reading Maya and Max tutorials and brought back ALOT to all my tools.

So yes I do find any opinion based on only afew hours of play time to be pointless. becasue i don't do jobs in afew hours,.

high level work takes days, weeks or even months to finish.

spending only afew hours to decide where you will be spending the next 3 to 6 months or more is just silly.

Yes Sorry Off topic

But People need to see what LW needs Not just say "it's good enough for me so it should be good enought for you too "

clearly LW needs help in it's 3D animation tool set, looking at what is working for others is not BAD in anyway

ALL artist copy others artist it's how we all learn, LW needs to do the same.

jin choung
01-08-2007, 12:05 AM
i agree greg that we should respect each other. but that doesn't mean we can't disagree.

prospector,

are you saying there is no such thing as BETTER? only different?

regarding products - consider how and why they are manufactured. someone comes out with something. someone else wants to make money in that market too so they come out with their own version. but something has to draw the market to that new, unestablished product. it must be BETTER in some regard. either it is more efficient (as refrigerators have become), more pleasing design (as apple champions in their products) or is more reliable (as japan has come to represent) or is cheaper (also japanese, china, etc).

not to mention that no one would ever buy another refrigerator or car or tv if the only thing newer versions offered was mere difference without benefit!

you are imagining a market that is glutted with different products that have absolutely nothing more to offer from one another than mere difference.

that is NOT the case.

haven't you ever heard of COMPETITION breeds INNOVATION? everything isn't merely different, everything gets BETTER.

heck, computers, the things that we're engaging in this conversation with - are almost the epitome of this kind of upward innovation.

and let's cut to the chase, do you not believe in standardization and the purpose it serves as i have outlined in previous messages?

finally, believe me, it is no ACCIDENT or COINCIDENCE that lw is not used in the industry as the premiere character animation tool. it's because other tools are BETTER.

you're welcome to your opinion as is everyone but honestly, it's pretty untenable.

jin

pooby
01-08-2007, 02:34 AM
Pooby, didn't someone show how to do those curve animations in LW ?

I remember someone doing just what you were showing with curves but in LW it was called a cage if I remember right.


You can replicate a small number of their uses in LW using other tools,
( IE.. you can make a string of bones to bend something instead of using a curve, or you could use the 'curve bone' PLG to make bones conform to a spline, or you could use 'spline shift transform' to animate bending on an object but neither of those options will give you anywhere near enough flexibility (pardon the pun) in terms of a combinable toolset as they all do just one thing)

Without animatable, constrainable-to curves, you are really missing out when it comes to organic rigging.

The thing is, We do HAVE curves in LW.. we just need them to fulfil all their uses, not stop being a modelling tool or a way of making paths in layout.


This goes for a lot of features in LW. We do HAVE certain features, just a lot of them fall well short of their potential.


(thanks Greg)

roctavian
01-08-2007, 05:00 AM
Regarding the comparison videos, I second Greg. Thanks pooby, there were very clear and informative.
I do have one question: is it possible in XSI to store, envelope, group, use layers or save some sort of animated morphs (individualy or createing custom groups) for the animated curves (something like clips in bone animation)?
I`m thinking this way would be possible to store incredible complicated morphs with great control in any moment of the animation. After the rought animation is donne with those curve`s morphs, it can be later refined. Is it something like this possible? I`m far from considering myself an animator, so if I`m talking rubbish, please ignore me. Thanks.

pooby
01-08-2007, 05:38 AM
In XSI you can save clips or poses for anything, so, if you had a facial position that was made from partly a morph and partly curves and bones, you could save that whole pose as a clip.
The clip would contain the data for all the elements that made up that pose.

The poses can then be blended together if you so wish, or just called up to key on a frame.

You can also store animated facial actions and mix them.

roctavian
01-08-2007, 05:54 AM
Wow, a lot of possibilities.
Thank you.

Elmar Moelzer
01-08-2007, 06:41 AM
The biggest problem for me in terms of CA and rigging has always been getting the joint- deformations right. This just is a very long and tedious problem right now and I hope that we will get some more tools and options to make this work better (e.g. why do muscle flexing and joint comp only work for pitch?).
CU
Elmar

bobakabob
01-08-2007, 09:55 AM
In XSI you can save clips or poses for anything, so, if you had a facial position that was made from partly a morph and partly curves and bones, you could save that whole pose as a clip.
The clip would contain the data for all the elements that made up that pose.

The poses can then be blended together if you so wish, or just called up to key on a frame.

You can also store animated facial actions and mix them.

I really hope the LW development team devise such a feature. Correcting mesh deformations by point manipulation in Layout would only truly be worthwhile if you could save the morphs as 'clips' to use repeatedly.

A further request is for pre-built professional generic rigs. In XSI the biped and quadruped rigs are highly sophisticated yet extremely user friendly. You shouldn't need the concentration of an air traffic controller to rig a character in an animation program as it detracts from creativity. Many animators want to animate not spend too much time 'under the hood' creating armatures from scratch, adding nulls precisely and configuring complex IK in bone chains unless they really have to.

Skelegons have greatly speeded up workflow in LW as you can build a generic rig and save it for other animation projects. Call me a masochist but I quite enjoy building things from first principles but I know professionals who are still freaked by rigging as it seems unnecessarily complex.

Lightwave's strength is that it's perceived as artist friendly. Newtek has mostly had a sound philosophy in interface design and achieved a good balance between satisfying professional users but also making features accessible to hobbyists (cloth and IK boost excepted...). This is essential if the app is going to continue broadening its user base.

A basic walk cycle generator plugged into generic rigs would appeal not only to newbies but would be so useful for professionals with pressing deadlines. An accessible means of projecting mocap data onto these rigs would also be manna from heaven :)

Iaian7
01-08-2007, 10:44 AM
:agree: (whole-heartedly, I might add, on everything said above)


...I know professionals who are still freaked by rigging as it seems unnecessarily complex.

Lightwave's strength is that it's perceived as artist friendly. Newtek has mostly had a sound philosophy in interface design and achieved a good balance between satisfying professional users but also making features accessible to hobbyists (cloth and IK boost excepted...). This is essential if the app is going to continue broadening its user base...

"seems unnecessarily complex" describes the situation exactly. I'm no TD, and desperately need a solution for animation. While Lightwave works well for "artist friendly" productions (and thus its popularity in smaller productions and freelance work), the character tools are seriously lacking. At this point, I'll have to purchase another tool for animation (at the very least, a rigging plugin for LW).

UnCommonGrafx
01-08-2007, 10:55 AM
Iaian7,
I know others will disagree with this but before you buy you should try the japanese free version of Maestro. (Sorry, Eric, but that's what it looked like when I was watching the vids.) It's that automaton stuff that's in another thread. With a bit of time invested, it seems to be quite capable.

As I've read many of these suggestions it seemed to me that so much of it is ALMOST there in LW but the design of the tool was left 'undone', for lack of a better term. Barring the argumentative personalities, this is turning out to be a rather informative thread.

Iaian7
01-08-2007, 12:20 PM
UnCommonGrafx,
Thanks! Good to know about that plugin. Unfortunately I'm solely Mac based, leaving me stranded when it comes to a lot of plugins. :(

Do we have any concrete info about Lightwave's immediate future? I'm working my way through this thread and so far haven't heard anything save for the nebulous (and admittedly old) "character animation improvements." But then, I haven't made it very far yet, forgive me for my slowness!

ericsmith
01-08-2007, 12:39 PM
No problem Robert. But since you brought it up, I feel it's fair to say that I think there's a big difference between the two. Automation tools appears to be a basic autorigger and a picker (much like the other free CCP from Jacobo).

The one thing that I saw in the new videos that did interest me was what looked like a dynamic contraint motion modifier.

Here's a few of the many things that Maestro offers:

Instead of just an item picker, the Maestro interface offers the ability to actually animate, more like a very sophisticated joystick setup than just a picker. This is really one of the core features of Maestro, and one that I think gets overlooked.

A macro executer with many custom designed tools to help in the arena of rigging as well as other areas of animation. You can build your own rig macros from the ground up if you want, and then "autorig" with that instead of just using the rigs we provide.

A comprehensive keyframe editor designed with the animator's needs in mind.

--------

To Iaian7, Maestro has been very well received by users that want to be able to jump into animating without having to go through all the technical stuff. (although it's open enough to allow you to get into all that if you need) You should check out the demo and see how it feels for you.

Eric

Speedmonk42
01-08-2007, 01:46 PM
Little OT, but with respect to Iaian7s comment above, why are plug ins incompatible?

Are they not written in a scripting langauge, lscript? Or is there also another way to do it? If it is a scripting language and it is the same program why wouldn't they work?

GregMalick
01-08-2007, 01:59 PM
Little OT, but with respect to Iaian7s comment above, why are plug ins incompatible?

Are they not written in a scripting langauge, lscript? Or is there also another way to do it? If it is a scripting language and it is the same program why wouldn't they work?

Plugins are written in C and compiled for the platform they run on.
LScripts will indeed work cross-platform but are actually an interpreted language.
Thus plugins run tons faster - I've seen 8-10 times faster for pixel filters.


But keep in mind that many of the features being discussed are being requested to be part of the core LW - an integrated feature supported by NewTek.

UnCommonGrafx
01-08-2007, 05:40 PM
Right-O, Eric. Agreed: Maestro offers oodles more. I'm hoping you take some of those things from them for future updates.
It seems to be a quite capable toolset, nonethess, and with maestro and their tool up at the same time, LOTS can be achieved. Fits my spastic being. ;)

Dodgy
01-09-2007, 03:44 AM
Those of you that have used moho/anime studio might have used the bone manipulation tool, which is more or less IKB with a few major differences.

1> you can pin more than one joint and key frame the root, and the program does the rest, no need for bake zones (though I do like the indication on the timeline where a joint is pinned) and it doesn't keyframe the root to get the correct motion, it solves the along chains as it moves the skeleton.
2> the pin works with rotation and movement, so no foot slippage.
3> More than one chain can be solved at a time, so you can pin two feet and a hand, and have the root interpolate automatically.

I'd like to see IKB more like that, I do find it a useful tool, but if they could make it like moho's, it would be a lot easier to work with.

Here's an example.(the pulling on the 'toe' is from bone influence, the bone behind it actually stays solid still).

T-Light
01-09-2007, 06:47 AM
How many beleive LW's new CA will be an extension onto IKB and how many beleive it will be something completely new?

I'm in the completely new camp, if for no other reason than for all the excellent information out there for IKB, it still has it's foibles, it isn't always stable and it's as user friendly as a nightclub bouncer with an IQ of 12 and a 70 word vocabulary of double dutch.

There was some excellent stuff introduced into IKB, it's just that it never worked as though it's a native LW tool, no matching interfaces, very odd ways of doing things and very bizarre translations from Japanese to English for some of the more usefull commands.

I'd like brand new 'pure' LW CA tools, even if at first they can't match some of IKB's power.

+ Are there any guarantees that IKB will even work with the newly rewritten LW animation core?

Wonderpup
01-09-2007, 11:20 AM
I think IKboost was an attempt to graft new functionality onto the existing structure- what's needed is more akin to genetic engineering, altering the structure to facilitate the tools. I'm sure this must be what NT have in mind, otherwise there's no point in redoing the CA system at all.

So perhaps the question should be how can lightwaves animation tools be improved- in some ways the idea of CA specific tools is a bit misleading and perhaps symptomatic of what went wrong in the first place- isolated development of features without proper integration.

I recently tried to set up a pair of cartoon eyes in lightwave- the kind that still rotate properly in the socket when deformed. I couldn't figure out a simple way to this (I'm sure there's a clever workaround involving expressions and stuff)

In XSI I applied a lattice and the job was done in two minutes- this is the kind of ease of use we need to have in lightwave.

pooby
01-09-2007, 12:04 PM
In the last TV ad I made, I had the same problem with the eyes.
The only solution in LW is parenting the eyes to a bone (or null), stretching the bone in one direction, and that's it.
It's a poor substitute for the huge range of control you get with a lattice.

I hope that Newtek will design something completely new. They have to really, even if IK boost still fits into it. Hopefully IK boost will be made redundant through the new system. It's got some nice ideas in it, but, well, I don't want to go into all that again. I've already made my feelings clear regarding IK boost.

Chris S. (Fez)
01-09-2007, 12:27 PM
If Newtek does not dump IKbooster for the more user-friendly solutions found in XSI and other competing apps, I will consider it insight into where Newtek is taking their flagship. Why fight with Lightwave's CA tools when we can, for the most part, simply DO IT in other apps?

However, given the phenomenal rendering improvements of late ;), I expect to see some super cool CA tools in LW 10.

bobakabob
01-09-2007, 05:01 PM
If Newtek does not dump IKbooster for the more user-friendly solutions found in XSI and other competing apps, I will consider it insight into where Newtek is taking their flagship. Why fight with Lightwave's CA tools when we can, for the most part, simply DO IT in other apps?

However, given the phenomenal rendering improvements of late ;), I expect to see some super cool CA tools in LW 10.

Let's face it, if Newtek address the CA issues and bring modelling tools into Layout Lightwave will be a truly killer app. Modelling, rendering and texturing in 9 are already top notch.

shrox
01-09-2007, 05:32 PM
...friendly as a nightclub bouncer...



I really like that quote.

hrgiger
01-09-2007, 05:55 PM
As far as extending exisiting tools (i.e.IKB) vs. building something new.... Please, something fresh and exciting.

Mrjack
02-27-2007, 11:28 AM
Pleeeeeeeeas newtek buy PLG its simple and make the local coordination as default rotation its simple too

pooby
02-27-2007, 02:14 PM
MrJack,
The PLG tools are great, and certainly add a lot of functionality to LWs current state, (especially as there are no real curve manipulation tools in layout) but in the bigger picture, Newtek need to add a whole architecture to deal with Motions and deformations on a very deep level.
Integrating Plugins like PLG isn't going to make much of a difference to the way they work.

Imagine the radical changes that the nodal surfacing has brought to LW.
The same radical change needs to come to animation.

What you are asking for is the equivalent of adding a new shader to the old surfacing system whereas what we need is profound changes to the whole of animation in layout.

Why not just use the PLG's as plug-ins for the time being? Its no different.

Dirk
02-27-2007, 04:38 PM
What about deformation speed? One of the biggest advantages of Messiah seems to be an extremly fast deformation.

Mrjack
02-28-2007, 08:49 AM
MrJack,
The PLG tools are great, and certainly add a lot of functionality to LWs current state, (especially as there are no real curve manipulation tools in layout) but in the bigger picture, Newtek need to add a whole architecture to deal with Motions and deformations on a very deep level.
Integrating Plugins like PLG isn't going to make much of a difference to the way they work.

Imagine the radical changes that the nodal surfacing has brought to LW.
The same radical change needs to come to animation.

What you are asking for is the equivalent of adding a new shader to the old surfacing system whereas what we need is profound changes to the whole of animation in layout.

Why not just use the PLG's as plug-ins for the time being? Its no different.
Pooby im right with you lightwave need some major changes in animation
why not a layer for animation and real curves deformers
animatables points... FFd deformers ...and expressions and modifiers use a locale coordinate rotation

liquidik
02-28-2007, 02:01 PM
Well, just a guess, but a more procedural architecture to build rig would be very appreciated, like a nodal system for animation (constraints, deformers, expression).

Gian

tonybliss
02-28-2007, 03:37 PM
I think thats were they are going ... just gut intuition

cresshead
09-14-2007, 10:55 AM
I like 'Easy'.

Not easy as in 'Walking to the shops' but easy as in NOT 'climbing the North face of the Eiger'. :thumbsup:

Basic tools as in the other top apps, thoroughly researched and tested and designed from the getgo to be expanded for the future.

Prospector mentioned curved Morphs, Yes, brilliant.

Lots of people mentioned animation tools (some of the obvious currently based in modeler) all need to be in Layout, YES.

We need a MUCH easier and faster way of skinning.

My personal favourite would be a way to fix a bone. Not just to pretend a bone is fixed in place but a genuine fastened in concrete non budging bone. I'd like that across multiple bones with enveloping etc for release.

An instant rig option (could be combined with instant skinning), ball for the head, shoulders, elbows hands etc, click OK, instant fully rigged human with correct bone names for mocap import. Expand for quadrapeds etc.

Easy Importer for mocap that automaticaly resizes to your rig.


Another suggestion. When Newtek start working on this, a terrific way to get the process underway would be to release an alpha, not like the current betas where we come in after the main design decisions have been made but somewhere in the initial ideas stage, Massively cut down layout with the basic features for animation in place. Get the best animators in there and let them play and give comment.

Terrific thread Pooby, what makes this even more interesting is Newtek said they're listening on this issue and we may well be seeing the fruits of this discussion sometime this year.


yup that gets my vote too!
:agree:

jin choung
09-14-2007, 10:32 PM
actually, i get the impression that the folks at newtek not only don't like other programs, they are afraid of them.

in lieu of a dedicated R&D staff that newtek doesn't have the cash for, it is absolutely NEGLIGENT of them not to have ONE GUY... ONE GUY... at newtek who's job it is do 1 TASK:

- buy every single piece of relevant 3d software, know them all inside and out, and tell newtek all the ways in which they are better and worse than lw. and then, they all can move forward not in ignorance but full knowledge.

sometimes, i get the feeling that if it weren't for their users telling them about what other programs do and how they do it, they would be completely clueless.

jin

pooby
09-15-2007, 05:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by pooby
This example shows a (half finished) facial rig I'm making in XSI using curves to give the face organic movement.
In Layout you can't animate the curves, or constrain to them properly.
(I've experimented with stretchy bones to do a rig like this in LW and it achieves about 10% of the features of a curve based rig)

http://s24.quicksharing.com/v/739670curves.rar.html



hey pooby, all your links are down. any chance of a mirror?


