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silviotoledo
08-03-2007, 02:07 PM
Here are some simple things that I would like Newtek to implement, which would improve lightwave's character animation:

1. more integration between Modeler and Layout

Allowing, at least, to create endomorphs with the positioned bones. This will make possible superiors results in simulation of muscles and corrections.

2. better tools for weightmaps

Option of automatic subtraction in the painting, to avoid larger values than 100%. Weightm normalization only makes that after the maps were painted, the results are different.

To add Drag, Smudge, Blending and to improve the performance of Airbrush, simulating results to the user in the middle of the polygon and not only in the vertexes.

Weightmaps transplant among models, for comparison, besides between versions hi and low polys

3. Dynamic

More efficient dynamics to simulate Softbody Effects. The current dynamics doesn't take into account the internal volume of the model.

To create separated internal and external collision envelops for Cloth Fx, just like Syflex and control of internal volume to impede that, in any hypothesis, the collision model is crossed.

Dynamics Mixer. An envelope to do blending between the dynamics and the model in normal state, allowing to control intensity of the effect.

Dynamics total Exclusion.Exclude part of the model from the calculation of dynamics. This doesn't happen with weightmaps.

4. Rendering

Option for saving all of the separate channels for composition multipass (specular layer, reflectivity layer, color layer...)

5. Spline Control

To allow multiple spline controls in the same model. It is like this possible to encourage hair, clothes and facial expressions for key-frames.

each spline control should control the limited area of a weightmap.

6. HANDLES

With scale commands, rotation and movement, at the same time. Also to insert in Modeler.

7. Viewport

Any one of the viewports could be transformed in Perspective or Camera, as in the Way.

8. Deform Objects

Invisible objects that can be posed internally in the model and parented to bones. They assure the internal volume of the model.

9. muscles

Bones with 3 points, where the points of the extremities can be fastened to any part of an object or even other bone (double parent) and the point from the half has soft interpolation in spline and it can receive soft dynamics Fx.

10. IK

Ik/Fk Blending

Sarford
08-03-2007, 04:52 PM
This is the wrong forum, but I'll guess the moderator will move it to the apropreate forum.

Auto IK and auto resting on bone chains. You draw your chain with the bone tools and when done it automaticaly adds IK goals at the end of the chain and sets up basic IK, also are all the bones auto rested. When you manipulate the bones after that with the edit bone tools and you are done with it all your manipulated bones are auto rested again.

2D bone chains, like in XSI, very handy, saves a lot of setup time.

Animated point sets conected to anything you want, but especialy to bone deformation.

The ability to view (and edit) all weightmaps at the same time instead of one at the time.

adamredwoods
08-09-2007, 01:02 PM
Sarford: I'm working (slowly) on a commercial plugin that does this. So far, it works great. I'm also planning to port it to the Mac.

i'm also testing IK/FK blending setup. Will post a video when I get it done.


http://www.twopiesoftware.com/rigmaster/demos/

Sarford
08-09-2007, 06:06 PM
Wow Adam, that looks real good. Definitly a more flexible and simpler setup than how it is now. I'm quite impressed by your efforts so far! It is a bit too late for me tough as I'm gonna buy that sweet XSI essential deal.

The main reason to buy XSI is that I have a character animation job waiting to start. I don't understand much of the LW CA workflow so I have to look elsewere.

I've been playing with the demo of XSI and have been rigging a character.
Finaly, by using XSI, I understand something of the rigging process, mainly because rigging in XSI takes out a lot of the grunt work you still have to do in LW. This grunt work made it too compex for me to get my head around it fast enough so I gave up on rigging in LW.

More people have said it on these forums, if NewTek is gonna update the CA part of LightWave, they realy have to take a VERY good look at the way XSI does it.

Wonderpup
08-10-2007, 09:10 AM
How hard did you find it to get into rigging in XSI?- I've just rigged a character in Lightwave and it really is a crazy workflow- hopping back and forth between modeler and Layout, creating jointmorphs without being able to sculpt them in situ- it would be funny if I did'nt have a deadline.

