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Lottmedia
03-22-2007, 12:07 PM
that's it. I'm trying to rig a character (pretty much for the first time) and I just hate it. Why cant we have easier to use tools? I miss biped....

Casey :cat:

Lottmedia
03-22-2007, 12:22 PM
Bahh!

Surrealist.
03-22-2007, 12:31 PM
Try the book by Timothy Albee. Lightwave 3D Character Animation. He has tamed the rigging beast that is lightwave of now and uses these techniques in a professional studio environment. I have read his book, done the steps and can say it is possible to rig and animate in Lightwave.

Remember rigging is an art as well as a science. Then you have to master that and then master the art and science of character animation. This book covers it all fairly well I think.

Lottmedia
03-22-2007, 12:43 PM
I've got that book too, as well as all the others. It's not a matter of books, it's a matter of lightwave being an annoying beast to work with.

hrgiger
03-22-2007, 12:48 PM
Why do we have crappy rigging tools? Blame the guys at Luxology. They made most of them after all.

ericsmith
03-22-2007, 12:50 PM
Rigging is a complex discipline. Just like any other aspect of 3d, the first time you try it there will be some struggles to wrap your head around the concepts, but it gets better as you gain experience.

That said, if you want it automated, there are third party options that are not at all expensive in the grand scheme of things (There's actually a "simplerigger" plugin for free that can be found on flay.com).

Eric

Adrian Lopez
03-22-2007, 01:16 PM
I often hear complaints about Lightwave's CA tools, but having never used other software I'm left wondering what's so bad about them?

Lottmedia
03-22-2007, 01:16 PM
Why do we have crappy rigging tools? Blame the guys at Luxology. They made most of them after all.

Now that I can get on board with. Sorry, boys, but if you haven't realized I'm in a bit of a snit right now. How is it that we can have an automatic ivy generator, but nothing to make rigging easier? Which would be more helpful in the long view of things? I'm not knocking it, I cannot believe that thing, it's amazing. But why cant there be something amazing like that for rigging? What do u think people spend more time doing, making ivy for their scenes or fighting rigs? Even the "automatic" tools people have made are a bloody mess to get to work. I know someone is going to chime in with the "if you ever programmed then you would have a greater appreciation for us poor programmers....." and I swear I will find a way to air mail a ***** smack to you cause I'm tired of it. Lightwave is starting to feel very unbalanced, some parts of it feel so advanced and slick (look at the pretty glass!!!) but other parts of the program feel antiquated and obsolete (not to even get started on the UI)

Casey :cat:
(I just know people are going to start throwing things now....)

PS, I cant believe that got through the filters!!! oops!

meathead
03-22-2007, 01:17 PM
For $60 you would be hard pressed to beat t4d plugins (it comes with a lot of cool plugins). It helped me look at rigging in a way that I would not have originally. You can rig a character in an hour in a believable way.

http://www.thomas4d.com/html/t4d_rigging_tools.html

Showed me that the CA tools are part of LW, you just need to understand them.

Do a search on rigging.

Lottmedia
03-22-2007, 01:25 PM
Is there a demo or something of t4d, and does it really work with 9.2 (so many of my plugins seem to not work in 9.2) I'd like to take a look, but I'm not going to buy on faith.

Casey :cat:

hrgiger
03-22-2007, 01:32 PM
Well Lottmedia, I can't say I'm in a snit like you right now, at least not about rigging anway, but I understand your frustration. People can name all the free and commerical rigging plug-ins for Lightwave that they wish (hey, I still own ACS4 but that's not being developed anymore. Hmm, maybe it had to do with all the limitations that Lightwave had. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it did...) but the sad fact remains that Lightwave has some serious improvements to make as far as rigging and animation goes and the process is still a bit too painful for my tastes. It clearly can be done and there are some who seem to be at least satisfied with the current state of the tools. But it also can be clearly much improved and few will disagree with that sentiment.
I don't need to go into all those limiations because you can't swing a dead cat in this forum without hitting a thread that will list them for me.

Now, having said that, I have faith that these changes will be finally coming to Lightwave. Jay Roth and the team have shown tireless dedication and 9.2 is definately testament to that. I'm sure that the changes they make will drastically change the way we rig and animate in Lightwave. Will it be revolutionary, I don't know. But I have faith that it will be a system I can live with which would be a welcome change. And I think I won't have to pay any extra for these changes since it will probably be in a 9.x update. I'm hoping that 9.5 is ALL about Character Animation.

hrgiger
03-22-2007, 01:40 PM
I often hear complaints about Lightwave's CA tools, but having never used other software I'm left wondering what's so bad about them?

Adrian, you hear complaints a lot because there are a good number of things to complain about. I said in my previous post that there wasn't a need to list them because there are hundreds of such complaint threads out there but I'll name some of the big ones.

Layout is S...L...O..W when it comes to bones and deformations.

Little to no direct vertex control in Layout.

Some internal communication issues with motion modifiers and other channels not sharing info.

Dynamics have plenty of room for improvement.

Layout is S...L...O..W when it comes to bones and deformations(this one needs mentioned twice).

There are plenty of other concerns but these are the ones that have affected me with the biggest impact.

Lottmedia
03-22-2007, 01:41 PM
I agree, hrgiger. But my problem, and I'm sure people will slam this, is that the promise of future improvements doesn't help me now. We can all promise all kinds of things for the future and that's great (starting that diet tomorrow....) But I'm tired of hearing about where we're going, especially when others have already been there! Roadmaps are great, and Lightwave is making progress, I'll definitely get onboard with that, but I cant work in the future, I have to work in the present with the tools I have now.

Casey :cat:

Nemoid
03-22-2007, 01:41 PM
well latest development improvements of Lw are related to rendering, and nodal shading, sdk and more...
but i have to say that the new team is working quite well and that if things keep going like now are, the improvements on CA area will be good ones.

as for rigging isn't that easy in Lw for sure, but starting out with skelegons in modeler and using bone tools in layout to tweak and finalize the rig is a good way to start with.

as on working on present, if you need great and immediate results for a cheap price you could try Messiah.
or, if you aim for a professional animator job in some studio, you could try Maya and in particular, The setup Machine for Maya.

TSM used to be developed for Lw too, but , ehrr.. the Lw developer simply disappeared in some way ? :D
believe it or not., TSM for Lw isn't developed anymore.

ericsmith
03-22-2007, 02:13 PM
Even the "automatic" tools people have made are a bloody mess to get to work.

I'll admit that ACS4 was no picnic (Brian and I spent hours trying to get it to rig a character and never succeeded), but Maestro is not that way.

Step 1. load the provided skelegons into your model and adjust them to fit your character
Step 2. Load the character into layout and launch Maestro
Step 3. Click on rig you want

Wait less than a minute, and your character is ready to go. It's so easy, that I don't even feel the need to worry about adjusting bones in Layout. If one of my joints are not positioned optimally, I just go back to Modeler, make the adjustment, and then re-rig from scratch.

I haven't tried T4d, but from the videos I've seen, it looks to be just as easy.

Eric

AbnRanger
03-22-2007, 02:17 PM
You've not tried Maestro (autorigger...you said you missed Biped...there you go)? There's a trial for that.

EDIT: sorry, eric beat me to it

hrgiger
03-22-2007, 03:07 PM
I never had any problems with rigging with ACS4 (except for in later versions of Lightwave where it became broken due to arrested development). It works just like mastro does as far as setting up the rig.
The problem was and continues to be the rigging and animation takes place in Lightwave.

geothefaust
03-22-2007, 03:12 PM
I have to agree. I've recently started rigging more and more, and it's a real pain in LW.

As hrgiger pointed out though, NT did mention that they will be tackling that soon. Hopefully in the next update.

StormRising
03-22-2007, 04:19 PM
RIGHT! LW has really dropped the ball on rigging, but IK booster makes-up for some of that. I think a total re-working of the riggin tools is needed. Newtek could take a look at Messiah, it's nice and simple, kinda.

For now thought don't blame LW's tools. Skill is how well you use what you got.
Fact is whatever you use to animate will work great in some cases, and not so great in others. It depends on what the job requires:cool:

Character animation should be done where it's easiest, or looks best.
FX animations should be done where it's easiest or looks best, and same for modeling and every other aspect.

Hardly ever is one 3d package going to fill all your wishes, they just try to.:lwicon:

Ztreem
03-22-2007, 06:03 PM
Simple rigger is a nice start, it helped me to start rig and animate and it's free.

t4d
03-22-2007, 06:11 PM
the best reference on LW rigging is Jonny Gorden's Books (http://www.wordware.com/cartoon/)
Simple and Fast as it can be,
avoided ALOT of LW Issues and still get a workable rig.

some method going around are ALOT more work then they should be.
LW has issues and Jonny shows the most direct Path there is without the pain.:thumbsup:

Nicolas Jordan
03-22-2007, 06:26 PM
I have rigged with Maya, Softimage and Messiah and I personally don't mind rigging in Lightwave at all. Once you have gone through a book like the one mentioned by t4d above and take the time to absorb it all rigging isn't all as bad as some say it is. There are still some places that Lightwave can be improved in this area but as it sits currently there are still plenty of impressive things that can be done if you put in the effort and utilize the tools.

pixelranger
03-22-2007, 06:26 PM
Jonny is a genious, in that he makes everthing seem.. not, not only seem, but just MAKES it simple.

Adrian: I never used anything other that LW until I started working where I do now, and MAN is maya a dream to rig in (hierarchy handlig, the outliner, the hypergraph etc).
I eagerly await Newtek's take on LW's rigging and CA tools, though.

spec24
03-22-2007, 06:31 PM
The problem, as I see it, is not so much that the rigging in LW is that horrible, it's the problem of making a mistake, or needing to adjust something, or wanting to add a bone here or there. Once you've got the process of rigging down in LW it's simple enough to do, as long as you don't make mistakes. Adjusting or altering a rig is a nightmare and usually ends up with a complete redo! This, of course, eats up precious time. Not that rigging is fast even when you've figured it out, it can still be a painstaking process in comparison to to other pieces of software (bone morphs for example are a real pain imo). The fact that there is no undo for the process is a big killer too for those learning (or thoses who are seasoned).

jayroth
03-22-2007, 06:33 PM
The problem, as I see it, is not so much that the rigging in LW is that horrible, it's the problem of making a mistake, or needing to adjust something, or wanting to add a bone here or there. Once you've got the process of rigging down in LW it's simple enough to do, as long as you don't make mistakes. Adjusting or altering a rig is a nightmare and usually ends up with a complete redo! This, of course, eats up precious time. Not that rigging is fast even when you've figured it out, it can still be a painstaking process in comparison to to other pieces of software (bone morphs for example are a real pain imo). The fact that there is no undo for the process is a big killer too for those learning (or thoses who are seasoned).

The above is likely due in large part to the issue of object IDs, which in previous versions of LightWave would cause things to break when trying to do this stuff. 9.2 has a complete overhaul of that system, and you may find these operations work much more reliably now.

t4d
03-22-2007, 06:35 PM
I have rigged with Maya, Softimage and Messiah and I personally don't mind rigging in Lightwave at all. Once you have gone through a book like the one mentioned by t4d above and take the time to absorb it all rigging isn't all as bad as some say it is. There are still some places that Lightwave can be improved in this area but as it sits currently there are still plenty of impressive things that can be done if you put in the effort and utilize the tools.


I love rigging in XSI and messiah simple for the fact the Animation workflow is lightspeed compaired to LW and the rigging tools are limitless

exsample-
you simply can not do this type of leg rig in LW currently..
http://www.thomas4d.com/legexsample.rar

djlithium
03-22-2007, 06:49 PM
I really wish Tim Albee had time to chime in on this topic. I have seen his rigs up close and personal, and it is true that until Tim came on board at BSG, the Centurions on the show never did actually look the way the producers wanted them to for how they should move. Until Tim came on board, Atmo and I think to a certain extent Zoic fudged it in Maya and then exported to render in Lightwave but only in certain circumstances.
The key to the rigs that I have scene of Tim's is that he uses bones to drive weight maps and those weight maps deform the mesh appropriately. But it helps if the object is built correctly in the first place. There was a lot of tweaking done to the Centurion modles to make it work because the rigs they came with from Zoic originally were... well. Bizarre. But again, and I have said this before, that was all legacy stuff from the mini-series and no one bothered to update it as time went by until Tim came on board in house. Strangely enough, Tim's rig for Kaze (www.kazeghostwarrior.com) and his tutorial guy "Jake" are nearly identical to that of what he put into action on the Centurions with some minor changes. Kaze happens to be 7' tall as are the centurions so it was a near perfect transplant. But it was the adjustments to the model itself that made it fly and I do mean that. I have seen half a dozen centurions on screen in wireframe playing back in real time on the machines at BSG with little issue once the adjustments were made.

Building your characters correctly and weightmapping them appropriately makes the biggest difference that can be seen over and above any "rig" of bones you can think of.
Building a biped character in a "T-Stance" is NOT how you should build your characters when you think about it. I highly recommend you check out Tim's DVD character animation tutorial featuring "Jake" because he includes the rigs on the DVD and the model itself for Jake plus walks you through the process of it from top to bottom. I think Kurve Studios retails it. Google em. :)
I will check into it but I am not sure how it would work with BSG as they are so touchy when it comes to certain stuff (and its usually to there detriment) if I can post the Centurion Rig directly from the show somewhere with a tutorial from Tim if possible.

www.battlestarvfx.com if you want to read more about BSG's disasterous mistakes and learn from them in my shot break out tutorial. It's also funny as hell.

Nicolas Jordan
03-22-2007, 07:16 PM
I love rigging in XSI and messiah simple for the fact the Animation workflow is lightspeed compaired to LW and the rigging tools are limitless

exsample-
you simply can not do this type of leg rig in LW currently..
http://www.thomas4d.com/legexsample.rar

Yes, I would agree that there are some things that Lightwave can't currently do with it's rigging tools especially with more complex rigs.

tonybliss
03-22-2007, 07:25 PM
Mr DJ, I saw your tut .. wonderfullly layed out and yes a humourous read

tonybliss
03-22-2007, 07:27 PM
Oh Jay what you are saying is that in 9.2 the new inclusion of object ids allow me or my students(sorry and every other lw ca artist) to modify our rigs without it breaking the entire setup ?????

t4d
03-22-2007, 08:04 PM
Oh Jay what you are saying is that in 9.2 the new inclusion of object ids allow me or my students(sorry and every other lw ca artist) to modify our rigs without it breaking the entire setup ?????

just a tip here But alot of the times LW'er say the rig break is when they edit when IK and Bones are all ON ..

When you edit a LW rig turn off the IK and Turn ALL Bones OFF First
then edit and before you turn the IK and bones back on again
Rest the bones FIRST to reset the rest position to it's new location.

This work 95% of the time ;)

tonybliss
03-22-2007, 08:33 PM
Hey t4d :) I discovered that a while back and also the bone edit mode of 8.5 which allows the editing of bones.
Its the 5% that is unpredictable ... sometimes after the bones are rested some bones shift out of place; it is worst when animation is already done.
Rigging in LW is simple for me ... when done in a mostly linear fashion ... ensuring the steps are done correctly but I could be wrong ... afaik from experience it is difficult to edit and add bones after setup and animation ... worst yet if expressions are used. :)

PS I am yet to try it out and give feedback ... thanks :)

jayroth
03-22-2007, 08:43 PM
Oh Jay what you are saying is that in 9.2 the new inclusion of object ids allow me or my students(sorry and every other lw ca artist) to modify our rigs without it breaking the entire setup ?????

I am saying that if the issue you are having is related to reordering things in your scene, or removing them altogether and making new ones, as is common in working out rigs, then yes, the object ID improvements in 9.2 should be a big help.

As far as the ability to rig things that other programs may excel in, I defer to those with more experience in today's LightWave, and I have been very forthcoming about our need to improve our rigging and character tools...

t4d
03-22-2007, 08:44 PM
Hey t4d :) I discovered that a while back and also the bone edit mode of 8.5 which allows the editing of bones.
Its the 5% that is unpredictable ... sometimes after the bones are rested some bones shift out of place; it is worst when animation is already done.
Rigging in LW is simple for me ... when done in a mostly linear fashion ... ensuring the steps are done correctly but I could be wrong ... afaik from experience it is difficult to edit and add bones after setup and animation ... worst yet if expressions are used. :)

PS I am yet to try it out and give feedback ... thanks :)

yeah agree :thumbsup:
That 5% gets you everytime,.. specially seeing editing a Rig means touching 96 different items... so that 96th one Is a pain and then you have 4 more problems to go ,...LOL =)

normally when editing is needed, I Go straight back to modeler and draw a new bone chain and replace the whole areas in Layout bit by bit
( not much of a fan of the bone edit tools or the rig format )

t4d
03-22-2007, 08:47 PM
As far as the ability to rig things that other programs may excel in, I defer to those with more experience in today's LightWave, and I have been very forthcoming about our need to improve our rigging and character tools...

I look forward to seeing the updates Jay :)

ericsmith
03-22-2007, 09:13 PM
exsample-
you simply can not do this type of leg rig in LW currently..
http://www.thomas4d.com/legexsample.rar

Hey Thomas,

Just curious, what about that leg rig isn't doable in LW? It seems to me that it would be pretty easy, just by placing a free-floating bone in the knee (with the null goal), and then having a bone in the hip and one coming up from the ankle both set to point at target to the knee bone. I've seen that basic concept at work in the AM rig posted at spinquad.

Eric

t4d
03-22-2007, 09:31 PM
I've tried it..but I can't imagen it being work able in LW
But love to be shown to be wrong there. any links ??

to do it properly you need to be able to scale bone length to get the deformation of the upper and lower legs correct

that XSI rig is very simple,. just 2 bone chains stacked on top of each other
( one driving the IK the other Controls the mesh deformation )
then the knee is stacked on top of the whole thing.
and it's FAST and you can have 50 legs all with no effect on animation speed.

ericsmith
03-22-2007, 09:42 PM
I'm really not sure if there's some "gottcha" I haven't thought of. I'll see if I can work through this over the weekend, and post what I did if it works.

Eric

tonybliss
03-22-2007, 10:29 PM
I am saying that if the issue you are having is related to reordering things in your scene, or removing them altogether and making new ones, as is common in working out rigs, then yes, the object ID improvements in 9.2 should be a big help.

As far as the ability to rig things that other programs may excel in, I defer to those with more experience in today's LightWave, and I have been very forthcoming about our need to improve our rigging and character tools...