Sorry, I'll see if I can upload them again, but I don't know where I saved them. They don't seem to be on this computer. Maybe they're on my one at home.

dballesg
09-15-2007, 06:36 AM
actually, i get the impression that the folks at newtek not only don't like other programs, they are afraid of them.

in lieu of a dedicated R&D staff that newtek doesn't have the cash for, it is absolutely NEGLIGENT of them not to have ONE GUY... ONE GUY... at newtek who's job it is do 1 TASK:

- buy every single piece of relevant 3d software, know them all inside and out, and tell newtek all the ways in which they are better and worse than lw. and then, they all can move forward not in ignorance but full knowledge.

sometimes, i get the feeling that if it weren't for their users telling them about what other programs do and how they do it, they would be completely clueless.

jin

I think they REALLY need to hear the users, many here are using other programs as well, and make really good suggestions that Newtek thrown to the nearest bin, or simply ignore or not take in account.

Looking other software, I learned a few tricks about Dynamics that can be applied to LW dynamics. But if you look to the docs about dynamics, are not wrote by an user with concrete examples. Are wrote by a technician. And we must thank that they improve them quite a lot from the old dynamics docs.

And sadly many tools are implemented without consider that the users tend to come up with very "creative" uses for the tools, many of them for which the initial tool design was not think off.

Let see what happens on the next LW 9.x cycle when it starts. I hope before next millennium.

David

Lightwolf
09-15-2007, 06:45 AM
sometimes, i get the feeling that if it weren't for their users telling them about what other programs do and how they do it, they would be completely clueless.
Unfortunately, 99 out of 100 posts by users are not informative at all.
How many posts of "add this" whith some screenshot have you seen on the forums? - with absolutely no information of what to add - the colours, the gui, the little button on the top left, that little feature at the bottom right that is in LW already but no one knows about it?
How many posts of "Add feature x" without _any_ information on it. What does it do, why should it be added, how would you expect to use it?
I mean, c'mon, let's face it: From a developers PoV the majority of those posts is completely useless.

Cheers,
Mike

P.S. Many of the developers know other applications, some of them know them extremely well from what I gather.

dballesg
09-15-2007, 08:31 AM
Unfortunately, 99 out of 100 posts by users are not informative at all.
How many posts of "add this" whith some screenshot have you seen on the forums? - with absolutely no information of what to add - the colours, the gui, the little button on the top left, that little feature at the bottom right that is in LW already but no one knows about it?
How many posts of "Add feature x" without _any_ information on it. What does it do, why should it be added, how would you expect to use it?
I mean, c'mon, let's face it: From a developers PoV the majority of those posts is completely useless.

Cheers,
Mike

P.S. Many of the developers know other applications, some of them know them extremely well from what I gather.

Something like this? Look to the attachment, an improvement on ACTUAL Bone twist would be the ability to constraint the Rotation Bone to fixed increments, using the shift, if you do not use the shift you do not constrain it.

Be able to UNDO the twist applied to the bone or multiple bones.

BTW The tool doesn't show the quantity of rotation you are applying.

So the developer doesn't thought about those features Mike?

Lets add a few more of this kinds of posts and see how many of this fixes and improvements are implemented on the next cycle?

Still I am sure an user can imagine even more ways to upgrade or use a tool for a not intended use than a developer, even if he knows very well the program.

David

GraphXs
09-15-2007, 11:51 AM
I hope Newtek can give us these types of controls within Lightwave. I'm sure we can set-up somthing like this already, but I think it would be very hard to get that much control without LW slowing to a crawl or not working with ease.

http://www.luvictu.com/reel/victor_vinyals_demo_high.mpg

cresshead
09-15-2007, 11:59 AM
nice rigging...maya rocks!

GraphXs
09-15-2007, 12:01 PM
Ya, that Rig makes animation look like so much fun!:D I would love to have someting like that in LW.

GraphXs
09-15-2007, 12:05 PM
I would also like Newtek to add a pose storer with little icons of the pose, something in the presents panel, like Daz Studio or Poser, that would be great! It would also be great if that pose can work with any base rig.

dballesg
09-15-2007, 12:51 PM
nice rigging...maya rocks!

Uh? How you can even DREAM of do that in LW in its CURRENT state?

Can you imagine what tools you need to do that. I will bet that the personalized mel scripts that this rig used are HUGE, aside that deformations in Maya works, not crawl like a one leg centipede in LW.

As well of course the scripting side in LW would not be able to cope with that, due to its limitations.

I recognized a few Spanish adverts there, like the Cruzcampo beer. Nice to see in my country exists such talent.

I wonder why used Maya for that, sure someone from the dev team can come out with a similar rig in a couple of minutes :devil:

David

jin choung
09-16-2007, 02:04 AM
Unfortunately, 99 out of 100 posts by users are not informative at all.
How many posts of "add this" whith some screenshot have you seen on the forums? - with absolutely no information of what to add - the colours, the gui, the little button on the top left, that little feature at the bottom right that is in LW already but no one knows about it?
How many posts of "Add feature x" without _any_ information on it. What does it do, why should it be added, how would you expect to use it?
I mean, c'mon, let's face it: From a developers PoV the majority of those posts is completely useless.

Cheers,
Mike

P.S. Many of the developers know other applications, some of them know them extremely well from what I gather.

clearly, you are not familiar with my feature requests.

believe me, there are enough of us giving very clear instructions on what, how and why to implement features.

we're just shy of typing pseudo-code for crying out loud!

and as for newtek people knowing other apps... i doubt it. if they know maya to the point where they can say that lw's rigging and animation is just as good, they really don't know maya.

i want that ONE GUY at newtek to be a frickin GURU on all the major apps - xsi, maya and max. maybe houdini. he/she knows those programs inside and out.

they know every way in which lw is better and all the ways in which lw absolutely sucks in comparison.

THIS CAN BE THEIR R&D dept.

we do not live in a lightwave world. especially for those of us who work in the industry.

lightwave can't afford to do it their way - especially if they do it that way because they can't even imagine other ways to do it. they can't afford to live in a bubble.

and after all that, if they don't have the money to implement xyz - fine.

but it shouldn't be for lack of knowing what to do.

jin

jin choung
09-16-2007, 02:17 AM
I hope Newtek can give us these types of controls within Lightwave. I'm sure we can set-up somthing like this already, but I think it would be very hard to get that much control without LW slowing to a crawl or not working with ease.

http://www.luvictu.com/reel/victor_vinyals_demo_high.mpg

yah... such rigs are possible in lw but with all the relationships and constraints and scripts needed to setup that rig, lw would become unusable.

i'm doing rigging in maya nowadays and the animators' requirement for a fast, responsive rig is bordering on ridiculous... they will tolerate almost no slow down.

at times, in maya, it is hard... but it is possible.

in lw, i fear it would be impossible to give them a fully functional rig that is as fast as they need.

oh, and of course it would be MUCH more painful and difficult to set up such a rig in lw.

if you check out highend3d, there are numerous free autoriggers available for maya and i believe that has a direct correlation to how easy it is to implement such rigging.

lw may have a lot of plugins at flay but almost none that will autorig a fully functional character.

jin

Lightwolf
09-16-2007, 04:03 AM
clearly, you are not familiar with my feature requests.

Actually, I am ;)


and as for newtek people knowing other apps... i doubt it. if they know maya to the point where they can say that lw's rigging and animation is just as good, they really don't know maya.

i want that ONE GUY at newtek to be a frickin GURU on all the major apps - xsi, maya and max. maybe houdini. he/she knows those programs inside and out.
I know for a fact that there are people very well aquainted to most of the ones you mention (Max I don't know).


they know every way in which lw is better and all the ways in which lw absolutely sucks in comparison.

THIS CAN BE THEIR R&D dept.

I'm pretty sure they know... and the also know what limitations they face with the current code base.
And to be honest... I don't want them to use the competition as an R&D department... Why should they? I might as wlel use a competiting product that offers a feature now inseatd if I need it.


lightwave can't afford to do it their way - especially if they do it that way because they can't even imagine other ways to do it. they can't afford to live in a bubble.
I don't think they do. However, what use would LW be if it just copied other features... what reason is there left ot use it? A cheap Maya rip-off? That's like buying a fake Rolex watch on the internet ;)

And to be quite honest, even if you look at other apps you will still have to make sure you look at the right issues. They still have to fit within the philodophy of the app. Frankly, I wouldn't want LW do include something like MEL (which is very powerful, but conceptually very 80ies) - they can do better than that - and they should.


and after all that, if they don't have the money to implement xyz - fine.

but it shouldn't be for lack of knowing what to do.

They also don't have the ressources to badly implement a ripped out feature of another product for a bullet points sake on the feature list.
It needs to be done right, within the upcoming changes to LW (and those have to come since it is breaking apart at the seams).

Cheers,
Mike

beverins
09-16-2007, 04:12 PM
.. this is not meant as a slag against LW. I do believe that LW can do a rig like this... but to be honest I would have no idea how. I know that Maestro comes close (but since 9.3 and Maestro don't get along... :censored: well anyway.. ) but to achieve results like this, I'm also at a loss.

I'm sure he's got MEL programming going on here... probably took him months to do this rig as well. The two things that strike me about this rig is the locking of the IK to other parts of the IK rig (not just locking a foot or a hand in space, but locking to the head) and the interactive squash and stretch.

http://www.luvictu.com/reel/victor_vinyals_demo_high.mpg (should play through Quicktime)

At any rate, this is marvelous work. If Newtek want to have a baseline for any revamp of CA tools in LW then this rig should be analyzed as a part of their "can we do THIS" discussion of toolsets and pipelines. Have their alpha testers attempt to duplicate a rig like this in its entirety - of course be sure to get alpha testers who are competent enough to create a rig like this in the first place - and then once they have eveyrthing this guy shows in this video, release it to beta to get the bugs killed.

Please note, this isn't like "the greatest rig EvAr !!!1!1!!" but I AM impressed at its fluidity. What this guy did is less a function of tools, and more of what talent can do. Having said that, I'd still like to see this done in LW and a demo reel showing the proof on youtube or something... :D

jin choung
09-16-2007, 04:14 PM
if you are familiar with my requests, then you know that i am criminally verbose in what i want.

and i'm saying that they should use other software as their r&d cuz they don't have the time or money to have their own.

a good idea is a good idea.

and OF COURSE smart implementation is key. but there's only so much i can do from a quick reply box!

if you are familiar with my requests, you also know that i am mindful of asking for most things so that they fit into the existing "paradigm" if you will. the last one i can remember is displacement order... just throw EVERYTHING including bone deformation into the displacement plugin list and then you can order from there. smart eh?

there are lots of areas where lw is doing something clumsily or stupidly and it wouldn't be hard to just copy another method from another app that does it beautifully.

good. if there are people at newtek who know other apps, i hope they're objective enough to see - hey! this is a lot better! we're doing it bass ackwards!

like i said, if it's a matter of money, time or even code infrastructure, fine. but it better not be because they don't know any better.

jin

jin choung
09-16-2007, 04:55 PM
I'm sure he's got MEL programming going on here... probably took him months to do this rig as well. The two things that strike me about this rig is the locking of the IK to other parts of the IK rig (not just locking a foot or a hand in space, but locking to the head) and the interactive squash and stretch.


not necessarily that hard to do in maya.... the best thing about his rig is implementation and speed. the basic features to do all that exist in maya out of the box.

and heck, check out rigomatic in highend3d. completely free and gives you a rig very similar to the body rig displayed in that reel.

jin

beverins
09-16-2007, 05:54 PM
Not really having used ZBrush 3, how are the deformations in that program achieved? I'm asking in regards to the demo videos I saw where they draw a "line" through a joint and then bend it, and the mesh moves as if it had been momentarily rigged with a bone structure. Or am I being fooled by clever editing? :D

anyway, this is the sort of thing that Newtek should be looking at. Innovative ways to make things move.

*Maybe consider supporting the SENSABLE PHANTOM BASIC forcefeedback arm. Or similar technology.
*Maybe consider supporting a method by which a real wired-up physical ball-and-socket armature could be posed, and the data fed through USB / Firewire / Whatever.
*Maybe work on a system where one doesn't even NEED bones... just name mesh parts with weightmaps and have a built in system that knows basic anatomy. To create new anatomy, then you work with bodygons or something which are then saved as a metadata layer which you can attach to *any* mesh. Would allow for "3D Arsenal" type "addon packs". Of course, this was sortof mentioned for the .RIG filetype as well, to which I have seen very little materialize.
*Buy Messiah / Maestro / Whatever.
*Decide that you can't really do much with the CA system in the short term and instead enter into deals with Autodesk, the COLLADA group and whoever else is relevant. Buy Point Oven and make it into a Must Have Plugin for the entire 3D Graphics User Community. These deals would enter into contractual systems where you have top-notch FBX, Collada, PZR, MDD or whatever types of trans-software pipeline motion filesystems... and then you can just say "go use Motionbuilder / Poser / XSI / Maya / Whatever." If you choose this route, the translators must be rock solid and updated as often as it needs to be updated. None of this "FBX hasn't been updated since LW 7.5" nonsense. The impetus here is INVISIBLE translation - i.e if anyone ever has to fight with the tool, or use a workaround, then the tool should be considered broken and updated immediately.

Well, whatever. Everyone has ideas, but Newtek have to run a company, and keep it running. They weathered the Amiga storm back in the day and they seem to be weathering the current seas with adequate skills.

Now this will sound like a rant about "how Newtek is going down" but I think, though, that they REALLY need to STOP and THINK about what direction they want to take their company. I think Newtek seem to be suffering from Schizophrenia with their Video and their 3D. While I wouldn't want them to stop making or developing their video systems; however, I think they all need to sit down and realize that Lightwave needs their deepest attention and money.

Newtek seem committed to the future now that they have drawn up a roadmap for Lightwave, so the future is not bleak... however, I really think that Newtek should take a year or two and drastically reallocate their finances towards accelerating Lightwave's pace of development. The Tricaster and VT should not necessarily be put on the back burner, but now that the Tricaster has its HD upgrade I think its high time that Newtek take ALL of their developers and put them to work on Lightwave, even the ones that work on hardware and Tricaster development. 6 months of nothing but work on Lightwave. Then 6 months rebalancing to normal development. Then 6 months back to the crunch of Lightwave. This sort of scheme is not perfect, of course, and might well present problems. Maybe Newtek HAVE tried this, and it didn't work. I dunno. I can't really think of any other way Newtek can fight back against mammoths like Autodesk, though, and still keep their product line diversified between video and 3D.

jin choung
09-16-2007, 11:06 PM
hey bev,

you're not mistaken. zb's new "transpose" feature just lets you rudimentarily move mesh around... but it's no more fancy than selecting the verts on the lowest res, setting a pivot point and rotating....

as for your evaluation of newtek, yah, it seems to me too that they are spread thin.

but every one of their products is their bread and butter product (with possibly the exception of speed edit [too new]).

they're spread thin but they can't afford to stop.

unfortunately, the constant march of technology is indeed squeezing them in all departments too....

you're getting cpus that are getting faster and faster, possibly eventually obviating the need for a hardware solution like VT.... on the other hand, you get higher and higher demands from things like the impending transition to an all hd production environment.

lw is of course walling up against the onslaughts of maya, max, xsi, and even blender (which has a remarkably agile development environment)....

so yah. it's gettin' squeezed and i figure if something isn't done, something's gotta give catastrophically or every dissipate gradually....

that's just my take though.

jin

jin choung
09-16-2007, 11:08 PM
oh, and zb has rudimentary "bones" with their zspheres but it is akin to lw bones ala v. 5 or earlier.... nothing to write home about.

jin

adamredwoods
09-17-2007, 07:02 PM
Dear Lightwave,

To improve character animation, first add an option for "Quarternion IK or FK" under controller/limits under the motion panel.

All IK/FK would then be Quaternion controlled, without the Euler problems (rotation order, gimbal lock). All entries on the numeric entry would need to be Euler->Quaternion converted. If you feel this is too slow, then drop it.

Then, allow the "target item" function to be Quaternion controlled if it is selected.

THen, allow this to be accessed in Lscript and SDK. I should be able to set Quaternion rotations directly for the object. No Euler.

That's all I want.

