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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:47 am
Posts: 838
Location: Florida USA
...

*Applauds iPi Team for great work on v4!*

Quick video of some actions recorded and tracked with v4 release, using 6 PS Eyes and 3 Move controllers (head/hands).

One pass tracking, no tracking loss or errors, kudos to iPi devs for getting the tracking so good now and floor exactly accurate in all 6 cams now, good work!

Feet are much more stable to the floor while tracking now also, good job!

Just wanted to show how a single tracked and basic refined animation looks only using the integral auto-cleaning tools.

Tracked in Low Res speed, shoulders by video, head on, very flex spine settings, no props used, just mimed actions, with props wrists would be at better angles to the props.

Slight bit more time in refining some areas is all that would be needed before export, but very good results just at this point.

Link: https://youtu.be/YaJG5stOeKA

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:31 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:47 am
Posts: 838
Location: Florida USA
...

On same testing with converted v3 files for v4, the results weren't as stable still showing slight tracking loss, but the arms were much more naturally tracked without many flipping instances, so that's a plus, but those issues in v3 usually self corrected for the most part after applying the Moves data and running Refine anyway.

Without Moves use, there is really no way to get smooth tracking, it will always show the arms as glitchy, and the head a bit off track, even in v4.

I also wore all black clothing, except for a blue shirt and face was natural, with head Move attached over the right ear on a black cloth skull cap, I even wore a long black sleeved shirt under the blue T for those tests, and the tracker never had an issue following the correct body parts, even when arms were near other black clothing, this used to be a slight issue in v3 where sometimes the tracker would jump off to the other black clothes, much better in v4 for this.

All actions above were tracked during the same v4 recording, just broke up into separate takes, I will soon try a longer take 1-2 minutes as a scene and see how that works out to see how much time is shaved off the overall project to the point of exporting, I can see some will be just from these tests.

I don't use Kinect v1, or v2, but I am sure those are tracking much better also.

Oh, BTW, you can not run v3 and v4 on the same OS as individual programs, well I couldn't, was causing very weird issues for the Recorder and the Studio and uninstall the v4 Recorder Preview program first.

There is a few bugs in Studio v4 that iPi is working on fixing now, so stay tuned for an update shortly.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:27 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:47 am
Posts: 838
Location: Florida USA
...

Re-Tracked V3 video converted to V4 for Studio processing.

1-2 Step dance by Megan, sorry no music, video is an AVI export right from iPi Studio, converted to mp4 with Movie Maker.

Noticeable improvements in arms. wrists, shoulders and arm penetration of main body, tracking does stay more locked on the body part it is tracking, even crossing of hands isn't much of a factor now, many dancers always like to use hand crossing/covering hand motions, so good job on more accuracy there, also seems AMT keeps feet more aligned, used to be a bit to close together when feet were close in the animation, but this still depends on the character used, especially if it has larger feet/shoes, but standard human characters should look better.

Moves used for hands, none on head, same processing settings as above video.

Very good outcome for just minimal processing that was used.

I believe some of the tracking errors that did occur were caused by the V3 calibration from before, it is much more accurate for all cameras in V4, but with high energy motions like dances the program still tracks great IMO.

It used to have more of an issue with less motion actions, like basic standing and basic sitting motions, so soon I will see how V4 has improved on that also, among other extreme actions.

Link to dance animation video on an imported character: https://youtu.be/6xojB371IQA

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:07 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:47 am
Posts: 838
Location: Florida USA
...

Demo video after recent v4 Studio Update doing various motions at various speeds, to show how parasite arm twist after JR was run has been solved when arms were in nearly straight positions, this is only one animation, so it may appear again in other tracking, but I think it will be much less of an issue now.

Has been an issue for awhile with PS Eyes, especially on minimal motions of the Actor where arms were more straight, appearing only after JR was run, but I don't know if it affected Kinects tracking, I haven't used those for a long time, but if I remember, I don't believe this issue was present.

The individual bone selection options are now working correctly after JR run, and the right wrist rotation tool issue is resolved also.

The PS Eyes video tracking is a bit strange in this update, since implementation of the leg rotation limits, I asked them to look into it to see if this was correct performance, because it seems a little glitchy during tracking and they said they would, so if experiencing slight leg/foot issues when in track forward, hold tight an see if iPi can correct it better.