I have all faith in you guys at NT thats why I have not jumped ship ... and I spread your forthcoming when I see the need.
Although I now use Messiah for my rigging needs ... our students happily use LW to rig with soley or combination of LW basic tools, T4D (which they love and breath a sigh of relief that they actually don't have to rig :) ) and/or ik booster (have a student using it right now for a tentacled ogley boogely). I also use Maestro which is a well thought out tool. The prob starts when a student makes a change and says oh sh1t ... sometimes I can help them fix it and some of the times I just have to apologise and say do it over ... good thing is they get the 'workflow' and do it right next time. At present it is just necessary to be meticulous when working with LW animation tools esp for CA.
I KNOW for a fact you will impress us and enhance our workflow when LW animation tools come forth.
What will I do with the Messiah then ... hmmmm :D :devil: :thumbsup:

Digital Hermit
03-22-2007, 11:58 PM
Here is my concern about any upcoming CA improvements...

I do not want LW to copy other apps (i.e. Maya, XSI etc.)

Rather, I would like LW to innovate a new and better CA approach, one that is more intuitive. You know... one that other apps will envy.

That is all I want and nottiní else... Is that too much to ask? (heh) :goodluck:

hrgiger
03-23-2007, 12:17 AM
After all this time of using Lightwave, I'm just ready for something that's fast and intuitive. If it looks like App B or App C, I dont' mind.

t4d
03-23-2007, 12:19 AM
Here is my concern about any upcoming CA improvements...

I do not want LW to copy other apps (i.e. Maya, XSI etc.)

Rather, I would like LW to innovate a new and better CA approach, one that is more intuitive. You know... one that other apps will envy.

That is all I want and nottin’ else... Is that too much to ask? (heh) :goodluck:

well all the apps I've used Maya, Max, XSI, Messiah and LW have basicly same tools and are very much alike.

LW is just missing the development the others have done over the last 4 or 5 years.

there's no reason to reinvent the wheel just to be different ( IK Boost is a joke )
magic just doesn't happen,.
3D animation has evolved to where is it for a reason it,.. WORKS

exsample
LW is not the first app to get Nodes,. it's followed the 3D industy and is better for it. NODES ROCK !!

I hope NT don't try to Revent IKboost or try to reinvent the animation wheel

when they should just update the IK system and setup a Modifer Stack etc etc ,. Not much needed to be done to LW, it just needs a Major update and tidy up to what Animator require in today's industy.
Solid IK , stackiable motion systems and FAST openGL and IK solvers

cool things like Messiah animatures OR max's Biped system are cool but they sit on top of a much More advance base 3D animation system and that is what LW's needs.

the base needs the update then the features and Plugins you put on top of that is where the real WOW comes in.

sammael
03-23-2007, 01:15 AM
I would like to see a system where some of the more tedious and mundane tasks have already been done for you. I feel like a cave man whenever trying to rig in LW. The only other app I have used is max and that was before my lightwave days, even back then biped was a dream compared to LW's current rigging tools. These days in Max you can have your character walking and jumping around within minutes of setting up a biped rig. But no I hate Max so I dont want to use it, horrible stack system, ugly GUI a billion ways to do the same thing which are incompatible unless in certain order. Its like a messy mix of plugins all badly mashed together.
I would love to see this sort of system implimented into LW.
Just wack on a pre made rig and adjust it to suit, say just a poly cage type thing in modeler which you change the scale of the limbs and add limbs etc where needed. IK could be pre set up, bones could be pre-named appropriately and heirarchy done. This in itself would cut out plenty of time when you just want to see how a character looks with a basic rig.
Yes I know that there are already plugins for this type of thing but none that I have seen are actually good. We need it to be fully intergrated into LW with a system where you can save and load/mix motions and all of this works for any character. Presets for simple motions, blending between motions, motions follow paths. I could go on and on.
Fact is I just want to curl up and die when rigging in LW, I realise most things can be accomplished eventually and some quite good and complex rigs can be made but It realy does take forever and who has forever in this day and age?

lino.grandi
03-23-2007, 01:40 AM
I think the best tool we can use to rig in LW are PLG:

http://homepage2.nifty.com/nif-hp/index2_english.htm

They allow for perfect IK and SplineIK with real vectors, and work with LW constraints.

Thanks to PLG we can do in LW everything we cad do in Maya, talking about the "mechanical" side of the rigging job.

What I really miss in LW at the moment are deformers, but I'm sure the dev team is going to do a great job for character animation.

Castius
03-23-2007, 02:07 AM
Character studio (biped) used to cost $1000 dollars alone and now it's included with Max. And that still costs $4000. Biped is a Closed system with no way to edit animation curves. With plenty of other issues that make working with it very complicated. Non of this do i want for Lightwave.

When i was working on some game development in LW I wanted the things you wanted. A simple biped rig that animation that could be saved and loaded. and i wanted to do that with Lightwave. So you know what I worked hard and i made one. And I made it into a scripted rigging utility. It's was fairly easy to use and been available for free for some time. I've also released other free rigs with PLG IK using IK Booster.

There are many books are out there to teach people how to use LW properly. It's really no where near as bad as most people think it is. It's very tiring always having to read these long threads like this. That have just way to much mis information about rigging in Lightwave.

I'll add that LW is no Maya or XSI but it's not as bad as most people make it out to be.

sammael
03-23-2007, 03:58 AM
Castius - Firstly im not proposing a system the same as biped in max, i realise its issues, I just meant that tedious things could be more automated. I started learning LW in version 5 and I have not seen any sugnificant rigging improvements since then.



When i was working on some game development in LW I wanted the things you wanted. A simple biped rig that animation that could be saved and loaded. and i wanted to do that with Lightwave. So you know what I worked hard and i made one. And I made it into a scripted rigging utility. It's was fairly easy to use and been available for free for some time. I've also released other free rigs with PLG IK using IK Booster.


Ok so you had to work realy hard and make one, that kinda proves my point. Something as relatively simpe as this realy should come built in dont you think? Im not saying its hard, im saying its a pain in the @ss. You are generous to release these rigs but it requires a certain amount of time and advanced knowledge of the bones system just to apply them to a character.
Dont you think it would be nice just to be able to set up a simple cage mesh directly proportinate to your character in modeler and then simply activate it in layout and adjust the strengths and ik as required, hopefully within a more user friendly interface?



There are many books are out there to teach people how to use LW properly. It's really no where near as bad as most people think it is. It's very tiring always having to read these long threads like this. That have just way to much mis information about rigging in Lightwave.


I dont think you should have to read a novel to apply a simple character rig, sure its going to take some skills and effort but does it realy need to be this involved? The initial process of creating sekelgons, naming them, setting up IK, applying it to your object could all be achieved in a few mouse clicks.

You dont have to read these threads, you choose to, I think its tiring to read posts of people constantly defending an outdated system. Considering how many complaints there are maybe its a sign that the average user feels like its time for a major update in the rigging and CA system and why not?, it certainly would not be a bad thing, in fact its long overdue. I can respect what your saying but I dont want to be messing with this same system another 5 years down the track.

Sam

Digital Hermit
03-23-2007, 09:48 AM
Paraphrasing President Clinton: "Its about the 'workflow' dummy!" :D

I think that the job of software is to make things that are difficult, easier to do. Therefore, the 'economics' of it is simple. Create an easier and intuitive CA solution and more will buy and use it.

I think we have noticed the weakness of using outside animation packages and that good CA needs to be done "in house" because it gives us better options when working with other native features of the 3D software - i.e. proper and relative interaction with the scenes environment and itís all its involved elements.

DH

pooby
03-23-2007, 10:42 AM
I think we have noticed the weakness of using outside animation packages and that good CA needs to be done "in house" because it gives us better options when working with other native features of the 3D software - i.e. proper and relative interaction with the scenes environment and itís all its involved elements.



very well said and a good point.

however, the weakness isn't much of a big deal 95% of the time.

adamredwoods
03-23-2007, 06:21 PM
I concur with everyone, but I've taken matters into my own hands.

The history is, I made this small little animation two years ago and ran into numerous problems with my rig. I had originally been animating entirely FK, but it was painstaking progress, with hundreds of keys. Then started learned about IK, which made some things (legs) easier. But then my rigs were all wrong. And as I tried to fix my rigs, I came upon more and more problems until...

I built my own plugin.

I've been working on this for about a year now, which I feel will really take a bite out of CA with Lightwave. It works with the Lightwave workflow and offers a few neat ideas that I read about through other publications.

It won't solve every problem, and it won't be an excuse not to know IK rigging, but it definately will speed things up. It won't be faster than a full pre-made rig, but it'll be faster than starting from scratch.

And if nothing else, it'll enable me to continue with my little animation from two years ago.

Wickster
03-23-2007, 10:22 PM
I concur with everyone, but I've taken matters into my own hands.

The history is, I made this small little animation two years ago and ran into numerous problems with my rig. I had originally been animating entirely FK, but it was painstaking progress, with hundreds of keys. Then started learned about IK, which made some things (legs) easier. But then my rigs were all wrong. And as I tried to fix my rigs, I came upon more and more problems until...

I built my own plugin.

I've been working on this for about a year now, which I feel will really take a bite out of CA with Lightwave. It works with the Lightwave workflow and offers a few neat ideas that I read about through other publications.

It won't solve every problem, and it won't be an excuse not to know IK rigging, but it definately will speed things up. It won't be faster than a full pre-made rig, but it'll be faster than starting from scratch.

And if nothing else, it'll enable me to continue with my little animation from two years ago.
Which plugin is it? Care to give more info? thanks. :)

spec24
03-25-2007, 06:06 AM
Holy Cow! I just added a child bone INTO an existing hierarchy, reparented existing bones to it, reactivated IK and deform and the rig DIDN'T blow up!!!! I guess Jay Roth was right. Looks promising!

tonybliss
03-25-2007, 06:57 AM
Jay is always right ... its EI's JAY ROTH
apart from the new team Jay is the best thing that happened to LW since .... well since LW ;)
I would make the time to try it out ...

prospector
03-25-2007, 07:02 AM
Which plugin is it?

Yea what?


Looks promising!

What!!???


I would make the time to try it out ...

WHAT!!!!???????????

spec24
03-25-2007, 09:41 AM
Yea what?



What!!???



WHAT!!!!???????????


well - as for myself I was referring to what Jay Roth has said earlier in this thread about object id's etc. Seems to add a little more robustness to LW's rigging which is a welcomed feature.

prospector
03-25-2007, 11:19 AM
So what you were talking about is already there?
haven't tried bone stuff (other than IK framing) in layout (remade and re designed in modeler).

spec24
03-25-2007, 12:48 PM
So what you were talking about is already there?
haven't tried bone stuff (other than IK framing) in layout (remade and re designed in modeler).

Not sure exactly what you're asking but I'm saying that the rigging process appears to be a bit more stable. In the past whenever I tried to do what I said previously it would always fall apart. I was shocked to try it now and have it actually do what I wanted it to.

prospector
03-25-2007, 01:54 PM
Sounds like some stuff is being done with the CA part of LW but nothing released thru official channels yet?

tonybliss
03-25-2007, 02:03 PM
me too ... object ids have been applied to all items as of 9.2; allowing better handling of item (including bones) hierarchies and modifications :)

tonybliss
03-25-2007, 02:04 PM
Actually yess in the 9.2 beta notes .. it is the first step of CA dev and handling :)

Wickster
03-25-2007, 02:12 PM
Sounds like some stuff is being done with the CA part of LW but nothing released thru official channels yet?
Well, adamredwoods said he's developed something...which I'm asking info about.

The NT Dev Team, fixed some issues with the ObjectID which in turn fixes some issues with LW's IK breaking when edited.

So things are moving underground as we know it.

prospector
03-25-2007, 03:02 PM
well that's just peachy keen :beerchug: :D

esper8
03-25-2007, 03:04 PM
Methinks Prospector's avatar is trying to rig a character......

sammael
03-25-2007, 11:05 PM
Methinks Prospector's avatar is trying to rig a character......
I think your right... poor guy

kfinla
03-26-2007, 01:05 PM
All i can say is im always interested in LW development on the CA front. I've rigged and animated characters in Maya and in Ligtwave and have to say they are very different. I havent rigged a character in LW in a good year or more but i remember it being a process. Animating it was also intersting. I found you had to follow a recipe to the letter when setting things up in LW.. it was a much slower and i'd say more technical experience. I remember the comparison to making a basic IK leg in maya in about 4 clicks taht was more robust.

I found i had to work differently animating characters in LW also.. often having to set up all sorts of null heirachys and keying every object in the group as i worked.

I look forward to new tools as well as new workflows..

9.2 looks great, the only thing to remember is Rendering has always been a strength of LW.. where as CA has been a sore point. The real advances in the 9.x series will be shown here, where newtek is out of its "comfort zone" and expertise so to speak. Anyways i'm really looking forward to CA in 9.5?

SplineGod
03-27-2007, 02:01 AM
Hey Thomas,

Just curious, what about that leg rig isn't doable in LW? It seems to me that it would be pretty easy, just by placing a free-floating bone in the knee (with the null goal), and then having a bone in the hip and one coming up from the ankle both set to point at target to the knee bone. I've seen that basic concept at work in the AM rig posted at spinquad.

Eric

Eric you are correct. That type of rig is totally doable in LW :)

SplineGod
03-27-2007, 02:03 AM
Holy Cow! I just added a child bone INTO an existing hierarchy, reparented existing bones to it, reactivated IK and deform and the rig DIDN'T blow up!!!! I guess Jay Roth was right. Looks promising!

You can do that in pretty much any version of LW that supports bones.
Usually the only thing you have to do is rerest the bones. Ive done it many times with no ill effects :)

SplineGod
03-27-2007, 02:18 AM
There are many books are out there to teach people how to use LW properly. It's really no where near as bad as most people think it is. It's very tiring always having to read these long threads like this. That have just way to much mis information about rigging in Lightwave.

I'll add that LW is no Maya or XSI but it's not as bad as most people make it out to be.

Amen to that. I would go so far to say that LWs character tools have way more power then most user know what to do with them. Part of the problem I see is that theres a misunderstanding of what exactly character rigging tools are. ANYTHING in LW that is animatable (has E or T buttons) is fair game for use in rigging. Rigging is anything you do to make something animatable.
Textures changing based on rotations of bones or an endomorph is all potentially part of rigging. Its important to take all these animation tools and use them in the proper context (character animation).

Most people cant animate a character to save their life. It takes years to get good at it. A good rig is dependent upon a set of requirements for that rig to be useable by an animator.

I see people all the time start to try and rig with no basic understanding of what a good rig should be able to do. These are principles that would be the same in any 3d app. Once those principles are understood the next thing that is required is a in depth knowledge of your 3d app so that the proper tools can be used to make that rig conform to those basic requirements.

Rigging also falls into two categories:
Rigging for animation
and
Rigging for deformations.

Rigging may require knowledge of expressions, motion modifiers, endomorphs, weight maps, displacement maps, bones, setup tools, modeling, textures and so on. All of these tools arent necessarily just character tools since they can be used for anything. In the context of character rigging they need to all be well understood by themselves but especially when used together.

What LW needs is an overhaul of its animation system in general. Expressions need to integrated into LWs core (relativity in this case). Character animation is a subset of the animation tools in general. If LWs general animation system was fixed character rigging would automatically benefit plus lay the foundation for much greater things.

That being said. LW still is an extremely viable character animation system. I still use it and am currently using it for character work. :)

tonybliss
03-27-2007, 03:48 AM
I agree with you Larry ... I have experimented with animation techniques in LW that I am quite sure most people have not even thought about; and quite frankly your initial lw 8 bone cds helped pacify the process. When I just got into LW at 7/7.5 through a friend I was really fascinated by LW even though it did not have some of the flexibilities of 3ds max4/5 at the time and got into it more to see if i could of done what I knew could be done in 3ds max.
However as I started to do more serious work, yes I could rig anything I wanted, but at the price of following a very meticulous workflow. Sometimes the fix you metioned would work sometimes it would not (it more so worked for my students) but I would attempt muscle bones setups directly in LW .... yada yada I could go on without complaining but just pointing out some issues I encountered, tried everything I know to resolve it and realised it was just LW
... but no sense really trying to defend it or complain .... since I have all faith in NT that ALL these issues will be addressed and a CA 'miracle' will be done :D ... so I am patient for that ... ITMT I do what I have to ;)

tonybliss
03-27-2007, 04:34 AM
double post

lino.grandi
03-27-2007, 04:36 AM
This is a rig I'm building in LW using PLG plugins.

I'm going to build a fully customizable muscle/deformation rig (both biped and quadruped) in my (little) spare time.

tonybliss
03-27-2007, 06:30 AM
Thanks Lino

God Bless PLG for everything they have done ;)

ericsmith
03-27-2007, 10:38 AM
Eric you are correct. That type of rig is totally doable in LW

Actually, I spent some time with it, and pretty much couldn't get there. I was able to duplicate the AM rig from Nemac, where the foot "floats", but when I tried to do the same thing with the knee, everything fell apart fast.

If you can duplicate what Thomas showed, I'd sure like to see it.

Eric

hrgiger
03-27-2007, 10:45 AM
I hope that whatever Newtek comes up with we can avoid this....

[scene with 100 bones]

ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P
....you get the point...

r
r
r
r
r
r
r
r
r
r
r
r
r
r
r
...please tell me you get the point...

How about a setup mode and animate mode instead. Setup mode, all the adjustments you could possibly want to your bones, placement and orientation.
Animate mode. All bones ready to animate properly and all zeroed out.

Dodgy
03-27-2007, 11:28 AM
I wrote a plugin which records the pivot rotation of selected items and one which resets it (how all commands should work, none of this 'it works on one item at a time' malarky if it makes sense)

You can also multi select bones and rest them all at once, with just one 'r' press.

hrgiger
03-27-2007, 12:30 PM
I guess my point is it all seems so redundant and unnecessary.

Lightwave should recognize the difference between when we are setting up and when we are ready to animate and adjust the bones accordingly.

prospector
03-27-2007, 12:40 PM
Hitting 'r' isn't too bad after highlighting all bones in spreadsheet...simple enough..


HOWEVER

I do agree with the ctrl-p bugaboo


maby they can put a ctrl-p and r switch in the bonetwist tool

That way when your done setting up axis and click off, it auto does the resting and recording.

hrgiger
03-27-2007, 12:43 PM
Again, I just have to ask why any of that is necessary. Of course we want to record the bones rest postion. Of course we want to start animating with our bones zeroed out. Why do we even have to be brought into a process where there is only one option? Leave us out of it I say.

Cageman
03-27-2007, 02:27 PM
I guess my point is it all seems so redundant and unnecessary.

Lightwave should recognize the difference between when we are setting up and when we are ready to animate and adjust the bones accordingly.

How? Reading our minds? :) (would be quite cool though... a new sloogan: LightWave...it's everywhere... even in your mind...)

:)

hrgiger
03-27-2007, 02:44 PM
No, as I said by having a separate mode of setup and animate similar to what messiah does.

Or am I the only one who doesn't like to do a lot of unnecessary and tedious work?

SplineGod
03-27-2007, 03:01 PM
I hope that whatever Newtek comes up with we can avoid this....

[scene with 100 bones]

ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P
ctrl-P


select all your bones at once and then hit ctrl p

bobakabob
03-27-2007, 03:04 PM
HRGiger,

How about View> Select>All>Select all bones of current object and then press r to activate?