//Adam

Chuck
09-18-2007, 03:03 PM
actually, i get the impression that the folks at newtek not only don't like other programs, they are afraid of them.

in lieu of a dedicated R&D staff that newtek doesn't have the cash for, it is absolutely NEGLIGENT of them not to have ONE GUY... ONE GUY... at newtek who's job it is do 1 TASK:

- buy every single piece of relevant 3d software, know them all inside and out, and tell newtek all the ways in which they are better and worse than lw. and then, they all can move forward not in ignorance but full knowledge.

sometimes, i get the feeling that if it weren't for their users telling them about what other programs do and how they do it, they would be completely clueless.

jin


Whereas the actual case is that we have some folks on the team who came from being developers of or for other 3D applications and who have used other 3D applications than LightWave regularly in production. User discussions and comparisons hold a variety of additional viewpoints for us to consider, however, and thus would take precedence over even the direct experience staff here have of other applications. And if sometimes we err on the side of sounding perhaps too innocent of the workings of other applications for the sake of drawing out comment without influencing it with our own perceptions, I hope folks will find that understandable.

jayroth
09-18-2007, 04:52 PM
actually, i get the impression that the folks at newtek not only don't like other programs, they are afraid of them.

in lieu of a dedicated R&D staff that newtek doesn't have the cash for, it is absolutely NEGLIGENT of them not to have ONE GUY... ONE GUY... at newtek who's job it is do 1 TASK:

- buy every single piece of relevant 3d software, know them all inside and out, and tell newtek all the ways in which they are better and worse than lw. and then, they all can move forward not in ignorance but full knowledge.

sometimes, i get the feeling that if it weren't for their users telling them about what other programs do and how they do it, they would be completely clueless.

jin

Uhm, that's my job, along with several others. We have registered copies of all our competitors products, and there are several on our team who are proficient in almost all of them.

Another assumption bites the dust...

GregMalick
09-18-2007, 07:41 PM
Chuck & Jay,
Glad you guys are watching.

Here's a couple links you should check out:
LINK1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxusrZiYzbw)
LINK2 (http://one.revver.com/watch/394537/flv/affiliate/77944)

LINK1 is my favorite.

jin choung
09-18-2007, 10:38 PM
Another assumption bites the dust...

hi jay,

assumption? (another?)

it's not an assumption. i'm making a judgment based on appearances. shallow huh?

there is LITTLE IF ANY evidence in lw that you guys are aware of what's going on in other apps... and more importantly, WHY they do the things they do and what advantages they confer, and what liabilities are presented from lw's methodologies.

chuck has just stated in his delightfully inscrutable post that such knowledge is being kept hush hush for some delightfully inscrutable reason. delightful.

combine that with people who are ummm... how shall we say... "irrationally exuberant" (just listened to alan greenspan on npr) about the state of all things lw and i really am left wondering if newtek is insulated completely by a loyalist republican guard that believes that lw can do no wrong and in EVERY WAY IMAGINABLE, IN EVERY AVENUE OF COMPARISON, THE COMPETITION SUCKS.

or at best is merely "different". not possible that it can be better, no no... just different.

that being the case, i really think it is quite unfair to expect that i have a mole at newtek feeding me inner workings and processes that are not made public either in message or product.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

so you guys are aware of the competition and are studying their products.

great. fantastic. really really great. when do we get to see some evidence of it?

and let me preface this phase of the discussion with this rip cord - at ANY POINT, if the ultimate reason comes down to lack of resources, the discussion RIGHTFULLY ENDS.

no blame, no condemnation. you win that argument every time. if you don't have the resources to do it, then we stop talking and i can have nothing else to say.

i am almost always extremely sensitive to the fact that this indeed can be the thing that's holding stuff up and keeping other stuff down. i'm a downright apologist about it. (and i've also defended how it seems lightwave is pursuing rendering tech right now because it can be smart business move).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
my point (and i've said this several times already) is that it better not be because of a LACK KNOWING WHAT TO DO.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

i want lw to do well. i want knowledge and smart decisions coming into play. i don't want bad ideas being implemented (like modeler tools in layout.... YEARGH what an absolutely terrible idea [inspired by legitimate need but bad idea nonetheless] that would create MORE redundancy in a system that is already coming apart at the seams because of graft-on parts).

a roadmap may be asking too much. but at that point, some of these areas that we're talking about haven't been touched in a loooooooooooooooooooong time and we're not seeing or hearing anything that inspires any confidence. whatsoever.

it's been a long road with no signs (in certain areas of interest). is it not understandable then that the kids in the backseat are starting to get antsy and yell for the driver to flip on the gps?

jin

pooby
09-19-2007, 02:20 AM
i don't want bad ideas being implemented (like modeler tools in layout.... YEARGH what an absolutely terrible idea [inspired by legitimate need but bad idea nonetheless]

Youre serious?
Modelling tools in layout as they stand currently are an embarrassment. Why they are there right now in their current state of development, I have no idea.
However, being able to mainpulate an object's components in the environment that you are rigging and animating it in is essential to workflow.
Without a decent modelling enviroment in Layout, we'll end up being provided with a little tool for making jointmorphs that only does that, and another one for altering weigtmaps etc.
It's far better to just consolidate the whole thing into one set of rules.
I often use automatically-driven 'modelling' tools on my rigs in XSI. I'd love to do the same in LW. IF this is done right, any modelling tool can be a deformer and visa versa.

You want to move a vertex for any reason, (for example, to match a building to a background plate in camera) then there is ONE set of tools for doing that, and you can access them in Layout or modeller. I can't see why that is a terrible idea
There is no advantage whatesoever in NOT being able to model in layout.

colkai
09-19-2007, 02:36 AM
it's not an assumption. i'm making a judgment based on appearances. shallow huh?

But it's your personal judgment, with no hard facts about what is actually taking place guiding your decision / opinion. Thus, you are drawing a conclusion based purely upon your perception of events, which makes it an assumption.

Doesn't matter how you dress it up, you are reading things based soley on how you see them without having access to the facts. So if you draw this "conclusion/judgment" it's your assumption. I may assume a completely different conclusion based on a judgment of your assumption, which would be derived only from my pre-conceptions of the appearance of the situation.

jin choung
09-19-2007, 03:16 AM
Youre serious?

completely serious.

because i can't imagine an implementation that won't be a total poochscrew that makes everything messier.

hey, i'm the guy that's cheering for unification. i WANT modeling control in layout. UNIFIED APP PLEASE!

but not piecemeal and not with bubblegum and tape holding it together (BARELY).

i think it's a bad idea because i can't see how it wouldn't be a messy disappointment for everyone.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
But it's your personal judgment, with no hard facts about what is actually taking place guiding your decision / opinion. Thus, you are drawing a conclusion based purely upon your perception of events, which makes it an assumption.

look, i'm sure newtek are big boys and can defend itself ok? i really don't want to get into a semantics broohaha with every bystander.

do you really want to go round and round and post after post talking about whether it was an "assumption" or not? really?

besides, read my original statement. i'm being very magnanimous even talking about APPEARANCES and not making statements of fact.... if we need to get TECHNICAL for heaven's sake....

sigh....

i'm not dressing anything up.

if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and floats like a duck you gonna dock me for thinking it's a duck? there is NO EVIDENCE OF SUCH KNOWLEDGE.

please, give me a break and stay out of it ok? talk about the issue, don't try to jump in the middle of something that's not your deal.

jin

colkai
09-19-2007, 03:44 AM
Jin,
I will acceed most willingly to your request to stay out of it, i've had just about enough of seeing your ranting diatribes - suffice to say - any response you make to this post will NOT be sen by me - IGNORE activated.

jin choung
09-19-2007, 03:54 AM
touchy....

jin

RedBull
09-19-2007, 04:06 AM
Another assumption bites the dust...


ROFL...... :)

pooby
09-19-2007, 07:20 AM
because i can't imagine an implementation that won't be a total poochscrew that makes everything messier.

hey, i'm the guy that's cheering for unification. i WANT modeling control in layout. UNIFIED APP PLEASE!

but not piecemeal and not with bubblegum and tape holding it together (BARELY).

i think it's a bad idea because i can't see how it wouldn't be a messy disappointment for everyone.


So, correct me if I'm wrong but what I'm getting from this is because you think it's going to be rubbish, they shouldn't attempt to do it at all?

alifx
09-19-2007, 08:48 AM
There is no advantage whatesoever in NOT being able to model in layout.

:agree:

for me ... the best thing that could be happen is that Lightwave become a single application and that will open many doors for improving LW better to be a real competitor.

or at least the ability of making weight maps, an option in modeler tools that makes them to be deformers or animatable in Layout!, the same bones system in layout & modeler, ability to move vertices and curve's points in layout.. also a lattice deformer.

.. I don't know if I can wait 2 years to see these features in lightwave.


anyway.. maybe this silence from NT is hiding "BIG things" behind it... things that are going to amaze us! ;) - I hope

Chuck
09-19-2007, 09:22 AM
chuck has just stated in his delightfully inscrutable post that such knowledge is being kept hush hush for some delightfully inscrutable reason. delightful.


I'm not sure what you are finding inscrutable about the post, which says a number of things in plain language and does not say any such thing as your comment above. In the part I think you are referring to, I just said we listen to what users have to say about their views regarding other apps a whole lot more than we talk about what we think about other apps.

You've made it clear that the progress we've made so far with development doesn't demonstrate anythying that you consider evidence of knowledge of what else is going on in the industry. Frankly, we feel there's a lot of work that should be giving some such indication, but if nothing so far has clicked for you, there are things coming along that certainly will. We've been putting major thought and effort into our future planning and design and every bit of that effort is informed with a detailed understanding of the competition, both in terms of how to effectively meet it and in terms of how to work very much better with it in multi-application pipelines where users want to leverage the strengths of each application.

jin choung
09-19-2007, 11:02 AM
So, correct me if I'm wrong but what I'm getting from this is because you think it's going to be rubbish, they shouldn't attempt to do it at all?

ummmm, well wouldn't you? if you honestly think that something's gonna end in tears, would you want them to give it a try anyway?

anyhoo, this is my opinion on the matter. if you and others think that it can work WELL, then great. if they continue in this direction, i really hope you're right.

jin

jin choung
09-19-2007, 11:38 AM
hey chuck,

sorry. at the time i read it, it didn't seem very plainspoken . i apologize if you just intended it as straight communication.


We've been putting major thought and effort into our future planning and design and every bit of that effort is informed with a detailed understanding of the competition, both in terms of how to effectively meet it and in terms of how to work very much better with it in multi-application pipelines where users want to leverage the strengths of each application.

great. i stand informed. and while it would be nice if more of us were able to see what's happening before things are set in stone and talk it out, it is most decidedly your ball. thanks for the info and i have my fingers crossed.

jin

Chris S. (Fez)
09-19-2007, 04:55 PM
When I use Modo it seems obvious that, wherever possible, Luxology appropriated respectable bits and pieces from other programs. I would just assume Newtek steal the same stuff.

Steamthrower
09-19-2007, 07:19 PM
has this development been influenced by peoples comments on here?

I think very much so. Jay, Chuck, Chilton, and the others have most all got post counts up in the thousands. I'd say that they shows something about how they view the importance of interacting with their customer base.

adamredwoods
09-19-2007, 09:08 PM
I think most software apps copy from others. Isn't that how the software industry progresses? I would expect Lightwave to do the same... but...

I feel Lightwave has some unique aspects that differ it from the traditional 3D app in terms of UI, and I hope Lightwave continues this tradition.

I, myself being an interactive designer, believe in the power of a well-designed interface to speed workflow. If I have a common task, I expect it to be done easily. in this regard, I enjoy the Layout and Modeler split in Lightwave. I feel modeling and animating have two different purposes, and the software is adept at defining this. WHen the needs are overlapped, obviously one side is going to be a little weak.


I propose (jokingly):
That Lightwave develop a third app that is devoted to rigging.

(I hope this helps drive this topic back on track, it seems to be drifting.)
:)

SplineGod
09-19-2007, 11:40 PM
hi jay,

assumption? (another?)

it's not an assumption. i'm making a judgment based on appearances. shallow huh?

there is LITTLE IF ANY evidence in lw that you guys are aware of what's going on in other apps... and more importantly, WHY they do the things they do and what advantages they confer, and what liabilities are presented from lw's methodologies.

chuck has just stated in his delightfully inscrutable post that such knowledge is being kept hush hush for some delightfully inscrutable reason. delightful.


One problem I see with information about what the developers know or dont know is further complicated by comments like this from an article about David Ikeda someone pointed out to me recently where he stated:

Most of the developers are very focused on working strictly on the code base. Actually a lot of of them don’t use 3D software at all. I believe that some of them had never tried it till joining the team. They are just interested in working on their section of the project. Besides, using a graphic package is quite a dedicated task. In my opinion, it is equally challenging as learning a coding language. Just because the programmers don’t use it, doesn’t mean that it’s heading for a disaster. The management is very keen on looking after the users’ needs.

The complete article is here:
http://pingmag.jp/2007/06/08/david-ikeda/

Phil
09-20-2007, 02:15 AM
I noticed that one as well. The small number of developers surprised me as well. I wonder how much can realistically be done with such a small team. I'm also curious as to how much parallel work is going on. The lack of progress in Modeler is very keenly felt (and I particularly hate SkelegonTree for its numerous flaws at the moment)

Wonderpup
09-20-2007, 03:54 AM
I feel modeling and animating have two different purposes

I think for some things this is true, say for animating space ships, or doing Arch Viz type work. The problem is the moment you get into any subtle form of deformation, as in CA, the line between modeling and animating does become blurred- so, for example, is setting up a morph tied to a joint rotation a modeling or an animation task?

Cageman
09-20-2007, 05:02 AM
One problem I see with information about what the developers know or dont know is further complicated by comments like this from an article about David Ikeda someone pointed out to me recently where he stated:


The complete article is here:
http://pingmag.jp/2007/06/08/david-ikeda/

I really don't see a big problem if 95% of the LW-programmers doesn't use 3D-apps.

I'm not a director, so does that mean I can not work with VFX? Of course not; someone else can direct me onto the correct path. Same for the programmers of LW. As long as the one directing the work knows about artist friendly workflow, good tools / bad tools etc, I have no reason to disbelieve NT or LW.

After all, it is quite astonishing to see where LWs render have gone, especially when most of the devs doesn't use LW or other apps (according to David Idkea). Just proves my point...

SplineGod
09-20-2007, 08:06 AM
I was only pointing out that Davids remarks seem at odds with previous comments about how much the developers are aware of other 3d apps, have used other 3d apps or are looking at other 3d apps. :)

Chuck
09-20-2007, 10:29 AM
I was only pointing out that Davids remarks seem at odds with previous comments about how much the developers are aware of other 3d apps, have used other 3d apps or are looking at other 3d apps. :)

David points out that some of the programmers have a 3D background and some did not previously. Yes, some of them just program. Some of the programmers did have extensive background in 3D development prior to joining NewTek's team and some have even done production work in 3D.

But there is, of course, more to the equation than that, and you have more reason than most to understand that there is more to a product design and development team than the programmers, from your experience in working very closely with Irrational Number on the development of Ortho Tools. There is a team of people that includes folks with production experience, folks to gather user feedback and analyze it, folks to design and specify the features and workflow and folks to manage the processes of development. That's why the term "developers" comes into play as the generic when speaking of a development team rather than "engineers" or "programmers" as the generic. The users themselves also participate in the process and affect the development.

At NewTek the user participation occurs in alpha stages with very small groups, and in Core Beta and Open Beta a bit further along with much larger groups of users. And actually, input from the user base at large via forums and mailing lists and from customers and potential customers in surveys, interviews and focused discussions gets a lot of consideration and analysis that then rolls into our designs for changes to existing workflow and features and for new features.

In sum, a number of the developers on the team are very much involved in understanding production issues, competing products, and user concerns and feedback as primary responsibilities, and these are the folks who roll all of that into operational designs and specifications; the programmers then turn that into algorithms and function designs and write the code. In practice, folks here tend to have multiple hats so we do have some folks who figure in both areas of development.

SplineGod
09-20-2007, 11:22 AM
Im not disagreeing Chuck. Its easy to take what David said, roll it into some of the concerns Jin and others have about the apparent pace of LW development vs the apparent pace of development on competing applications and come up with a negative view about things regardless if that view is correct or not.

adamredwoods
09-20-2007, 04:01 PM
I thought of another way I'd like to see character tools improved:

When the bone's property "Limited Range" is on, only show the region (dotted line) when the bone is selected. That way you can select other items in the viewport without the ranges getting in the way. This really annoys me.

I used to use this option when I needed a quick and dirty weight map. (Fingers too close together and bones have crossing influence).

Thanks,
//Adam

Vincenzo
09-20-2007, 04:18 PM
If this thread is going to be constructive, people need to be more specific about what improvements they would like to see in LW Rigging and Animation. Just bashing LW Rigging and Animation does not help.

LW's Rigging and Animation system has the fundamentals of skeletal animation and morphing (aka as blend shapes, tweening), but I would like to see more control over deformations caused by bone movement. Perhaps a method to lower or raise vertex weights via painting in layout. Also more mixing methods, including mixing of animations groups, which are useful in game development.

LW's recent improvements have been in Rendering, Camera tools, and Surfacing. These three areas support each other and make LW more attractive as a final renderer. Even with these improvements many people are concerned about the pace of LWs development. Perhaps Newtek should hire more devs and release paid upgrades more often like other apps?

Vincenzo

c i k l o n
09-23-2007, 07:25 PM
The PLG tools are great, and certainly add a lot of functionality to LWs current state, (especially as there are no real curve manipulation tools in layout) but in the bigger picture, Newtek need to add a whole architecture to deal with Motions and deformations on a very deep level.
Integrating Plugins like PLG isn't going to make much of a difference to the way they work.

