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Thread: Exporting animation from DAZ 3D - do I need the "Pro" version for this? ...

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxtone View Post
    Marander!

    I had no problems earlier with the import to LW from DAZ. But this is the first time I try with Genesis 8.

    Thanks for your advice but I cannot find anything positive with LW:s character animation part whatsoever. Its still one of the most lousy on the planet.

    Do you really mean you skip the DAZ 3D character with all bones and morphs that are already integrated in their characters?

    Jack
    Jack,

    No, I also load DAZ characters with their rig but in their base positions (T-Pose / A-Pose).

    Indeed it seems that there is an issue in LightWave with posed / animated Genesis 8 characters in some cases and even in the standard pose the rig is sometimes shifted (but nevertheless working). Other Gen8 characters load fine with all Joints / Bones set properly. Sorry for my previous statement about no issues at all, this doesn't apply to LW in all situations.

    In the FBX import settings in LW you can choose between LW Bones, LW Joints and Maya Style Joints, I remember that in some cases I had to switch in order to have correct Joint rotation (that's what I meant in my previous post).

    It's not an issue with the DAZ FBX export in my opinion. I use my DAZ characters 98% in Cinema 4D where I load them posed and non-posed (to use with a crowd sim plugin with native DAZ rig support) and maybe 2% in LW and others but it seems I haven't tested Gen8 posed characters enough in LW. That's also due to the fact that there's an OpenGL / Viewport bug in 2018 and 2019 that heavily slows down deformed objects and makes it unusable for me. I already filed a bug report for 2018 about that.

    In other applications like Cinema 4D or Akeytsu DAZ Gen8 characters look exactly as they do in DAZ Studio (custom or default pose) except in rare cases where an additional Geometry Shell is used, but there's a tool to transfer weight maps to fix that.

    Seems to be another LW bug. Maybe a different FBX export format would help. I usually set it to FBX 2012 or 2014 binary but a higher version might work better?

    The absolute worst FBX import is in Blender however. Due to their open source license terms they had to reverse engineer the FBX import and it's unusable for DAZ import for me.

    However I don't find the animation tools in DAZ great either, even with the keyMate or graphMate installed.

    Maybe you could have a look at Nukeygara Akeytsu - great and well prised little tool with nice animation, IK and walk cycle features - do the animation there and then re-import into LW for rendering.

    Genesis 8 import didn't work in Akeytsu initially and crashed it but I filed a bug report and it was quickly fixed. The developer explained it was because the FBX exported from DAZ does not contain vertex normals.
    Last edited by Marander; 05-02-2019 at 04:08 PM.

  2. #17
    Creative Director jaxtone's Avatar
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    Marander!

    Thank´s for an excellent review and presentation of your own experiences from Lightwave´s ups and downs when it comes to the import of DAZ characters.

    I have been a true Lightwave user since the same year Houdini started up in Canada and I recently checked if this soft possibly could help me out in the matter of import and export characters and rigs from different 3D suites!

    The price is only a few hundred bucks more than for Nukeygaras solution and at this state when I hoped and wished that Newtek would increase the CA part of their soft for decades I guess I would even sign up with the devil to see some light in the end of the tunnel. In other words I am sick of it, that the software I really learned to love in so many ways almost been an enemy when it comes to inject some life into my 3D characters.

    I guess I will go on with Lightwave for more static simple models and animations probably for the mechanical industry and static animated scenes. I still love the old render engine since it was faster than the new one that is extremely slow for easier stuff if you don´t turn of the gadgets that makes even a fast machine to be ashamed. I must admit that I don´t know how long render processes takes in other 3D software´s but time will tell but I am curious about it.

    I am still a fan of Newtek but must confess that it doesn't seem that they appreciate my loyalty just as much. I am 66 now and actually do not have time to wait for Shangri-La any more.

    P.S. If you have experienced that other software can import DAZ3D stuff is Lightwave really aware of that its a bug in the software that close the door for import of DAZ3D FBX format?
    Curious

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxtone View Post
    P.S. If you have experienced that other software can import DAZ3D stuff is Lightwave really aware of that its a bug in the software that close the door for import of DAZ3D FBX format?
    Hey jaxtone

    Sorry for the late reply...

    No, I didn't file a bug report for this one. Still waiting for the OpenGL / viewport performance bug in 2018 / 2019 to be resolved.

    The only character render I did with LW2019 is using DAZ Gen8 skeleton, but I rigged and animated it in Mixamo and then loaded the exported FBX into LW which worked fine.

    Currently I'm not planning to do much in LW because most of my assets and scenes are now in the other applications's format.

    Also due to work load in my (non 3D) day job I will not have time to test or bug report this issue.

    Cheers, Michael

  4. #19
    Creative Director jaxtone's Avatar
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    Michael!

    Thank you for your answer.

    I guess other applications must be the only alternative if you wan´t things done before the sun goes down forever, at least as long as import/export functions in Lightwave doesn't work properly, which reminds me of that its 2019 this year! I mention this because it suddenly felt like an issue that would belong in the past, not in present time.
    Curious

  5. #20
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    With a simple timeline animation, and fbx 2012 both binary and ascii.
    using daz 4.9.4.117 pro edtion and Lightwave 2019.

    Imported with both bake rotation and motion plugin, but always using Lightwave joints..not bones.
    You could turn off morphs in lightwave in the female genesis 8 shape properties, that should avoid any distortion to the mesh, but then again you may have essential morphs in there.
    and you also need to delete standalone fbx base bone transformer bone and the genesis8Female bone, do not delete child items when doing that, this should make the bone getting back to the right track within the mesh, otherwise it is slightly offset.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    With a simple timeline animation, and fbx 2012 both binary and ascii.
    using daz 4.9.4.117 pro edtion and Lightwave 2019.

