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roger1972
01-27-2007, 11:44 AM
Hi! We are starting to rig characters for motions in our Viz projects, Is there some plugins or programs that works with LW that you would recomend?

Dodgy
01-27-2007, 01:02 PM
Have a look at my plugin page for some useful plugins, including an autoIK script.

roger1972
01-27-2007, 02:36 PM
Have a look at my plugin page for some useful plugins, including an autoIK script.

what about Maestro?

ericsmith
01-27-2007, 03:22 PM
I don't know if it's fair for me to give you my opinion on Maestro, but I think it's the best rigging and animation plugin available for Lightwave.

For archvis in particular, we've created some nice tools saving and loading poses and motions, so if you have one character walking through a scene, you could easily save that motion and apply it with offset (so everyone isn't moving in perfect unison) to several other characters.

I'll also let something out of the bag. We're putting the final touches on a walk generator. All you have to do is animate the feet moving along the ground, and then Maestro will fill in all the extra animation of foot rotation and roll, arm swing, etc. I'm hoping I can show some videos of it in action within the next week or so.

Eric

colkai
01-28-2007, 03:30 AM
I'll also let something out of the bag. We're putting the final touches on a walk generator.

Eric

Boo Yaah! - Snuck that one in didn't ya Eric? Can't wait to see this. :):thumbsup: :thumbsup:

roger1972
01-28-2007, 04:00 AM
I don't know if it's fair for me to give you my opinion on Maestro, but I think it's the best rigging and animation plugin available for Lightwave.

For archvis in particular, we've created some nice tools saving and loading poses and motions, so if you have one character walking through a scene, you could easily save that motion and apply it with offset (so everyone isn't moving in perfect unison) to several other characters.

I'll also let something out of the bag. We're putting the final touches on a walk generator. All you have to do is animate the feet moving along the ground, and then Maestro will fill in all the extra animation of foot rotation and roll, arm swing, etc. I'm hoping I can show some videos of it in action within the next week or so.

Eric

If I buy this thing now, is there a free upgrade to that walkgenerator?

dballesg
01-28-2007, 04:18 AM
I'll also let something out of the bag. We're putting the final touches on a walk generator. All you have to do is animate the feet moving along the ground, and then Maestro will fill in all the extra animation of foot rotation and roll, arm swing, etc. I'm hoping I can show some videos of it in action within the next week or so.

Eric


Hi eric,

When it was this supposed to be announced to the users of Maestro? ;)

Great news for me, looking forward to testing it! ;)

Best regards,
David

ericsmith
01-28-2007, 09:39 AM
If I buy this thing now, is there a free upgrade to that walkgenerator?

Yes.


Hi eric,

When it was this supposed to be announced to the users of Maestro?

Great news for me, looking forward to testing it!

Well, I hadn't planned a specific time to announce this, I was just going to post the videos when they were done. But when I saw this thread, I couldn't resist. So now I've got to get my butt in gear and wrap this thing up.

Eric

roger1972
01-28-2007, 09:48 AM
Yes.



Well, I hadn't planned a specific time to announce this, I was just going to post the videos when they were done. But when I saw this thread, I couldn't resist. So now I've got to get my butt in gear and wrap this thing up.

Eric

then you have yourself a new customer :-D

roger1972
01-28-2007, 10:04 AM
Sorry I'm a beginner at this Characteranim stuff, but could I make a walkcycle with this Maestro and make a Motionmixerfile of it and import it to 100 characters and put them into a exterior Viz, and make a 500 frames anim with people walking all over (linking them to particles etc) the place? that is what I have in mind.

ericsmith
01-28-2007, 11:02 AM
If I understand your question, then yes.

The thing to keep in mind is that the rigs (and animation) Maestro creates are all native LW. So you can do anything with a character animated with Maestro that you could do otherwise. The real core of Maestro is two things: first, a macro executer, where you can create macros including dozens or even hundreds of instructions, and Maestro will execute them with one click. The second is the control interface that allows you to animate any items or channels in Layout with a powerful multi-layer joystick style interface.

There's also a comprehensive dopesheet/dopetrack keyframe editor, but that's another topic alltogether.