Imagine the radical changes that the nodal surfacing has brought to LW.
The same radical change needs to come to animation.

What you are asking for is the equivalent of adding a new shader to the old surfacing system whereas what we need is profound changes to the whole of animation in layout.






:agree:

I totaly AGREE with all yours comments pooby !!!

oh! and I found somthing ( maby ) new on the net ---> http://www.luvictu.com/reel/victor_vinyals_demo_high.mpg


:thumbsup:

Wickster
09-23-2007, 09:38 PM
Yup, pooby is right on the money with that statement. Why integrate a plugin when we can already use the plugin at current state. We need something revolutionary yet very effective.

Mipmap
09-24-2007, 12:22 AM
I always liked Hash's tools, and there are Pixar people who enjoy using it at home as well. I like how you can just click and drag joints just as easily as you can desktop icons, and do things like click and move an elbow or knee while the shoulder\hip and wrist\ankle stay in place.

It makes posing very easy. I once bought a DVD where it went over character animation in 3D but wasn't specific to any program, it just went over concepts. The dude in the video was using Hash and he was able to set up dynamic poses so fast and animate them easily.

What we need are things that get rid of the technical speed bumps. Things where an artist gets screwed into having to stop being an artist and mess with all this tedious technical crap where we stop and learn to invent the wheel rather than animating our character. Give good animation tools that work like described.

Then supply a production quality biped model with the program allowing us to click and move joints to fit our character. Then we can do custom rigs only if we are doing something really wierd.

SplineGod
09-24-2007, 09:06 AM
Thats exactly how IKBoost works. I had a chance to demo it last night for the LA LWUser group and several experience animators (who mainly do CA in maya and motion builder) were quite shocked as to how powerful IKB is.
You can rig a typical bidped in a couple of minutes and reusing rigs with other characters is quite easy. Rigs cah be changed on the fly as well. Lots of other things with it that are worth delving into. :)

adamredwoods
09-24-2007, 03:10 PM
MipMap:

That's exactly the reason I started writing my own plugin, RigMaster.

As for IKBoost, I tried to use that for a while, but I didn't adapt to the interface very well. It was more tech than intuitive. I appreciate it's power, but I wanted a different interface to setup the rigs. Again, RigMaster.

Additionally, I wanted my plugin to help setup IKBoost rigs as well, but unfortunately, it's closed to lscript/SDK so I abandoned trying to shape it to my particular style of work.

RigMaster does offer a type of drag-n-drop, although I see it as select your bones and assign a joint through a lightwave-stardard interface. No right-clicking hidden-menus.

..And finally, Newtek does have to add a more robust animation core. The more I want out of RigMaster, the more I have to reinvent the wheel and write my own. Thus, slows down development.

//Adam

SplineGod
09-24-2007, 04:36 PM
Im not sure how much help IKBoost would need in terms of setting up a rig.
You add it to the character and its automatically applied to the bones. From there its a few clicks to set the IK chains. It literally takes about 2 minutes to get a stable biped rig with IKBoost.
Also changing your rig on the fly is part of IKBs workflow.
IKBoost is by far less technical then the standard way of rigging.
I can show someone how to do a basic IKBoost rig in minutes rather
then hours. Ive done is where I work at with no problems. :)

adamredwoods
09-24-2007, 06:32 PM
Im not sure how much help IKBoost would need in terms of setting up a rig.
You add it to the character and its automatically applied to the bones. From there its a few clicks to set the IK chains. It literally takes about 2 minutes to get a stable biped rig with IKBoost.
Also changing your rig on the fly is part of IKBs workflow.
IKBoost is by far less technical then the standard way of rigging.
I can show someone how to do a basic IKBoost rig in minutes rather
then hours. Ive done is where I work at with no problems. :)

I don't think IKBoost needs help, I think I need help. ;)

...But that's the point I'm making. IKBoost is powerful, and many people are pros with it, but the interface isn't adhering to _my workflow_. I additionally think IKBoost feels alien to the inherent workflow Lightwave has established for itself.

I like using keyboard shortcuts. I don't like contextual menus. I like how Lightwave lets you bring up the properties panel when, and if, you need it, to access other settings. Why do I have to search through a context menu with IKBoost? Other 3D apps are context-menu crazy, which is why I dont use them. IKBoost seems to have departed from the good thing Lightwave had going in terms of interface.

And my final tidbit on IKBoost, is that I personally don't like keying directly onto bones.

But these IKBoost comments are all personal to my own tastes/experiences, so everyone will have different views.

//Adam

SplineGod
09-24-2007, 06:42 PM
What I like about IKboosts menus is that they never get in the way. I never have to leave the inteface to do anything. The menus are in logical places such as on the nodes, channels etc right where youre working. The nodes tell you whats applied to each bone which LWs older workflow doesnt do. To setup the older IK you have to go thru a much more convoluted process.
IKBoost is very well thought out from a workflow standpoint. :)

ericsmith
09-24-2007, 07:44 PM
:bangwall:

SplineGod
09-24-2007, 07:52 PM
:twak:

Sil3
09-25-2007, 03:07 AM
Not wanting to sound like a pest (but I know I will for some) where can we see those very cool IK Boost Animations that some people were making some time ago but they couldn´t show?

Time passed, maybe those NDAs are letting people show those animation shots.

Really curious to see those, since im an IK Boost non believer, so im interested in seeing it in action... since everything i saw from it until now doesn´t change my opinion so far.

I mean full Character Animation, not 2 minute made walk cycles or simple tests.

alifx
09-25-2007, 04:03 AM
Not wanting to sound like a pest (but I know I will for some) where can we see those very cool IK Boost Animations that some people were making some time ago but they couldn´t show?

Time passed, maybe those NDAs are letting people show those animation shots.

Really curious to see those, since im an IK Boost non believer, so im interested in seeing it in action... since everything i saw from it until now doesn´t change my opinion so far.

I mean full Character Animation, not 2 minute made walk cycles or simple tests.

...........:agree:

I didn't saw any LW demoreel or short on character animation using IKBoost!, I wonder how maya users shocked when they saw IKBoost in action, and they already have one of the best Character Animation tools set.

:)

AljenHoekstra
09-25-2007, 04:11 AM
I haven't read the whole thread, but I would like to see something like Joytrol integrated into Lightwave. Although I haven't actually used it, it looks like a must-have for facial animation (unfortunately it also looks like a lot of work to setup).
I do get by using endomorphs but this seems much more intuitive and able to produce better expressions.

Sil3
09-25-2007, 04:54 AM
...........:agree:

I didn't saw any LW demoreel or short on character animation using IKBoost!, I wonder how maya users shocked when they saw IKBoost in action, and they already have one of the best Character Animation tools set.

:)

I was not bashing IK Boost at all, Im not found of it and doubt its capabilities on the long run, Cellshader more than once told on this foruns that there were animators using it and making really nice animation with it, I just want to see those thats all.

Unless the dam NDAs still are in place and wont let any of that to be seen :S

Carm3D
09-25-2007, 04:55 AM
I loved Joytrol and was getting alot of good use out of it. He even added some features at my request. Unfortunately, it doesn't work with 9.x. :cry:

AljenHoekstra
09-25-2007, 05:07 AM
I emailed the programmer of Joytrol today asking if it was compatible with the 9.3 Ub version for Mac, but I guess this already answers my question...
I was looking forward to using it, looks so much fun to animate with it.
Hope he might update it...

LW_Will
09-25-2007, 10:59 AM
I was not bashing IK Boost at all, Im not found of it and doubt its capabilities on the long run, Cellshader more than once told on this foruns that there were animators using it and making really nice animation with it, I just want to see those thats all.

I'll get you some of those rigs, once I make them.

I was at the meeting of the LA LWUG that Larry presented to this weekend. It was amazing. I was watching Larry, trying things on my MBP, and it was shocking. The problem with IK Boost is that it is too simple. WAY too simple. When you are shown the tools, it is too easy to use them. You think it should be harder, but it isn't.

There were 5 professionals (guys from Dreamworks and Sony Imageworks) who jaws hit the floor when Larry showed us what to do. They were saying that you couldn't do it with Maya, or even if you could, it would take hours.

IK Boost addresses the problems with CA that all the complainers have been whining about (you know who you are).

People from the LA Users Group have started a Yahoo Group about IK Boost, the ways to get it to work consistently, and the workflows to make it work.

the location is http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/LWIKBOOST/

Come on by and find out about this amazing tool... that is built into Lightwave3D!

c i k l o n
09-25-2007, 12:23 PM
1.

I dont wan't to see any more message like : BONES MUST REMAIN UNDER THE OBJECTS THE BELONG TO :(

Parenting and unpareting bones on every objects ( mesh, points , curve, edge, null ...) and then in same time bone have influence on weight that u decide.




2.

I want that you can have influence on weight map with : bones, curves and other objects, edges and points ...



3. LATTICEs



4. I wish I can select BONEs, NULLs , OBJECTS, POINTS...etc in same time !
I wish I can select BONE JOINT and NALL in same time and then easily scale and adjust rig in relation of mesh ( character )



5. I wish I can save complite rig ; with all setup, scripts , goals and other stuf ; like little scene and easily open in scene when I have character.
Like in XSI !!

When I ones setup rig I wish I can easily import ( open little secene) him and just adjust proportion of rig in relation to mesh and weight him . So, then I can adapt same rig for diferent characters.



6.
I wish u can manipulate with bones, points, poligons, edges, nulls ..etc like u can easily manipilate in Modeler.


I wish thet NT merge Layout in to Modeler !!! ......... not modeler tools in to Layout. Becouse I much more easily swim, select and move around object in Modeler instead in Layout.



best regard and sorry for my poor english ! :thumbsup:

Cageman
09-25-2007, 12:23 PM
There were 5 professionals (guys from Dreamworks and Sony Imageworks) who jaws hit the floor when Larry showed us what to do. They were saying that you couldn't do it with Maya, or even if you could, it would take hours.

I had to giggle little when I read that! :) Cool to hear people "outside" the LW-arena attends the usergroup meetings. I must admit that I have not tried IK-booster that much. I was trying it with dynamics, but I ended up using ClothFX driving bones instead.

I don't doubt the power within IK-Boost, but it seems just too many people have a hard time using it (myself included) that I doubt it is as intuitive as some people claim it to be. Maybe it is because I'm used to do do rigging/animation in another package these days that makes it hard to grasp how to work with IK-Boost.

jin choung
09-25-2007, 12:27 PM
Not wanting to sound like a pest (but I know I will for some) where can we see those very cool IK Boost Animations that some people were making some time ago but they couldn´t show?

Time passed, maybe those NDAs are letting people show those animation shots.

Really curious to see those, since im an IK Boost non believer, so im interested in seeing it in action... since everything i saw from it until now doesn´t change my opinion so far.

I mean full Character Animation, not 2 minute made walk cycles or simple tests.

totally agree.

i don't want to see how ikb is a cool toy. i want to see what it can do in terms of production level animation.

jin

colkai
09-25-2007, 01:25 PM
I
I don't doubt the power within IK-Boost, but it seems just too many people have a hard time using it (myself included) that I doubt it is as intuitive as some people claim it to be. Maybe it is because I'm used to do do rigging/animation in another package these days that makes it hard to grasp how to work with IK-Boost.

I think this is a thing, I know I've been talking to a good friend who uses it a LOT and he is like a kid at Xmas with it. I'm going to try and sort out some time to visit him so I can just sit and watch, it certainly sounds so simple to use but wrapping my head around it is just not working alone.

As mentioned in another thread tohugh, I don't even think Newtek were aware of just waht it's capable of, for sure, the lack of any "sensible" docs and tutorials on it are a big stumbling block for most of us.

SplineGod
09-25-2007, 02:22 PM
Whats strange is that some people act like IKBoost is some external expensive 3rd party app that were trying to convince them to buy rather then a powerful built in animation environment that comes with LW. I would expect more people to experiment and REALLY put it thru its paces rather then pooh pooh it outright. Sad that it seems more PC to talk about non LW apps on a LW forum rather then tools that are already part of LW.
If some have SINCERELY logged the time with IKB well thats one thing but even if you dont feel its for you at least let those who are interested
do so in a civil honest way without all the static. This IS a LW SUPPORT forum remember?

JVitale
09-25-2007, 02:48 PM
[QUOTE=LW_Will]

People from the LA Users Group have started a Yahoo Group about IK Boost, the ways to get it to work consistently, and the workflows to make it work.

the location is http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/LWIKBOOST/

QUOTE]

Disclaimer:

This group has been started and is solely administered by Will Harrison (LW_Will) and not the LA LW Users Group..

As for IK Boost, yes it was a great presentation, and IK boost is not difficult once you see how it works but like a majority of the people here I would like to see a re-write of bone tools...

IMI
09-25-2007, 02:49 PM
Well, I just made my very first fully rigged character over the course of this past weekend and last night. All limbs, fingers, toes, including hair and clothes, everything boned.
I took your advice, Larry, and did it in Layout and tried to avoid weight maps. In the end, I had to make a few.

How did it turn out? It looks fine, when none of the bones are bent. Pose it, and it looks...well, it looks painful. ;)

OK, so that was my first serious attempt. I don't think it was too bad considering that. Some of the joints worked pretty well, actually.
I've never thought I could have it in me to animate a complex figure. Logos and walkthroughs, yes, but figures, no, although it was alot more fun than it was aggravation. :)

But I'm reading all this about IKBoost here, and I know nothing about it, but if I'm going to move on to the next level in LW, which I now want to do, something's telling me I need to start at where the more powerful tools are at.

Damn, I wish I lived in LA.;)
Larry, do your courses cover IKBoost? I can't see anything there about it - or are you planning something about it for the future?

Wonderpup
09-25-2007, 03:22 PM
that is built into Lightwave3D!

I don't think 'built in' is quite right- IKB looks and feels like a third party tool grafted on.

In way, the whole thing is dead anyway, since the guy who created it has left NT, and no else there seems to understand it- at least no one else seems able to document it's use beyond simple descriptions of what the buttons do.

Also, how credible is it, really, that Newtek have this truly innovative CA tool just sitting there collecting dust while the majority of it's user base clamour for improved CA tools?

The underlaying premise seems to be that most users are too stupid or lazy to employ the solution right under their noses, which again does not seem really credible. If IKB really was the magic bullet of CA I think it would have become a lot more popular than it is now.

GregMalick
09-25-2007, 03:23 PM
IK Boost video (http://www.spinquad.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=LW-T002-0001&Category_Code=ks-lightwave)

IMI
09-25-2007, 03:27 PM
Thanks, Gregory. :)
I didn't think to look to SpinQuads, I just assumed all Larry's stuff was available through his website.

Dodgy
09-25-2007, 04:53 PM
I don't think 'built in' is quite right- IKB looks and feels like a third party tool grafted on.


It is anything but. From my investigation, it's really well integrated. I've been looking for lots of little gotcha's, like 'but does this work with it' and the like, and there is some really well thought out stuff in there.



In way, the whole thing is dead anyway, since the guy who created it has left NT, and no else there seems to understand it- at least no one else seems able to document it's use beyond simple descriptions of what the buttons do.


It's a good job that I'm putting up docs on the www.lightwiki.com then. Hopefully I'll get round to demonstrating working with it in time.



Also, how credible is it, really, that Newtek have this truly innovative CA tool just sitting there collecting dust while the majority of it's user base clamour for improved CA tools?

The underlaying premise seems to be that most users are too stupid or lazy to employ the solution right under their noses, which again does not seem really credible. If IKB really was the magic bullet of CA I think it would have become a lot more popular than it is now.

I think you did hit the nail a bit on the head. I think not many people at NT knew what it was really capable of, and the negativity which hit it when it was added made a lot of people ignore it including NT, especially since the documentation wasn't really easily understandable. I know I played with it a little, but not enough to really get to grips with it. A few weeks ago, I took the chance on an animation job with it, teaching it to a complete 3d (but not animation) newbie, and she took to it very quickly, because it's just like animating with a real figure. In the course of using it I've really come to like it, and found many things which aren't in the manual, both by myself, and by talking to the few people who do use it, which are really useful. Hopefully when there's some more documentation you'll see what all the fuss is about.

SplineGod
09-25-2007, 05:36 PM
I don't think 'built in' is quite right- IKB looks and feels like a third party tool grafted on.

In way, the whole thing is dead anyway, since the guy who created it has left NT, and no else there seems to understand it- at least no one else seems able to document it's use beyond simple descriptions of what the buttons do.

Also, how credible is it, really, that Newtek have this truly innovative CA tool just sitting there collecting dust while the majority of it's user base clamour for improved CA tools?

The underlaying premise seems to be that most users are too stupid or lazy to employ the solution right under their noses, which again does not seem really credible. If IKB really was the magic bullet of CA I think it would have become a lot more popular than it is now.

Actually Id be glad to give you a remote demo when possible. Ive done that with others who are now total converts to it. One of them sent me an IM a little while ago that says... "dont mean to bother you at work - but just need to send you the message that "IKB IS THE ****"
--- that is all :D carry on" I spent only a few minutes showing him the basics and he was able to get a rig setup in minutes and start posing etc.
Just let me know if you would like to take me up on the offer. :)

adamredwoods
09-25-2007, 05:51 PM
SO IN CONCLUSION, another way Newtek can improve Lightwave CA tools:

1. Commission Larry Shultz to do an IKBoost video demo and fully written documentation.
2. Place it front and center on your Lightwave website so all can find it.