Hopefully the new animation tools will be much more intuitive though. The first time I rigged a character the process seemed so arcane and mysterious unlike everything else in Lightwave.

Wishful thinking: Newtek should encourage new users into animation by collaborating with the Maestro team to include an integrated autorigger and biped style walk cycle generator.

ericsmith
03-27-2007, 04:21 PM
Autoriggers really shouldn't be necesesary. If rigs are easy to adjust, and just as easy to re-apply to another object, then you should just be able to load a rigged skeletal structure, apply it to a new character, and adjust it to fit.

If this happens, Newtek can provide rigs with the content, and users can share their rigs as well.

What's really required is a re-design of how bones work. They should simply be deformer objects that you can set to affect whatever mesh(es) you choose, instead of them "belonging" to one mesh. You should be able to parent them however you want, instead of only being able to parent a bone to another bone in the hierarchy, or the object they belong to.

That's some of what I'd like to see happen with the new CA tools in Lightwave.

Eric

hrgiger
03-27-2007, 05:04 PM
Autoriggers really shouldn't be necesesary. If rigs are easy to adjust, and just as easy to re-apply to another object, then you should just be able to load a rigged skeletal structure, apply it to a new character, and adjust it to fit.


Eric

Wouldn't that be nice?

I understand that you can select all the bones to perform the operation on all bones at once. What I'm making the case for is not having to record the rest positions in the first place or zero out the roatations. It just seems like one of those things that should happen 'under the hood' as opposed to just one more to several more steps in the riggging process. As Erik said, we should be able to load in a skeleton and adjust it to fit and it just works.

ericsmith
03-27-2007, 05:19 PM
What I'm making the case for is not having to record the rest positions in the first place or zero out the roatations. It just seems like one of those things that should happen 'under the hood' as opposed to just one more to several more steps in the riggging process.

I totally agree with this.

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if apps like XSI, Maya or Messiah work this way?

Eric

t4d
03-27-2007, 06:30 PM
I totally agree with this.

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if apps like XSI, Maya or Messiah work this way?

Eric


well as for XSI if you don't place any key at all and XSI acts as if that's the rest position ( XSI has a specaily system where NO key is important and when you key, you change what it is and where it is in relation to everything ( adding keys do more then you may think coming from LW )
But as far as Bones go,..XSI does NOT have a Rest position issues like LW.

Messiah has a Setup/rig room where you edit in there and when you go to the animation room ( you could say it rests the bone when you exit the rig room ?? maybe But again it does not have any resting bones issues ) but if editing rigs you have parent and Expression issues ;)



Eric you are correct. That type of rig is totally doable in LW :)


Actually, I spent some time with it, and pretty much couldn't get there. I was able to duplicate the AM rig from Nemac, where the foot "floats", but when I tried to do the same thing with the knee, everything fell apart fast.

If you can duplicate what Thomas showed, I'd sure like to see it.

Eric

Splinegod Post a Leg exsample,. where you can do what the XSI video shows. words are just words or advertising to some.....

I spend MANY HOURS trying it in LW ,.done it in 30 mins in My first try in XSI. and getting much better workflow then I could imagen.

BUT AGAIN happy to be shown wrong here,. if I SEE and can Test a LW leg rig with that type of control.

PKG IK did get some way But IN my playing I could not do it

hrgiger
03-27-2007, 06:34 PM
Messiah doesn't. It has a setup mode where you can draw out your bones. Switch over to animate mode and you're ready to go.

Go to projectmessiah.com and go to the tutorials page. Watch the video on bones. Also note the nice bone deformation without weight maps(or holder bones).

t4d
03-27-2007, 06:41 PM
true

Only thing about that leg rig in LW
if you can do it,. it does means You can stack OR Set the order of your motion operators in and around the IK system In LW ..

Which IS something i would love to see an exsample of.

Ztreem
03-28-2007, 02:32 AM
Messiah doesn't. It has a setup mode where you can draw out your bones. Switch over to animate mode and you're ready to go.

Go to projectmessiah.com and go to the tutorials page. Watch the video on bones. Also note the nice bone deformation without weight maps(or holder bones).

Actually, I tried the demo of messiah after I have looked at that demo. So I imported a model from LW and put some bones in it and started to bend them. The deformations was exactly as the ones in LW and I wasn't impressed at all. Sure there is some nice things in messiah, but first impression wasn't as nice as the videos. :cursin:

colkai
03-28-2007, 03:13 AM
Autoriggers really shouldn't be necesesary. If rigs are easy to adjust, and just as easy to re-apply to another object, then you should just be able to load a rigged skeletal structure, apply it to a new character, and adjust it to fit.

Hear Hear!
I love the way Motionbuilder works with this, the motion is totally separated from the rig/character and you don't need to scale / adjust a rig if the two characters are different. In LW at present, it can totally mess up a characters motion if you apply it to even a slightly changed model/rig.

Newtek have a great deal to do for C.A. but I've always felt, the basis is there, but frustratingly, the result isn't.

I don't see why the likes of Motionmixer, dopesheet and poses and rigs could not be overhauled to get close to MB type ability and workflow.

For sure also, the bone tools are far from intuitive and though they may work, ease of use can never be overlooked. As it stands, I just find myself jumping through hoops in LW do to what I can do in MB with a few mouse clicks and some clip manipulation.

hrgiger
03-28-2007, 09:16 AM
Actually, I tried the demo of messiah after I have looked at that demo. So I imported a model from LW and put some bones in it and started to bend them. The deformations was exactly as the ones in LW and I wasn't impressed at all. Sure there is some nice things in messiah, but first impression wasn't as nice as the videos. :cursin:

Hey Ztreem. I actually tested that myself this morning. I do get slightly better deformations in Messiah but they're no miracle deformations like that video might suggest (see comparison below-EDIT: Changing the bone falloff value in Lightwave made no significant improvement in deformation). However, it is much easier to control your deformations in Messiah with tools like flex and it's also easy to add bones to your rig in messiah and not have to worry about breaking your existing rig, even after you've finished animating.

Ztreem
03-28-2007, 09:26 AM
I must say they look very similar to me. You are probably right that messiah is easier, but if you rig the character for animation and deformation before you start to animate you shouldn't need to go back and change the rig when you have already animated the character, it's all about planning. :)
Maybe I should say that I'm no pro animator or rigger...

hrgiger
03-28-2007, 09:43 AM
No, they are very similar, I was confirming your assertion that the deformations in messiah weren't much better then in Lightwave.
As far as adding to your rig, I just wanted to say how easy it is to do in Messiah at ANY point during the rigging/animation process. Even if you're finished or even if you've just started animating. Sometimes you find, even with careful planning, a situation that you hadn't thought of before you started. Moving a joint for example. In Lightwave, you could use joint move but it moves everything along that chain with it. Also, you can't undo it and that really blows.

Ztreem
03-28-2007, 10:35 AM
If you have a base pose in say frame -1 is it still impossible to undo the changes you do to the rig after animating? just asking because I have never changed a rig after animating.

t4d
03-28-2007, 06:51 PM
If you have a base pose in say frame -1 is it still impossible to undo the changes you do to the rig after animating? just asking because I have never changed a rig after animating.

there is the joy of Messiah you can change anything AFTER, Before, even in the middle of animation and NOTHING is damaged.
IN LW you have to guess how the hold bones work over ALL your animation
IN Messiah you guess then just tidy up as you see errors, Very easy.:thumbsup:

in Messiah you don't have to have any key at -1 or anywhere that pose is in the setup room

adamredwoods
03-29-2007, 04:50 PM
Updating the skeleton while animating was a huge issue for me. I feel the skeleton in modeler should be able to update instantaneously to layout, so that's one of the main reasons I created my plugin.

In our Maya pipeline, we always had changes to the rig. But, that goes with my number one rule with any production process: always expect changes.

Eventhough the plugin I'm developing should address some of these issues, there are still some outstanding core issues with Lightwave, but what else is new...

I'll try to post some videos of my plugin action next week, and we'll see if that solves some of your issues.

//Adam

pooby
03-30-2007, 01:35 AM
You can very easily add to rigs and change stuff in LW even after animating.

I used to do it all the time.. Even get half way through a shot then completely swap out the spine, but you have to know what you're doing with bones in Layout- I never used skelegons.

SplineGod
03-30-2007, 01:46 AM
I have to agree. I rarely use skelegons except for things I cant easily do with bones in layout.
Ive also changed or modified rigs while in the middle of animating with no ill effects. There are also many ways to rig so that such modifying is possible and easy to do. Ive setup rigs way before LW had any bone tools that could easily be reused on other characters even with motions on them. :)

cresshead
03-30-2007, 02:53 AM
some of the ''errors'' people are getting appear to be more a lack of knowledge/understanding than the tools...having said that maybe bones and rigging could be more user friendly in lw so that the majority 'get on' with rigging/animating will less hiccups.

Ztreem
03-30-2007, 03:05 AM
some of the ''errors'' people are getting appear to be more a lack of knowledge/understanding than the tools...

I think this applies to everything in life, if you don't understand how things works it can be very difficult to use or communicate with them.

Dirk
03-30-2007, 03:07 AM
I used to do it all the time.. Even get half way through a shot then completely swap out the spine, but you have to know what you're doing with bones in Layout- I never used skelegons.


I really would like to know more about that :D

Dirk
03-30-2007, 03:13 AM
some of the ''errors'' people are getting appear to be more a lack of knowledge/understanding than the tools...having said that maybe bones and rigging could be more user friendly in lw so that the majority 'get on' with rigging/animating will less hiccups.

When I tried to use IK Booster for the first time, I thought it had to be some sort of full time IK... I ran into walls for several hours, dumped it and didn't look at IBK for some months.

omeone
03-30-2007, 03:24 AM
There you go, it IS easy to edit rigs, BUT you have to know what you're doing. And that experience is generally gained the hard way through many hours of frustrations, and it knocks people over at the first hurdle.

'Bone Edit Mode' was supposed to solve this wasn't it? Does anyone use it?

tonybliss
03-30-2007, 05:03 AM
Yes I used Bone Edit mode, for the most part it works perfectly for me and my students, but quite frankly I have encountered some structural errors such as 'unfixable' deformations/breaking of the setup.
SplineGod or Pooby, enlighten me here, what is the BEST work strategy to adding/modifying bones in layout.
BTW I have not used skelegons for CA since 7.5 (thats my LW entry days :) )
But I still teach it as an alt method, it works best for some non CA situations where it is easier to place the skelegons in modeler using modeler tools.

Cheers

ericsmith
03-30-2007, 09:23 AM
I don't think there's anything wrong with Skelegons. They ultimately create the same bones that you would end up creating in Layout. It's just less tedious. But like the other aspects of rigging being discussed, you have to understand how they work. About the only thing you have to be concerned with is bank rotation, and the tools are there to easily keep control of that.

Eric

SplineGod
03-30-2007, 09:56 AM
Lightwave was supposed to have a real setup mode. It was planned for and discussed but was never fully implemented. This was going back to LW8.

It doesnt matter how good a programs rigging tools are. An artists ability to properly utilize them is going to depend on how well they understand rigging and animation as well as how well they understand the tools and how those tools are designed to interact together.

Ive used motion builder which argueably has one of the easiest and best rigging/animation systems around. Its definately not something you can simply jump into and get going either.

Skelegons appear to be easier to setup but I find that drawing them in layout is just as easy if not easier in many cases.
With skelegons you have too many 'gotchas'.
For instance:
1. Skelegons cannot be drawn in a logical manner (from the side view for example) because the bank handles are created perpendicular to the viewport you draw them in meaning theyre all wrong if drawn from the side. This means you have to draw a spine for example from the front first then go to the side view to orient them properly.

2. You also cannot see if the skelegons have a proper orientation because of no rotational handles.

3. For bones to be parented they have to be welded. This means you have to do the parenting in layout. If you create and edit bones in layout the bones dont have to be in contact with each other to still be parented properly.

4. Editing the pitch of the child by manipulating the bank handle of the parent is confusing and doesnt always give the expected results.

5. You cant really test how skelegons/bones will deform until you get them into layout and converted. That being the case Id rather set them up in layout and test there.

6. Going back and forth between layout and modeler to tweak bones is a real pain. Again, this is much easier to do in layout.

Skelegons do have their uses. I sometimes convert polygon edges or splines to skelegons. Its also easy to array skelegons etc.

Its not that hard to edit bones in place even after theyre part of a rig. You have to remember a few things:
1. Have a base pose you can go back to. You can store the pose(s) using negative keyframes or storing the pose using plugins, motion mixer etc.

2. Disable IK when editing and turn off match goal if being used/

3. Disable any expressions, motion modifiers etc. If you plan to use expressions on a rig I would use relativity because you can create expression groups per character and turn all expressions on/off at the same time.

After that you can do things like use the bone split tool to add more bones or the bone fuse tool to merge bones. You can select a bone and use the unparent tool which allows that bone (and its children) to remain in place once its unparented. You can for example delete bones in a spine and redo them. Then you can reparent the bone to a spine bone etc etc. The bone connect tool allows reparenting with a number of options.

The bone tools under the setup tab are quite useful. Dstorm also has some nice tools for dealing with RPR.

ericsmith
03-30-2007, 11:47 AM
1. Skelegons cannot be drawn in a logical manner (from the side view for example) because the bank handles are created perpendicular to the viewport you draw them in meaning theyre all wrong if drawn from the side. This means you have to draw a spine for example from the front first then go to the side view to orient them properly.

2. You also cannot see if the skelegons have a proper orientation because of no rotational handles.

There are a couple of skelegon tools that make it very easy to manage bank orientation. Rotate Skelegons (I think it's from DStorm, and free) is my favorite.


3. For bones to be parented they have to be welded. This means you have to do the parenting in layout. If you create and edit bones in layout the bones dont have to be in contact with each other to still be parented properly.

This is true. And honestly, Newtek should fix this. You actually do have the ability to manually set parenting relationships using Skelegon Tree, but doing this will snap the base of the child bone to the tip of the parent bone.


4. Editing the pitch of the child by manipulating the bank handle of the parent is confusing and doesnt always give the expected results.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. But if I do understand, isn't this actually the problem with using the bone tools in Layout?


5. You cant really test how skelegons/bones will deform until you get them into layout and converted. That being the case Id rather set them up in layout and test there.

6. Going back and forth between layout and modeler to tweak bones is a real pain. Again, this is much easier to do in layout.

I guess my point of view is to start with Skelegons, where it's easy to sketch out a lot of bones, and then if you're comfortable with the workflow of editing bone position directly in Layout, you can make the tweaks there.

But the fact is, the workflow for layout out bones in Layout is not exactly smooth. You have to click a button to add a bone. Then you have to use rotation handles to orient it properly (instead of just dragging the tip). If you want to change the length, you have to use a slider. Then hit another button to add a child bone, and the process starts over.

If I need to lay out a few bones, I don't mind this. But for something like hands, with a lot of bones, I'd much rather just sketch it out in modeler. I can drag any joint around, copy and paste one finger to quickly create the others, mirror and then use symmetry to adjust both sides at once, etc.

And in the big picture, most bone placement is straightforward enough that going back and forth between layout and modeler to test deformation is pretty minimal. At least that's been my experience. It's also my experience that making sure that editing and re-resting bones already in Layout causes more headaches than just clearing the bones, going to modeler, making a few tweaks, and re-converting in Layout.

But after saying all this, I'm really not trying to say that no one should create bones in Layout. I felt like some of the earlier posts implied that one would only use skelegons if they didn't really know what they were doing. That's the point I'm trying to counter.

Eric

omeone
03-30-2007, 12:54 PM
You have to click a button to add a bone. Then you have to use rotation handles to orient it properly (instead of just dragging the tip). If you want to change the length, you have to use a slider. Then hit another button to add a child bone, and the process starts over.

Assign a key to 'draw child bone' will overcome all that, the rest length can adjusted with Shift+r.

My only issue with Skelegons is that the workflow is too interrupted, which makes it easy to lose track, especially while learning rigging. Otherwise having all of Modeler's tools to lay the Skelegons is very nice.

My biggest gripe in Layout is the default orientation of Bones, how is a beginner supposed to know and figure out which viewport they need to drawn in?

ercaxus
03-30-2007, 02:38 PM
I believe you can parent skelegons without welding them if you're using skelegon editor. It has it's own convert skelegons command.(as far as i remember it did :D. It's been a while since i touched it) Also David Ikeda's skelescript has some cool features, and it might be a (way)better option than .rig files for re-usability.
Hopefully before in 9.x cycle all of these things (workarounds) are going to be history.

hrgiger
03-30-2007, 04:04 PM
The bone editing tools in Layout leave a lot to be desired. First of all, like Eric mention, the fact that we have to use rotation to position of our bones instead of dragging the tips is pretty awful. Sure, you can use things like tip move and joint move that were added in 8 but the problems with those are a) to the best of my knowledge, such actions cannot be undone and B) They will either move the tip/joint away from the bone they're attached to if the bone was selected or they will move the entire hierachy if nothing/everything is selected.
Here's hoping for some pretty big changes in the CA system for lightwave in the next few versions of Lightwave.

SplineGod
03-30-2007, 05:38 PM
I guess my point of view is to start with Skelegons, where it's easy to sketch out a lot of bones, and then if you're comfortable with the workflow of editing bone position directly in Layout, you can make the tweaks there.

But the fact is, the workflow for layout out bones in Layout is not exactly smooth. You have to click a button to add a bone. Then you have to use rotation handles to orient it properly (instead of just dragging the tip). If you want to change the length, you have to use a slider. Then hit another button to add a child bone, and the process starts over.

You dont have to click to add a bone. Nor do you have to use the rotation handles. You can easily draw bones and draw child bones directly in layout. Those tools have been around for a long time. You can also use the joint move tool to move the tips of the bones or tip move to move the tip and everything downstream. The same joint move tool can be used to adjust the rest length of the bones as well. Its just as easy and fast as doing it in modeler.


If I need to lay out a few bones, I don't mind this. But for something like hands, with a lot of bones, I'd much rather just sketch it out in modeler. I can drag any joint around, copy and paste one finger to quickly create the others, mirror and then use symmetry to adjust both sides at once, etc.
I do bones in the hand in the same way. I create the bones for one finger in layout and then clone that heirarchy, move it to the next finger, adjust and so on. I can also mirror bones in layout but with options to rename the bones right when I do it. Again its as easy as doing it in modeler and in many cases, easier.

There are also other advantages such as renaming heirarchies and with being able to activate bones and test deformations as you go. I also use the joint move tool to move the tip of bones of parent bones away from their children which in some cases can help improve deformations.

