View Full Version : Streaming Mocap into Lightwave

11-09-2008, 12:46 PM
I purchased a cheap $5000 mocap set up from the guys at Natural Point. Six cameras set up works great. My current workflow has me recording motion (12 camera set up allows 2 performers), applying it to Lightwave characters via the 3d Dave skeleton rig inside Motionbuilder and then back to Lightwave.

They are releasing another software/hardware package called Expressions very soon, a facial mocap system. The team is working on plug ins for Daz (free), Face Robot, Motionbuilder and 3d Studio Max. I asked them if they were going to work on a Lightwave plug in here is what they had to say:

"While we don't currently have plans for a Lightwave plugin, the SDK for our NatNet streaming protocol (from Arena) is available as a free download from our website. Someone with knowledge of the Lightwave API should be able to write a plugin which captured and utilized the mocap data streaming from Arena. Maybe you can get some Lightwave community members interested in taking on the project?"

Now this could have a very cool impact on getting some character anmation tools together for LW. Currently you can stream live mocap into Motionbuilder from their Arena software. This could be done in Lightwave for cool for live performances. They are also working on a hand mocap device. So you could have full mocap abilities right inside Lightwave.

Are there any coders out there willing to take this on? Perhaps creating a bipedal rig and facial rig with bones or joints (proxy) that could be applied to your character/s? These guys are up in Oregon, really talented guys..I'm sure willing to help out someone interested and with the coding abilities.


11-09-2008, 02:04 PM
was looking at these chaps...looks pretty good technology at an affordable pricepoint
will be interested to seehow the 3dsmax plugin looks once out.


11-09-2008, 05:54 PM
Or what about this? :)

Actually getting mocap data into LW isnt that hard.
Steaming live into LW is something else altogether. :)

11-09-2008, 09:38 PM
The vehicle rigger has beta of joystick control..isn't the principal the same? Getting movement/orientation data on 34 objects at 30fps (for basic mocap stuff)..Of course, LW has always made some things harder..hehe. But seriously, this is a good idea..with Autodesk eating every other app, be nice to see a pipeline that could go directly to LW.

11-09-2008, 09:48 PM
..very nice development..reminds me of Realviz's Moviemento approach (now absorbed by the bloated Autodesk group). Hope they fix the sliding feet..


11-09-2008, 10:03 PM
Yeah, looks promising...lets see if they actually follow through..hehe.

11-10-2008, 05:48 AM
fxrtst: may be you can get solution from Pimtools guys. They developed very good software, but not released it yet (may be they never release)


example videos.
check - LOCO Pipeline video (we believe that it was pimtools)

11-10-2008, 02:34 PM
Looks promising also. I seem to recall a long time ago that streaming data into LW was something that was being worked on (this was back in the 5.0 days)..did I imagine it?

11-11-2008, 07:02 AM
This would lead you to believe, that if Newtek talked to them, they would help make it happen;
Daz Studio is a free program and they made it work and demo'd it at Siggraph this year.

Take care,

11-11-2008, 02:20 PM
Yeah, NewTek should be reaching out to some of these other developers...it would strengthen them against the ever growing Autodesk empire...hehe

12-01-2008, 12:18 PM
I 'm planning to buy this system too.

My question is:

How can we retarget the mocap data into a LW rig, so the IK goals would receive the animation instead the leg bones?

12-01-2008, 12:44 PM
Try parenting the iKgoals to the extremities before applying IK.
Bake the motion into the nulls and then make them goal objects.
This is another reason why I like IKBoost. This isnt an issue with it.

12-01-2008, 02:51 PM
Thanks Larry!

I really would like to understand more IK Boost. Better, I'd like Newtek integrates it better with the normal bones system.

I tried to animate with IK Boost, but the interface seems to be terribel for me. Why don't have the normal Handles too?

Larry! Why don't you sale a Biped character ? I mean a human rig with all the lightwave power ( IK Boost included ). Something like in maestro, but with IK Boost features.

Lightwave needs some cool Human Rig presets added to it!

12-01-2008, 03:01 PM
Yeah, that would be great...even max has the biped, which can be applied to a figure, though it sometimes breaks when you have different proportions.

12-02-2008, 08:33 AM
Setting up a basic useable biped rig in IKB takes about 30 seconds. IKB is designed so that the rig can be changed on the fly. This isnt the case with a standard rig where you have to take into account everything it may need to do before creating it and then spending alot of time to set it up so that it meets those needs.
IKB allows you to use some simple, basic rigging tools to create a rig. When you hit a point where that particular configuration isnt working you can simply change it to allow your character to hit the poses it needs to. This is just one thing that makes IKB so powerful.

12-02-2008, 02:42 PM
Kinda makes me wish it worked on mac, so i could do those things..hehe

12-19-2008, 01:26 PM
Natural Point has had an on going poll, asking users what plugs they should develop and Lightwave is second from the top, followed slightly behind XSI. They obviously benefit with sales with more support of platforms. Let you all know if they proceed.