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Old 16-08-2008, 03:00 AM   #1
Falott
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Default maya vs motionBuilder when it comes to animating

hello mates!

I am learning motionbuilder for about a month now, and each more day using this software I tend to think about just dumping MB and coming back to maya.

is there anyone on this board having experience with motionBuilder? if yes, might some1 make a comment on whatīs on my mind.


1) cleaning motionCaptureData in motionBuilder is (not) much less time-consuming then in maya because the advantage of animaton layers. you can make fast corrections with just some few keys on top of a "1key each frame" mocap layer and bake then everything together.

comment 1a) it would be if those animationlayers would just work like the are anounced to, but they simply donīt! I wonder how anybody can afford to spend time and money on such a system when having heavy mocap data to work with.

comment 1b) I am just too stupid to get my brain out of maya and into MoBuilder.


I spent alot of time recently on cgtalk in the motionbuilder section. no1 could provide me with a working solution. by now i donīt even know what is software bug and what is my own disability.


I would love to hear from you awesome animators here how you deal with mocap files, which have wo be cleaned up (in a sense like fk driving IK and then just switch to IK, keying some changes on a new anim layer something).

I never were into animation so much, but by now I have to and I want to.


what are your tricks with mocap files? do you have any special plugins or scripts which make your life easy?


I appreciate all comments.
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Old 16-08-2008, 03:58 AM   #2
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Not directly what your looking for but in Maya 2009 they are introducing animation layers, presumably similar to those found in MB, so you may well have more luck with the new Maya as opposed to MB.

Chris
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Old 17-08-2008, 01:25 AM   #3
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Im confused with what your using motion builder for, actually cleaning the mo cap data or animating with it?

If your cleaning up raw data then motion builder makes it so much easier as you can set up rigid bodies to help out you out with occlusions, theres also the swapping that motion builder does for when your markers might get swapped, I cant even think how you would go about this with maya.

It took me a while to get used to motion builder, its a shame as 3d buzz had some great tutorials on the that were free, but they've gone offline, but I really like it, I pretty much wouldent animate in maya after using it, (I do a lot of motion capture onto characters)
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Old 17-08-2008, 02:53 AM   #4
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honestly I donīt quite know yet which task I want to do in which software. until now I was switching between maya and motionBuilder whereas the main task would have been to get MB that well known so I could just import mocap data and work my way straight to the end there. now here comes the big

BUT,

I started hating MB pretty soon because (maybe I am just lazy, but I donīt think so) documentation is just annoying for MB. when I was learning rigging 2 years ago or something here - I had a long thread - there was allways this issue for me: if I dont understand the basics or you know, how is this Character build from scratch, I am the person, due to my very visual comprehension, who has a real hard time understanding things. funny enough MBīs docs explain things like - click this button and that happens. well Sir, I have eyes in my head and see myself what happens when I click something, I donīt need you stupid documentation repeat yourself without telling me how it is actually working. this was why I am banging my head agains wall since some 3 weeks now. you see, I have a lot of frustration in me. XD


finally I went back to maya yesterday and discovered the FBIK. also told the other guy about that in his thread.

http://forum.simplymaya.com/showthre...threadid=30524

well that changed things slightly but I can imagine that I will go back to MB at some point in time as soon as I have a good understanding of what is this Character setup all about, how is it built, how are the 3 skeletons connected, why does it need so many charactersets to group these big amount of channels in order to make the whole FK/IK thing work how it should. and maya provides me with a multiple amount of information on this issue compared to motionbuilder. the sad thing right now is - I donīt see a reason why I should ever turn back to MB since I have (allmost) everything important here in maya.


to answer your question -

my task would be this. weīve recorded about 60 animations with duration between about 900 and 3000 frames per take. these animations cover the different poses for a worker who paints the wall, standing on the ground or on a hydraulic crane. he walks through big door with opening closing anims, walkAnims, paintAnims, relaxingAnims and so on. I take these raw files, have to clean them up and then create cycled animations which are finally taken into a realtime render and triggered by time events. we will have a 2nd recording for more anims not to far from now, but I am still figuring out how to create the fastest workflow with the best quality results.

since the mocap company calibrated the hips incorrect when we were recording, I couldnīt get around the problem that the legs/feet of my Character were floating. I spent about a week with the docs, tutorials and forums, but not even 1 person or ressource could point me to a working solution so I took a day with maya recording some actions in a script, which feeds the mocapSkel into my rigg exept the legs which get pointConstrained with an offsett for the kneeEffectors. this was when I saw again that within a mousclick I can save time in maya compared to an annoying procedure in motionBuilder.

well I think this should give you a picture of my situation.