Even though theres no undo on these tools its never been an issue for me.
I save my rigs in stages and can easily reload them. You can also save out rig files of partially completed rigs, complete rigs or parts of rigs. Those can be reloaded at any stage. This is something thats not quite as easy to do with skelegons. Theres also scale tools to be able to scale complete rigs or parts of rigs to help fit better. I rarely use skelegons either and IMO it makes more sense to rig right where the deformations will take place. :)

omeone
03-30-2007, 05:45 PM
There are also other advantages such as renaming heirarchies

You name the bones?? :eek:


;)

ericsmith
03-30-2007, 06:19 PM
You dont have to click to add a bone. Nor do you have to use the rotation handles. You can easily draw bones and draw child bones directly in layout. Those tools have been around for a long time. You can also use the joint move tool to move the tips of the bones or tip move to move the tip and everything downstream. The same joint move tool can be used to adjust the rest length of the bones as well. Its just as easy and fast as doing it in modeler.

I'd never noticed the draw bones and draw child bones tools before. They do make the process much easier.

I still think the more recently added bone edit tools like joint move and tip move are pretty flakey, though. Just now, playing around with them to see what you were talking about, LW got tangled up, and couldn't select anything. The joint move tool was active, but all the red lines were gone. I tried to de-activate joint move, and LW crashed.

Eric

Wonderpup
03-30-2007, 06:59 PM
So, to sum up- at the moment we have three different methods for creating rigs,( including IK boost) with some limited interaction between them- each of which comes complete with it's own unique set of problems and workarounds that have to be learned from experience because most aren't documented well (or at all) plus a generous selection of bugs that simply will not die- in layouts bones tools particularly. All with limited undo and limited reusability.

I'd much rather one coherent system that worked logically and well, and thats what I hope NT are working on right about now.

SplineGod
03-30-2007, 07:06 PM
So, to sum up- at the moment we have three different methods for creating rigs,( including IK boost) with some limited interaction between them- each of which comes complete with it's own unique set of problems and workarounds that have to be learned from experience because most aren't documented well (or at all) plus a generous selection of bugs that simply will not die- in layouts bones tools particularly. All with limited undo and limited reusability.

I'd much rather one coherent system that worked logically and well, and thats what I hope NT are working on right about now.


I agree to a degree :)
Thats the same problem in any app with some aspect of it.
Until Newtek revamps the whole animation system you have the choice
to not use the tools, learn to use them or not use them and try and learn another app. Ive learned to get around the issues that have been mentioned and there is a ton of material out there in the form of books, videos and discussions on forums that explain the ins and outs. )

What Id love to see is that everything in LW become object based.
You would select the object and assign an attribute to it so you can make it a light, bone, camera etc.
The camera tools allow other things to be cameras. I think it would simplify things considerably and allow
greater flexibility.

Omeone,
Sometimes I actually do! :)

Eric,
Ive used those bone tools since LW8 when they were introduced.
Theyve had their problems from time to time but overall theyve been more then great (for me at least). :)

hrgiger
03-30-2007, 07:18 PM
There are lots of issues in Lightwave with animating and rigging. The lack of any decent constraints haven't been mentioned here that I saw.
I'd be willing to deal better with some of these limitations if deformation speeds with bones weren't so slow. It'd be too easy to name an app that has faster deformations but can you name one that is slower?

Cageman
03-31-2007, 01:19 AM
Maybe somewhat off topic, but it does, in the end, realate to rigging and animation...

I want LW to have what Maya has had all the time... nodes for everything. However, the "old" way of doing things should still have a presence; very much like the Layer-based surfacing still is avaliable for shading (of course, if it hinders the developement forward, then scrap the backward compatibility). I have experienced many times how efficient LW:s "old way" of doing things can be (no sarcasm or joke). Building an UI and a workflow on top of a node-based ground would mean that a user can do most things in an intuitive and userfriendly way, but if they need to, they can dig into the nodes and start doing crazy things! Maya, by all means, isn't very userfriendly in some aspects, and I've noticed that MEL-scripters have to do alot of scripting for things that LW can do with a push of a button.

Example: Select an animated item, save a motionfile, or select individual channels in graph editor to save those out. The "userfriendly" way of re-using animations this way in Maya is to load the scene you want to take the motions from (either by import or using reference) and then copy/paste using graph editor or simply parent constrain the new object to the imported one and hide the imported stuff. That said, I'm all for scripting (though I don't know a sh*t about either MEL or L-scripts). ;)

faulknermano wrote a script for LW that exports all motions from all objects in a scene, or just the selected ones. It also exports all bones motions as well (if you want). Not only that, but it can LOAD motions the same way! It has proven to be very, very good and a HUGE timesaver, and I'm using it several times / day in production! This is something that I think many people overlook when it comes to animation and rigging... How well can I reuse the animation in other projects? LightWave do offer some very easy to use tools for this, but as many times before, LW has alot of potential, but only some third party developers (such as faulknermano) developes the ideas further.

To go out on a limb here... what NT could do is to extend their motion exporter to include all information about the objects, bones, lights and cameras and allow a camera (or any other item) to automaticly look for a specified motionfile when the scene is loaded, and use whatever settings that motionfile holds. To further give you an idea of what I see potential of... lets say I have a bunch of characters, each character has 50 bones. These characters are rendered in multiple scenes (customized renderpasses and whatnot). Imagine the pain if you need to change the animation!!! If NT would extend and develop the motionfiles as in my example, I could open any scene, do my changes, save the motionfiles and all other scenes will be updated automagicly (because all bones in all scenes always load their settings from the same file, and I have CHOOSEN to do so). That, my friends, would offer a pretty decent reference system without much effort, really! Maybe it shouldn't be called motionfiles though... ;)

Same thing with surfaces. We all know that if we make custom renderpasses, we have to save a copy of the object and associate that object with the corresponding scenefile. What if I only have to use ONE object all the time, but depending on the scene I tell LightWave to load and apply a saved surface whenever this particular scene is loaded?

Going back to referencing...

Once again, faulknermano has written a script that reads/exports M2L files (maya2Lightwave). These files can currently hold translation, rotation and scale (no other settings). This allows me to have a scene where I do the animation and exports the M2L-files. All other scenes uses these exported M2L-files as motionmodifiers. It works very well with all items (cameras, lights, bones and objects). Because of this I can be quite flexible when it comes to animation and I don't have to worry to much about changes later on, however, the limitations of just having translation, rotation and scale in these files doesn't allow me to change how a bone influeces the object, or the color/intensity of a light etc without actually open every single scenefile and apply the changes manually.

Bottomline is that I see alot of things in LightWave that does have potential to become so much more than what it currently is. My example about referencing is one of the major things I've seen and thought about alot.

What do you guys think?

SplineGod
03-31-2007, 01:19 AM
Theres certainly ways to speed things up.
A common way in many apps is to use proxy rigs so that the animator can focus on animating rather then deal with deformations. Thats easy enough to do in LW. Once the animation looks good then deformations can be tweaked to look good on the animation. I find that when I separate these tasks that things move pretty well.

omeone
03-31-2007, 02:12 AM
So, to sum up- at the moment we have three different methods for creating rigs,( including IK boost) with some limited interaction between them- each of which comes complete with it's own unique set of problems and workarounds that have to be learned from experience because most aren't documented well (or at all) plus a generous selection of bugs that simply will not die- in layouts bones tools particularly. All with limited undo and limited reusability.


I'd say ther are 2 systems for creating Skeletons and 2 systems for Rigging. All have complete interaction with each other or can be used independantly from each other.

Yes, documentation has always been lacking.

Sorry, for harping on here, but you have to give Newtek credit where credit is is due. They gave us a complete and simple system for RIG Import / export and Motion & Pose Import / Export that is 100% reliable and reusable, and has no workarounds or idiosyncracies.

What they got wrong was not telling us it was designed to work with IKB, so people who didnt use IKB thought the tools were either broken or halfassed.

SplineGod
03-31-2007, 03:12 AM
I agree. If you include PLG tools its possible to have multiple types of IK on a single rig. It wasnt just a matter of not telling people it was designed to work with IKB. Newtek stated that IKB was a replacement IK system. That confused alot of people because its not true. In other places Newtek stated that IKB was created only to allow bones to have dynamics.

A big part of the problem is that nobody at Newtek that Im aware of has a lot of character rigging and animation experience. Newtek at one point asked me to give them copies of my IKB material to use in house.

eben
03-31-2007, 03:24 AM
hi there, i'm not a CA specialist but i would like to learn more about...do you think it's worth to learn IKboost as it might be improved in next release or do you think there'll be a totally new CA system ?

omeone
03-31-2007, 03:27 AM
:trying not to laugh:
That's tells the whole story, right there though. And I, like you, will never forget that second statement you reference ;)

On the other matter, I have big hopes Mr. Toms' new appointment is a positive step in the right direction. I don't know how he sits with rigging and animation, but just the establishment of definite lines of communication between learners and NewTek through him could (and should) be a good thing.

omeone
03-31-2007, 03:32 AM
hi there, i'm not a CA specialist but i would like to learn more about...do you think it's worth to learn IKboost as it might be improved in next release or do you think there'll be a totally new CA system ?

hi eben,
personally, I dont see anything being developed for IKB in the near future. They say there is a new CA system about to be developed, but you could be waiting a while... and even when it does arrive... it will still need some maturing time.

You can learn and use IK Boost now, it's quite easy.

Have a look at this YouTube video of it in action (it's under 10 minutes, so you wont lose anything by looking)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7hXZiO3iww

(and you can download the character, rig and scene from ikboost.com)

eben
03-31-2007, 03:48 AM
Thanks Omeone for the link: interesting and a rather fluid animation process... ( as far as i know...).this site is very interresting to understand ikboost philosophy...thanks again!:)
but if it'll be an obsolete system in few month, i thinks it's wiser for me to keep in working with traditionnal CA.

regards

Dirk
03-31-2007, 06:09 AM
But hopefully the new system will have the abilities of IKB, it's so cool to "rig on the fly"...

theo
03-31-2007, 06:48 AM
A big part of the problem is that nobody at Newtek that Im aware of has a lot of character rigging and animation experience. Newtek at one point asked me to give them copies of my IKB material to use in house.

If this is true, and of all the people on these forums you would be the last to fabricate something like this, it would probably be useful for Newtek to pull together a meeting of the minds on CA consisting of the most intelligent and prolific LW animators in the business.

Spend a couple of days with this cream group and hash out the new system built on a solid foundation of practicality and usability ideals coupled with in-house intelligence and creativity.

If there truly is a weakness in NT's house in regards to character animation then all steps should be taken to bring address it with a massive integration of ideas from the most intelligent minds in the business.

tischbein3
03-31-2007, 07:51 AM
While this is getting a real interesting discussion here's I put my half cents on problems I faced: BTW not much experience with other systems, and I'm not a daily rigger.

skeletons:
- agree on the rotation thing, its really pain to setup and modify correct hpb orientation.
- get knife tool working on them
- another annoying thing is the split behaviour (also for bones): I really hate, the skeleton bone chain order gets totaly scrambled up: Time killer
- give me the possebillity to set / modify and store ALL bone and ik related parameters (including motion modifier plugins) into the skeletons. In modeler and layout.

bones
- better ik: I hate to add a target objects after a maximum of 3 -4 bones in an ik row to keep this whole bone flipping thing under control, the rotational limits, wich should avoid this, simply do not work effectively

- either need a way to make scale independent to child bones, or better: a way to animate rest length. (and bone strength itself btw)

- parent bones only to the current object is an additional plague: And does make things more difficult and unpredicteable as it should be. (For example if you try to parent certain bones to a null object, by using additional plugins/ scripts, wich "might" function but imho more by luck.. also it is quite a time killer and unintuitive)

- (minor: ) ik targeting should be set to the tip of a bone.... not to the base. IMHO this always means one bone more than it should.

- use keyframe animation to overwrite and adding additional values to the ik. (Not this on/off or "before-ik" thing we currently have.. additional an additional keyframe influence envelope / texture)

- make it possible to animate bone tip by xyz (+banking) - instead of rotational coordinates

- (less needed, but usefull: ) rotation limits animateable,

- the whole "goal strength" / stiffness thing is quite counter intuitive. And I really do have to say if I set them up, more by guessing / try and error rather than by strategy (resulting in strange high and low values).
Shouldn't there be some sort of counter referencing of all goal strength values in a ik chain, plus some additional feedback ?

- Not really used yet, and not really needed (as in "I cannot live without it") The possebillety to use multible bones setups from multible objects on one object.

maybe I've missed something, but thats all what I come up in this short time.

hrgiger
03-31-2007, 08:16 AM
Theres certainly ways to speed things up.
A common way in many apps is to use proxy rigs so that the animator can focus on animating rather then deal with deformations. Thats easy enough to do in LW. Once the animation looks good then deformations can be tweaked to look good on the animation. I find that when I separate these tasks that things move pretty well.

Yes there are ways to speed things up but you get slowdowns with even the simplest of rigs that have NO mesh in the scene. And yes, there are other ways as well to speed things up, you can turn off motion paths and other display options and deforms and...you get the point. But the bottom line is Lightwave has a serious bottleneck when it comes to bones and IK that really seriously need to be addressed.

And if nobody at Newtek has any experience with character animation, then they better be consulting those who do, or we're all in trouble.

Wonderpup
03-31-2007, 12:12 PM
Is a 'nodal' version of CA a totally absurd idea- or could the nodal concept be applied to set up, rigging ect- at the end of the day nodal is just a way of wiring parameters together- and it might provide a more intuitive workflow than the current collection of bits. Kind of fun to think about

hrgiger
03-31-2007, 12:17 PM
I'm pretty sure that nodal will play a part in what Newtek has in mind. I don't know by how much but it's been discussed a lot in these discussion before.

Lottmedia
04-02-2007, 11:55 AM
Simple fact of the matter is that every time I try to do something with CA in Lightwave I feel like I'm trying to get around the software, or "hack" it in some way. There are so many different plug-ins to "help" IK in lightwave it's ridiculus.
I just want a system that works reliably without having to remember to turn off sixteen different settings to change something or sacrifice a chicken before loading my model. No I don't want everything done for me, but I also don't want to feel like God on the First Day every time I wanna make something move!

Casey :cat:

Wickster
04-02-2007, 06:05 PM
But hopefully the new system will have the abilities of IKB, it's so cool to "rig on the fly"...
Yeah, IKB has potential especially its dynamics capabilities and controls.

Some wishes I'd like for IKB are:
I would like to see IKB 100% assimilated in layout. I hate it that IKB feels like a separate component that you really have to have your Rig 100% perfect before you activate it, otherwise editing it would risk the chance of breaking it.
IKB could just be added as a Motion Modifier to a parent hierchy that affects its children. So if you want your whole rig to be IKBoosted add the modifier to the Root_Bone, if you just need the dynamics part on say a ponytail/horse's tail rig then just apply the modifier on the parent _tail_bone parent.
IKB control handles are a blessing in disguise, I think. Those should be added to all bones, IKB or not, and is accessable via Properties checkbox. Imagine having no nulls to control your rig, but those movable, always attached or staying put IKB controls. Plus its power to customize which channel it controls HPB or XYZ. And imagine having the option to use those controls as bone tip targets...instant knee and elbow twisters.

So yeah, I would like IKB to stay but not as IKBooster, but as Lightwave Bones options. As I say it again, I don't want it as a separate component that has its seperate options, but part of Lightwave's bones properties. Activating IKB always makes me think like "OK, there's no going back."

OFF
04-02-2007, 10:52 PM
..well in the future have a preset panel for rigs, with possibility modify as armature in messiahs..

omeone
04-03-2007, 02:37 AM
Yeah, IKB has potential especially its dynamics capabilities and controls.

Some wishes I'd like for IKB are:
I would like to see IKB 100% assimilated in layout. I hate it that IKB feels like a separate component that you really have to have your Rig 100% perfect before you activate it, otherwise editing it would risk the chance of breaking it...

that would totally open up IKB and add the the potential to make twice as good, user macros, node interaction etc etc.

Ironically enough, at the moment, IKB's plugin status is probably what keeps it so stable and reliable.


...Imagine having no nulls to control your rig, but those movable, always attached or staying put IKB controls. Plus its power to customize which channel it controls HPB or XYZ. And imagine having the option to use those controls as bone tip targets...instant knee and elbow twisters.
Don't have to imagine :) here it is in action (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7hXZiO3iww), doing just that. You can hardly even see the controllers - compare that with a Maya rig where the character looks like they are trying to fight their way out of a cage of OGL squiggles and shapes and lines!

Activating IKB always makes me think like "OK, there's no going back."
I dont feel that way when I use it (the opposite in fact). but instead of getting OT with it, send me a PM or start a new thread if you want to talk workflows. BTW, Im sure you know already, but for the lurkers, you can mute or remove IKB completely.

Dirk
04-03-2007, 04:53 AM
I dont feel that way when I use it (the opposite in fact). but instead of getting OT with it, send me a PM or start a new thread if you want to talk workflows. BTW, Im sure you know already, but for the lurkers, you can mute or remove IKB completely.

Me, too. When I'm using a mixed rig (Full time standard IK for the legs, IKB for the rest), I'm turning IKB on and off just as I need it. Mostly, I'm using "current Item" in IKB, so it only produces keyframes until it hits the next IK-stop. that way, IKB doesn't set keyframes for the root object.

btw, could You explain the workflow for the Time Lapse Walk Animation, especially the part with autobind, when You re-use the walk cycle, in a few words?

omeone
04-03-2007, 05:17 AM
btw, could You explain the workflow for the Time Lapse Walk Animation, especially the part with autobind, when You re-use the walk cycle, in a few words?

Hi Dirk,
I'm not too sure I follow you, but I'll give it a try...
First, have you downloaded the high-res version of the video and the Scene zip file?
The second thing is that setting a Bakespot for a node, is just a way for IKB to remember where to apply a 'Bind Motion'. Like I used to do in older videos.

I dont really "re-use" the walk cycle when using Autobind. I did copy the walk motion along the timeline (effectively 4 times). Bakespots also get copied along with the frame-range of motions.

Once you turn on Autobind, each time you make an edit, IKB recompensates all motions so that nodes with a bakespot remain rooted to the spot. (which is why I use contact points for Bakes and Binds).

Also Im not sure this would work with full-time IK legs.

I dont think I explained that very well :(

If you want to try it, download the scene, turn on Boost mode, set All Items and delete all keys after F25 (the character should now walk in a straight line only). Now scrub down the timeline a bit and rotate the top-level controller a bit on the Heading, hit Play. He should now have change direction at that keyframe.

One last thing to note, dont edit the position of a node during its bakespot while Auotbind is on, the recompensation will appear to work backwards.

Dirk
04-03-2007, 06:06 AM
Maybe we should really start a thread about IKB workflows in the tips & tricks section :D

Wickster
04-03-2007, 10:18 AM
Interesting...I guess I might have to take another look at IKB sometime soon. It has been very unstable for me the last time I tried it, but I was using it for non-character animation purposes. Now that I'm taking a break from the modeling realm and getting my feet wet on CA with layout rigging and possibly animation later, I'll give IKB a try while waiting for the new LW CA tools.