    Imported with both bake rotation and motion plugin, but always using Lightwave joints..not bones.
    You could turn off morphs in lightwave in the female genesis 8 shape properties, that should avoid any distortion to the mesh, but then again you may have essential morphs in there.
    and you also need to delete standalone fbx base bone transformer bone and the genesis8Female bone, do not delete child items when doing that, this should make the bone getting back to the right track within the mesh, otherwise it is slightly offset.
    Hello Prom,

    The removal of the Genesis8Female bone helps indeed for the slightly shifted bone structure, thanks for the tip!

    Hey DAZ 4.9.4 is very old! 4.9.10 is stable and 4.9.11 beta.

    Many Gen8 characters (also posed) work, but in some cases (specially when they carry items, hold guns etc.), it's a complete freak show in LW, everything is extremely distorted. Same FBX file works fine in other applications. I can post examples if you like. Also I encounter Layout crashes when loading very complex rigs (with high poly hair and cloth). If it loads eventually, it's unbearable slow to handle, while - sorry to say again - running smoothly in other apps.

    Quite disappointing for the fact that they changed the FBX exchange in LW2019. I haven't seen any advantage in my workflow but maybe the improvements are only for exporting FBX?

    In addition to that, the Alembic import is also partly broken in LW, not supporting changing geometry for fluid or particle simulations. The use of object sequence is tedious in my opinion, when other apps have Alembic support with built-in keyframe interpolation, non-destructive retiming, sub frame motion blur etc.

  7. #22
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marander View Post
    Hello Prom,

    The removal of the Genesis8Female bone helps indeed for the slightly shifted bone structure, thanks for the tip!

    Hey DAZ 4.9.4 is very old! 4.9.10 is stable and 4.9.11 beta.

    Many Gen8 characters (also posed) work, but in some cases (specially when they carry items, hold guns etc.), it's a complete freak show in LW, everything is extremely distorted. Same FBX file works fine in other applications. I can post examples if you like. Also I encounter Layout crashes when loading very complex rigs (with high poly hair and cloth). If it loads eventually, it's unbearable slow to handle, while - sorry to say again - running smoothly in other apps.

    Quite disappointing for the fact that they changed the FBX exchange in LW2019. I haven't seen any advantage in my workflow but maybe the improvements are only for exporting FBX?

    In addition to that, the Alembic import is also partly broken in LW, not supporting changing geometry for fluid or particle simulations. The use of object sequence is tedious in my opinion, when other apps have Alembic support with built-in keyframe interpolation, non-destructive retiming, sub frame motion blur etc.
    removing those bones that I mentioned..also seem to be essential if you want to add ik booster on top of a daz rig..or else the bones will not follow the mesh properly.

    I have a lot to go through yet ..in regards to fbx import and export in lightwave.

  8. #23
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    Let's see if we can track something, anything down here. Maybe if a few of us put our heads together we'll come up with at least a partial RebelHill mind.

    Here's a rather complex character put together in DS 4.10 in that he has clothing & a prop phone. I can export that out as an OBJ and everything imports 100% in place, just no rigging of course. With FBX export it's another story. I've tried the various flavors from 2012 to 2014 but can't find any useful, correction, just make that ANY info on setting the Export Rules so it's "Hunt 'n Peck" at that stage. Haven't tested the older flavors of FBX export so might try that later.

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    Even so, this is where things go awry. I've no animation just the pose at 0, but tested selecting everything & creating a Key at 0 in the Timeline. There was a quick progress bar so it did something, but the export still had the problems. I'm examining the resulting FBX in PolyTrans to bypass any LW flavoring but the same thing shows exactly the same there too.

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    The red is the heirarch for the cel phone WAY up there. As you can see, most of the coat is correct except for the arms which are ~ 90% conformed. Georges Left Hand is all whacked whereas his Right is how I posed it in Daz. Hat is ~ 90% too.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So in short, it's how the FBX is getting exported from Daz, but what do these clues reveal?
    "Never be a cat in a cartoon. Never." Chief Wiggum

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma3rk View Post
    So in short, it's how the FBX is getting exported from Daz, but what do these clues reveal?
    Hi Ma3rk, thanks for chiming in. Yes it seems that when character uses props it distorts the mesh. Not only hands, when a Gen8 character holds a larger gun the figure looks horrible.

    This happens only in LW for me but maybe other applications have the same problem. Also I only see the issue with the Genesis8Female bone occurring in LW. DAZ exports just fine in my opinion as I have created many custom characters and exported as FBX already. I might look at it again when I'm back home tonight.

  10. #25
    Creative Director jaxtone's Avatar
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    Hi guys!

    I read your comments and admit it is with my deepest respect I like to see your active engagement when trying to sort things out that in my opinion should have been included in the soft long ago. I have now spent the last 30 years trying to figure out why Lightwave that once where a star on the 3D heaven never followed the development of presets when it comes to the weakest links of the program that summary are also the most complicated, criticized and time consuming parts.

    I guess the problem especially with Lightwave´s CA, fluids and hair parts depends on a gap between "Average Joe" users and an old fashioned team of technically skilled aristocrats which I of course respect and envy for their supersmart inside of heads and hearts. But it doesn't seem like their efforts in assist helps as long as the engine itself misses some crucial parts to make things happen the way one can expect in 2019.

    Some may define my thoughts as unfair but to be honest it´s obvious that some parts aren´t as good as they could be and I wonder why these parts still lives in limbo?

    The "new world order" in 3D and VFX are spelled "rapid, instant or on the spot" rather than force the users to scratch their heads without compass directions or waterproof guidance that are easy to catch up with at any level at all.

    I wan´t answers that clearly explains why the developers and technical team does not prioritize the weakest links in the software that have become a part of myself?
    Curious

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