I reallyīd like to use motionBuilder, but I somehow miss good ressources to get into it...
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Old 17-08-2008, 04:42 AM   #5
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If the feet were floating, you could have used the floor contact, that should have done it in pretty much one hit? Just move the main hips/root on the control rig down until they contact? If i'm getting your problem?

I relly like motion builder, its fast, efficient and can do pretty much everything that I want. As I said I use it quite a bit for motion capture directly from the mo cap system into motionbuilder onto a character in realtime, then its a plot to the character a bit of clean up for any interpenetrations and off to maya, without waiting for maya to chug through the animation.

Sounds like your not getting on with it at all, thats a shame as its a sperb bit of kit, it is a bit head scratching at times, but I like the docs, personally I think there great.

If find MB like a turbo charger for animation.

Horses for courses
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Old 17-08-2008, 05:04 AM   #6
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hum...

I have to test MB again...


but I was so confused about when to use keying modes like fullBody or bodyParts or selection in addition with reachT and R. by now I can tell you that I get a complete mess after a few keys especially with the feet and I seem to have a soft spot with creating unpredictable limb movement. since I worked through the FBIK setup in maya today and gathered some overall understanding about the system, I think if especially you say itīs very worth it, I just give it another try now.

didnīt you ever come to a point where you thought you could do the same with maya in the same time like motionbuilder? because today morning I had this feeling in a very strong way.
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Old 17-08-2008, 07:10 PM   #7
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Yes I did, I was like, why do I have to charactrize everything that I do, why do I have to put data onto actors then onto chracters, what are these layers for, surely it would be easier if I just did something like XXX in maya, but all in all if you get through all that it become so so so fast to animate with.

The major advantage is that it can do pretty much anything that you want off the bat, and in real time, that makes a difference.

I think it a bit like zbrush with some people, they cant get used to it.
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Old 17-08-2008, 08:00 PM   #8
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I really appreciate your motivating words, and they do have its effect on me. I just would like to ask you actually 2 more questions. it is concerning issues where I couldnīt after all find any solution.


#1 Poses

in my understanding I have a heavy mocap data layer at the base. on top of this base layer I would add my own keys to make changes on effectors in translation and rotation. now - since it is adviced to not copy poses from that base layer and paste it into my working layer on top, I just went like this - and it never worked out ->

mocap is done. need to cycle the anim now. therefore I goto frame1 in the nextlayer1 and create poseA. then goto last frame and paste poseA on layer1. now the Characterīs pose changes - but - it isnīt quite exact the same pose then I copied. the rootBone is the most concerning spot in most cases I guess.

my conclusion: creating and pasting poses doesnīt just work like that if there is a layer with animation underneath the layer where I copy and paste poses. it never worked out for me. this was mostly why I desperately resigned because I wasnīt able to find out how to successfully C&P poses within about 2 weeks.


#2 auxiliary nodes - the shoulder/collar joint

I do have this bone in my rigg. it is named correctly after MB naming convention RightShoulder/LeftShoulder. it is in the mapping list on both output and input Character. there is motion on the collarBone from moCap skeleton.

BUT

I never get this animation transfered to my animation Rigg, which is even the same skeleton duplicated from mocap files (just a little bit modified). so the char allways behaves a little like frankenstein. the shoulders never move. MB didnīt even create Effector for the shoulderBones. I wasnīt able to solve this issue too.




If you might have any ideas about that, I would own you a big one!


here is some stuff Iīve allready tried with some help of others on this C&P poses.


http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthre...09#post5324209
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