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Thread: Animating characters - which method?

  1. #16
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
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    IN the paper-based world, I HIGHLY recommend Jonny Gordon's 2 volume lightwave animation books. Epic.

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  2. #17
    The Tom Roth video tutorial is very well done. I'm going through it myself. An older one on Character Animation is by Timothy Albee. It may be worth looking into:

    http://amzn.com/B000GFKXIS
    Gary Chike

  3. #18
    Defender of Mankind Emmanuel's Avatar
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    Basic question: bones or joints ? Which one is the most efficient way to rig ?
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  4. #19
    I finally did a tutorial on: "Lightwave to MotionBuilder and Back again "
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eju1edD7k0A

    I hope it helps some of you
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  5. #20
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emmanuel View Post
    Basic question: bones or joints ? Which one is the most efficient way to rig ?
    +1 Joints confuse me. --who am I kidding? Animation confuses me.
    They only call it 'class warfare' when we fight back.
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  6. #21
    I've uploaded the next tutorial...
    "Lightwave to MotionBuilder to ENDORPHIN and Back again"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSkDM-l38hM

    Enjoy
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  7. #22
    I wan't flame this thread, but back to topic: which method!?

    The other method IMHO is IKBooster.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqjq3o31Pp0

    Is this cheap, fast or good?

  8. #23
    Ikbooster comes with LW so it's free. Chazriker is a big ikb user and swears by it.
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  9. #24
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    I always found IK Booster interface confusing and baffling, almost as if by design. If you don't know what you're doing, the menus appear to change randomly and the UI is mysteriously unlike the rest of LightWave. It doesn't help that IK Booster has never been adequately documented by NewTek.

    Chazriker took a lot of time figuring out IK Booster and, in a series of free online videos, he demonstrated some surprisingly useful things about it that I never imagined was possible with LightWave.

    Having seen how Chazriker uses it on his short films, I wondered if IK Booster might come in handy on our film productions, so I decided purchase Chazriker's video tutorials from Liberty 3D. (If you're on Liberty's mailing list, they have a good sale going on right now.) I watched the first few lessons yesterday, which went far in explaining much of the mysterious behavior and how the tool is meant to be used. While I still have a lot to learn before I can use IK Boost in production, I think I can already recommend these videos if you're interested in learning it too.

    G.

  10. #25
    There is a lot to absorb when it comes to IKBooster; it is an entire animation system that requires a different mindset to use effectively, especially if you'd like to benefit from the many advantages of a part-time IK system (such as significant performance boosts, unlimited flexibility, easier usage of motion capture and motion libraries, and so on).

    Just to give you an idea, I was chatting with someone the other day and wanted to show them why IKBooster is so freakishly awesome:



    This kind of flexibility and fluidity in animation is something only IKBooster can offer in lightwave, and is one of the biggest reasons as to why I use it. This toolset adds so much value to Lightwave it is ridiculous. The main reason it hasn't been adopted by many people in the past was simply due to lacking documentation; the LW manual, even today, does not provide nearly enough information for people to know exactly what all the tools do and what their purpose is. This is why I wrote a new manual for IKB from scratch (link in my signature)
    Last edited by Ryan Roye; 05-26-2014 at 04:36 PM.
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  11. #26
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    That is pretty cool. It's the kind of thing I tend to jump into Motion Builder for because it was never really easy to do in LightWave...or so I thought.

    Yeah, I really need to learn IK Booster. I think if I understood it better, it would reduce the number of shot-specific rig modifications and 'one-shot' rigs I have create during a job.

    G.

  12. #27
    Axes grinder- Dongle #99
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    NewTek really fumbled the ball with IKB. It was like a willful ignorance, because gahd knows Larry Splinegod Schultz told them long and loud what a singular tool it was.

    Corporate blindness is pretty embarrassing in such a SMALL company.
    They only call it 'class warfare' when we fight back.
    Praise to Buddha! #resist
    Chard's Credo-"Documentation is PART of the Interface"
    Film the cops. Always FILM THE COPS. Use this app.

  13. #28
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emmanuel View Post
    Basic question: bones or joints ? Which one is the most efficient way to rig ?
    I wish I could recommend Joints but until LW3D fixes the oddball weight map offset issue, I can only recommend it if you need to animate 'stretchy limb' characters and only if you don't mind the unconventional weight map setup. I use Joints for the 'Brudders' mocap character rigs to make them more compatible with Motion Builder but it's a pain in the butt when you're setting this up because LightWave joints expect weight maps to be applied not to the intended joint but to the child joint, and Motion Builder (and Maya, and other applications,) expect weight maps to be applied to the intended joint/effector. This isn't even consistent with LightWave Bones, which have weight maps applied the the intended bone and not the child of the bone. But it's been like that since version 9.6 and I'm beginning to think it's never going to be fixed.

    LightWave Bones are very dependable for most things but they lack the advantages you get from Joints, like independent orientation and positioning (useful for mocap retargeting.)

    In general, I stick with Bones for things that will only be animated in LightWave and stay in LightWave, and Joints for rigs that will be shuttled between LightWave and third party apps (despite the annoying weight map incompatibility issue) or special cartoon character rigs that need the freedom of moveable joints.

    G.

  14. #29
    I use primarily bones as well, for mostly the same reasons Greenlaw mentioned. Joints are, in my opinion, really handy if you want a "utility" bone that doesn't deform anything and acts solely as a controller (provides a unique shape/symbol too); constraints that use bones/joints instead of objects is a bit more efficient CPU-wise than using objects and nulls. I use them a lot with IKBooster as well for this purpose.

    I've also used joints for piston-like movements where a cylinder needs to push, rotate, and retract like that found on a train wheel. I've also found that joints are really handy when you use them as corrective deformers because they apply their influence evenly around them; whereas bones typically apply their influence in a capsule-like shape. Study the differences between joints and bones and be aware of the issues you may have with exporting bones outside of LW, and you'll be able to take advantage of both.
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  15. #30
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    Just to add to the above, I prefer Joints for working with motion capture because you can zero out the rotation of Joints in a T-Posed rig, which makes it much easier to retarget data to disproportionate rigs in programs like Motion Builder, Maya, Ikinema Webanimate, etc, etc.

    With Bones, you can't do that in any way that's meaningful outside of Lightwave.

    G.

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