On the same topic, If I had to say my biggest problem with LW's CA tools in general, well from the very shortest time I've spent on it, is it is almost impossible for me not to mangle my deformations when editing the rig after animation for example using Tip Move or Joint Move after all bones have been activated or established, is usually gets unpredictable results for me. I'm probably doing all things wrong and I know rigging is an art on its own but it shouldn't be this hard.

On the other side of the coin however, although I had trouble drawing bones in layout, mainly Draw Bone not drawing where I want it draw and Tip Move moving my whole chain down the Y axis. I would have to say that Layout does a very good job of drawing the bones in correct HPB alignment. Without much twisting and rotating the rotation parameters is where I want them to be after drawing them, much better than converting my skelegon. Which made the bones a little easier to controller providing that all handles are where I wanted them to be.

Of course this comment wouldn't be complete without a request, I'd like to see the best of both worlds when it comes to rig creation. The ease of use of creating skelegons with the smart alignment of layout bones.Skelegons' interactive bone placement with tip moving on the fly inbetween chains while editing is a joy to work with. Just give the ability to press backspace while in edit mode to delete the last created bone and interactive bone fusing and bone breaking and all without those funky HPB ciontrol alignments would definitely make me skip the setup tab in modeler. :)

Hmm, you know what, everyone here seems to have good suggestions about how to improve CA in LW. We shoud gather these up and put it in one document and present it to NT to help them out. And if any of you know of more riggers/animators/TDs/expressionists/scripters let's try to get their input on here, all of us would benefit on this. :D just a thought.

omeone
04-03-2007, 11:17 AM
Well... here's some of my tips for Bones in Layout... I'm not trying to say any of these are right or wrong - just a reflection of my habits!

in no particular order...

Set Up

When setting up Bones, I have always got my deformations pretty good using just FK before turning on either the old IK or IKB. Just an old habit, but it may help.

Dont use 'Draw Bone' use 'Draw child bone' as all bones need to be a child of something anyway, this gets your bone in the right position.

Use Draw Child bone in rotation mode, so you can see the rotation handles as you drag the tip out.

When deleting a bone, roll the mouse-wheel to translation mode, and make sure the File requester is set to VBFileRequester under general options (probably some more seriously paranoid habits)

I prefer to avoid using Bone Twist, here's my method:

Draw Leg, Foot, Spine and Head Bones in side View
Draw Shoulder and Arm Bones in top View
Draw Hand bones in Front / back view


After mirroring a hierarchy, any Limits and Pivot rotations will need to be checked and fixed.

I always tend to Record Pivot rotations before Resting (r) Bones.



On the same topic, If I had to say my biggest problem with LW's CA tools in general, well from the very shortest time I've spent on it, is it is almost impossible for me not to mangle my deformations when editing the rig after animation for example using Tip Move or Joint Move after all bones have been activated or established, is usually gets unpredictable results for me. I'm probably doing all things wrong and I know rigging is an art on its own but it shouldn't be this hard.

Before editing bones (more old habits),

1. select them all (best way is with a saved filter on the Dope Sheet / Scene editor - as this will also select any that you have locked).

2. Reset rotations, scales, and translations, or undo any SRT edits you may have made.

2. deactivate them (Ctrl+r)

3. Edit away

4. Record Pivot rotations on any changed Bones.

5. Select all bones again

6. Rest all Bones (r) NB: It's very important to know there is a difference between de-activating, re-activating and resting.

(Steps can be seriously cut down with some scripting and custom keys, I think Bone Edit Mode was supposed to do this, but I'm paranoid about using it)


Of course this comment wouldn't be complete without a request, I'd like to see the best of both worlds when it comes to rig creation. The ease of use of creating skelegons with the smart alignment of layout bones.Skelegons' interactive bone placement with tip moving on the fly inbetween chains while editing is a joy to work with. Just give the ability to press backspace while in edit mode to delete the last created bone and interactive bone fusing and bone breaking and all without those funky HPB ciontrol alignments would definitely make me skip the setup tab in modeler. :) totally agree! Look at all the habits I have developed above, most of these should not be needed, or at very least consolidated into 1 or 2 steps.


Hmm, you know what, everyone here seems to have good suggestions about how to improve CA in LW. We shoud gather these up and put it in one document and present it to NT to help them out. And if any of you know of more riggers/animators/TDs/expressionists/scripters let's try to get their input on here, all of us would benefit on this. :D just a thought.

you know what? I was thinking the same thing, but I also think it is dangerous to totally depend on tech-wizards. Otherwise we will get more over-complicated tools, that are difficult to understand and use. I think it would put LightWave in danger of its best claim-to-fame at the moment - the fact that 1 LW artist can do ALL the jobs, whereas your Maya and XSI houses need teams of specialists.

Finally, I have attached my Layout Menu Configs, which may (or may not!) be of help to some.

omeone
04-03-2007, 11:21 AM
Finally, I have attached my Layout Menu Configs, which may (or may not!) be of help to some.

well, I thought I did!

t4d
04-06-2007, 02:54 AM
, but I also think it is dangerous to totally depend on tech-wizards. Otherwise we will get more over-complicated tools, that are difficult to understand and use. I think it would put LightWave in danger of its best claim-to-fame at the moment - the fact that 1 LW artist can do ALL the jobs, whereas your Maya and XSI houses need teams of specialists.


That's simply not true !!

ALL the LW studio's HAVE Rigging and Techical directors.
You have Tim on BSG, ( one Smart guy Changed the Whole Workflow SO LW has some issues to the average LW'er )

and the guys on Newtek 300 movie profile One Man studio's ?? .. NO they are Extremely High level artist, Far from the Joe average LW'er and pulled Major WOW work from a Average package..

AND Sorry That statement also say's XSI and Maya is NOT used by One man studio's I know at least 20 and some have come From LW and are now Happly using Maya and XSI to replace they whole pipeline.

I know I spent weeks and months learning LW IK and rigging yet,. yet I was rigging in Messiah in a single weekend
and still spent less time learning XSI rigging then I did learning LW..

and then there's IKB .. I bet you would have learnt XSI ik system faster then IKBoost..LW is not that easy to learn anymore compaired to others, due to do it's many Bug and limited workflow.

Sorry Negative But found that Opinion to be so Wrong i had to post.

Dirk
04-06-2007, 04:00 AM
and then there's IKB .. I bet you would have learnt XSI ik system faster then IKBoost..LW is not that easy to learn anymore compaired to others, due to do it's many Bug and limited workflow.

When IKB is used together with the old IK system, it's easy to use (say, feet + legs old IK, rest IKB).

Problem with IKB is that the manual is absolutly horrible, and there is no explanation of the workflows when it comes to baking and binding.

ercaxus
04-06-2007, 06:27 PM
There would be much less confusion if it was named FKB instead of IKB.

t4d
04-06-2007, 06:41 PM
the IKboost debate has gone on for along time,.... no point But I will say they are bigger issues then the name they gave it.

toonafish
04-10-2007, 03:56 AM
whereas your Maya and XSI houses need teams of specialists.

I have to agree with T4D here. I've heard this blurb being repeated so often in the LW community, and there was a time I believed the same thing, but it's simply not true.

Actually rigging in XSI is easier then in LW. You can't skip the weighting process as you can in LW, but its' very straight forward. And I must say it's fun because you have so much control and you can actualy see what you're doing in real time.

But man, with all them tools you have in XSI it's soooo much easyer to setup a decent rig then in LW I don't even know where to start comparing.

Don't get me wrong, LW has its advantages over XSI and I can see why peeps would like to stick with LW when you don't do much character animation.

But it' simply not true that XSI needs teams of specialists to get the job done, I'm a one man show and get my character rigs done better and more quickly in XSI then in LW.

omeone
04-10-2007, 05:55 AM
I have to agree with T4D here Is he still here? :p :D


I've heard this blurb being repeated so often in the LW community, and there was a time I believed the same thing, but it's simply not true...

well hey, I didnt say I believed it either ;) It's just a trend people have picked up on - not a rule... there are no rules.

Anyway, that is miles off the point I was making... that I would hope to see the developement team take feedback from a wide variety of the user-base, with differing specialities and different levels of experience.

cresshead
04-10-2007, 06:09 AM
there's 2 trains of thought here...you either deal with 'wot ya got' and make something of the tools in lightwave for character animation like what splinegod and omeone has or you look elsewhere like t4d and toonafish have..both are quite valid in their opinions.

bobakabob
04-10-2007, 07:17 AM
there's 2 trains of thought here...you either deal with 'wot ya got' and make something of the tools in lightwave for character animation like what splinegod and omeone has or you look elsewhere like t4d and toonafish have..both are quite valid in their opinions.

Heh, you've summed up the whole debate in a nutshell. :D

Wonderpup
04-10-2007, 07:33 AM
I want the best of both worlds- staying with lightwave and intuitive rigging tools- yep I'm just plain greedy:D

More seriously- NT realize I'm sure that those who migrate to other apps to get their character work done will possibly stray more permanently to the Dark Side and maybe never come back- not good. Even though character stuff is a relatively small part of the market, it's the most appealing and the area that most newcomers to 3D find most interesting- so for purely marketing reasons the character tools need to be solid and as fun to use as possible.

toonafish
04-10-2007, 07:35 AM
there's 2 trains of thought here...you either deal with 'wot ya got' and make something of the tools in lightwave for character animation like what splinegod and omeone has or you look elsewhere like t4d and toonafish have..both are quite valid in their opinions.

so true :D

all I wanted is to straighten out this little piece of disinformation.

cresshead
04-10-2007, 08:12 AM
yeah imagine an app you can't add/write plugins for to add functions and you had to wait till the app maker added them in a point revision like say modo...

there's a stack of people adding stuff for lightwave even before newtek overhaul the character rigging and animation..and some very generous people using their valuable time to explain how some tools work for free as well...

plenty for the average 'joe' to get on with lightwave be it with the builtin tools or training or plugins/scripts and for those at the top end how want to 'push' the line they can import/export to other apps like xsi, max [that's what i do] maya and messiah.

certainly thesedays a 'one app' solution is getting further away and not closer with the likes of z brush, silo, mudbox, xsi, poser,bryce, messiah, vue etc...

never mind your next steps with audio editing, compositing, music composition and video editing as well as dvd production....and script writing too!

theo
04-10-2007, 09:24 AM
certainly thesedays a 'one app' solution is getting further away and not closer with the likes of z brush, silo, mudbox, xsi, poser,bryce, messiah, vue etc...

never mind your next steps with audio editing, compositing, music composition and video editing as well as dvd production....and script writing too!

This is a fair assumption and is a bit hard to reason with, frankly, because it is so fair.

BUT, here's my view: I don't care what ILM does with their pipeline. I don't care what the top LW studios do with their entire pipelines. I don't care what anyone does with their pipeline. I am interested. I am engaged in others due to this interest. BUT BUT BUT, I prefer to centralize. Centralizing is more efficient for the way I work. Centralizing is less costly. Centralizing tends to be predictable. Centralizing, for me, means less software and higher productivity, which translates into MORE money and less time in front of these blasted monitors. Centralizing makes me very good money. Distraction adds little to profitability.

Discount the last paragraph if you are a hobbyist or a large studio. Hobbyists don't need to make money with the software and large studios are managed quite differently from a one man studio.

Since I am not a mental genius I don't want to learn eight different 3D apps (outside of ZBrush or Mudbox), unless forced to. I prefer to LIVE and ENJOY life outside of being glued to a computer monitor twelve hours a day.

So, I am all for making LW work with CA, with all of its current limitations. I am also all for LW incorporating updated CA technologies into their core. In the end, I use LW as much as possible and will continue to do so until they drop the ball so miserably that I have to move to another centralizable 3D application.

At this point I don't care if XSI is God unclothed. I don't WANT to spend the money and time learning a new application when the one I have does just perfectly fine. Though, I will add, the the application "that does just fine", ie LW, has expectations of advancement attached to its survival in my centralization process.

cresshead
04-10-2007, 09:47 AM
and now with my fanboy hat on....
lightwave has something that avid [xsi maker of late] simply cannot buy...
the user community be they regular users of lightwave, the newtek chaps who frequent the forums, the top banana artists like splinegod and proton and the plugin/scripters....this all makes the 'lightwave experience' more than a ''app''
...both here, flay, spinquad the insider book guru and the plugin makers forums too.

....now stepping off me soapbox!
...have a good un!

t4d
04-10-2007, 05:54 PM
cresshead you nailed the first one agree :thumbsup:

BUT


and now with my fanboy hat on....
lightwave has something that avid [xsi maker of late] simply cannot buy...
the user community be they regular users of lightwave, the newtek chaps who frequent the forums, the top banana artists like splinegod and proton and the plugin/scripters....this all makes the 'lightwave experience' more than a ''app''
...both here, flay, spinquad the insider book guru and the plugin makers forums too.

....now stepping off me soapbox!
...have a good un!

I find this point interesting too and it's abit like the last point omeone made
Why do you think XSI, Maya Etc communities are so different ?

for me YES the whole attuide is different in XSI, the main differents is you have to SEARCH BEFORE you post
XSI pro's don't like repeating themselfs ( none of us do )
BUT HUGE amounts of excellent info are there you just have to search. XSIbase and wiki both have excellent search tools

As for plugins etc XSI third parties don't have much room BUT ALOT of free plugins still get released and ALL are helpfull and better intergraded then LW ones. ( check XSI base it has a flay type section )

as for Maya Well I can honestly say, I only have had maya for afew weeks and WOW from what i have seen with free tutorials, plugins, rigs and everything else It makes the Lightwave community look like a bunch of school kids. MAYA's community really ROCKS AND IS SUPER ACTIVE !!!

Messiah yes smaller and not as active But help is there just asked at cgtalk and help will come and there are alot of tutorials etc around for it,
AND one of the freak thing is if you email pmg messiah direct YOU get very helpfull replies quickly !!

Sorry but this is another opinion that keeps getting pushed that is simply not true. YES the lightwave community is GOOD
But it's not the only one or the biggest or the best.

@ omeone sorry for being here mate ,.. Fanboys should rule the world

silly opinions should be fired off without question and newer users should just beleave them.. but why post an opinion if even you don't beleave it ??
is this fanboy feeding day ?

theo
04-10-2007, 07:26 PM
but why post an opinion if even you don't beleave it ??
is this fanboy feeding day ?

Probably not.. feeding frenzy that is. I do get weary of hearing the wonders of XSI on a LW forum from you though. You seem to spend a large part of your time here promoting this product. It mystifies me to what end, frankly.

SplineGod
04-10-2007, 07:39 PM
Theo,
Amen and AMEN!
Its funny, I seriously doubt that the people in the 'enlightened' maya and xsi forums would put up with someone constantly coming in pushing other applications. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black... beating a dead horse or (post appropriate cliche)...

t4d
04-10-2007, 07:59 PM
I enjoy 3D and I started many years ago in a Great LW community where people would always share there plugins or tools they use for this or that.

and back then it really was
" cheap LW can do what that $50 000 or $ 100 000 packages can do "
but it's not like that any more

if your a 3D Fan or Pro now, using more then one 3D tool is very much standard and I find it odd some LW users don't see it like that.

I uses modo for most of my modeling UV and painting
Zbrush for displacements
XSI or messiah for rigging and animating Characters
XSI mental ray or Lightwave to render

it's very normal workflow for freelancers and Studio's
yet they are still MANY LW'er who think Lightwave is a cult and if you uses or speak about other software you need to be nail to a cross. ??

sad thing is,. you can talk about other packages in the XSI, Messiah, Maya and modo forums without a Issues and no one takes offence if anything the opposite happens, people Do ask questions because they are happy with what they uses and are generial interested in other ways to work. ( they was a nice chat about using LW to render XSI scenes on XSI base the other day becasue it's cheaper then Mental ray on a farm )

yet here people know LW needs work, but if you Say XSI or Maya works this way I hope LW 10 or 11 can do this ..

you get Flamed and Fanboys freak out ?.. and they reply with " NO Newtek need to invent Magicial features easy to learn Super powerful that are not like any of the other packages "

sad thing is they have no idea what the other package can do or how they work ??
Maya, messiah, modo, XSI are all Very much the same in workflow and features But they have evolved that way for good reason " it works " and LW seeing it needs the most work, needs to looks at them as a guide. be it following,.. or just inspired by them.

anyway Way too long,... Sorry if i say XSI too much
But I only uses LW render because I have replaced parts of LW with other software. if that comes off as me selling XSI sorry
I'm just one Artist hoping to help other artists to find the best tool for the job.

prospector
04-10-2007, 08:09 PM
yet they are still MANY LW'er who think Lightwave is a cult and if you uses or speak about other software you need to be nail to a cross. ??


Indeedy-doo :ohmy:

:bowdown: :newtek: :bowdown: :lwicon: :bowdown:

t4d
04-10-2007, 08:17 PM
most of LW problems lie between seat and keyboard

Only a lightwave user would have this ....:hey:

because if you uses other software for Character animation ,. you simply don't have problems.:tongue:

SplineGod
04-10-2007, 08:18 PM
Somehow I doubt that one can go into those forums constantly bash maya or xsi and try and point out how LW is better without people getting upset...call it a feeling...

t4d
04-10-2007, 08:25 PM
Somehow I doubt that one can go into those forums constantly bash maya or xsi and try and point out how LW is better without people getting upset...call it a feeling...

Well i agree I think the number of EX lightwavers in the maya and XSI forums would Stand up and have ALOT to say about the reasons they left :D

the Lightwave render still has a good rep around the 3D industry and i have read afew threads about Maya and XSI studio's and freelancers using it.

But if you start talking BS about How good IKB is on a Maya forums you would get totally Flamed ..so i would say out of there SG :hey:

theo
04-10-2007, 09:08 PM
Well i agree I think the number of EX lightwavers in the maya and XSI forums would Stand up and have ALOT to say about the reasons they left :D

the Lightwave render still has a good rep around the 3D industry and i have read afew threads about Maya and XSI studio's and freelancers using it.

But if you start talking BS about How good IKB is on a Maya forums you would get totally Flamed ..so i would say out of there SG :hey:

Fact is, you are not adding interesting food for thought anymore. It is the same old t4d story of XSI's and Maya's mastery and LW's misery (except for its renderer, supposedly) which really doesn't do a whole lotta good for anyone in a Lightwave forum.

It takes a lotta chutzpa to sit there and tell me not to go onto a Maya forum and spread the gospel about IKB there... Especially since I really could care one single subatomic particle less about what a Maya user thinks about the software I use.

cresshead
04-10-2007, 09:39 PM
td4...a serious question...why do you come here and preach the wonders of xsi?
as many have pointed out this is a lightwave forum..not just ''a lightwave forum'' actually but NEWTEK's lightwave forum...

