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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:13 am
Posts: 7
Hi i am new to ipi and animeeple but i have used lightwave for the past year. I was wondering if any one can help me out on the set up between these programs. I have currently got a successful track on ipi and i have exported the bvh file. How do i now get it in to a model? Please help!
Thanks Chris


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2342
Location: Los Angeles
In Animeeple you need to select import and choose your iPi .bvh file. When the panel opens up, you will need to characterize the rig; this is so Animeeple understands how you want to retarget the data to your Lightwave rig. You may need to scale the rig down to a realistic height (usually around 1.6 or 1.7 meters.) Once you do this, Animeeple will remember your settings for future .bvh imports.

You may want to check the iPi Wiki, which has more info about which joints you need to associate in Animeeple. Also, do a search for Animeeple over at Newtek's forums...there's a lot of info there.

The next step is to bring your rigged Lightwave character into Animeeple. You will probably want to use FBX; I haven't had much luck with LW's DAE format. If you've weighted your character with explicit weights, it should come in with proper deformations; otherwise, the deformations may look bizarre. This doesn't affect retargeting though, so if you're not actually editing the mocap in Animeeple, it may be okay. After importing the rig, you'll need to characterize it like you did with the .bvh rig. If there is an error, it's very likely because of improper (non-symetrical) naming of the joints or bones.

With both rigs in in the Animeeple project, save the file. This will save you from re-importing everything again later.

To apply the mocap, first place the Lightwave rig into the scene by dragging and dropping it. Have Animeeple center the rig but don't tell it to rest the feet on the ground (I think these command are under one of the tabs.) Next, drag and drop the imported mocap on top of the Lightwave rig. You character will inherit the iPi data. Depending on the proportions of you character, you may need to edit some animation settings. Double-click on the base null to open the Animation block at the bottom. With this selected you will see a new tab appear for Animation with options for hip offset and other rig modifications. Tweak as desired. (For detailed Animeeple instructions be sure to watch all the videos and read all the docs at their site.)

When all is good, you're ready to export. You can export as Collada or FBX. I recommend FBX but you will need to pay for the FBX plug-in.

To use this in Lightwave, you will most likely just want to import the motion data and apply it to your rig in Lightwave. You do this by opening your Lightwave scene, choose Load from Scene Import Motion Envelopes Only, and select the FBX or DAE file. If all goes well, the motion will be applied to your rig in Lightwave. There's actually a lot to consider when doing this, and I highly recommend that you search for this information at the Newtek discussion forums (search for FBX, Animeeple, iPi Studio, etc.) Look for tutorials by Rebel Hill and Cageman in particular. Rebel Hill even has a method for getting Animeeple files to work in Lightwave 10. (Animeeple's FBX has an issue that makes it import differently from Motion Builder's FBX. The developers have asked me to send them comparison data and I will try to do so soon.)

Sorry for not posting actual links for the referenced information above (I'm in a hurry right now,) but the information at the Newtek forums is recent and should be easy to find. Hope this helps. :)

G.

P.S., By the way, you've posted this same exact request three times in this forum. You should delete the other two. Cross posting is unnecessary and it compromises the searchability of this information for other users.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:50 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:13 am
Posts: 7
Id love to thank you for this information. When playing around with these 3 software programs together i started to understand but it was the importing and exporting the different file types that was the most confusing part thank you for clearing this up. I was also wondering when importing the rigged character from lightwave whether or not the bones in the rigg need to be the exact same as the bones in the BVH file?
Thanks, Chris
PS i am aware of this apologies for the multiple posts, im doing this for my dissertation and was urgent haha ive deleted the other posts


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:10 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:13 am
Posts: 7
Also id like to ask in lightwave in modeller using the import mocap skelegon feature would you suggest this is the best way to get a rig to match the original mocap file ? Because if this is the case the problem is that in the file the first frame is quite warped but it should be a T position any ideas ?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:49 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2342
Location: Los Angeles
Hi Chris,
saberfiend wrote:
...when importing the rigged character from lightwave whether or not the bones in the rigg need to be the exact same as the bones in the BVH file?

No, the rigs can be different within reason. Animeeple (and Motion Builder for that matter,) expects a minimum number of bones set up in a certain hierarchy, meaning for example, the hip needs to be connected to thigh, thigh needs to be connected to lower leg, etc. After you meet the minimum requirements, you can add other bones like holder bones for the chest, eyes, tail, wings, etc.

You can even name the bones whatever you like but for some programs it is recommended that you follow convention. Animeeple and Motion Builder, for example, will characterize automatically if you follow their naming. (That said, you can 'teach' these programs what your preferred bones names are.)

The important thing is that you have the minimum requirements for the skeleton. Also, since you're using Lightwave, do NOT use any of the rotational offset tools like Record Pivot Rotation. This only works within Lightwave and mess up rotations in other programs. I've been using the new Joints system in Lightwave because it allows me to set rotations to zero, which is recommended for mocap rigs, but I know there are artist who still use the old bones system because a proven workflow for them already exists. The advantage with bones in LW is that you can use the Bone Tools. (Again, check the forums for comments and videos by Cageman and Rebel Hill. Maddox has also posted a lot of very helpful information on the subject.)

If you'd like to see some sample skeletons, try exporting the rigs from iPi and Animeeple. Rebel Hill has a good FBX tutorial at his website and a sample Motion Builder-Lightwave rig you can download and play at. This rig works with Animeeple too.

I think there may be some info in the iPi Wiki about this too.

G.

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