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Thread: Suggestion: Motion Blending Tools in Layout (Like Motion Builder)

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  1. #1
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    Suggestion: Motion Blending Tools in Layout (Like Motion Builder)

    Ok this thread is not about ideas for Layout
    Anyway now that that is out of the way.

    I work a couple of block from the" Center of Missing and Exploited Children".

    A small team of 3 artists develop A TON of animation characters using of all things "Motion builder".

    http://www.netsmartzkids.org/

    The animators explained to me that MB allowed them to generate a vast library of actions and that they would blend them fairly quickly to develop content fast.


    So I was thinking that it would be cool to have strong motion blending tools in Layout.



    What do you guys think?
    I am looking forward to your suggestions and ideas.

    -R
    This message does not reflect the opinions of the US Government, CG Networks or CGTALK.com. The opinions expressed on this posting are on my own volition.

  2. #2
    While motion mixer does this, I will agree that I'd like to see it become a faster process.

    EXAMPLE:

    In motion mixer, you typically don't want XYZ bone positions to be applied to a new, similarly-built rig's motions... yet there's no way to toggle them on/off without manually going to each and every bone and checking off XYZ. Multi-selecting appears broken (it never worked in LW 9.6 either).

    So, while you COULD have a vast library of motions/etc via motion mixer, the process of managing them is incredibly difficult if you are trying to apply those motions to more than 1 rig.

    Now, you can download mapmotion2 and hmot saver... but it really requires a video tutorial to really grasp how they work and the documentation for those tools are in japanese. They are superior to motion mixer though in their item management functions, I can tell you that.
    Last edited by Ryan Roye; 06-27-2013 at 11:41 AM.
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  3. #3
    Goes bump in the night RebelHill's Avatar
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    Motion mixer doesnt, sadly, do it anywhere near as we as MB... for specific reasons...

    The reason MB does al the magic it does is because the tools are built around a predefined rig structure (which in MB is the "character" structure, which is different and distinct from just a particular set of bones/hierarchy). Its this structure that allows MBs blending to put things in and out of match poses, etc, operating IK or other constraints along side and inside... its essentially one big "solve". Basically, this means that MBs blending tools (and all other tools) can "understand" the rig structure in use (independent ofc of hierarchy, joint orientations and everything else)... without that, all you have is value blending which is what LWs such tools already do (and why they fall so short of what MB can do). Simply put... MBs bending tools do not stand alone... they're a "sub-tool" of a MUCH bigger system, designed to be integrated from the ground up.

    So Im afraid that "better blending tools like MB for LW"... is a very vague, and essentially meaningless request unless you have all the other infrastructure there to support it.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RebelHill View Post
    Motion mixer doesnt, sadly, do it anywhere near as we as MB... for specific reasons...

    The reason MB does al the magic it does is because the tools are built around a predefined rig structure (which in MB is the "character" structure, which is different and distinct from just a particular set of bones/hierarchy). Its this structure that allows MBs blending to put things in and out of match poses, etc, operating IK or other constraints along side and inside... its essentially one big "solve". Basically, this means that MBs blending tools (and all other tools) can "understand" the rig structure in use (independent ofc of hierarchy, joint orientations and everything else)... without that, all you have is value blending which is what LWs such tools already do (and why they fall so short of what MB can do). Simply put... MBs bending tools do not stand alone... they're a "sub-tool" of a MUCH bigger system, designed to be integrated from the ground up.

    So Im afraid that "better blending tools like MB for LW"... is a very vague, and essentially meaningless request unless you have all the other infrastructure there to support it.
    Point made.

    How about an expansion of what the Genoma rigging system can do. And take it into the next level with pose control and the aility to do motion blending?

    -R
    This message does not reflect the opinions of the US Government, CG Networks or CGTALK.com. The opinions expressed on this posting are on my own volition.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by robertoortiz View Post
    Point made.

    How about an expansion of what the Genoma rigging system can do. And take it into the next level with pose control and the aility to do motion blending?

    -R
    I'd think expanding motion mixer's capabilities to be more user friendly and accessible would be a better route. I am still exploring Genoma, but it still seems that it would be more beneficial for motion blending/manipulation tools not be exclusive to it. Motion Mixer doesn't need to compete with specialized programs like motionbuilder, just provide a practical, easy to understand workflow with less "gotchas" or hidden tricks required for optimal use. There are simply too many steps required to get animation going in Motion Mixer. I use the hmot format to achieve motion save/loading and motion blending, but I don't operate inside of Motion Mixer to achieve that. It wouldn't take much to make motion mixer a production-level tool...
    Last edited by Ryan Roye; 06-27-2013 at 12:58 PM.
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  6. #6
    Super Member LW_Will's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazriker View Post
    I'd think expanding motion mixer's capabilities to be more user friendly and accessible would be a better route. I am still exploring Genoma, but it still seems that it would be more beneficial for motion blending/manipulation tools not be exclusive to it. Motion Mixer doesn't need to compete with specialized programs like motionbuilder, just provide a practical, easy to understand workflow with less "gotchas" or hidden tricks required for optimal use. There are simply too many steps required to get animation going in Motion Mixer. I use the hmot format to achieve motion save/loading and motion blending, but I don't operate inside of Motion Mixer to achieve that. It wouldn't take much to make motion mixer a production-level tool...
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  7. #7
    Goes bump in the night RebelHill's Avatar
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    The genoma rigs are pretty limited and basic (no IKFK switching, etc, plus there are design faults in other ways)... its SO FAR from the MB "character"... but all that aside... those are simply "vanilla" LW rigs, and so you're limited by that system even if you do have some kinda "master" design that all rigs are conformed to...