..for their 3d app that newtek are selling and supporting...i feel they are being real quite nice with all this ''give up lightwave talk and see the light shining down on xsi....tis a fantasticly fine light too''

[most probably rendered with lightwave 9.2!]

now i also use max along side lightwave yet i don't slam lightwave at nr ever turn here to get people to drop lightwave and go buy 3dsmax...

i just don't get it...

like the shadows and the vorlons said so well....

who are you?
what do you want?

...no really! [they didn't say that bit...i added that!]

t4d
04-10-2007, 09:46 PM
so in a thread titled " Why don't we have better rigging tools? "

there should be no mention of other packages
No mention of other features or workflows
No mention of anything other then,.. LW and plugins ?

even tho messiah is a plugin, so is XSI due to XSI's point oven support ?
so can we talk about messiah ? if yes ,..why not XSI ??
many are using messiah and XSI as a plugin to LW.

with your attuide maybe
we should just have one post Larry selling his training dvd's with a comment " lightwave can do all those things Maya and XSI and messiah can do AND is easy you just need to buy my training. "

but for me the title ask's alot more questions then that.
so how bad is Lightwave ?
what is it missing ?
how do others do it so much better ?
Why are other users Happy with there rigging tools ?

I think the title of this thread leads to an area you don't like to read about.

but you keep reading these type of threads and keep reading my posts ?

cresshead
04-10-2007, 09:57 PM
i'll come back to my question ''what do you want?''

by your own threads from you in various past postsyour now 90% an ex-lightwaver...so what do you care about lightwave anymore for rigging?
surly your going to be better served over on your new shiny xsibase forum or maya forum where rigging is all fine with happy smiley faces...

now i'm not saying...go forth etc...but what's your reason to come back and spend time 'kicking a dead horse' which is basically more or less your opionion of lightwave for rigging....

if your hoping to resurect lightwave as a cool app for character animation it's an odd way to motivate people be they the dev team here at newtek or plugin developers for that matter...

so...what do you want?

something just doesn't add upp....

so what's wrong with xsi and maya that's driving you back over here to lightwave...
am i getting close to the real reasons....
Hmmm me thinks i am:D

t4d
04-10-2007, 10:00 PM
who are you?
what do you want?

...no really! [they didn't say that bit...i added that!]

Well I wish people would read my posts
first posted due to misinformation Here (http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=524407&postcount=141)
posted the second time due to again misinformation Here (http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=526173&postcount=154)

Now we have you guys Saying I'm trying to sell XSI .. sorry
I use messiah, XSI, Maya and modo as well as LW they are all Good.

open your mind NOT join a software cult :eek:

I uses Lightwave more then alot of others who are posting here
I see no reason I why can not post my opinion on a subject I've been making a living from for afew years now.

t4d
04-10-2007, 10:03 PM
so what's wrong with xsi and maya that's driving you back over here to lightwave...
am i getting close to the real reasons....
Hmmm me thinks i am:D

please tell

many already know why i still uses lw, But i would love to hear what you think.

cresshead
04-10-2007, 10:09 PM
okay lets turn this around just for a sec...don't want to go off topic too much but...xsi...can you do all your work in xsi comfortably now...what's the downside to xsi...obviously not rigging i'll guess but...there's gonna be a few things that make you split your work between xsi, lightwave, messiah and maya...

so what's xsi used for in your set up and what's it absolutly crap at where you just have to kick it's 'dead horse' and jump back over to lightwave...

i reackon most people are getting 'touchy' here are your posts only portray lightwave in a bad light so to speak...they therefore feel if you think lightwave's so *** you'd just go wholesale into happy land [xsi]

so...

gotta hit F10 now so i'll come back to read later!

hrgiger
04-10-2007, 10:10 PM
Well, I for one like to hear about what other software can do. Especially now when input from users on what is good and what is not is needed. I haven't used XSI, but I"m quite envious of some of its features.
It's time to stop defending Lightwave when Newtek itself has acknowledged that work on character animation tools is very much needed by its users and the current system isn't cutting the proverbial mustard. Lets talk about what we want it to do, not the few things it can do.

t4d
04-10-2007, 10:25 PM
Mental ray nodes cost $999 US dollars per CPU
I have afew Mental ray nodes BUT Can't have MR running on all my machines in my farm due to Cost.

SO I uses LW when i can, I like the LW surface nodes ( it's alot like the XSI Nodes system ) and I like Fprime for setting up my lighting etc.

But what and when is Totally depended on the project.

somethings I've used Mental ray because I just could not even load them in LW and others due to XSI pass system made things easier.

others I would do in LW because of XSI's lack of Procedurals or perfered Hypervoxels to XSI volumes ( alot changed since IFW come to XSI ) or it needed quick turn around and Fprime or the LW farm was needed.

3D tools are cheap now, but none are prefect
why limit yourself ? and why not just uses the best one for the job at hand.

but here's a question for you

do you really prefer LW rigging and animation system Over 3D max ?

are you happy with the development of LW's 3D animation systems compaired to Max ?

prospector
04-10-2007, 11:04 PM
Mental ray nodes cost $999 US dollars per CPU
I have afew Mental ray nodes BUT Can't have MR running on all my machines in my farm due to Cost.


So the grass isn't greener on the other side?

t4d
04-10-2007, 11:30 PM
well for rendering costs the grass is not greener on the other side.
Most already know this. XSI negative's are clear and easy to see.

But for 99.999 % of everything else all i can say is

I don't do what your avatar is doing when I'm using modo, Messiah, XSI or maya. because where i am there are no problems between the seat and the keyboard or even beyond the keyboard because I uses the right tool for the job so it doesn't turn into a bloody mess every 10 seconds.

And Lightwave is great when used correctly.

SplineGod
04-10-2007, 11:49 PM
Well, I for one like to hear about what other software can do. Especially now when input from users on what is good and what is not is needed. I haven't used XSI, but I"m quite envious of some of its features.
It's time to stop defending Lightwave when Newtek itself has acknowledged that work on character animation tools is very much needed by its users and the current system isn't cutting the proverbial mustard. Lets talk about what we want it to do, not the few things it can do.

Thats wonderful if youre not making a living with the software. The current system may not cut the proverbial mustard for you but I use it daily to make a living and it more then cuts it fine for me. The so called few things it can do is what puts bread on the table not rehashing the same old tired arguements. If you want to know about XSI go to their forums. If you are envious then go buy it.
Since I make a living from LW Im far more interested in getting everything out of my investiment that I can as opposed to constantly try and solve issues by buying more and more software.

t4d
04-10-2007, 11:54 PM
so if you had to do a millions of trees to do, big fly over scene
you would uses LW instead of Vue ?

and again this thread is focused on LW rigging issues
are we here just to hear about your trainning ?
or how things should be better
or issues LW has
how can you compaire or improve if you can't talk about what else is out there ?

Cageman
04-11-2007, 12:08 AM
Well, I for one like to hear about what other software can do. Especially now when input from users on what is good and what is not is needed. I haven't used XSI, but I"m quite envious of some of its features.
It's time to stop defending Lightwave when Newtek itself has acknowledged that work on character animation tools is very much needed by its users and the current system isn't cutting the proverbial mustard. Lets talk about what we want it to do, not the few things it can do.


Amen!

I already posted about referencing and that is something that is vital not only for scene-setup and managing huge projects, but related to animation as well. My idea was to extend the motionfiles into something new that could be used to build a reference system. Ok.. lets go to some of the things I find limiting in LW:

*Deformations are very slow in LW compared to Maya.

*Component selection in Layout and the ability to create/shape customized deformations based on rotation of a bone. Basicly, the one single feature that Maya can animate vertecies just opens so many more doors.

*An easy way to create "morphtargets" for bones. This can be done today using motionmixer, but more intuitive ways are avaliable today in other packages. Anyone who have created a facial rig in MotionBuilder know what I talk about. Actually, facial rigs based on bones are more flexible than morphtargets (we use a free facial rigscript for Maya nowdays that uses bones instead of blendshapes for our highres trailersstuff). Also, the benefit of using bones is that you can easily create normalmap/displacement map deformations based on rotation/position of a bone (this can be done today in LW9.x).

*Motionmodifiers doesn't stack. Sometimes motionmodifiers can be used in conjunction with each other, but most of the time it is a hit and miss operation. A node-based motionmodifier would allow for much more control and would allow several motionmodifiers to work toghether in a userdefined way.

*The ability to drive bones with either vertecies or a spline from example a cloth-simulated string. Look at how Maya Hair can do this. The benefit here is that you have the option to bake the resulting deformation to the bones, instead of using a cache. This is a limitation we face alot in the games industry; we simply can't use other things than bones for deformations. Currently, LightWave isn't up to the task for things more advanced than biped- or quadroped characters. Simulating a rope or stuff like that requiers alot of workarounds.

I wasn't aware of all the limitations LW had before I joined Massive Entertainment, but now I can see things from a perspective. I think that the renderer is pretty much up to competition with MR, I would want to see more options with SSS though, other than that, MR has a ton more shaders for free that are really good, and I hope LW will get a boost in 3:rd party shader creation.

T4D can sound like someone advertising XSI, but if you look past that, you may or may not see that he has some good points regarding the state that LWs animationssytem currently resides within. I'm also quite sure that Larry "Splinegod" Shultz is one of very few who have found a very good workflow for character rigging in LW. We shouldn't undermine any of these two guys input. T4D is advocating for more intuitive and flexible workflow and tools (and so am I) while Larry tries to point out that things aren't as bad as they sound. I think they are both right, but the fact is that LW isn't used for CA or rigging that much (just look at 300... what was LW used for?).

SplineGod
04-11-2007, 01:16 AM
so if you had to do a millions of trees to do, big fly over scene
you would uses LW instead of Vue ?

and again this thread is focused on LW rigging issues
are we here just to hear about your trainning ?
or how things should be better
or issues LW has
how can you compaire or improve if you can't talk about what else is out there ?


Peter, you bring up my training more then I do. Show me where in this thread I mention it? Im at least no hypocritical about my views about other programs yet creating rigging plugins for LW. Very few people bring up anything informational about how rigging is done in other apps that in any way effects or improves LW. Anything brought up as in your case is simply rehashing the same old topics over and over. We know Newtek is planning on improving this area in LW. Thats been stated so many times its ridiculous. We know things should be improved. The problem is that your opinions on the actual utility of LWs character tools are skewed.
I think its logical to assume that most people come here to learn whats available now as opposed to being told that their only alternatives are to either wait for something better or keep spending cash. This is especially true of those are arent making a living off LW or dont have the money to blow.
Offer solutions instead of the same old tired dead horse statements.

t4d
04-11-2007, 01:46 AM
well the miss the point about Vue
If you have 2 tools,. one better then the other,.
which would you use ?
and if tools were cheap ( when compaired to the money they make ) how many tools would you have ?

when refering to this
http://www.thomas4d.com/legexsample.rar


Eric you are correct. That type of rig is totally doable in LW :)

where is your exsample of that rig in LW ?

your selling ideas and possibilities on what can be done in LW
that many riggers and animators disagree with,.
yet you show nothing, but a Sales tag for trainning. ?

Your the first to say LW does the job for you, but you don't show anything but training dvd promo's ?

if it was up to you ( looking at how you reply to these subjects ) you would not change a thing in LW's rigging and Animation because it all works so well .?

I've gone to the other side like many other Character animators and I can say there's no Major workflow or features missing between XSI, Maya and Messiah they are all fairly even.

where LW has MAJOR issues and that area needs to be addressed as Jay has stated.

SO let's talk about them. and why not on the newtek forum ?
I don't think Jay is spending too much time on XSIbase is he ?

colkai
04-11-2007, 02:13 AM
Peter,
That's the whole point, we are here to talk about what we want from LW and what tools / workflow are needed. NOT to take every opportunity to slam LW and say it can't hack it etc.. etc.. ad infinitum which alas, you seem to enjoy doing.

So come on, try and post a reply about what you want to see. Not how bad it is, not what it is failing at blah blah.

Give us a workflow and thoughts on how tools could be extended etc to bring some real power to LW.

I mean, heck, I don't do C.A. for a living, but even *I* can list things I'd like to see and I can even see how the basis of current tools could be strengthened and expanded to provide some of that ability. A fact I have often raised and explained. I've said what I think LW would benefit from, all done without slagging off other apps.

Everything you post is XSI promotion and yet, for all you say, you've said nothing but that LW is lacking, has MAJOR issues that need talking about.
So, why are YOU not talking about where and how to improve.

You seem to thing anyone defending LW at all does not want LW to move forward, in reality, you know full well that is NOT the case and is a very defensive and frankly, silly attitude.

So come on Peter, try to give us a constructive post on how and where to improve LW and how you see that may be possible.

Something, if you look around, you will see many others here on Newteks' Lightwave forum, doing quite happily. People who use multiple apps but don't feel the need to go all evangelistic about them when posting here.

prospector
04-11-2007, 02:14 AM
Seeing as Other 3D companies have websites and or discussion groups, I can get their info and sales pitches there.
I come onto this site to get LW info.
It doesn't matter 1 twit to me if another program does something that LW can do but takes 1 or 2 less mouse clicks.
What does that save me, 10-20 min over the course of a year? Takes me longer than that to finish 1 ciggy.
By time I get done modeling a scene and all it's objects, then texturing all those objects, then setting up scene, then setting lighting, by time I get to animation, I have what invested in animation time.....30% total ?
And I should worry about a click or 2?
I spend more time on the VT trying to decide if a fade should happen in 1 frame or the next.
We have vertex control in layout..that's no biggie.
Viper is very good at quick texture and lighting checks. Renderer is fast enough for scene checks. Would I be mad if it didn't get better...no. I just throw everything to the render farm after doing a few scene checks. Time for checking scene with renders is time I use to get another cup of coffee, so it's not totally wasted. :)

And I don't mind seeing LW grow and have all sorts of new tools, but to have them so LW can be 'like' another program is silly. This is LW. LW follows a different drummer. If the LW coders made a tool that other programs have but it had an extra step or 2 to accomplish the same thing, what the heck would I care?

If I added up the half seconds (really, how long does it take to click a mouse button?) it took to do the extra step or 2 and then added all the time it took to send a LW object to another program, do something with it, send it back to LW to the renderer, I would take less time just to stay in LW to begin with and be a bit richer for it.

Sure LW has some stuff missing...I would like to see the 5.6 text tool make a comeback, or something to match it, I would like to see radii morphs, I would like to see a neural interface. But I wouldn't run out and buy another program just because it has one of those (well ma-by the neural interface), I would come to the discussion forum to see if anyone has found a way to do what I need, and not to read about getting another program to do it.

Where you may see LW downfalls, I see LW excursions into the unknown.
Where you see LW workarounds, I see LW idiosyncrasies.


ALL HAIL NEWTEK !!!
:bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:
:D

Bog
04-11-2007, 03:03 AM
I was teaching LW to a long-term Maya user yesterday. We scooted over the basics of skelegons, IK limits and goals and bone-weights in about an hour, and hour and a half including play-time.

At the end of that stretch, he was playing with a simple shape he'd made, getting it acting, and said "I don't know what you LightWavers are complaining about, there's nothing wrong with this".

Something to think on, at least for the simple stuff.

Dodgy
04-11-2007, 04:03 AM
Okay, so if people can stop arguing for a little while, what is missing from LW, or would be a workflow improvement? I could probably script at least some of it in lscript if it's set-up stuff, and probably motion stuff as I have with muscle bones and springy thingy. I'm hoping to rewrite my IK setup script to allow you to add PLG's IK plugins more easily, in place of using LW IK. I'm sure other people could do some of the work as well.

From my own experience of motion plugin writing, you can get motion modifiers to stack, if you plugin reads the motion. For example, if you apply my own ParentFollower to multiple joints in a finger, then rotating the top joint rotates all the joints down the chain, even though the plugin is only making the joint follow it's parent.

sammael
04-11-2007, 04:05 AM
Since we're talking Character Animation, I reckon Character Rendering is just as important. Another point where LW comes up awfully short. Seeing as character/creature work today is almost exclusively sculpt based one way or the other, this is a major work-breaker if it doesn't work in your renderer.

I have a ZBrush sculpted creature head of rough 1.5 million polygons. In LightWave the memory needed to render this is pushing my 2Gb RAM over the edge, if I'm not very careful, and that's without the colour and spec maps.

In another App, I can render this, with sharper definition, using only a few hundred megs of RAM. (I can't seem to get LightWave to render the same detail from my UV disp maps, that I can elsewhere). In fact I have rendered 40 million procedurally displaced polygons within my 2Gb limit. LightWave barfs somewhere between 1.5 - 2 million depending on how the wind blows.

I'm not an animator, I make stills. But is this not a major issue in the whole character animation process, unless you do simple toon or semi-toon work?

In my oppinion rigging is only a part of the problem, displacement and memory usage are horrible in LightWave, currently.

Is this constructive and LightWave related enough for this discussion?

I have to say I agree with you on this Neverco, I have had to completely abandon a couple of projects in the past 12 months due to memory issues and geometry limitaitions. Even after reducing image sizes and bit depth to the point of loosing valuable details as well as majorly reducing displacements I still cant get the scenes to render. We are only talking aprox 3 mil polys (or less) and 300mb of textures all up in each scene. Funnily enough these scenes were carried over from 8.5 where I was just starting to run into issues into 9 where I ran into problems straight away. Even heavily implimenting aps in the scenes made little diference. I have 2gb of ram and a dual core cpu. Im not running in 64 bit yet but I have little faith in that either, unless someone can safely say that it will fix these issues. I only have LW, zbrush and photoshop on my computer and im very reluctant to fork out $750 aud for a flashy new OS that makes no diference to performance. At least until vista is more widely supported anyway, I would buy it in a second if I thought it would help me to complete those scenes though.

colkai
04-11-2007, 04:19 AM
I myself think that this a major issue for character animation... what good are all the most sublime rigging tools in the world, if you can't render your fabulously rigged character or creature.
This raises a very valid point that I hadn't dwelt on myself.

You are absolutely correct, the best tools for rigging in the world won't help if the deformation isn't good. Likewise, if the workflow is convoluted, it doesn't help.
Motionbuilder has some of the easiest animation tools going, but sorting out how bones and skin interact is a royal PITA, Lightwave is far easier and more intuitive in that respect.
If any model has problems in MB, I find it faster to jump back into LW then re-export than try to jump through the bone / deformation hoops in MB.

Cageman
04-11-2007, 04:46 AM
I have a ZBrush sculpted creature head of rough 1.5 million polygons. In LightWave the memory needed to render this is pushing my 2Gb RAM over the edge, if I'm not very careful, and that's without the colour and spec maps.

I find that very interresting, because I was able to render 4.2 mil polygons on my 1GB machine at home...

EIDT: Using LW9.0 32-bit...

sammael
04-11-2007, 05:04 AM
I find that very interresting, because I was able to render 4.2 mil polygons on my 1GB machine at home...

EIDT: Using LW9.0 32-bit...

I doubt you'll get anywhere near that using any serious image maps, theres simply no way known.

