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Thread: MotionMixer, Screamernet and EndoMorphs

  1. #1
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    MotionMixer, Screamernet and EndoMorphs

    Hi All,

    I'm setting up some motions in MotionMixer but then I came across this in the documentation, and the implications finally sank in:

    NOTE
    Currently, you will need to bake the entire animation sequence, if you intend to render the scene with ScreamerNet. Once this is done, remove the Motion Mixer plug-in from the scene and save the scene using a different name.

    NOTE
    Baking does not currently support X Channels.

    That first one I can accomodate, but the second one is a killer. I have a set of lips with several endomorphs and would like to embed some of the endomorphs into a motion that also includes the transformation channels for other parts of the character. A smile combined with a bobbing head movement for example to create a laughing motion. Any way around this? Is it better in LW8?

    TW

    BTW, MotionMixer is really awesome, I'm just wanting more...

  2. #2
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    Nobody else is hurting from the limitations this creates?

    I corresponded with Early at ResPower, and the same limitation applies for scenes I would send there. No scenes with MotionMixer motions that include endomorphs because he uses Screamernet too.

    This is a major bummer because it means I can't really use the power of MotionMixer unless I want to render in real time without Screamernet. Or, I have to create and use only motions in MotionMixer that -don't- have any endomorphs. Look at my avatar, and you see the problem - There are eight endomorphs just in the lips (two shown here). This almost totally kills MotionMixer's utility to me.

    Is this limitation in LW8?

    And what is the upgrade path for those of us with 7.5cVT?

    And hey, overall I am very happy with my Newtek software, so this complaint is just meant to point out something that -I- would like to see changed.

    TW
    Last edited by Tom Wood; 11-16-2003 at 09:43 AM.

  3. #3
    Hi Tom,

    I think all that info in the manual may have been out of date before it was even published. X Channels work fine.

    I Screamernet scenes with MotionMixer all the time under 7.5.

    If there's some problem with ResPower, it is more complicated than just this.

    Don't get me wrong, MotionMixer has plenty of problems, and is downright crude compared to the feature set for doing NLE animation mixing with third party MotionBuilder, but these two problems aren't the deal busters.

    I hope this helps,

    Jim Arthurs

  4. #4
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    Thanks Jim,

    I should have just tried it and see if it works. (Which I will do tonight) But the Notes are still part of the online help, so I just assumed it still applied. If it works as you say then there is no problem at ResPower either. This is good news!

    TW

  5. #5
    No problem, trying it with a simple setup is the best way to prove it. I remember reading this back with 7.0 came out and felt the same sinking feeling. I tried it anyway, and to my suprise it worked!

    On one recent scene I had MotionMixer applied to each of eight reindeer, all of which had endomorphs and it Screamernet'ed fine across my machines... if it works in that situation....

    Jim Arthurs

  6. #6
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    Jim,

    When you say that you Screamernet (SN) render scenes with MotionMixer (MM) do you mean that you baked them first and remove MM like the manual says, or that you left MM in the scene? When I tried leaving MM in the scene SN went through the motions of rendering but didn't produce any images. When I baked the scene, it worked fine, including the XChannels.

    Just trying to find the cleanest workflow.

    Thanx,

    TW
    Last edited by Tom Wood; 11-17-2003 at 12:06 PM.

  7. #7
    Hi Tom,

    No, I left Motion Mixer active, and didn't do any baking of any kind...

    Humm, just a thought...

    ...How do you have Screamernet set up? Do you have copies of all plugins on each node, or are you referencing just the one directory on your main machine? It's possible you're not seeing the Motion Mixer plugin on the render nodes or having other Screamernet problems...

    Jim A.

  8. #8
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    Hi Jim,

    I'm rendering on a single machine with dual hyper-threaded Xeon processors, so there are four render nodes as far as SN is concerned. But they are all in the same machine, and the Content Directory is set right. Weird. I'll try it on different scenes, but my main concern is that I can ship them off to a service like ResPower and know that it will work properrly on that end. I'll do some tests there too.

    Thanx,

    TW

  9. #9
    Hi Tom,

    I just re-rendered a scene of mine, with 8 characters each set up under motion mixer control. Rendered across three machines, no errors.

    I'm really pretty sure at this point it's some issue with the way Screamernet is set up on your machine. (A quad huh? Very nice!).

    Do you ever Screamernet with other machines, or just locally with your 4 procs? I ask this because local node rendering can sometimes hide config issues with Screamernet. The fact you're seeing all black frames leads me in this direction.

    I'm no networking expert, but I would be glad to share my Screamernet setup, which will be absolutely rock solid for you and never has issues with plugins...

    I'd just point you to the tutorial I learned from, but I can't find it on-line anymore...

    Jim Arthurs

  10. #10
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    Jim -

    I -think- it was 'user error' again. I may not have saved the scene prior to sending it to render that time. I tried it again after saving it, and it renders now. Screamernet pretends to render if the scene was changed but not saved. I think having a saved scene file and an active open scene confuses it, so it doesn't render anything, but goes through the motions.

    Thank you for your help, sorry you went to that trouble on my account.

    TW

  11. #11
    Tom,

    Glad it's working!

    Jim Arthurs

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