The essentials deal looks really appealing to me right now

Sarford
08-10-2007, 12:31 PM
Hi Wonderpup,

I think it is very easy to rig a character in XSI, and the system is very flexible and robust too. No more collapsed meshes because you forgot to rest the bones, no more complex (to me) IK setups, it is all very easy. Weighting of characters is also very easy and flexible with live painting on the character and a live update of the bone influence. You can also make geometry a deformer, it doesn't have to be a bone. And there is the auto-spine-creator, just pick your hip-object, then your chest object, select the number of vertibra and presto, you have a fully working (and allready parented in your rig) spine.

If rigging in LW is too complex to grasp (like it is for me), XSI will be a revelation. I made several mistakes when rigging my character in XSI but I was able to correct them on my own without any manuals etc. wich for me meant that it is a system I can understand and work with.

Be sure to buy the Character Animation Setup in XSI Bundle (http://www.digitaltutors.com/store/product.php?productid=1105&cat=46&page=1) from digital tutors if you go the XSI route, it is a realy good tutorial on rigging and enveloping.

Wonderpup
08-10-2007, 02:41 PM
Thanks Sarford,

I think I'll have to go the xsi route- I'm starting to get a lot of character jobs for some reason lately, and it's really stressfull doing this stuff in lightwave- too many ways of making dumb mistakes. Also the shock of loading a carefully rigged character only to open the scene again and find his legs wrapped around his neck! Too stressfull! ( The fix for this, in case anyone needs to know is to select all the bones-in their 'start' position and hit 'r')

silviotoledo
08-16-2007, 08:37 AM
I discovered a quick way to do setup on lightwave.

1- Convert Skelegons into bones
2- Select and desactive all bones ( scene editor )
3- type "P" for each individual bone to reset pivot rotation
4- Select all bones on scene editor and type "r" to active and rest all at once

This is really cool, once we solve the gimbal lock problems and pivot rotation WICH IS A CRAZY THING THEY MUST SOLVE ON LIGHTWAVE.

The big problem is that I read at manual that setup from mocap ( throught MOTION BUILDER ) will go crazy if P ( rest bone rotation ) is on.

Castius
08-16-2007, 09:49 AM
You should avoid doing this. There are many tools in LW for rigging that do not play nice with reset pivot. If you are animating bones directly and you want to have clean rotation values make an offset bone. In LW this process is some times called a Null bone. A null bone is a copy of your bone that you make very small.

To make an offset you simply copy the item you want to animate or rig. Usually you would want to just add "_Offset" to the end of the item name. Then you parent the copy/offset to the original item. For LW bones you want to change the rest length of the original/parent bone before before you parent your offset. So now you have a very small bone as a parent that has no effect on your mesh deformation. Thats why in LW it's called a null bone. This way your child bone with have 0,0,0 for rotation and you can use the null bone to correct any Gimbel lock.

In rigging this is usually refereed to as a offset. It's a very common method to clean up a rig for animation. And can be used on any aspect of your rig not just bones. Because Gimbel lock is in EVERY program. It's a mathematical problem that can only be solved with quaternion rotation controllers or vector rotation controllers. Nether of these is easy for animators to work with. So you will be making offsets alot when rigging.

I hope this helps

ericsmith
08-16-2007, 11:54 AM
Here's another point of view. While it's true that Record Pivot Rotation can make certain rigging functions like "point at target" not work properly, the problem is only that these functions look at the base rotation value, not the new rotation value after RPR has been applied. So if you use the same "null bone" concept on a bone that requires targeting, for example, applying RPR to that bone won't cause any problems because the base rotational value will be the same as the RPR value (they will both be 0,0,0).

So an alternative approach would be to use RPR on bones that you want to zero out to avoid gimball lock, and then use the "null bone" concept on bones that require features like targeting or constraints.

This way, you dont' have to create as many extra bones. Less bones means better interaction speed, especially when IK is being used.

Ultimately, I think a lot of people shy away from RPR, because they hear it's bad, but don't really understand the issues. It's unfortunate, because it can be a valuable tool that will make the rig work much better if used properly.

