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rdrdrd23
11-12-2007, 05:25 AM
I've got stuff successfully going between LW and Motionbuilder now and am just writing up the process and pitfalls as a guide for others in my dept. BUT, one little thing just hit me- I set up my rig in LW facing +Z, export the FBX and bring it into MB, where during the chracterisation process it warns me about it should face +Z. IN MB it loads in facing -Z (different co-ord system to LW?!?)

Anyway, even though things seem to have gone through etc, has anyone any experience to say they should flip stuff in LW first to make MotionBuilder happier, or not to care and just carry on regardless?

:D :thumbsdow

rdrdrd23
11-12-2007, 01:07 PM
Found the solution: I needed to ensure my geometry (for game engine reasons) was consistently always facing +Z so fudging the model and skeleton so it faced -Z prior to exporting wasn't a good solution.

So, this is what I did (in case anyones interested!!!)
1. Got the latest FBX plugin 6.0.2 (latest???)
2. Added a Null called "FBX_root" and made my character a child of that.
3. Rotated it 180deg on heading so it faced -Z in my scene.
4. Exported that to MB, where it came in +Z and everythign was happy.
5. Did my mocap stuff and plotted/baked that down
6. Exported that back to LW, where that reference FBX_Root was oriented -90 pitch, 90 bank, which when zeroed out left my anim facing +Z as needed, with no rotation fudges in the chain.

Cool! Hope this helps other poor souls in trouble!

rdrdrd23
11-12-2007, 01:08 PM
comin' to somethign when ya gotta answer your own questions eh?

dalecampbelljr
11-12-2007, 01:17 PM
I don't have to do all that but I have been working with this pipeline so line I do things naturally out of habit. I would love to see your write.

rdrdrd23
11-12-2007, 01:23 PM
Any gems you fancy sharing about this sorta thing then? I'm kinda trialling the whole Mocap->LW pipeline for some coming projects so I need to have it as bulletproof as I can.

thanks man

dalecampbelljr
11-12-2007, 05:36 PM
Can you create a movie in Camtasia or something and show me your null addition.
Dale

Also isn't there a newer version of the plugin you can use?
and yes I am willing to share anything you would like.

rdrdrd23
11-13-2007, 02:23 AM
well I can do I guess, but its a pretty simple idea; just

1. add null
2. rename it to "FBX_Root"
3. Open the scene editor
4. Drag your character under the FBX_Root null so it is a child of it
5. rotate the FBX_root null so it is -180deg on H
6. Export FBX

I don't think theres a newer version of the plugin since the nazi's at Autodesk decided to take the Kaydara concept of "we-will-support-all-software-because-we-want-fbx-to-be a-translation-medium-between-software" and make it a Max/Maya translation tool.
numpties...

Digital Hermit
11-13-2007, 01:46 PM
well I can do I guess, but its a pretty simple idea; just

1. add null
2. rename it to "FBX_Root"
3. Open the scene editor
4. Drag your character under the FBX_Root null so it is a child of it
5. rotate the FBX_root null so it is -180deg on H
6. Export FBX

I don't think theres a newer version of the plugin since the nazi's at Autodesk decided to take the Kaydara concept of "we-will-support-all-software-because-we-want-fbx-to-be a-translation-medium-between-software" and make it a Max/Maya translation tool.
numpties...

That has to be the longest hyphenated statement about Autod**k yet!

Seriously, thanks for the process tip!

fxrtst
11-13-2007, 03:01 PM
I am holding off my purchase of OptiTracks Arena $5,000 mocap studio in a box, until I can make sure there is a bulletproof way to get mocap from Motionbuilder to my LW charaters. Are any versions of the FBX plugs compatable with LW 9.x. If so which one. Would another option to use LW 8.5 and FBX plug fbxlw80-5.3.0pkg_493 (known to work and highlighted in HDRI issue number 9 -real world production series), and then bake out .mdd in LW 8 and import in 9.x?

All successful persons using a LW-MB-LW pipeline, please leave version numbers of fbx plugs and lightwave...

Thanks in advance.

Will

Sande
11-13-2007, 04:10 PM
rdrdrd23, Thank you for your findings.
As FBX-plugin SDK is freely available at Autodesk's site, I'm a bit surprised that no one hasn't offered even a shareware solution for LW yet...?

dalecampbelljr
11-13-2007, 04:48 PM
Lightwave 9.3 and FBX ver August 2005 or 8.2005
and it works with little to no problems.

Cageman
11-13-2007, 04:50 PM
well I can do I guess, but its a pretty simple idea; just

1. add null
2. rename it to "FBX_Root"
3. Open the scene editor
4. Drag your character under the FBX_Root null so it is a child of it
5. rotate the FBX_root null so it is -180deg on H
6. Export FBX

I don't think theres a newer version of the plugin since the nazi's at Autodesk decided to take the Kaydara concept of "we-will-support-all-software-because-we-want-fbx-to-be a-translation-medium-between-software" and make it a Max/Maya translation tool.
numpties...