Lightwolf
04-11-2007, 05:25 AM
I doubt you'll get anywhere near that using any serious image maps, theres simply no way known.
Yes there is :D

Edit: By serious you mean image textures in the TB range, right? ;)

Cheers,
Mike

sammael
04-11-2007, 05:39 AM
Yes there is :D

Edit: By serious you mean image textures in the TB range, right? ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Im not sure what you mean by TB range but im talking about large bitmap images, colour, spec, gloss, ref, diffuse, subsurface, displacement, bump etc, etc. All of the maps which are needed to make a realy nice detailed model & texture.

So how then? without spending hundreds on a plugin?

tektonik
04-11-2007, 05:41 AM
go for LW9-64bit on xp64 with fprime 3 64 bits...

it changed my life :D

... well the work part of my life:hey:

Lightwolf
04-11-2007, 05:41 AM
Im not sure what you mean by TB range but im talking about large bitmap images, colour, spec, gloss, ref, diffuse, subsurface, displacement, bump etc, etc. All of the maps which are needed to make a realy nice detailed model & texture.

So how then? without spending hundreds on a plugin?
By spending hundreds on a plugin. I didn't say it was free, but it certainly is possible. ;)
TB = Terabyte.

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
04-11-2007, 05:44 AM
With your shameless plug :p Are you telling us that we can do UV displacement in LightWave with Terabye sized UV displacement and colour maps using your plug-in? If not, what's your point? :)
Colour maps yes, UV displacements should work as well actually, allthough I've never tried it. Usually the polygon limit hits you way before you get to use any decent high res displacement map anyhow.

Me, shameless? :angel:

Why yes, of course :D

Cheers,
Mike

sammael
04-11-2007, 05:53 AM
Thought so I just need to fork out $435 aud. Got a version for non commercial appart from light?

sammael
04-11-2007, 05:58 AM
edit: AUD $524.86, that might leave me enough to buy some noodles to eat for the next week... screw the rent.

Lightwolf
04-11-2007, 06:01 AM
I'll bet you 1.25 USD that it's worthless for displacement.
Well, it works for displacement using nodes, but then you run into problems with APS not being where it should be as well.

@sammael - sorry, no non-commercial version, but we have something up our sleeves that will take a bit of time to finish off.

And now back to your scheduled topic ;)

Cheers,
Mike

tonybliss
04-11-2007, 06:21 AM
What I mainly see here is alot of insecurity with the software a person use.
T4D, you share with us your workflow that gets the job done, plus give us examples of what can be done (in this case the CA dept). Because i am growing as a 3d artist I find myself in that fold and do appreciate any insight into areas and/or methods that would improve my workflow as an artist also as a businesman with tight deleivery schedules. Even Pooby does the samething and shares the same opinions here (XSI for CA and LW for texturing, lighting and Rendering) just a little bit more stoic. However, most people here maybe can't afford other solutions and/or don't want to hear how their investment in LW is flawed in some areas. Sad but true. Save your energy and time (for those who may appreciate the frank consultancy). Pearls at swines, can either make them trip and fall or if their mouths are open too much, just choke ... value is lost long before it is even thrown. ;)
SplineGod, I do appreciate your input as a LW veteran, I have and am currently looking at two of your /lw 8 bone tools training which as you know helped me change my workflow with LW CA. Perfect !!! Problem is as I developed and started working and experimenting I encountered the shortcomings with LW CA tools. I knew that most things could have been done in LW but at the cost of time and patient workarounds. You see Larry, not everyone has your years of expereince with these workarounds and need to get the job done a bit quicker and much more fluid; I think you escape that. NT I know are very aware of the that and other issues at hand and are not shy about it and are working on it. I know it will be good when it comes.
PS At times you do come across as the marketing aid, I was all good with investing into training and being made aware of the avail. But when a person ask a question as to " can I fill a glass with water in LW REALISTICALLY" and you answer "Yes it can be done ... below is a link to what was done in my DVD training" (which I have BTW ;) ) it leaves food for thought on too many levels. I think one earns much more respect when they are frank about their tools and trade.
LOL funny thing is at my classes we use T4D rigging tools for CA ... and very successfully ... I will put up soon some end projects from students after only 2- 3 months of training with LW. They are aware of the limitations and what is out there, but choose to start off and evolve with LW. So yes LW is very useable and can produce marvelous results but no sense in creating a workaround for that reality ;)

tonybliss
04-11-2007, 06:43 AM
BTW, I use
LW with LWCAD, Vue Xstream, Syflex(now starting), Fprime, Maestro for (3 characters and under), Messiah(for 3 and more characters (high poly)), PLG for UV mapping and some other minor plugins eg fertilizer. I wish to invest in Zbrush soon, I am still waiting for a good hair solution IMHO TrueHair may come close to that, But in the mean time I port that bit out if needed.
I love LW and wish to continue using it, but thats my choice. I may only get XSI just to use it for integration purposes. I have tried, liked ... loved it but wish to stay with LW for reasons beyond technical logic :D. Its a very artsy tool to me :) tho' for the modelling bit I wish they had better repetitive/array tools I enjoy it, plus vector clone etc from lwcad does it for me ;).

As you may well know, if I hear a loud enough cry for understanding of a particular workflow and i am able to do it ... I will write a tut for it and give it away for free, because I love this comm. just as i did when the fuss was made over lack of training with LWCAD when it was packaged with LW. But if there is a genuine prob with the tools then it is up to the company to sort it out as they are doing now. In the mean time, work within your means to avoid prospector type frustration, if its only LW you can afford use it as it is, its very powerful tho lackin just be patient and post questions as needed; if you can get other tools to aid, same thing be patient learn it and gain from your investment.
Cheers !!!

cresshead
04-11-2007, 06:47 AM
well the miss the point about Vue
If you have 2 tools,. one better then the other,.
which would you use ?
and if tools were cheap ( when compaired to the money they make ) how many tools would you have ?

if it was up to you ( looking at how you reply to these subjects ) you would not change a thing in LW's rigging and Animation because it all works so well .?

I've gone to the other side like many other Character animators and I can say there's no Major workflow or features missing between XSI, Maya and Messiah they are all fairly even.

where LW has MAJOR issues and that area needs to be addressed as Jay has stated.

SO let's talk about them. and why not on the newtek forum ?
I don't think Jay is spending too much time on XSIbase is he ?

maybe if would help lightwave's development for character rigging, bone deforming etc to 'see' just what's available in xsi for example...rather than just writing that life's so much better for rigging, character animating in xsi..show us what tools and capabilities you'd need that are in xsi to be back over in lightwave so you could take advantage of lightwave's free render nodes for the scenes.

i know your a busy chap, but you've done screen capture videos before for your lightwave plugins how abuot a couple of examples of how you can rig, edit the rig, add bone/muscle/morph/lattice deformers on an example rig and fix deformatins on the fly etc with xsi...heck maybe show your workflow for lightwave to xsi and back to lightwave for rendering...

at the very least people will start to fully understand your point of view a bit more and just why your so passionate to get those types of tools and workflow over into lightwave.

...not a demand but i think it would help people over here and may even influence newtek's development in new rigging tools...

hrgiger
04-11-2007, 06:58 AM
We have vertex control in layout..that's no biggie.


Um, actually we don't. And that brings up a major drawback of Lightwave and one thing that seriously needs to change. You can select several things in Layout but vertices are not one of them. Please, nobody bring up editFX or a plug-in like minimo which is hardly a substititute for vertex animation. These things were created as hacks because Lightwave does not have that built-in functionality.


The current system may not cut the proverbial mustard for you but I use it daily to make a living and it more then cuts it fine for me.You know that's great Larry. And I would accept that argument who was putting out a lot of fine animation but all we get from you is all the talk about how rigging and animating is most satisfying and then we get some links to your training material. Here's a marketing tip for you. You would probably sell a lot more training material if you actually gave examples of animation to show people what they could learn. And I mean animation, not videos of you moving characters bones around on frame 0. You show a few things on your site in your models and animations page but I hope there are better examples then that out there.

hrgiger
04-11-2007, 07:01 AM
i know your a busy chap, but you've done screen capture videos before for your lightwave plugins how abuot a couple of examples of how you can rig, edit the rig, add bone/muscle/morph/lattice deformers on an example rig and fix deformatins on the fly etc with xsi...heck maybe show your workflow for lightwave to xsi and back to lightwave for rendering...



I don't know if it was this thread or another, but Pooby made some videos of things he could do in XSI that weren't possible or easy with Lightwave. Maybe Pooby or someone else can point those out.

Dirk
04-11-2007, 07:03 AM
maybe if would help lightwave's development for character rigging, bone deforming etc to 'see' just what's available in xsi for example...

True. One thing I've noticed in in td4s video is that deformation is "refined" after a tool like the knee controller is moved, probably when the mouse button is released. That might be a good start to speed up the deformation speed in LW.

kfinla
04-11-2007, 07:35 AM
I don't mean to stray from the Rigging topic but i do agree about the displacement/polygon/memory limits in LW brought up.

I was an early adopter of zbrush and was really disapointed at LW 8's lack of quality rendering displacement maps, Lynx3d's normal displacement plugin, and tiff importer are great but really only take things to an acceptable level.

One of the main reasons i got modo 201 was for its ability to render sub-pixel displacement.

I'm still on LW 8.3, and certainly have been interested in what LW9 and aps can do.. ofcourse APS and sasquatch dont mix :( - but Worley are workin on it.

A couple years ago I was able to get to about 6.5M polys in LW 8.3, with Fprime 2? BUT that was with no textures but a 4K, 16 bit displacement.. everything in bounding box.. on OSX with 2gb of ram.

Im currently building something that will have multiple 4K displacements, textures and SAS hair.. so.. im definatley feelin the need for 64 bit.

Can anyone comment on 9-9.2's polycounts working with APS, or just lynx plugin?

kfinla
04-11-2007, 08:38 AM
I can't really comment on the state of 9.2 outside the open beta forum.

I understand, I've been on a few beta's myself. Thats the job of us outsiders, to lure ppl into breaking their NDA at every turn.

Anyways just looking for hopefully good news and more reasons to jump to 9.2 once it is released.

t4d
04-11-2007, 08:44 AM
I think alot of this stuff has been covered before in other threads by pooby , me and many others.

for me the video i posted with that toon leg shows what LW has to do in the update in that rig you have to stack deformation and expression/motion mod's etc before and after the IK chain. ( which you can't do in LW at the moment )

NOW for me I don't see the need to pull apart the XSI workflow bit by bit because you can do the same rig in messiah and Maya and i imagen Max and hondini too. ( some more clicks then others but all are soild when animating )

what LW 10 or whatever needs to do is Pull everything apart ( yes this does make it more complex ) but the way Jay and the guys do it IS what lightwave will be about. ( nodes in the surface editor is COOL )

Pull everything apart so rigging is very open ( Nodes maybe )
with data open ,.- Plugins and scripting can go much deeper and we can get alot more from motion mixing, expressions and data referencing

Data referencing and how all the 3d data moves around LW and is accessed and saved IS what will make or break LW in the next few versions
all the other apps have a much more open data set.

interface SPEED and well designed workflow
character animation is just keys and curves,.
Yet they ARE MAJOR issues in LW when you compaire to other apps. graph editor, spreadsheet need to be much more open and direct and follow what you do, instead of you making it follow you.

sorry going on abit....:D Jay has read and posted to afew of these threads so all of this he has heard before But HEY hope it happens =)

SplineGod
04-11-2007, 08:45 AM
Theres a premise put forth by some that if Lightwave doesnt have particular tools that are had in XSI, Maya etc that its somehow useless for CA work. This is false. Most CA jobs typically dont require the use of every possible tool.
Even if LW had the depth of maya youre never going to see anyone here produce gollum since things of that complexity are always team efforts. The same applies if everyone here owned Maya - nobodiy on their own will ever produce something that complex on their own.
Lets say tomorrow that Newtek unveiled a version of LW that has superior CA tools then anything out there. You wont see very many studios adopt it simply because Maya is entrenched. Those that know it or have built pipelines around it have a vested interest in protecting their jobs. Newtek would have a massive uphill battle to get past this as well as personal preference, marketing and so on.
Is it possible for a team with LW to produce something like Gollum? Who knows. I do know that 99% of the users of LW or
most other 3d apps will never produce something like that nor be offered the money to do so. For most CA jobs LW is quite capable.

Steve,
In terms of whos putting out what youre definately in no position to be pointing any fingers.

CGSwami,
Again Ive been in this business long enough to have learned that the term REALISTIC is always in the eyes of the beholder and more importantly in the eye of the guy with the paycheck. There are many ways that something can behave in the same or similar circumstances. Some effect is always possible in LW until we get itno the details. Its in those details that you determine if it can be done and done in a timely fashion. If it can, great...If not I find or suggest alternatives. Also, who has the time to spend hours showing someone how to achieve and end technically as well as artistically? Thats why I do create training.

Bottom line here is that nobody is saying or has said that LW is the end all, be all. LW has far more capabilities then most users know what to do with or how to do it. This is also a L I G H T W A V E forum. A few people here seem to forget it. Its simply not possilbe, viable or desire for everyone to stop using LW for certain things until Newtek improves things nor is it possible for everyone to buy every possble 'solution' out there.

Everytime these so called discussions come up, theres the same two people who bring up my training, something I didnt do in this or other threads on this particular topic. Again THIS IS A LIGHTWAVE forum, most people come here to LEARN ABOUT LW. If people want to learn how to do Character work in LW Im definately going to bring up LIGHTWAVE TRAINING when applicable and when appropriate.

tonybliss
04-11-2007, 09:08 AM
SG I do understand;

"Also, who has the time to spend hours showing someone how to achieve and end technically as well as artistically? Thats why I do create training."

... thats why we buy it as we see it useful ... In the end that's why Kurv and Dan's and your material for LW will always have its market ... such material cuts down on our R and D time


"Again Ive been in this business long enough to have learned that the term REALISTIC is always in the eyes of the beholder and more importantly in the eye of the guy with the paycheck. There are ..."

Larry ... dear ... I do really respect you and your knowledge for the most part but ... the only reason I highlighted that word (REALISTIC) in particular was to confirm my true feel of you. You got past the main point I was getting at - why not answer the poster's question and instead of just reffering them to your DVD - why if the poster was working on a close deadline project he would need the feedback now .. waiting on a DVD would take time with delivery ... that's all ....
Your insecurity ... well it showed and that's not good from someone with your background.
I have the DVD and quite frankly its great .... I did not expect you to show me how to do a realistic this or that .. its just the basics we need ... once we take it from there we can make it as realistic as we can with the tools or cartoony for the job at hand ... so anyone that criticizes you for not giving realistic training may be just too lazy to take it to the next level by themselves.

.... and one nasty thing I see in these forums is where people say things like this -
"In terms of whos putting out what youre definately in no position to be pointing any fingers. "

why ????

more seeds of insecurity ....

tonybliss
04-11-2007, 09:10 AM
I think NT is well on their way to bringing LW up to speed ....
and threads that take this direction lead to NTComm
saying " This thread has ...... and it has now closed."

colkai
04-11-2007, 09:14 AM
Data referencing and how all the 3d data moves around LW and is accessed and saved IS what will make or break LW in the next few versions

Personally, I'm hoping that it does not take a few more versions. I agree that data manipulation is going to be key, the ability to mix, match, blend, overlay, override in a manner which is character / object independant would give a much needed boost to animation LW. How much of this we see in the LW9.X cycle is very much an unknown, but I sincerely hope that see it we do.

As someone who isn't 'heavily' into this sort of thing, that flexibility and ease of use makes it quicker for me to get into it and make use of it.
Logically therefore, I presume, the same ease and flexibility, (without sacrificing power of course), would mean someone who does this as a "day-job" would get more work done. Thus either allowing more to be done in the same timescale, or a higher quality result as more time can be spend refining rather than setting up.

cresshead
04-11-2007, 09:17 AM
i think we're about 2 steps away for seeing personal insults being posted...please pull back on that and keep this a 'worthy read' on the information about rigging/character animating with lightwave when looking at what competative apps can offer...

Td4 asked a while back if i use lw for character animating...no, i don't i'm not a good rigger or animator..i have your td4 rigging tools and meastro 1.0 but when i need character animation i jump over to 3dsmax and use biped or bones...also bought 'automatron' for max a while back..not used it yet but it has some cool capabilities by what i've seen so far....as much as people may poo poo biped [character studio] i think it's awesome for what it can do and i have bought a large lib of motion capture for future use on some long term projects....
as yopu can see my needs fall more into motion capture than hand keying.
however i do have mimic pro for lightwave so i can see me mixing and compositing character animations from max and lightwave in scenes together with little effort.

okay back on topic!

prospector
04-11-2007, 09:32 AM
Is this constructive and LightWave related enough for this discussion?

Yea...ummm wait, you mentioned another program.............well ya didn't try to sell me on it, so yea, your good to go :D


You can select several things in Layout but vertices are not one of them. Please, nobody bring up editFX or a plug-in like minimo which is hardly a substitute for vertex animation. These things were created as hacks because Lightwave does not have that built-in functionality.
But why can't we bring up things that do just what you say LW can't do?
And EditFX IS built in, I didn't have to pay extra or click 'add plugin'. And if I can move and animate any vertice either 1 frame or hundreds of frames, is this NOT vertex animation? Seems to me I have total control over any vertice in any frame and that would by default be animation. :confused:


And I haven't seen SG push his stuff unless specifically asked. It's in his signature, but lots of others have thiers there too.
I got some of his stuff and they are very well put together and I'm really liking IKB.
I also got t4d plug-in and for 2 months I still haven't had time to look at it. And as soon as I get SG stuff down pat then it will be next.
I've seen more pushing for other programs by others than I have see either of them push thier own stuff.

SplineGod
04-11-2007, 09:50 AM
SG I do understand;

"Also, who has the time to spend hours showing someone how to achieve and end technically as well as artistically? Thats why I do create training."

... thats why we buy it as we see it useful ... In the end that's why Kurv and Dan's and your material for LW will always have its market ... such material cuts down on our R and D time


"Again Ive been in this business long enough to have learned that the term REALISTIC is always in the eyes of the beholder and more importantly in the eye of the guy with the paycheck. There are ..."

Larry ... dear ... I do really respect you and your knowledge for the most part but ... the only reason I highlighted that word (REALISTIC) in particular was to confirm my true feel of you. You got past the main point I was getting at - why not answer the poster's question and instead of just reffering them to your DVD - why if the poster was working on a close deadline project he would need the feedback now .. waiting on a DVD would take time with delivery ... that's all ....
Your insecurity ... well it showed and that's not good from someone with your background.
I have the DVD and quite frankly its great .... I did not expect you to show me how to do a realistic this or that .. its just the basics we need ... once we take it from there we can make it as realistic as we can with the tools or cartoony for the job at hand ... so anyone that criticizes you for not giving realistic training may be just too lazy to take it to the next level by themselves.