Eric

Philbert
08-17-2007, 02:55 PM
I just started trying to learn rigging in Max the other day for a job and I must say, so far it's pretty easy. Using the Biped tool it basically gives you a human skeleton, then you can adjust the number of neck bones, or fingers, or bones in the toes, etc. Then scale and position them to match your character. I haven't gotten far enough to see how to attach them to the character though, that might be harder.

Cageman
08-17-2007, 03:04 PM
Here is another really neat thing I would like to see: Follow Point (Relativity) doesn't follow points if the mesh is deformed. Make it work with deforming mesh!

EDIT: Ohh... I would like to see an update on Make Path command in Dynamics. IE.. if I have a 2-point polychain I want to be able to extract motionpaths for each point with a single mouseclick; creating nulls in the point order. Ohh... while at it... make it possible to shift-select points and export motionpaths in the selection order...

Cageman
08-17-2007, 03:09 PM
Sarford: I'm working (slowly) on a commercial plugin that does this. So far, it works great. I'm also planning to port it to the Mac.

i'm also testing IK/FK blending setup. Will post a video when I get it done.


http://www.twopiesoftware.com/rigmaster/demos/

I get a "File not found" on the video... :( Would really like to see what you are up to.. :)

Cageman
08-17-2007, 03:16 PM
Ohh... I reloaded the page and there it is... the video.... :)

pooby
08-18-2007, 03:06 AM
Here is another really neat thing I would like to see: Follow Point (Relativity) doesn't follow points if the mesh is deformed. Make it work with deforming mesh!


http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=72590&highlight=mdd

this might be of interest

Cageman
08-18-2007, 06:13 AM
Interresting.. what I'm after is this:

I have a 2-point polychain deformed using cloth (a dangling cable). However, I need to transfer the motions from the points to bones. Right now I use Make motionpath for each point so that I get a null. The bones are then constrained to these nulls (only on translation axis though) using Relativity. This works really great, but what if I have to change the dynamics? I have to go through all the points, export nulls and update Relativity.

Using Relativity to constrain each bone to the corresponding point would save hours of work, because if I need to update the dynamics, I simply do that, and since the bones are following the points I really don't need to care about them after I have them setup.

Cageman
08-18-2007, 06:21 AM
Hmm... a workaround would be to create a UV-map for the 2-point poly and use Anchor motionmodifier (LW 9.3) to tell a bone to follow a point on the 2-point poly UV-map. Need to try that...

silviotoledo
08-18-2007, 07:03 AM
Althought IK and FK is not easy on lightwave, I would be happy if they add that 10 itens I asked.

Things like to esculpt endomorphs with relative bone position direct in layout and several spline deform instances at the same model would make lightwave a powerfull tool for Character Animation.

I know Newtek is a small company but I am sure they can invest to make lightwave the better.

pooby
08-18-2007, 07:29 AM
"Hmm... a workaround would be to create a UV-map for the 2-point poly and use Anchor motionmodifier (LW 9.3) to tell a bone to follow a point on the 2-point poly UV-map. Need to try that..."


You dont need a workaround.. This works fine. download it

pooby
08-18-2007, 07:35 AM
Hmmm.. when I re-loaded it, all the bones had jumped to the same point.. I'll have to ask the author why thats going on..

pooby
08-18-2007, 07:41 AM
This is a vid of it working

Ztreem
08-18-2007, 08:45 AM
Interresting.. what I'm after is this:

I have a 2-point polychain deformed using cloth (a dangling cable). However, I need to transfer the motions from the points to bones. Right now I use Make motionpath for each point so that I get a null. The bones are then constrained to these nulls (only on translation axis though) using Relativity. This works really great, but what if I have to change the dynamics? I have to go through all the points, export nulls and update Relativity.

Using Relativity to constrain each bone to the corresponding point would save hours of work, because if I need to update the dynamics, I simply do that, and since the bones are following the points I really don't need to care about them after I have them setup.

Have you tried to use bone dynamics instead? It's maybe not a solution, but it could work for ropes and cables.

Cageman
08-18-2007, 12:19 PM
Have you tried to use bone dynamics instead? It's maybe not a solution, but it could work for ropes and cables.

Yep. I and another guy spent some time trying to get it to work, but it was hard to control. When I finaly went for ClothFX i could get so much more out of it. The result with ClothFX was worth the manual laybor with getting everything translated to bones.