You shouldn't need to do that if you update to the latest version of FBX for Maya. Funny enough, but it isn't really the FBX-exporter in LightWave that screw things up.

Just in case, try this (http://hangar18.campus.luth.se/~cageman/fbx/) version of FBX for LightWave. It has proven very stable and reliable (once the Maya-portion is updated as well). :)

dalecampbelljr
11-13-2007, 04:50 PM
I am holding off my purchase of OptiTracks Arena $5,000 mocap studio in a box, until I can make sure there is a bulletproof way to get mocap from Motionbuilder to my LW charaters. Are any versions of the FBX plugs compatable with LW 9.x. If so which one. Would another option to use LW 8.5 and FBX plug fbxlw80-5.3.0pkg_493 (known to work and highlighted in HDRI issue number 9 -real world production series), and then bake out .mdd in LW 8 and import in 9.x?

All successful persons using a LW-MB-LW pipeline, please leave version numbers of fbx plugs and lightwave...

Thanks in advance.

Will

Too much work IMO

dalecampbelljr
11-13-2007, 04:53 PM
You shouldn't need to do that if you update to the latest version of FBX for Maya. Funny enough, but it isn't really the FBX-exporter in LightWave that screw things up.

Just in case, try this (http://hangar18.campus.luth.se/~cageman/fbx/) version of FBX for LightWave. It has proven very stable and reliable (once the Maya-portion is updated as well). :)

When was this released?

dalecampbelljr
11-13-2007, 04:57 PM
You shouldn't need to do that if you update to the latest version of FBX for Maya. Funny enough, but it isn't really the FBX-exporter in LightWave that screw things up.

Was that the latest version you referred to? If not can we get that also?

Cageman
11-13-2007, 05:04 PM
Latest version of FBX for Maya is found by opening the FBX-tool in Maya and click on "Check for updates" or something like that.

Latest version for LightWave...to be honest, I don't have the faintest idea of which one is the latest one, only that the one I posted a link to works very well for me.

dalecampbelljr
11-13-2007, 05:11 PM
Latest version of FBX for Maya is found by opening the FBX-tool in Maya and click on "Check for updates" or something like that.

Latest version for LightWave...to be honest, I don't have the faintest idea of which one is the latest one, only that the one I posted a link to works very well for me.
Where did you get it and what was the release date? I am wondering if it is newer than the August 2005 version I am using? Do you have issues with characters rotating once merged back into LW?

Cageman
11-13-2007, 05:28 PM
Sometimes we get rotated characters when we take them back into LW, but it is what I call a non-issue in LightWave (just select the character and rotate it on frame 0). When the same thing happened in Maya, it was a complete mess, unworkable mess sometimes (because of the different way Maya/LW handles bones/joints).

Cageman
11-13-2007, 05:31 PM
Where did you get it and what was the release date? I am wondering if it is newer than the August 2005 version I am using? Do you have issues with characters rotating once merged back into LW?

I don't know the releasedate. Just backup whatever version you have now and try the one I posted. I know some other bloke here at NT-forums that tried it and fixed an issue that he had with whatever FBX version he used.

Cageman
11-13-2007, 05:36 PM
Read through this thread as well:

http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74105

rdrdrd23
11-14-2007, 05:24 AM
For fxrtst's benefit, I'm running LW8.0 and LW9.3, MB 6prof and 6.0.2 FBX plugin for LW. THings *seem* to be in a good way now and I've written up what seems to be a robust guide for internal use. One question (that I've not tried to do yet, and it's proabably my relative inexperience with MB) is how to process multiple .BVH files without havign to go and manually characterise them one-by-one. Any ideas???

thx

dalecampbelljr
11-15-2007, 10:57 PM
Well I am sorry I have to disagree with cageman; I tried the ver 6.0.1 and I found it to be very slow and never got it to work. Decided to go back to the August 2005 version by Kaydara/Alias...just my opinion and what I have found.

Cageman
11-16-2007, 01:29 AM
Hehe..that's ok... :) We are usually working with FBX-files on the 700MB mark, and so far, only the 6.0.1 version is the one not locking up when merging MoCap from Motionbuilder. And its quite fast over here...

dalecampbelljr
11-16-2007, 06:43 AM
Hehe..that's ok... :) We are usually working with FBX-files on the 700MB mark, and so far, only the 6.0.1 version is the one not locking up when merging MoCap from Motionbuilder. And its quite fast over here...

You may be right still I am testing something right and the problem may be my scene and not the plugin; I may be wrong and you right...let me get back to you....but just to be clear you have tried the August 2005 version correct?

Cageman
11-16-2007, 09:06 AM
Actually, we have several fbx-versions here, and I really don't know which one is the August 2005 version. The only thing I need to know is that the one we are using now (6.0.1) is the only one that works for us.

But we are using LW8.5, it may have something to do with that...

LW_Will
11-16-2007, 11:29 AM
Well, I'm using the lowly MB 5.5. I really like that implementation of the MB engine.

It really is flawless, if a bit convoluted. All I've seen since 5.5 is an implementation of different things that makes MB a good game character creator and a better previz unit, nothing that will help me in LW doing character animation.