BTW, there's also the IKBoost website:
http://ikboost.com/

But honestly, I had trouble following what he was doing in those videos. I'll take another look.

SplineGod
09-25-2007, 06:29 PM
Commissioned or not that is something Ive been working on. Trying to do it and work takes some time. IKBoost is very simple as Will pointed out but also very deep at the same time. :)

jin choung
09-25-2007, 11:33 PM
took a look at colin's videos.

NEAT.

but it is COMICAL the lengths that he goes to avoid saying "maya" or "set driven key"!!!

so here is something i didn't know:

BOOSTER LINK is basically a lw implementation of set driven key! finally... a real way to define a non linear relationship between two objects... limited to trans,rot,and scale but an implementation of SDK nonetheless (and perhaps expandable to other kinds of relationships using a channel follower or something... not ideal but.... [also, there seems to be some funky thing where if you don't set limits on the driver you get a weird jump in the driven... weird behavior not cool but....])

------------------------------------------------------------------------

anyway, the burden of proof has been on lightwave and newtek. many of us don't have time to play around with something that may turn out to be neat but not really useful in production.

we need to be shown how really awesome it is. and newtek hasn't done it.

and in this, wonderpup might be right... the ship might have sailed on ik boost. it might be difficult if not impossible to get anybody to look at it now - no matter how awesome it is.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

another issue is this: i think lots of people think that lw's character animation pales in comparison to something like maya.

there are many in the lw community who feel this is not true.

and some of these folks are also championing ik boost.

so from the "maya is better at CA" standpoint, my brain starts going,

"ok, for whatever reason, they don't see things the way i do. i may disagree but they are free to believe what they want and they may even be right.

BUT I DON'T SEE HOW.

and if our views differ SO MUCH when it comes to character animation in general, how disparate will their evaluation of ikb be from my own when all is said and done?"

and so the people who had a problem with lw's CA in the first place are the very ones that are least likely to give ikb even a glance.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

and again, for those of us interested in applying tools professionally, sil's point is really valid.

maya can point to all kinds of unbelievably awesome CA in movies and tv etc etc.

when it comes to CA, lw has very little it can point at IN GENERAL. when we then specify IKB... really... WHAT IS THERE? it's like we're being asked to TAKE IT ON FAITH that ikb will work out.

kindofa tough sell....

jin

jin choung
09-25-2007, 11:40 PM
and found many things which aren't in the manual, both by myself, and by talking to the few people who do use it, which are really useful.

yeah, especially since there aren't third party books that really get into the feature, this is a big problem.

and this leads me to another unsettling question:

IF ik boost is so awesome (and i'm kinda inclined now to grant it the possibility of not being hoopla junk... :) ) and newtek doesn't RECOGNIZE IT AS SUCH, enough to document it and demonstrate it well for the users....

what are the chances that they can clearly see the merits and liabilities of character animation features in other apps and in lw?)

jin

SplineGod
09-26-2007, 12:01 AM
I guess some want to wait and see with Newtek which is fine. The good news is that people really dont have to wait for a great character animation system. You dont have to believe it, like it or use it regardless of that fact thats its already in LW and costs nothing extra. You can move onto Maya, XSI or whatever else some push around here. Thank God this is a LW support for the discussion and support of LW. IKBoost is part of LW and is therefore open to discussion and support. It definately merits that above the pushing of Maya or XSI that weve seen way too much of on a LW forum. Its ridiculous to decry something that you dont know. Let the rest of us take the time to share what we know and encourage others to explore. Anything else is just a huge waste of time. :)

jin choung
09-26-2007, 12:35 AM
well the thread is titled "how can lw's character tools be improved?"

lw's certainly not industry standard when it comes to character setup or animation so in such topics, i'm sure other software is not "pushed" so much as held up as examples. if mention of other apps these days seems more prevalent, i think it's because the subject for many these days is about character animation.

wishing that lw exists in a vacuum and must be appreciated on its own merits and cannot be compared and related to other apps isn't exactly healthy either i don't think.

the "rest of you" can certainly do what you want. how can i stop you?

i'm just saying, there are many good reasons why many of us haven't been sold on ik b or inclined to believe in it.

jin

SplineGod
09-26-2007, 01:17 AM
Jin,
This particular horse has been beaten to death so long ago it doesnt even stink anymore. LW doesnt have to be a so called industry standard to be a great tool.
Id rather use a tool that is simple yet powerful, gets the job done and doesnt get in my face rather then a something that adheres to some 'standard'.
Maya, XSI or whatever has been discussed til were blue in the face I guess with the idea that the mantra will somehow spur Newtek to do magic. Its not working and theres no practical benefit Ive seen yet from all this other then to piss people off. Newteks got the message loud and clear believe me. Youve made it PERFECTLY clear as to your reasons why you wont touch that particular part of LW yet I fail to see any practical advantages from doing so. Why not move on to other more constructive things like discussing and exposing a very powerful tool already in LW? It really sucks to have to defend LW on a LW support forum from people who admittedly dont know IKBoost yet dont hesitate to throw stones at it.

colkai
09-26-2007, 01:33 AM
Whats strange is that some people act like IKBoost is some external expensive 3rd party app that were trying to convince them to buy rather then a powerful built in animation environment that comes with LW. I would expect more people to experiment and REALLY put it thru its paces rather then pooh pooh it outright.

This is sadly all too true, I may not know how to use it properly (or at all :p ), but I trust the word of those who tell me they are using it heavily and getting great results. To take the old "that's rubbish, LW can't do C.A. IKBOOST is [email protected] sort of stance just smacks of petulance to me. Sure, C.A. needs a revamp and none of us 'defending' IKBoost are saying otherwise, after all, who doesn't want more powerful / flexible tools in their toolset?

However, the derision IKBoost gets is at times, frankly, mind-boggling.

jin choung
09-26-2007, 02:04 AM
no practical benefit Ive seen yet from all this other then to piss people off.

well, we differ on the "standards" thing. the more quirky lightwave is, the more isolated it is from standards, the less useful it is to me. if i wanted an "island app", i'd get hash. but that's just my stance and opinion as you have yours.

if people get defensive and pissed off, that's not my problem. i don't see why this should be emotional. it's not for me.

i'm bringing things up that are relevant to the issue. not to sell another product. but you're right, i don't stick up for lw for the sake of doing it either. i'm not an employee of autodesk but i'm not an employee of newtek either. i'm just calling it as i see it.

and personally, i'm not attacking ikb. i'm not sure who you've been having that discussion with but it wasn't me. at most, i doubt in it.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
i'm the guy who went to bed with the lightwave power guide and read it cover to cover before touching lw so you won't see me d1ck1ng around with ikb to "discover" how it ticks. just not how i function.

so i'm waiting to see something in print or other that'll "illuminate" it and convince me its worth the effort.

so don't mind me. i'm just waiting.

jin

Cageman
09-26-2007, 03:26 AM
You can move onto Maya, XSI or whatever else some push around here. Thank God this is a LW support for the discussion and support of LW.

Well, there are many who left LW completely because of lacking CA-tools. Be it IKBoost is awesome; those people never "got it", so to speak, and many of them will probably never open LW again. I think it is very, very important to talk about HOW to use other apps in conjunction with LW as well as LWs own tools.

Sil3
09-26-2007, 03:42 AM
I'll get you some of those rigs, once I make them.



Thanks I will for sure, but im still also want to see examples of it working, real examples like I said on my previous post.

Once in 1998 I went to visit a friend and he had this thing called Modeler showing on the monitor in from of him, I kindly asked him if he could showed me how he started an organic Model.

He got a cube hit the TAB key and started puling and extruding polygons showing me on how he did it and I was instantly hooked on it... I need to get that amazing tech that allowed me a much more freedom way to organic Model than other programs I was using...

Now why all this look back at almost 10 years ago? Its because until now that same feeling havent come across to me even after I watched a few avis showing off IKB, maybe because im not much of a noob anymore and im used to others great tools as well.

Until I see something that really makes me say Whhhooaaaaa I doubt IKB...sorry to all those that swear by it, but none of those are Character Animators (please dont be offended).

Sure Larry is a guy that really knows is stuff and all, but the examples he gave so far dont atract me in any way to start delving into IKB for real, right now the assumption I make is:

Why waste my time on something I cannot see any benefit in the long run when I should be working or having time with my loved ones?

Im a visual kind of guy, I need to see it working and be amazed to get interest, if I like what I see I will dive into into trust me.

Yes IKB is part of LW, so it is RBD and Cloth... but lets not talk about them :D

omeone
09-26-2007, 07:18 AM
but it is COMICAL the lengths that he goes to avoid saying "maya" or "set driven key"!!!

ummmm... I've never used Maya... so I dont know anything about it except what I've read on sites here and there ... besides... it wouldn't be very educationally responsible to say "if you want to know how Boosterlink works, take a look at Maya's Set Driven Key".

That's just my own lack of lucidity to blame for that one, I'm afraid.

Wonderpup
09-26-2007, 08:02 AM
For me it was the deformation issue that finally pushed me into buying XSI. I'm not really a character animator, just a generalist who sometimes needs to do simple characters, and it was getting good controlled deformations that was killing my particular workflow.

At this point I really have no interest in deciphering IKB, since even NT have apparently abandoned it (in fact never supported it in the first place, in terms of documentation) Like many others I was excited when it appeared in 8, only to be left floundering by the lack of clear instruction as to its use.

If NT didn't understand it then, with the developer in their employ, then what future can it have now when the developer has left? At best it seems doomed to be a curiosity, a developmental 'might have been'

SplineGod
09-26-2007, 09:12 AM
Cageman,
Im not against discussing the use of LW in confjunction with other applications. Its a fact of life and I use LW with other apps all the time. There is a difference between informed discussion vs claiming LWs CA tools suck and that you MUST get XSI or Maya if you really want good CA tools. IVe seen countless posts where it is claimed that LW cant do certain things that another app can do when in reality LW CAN do it. Then the detractor says that those statements dont count because they refer to IKBoost. Informed discussion is just that, not irock throwing from the standpoint of ignorance. Its ridiculous that there are a few people here feel completely justified in sharing their new found excitement about CA tools in other apps in a LW forum yet get pissed if you try and talk about great CA tools already in LW.

Sil,
I know my stuff because I dont sit around waiting for someone to show wonderful something is. I dont see how anyone can truely master an application unless they really explore it and find innovative ways to use it.
I constantly see people claiming that LW cant to certain things when I know that it can. Its a shame to let good tools go to waste when theyre right in front of you. Im glad that I didnt base my assessment of IKB on anything other then my own experiences.

Colin,
BTW just wanted to thank you for the time and effort to put up your site and do those videos. I know how much work goes into doing that. I also agree that when informing the explaining carrys more weight then technical jaragon. :thumbsup:

alifx
09-26-2007, 10:07 AM
Larry :) could you show us the best character rig you've done so far? Please :)

omeone
09-26-2007, 10:22 AM
thanks Larry, I really appreciate it :)

Cageman
09-26-2007, 10:42 AM
Cageman,
Im not against discussing the use of LW in confjunction with other applications. Its a fact of life and I use LW with other apps all the time. There is a difference between informed discussion vs claiming LWs CA tools suck and that you MUST get XSI or Maya if you really want good CA tools. IVe seen countless posts where it is claimed that LW cant do certain things that another app can do when in reality LW CAN do it. Then the detractor says that those statements dont count because they refer to IKBoost.

Never seen anyone stating that IKBoost "doesn' count". As you say, LW CAN do it, but that doesn't mean it is intuitive, easy and fast for everyone, hence the talk about other apps.

Why don't you make a video and post it here to show us what you showed at the LA Usergroup meeting? If the guys from Dreamworks and Sony Imageworks got their jaw by the floor, why not show the rest of us what it was?

Sil3
09-26-2007, 11:33 AM
Sil,
I know my stuff because I dont sit around waiting for someone to show wonderful something is. I dont see how anyone can truely master an application unless they really explore it and find innovative ways to use it.
I constantly see people claiming that LW cant to certain things when I know that it can. Its a shame to let good tools go to waste when theyre right in front of you. Im glad that I didnt base my assessment of IKB on anything other then my own experiences.


True, when we want to learn something for real we simply dont listen to what others say and go for some more on our own (been there done that like majority of us in this Bizz)... but that doesnt mean that we are all alike and that all of us find it easy to get into things, thats why schools and teachers and tutorials exist ;)

Almost any 3D software can do anything, even if it means keyframing everything by hand or animating with Morphs frame by frame if we look at it that way, but not all of us want to do that so we look to other tools that aparently make it more easier to do or waste less time in one thing so we can go do others.

Being a Master of a 3D software is a BIG word and there are not many like that, a Master means to me someone that had Mastered ALL aspects and tools and functions of a software, how many people can afirm that? A few probably and from those few how many later on show Artistic talent instead of being button pushers and techically gifted? Even fewer.

Now, I understand where you wanted to go with that sentence, but not all of us have a Generalist job that we must pretty much know how to do anything and have more specific jobs/assignments, and LW not being known for its CA tools (even though they can do the job easier or not) its not rocket science to see that the majority of Character Animators/Rigging TDs wont even touch LW or really believe that IKB is a bless.

When people are already sceptical about something and everytime they ask to be proven wrong nothing happens, people will continue that way.

Its the best interest for NT to prove that IKB is an amazing aid to LW CA toolset, even though that same CA toolset is very weak compared to what is asked today on productions.

I dont see NT making efforts to prove IKB is great, in fact I only see a few ones saying that, so show us something, make us swallow or own sceptecism, I love to be proven wrong or shown that my assumptions were completly off and I was being a retarded.

Im a happy learner I love to learn, but only if that learning will be usefull in somehow to me, being it commercially usefull or simply satisfatory of my curiosity.

I actually agree with Cagemans request, if the IKB showing you did made TOP studios people jaw drop, why cant we the users of LW cant see them also? And no I wont be buying tutorials and I cant attend those seminars because I live across the ocean.

I know my speach in here might sound negative towards NT or LW or IKB or even you Larry, but its not my intention, I simply would love to see cool well done CA made with IKB thats all.

Cheers

adamredwoods
09-26-2007, 12:15 PM
How Lightwave CA tools can be improved:

Take the IKBoost core and expand it to be accessable under the other panels (motion modifier, bone properties). That way, the process can be understood better.

BUT keep the conext menu for those who want faster access once they understand it better. Best of both worlds!

And make sure there are some ways for the SDK to access it as well.

so for example... you activate IKBoost etiher by right-clicking on the object OR by a checkmark in the motion modifier panel for that object.
another example.... you select a bone and you want to "FIX" the end like in IKBoost, but now you can select the bone go to the 'motion modifier' panel and select a button 'FIX' which also has an envelope button so we can key it on the graph as well.

...and so on. All this functionality isn't too far from what's there already. It's just allowing a different way to get to it.


Ok Jay Roth, that's a freebie money idea from me. Let me know if you want me to code it, too, so we can end this thread. ;)

//Adam

omeone
09-26-2007, 12:33 PM
BUT keep the conext menu for those who want faster access once they understand it better. Best of both worlds!

And make sure there are some ways for the SDK to access it as well.


great suggestion


select a button 'FIX' which also has an envelope button so we can key it on the graph as well.

IMO, that is the first hurdle everyone comes across when looking at IKB, it takes a big leap-of-faith to see that is almost opposites to the IKB philosophy.

...and there are more similar leaps of faith along the way too.


if the IKB showing you did made TOP studios people jaw drop, why cant we the users of LW cant see them also?

I was given some pretty good compliments just on my youtube (http://ie.youtube.com/user/Closov) videos by one of Disney's best known 3D animators / animation supers. He asked if I could send him the Rigs, but I had to disappoint him since he only uses Maya...

ericsmith
09-26-2007, 12:46 PM
Adam,

I don't think your idea would work with the current implementation of IKB. It's not part of the bone's properties in any way, but rather an overlayed interface that helps to rotate multiple bones in pure FK to simulate IK (among other things). But ultimately, the edits are passed on to bones, or any objects in a hierarchy, as ordinary HPB rotational curves.

And this is ultimately one of my biggest problems with IKB. While it's true that with some effort (definitely more than just a few minutes worth), you can get a reasonably useable rig when posing at frame 0, the real problem happens when interpolating between poses. For example, if you want a foot to slide along the floor, it won't do that automatically. Because it's all FK, the end of the chain will move in arcs. The only solution is to manually try to correct the non-linear motion, which will ultimately look sloppy and not really work, or try to use the baking features built into IKB which can also lead to problems, and will break if you try to edit your animation after the first pass. You can always leave the baking to last, but then previewing your animation in progress will not give you an accurate picture of what your animation should look like.

In my opinion, this fundimental problem is the reason why there are a handfull of people touting the wonders of IKB with simple demos, but there's very little if any actual production level animation to show.