We are nowdays doing the same thing, but with Maya Hair controlling a jointchain, but since I use LightWave privately, I really want it to get better. :)

Cageman
08-18-2007, 12:21 PM
This is a vid of it working

It is just a grey image. :)

Cageman
08-18-2007, 12:43 PM
I tried DPonts Motion Node Editor and it follows the "main" object, but with a giant offset..about 160m.. :)

I'm on LW9.3 btw... maybe that has something to do with it?

Cageman
08-18-2007, 12:46 PM
I couln't get Anchor to work either... :/

dpont
08-18-2007, 01:08 PM
Hmmm.. when I re-loaded it, all the bones had jumped to the same point.. I'll have to ask the author why thats going on..

hum...Re-download the Item Motion node editor,
the previous loaded the last item (bone) setup
from your scene (seems to be an I/O bug in LW)
you will need also to setup all bones again,
before resaving the scene (no backward compatibility).
The last DP_Kit_x32 Point Info node has also a switch for
clone or node copies indexation and an index input.

Denis.

Boris Goreta
08-18-2007, 01:13 PM
How come nobody mentiones messiah for character work in Lightwave ? It is a great tool and it works from within LW, no need for baking everytime you change animation.

Cageman
08-18-2007, 01:17 PM
btw.. I noticed that it says "Intel only" next to Item Motion Node editor... does that mean that it only works on Intel-cpus? I have an old 32-bit AMD machine... that could explain the extreme offset I get when using Point Info node within Item Motion node editor...

dpont
08-18-2007, 01:37 PM
When I say "Intel only" I would say Intel compatible too (AMD),
I have resaved Pooby's scene just added a turbulence displacement:
49461
(use last version of DP_Kit_x32 & nodeitemMotion)

49462

Preview update position could be unaccurate in layout, but renders
correctly.

Denis.

Cageman
08-18-2007, 02:20 PM
When I say "Intel only" I would say Intel compatible too (AMD),
I have resaved Pooby's scene just added a turbulence displacement:
49461
(use last version of DP_Kit_x32 & nodeitemMotion)

49462

Preview update position could be unaccurate in layout, but renders
correctly.

Denis.

Oh my gawd! I got it working with my own testscene! Wohoooo! This is such a huge timesaver... I mean... currently, we are doing things in LW that is alot harder to do in Maya... yep, it is true... you can't parent or constrain an object to a vertex in Maya. There are workarounds, like creating a Rivet constrain, but they have a tendency to break depending on the object deformation... holy cow!

Good job Denis! Right now I'm so happy that I could kiss you! *LOL* :)

EDIT: Oh... and it works with Motion Baker as well!!!

Cageman
08-18-2007, 02:32 PM
Hmm...

If I apply Motionbaker to all my bones and create a preview, only one of the bones actually get the results baked. :/ So, in essence, I can only bake one bone, then bake the next, and then the next and so on... :/

Workaround: Using nulls that follows the points (they don't need to get baked) and using Relativity to constrain the bones to the nulls. I know that I can bake all bones at the same time when they are driven by Relativity.

pooby
08-19-2007, 04:29 AM
Good job Denis! Right now I'm so happy that I could kiss you! *LOL*


don't I get a kiss as well?

Cageman
08-19-2007, 07:05 AM
Sorry pooby... you pointed me in this direction in the first place, so yes... you get a kiss as well! ;)

Ztreem
08-19-2007, 12:51 PM
Yep. I and another guy spent some time trying to get it to work, but it was hard to control. When I finaly went for ClothFX i could get so much more out of it. The result with ClothFX was worth the manual laybor with getting everything translated to bones.

Yes I know ClothFX often gives a much better result than bone dynamics.

Sande
08-19-2007, 01:28 PM
Interresting.. what I'm after is this:

I have a 2-point polychain deformed using cloth (a dangling cable). However, I need to transfer the motions from the points to bones.
Wow, nice timing. I spent my last friday at the office trying to figure out exactly the same thing with no luck - I have to try out some of your findings when I get back to work.
So, I guess you deserve a kiss also - but luckily I'm so grateful of this that I let you off the hook this time... ;)