Eric

Phil
01-28-2007, 11:19 AM
Eric - I'd actually like to see the dopesheet/dopetrack made slightly larger in the UI. It's a little tricky to work with fluidly because the buttons/gadgets are fairly tiny.

Regarding the walk generator, is that footstep based or something else? Is it part of Maestro, or a separate product?

roger1972
01-28-2007, 11:52 AM
If I understand your question, then yes.

The thing to keep in mind is that the rigs (and animation) Maestro creates are all native LW. So you can do anything with a character animated with Maestro that you could do otherwise. The real core of Maestro is two things: first, a macro executer, where you can create macros including dozens or even hundreds of instructions, and Maestro will execute them with one click. The second is the control interface that allows you to animate any items or channels in Layout with a powerful multi-layer joystick style interface.

There's also a comprehensive dopesheet/dopetrack keyframe editor, but that's another topic alltogether.

Eric

OK.. thats great... then I'm going to make a crowd or two very soon... :-)

ericsmith
01-28-2007, 02:57 PM
Eric - I'd actually like to see the dopesheet/dopetrack made slightly larger in the UI. It's a little tricky to work with fluidly because the buttons/gadgets are fairly tiny.

It was actually kind of a tricky balance. I've got dual 1600 x 1200 monitors, so I would have been happy making the interface bigger. But we knew there were people that would want to use Maestro on a 1024 x 768 laptop, so we tried to be as economical with space as we could be.


Regarding the walk generator, is that footstep based or something else? Is it part of Maestro, or a separate product?

It is part of Maestro, and the way it works is this: You animate the foot placement for the footsteps, and then there are buttons for right step and left step, and you simply click back and forth between them. These macros fill in all the animation for the foot lifting between steps, foot rotation, heel roll, arm swing, etc. There's even animatable controls to set how high each foot lifts in the step, as well as how far the arm swings.

What I really like about the way this is working is that by hand animating the position and timing of where the feet strike in the walk, it keeps the final walk from looking too mechanical, because you don't have the exact stride length or speed through the entire animation (unless you're that precise with the initial footstep animation).

I will do my best to create a video sometime next week to show all of this. Hopefully everything will be much clearer when you can actually see it in action.

Eric

dballesg
01-28-2007, 03:27 PM
Hi Eric,

A suggestion about the dopesheet/dopetrack size, ask Brian if he can put a value on the options, something like Dopetrack Size, where you introduce the desired size of the squares on the dopetrack. Save that on the Maestro config, restart it and the new size it is applied. In thak way it would be user customizable! :)

Now you are doing the walk generator, did you thought about the mirror poses tool that I asked to you? ;)

Keep the excellent work! :)

Best regards,
David

ericsmith
01-28-2007, 04:51 PM
I'm afraid it may be a bit more complicated than that, but I'm not sure. The fact is, creating a custom graphical interface with LScript was pretty challenging, if I remember correctly. I'll try to look into it, though.

Regarding mirrored poses, That's another tricky one. The thing is, we developed the pose system (like every other aspect of Maestro) to be very open, rather than tying it to a specific rig. This way, it can be used for anything, not just characters (I often save my camera settings as a pose). If we simply mirrored every channel value for any item in a pose, that would give very unexpected results. The reason it can work so well in something like MotionBuilder is that it's designed to work with a specific rig, or at least with very specific naming conventions. To make this work with the Maestro rig, I'd have to rename a lot of the controls, and then we'd still have to figure out how to tell the mirror function which channels within those controls should be mirrored. On top of that, if the character were rotated 90 degrees, it would change change some of the channels should be mirrored.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but at this point, in my opinion there's simply too many issues that we don't have solutions for to make it work properly.

Eric

dballesg
01-29-2007, 02:51 AM
Hi Eric,

Thanks anyhow to look into it, I understand the difficult part of the mirror poses.

The size on the dopesheet it would be a blessing! ;)

Best regards,
David

FONGOOL
01-30-2007, 01:25 PM
I'm just excited to hear that Maestro is still evolving! Can't wait to see what other goodies are being developed!