Eric

SplineGod
09-26-2007, 02:32 PM
That sounds like the same problem you have regardless if youre using IKBoost or not. You really dont know how your animation will ultimately look until its finalized. Even with fulltime IK and using Goals you get drift until you go into the graph editor and make those keys linear. IKBoost simply does it in a much more elegant and intuitive way.
Ive presented non finished animation to supervisors before and it is by definition ROUGH and they know it. They dont care if things absolutely lock because once you finalize the animation is very difficult to change and an experienced animation director knows this.
The nice thing is that IKBoost automatically move things in arcs which is what most limbs do most of the time anyway. With fulltime IK you have the opposite problem of the goals NOT moving in arcs and the animator has to manually add that in.
IKBoost works great when used properly.

Alifx,
How would you define "best"? :)

Sil,
I listen to others opinions on software but I ultimately make my own decisions based on getting an indepth demo and asking lots of questions or delving into the tools and find out for myself. Thats also the only way in the end to REALLY learn and know the tools. I can watch something a million times and yet still not be able to do it unless I simply do it. :)
Also if I listened to what many say about LW or its capabilities I wouldnt be using it.

ericsmith
09-26-2007, 02:55 PM
Not the same thing. With fulltime IK, you can easily flatten the curves for the feet, and then later change the position of the pelvis. The feet will stay locked.

It's one thing to present rough stages of an animation to a director, but I would rather not see my character's feet swimming around when they're supposed to be fixed. It's distracting, and makes it hard to know if issues like weight and followthrough are working well.

With a good rig, it shouldn't be difficult to change a "finalized" animation. Really, "finalized" should be what happens when you watch what you've created, and it sells the shot. But changes can and do happen well after that point is reached. Sometimes, you don't see a problem until after rendering. Or maybe a director approves a particular shot, but needs to make changes later for continuity with another shot. Anything can happen.

Regarding arcs, yes, they are good if you're animating a free-hanging limb. But when trying to constrain a foot or hand to something either fixed or linear (like the ground, or a table) that's where you need to be able to pin the end of the chain full time. This is very necessary for a good portion of normal, day-to-day animation. Otherwise, they never would have invented IK in the first place. And the fact is, it's much easier to animate a goal in a curve than to try and rotate multiple joints to move the end in a straight line. So if I had to choose, I'd rather have to do the former.

Eric

omeone
09-26-2007, 03:15 PM
eric, there's no law stopping you using standard IK at legs at the same time as using IKB

IKB was made to faciliate it, if you're more comfortable that way...

so yes... you can easily slide a foot along the floor... :thumbsup:

SplineGod
09-26-2007, 04:26 PM
I dont find it easier to do lock things down using IKB then going into the graph editer to do it. Again its done right where you working without having to open windows, select the points on a curve, click on linear or tension etc. With IKB is pretty much two clicks right there.
Bottom line is its faster workflowise and much easier to teach.

Dodgy
09-26-2007, 04:30 PM
And you can pin multiple items via bakespots, which will move if you decide to move an item's keys using the IKB/dopetrack.

You can for instance create one cycle of an animation, and set two bakespots, one for each foot. Copy and paste that cycle multiple times, bakespots are copied along with it. Apply IK Bind, and suddenly your character will walk along the floor. Finally Bakespot all, and your feet will be rigidly locked down, just like IK. Binding is an undoable, adjustable feature, even after reloading you can move the root object at one of its key frames, and the bind keys will adjust to suit. With Bakespots you just need to save a copy of the scene called say _Baked, and you can go back to the working version.

Of course, you could use IK if it suits you and in a lot of cases you would prefer it, but the point is you can get locked feet/other joints out of IKB if you need to. If you fix an item and one of its children, the item behaves as if with a IK goal with match orientation on, locked in world rotation, so you can do that too.

These are all things people thought you couldn't do in IKB, but they are possible.

SplineGod
09-26-2007, 04:41 PM
Not only possible but less convoluted and easier to understand.
Even with fulltime IK as soon as you move the goals they no longer absolutely stick and the curves have to be adjusted to stay locked in place and is usually done in the finalizing stage. You do this because finalized animation is much hard to redo. With IKB its a breeze because you can save the motion for the full or any part of the rig at any point before finalizing. It makes redoing or fixing parts of an animation much easier.

ericsmith
09-26-2007, 04:49 PM
eric, there's no law stopping you using standard IK at legs at the same time as using IKB

IKB was made to faciliate it, if you're more comfortable that way...

But as soon as you do that, you don't get IKB for the legs. Basically, any standard control you add to a bone, ie. IK, motion modifiers, expressions, etc, eliminate IKB from being useable on that part of the rig. You can't truly get "both at the same time", you can simply use IKB on some parts of the rig, and standard rigging on other parts.

Ultimately, I think it's cool that you can at least have that much functionality. But all of this has nothing to do with the point I was trying to make. Which is that much of the features of IKB, in particular fixing, only work on a single frame. The concept breaks down when you interpolate between keyframes.


I dont find it easier to do lock things down using IKB then going into the graph editer to do it. Again its done right where you working without having to open windows, select the points on a curve, click on linear or tension etc. With IKB is pretty much two clicks right there.
Bottom line is its faster workflowise and much easier to teach.

First off, you can leave GE open and set it to "Track Item Selection", so the curves you need are always right there. You just select the appropriate keys and drag the tension slider to 1. Not that complicated.

But that's completely missing the point. When I lock down an IK goal, it stays locked down. Not just at the current frame, but all the frames in between. And if I come back and adjust the position of the hips, or adjust the knee, or whatever, it still stays locked down. Even if you bake a range with IKB, you can't do anything to the hips or knees without breaking the lock.

Eric

ericsmith
09-26-2007, 05:00 PM
You can for instance create one cycle of an animation, and set two bakespots, one for each foot. Copy and paste that cycle multiple times, bakespots are copied along with it. Apply IK Bind, and suddenly your character will walk along the floor. Finally Bakespot all, and your feet will be rigidly locked down, just like IK. Binding is an undoable, adjustable feature, even after reloading you can move the root object at one of its key frames, and the bind keys will adjust to suit. With Bakespots you just need to save a copy of the scene called say _Baked, and you can go back to the working version.

Even if you're willing to go through all the baking and whatnot, looking at any of the videos that have been posted about this makes it necessary to apply a fairly loose interpretation to the word "rigidly" Under just the right circumstances, it may look fairly fixed, but it's still not perfectly still. Under the wrong circumstances, it's just unacceptable.


Even with fulltime IK as soon as you move the goals they no longer absolutely stick and the curves have to be adjusted to stay locked in place and is usually done in the finalizing stage.

That statement doesn't make any sense. If you have two keys at different times with the exact same position and rotation values, with the tention of both keys set to 1, that goal will not move between those keys. If you move the goal at one of those keyframes (or in between), then you're saying you WANT the goal to move. If you translate the value for BOTH keys, so they still have the same position and rotational values, then the goal will still stay fixed between the keys.

Eric

Dodgy
09-26-2007, 05:20 PM
Even if you're willing to go through all the baking and whatnot, looking at any of the videos that have been posted about this makes it necessary to apply a fairly loose interpretation to the word "rigidly" Under just the right circumstances, it may look fairly fixed, but it's still not perfectly still. Under the wrong circumstances, it's just unacceptable.
Eric

No, I really mean absolutely still. It is possible with IKB, I know because I've done it.

omeone
09-26-2007, 05:23 PM
But as soon as you do that, you don't get IKB for the legs. Basically, any standard control you add to a bone, ie. IK, motion modifiers, expressions, etc, eliminate IKB from being useable on that part of the rig. You can't truly get "both at the same time", you can simply use IKB on some parts of the rig, and standard rigging on other parts.

Ultimately, I think it's cool that you can at least have that much functionality. But all of this has nothing to do with the point I was trying to make. Which is that much of the features of IKB, in particular fixing, only work on a single frame. The concept breaks down when you interpolate between keyframes.
Eric

Now you want IKB on the legs!?! you!? ;)

Well you can have both...

you can have IKB only, IKB + Full time IK Legs, or IKB + Full time IK Legs only when you want them... it is very very rare you really need a locked and sliding foot, i did it once to mimic the OKGo! On Treadmills video... you can turn on full-time IK, bake the flat slide, turn it off again and carry on regardless.


Even if you're willing to go through all the baking and whatnot, looking at any of the videos that have been posted about this makes it necessary to apply a fairly loose interpretation to the word "rigidly" Under just the right circumstances, it may look fairly fixed, but it's still not perfectly still. Under the wrong circumstances, it's just unacceptable.

It is perfectly still, what videos are you talking about?
check this one:
Glued Feet (http://ikboost.com/upload/uploaded/Glued_Feet.mov)

ericsmith
09-26-2007, 08:27 PM
Okay, after some experimentation, I did discover the difference between baking and binding.

With baking, you can actually lock a foot down, but it requires keyframing every bone from the locked bone up to the root. Binding only keyframes the root, which is why only one point can be locked in place.

I still find it a horrendous way to work. You have to bake twice, once for the ankles, and then again for rotational fixing. But if a few people are having fun with it, good for them. I'm still waiting to see some real animation done with it, not just a quick pose demo or walk cycle.

Eric

jin choung
09-26-2007, 08:58 PM
ummmm... I've never used Maya... so I dont know anything about it except what I've read on sites here and there ... besides... it wouldn't be very educationally responsible to say "if you want to know how Boosterlink works, take a look at Maya's Set Driven Key".

That's just my own lack of lucidity to blame for that one, I'm afraid.

oh. sorry colin. it just sounded that way to me then... especially since you were using terms like driver and driven... i assumed you were just strenuously trying to avoid mentioning the reference.

anyhoo, cool videos.

jin

jin choung
09-26-2007, 09:08 PM
I still find it a horrendous way to work.

i would agree.

this is an important point that i would like clarification on.

for the pro-ikb fellows, it is COMPLETELY FINE if you feel that this is NOT a horrendous way to work. i disagree but cool... different strokes.

but is eric correct about the procedure that is necessary to lock something down?

jin

ericsmith
09-26-2007, 09:53 PM
but is eric correct about the procedure that is necessary to lock something down?

Just check out the video he linked to at the bottom of his post just before mine.

Eric

SplineGod
09-26-2007, 10:40 PM
Even if you're willing to go through all the baking and whatnot, looking at any of the videos that have been posted about this makes it necessary to apply a fairly loose interpretation to the word "rigidly" Under just the right circumstances, it may look fairly fixed, but it's still not perfectly still. Under the wrong circumstances, it's just unacceptable.



That statement doesn't make any sense. If you have two keys at different times with the exact same position and rotation values, with the tention of both keys set to 1, that goal will not move between those keys. If you move the goal at one of those keyframes (or in between), then you're saying you WANT the goal to move. If you translate the value for BOTH keys, so they still have the same position and rotational values, then the goal will still stay fixed between the keys.

Eric

The bottom line is that as soon as you move that goal at some point if you want it to stick which is probably most of the time you have to go into the graph editor and make the keys linear or adjust the tension.

Things will absolutely lock in IKB if done properly just like with locking goals when using fulltime IK.

You dont have to select each node and bake them one at a time. You CAN multiselect them or set and use bakespots as dodgy mentioned. Also the bones only in that IK chain get baked. In other words up to the first IKStop.
Again, to absolutely lock any IK Goals you have to manually do it in the graph editor and its way more tedious then how IKBoost allows. IKB also allows FK control at the same time as IK control and its changeable on the fly.

With this system you can lock and part of the rig that is making contact with a surface only for as long as you want or need. You cant do that with the standard IK system without creating some messy uber rig. IKBoost allows you to change your rig on the fly to allow you to do anything with it.

Jin,
LOL! C'mon man youre so eager to shoot down IKB without knowing it at all and taking what eric says as gospel when its obvious hes not that familiar with it. :)

SplineGod
09-26-2007, 10:42 PM
Even if you're willing to go through all the baking and whatnot, looking at any of the videos that have been posted about this makes it necessary to apply a fairly loose interpretation to the word "rigidly" Under just the right circumstances, it may look fairly fixed, but it's still not perfectly still. Under the wrong circumstances, it's just unacceptable.



That statement doesn't make any sense. If you have two keys at different times with the exact same position and rotation values, with the tention of both keys set to 1, that goal will not move between those keys. If you move the goal at one of those keyframes (or in between), then you're saying you WANT the goal to move. If you translate the value for BOTH keys, so they still have the same position and rotational values, then the goal will still stay fixed between the keys.

Eric

The bottom line is that as soon as you move that goal at some point if you want it to stick which is probably most of the time you have to go into the graph editor and make the keys linear or adjust the tension.

Things will absolutely lock in IKB if done properly just like with locking goals when using fulltime IK.

You dont have to select each node and bake them one at a time. You CAN multiselect them or set and use bakespots as dodgy mentioned. Also the bones only in that IK chain get baked. In other words up to the first IKStop.
Again, to absolutely lock any IK Goals you have to manually do it in the graph editor and its way more tedious then how IKBoost allows. IKB also allows FK control at the same time as IK control and its changeable on the fly.

With this system you can lock and part of the rig that is making contact with a surface only for as long as you want or need. You cant do that with the standard IK system without creating some messy uber rig. IKBoost allows you to change your rig on the fly to allow you to do anything with it.

Jin,
LOL! C'mon man youre so eager to shoot down IKB without knowing it at all and taking what eric says as gospel when its obvious hes not that familiar with it. The process of locking stuff down is very simple and again, something you ultimately worry about when finalizing the animation.

jin choung
09-26-2007, 11:22 PM
larry, you have to lighten up.

read my words. what did i say? i ASKED FOR CONFIRMATION. i wasn't ready to condemn anything, i was ASKING, is this in fact so?

and YOU should take a look at colin's video too... it's pretty involved. so are you saying that it's not that involved? even if he flawlessly performed the steps from beginning to end, it looks like a lot of steps to me.

jin

jin choung
09-26-2007, 11:24 PM
p.s.

y'know, out of sheer curiosity, how would YOU answer the question posed in the title of the thread larry?

jin

ericsmith
09-27-2007, 12:51 AM
The bottom line is that as soon as you move that goal at some point if you want it to stick which is probably most of the time you have to go into the graph editor and make the keys linear or adjust the tension.

Okay, so you're just saying that it has to be done, not that you have to re-flatten your curves every time you make an adjustment.


Things will absolutely lock in IKB if done properly just like with locking goals when using fulltime IK.

You dont have to select each node and bake them one at a time. You CAN multiselect them or set and use bakespots as dodgy mentioned. Also the bones only in that IK chain get baked. In other words up to the first IKStop.
Again, to absolutely lock any IK Goals you have to manually do it in the graph editor and its way more tedious then how IKBoost allows. IKB also allows FK control at the same time as IK control and its changeable on the fly.

I just tested, and it's true that you can select all four nodes and bake them in one pass. But do you really think it's more tedious to select a couple of keys in graph editor and slide the tention to 1 than to:

1. Select the four nodes
2. make sure that the mode is set to "current item" (when you go into IKboost mode, it defaults to parent. I'm not sure what the benefits/downsides are of each mode, but I'm assuming you might switch around somewhere in the course of the animation)
3. right click and drag in the space above the timeline for the range you want to bake
4. select "bake" from the popup menu that appears
5. hit okay in the "bake keys" dialog that comes up

That seems pretty tedious to me, and unlike a full time IK goal, you have to re-do it any time you adjust anything up the hierarchy.

I simply do not buy that it's acceptable to let a character's feet swish all over the place until the animation has been signed off and is ready to render.

Eric

Sil3
09-27-2007, 03:07 AM
I simply do not buy that it's acceptable to let a character's feet swish all over the place until the animation has been signed off and is ready to render.

Eric

It is not... even on roughs and initial blocking, thats why Animators use Constant (Stepped) Keys to prevent that and only show the Timmings of the Poses to a Director/Client etc etc... sliding items are a distraction and dont help at all in visualize Poses and Timmings.

Anyway, being on topic here:

A nice way to improve CA in LW is to copy a Messiah feature that makes all our Curves Constant (Stepped) or like they used to be at a press of a button, we dont need to select all of them first and make them Constant (Stepped) and later on select them all again and convert them to Splines or TCB, its a great feature I wish was available in all Animation Softwares really.

omeone
09-27-2007, 03:27 AM
I simply do not buy that it's acceptable to let a character's feet swish all over the place until the animation has been signed off and is ready to render.

Eric

Nobody would disagree with that.
There about 4 different workflows you can choose from, all of which have been posted here or on the IKB site, all of which have no problems. And each person who actually uses IKB has their own preferred way again, just like people using full-time IK have their own workflow (stepped keys, pencil shooter etc), indeed the pencil-shooter workflow would be the exact same whether using IKB or traditional IK.

jin choung
09-27-2007, 03:35 AM
oooh,

this is interesting:

http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16722

start with the first video and continue if you like... it seems this guy can indeed move the chars cog around with the feet fixed....

looks promising. if this was not possible, it def would've been a deal breaker.

jin

jin choung
09-27-2007, 03:50 AM
hmmm, also check out the explanation video the guy posts after someone asks him how he does it... pretty illuminating.

it seems it is two clicks to fix a foot with toes... not bad.

it would be nice to be able to make an external controller object that you can just click and the foot's frozen but two clicks ain't bad.

actually, is it possible to make a script that would feed into the ikbooster menus? just make a "front end" for repetitive actions might be a good thing for a rig.

jin

Dodgy
09-27-2007, 04:53 AM
Apparently Ino did start writing an sdk for IKB, but I don't know how far he got with it, I'm currently trying to find out.

ben martin
09-27-2007, 07:35 AM
There's no doubt that the RIG/Weight and Anim should all be an integrated process in Layout…
It's a pain switching over and over between Modeler and Layout to fix weight maps and yada…yada..yada..