The animation turned out fine for a basic tracking and auto-cleaning run and without the arm parasite appearing in it, but did require a bit of extra work not usually needed to correct some leg/foot issues in areas.

Good work on the arm thing iPi Team, I think you solved that for the most part!

Video link: https://youtu.be/PtgBZ8P4O4c

This is the animation exported from iPi @ 30 fps playback in FBX Review.

Link: https://youtu.be/44-N58eCAs0

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Last edited by Snapz on Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2269
Location: Los Angeles
These tests look great, Snapz!

For as long as I can remember, iPi DMC/Mocap Studio had difficulty with crouching poses, sitting on the floor, getting up from the floor, etc. For me, these poses required a lot of careful manual tracking and post editing.

Good to see auto tracking handles this much better now.

I'm going to try revisiting some of these poses and motions later today with v4 and dual Kinect 2, and see if works any better for depth sensors.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:56 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2269
Location: Los Angeles
By the way, what are you using for post-editing these days? iClone? Max?

I've been relying on my ancient copy of Motion Builder for years but may finally make a serious effort with iClone 7/3DXchange. I think you were using iClone at least at some point. Any tips for getting up to speed quickly?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:34 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:47 am
Posts: 838
Location: Florida USA
...

I use Webanimate for post editing mostly, it just a down and dirty easy clean up program, once you get used to it anyway.

I use iClone after that yes, but I also use Blender, 3D Max, Maya, just depends on what I am doing and for who.

iClone is good, but the UI is scattered, so learning curve for it is probably more, kind of like how Blender is scattered also, just in different ways lol.

You know as well as anyone that there is always clean up in post, a lot of factors depend on the what the exported animation will be applied to, but as long as I can get it tracked and refined well in iPi to the performers actions easily, it is much less work in other 3D editors.

I export with the full 5 setting on TF from iPi, because it is easier to speed up the animation just slightly in another editor, then to have it jittery on export and it works well for me that way.

As I said, I don't remember if the arm twist error was even in Kinect tracking after the JR process was run, but if it was, it wasn't as obvious as it was with PS Eyes after JR run.

Seems to be solved, I have tracked several videos and run the full processing path I use without issue on final JR run, so it's looking like it's solved.

I can't really give many suggestions on which program is best, just depends on the user and how well they can adapt to each UI, they all basically do the same things, just in different ways, even old 2010 MoBu still works, just the developers stopped implementing updates to go back that far in version.

I have MoBu 2014, but rarely even use it, I don't have any plug ins that need it and it is on a different drive, so kind of inconvenient to even use, unless definitely needed.

If you do wanna use a good program, it is iClone 7 Pipeline version, it has more options than Pro version and works really well for animation clean up and other things too and they implemented a curve editor plug in now which is really easy to use for clean up directly in-scene, but at an additional charge for it.

So if you wanted to make your videos and clean them up and render them out all from one program, iClone is a good choice, as you can import any character, animation, prop, object, mesh, whatever through 3DXchange into it, then all iClone tools are accessible for editing and they do have a wrath of tutorials on YouTube for different aspects to get up to speed on each function.

I just like Webanimate for really quick editing, because I can re-target to any character then adjust limbs to that easily first and re-export it without searching all over for tools in other 3D editors and it also implements the Ikinema solver into the final animations to smooth some of the look of the animations.

Hope this helped, but it is really up to the user how they wanna run their pipeline, or choice in editors.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:04 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2269
Location: Los Angeles
Thanks! That was helpful.

I'd like to move on from my ancient MB license but don't want to subscribe to AD, so choosing between these two sounds like a reasonable/affordable way to go. I've had Webanimate and iClone Pipeline with 3DX for a while now but haven't seriously taken the time to learn them yet...maybe I'll focus on Webanimate for iPi Mocap Studio output since I don't have a lot of time these days.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:01 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:47 am
Posts: 838
Location: Florida USA
...

Make sure you update your version of Webanimate first, the last 2 digits are .37 now, they fixed a couple bugs in it, but they don't update it much if ever now, I think it is pretty much a locked version now to them, unless a bad bug is reported, which sometimes Win 10 update causes them too.