.... and one nasty thing I see in these forums is where people say things like this -
"In terms of whos putting out what youre definately in no position to be pointing any fingers. "

why ????

more seeds of insecurity ....

The vast majority of what I post in response to a question is enough for that person to get it done or set them in the right direction. I dont always go into a lot of detail because it takes a great deal of time to do so. Its the details that take forever to do and to explain. On top of that the person usually comes back with even more questions or many will msg me offline. I end up spending a lot of time supporting and answering questions for free.

You lost me on the whole 'insecurity' thing. I tend to not try and second guess peoples reasons for doing things especially on forums. I can count the times on one hand (if any times) where I simply answer with 'buy my DVD'. Lightwave training isnt my primary source of income. Like alot of other people I have work, family, and many other responsibilities. Ive been on these forums and Newteks original forums since they were created and have always tried to help and support people within my time constraints. I think you or anyone else would be hard pressed to come up with examples of me posting that way out of the thousands of posts Ive made on this and other forums.

Ive had people who were on deadlines and needed help now get it from me at no charge. Again, either in that thread, thru PM or IM off the forum.
If I suggest a DVD I always make it possible for them to get the material as quickly as possible via download and I provide support beyond that.

Many people dont take things to the next level for many reasons....laziness, no time, kids, family, work etc. Thats not for me to judge. I do what I can within the bounds of my personal constraints as well.

My response to Steve was probably as appropriate as his remarks. :)

Prospector,
Dead on. If people could see some of the crazy solutions others come up with in Maya or other apps in a a production
they wouldnt be so quick to condemn some of LWs built in tools. Using editfx is a perfectly viable and useful solution.

tonybliss
04-11-2007, 10:07 AM
Fair enough Larry .... I do understand and can relate totally with the work, family, etc ... was not trying to bash, no true reason to ... as you said just be be weary of what is communicated by yourself on forums and threads such as these.


... and even here in Trinidad I have seen some of the Maya artist struggle to solve problems that I have done quite simply in LW and they have more experience than me in the 'industrty' hmmmmmm

SplineGod
04-11-2007, 12:02 PM
I agree, I find it amazing that other apps are allowed to have shortcomings but apparently not LW. ;)

Cageman
04-11-2007, 12:22 PM
Well, I'm not making things up, that's for certain. In fact, I'd rather this was better in LightWave as I like LightWave and I would like to stay with it. But there are serious issues that need to be dealt with. I don't think there's much to debate here.



I don't think you are making things up, it seems that T4D have had the same problem as you.




Was your 4.2 mill. on a 1Gb PC displaced using a 2048x2048 (or larger) 16-bit UV map, or was it using procedural displacement with no UVs and no maps?


The scene constisted of 1 small object (around 70k polys) cloned 60 times in Layout. This object has four UV-maps, two for colour and two for bump. All are 2048x2048. No displacements....Screenshot from Layout (http://hangar18.campus.luth.se/~cageman/lightwave/32bit_LW_on_1GB_ram.jpg)

As you can see, on my 1GB ram machine it was using over 1.7GB ram and that is only when the scene is loaded... I wonder how the hell it actually rendered....but it did. Here is a screenshot (http://hangar18.campus.luth.se/~cageman/lightwave/32bit_LW_on_1GB_ram_render.jpg) from the finished render. I think the memory peak was about 2.25GB ram, so I'm not surprised about the rendertime (huge swapfile); but I was surprised it actually rendered.



If I could get about 8 mill. polys out of my 2Gb before hitting a brick wall - which I definitely can't. Then, though it would be enough for 99% of my needs, the competition can still displace 40+ million in the same memory space.

Hmm... I must have missed that you wrote that you used displacements in the first place. I havn't used them much I must admit. It must be something wrong with the way LW displaces things, because my scene clearly shows that it can handle these amounts of polygons even on 32-bit hardware.

Lightwolf
04-11-2007, 02:03 PM
Theres a premise put forth by some that if Lightwave doesnt have particular tools that are had in XSI, Maya etc that its somehow useless for CA work. This is false. Most CA jobs typically dont require the use of every possible tool.
Absolutely right, the initial assumption is false.
It is not about tools but about the basic concepts, workflow and implementation. What T4D refers to as openness.
And this is the area where Layout has a lot of catching up to do. Once we've got that, then we might start to think about "tools" - but you need a solid and at the same time flexible foundation for those.

I.e. there is a difference between basing a system on NLA, or layering NLA on top of a shaky system.

Cheers,
Mike

tischbein3
04-11-2007, 03:01 PM
Is it possible for a team with LW to produce something like Gollum? Who knows. I do know that 99% of the users of LW or
most other 3d apps will never produce something like that nor be offered the money to do so. For most CA jobs LW is quite capable.

huh ?
Rethink that.

(Certainly not your real opinion)

theo
04-11-2007, 03:13 PM
The brass tacks on this subject would be a link or reference to the finest CA ever produced with LW.

I have no idea myelf, since my work entails producing creations for emerging cottage markets unrelated to the Hollywood film industry.

hrgiger
04-11-2007, 03:17 PM
But why can't we bring up things that do just what you say LW can't do?
And EditFX IS built in, I didn't have to pay extra or click 'add plugin'.

You mean you can bend a bone and sculpt a joint and have that remembered during animation? Because you know, I was talking about useful vertex animation.

tonybliss
04-11-2007, 03:33 PM
The only thing other i learned in this thread is that i need to reread my post before sending

Mi spulling iz whoribull ... lol :D

t4d
04-11-2007, 04:39 PM
You mean you can bend a bone and sculpt a joint and have that remembered during animation? Because you know, I was talking about useful vertex animation.

yeah sorry editFX techically can do what maya and the rest do for joint morphs, But it is not artist, creative or user freindly.

if you saw Maya or XSi joint morphs system I'm sure you would use it, I do.

because clearly you guys have not really done a Full character and really tried to use it for high level productions.

again it seems some think LW animation system if fine the way it is,
I rasied major issues i see about the whole system ( most agreed ) but you guys wave a flag about a tidy issues like joint morphs to avoid the point I made ( maybe you just didn't understand what i was talking about ?? )


anyway it's just freak'n scairy !!! :screwy:
I'm glad Jay and the crew Have used XSI, Maya etc becasue if they listened to you guys LW would be totally doomed.:devil:

prospector
04-11-2007, 05:23 PM
Well t4d jumped in ahead of me about EditFX.

But


again it seems some think LW animation system if fine the way it is,

Didn't read anywhere it was fine, just that it's not as bad as some make it out to be if used fully and quit thinking everything LW does is a workaround or
not artistic, or just because another key or mouse click is unacceptable and needs to be torn down and rebuilt 'like' other programs.

I like to do skeletons in modeler and save with the object, if something is not right and need another bone, I CAN do it in layout, but I don't, I rebuild in modeler and start again, why? because bones in Layout are saved with scene and I may need the same setup in same model in another different scene.

I would like to see that fixed so when I update bones in modeler they auto update in layout without creating a new set of bones ON TOP OF the previous set because I have to do a convert skelegons to see the new bone.

Don't like it, but I don't blow a gasket and run out and buy another program just for that, when there is a way to do it in LW.

I made a respectable request for it WITHOUT downgrading LW in the mean time. And we'll see what the new CA tools do when they get here, but untill then LW still does everything the others do, maby not as easy or as fast but does it non the less.

tischbein3
04-11-2007, 05:40 PM
Arrrrgh! I cant' hold it any longer: Enough !



Person 1:" Why should they implement a better system, 99% of all people do not need them. People are complaining because they can't handle these tools"

Person2: "All of you (=100%) have no knowledge what rigging is, if you do, you would complain"


?!?
WTF !!!!

or in other words: "Rethink that"

tischbein3
04-11-2007, 06:10 PM
...
Why can't some of you just simply write down what YOU like / hate in lw in clear simple words and explain why ?

Because honestly, I (= 100% me)'m a bit lost observing those zillions clashes between more or less two people, reffering to old posts and comments,
and I really do not find/see a structure. (On both sides)

ah and by the way wishlist addendum:

- A 3d based weight map for morphing: Assigning vectors in modeler and layout on vertices for give them an "intial force / morph speed". For irregular morphing.

hrgiger
04-12-2007, 07:17 AM
Steve,
In terms of whos putting out what youre definately in no position to be pointing any fingers.




Well actually I am because A)I'm a consumer of animation training and related materials and I can pretty much have any opinion of any training/instructors out there and B) I'm not selling anything so the rate or quality at which I "put out" is of concern only to myself. I was merely suggesting it might be more benefiical for you to show what can be done with Lightwave animation instead of constantly pouding your fist on the table assuring people that CA is alive and well in LW.



yeah sorry editFX techically can do what maya and the rest do for joint morphs, But it is not artist, creative or user freindly.
I don't think this is true at all. But you're constantly asking Larry to back up his assertions about what is 'doable' in Lightwave, how about you step up here?

prospector
04-12-2007, 08:15 AM
I don't think this is true at all.
yep, Photon does it in one of his cloth tuts. Think it was the one where he 'cuts' a sheet of hanging cloth. Don't remember the name of the vid tho.

StormRising
04-12-2007, 09:10 AM
Yeah, hopefully newtek is reading this and taking some action in character rigging. The rigging systems in xsi and messiah are much newer, therefore better. I think max has a great bi-ped system, but lightwave's ikb is newer, and better. I mean come-on my characters are done and rigged by the time a max guy is playing with verts. With that said, messiah, and xsi are better riggers than lightwave, but they lack in other stuff, surfacing, rendering, etc. (compared to lightwave/maya)

Don't show me what veteran 15+yrs artist can do with some new 3d package, I wanna know what the average joe can do with it.:thumbsup: That will give me a true idea of the program's ease of use. Also one should keep in mind that xsi and messiah both were designed around character animation, lightwave was designed for a much wider use. I'v animated everything from dancing toothpicks, ice explosions, talking faces, functioning machines, to acid gel and looping character actions with lightwave.:jam:

hrgiger
04-12-2007, 09:36 AM
yep, Photon does it in one of his cloth tuts. Think it was the one where he 'cuts' a sheet of hanging cloth. Don't remember the name of the vid tho.

Cloth? We're talking about using it to shape joint morphs.

prospector
04-12-2007, 11:02 AM
He was using clothFX in the demo, I have used same principal in shaping knees and elbows thru either keyframing verts as in vid or just shaping then saving as endomorph. Either way is possable.

beverins
04-12-2007, 07:10 PM
When it comes to CA, I have to say I am fairly pleased with Maestro 2... yes, on my computer it slows down.. and I have 5 more characters in the scene that I have not even placed yet... I expect it will lock up., but we shall see.

Having compared Maya to Lightwave's rigging, Lightwave's is more straightforward. I would like easier setting of bone rotation and limits in Modeler, with much clearer tools for the job.

I was looking at the demo videos for Zbrush 3 - I saw the lovely way you can move things by drawing a quick spline and then rotate. I think that would be a revolutionary way to do CA.. though I have to admit I don't know how much preperation is needed to accomplish that (demo videos always gloss over the work you need to do before you get to what they advertised as "easy")... But think for a moment.. a rig-less CA setup where you literally just draw a curve through a joint, the software "knows" its an arm and you can move it. Perhaps this removes control and setup, but I see what can be done in ZBrush 3 and the deformations the users are able to give their base models, apparently without having to rig a skeleton, weightmaps or anything else.

Well, whatever. Pipe dreams, perhaps. Personally, one avenue Newtek should explore is CA control through external means of an armature or robotic arm like a Sensable Phantom Omni. Of course, maybe someone could just make a plugin for that, though I expect their userbase would be fairly limited. A shame - the haptic control on a Phantom Omni would be really very useful for CA, I think.

bobakabob
04-13-2007, 01:46 AM
When it comes to CA, I have to say I am fairly pleased with Maestro 2... yes, on my computer it slows down.. and I have 5 more characters in the scene that I have not even placed yet... I expect it will lock up., but we shall see.

Having compared Maya to Lightwave's rigging, Lightwave's is more straightforward. I would like easier setting of bone rotation and limits in Modeler, with much clearer tools for the job.

I was looking at the demo videos for Zbrush 3 - I saw the lovely way you can move things by drawing a quick spline and then rotate. I think that would be a revolutionary way to do CA.. though I have to admit I don't know how much preperation is needed to accomplish that (demo videos always gloss over the work you need to do before you get to what they advertised as "easy")... But think for a moment.. a rig-less CA setup where you literally just draw a curve through a joint, the software "knows" its an arm and you can move it. Perhaps this removes control and setup, but I see what can be done in ZBrush 3 and the deformations the users are able to give their base models, apparently without having to rig a skeleton, weightmaps or anything else.

Well, whatever. Pipe dreams, perhaps. Personally, one avenue Newtek should explore is CA control through external means of an armature or robotic arm like a Sensable Phantom Omni. Of course, maybe someone could just make a plugin for that, though I expect their userbase would be fairly limited. A shame - the haptic control on a Phantom Omni would be really very useful for CA, I think.

Whatever Newtek come up with I hope it's in the spirit of the rest of the program, that is accessible and artist friendly. At least current CA in LW despite its frustrations and flaws doesn't require a PhD in programming. I agree with Larry that the impression is often given you can't do animation in Lightwave. If in doubt check out the polished professional animations currently in the Finished Gallery. New to animation in Lighwave? Follow a tutorial or two to draw Skelegons in Modeler (being able to swap out armatures is extremely useful), add nulls in Layout and activate IK to have a workable rig. Not the most elegant CA process in the world but it doesn't take too long with practice.

On the other hand it's clear Lightwave's CA is ageing and in need of an overhaul. Many users complain of tools which don't work. Newtek have stated they're working on it. Let's hope they're listening to the constructive suggestions of advanced animators (Pooby should be invited to work as a consultant). Their formidable challenge is to devise an accessible artist friendly system which satisfies both beginners and power users.

Lightwave's renderer is already world class. Imagine the buzz a solid dependable CA system in Lightwave would create.

beverins
04-16-2007, 12:33 PM
Perhaps I haven't looked, but is there a plugin or lscript that does this in Modeler?

http://en.9jcg.com/comm_pages/blog_content-art-11.htm

Look down the page, and we find an Orient Joint Options tool being used. Seems to be a MEL script. I know there is something like this in the Bone Setup in Layout, but it would simplify things amazingly if it were present in Modeler.

Like I said, I am probably blind, but I haven't found anything like this. And I know, reading his tute it isn't some manna from heaven... but it would surely, really HELP a LOT.

This is what I am talking about when I mean CLEARER bone tools. Something which takes an entire connected row of bones and orients the pivots. Maybe there's something on DStorm or Flay? Yes, google is my friend, but anyone got a link off hand? I honestly can't believe something like this doesn't exist.. And yes, I am using Maestro so its really not a problem for me, but still would be nice.

ericsmith
04-16-2007, 02:33 PM
There's a tool called Rotate Skelegons. It used to be free from Dstorm, now it's part of LW9.

It works very well for adjusting the bank orientation of skelegons in modeler.

Eric

moc
04-17-2007, 03:51 AM
There's a tool called Rotate Skelegons. It used to be free from Dstorm, now it's part of LW9.

It works very well for adjusting the bank orientation of skelegons in modeler.

Eric

You can use the "twist bone/Align pitch" fucntion at Layout...
Do the same thing with "Rotate Skelegons"....
Those pluged into layout since V8....

beverins
04-18-2007, 12:18 PM
I've seen those tools; they are bone-by-bone as far as I have been able to use, and not as versatile as the Maya mel script according to the tutorial... select connected --> orient. Surely this is an lscript somewhere.

Well, whatever. One thing after looking at that Maya tutorial, certainly setting up a rig in Maya is 98% equivalent as Lightwave's. Yeah, some crucial differences, and I think the people programming Lightwave's CA tools need to take a long, hard look at those differences. I'm sure they are; I'm sure there are some internal releases of LW Alphas which have nothing else in them except CA tools which everyone here (including XSI converts) would be doing handstands over. Thing is, of course, getting their nice new tools to work with the other tools that already exist, and that's what takes time.

Glendalough
04-19-2007, 10:58 AM
Have spent all week tediously fiddling around with bones, IK, IKbooster etc. etc. Have been using these in a small way for years but am now trying to rig a proper and semi-sophisticated humanoid biped.

This is definitely the weakest part of Lightwave by a very long stretch, by the time you would master this it would be totally obsolete ......hoping not to get my head bitten off, or worse, just ignored......in fact, I feel so abused by this system that I can't remember exactly what I was going to do with it.....anyway...

Wondering is Maestro better than Messiah? Messiah looks a bit like it isn't being developed much any more?

Has anyone ever tried blender for CA? (Don't laugh please)

Recently, I downloaded the most recent version (this on a Mac) and noticed a video that explained how the interface worked in about 10 mins.

Then I managed to to get the file of a Character animation someone had posted on the Blender forum. This was actually quite complicated so may explain why I finally hit a wall.

You can export the motion as a MDD file in the drop down menu no bother, but I couldn't get it into LW, it kept saying the point number or something has changed. Exporting the model itself was no problem....


Am looking for a simpler Blender animation to see if it works. (Just wondering if there is a bug in the MDD export, but don't think so, Maybe I'm importing into Lightwave wrong)

But the main thing about the CA system was it looked simple and the bones had an ARMATURE like Messiah.

Just wondering if anyone has tried this CA system?

omeone
04-19-2007, 11:10 AM
Don't be too hard on yourself Glendalough, character animation doesnt come easy. Just like most of us don't become expert modelers in a week, the same is true of CA. Except with CA it requires a good understanding of modelling, rigging and then the hardest one of all - animation. and I will agree with hand on heart that Bone Editing in LightWave is unbelieveably bad in LightWave (only saying 'unbelievably' because other aspects are so excellent - modelling, rendering, and of cousre ;) IKB...)
On top of all that - even if you're a a weak or beginner at modelling - you'll get some kind of tangeable results - something to build on... but with CA it is very hard to get results until you have a little proficiency in all aspects of it.

Be patient with it, the rewards are worth it :) nothing beats seeing you're working taking on life before your eyes :)

lino.grandi
04-19-2007, 11:12 AM
I've seen Blender's Bending Bone....and other stuff, and it looks great, but O've never used for char-anim.

Try to load the exported MDD via ClothFX, and set NodeMatch on ClothFX/File.

If it's a problem related to the points ID, it should be solved.

particledecay
04-19-2007, 10:49 PM
I can't read through all these posts so I'll just add what I've been missing in my user experience of Lightwave CA.

I'd like Lightwave tools to make a standardised vanilla humanoid rig easily portable to fit my custom meshes without using fiddly tools (http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56729&highlight=edit+rig). I'd like it to ship with the default Lightwave package and I'd like everyone to have access to it. I'd like to see a community make and contribute their mods to the rig with basic animations that can be loaded, saved and shared.

In short, I'd like to do the simple stuff faster by quickly adapting my previous work. I'd like to learn from other people's creative work without focussing on learning the tool.