I'm starting to believe that Modeler and Layout should be merged in one aplication.
Maybe two top buttons MODELER / LAYOUT mode selection but the stage (area work) remains exactly the same!

Sil3
09-27-2007, 07:57 AM
I'm starting to believe that Modeler and Layout should be merged in one aplication.


Only now? :D

ben martin
09-27-2007, 08:07 AM
Only now? :D
Better latter than never! :hat:

SplineGod
09-27-2007, 08:13 AM
Id suggest then that you check out Jeff Lews animation DVDs.
He uses Animation Master which is one of the best CA tools around.
It also uses keyframe modes just like IKB. He also animates on 3s or 4s BEFORE he finalizes (ie locks everything down). Thats a lot of work regardless of what you use. By that time as Colin pointed out you dont have to do much locking.
Jeff also points out how difficult it is to redo finalized animation because whats locked down is difficult to unlock and reedit. The methods he describes to fix animation thats been finalized is the exact same thing you can do in IKBoost.
On something like a walk cycle you can set bake spots that remember when and where youll have to finalize. Those can be readjusted, shorted, lengthened, moved etc at anytime before finalizing AND left in place in case you do have to reedit and refinalize.
Dodgy pointed out that you can also rebake all those bake spots at once at the same time. Im sorry but Im intimately familiar with the older way of doing things in LW and it doesnt hold a candle to IKBoost.
You also havent even explored the tools that allow you to copy poses/motions immediately between whole characters or parts of characters. You can mirror poses and motions. You can readily splice motions into the middle of animations. You can slide the timing on a whole rig or parts of rig using those keyframe modes without having to open a dopesheet or leave the interface. You can save out a whole rig or part of a rig with all the IKB control intact, split, add, or remove bones and all the IKB controls are intact.
You can complete and totally change your rig on the fly.
Again, the old way of rigging in LW cannot touch any of this.

alifx
09-27-2007, 08:41 AM
Alifx,
How would you define "best"?
sorry :)
what I mean actually is I would like to watch a video from you that shows a fully rigged character with IK-Boost IF you have/could.
:)

I'm maybe interested to have some of IK-Boost tutorials ;)

ericsmith
09-27-2007, 10:06 AM
this is interesting:

http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16722

start with the first video and continue if you like... it seems this guy can indeed move the chars cog around with the feet fixed....

looks promising. if this was not possible, it def would've been a deal breaker.

I could say it myself, but I'll let the guy that created those videos say it.


I have abandoned the use of IK-Booster to animate characters.
I hold good IK_booster to put in laying of the characters, but complicated to animate them.


Id suggest then that you check out Jeff Lews animation DVDs.
He uses Animation Master which is one of the best CA tools around.
It also uses keyframe modes just like IKB. He also animates on 3s or 4s BEFORE he finalizes (ie locks everything down). Thats a lot of work regardless of what you use. By that time as Colin pointed out you dont have to do much locking.

I have that video, and I just double checked some of your points.

1. He uses full time IK on the legs
2. He uses graph editor to flatten the curves early in the animation process

I could be wrong, but I suspect that you've only watched the 30 min demo, and are drawing conclusions based on your own preconcieved notions.

The only similarity I see to IKBoost in Animation master is that it seems to have a part-time IK system. But while he's actually animating, he almost always rotates the bones in the torso and arms one at a time with ordinary FK. And I never saw anything remotely like IKB style "keyframe modes" (ie. parent, child, current item).

He does talk about switchable IK/FK. Not like IKB, but keyframeable, with a slider. Just like the traditional IK/FK systems in Maya or whatever. There was similar discussion about keyframeable constraints.

He also says, and I quote "The graph editor is one of the most important tools in character animation. So pay very careful attention 'cause you will live in the graph editor."


Jeff also points out how difficult it is to redo finalized animation because whats locked down is difficult to unlock and reedit. The methods he describes to fix animation thats been finalized is the exact same thing you can do in IKBoost.

Can you tell me where in the video it says that? I don't recall anything like that, and his actual animation session completely contradicts what you said.


You also havent even explored the tools that allow you to copy poses/motions immediately between whole characters or parts of characters. You can mirror poses and motions. You can readily splice motions into the middle of animations. You can slide the timing on a whole rig or parts of rig using those keyframe modes without having to open a dopesheet or leave the interface. You can save out a whole rig or part of a rig with all the IKB control intact, split, add, or remove bones and all the IKB controls are intact.
You can complete and totally change your rig on the fly.

All of this is nice, but totally irrellevant to the discussion of whether or not you can actually create good animation using IKB (rather than just good poses). Remember, if you use a hybrid rig, with full time IK for the legs, for example, then none of these features will apply to the IK goals.

Eric

omeone
09-27-2007, 10:19 AM
I could say it myself, but I'll let the guy that created those videos say it.
Aside form the fact the guy was obviously just beginning with IKB and doing some pretty wasteful things... if you actually read on, the reason he abandoned it was because Newtek broke IKB when they released 9.2 (fixed again in 9.3) ...

ericsmith
09-27-2007, 10:43 AM
Actually, from what he said, it was version 9.0 that broke his rig from 8.5.

But he specifically stated that he enjoyed posing with IKB, but animating was "complicated". Then he went on to say that later versions of LW broke his original rig. To say that he gave up on IKB because of the latter statement doesn't seem very logical.

Eric

StOuen
09-27-2007, 10:52 AM
It's a pain switching over and over between Modeler and Layout to fix weight maps and yada…yada..yada..!

Thats what I like about Messiah, just click on the setup tab and off you go. Mid-stream.

SplineGod
09-27-2007, 02:48 PM
sorry :)
what I mean actually is I would like to watch a video from you that shows a fully rigged character with IK-Boost IF you have/could.
:)

I'm maybe interested to have some of IK-Boost tutorials ;)

I can show it to you in realtime when you have the chance. Let me know.
Ive shown several other animators IKB this way and theyre very excited about what it can do. :)

jin choung
09-27-2007, 11:08 PM
"I have abandoned the use of IK-Booster to animate characters.
I hold good IK_booster to put in laying of the characters, but complicated to animate them.

[now, onto a different topic]

I concern [concerning or regarding] to YOUR [referring to previous message reply about someone ELSE'S issue] problem, I have noticed some differences with the new version of lightwave, the rigg it doesn't work anymore. "

brackets mine to clarify the language in extreme cases.

so yes, his personal evaluation is that IKB is complicated for character animation. there is no CAUSAL relationship with a new version of lw breaking something.

colin, you seem to think he's just getting started and that's your call to make. so you can chalk up his evaluation to his inexperience...

but he is dismissing it for animation.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

regarding his videos, later on when he starts using the finger sliders, not sure whether it's the screen recording or what but there is some nasty slowdown... if it's not blameable on the camtasia software, it's probably not a problem related to ikb alone but that is definitely an issue with lw animation - speed.

alrighty...

sooooo.... still not seeing anything transcendent....

jin

Nitisara
09-28-2007, 04:50 AM
Transferrable weightmaps !!!!

Please look here - specially for you I published my plugin to do that!
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74356

Ztreem
09-28-2007, 04:54 AM
I think one of the biggest thing for LW CA animation would be a speed boost in the deformation area, if we could animate a middle or high detail SubD character in real time, it would make LW CA animation 100 times better. Of course this will not make LW Awesome at CA but it would make it a good start.

LW_Will
09-28-2007, 07:48 AM
People from the LA Users Group have started a Yahoo Group about IK Boost, the ways to get it to work consistently, and the workflows to make it work.

the location is http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/LWIKBOOST/


Disclaimer:

This group has been started and is solely administered by Will Harrison (LW_Will) and not the LA LW Users Group...

Sorry about that Jessica.

Another disclaimer...

Yes, the discussion group was started by myself and others at the meeting and expresses my opinions and the views of those who joined said group. It is not affiliated with the LALWUG in any way.

I apologies if this impression was implied by my posts.

LW_Will
09-28-2007, 08:16 AM
I had to giggle little when I read that! :) Cool to hear people "outside" the LW-arena attends the usergroup meetings. I must admit that I have not tried IK-booster that much. I was trying it with dynamics, but I ended up using ClothFX driving bones instead.

Well... these guys aren't exactly "outside people" but are individuals trying either to find a program that can help them in their companies, or persons who've used LW in the past, know of its power and ease of use, and really want to find out the cutting edge of the program. They are all long standing members in the LWUG.


I don't doubt the power within IK-Boost, but it seems just too many people have a hard time using it (myself included) that I doubt it is as intuitive as some people claim it to be. Maybe it is because I'm used to do do rigging/animation in another package these days that makes it hard to grasp how to work with IK-Boost.

Look. It does. Plain and simple. I've done it, I actually did. A stable rig. I was shocked when I did do it...

See, I'm a beginner at animation, and i was going to hold back my rig for a while, but you know what? I'm going to place my rigged skeleton into the IK Boost Yahoo Group's file area by Saturday at 2pm PDT (9/29/2007).

Take it out, look at it, and experiment with it a while. Please.

If you think that this can't work, or is a toy, or a bloody work around, fine. But it is not. It is the Rosetta stone. It is a more powerful way to do animation in Lightwave than in other programs.

We just have to make the documentation something humans can understand.

When I was watching the demo from Larry, I immediately thought of a system that it reminded me of... not the rigging in Maya, Max or XSI but of MANNEQUIN, the PIXAR system of animation.

Just the ability to change the points of baking and bindings, each key frame by key frame, gives you immense power.

Okay... come on over to http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/LWIKBOOST/ join up, look at the rig and laugh at me. ;-)

LW_Will
09-28-2007, 08:37 AM
I don't think 'built in' is quite right- IKB looks and feels like a third party tool grafted on.

No. Its a plug-in. Just like most of the tools we regularly use... wait, maybe most of them.


In way, the whole thing is dead anyway, since the guy who created it has left NT, and no else there seems to understand it- at least no one else seems able to document it's use beyond simple descriptions of what the buttons do.

Motion Mixer, another Ito-san's creation, is alive and well... and a plug-in too. CelShader (Jen) has done extensive work in this area and has the docs for MM about 85-95% done. It is do able and understandable... which I think was Splinegod's take on the whole IK Boost tool... ;-)


Also, how credible is it, really, that Newtek have this truly innovative CA tool just sitting there collecting dust while the majority of it's user base clamour for improved CA tools?

I'm reminded by the old joke about the country that didn't have ice anymore because the man with the formula had died.

Newtek doesn't understand what they have. You don't understand what you've got on your workstation. Hell, I don't know what I have in my MacBook Pro... but I'm learning. Try it, you might like it.


The underlaying premise seems to be that most users are too stupid or lazy to employ the solution right under their noses, which again does not seem really credible. If IKB really was the magic bullet of CA I think it would have become a lot more popular than it is now.

No. I'm not saying you, me, Newtek, or any other of the users are stupid or lazy. I'm saying that if you want new CA tools, first look at ALL the tools you have. If you can't use them, that's fine, but at least look at them.

A lot of the tools that are asked for are automatic... press a button and you get a rigged character. Or, better still, they give you a character ready made. Great, wonderful, fine...

My Sensei, Josh Tsui, used to say something like, "Don't bother look for the FIRE button, 'cus even if you use it its going to look like pre-made fire."

So, don't look for those automatic rigging tools, you have a general purpose IK tool right there in your tool box.

At least try it before you throw it away.

LW_Will
09-28-2007, 08:56 AM
How Lightwave CA tools can be improved:

Take the IKBoost core and expand it to be accessable under the other panels (motion modifier, bone properties). That way, the process can be understood better.

BUT keep the conext menu for those who want faster access once they understand it better. Best of both worlds!


IK Boost is NOT a bone tool.

IK Boost is an IK tool... ANY set of ANYTHING in a hierarchy will work with it.

omeone
09-28-2007, 09:23 AM
I have abandoned the use of IK-Booster to animate characters.
I hold good IK_booster to put in laying of the characters, but complicated to animate them.

[now, onto a different topic]

I concern [concerning or regarding] to YOUR [referring to previous message reply about someone ELSE'S issue] problem, I have noticed some differences with the new version of lightwave, the rigg it doesn't work anymore. "

brackets mine to clarify the language in extreme cases.

so yes, his personal evaluation is that IKB is complicated for character animation. there is no CAUSAL relationship with a new version of lw breaking something.

colin, you seem to think he's just getting started and that's your call to make. so you can chalk up his evaluation to his inexperience...

but he is dismissing it for animation.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

regarding his videos, later on when he starts using the finger sliders, not sure whether it's the screen recording or what but there is some nasty slowdown... if it's not blameable on the camtasia software, it's probably not a problem related to ikb alone but that is definitely an issue with lw animation - speed.

alrighty...

sooooo.... still not seeing anything transcendent....


Exactly! if he's using sliders with IKB (which are shyte all the time, btw), then he's doing nothing more than pre-basic experimentation... stage 1 of IKB understanding, like most poeple he didnt get past that stage - can't blame him for that, and reasons are well documented (or not, if you know what I mean)

Just to go back on the thing we were talking abut earlier: Set Driven Key. I was thinking about it, I am familar with the phrase and there is a motion modifier for LW by the same name. Maybe I was trying to avoid the phrase incase it caused confusion, can't remeber to be honest. I know i struggled long and hard with the whole BoosterLink concept, even after Dodgy explaining it to me twice!

It is the case for all my videos on ikboost.com, they were not meant to be definitive instructional video, but to promote discussion in order to develop 'best-practice'... since it became imposssible to have those discussions here. I didnt make that aspect clear at the time, and it is still not clear... but hey, live and learn.

Also you mentioned the Glued_Feet video looked 'laboured' (or words to that effect). I'll just make the point that it was made for informational purposes, not a live recording of someone 'at work'. And wouldn't you draw out every last detail, if you had tried to explain it on forums dozens of times before and it constantly fell on deaf ears?! :)

Mike_RB
09-28-2007, 11:32 AM
Motion Mixer, another Ito-san's creation, is alive and well...

Motion mixer was written by Mark Brown.

jin choung
09-28-2007, 11:42 AM
When I was watching the demo from Larry, I immediately thought of a system that it reminded me of... not the rigging in Maya, Max or XSI but of MANNEQUIN, the PIXAR system of animation.


sorry but you're not beginning the presentation of your case with a blinding degree of credibility here...

you mean Marionette?

so that begs the question, how well do you know marionette to make such a statement?

jin

Wonderpup
09-28-2007, 12:49 PM
Newtek doesn't understand what they have

So instead they decide to create a whole new Character animation system. Would it not be cheaper and quicker just to buy Larry's training on IKB and get up to speed on their own product?


I just find this idea really hard to take seriously. But if it is true then IKB is dead anyway, since there is no one around able to develop it.

cresshead
09-28-2007, 01:48 PM
it's been a heck of a read about ikbooster...i was so stoked with the mini demo's that were shown before lw8 shipped..seemed that IKB was a stormingly cool tool but when it shipped in lw8 we had no idea how to use it...ususally you'd have a go and tug a hand the when whole characterwould spin out of control into a tangled mess...then you'd go ..Hmmm...not so cool really! and leave it at that.

i bought a ikbooster vid from larry waaay back and some of the stuff in that was good but i never really got the hang of ikbooster at that time...now there's a new vid out i'm wondering what new stuff is in there compared to his first video on it...

i get the feeling it can deliver but i'm wondering just how convaluted the steps are to animating a character with ikbooster and also how different it is compared to the helpful videos over on ikbooster.com which whilst they do deliver soem good animation it's far from an intuative workflow.

currently it seems that larry has 'discovered' some good workflows with ikbooster that's got himself quite excited and ready to defend the capability
of lightwave up against other apps.

mind you with all of this it's just been 'talk' so far...i'd like to see some results
before i schedule a week buying/learning ikbooster for a second time!

steve g

LW_Will
09-28-2007, 02:13 PM
sorry but you're not beginning the presentation of your case with a blinding degree of credibility here...

you mean Marionette?

so that begs the question, how well do you know marionette to make such a statement?

jin


Yes, Jin, I mistyped... please, never listen to a thing I say, ever.

LW_Will
09-28-2007, 02:18 PM
So instead they decide to create a whole new Character animation system. Would it not be cheaper and quicker just to buy Larry's training on IKB and get up to speed on their own product?


I just find this idea really hard to take seriously. But if it is true then IKB is dead anyway, since there is no one around able to develop it.


Pup, Newtek didn't decide to make a new IK system, Ito-san made it. By some fluke of nature we now have it.

But, they aren't going to develop for it until we start telling them that we want it. You'd be surprised how many things are developed after the first architects have left the project. Look at... aw, skip it...