    Point is, you need an ENTIRELY new motion evaluation and animation system thats designed as a holistic unit... not different, incongruent pieces bolted together.

    The simple truth is to ask for "cant we have this like motionbuilder"... is basically just to ask for motionbuilder... Its no simple thing.
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  8. #8
    This is true with a lot of things in LightWave sadly. Because there are a long list of things in LightWave that "it would not take much to..." But they don't. Or haven't. And things remain untouched.

    But I do think that they should create some kind of tool for this considering they are entering into the mocap field. Not sure that the Motion Mixer tool is the best place to do it. But considering that in no way this will compete with MotionBulder, it will be yet another thing that LightWave could do reasonably well with some limitations. And a better way to mix motions would be the next step.

    MotionBuilder is off the charts here in it's entire system. And I think that is the place to do it frankly not mess about with LightWave. But for some people it would be a handy and welcome feature to go in hand with another feature coming soon that likewise will not be of the quality of MB.

  9. #9
    Super Member LW_Will's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealist. View Post
    This is true with a lot of things in LightWave sadly. Because there are a long list of things in LightWave that "it would not take much to..." But they don't. Or haven't. And things remain untouched.

    But I do think that they should create some kind of tool for this considering they are entering into the mocap field. Not sure that the Motion Mixer tool is the best place to do it. But considering that in no way this will compete with MotionBulder, it will be yet another thing that LightWave could do reasonably well with some limitations. And a better way to mix motions would be the next step.

    MotionBuilder is off the charts here in it's entire system. And I think that is the place to do it frankly not mess about with LightWave. But for some people it would be a handy and welcome feature to go in hand with another feature coming soon that likewise will not be of the quality of MB.
    Sure, it would only take so little for NT to fix X... but it does require a person to find the bug, fix the bug, fix the fixes for the fix, etc... That doesn't say what will happen with the new thing. There will be... what? 100 users (OMB number) who notice, maybe a dozen or so who actually care. Compared to Bullet Cloth, which I think the entire user base is waiting for, I think that putting your programmers on the bigger things is the better way to use resources. Plus, the team might be working with a cohesion that they did not have before. Ron said in an LA meeting... something that I might be saying out of turn, so I won't. Just know that they are working hard and pulling all in the same direction.

    Also, I know these people. I think I've met most of the programmers, I always say thank you to them. Cus that's what they need.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertoortiz View Post
    What do you guys think?
    I am looking forward to your suggestions and ideas.
    I definitely agree, hunger and tragedy are sad, while bunnies and puppies are cute.

    Glad we cleared up where everyone stands on such pressing issues.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jwiede View Post
    I definitely agree, hunger and tragedy are sad, while bunnies and puppies are cute.

    Glad we cleared up where everyone stands on such pressing issues.

  12. #12
    Well I am not sure how it is you determined from what I said exactly the nature of the things I am talking about. It was just a passive comment.

    I don't see anything wrong with what you said.

    For what it is worth, I am talking about non-trivial things. And I am all over why NewTek is developing the things they are. Just that I have commented on all of this stuff in other threads and don't really feel like repeating myself.

  13. #13
    Registered User tyrot's Avatar
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    Lets keep this thread as MotionMixer thread.

    Is there a way to CLONE character with MotionMixer attached to it?

    - i have BOY01 character which has an Actor name (Boy01_ACTOR) and a motion (Walk).
    - I cloned it (hierarchy) Now i have BOY01(2) character. Unfortunately this character is NOT an actor (and motion mixer data is not applying on it) Is there a workaround for this?

  14. #14
    dynamics...so much fun ;) prospector's Avatar
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    I'd like to see it become *something* like Story in MB.
    Even if we have to use the Motion files Motion Mixer puts out so all data from same rig is the same...just being able to line a string of motions together and have the subject start right where the other ends and being able to match *some* of the bones would be a nice start...
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  15. #15
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prospector View Post
    I'd like to see it become *something* like Story in MB.
    Even if we have to use the Motion files Motion Mixer puts out so all data from same rig is the same...just being able to line a string of motions together and have the subject start right where the other ends and being able to match *some* of the bones would be a nice start...
    Something kind of like how Aniblocks work in DazStudio, then? It'd be nice, agreed, as would some kind of built-in "motion library" system (also per DazStudio). However, I suspect you'll be satisfied far sooner by just _using_ DazStudio (or Carrara) for that work, and then exporting the overall motions to LW somehow. The amount of change required for "aniblocks in LW" seems to exceed the amount they're generally willing to put into a single improvement area at one time.

    You could also write and ask the GoFigure folks, who originally wrote the aniblocks system for DazStudio/Carrara, to port it to LW as a plugin somehow.
    John W.
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