View Full Version : Exporting Animation with Vertices motion data

04-28-2008, 08:36 AM
How can I move / deform an object 's vertices in layout?
I can set up morphs and use morph mixer, but when I export to VRML the animation doesn't work. If I move, scale or rotate it works. But morphs do not. I need to deform an object at the point level and then keyframe that data, then it would work in VRML.
I tried enabling "OBJECT" and "PROTOTYPE" to no avail.
Maybe someone can help me? Am I missing something?

04-28-2008, 08:01 PM
I have noticed in the instructions for the VRML exporter that I can only export subpatch objects with morphs and that they will only work if with an external WRL object. Can anyone tell me why? Is there some way I can combine the two WRL files exported by this operation into one WRL file for viewing in a VRML viewer?

04-29-2008, 05:25 AM
People still use VRML? Sorry I think it might be tough finding an answer.

04-29-2008, 07:15 AM
I wish I knew the answer. But I am sure there are folks around who do know. Have you tired to email or PM some of the gurus here?

04-29-2008, 08:15 AM
What if you baked all of the motion data into a MDD file? would that export with your VRML file then? There was a good article about MDD files in HDRI that William (http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77002) wrote. I think it was two issues ago - not the latest one.

04-29-2008, 08:20 AM
I had considered it but didn't want to step out of line - I will wait till tomorrow to see if anyone offers some advice. Meanwhile I've been looking for plugins, converters, etc. I even tried 3d Max (ugh!) but was quickly turned off.
Is there any way to "bake" the positions of the vertices? I thought those of you that work with other software might know of an exporter that takes the morphed data into other apps. Maybe then that other app would export the VRML and solve my problem...
For example, if I could export the Lightwave file with the morphed vertex/point deformations into Blender I think it exports VRML.
I looked at Point Oven - would that do it? No response from their sales department yet.
I really need to solve this and I'm working night and day for a solution.

04-29-2008, 09:29 AM
Is there any way to "bake" the positions of the vertices?
I thought that's essentially what a MDD file does... I'm not that familiar with them but it might be worth looking into... If anyone has any info on MDD files here chime in!

04-29-2008, 09:33 AM
this is the issue that had the article by William in it all about MDD files and motion baking, etc.

The Recording and Playback Power of .MDD Files Whether you are looking to get animation data into or out of LightWave, save dynamic data for later use, or just wanting to optimize your scene, this article shows you how to create and use .MDD files.
By William "Proton" Vaughan

04-29-2008, 09:42 AM
Hey Andrew,

VRMLs are rarely used nowadays but I may be able to help you out a bit. We still use them at my job to send out renderings to engineers/architects who don't have a 3D app like Lightwave to view walkthroughs.

Animations in VRMLs are very limited. It's keyframe-only object-based animation. Basically, the most I have ever been able to accomplish in a VRML is a camera flythrough (but even then, I'm not sure how much is included in the VRML per se; I was rendering out to .avi at the time).

This link might help you:


04-29-2008, 11:56 AM
Checking out those links, thanks - I will report back here.

04-29-2008, 04:18 PM
Looks like I need to find a copy of HDRI 3D vol.18. to see Proton's MDD tutorial. Are there any other MDD tutorials out there?
Does MDD work with Max? Maya? XSI? Blender?
i.e.Can I import morphs from LW with MDD data into Blender then export to another file format?

04-29-2008, 04:28 PM
Inigo07 - Thank you! I have been able to get object animations to work no prob. What I want to do is to export morphs to VRML. The VRML entry in the LW help file says it only works with subpatches, and only if you don't embed the object. But when I view the output in a VRML viewer it doesn't see the external object.
Here's a link to what I am working on.
I want to make the object deform. I can seperate the object into different layers and animate them, and this has worked in testing, but I need to DEFORM it, i.e. folding over time.
I can achieve this with 3D Max, I have tested it and it works, but it is tedious and I don't want to have to buy a license for Max just for this one thing.
I am trying to figure out how to export MDD then import into Blender, I am hopeful that might work if I can figure out this MDD stuff.
Maybe Proton will come to my house and fix it for me?

05-01-2008, 08:31 AM
I've tried the MDD scan. I then tried reading it back in and then exporting to VRML - no dice. I tried importing it into Blender (Blender import's LW motion files) and the animation worked in Blender - not in VRML.
So now I've learned how to get vertex motions in and out of various programs. But the motion doesn't translate into VRML.
So far, only MAX exports vertex motion to VRML, and only MAX lets me animate vertex positions AND exports VRML. I tried Maya - no VRML export there that I could find, but it does animate vertices. XSI same thing, far as I can tell.

For what it's worth, I'm going to try cutting the object up in Lightwave and parenting little pieces to each other and see if I can get the animation I need. That will export to VRML. I just doubt I can get the kind of animation I am looking for this way. I will report the results back here.