LW_Will
09-28-2007, 02:23 PM
it's been a heck of a read about ikbooster...i was so stoked with the mini demo's that were shown before lw8 shipped..seemed that IKB was a stormingly cool tool but when it shipped in lw8 we had no idea how to use it...ususally you'd have a go and tug a hand the when whole characterwould spin out of control into a tangled mess...then you'd go ..Hmmm...not so cool really! and leave it at that.

i bought a ikbooster vid from larry waaay back and some of the stuff in that was good but i never really got the hang of ikbooster at that time...now there's a new vid out i'm wondering what new stuff is in there compared to his first video on it...

i get the feeling it can deliver but i'm wondering just how convaluted the steps are to animating a character with ikbooster and also how different it is compared to the helpful videos over on ikbooster.com which whilst they do deliver soem good animation it's far from an intuative workflow.

currently it seems that larry has 'discovered' some good workflows with ikbooster that's got himself quite excited and ready to defend the capability
of lightwave up against other apps.

mind you with all of this it's just been 'talk' so far...i'd like to see some results
before i schedule a week buying/learning ikbooster for a second time!

steve g

I thought this was an interesting, if a bit academic, demo... when Larry started to talk about IKB in relation to MotionBuilder. Very interested. Most of the capabilties, no real time engine, but none of the character building.

Take a character in a pre-Motion Builder scene, go through and simplify the object (take out the "roll" bones) and try your character. It is simpler than it looks... honest.

ericsmith
09-28-2007, 02:34 PM
Yes, Jin, I mistyped... please, never listen to a thing I say, ever.

Well, you have to understand that the entire statement seemed a bit dicey. First, Marionette has been kept pretty private. All most people know about it are from a few quick screen shots in "making of's" on Pixar DVDs.

So how would you know that IKB's workflow looks like Marionette? The fact is, what little we've seen indicates that Marionette is a mostly slider based interface. And their rigs are so complex that for The Incredibles, they could only afford to articulate one background character, and all the additional background characters were morphed from that one. Additionally, one animator asked for the ability to wiggle one of the character's ears. The rigging department eventually gave him what he wanted, but they originally said they couldn't afford it. And this is Pixar we're talking about, not some tight-fisted under the gun studio for hire. The point I'm trying to make is that from the little evidence we have, it seems highly unlikely that Pixar's proprietary system is anything like IK boost, or even most conventional rigging solutions. But only a few insiders really know.

Additionally, you stated that Ino developed Motion Mixer. I don't think that was a simple typo. You got the facts wrong. It's starting to look like a pattern.

So instead of being snyde with those who call you on issues like this, you might want to take the high road (ie. apologize for the mistake, and move on). Reputation is a valuable commodity in this business, and easily damaged.

Eric

Morbius
09-28-2007, 02:50 PM
Does anyone even use LW for character animation anymore? I think most people have moved on already. Except for the few that just use it for a hobby to make some silly animations to show friends on YouTube.

I'd love to see some new character animations done in LW, but I think pretty much everyone that was serious about it has moved on to other apps like Maya and XSI.

It's a shame but even Modo is moving beyond LW. In a couple versions when they finally start adding their animation features LW will be pretty much dead, if it isn't already.

I certainly hope someone can prove me wrong, but beside 300 I haven't heard anything about LW these days.

adamredwoods
09-28-2007, 02:56 PM
currently it seems that larry has 'discovered' some good workflows with ikbooster that's got himself quite excited and ready to defend the capability
of lightwave up against other apps.

steve g

Steve you may have a point. I think the secret to IKBoost may be the workflow and how to THINK about the rig as you're working with it. In that case, just experimenting with it may not change anyone's mind on the tool.

Workflow example would be, IKBoost you work directly with the bones. With LW's old IK, (and the plugin I'm developing RigMaster), one assigns a nullshape to a set of bones, so the nullshape is the handle you animate, not the bones. It's a different thought process.

Different strokes for different folks.

Ztreem
09-28-2007, 02:57 PM
Morbius: Because you havn't heard something doesn't mean it's dead. I use it so it's not dead for me, but who cares I don't do cool character animations for feature films. A lot of people use it and some even do character animation with it, so it's not dead.

Morbius
09-28-2007, 02:58 PM
Morbius: Because you havn't heard something doesn't mean it dead. I use it so it's not dead for me, but who cares I don't do cool character animations for feature films. A lot of people use it and some even do character animation with it, so it's not dead.

Links?

Ztreem
09-28-2007, 03:44 PM
No, not really. I just know what I've read and seen here and at other forums and at newtek's siggraph videos. Here's a link to some nice CA work done with LW. Nothing special, it just shows that it's not impossible to do CA in LW. http://www.rebelhill.net/csm_reel_07.mov

If it suits your needs or not it's up to you, I just said that it's not dead. As long as people use the software it's not dead, even if they are all hobbyists it's not dead, as long as development continues it's not dead. that's all.

Morbius
09-28-2007, 05:09 PM
No, not really. I just know what I've read and seen here and at other forums and at newtek's siggraph videos. Here's a link to some nice CA work done with LW. Nothing special, it just shows that it's not impossible to do CA in LW. http://www.rebelhill.net/csm_reel_07.mov

If it suits your needs or not it's up to you, I just said that it's not dead. As long as people use the software it's not dead, even if they are all hobbyists it's not dead, as long as development continues it's not dead. that's all.

No, that is a nice video. I'd certainly like to see a place to get some recent how-to's on character animation in LW. Most stuff I've seen is way out of date.

Auger
09-28-2007, 07:56 PM
Links?

This link is to a show called "The Moodsters": http://youtube.com/watch?v=GI023TsrvII

All the animation was done in LightWave at Wet Cement. LW8.5 was, in fact, used. Rendered in 9.

Jon

LW_Will
09-28-2007, 08:58 PM
Well, you have to understand that the entire statement seemed a bit dicey. First, Marionette has been kept pretty private. All most people know about it are from a few quick screen shots in "making of's" on Pixar DVDs.

So how would you know that IKB's workflow looks like Marionette? The fact is, what little we've seen indicates that Marionette is a mostly slider based interface. And their rigs are so complex that for The Incredibles, they could only afford to articulate one background character, and all the additional background characters were morphed from that one. Additionally, one animator asked for the ability to wiggle one of the character's ears. The rigging department eventually gave him what he wanted, but they originally said they couldn't afford it. And this is Pixar we're talking about, not some tight-fisted under the gun studio for hire. The point I'm trying to make is that from the little evidence we have, it seems highly unlikely that Pixar's proprietary system is anything like IK boost, or even most conventional rigging solutions. But only a few insiders really know.

Additionally, you stated that Ino developed Motion Mixer. I don't think that was a simple typo. You got the facts wrong. It's starting to look like a pattern.

So instead of being snyde with those who call you on issues like this, you might want to take the high road (ie. apologize for the mistake, and move on). Reputation is a valuable commodity in this business, and easily damaged.

Eric

Wait a minute.

Both you and Jin stated that my premis was shaky and my reasoning was bad. I told him to go away and I took the low road?

How is that a bad... no, wait. Don't answer that. You'll get on your high horse and Jin will support it and I'll feel bad and send another missive and it will all keep going.

So... that's it.

jin choung
09-28-2007, 10:38 PM
...

anyhoo...

adam, rigmaster looks incredible. do you have release date and other info on it?

also, can you talk about the "other features"?

for me, what would be of prime importance is the ability to quickly, easily and accurately (perhaps with somekind of snap to a reference vertex or something) the rotation axes of skels.... the lollipop things in modeler are horrible and basically, you're eyeballing it... hate that.

one nice feature in a free auto-rigger for maya is that you can select 3 joints and it will figure out a PLANE that those 3 joints define - then, on a selected joint, you can align one of the axes to lie on that plane.

this is perfect for something like elbows and knees when the character is not built in a perfect T-POSE. you absolutely want that forearm or shin to bend back onto the bicep/thigh... not go off on an angle and this solves that problem perfectly.

jin

Carm3D
09-29-2007, 03:39 AM
I used Lightwave to animate a 30 second spot with a four-legged cartoon character. I can't show it yet tho. :hey:

DiedonD
09-29-2007, 03:57 AM
I dont have any other 3D app but LW. Except very rarely I use Blender. And Im in the middle of a one hour cartoon movie. So Im a living proof that it works in animation, good enough for me. Besides.... I own a copy of MAESTRO :cool:

Ztreem
09-29-2007, 04:21 AM
No, that is a nice video. I'd certainly like to see a place to get some recent how-to's on character animation in LW. Most stuff I've seen is way out of date.

A good tip, is to download a rig from this thread at spinquad and play around.http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12458

jin choung
09-29-2007, 04:51 AM
i don't think the issue is whether lw is dead. clearly it's not. and even - clearly it's not for character animation. though i can't think of ONE truly outstanding piece of lw character animation in a movie.

and the point isn't really that things CAN'T BE DONE.

with the current generation of software, with enough blood, sweat and tears, pretty much ANYTHING can be done in ANY PACKAGE, from carrara and truespace to maya and everything in between.

but that's like saying that you can go anywhere on a bike that you can with a car. that's true but it's not really the issue. it's not illuminating.

it's like saying you could do the LOTR trilogy with truespace. that's true. it really is. but you would have several dozen fatalities (a couple by ritual suicide) and twice as many wounded with a campaign lasting as long as all the crusades combined.

the issue is not mere ability. we're beyond that. the issue is how easy the ride is. and what's the scale of the trip that you can reasonably expect to make?

jin

p.s. RE: ikb... i still haven't seen anything that says to me that it is a BETTER way to do character animation. see, the thing is, what i hear a lot is that it is capable. but is it BETTER? in this day and age and at this level of technology, who needs MERELY DIFFERENT? personally, i want better.

jin choung
09-29-2007, 05:00 AM
but i'm still lookin... so ztreem, off the top of your head, does that link have any good ikb rigs that might be worth checking out?

jin

Ztreem
09-29-2007, 05:31 AM
jin: I agree with you that LW isn't as easy as it could be when doing CA and a lot of other things, but it's useable. It allways depends on the situation your in, if it works or not. :)

I don't think there is any IK booster rigs in that thread only ordinary IK FK rigs.

cresshead
09-29-2007, 06:03 AM
as great as the thread on the AM rigs with plg ik are over on spinquad...and they ARE really cool rigs yet i'm still lookng for better workflows...

what we have with lightwave base and all of these free plugins/scripts/expressions are a 'collection' of tools that when brought together can construct a somewhat useful character rig along the lines of what you can get in maya/xsi/max etc.

but [didn't ya just KNOW they'd be a b.u.t]
but it's lile constructing a car from scratch everytime when all you want to really do is drive the car..not 'make a car' for every trip you have in mind each trip...[trip=character]
i'm looking for a drag drop base solution that has
1.a drag out biped rig
2.pose copy paste/mirror pose
3.animation layers
4.mo cap import and key reduction
5.footstep driven capabilities or motion path capabilities
6.non linear editor
7.corrective mesh deformation based on a lattice or control points
8.proxy mesh for bones like that of biped/max but in lw.
9.saving rigs
10. saving character animation to drop onto other characters..

and all tied together in one character animation interface/workflow

DiedonD
09-29-2007, 06:43 AM
as great as the thread on the AM rigs with plg ik are over on spinquad...and they ARE really cool rigs yet i'm still lookng for better workflows...

what we have with lightwave base and all of these free plugins/scripts/expressions are a 'collection' of tools that when brought together can construct a somewhat useful character rig along the lines of what you can get in maya/xsi/max etc.

but [didn't ya just KNOW they'd be a b.u.t]
but it's lile constructing a car from scratch everytime when all you want to really do is drive the car..not 'make a car' for every trip you have in mind each trip...[trip=character]
i'm looking for a drag drop base solution that has
1.a drag out biped rig
2.pose copy paste/mirror pose
3.animation layers
4.mo cap import and key reduction
5.footstep driven capabilities or motion path capabilities
6.non linear editor
7.corrective mesh deformation based on a lattice or control points
8.proxy mesh for bones like that of biped/max but in lw.
9.saving rigs
10. saving character animation to drop onto other characters..

and all tied together in one character animation interface/workflow

I think out here, they would say "Would you like french fries, music and a vacation trip ticket with that?" :)

Ive been thinking these days. And the ease of doing animation seems to be a problem for certain things. See, the more easier it is, it usually means less involvement. Less energy, less time and concentration to do the deed. But lets say some app gets up there, that does it all for you. And your inolvement on a movie is lets say 5% only. Would you really be satisfied with that? I know some of you are just ready to answer to that question with "HELLL YEAAHHH, WAHOOOO, WHERE IS IT?!". But ask yourselves this. Realistically speaking, whose is it?!

If you were involved on a project only for 5%. And now the product is already there, then whose is it?! Didnt the computer did almost everything for you?! Some might say "Well its the idea that counts", but then it may as well be just that. Do we want that? Just give an idea and have the computer do almost everything else? I dont. I want more involvement.

The way this logic is going... I mean, pushing it further and further, making it all the more easier, and easier. Its all beeing done to our inolvements cost. Which is a two edged sword. And its good for commercial use, I guess. Earn by other peoples wants, that if the above spoken technology was available, they either didnt know about it, or lacked even that 5% skill and time. But man, it bleeds you to death, knowing that alot is beeing accomplished from the computer on this project that your doing from your heart.

ben martin
09-29-2007, 06:52 AM
People,

I’m following this thread and I was trying to refrain myself from post in it again and repeat myself on Lightwave CA subject.
Anyway, I must say that I’m pretty sure that in the end we all agree that Lightwave can be used for CA but we must be real about the issues and not suffer from club(ism).

Lightwave CA / IKB are not even used in fast reliable production pipelines.
Is it powerfully? On its own terms, it might be!
Is it reliable? Dunno, never seen anything massive coming from it!
Is it worth to learn? Maybe, if better documented and granted the continuous development.
Is it a standard? No! It is not for sure!
Can you foreseen professional animators starting to use it? Truly, I don’t!

Now, am I happy with all that? Hell, NO!

I wish Lightwave could let me apply bvh motion files as easy as Motion Builder allows.
I wish I could pose a character so fast and user friendly as MAESTRO allows!
I wish I could set-up a very reliable RIG like XSi allows beside other things.

So I believe that in the end we all must realize that Lightwave can be used to CA but Newtek never developed a seriouse tool like presented in MAX Character Studio or Maya CA system or any other kind of CA specific block in the software.

Like in many areas, Lightwave seems to be based on external plug-ins and seems to be a patch of several small developments linked by wires… it’s not consistent!
My hope, (because I would like to keep using Lightwave) is that with this new 9 cycle (rewrite code) it can lead the program development “finally” to something compact that does not live based on appendices with a good CA system.

Otherwise I made a promise to myself that after 9 cycle (if this is not done) I’ll move to other solutions. I’m sure that like me there are also many Lightwavers thinking about this as well. I know some!

You can agree or disagree but in one sentence:
We all benefit from a decent structured, reliable, flexible, easy to setup, automated, fast editable CA Lightwave block of code (read TOOL).

Seems to me that we all should be together on this and present serious solutions to Newtek so they can learn what are our difficulties and problems, because keeping discussing the “Angels sex” like we are doing here it’ll be nothing but mere noise and personal convictions!

cresshead
09-29-2007, 07:09 AM
I think out here, they would say "Would you like french fries, music and a vacation trip ticket with that?" :)

Ive been thinking these days. And the ease of doing animation seems to be a problem for certain things. See, the more easier it is, it usually means less involvement. Less energy, less time and concentration to do the deed. But lets say some app gets up there, that does it all for you. And your inolvement on a movie is lets say 5% only. Would you really be satisfied with that? I know some of you are just ready to answer to that question with "HELLL YEAAHHH, WAHOOOO, WHERE IS IT?!". But ask yourselves this. Realistically speaking, whose is it?!

If you were involved on a project only for 5%. And now the product is already there, then whose is it?! Didnt the computer did almost everything for you?! Some might say "Well its the idea that counts", but then it may as well be just that. Do we want that? Just give an idea and have the computer do almost everything else? I dont. I want more involvement.

The way this logic is going... I mean, pushing it further and further, making it all the more easier, and easier. Its all beeing done to our inolvements cost. Which is a two edged sword. And its good for commercial use, I guess. Earn by other peoples wants, that if the above spoken technology was available, they either didnt know about it, or lacked even that 5% skill and time. But man, it bleeds you to death, knowing that alot is beeing accomplished from the computer on this project that your doing from your heart.

if 95% is learning expressions/equations and math just so a leg doesn't flip out and look 'poo' in lw when ALL ther major 3d competion applictions can just 'click-drag-done' then i'll ALWAYS go for the 'click-drag-done' appliction everytime:D

i want to 'tell/create stories' and not publish a white paper on inverse kinematic solvers and their relationship to binary constructs:hey:

i want to CREATE not get tied up in mental knots with reams of paper listing out how to create workarounds for shortcomings in software...i'd soon use software that has the tools rather than invent them myself for every scene.

toonafish
09-29-2007, 08:52 AM
The way this logic is going... I mean, pushing it further and further, making it all the more easier, and easier. Its all beeing done to our inolvements cost. Which is a two edged sword. And its good for commercial use, I guess. Earn by other peoples wants, that if the above spoken technology was available, they either didnt know about it, or lacked even that 5% skill and time. But man, it bleeds you to death, knowing that alot is beeing accomplished from the computer on this project that your doing from your heart.


I think you should start doing character animation in POVRay instead of Lightwave, now that will give you some serious satisfaction :D