I like it because it's quick to globally adjust things, you can run it with, or without adding the Ikinema solver too, just by adding the Ikinema rig, not the solver, which can sometimes act adversely depending on the motions, but the rig only gives access to the full IK by adding control points, you have to add control points even with the solver above what it sets automatically, only feet and hips.

It has a pinning feature too, good for Kinects I would imagine, you just need to get used to how it works and setting the keys for it.

iClone 7 is awesome at blending animations, similar to how MoBu does, but easier, as you may know Autodesk is a partner with iClone and they share some of the same attributes.

Yeah, much cheaper than the sub to Autodesk, I stopped that too, just too costly now for the little I use from MoBu, but I still use 3D Max 2014 a lot.

Once you dig into iClone more, you will find it really powerful and accurate, I just like to pre-adjust motions in Webanimate first usually, depending on character needed, but since iPi has helped with arms penetrating the body better now, that is a big help.

Like I said, Ikinema Webanimate and iClone have many tutorials on YouTube to assist learning them, and broken up into functions, which is nice, just have to watch correct version tutorials, you can access some right from the iClone program.

iClone also links several of its other programs together, to do more stuff without import issues.

Warning though... Watch what you buy from their asset stores, much is stolen from other creators, just like Unity and UE, and from just about any online store now for years, even Reallusion has Mixamo animations they sell with their credit system to purchase, but you can get them free from Mixamo, which are free to download, but only for embedded use in videos, and not supposed to be monetized if you plan on using them commercially, but that's a joke, many still do, and no way to stop it, but could get slapped with copyright infringement from the original creator, if caught, even if unknowingly.

I would like to see some of your tracking tests with Kinect v2 and the recent releases of iPi, not many people share their experiences here in videos now, even if just on YouTube and not here.

Larger studios share them with iPi for the Gallery, but that rarely tells the story of how it got to that point before exporting from iPi.

Anyway, back to the topic, you have iClone, so I would use it, it's good and characters appearance is much better now, I think you can do more easier for your animated shorts, using all the same assets you created, you can build inside iClone, but much easier in other 3D packages and they have more cool VFX plugins now.

I know you have been busy, hard to get things done at home when have other commitments, but good luck with your animating.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:44 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2269
Location: Los Angeles
Thanks for the tips, Snapz.

I'm pretty sure I'll need to update Webanimate. Not feeling well this morning but can maybe look into this later in the afternoon.

Snapz wrote:
...I still use 3D Max 2014 a lot.


For me, I'm primarily using LightWave with iPi Studio at home. (At my workplace, our team uses LightWave and Maya.) Personally, I'll be sticking with LW for a while...I've been using it forever and know my way around it with my eyes closed, and the latest version completely overhauls the renderer. Plus, it's still very affordable compared to AD. I've been thinking of taking a closer look at Blender but my interest there is mostly in the 2D Grease Pencil tool.

Quote:
I would like to see some of your tracking tests with Kinect v2 and the recent releases of iPi, not many people share their experiences here in videos now, even if just on YouTube and not here.

Larger studios share them with iPi for the Gallery, but that rarely tells the story of how it got to that point before exporting from iPi.


Sure, I'll be posting stuff soon. I've been working on a series of 'how to' and 'tips and tricks' videos. At the moment, the videos center around 2D cartoon animation and vfx compositing themes, but I'll be returning to 3D CGI and mocap videos soon.

Looking forward to watching anything new you might post. :)

Quote:
Anyway, back to the topic, you have iClone, so I would use it, it's good and characters appearance is much better now, I think you can do more easier for your animated shorts, using all the same assets you created, you can build inside iClone, but much easier in other 3D packages and they have more cool VFX plugins now.


Yeah, that was my thinking when I first got iClone years ago. At the time, 3DX didn't exist so I was disappointed that I couldn't really use it with my own characters. That's all changed now, of course. For 'higher end' animation work, I'll still use LightWave but I also want to be able to knock out 'quick-turnaround' shows and iClone seems ideal for that.

Quote:
I know you have been busy, hard to get things done at home when have other commitments, but good luck with your animating.


Thanks! Good luck with your projects too!.

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Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Demo Reel (2017) | Demo Reel (2015) | Demo Reel (2013)

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