Posted by Louis Marcoux, 18 February 2011 7:00 pm
In this post, you’ll see how to work with 3ds max and Motion Builder in an animation pipeline. You’ll see how to deal with Biped rigs, CAT rigs and custom Max Bones rigs when going to Motion Builder. Using Motion Builder as an animation hub lets you use animation from a wide variety of sources. Motion Builder is not only for Motion Capture, it can really become the central hub for all your character animation work. Also, in the last video, you’ll also see how to hook a Kinect to Motion Builder to turn your living room in a live motion capture set. Enjoy!
This post is an extension of a webinar I did this week. You’ll find the same content from the webinar here but with a few more videos to go deeper into certain subjects.
This is a general introduction to the workflow, covering the basics of the interoperability between 3ds Max and Motion Builder. It starts with a generic intro to animation products at Autodesk then jumps into the heart of the workflow.
First case to look at is the workflow between Biped in 3ds max and Motion Builder. It is the simplest workflow so it’s a good way to start. I am using assets from Ubisoft (Splinter Cell) that they have shared with us a few years ago when the first game was release. I’d like to thank them. They have always been very generous to share some of their content with us for presentation purposes.
CAT (Character Animation Toolkit in 3ds Max) can create all sorts of creatures and is very flexible. But, because it is so flexible, we need to pay attention to a lot of details when going to Motion Builder to get animations for our CAT characters. We’ll see how to maximize this workflow with naming templates in the next video.
Now that we know how to work with both Biped and CAT, let’s see how we can use Motion Builder to transfer animation from one type of rig to another and get perfect motion retargeting.
Max Bones rigs can be animated and rigged in an infinite number of ways. So, when dealing with Motion Builder, you need to plan carefully how you will go to Motion Builder to capture the animation and put it back on the Max Bones rig. The better strategy is often to create a transition rig that will be in charge of getting the animation from Motion Builder and then to drive the custom Max Bones rig. In this video, we’ll see this workflow in details.
I came across this web site where a set of free tools have been made available for download and that claimed to make the Kinect work inside of Motion Builder. I downloaded the tools and installed them. It worked immediately and I had some fun with it. I’d like to thank Jasper, the developer of the tool, to let me share this with you and also for letting everybody use his tool for fun with the Kinect and Motion Builder.
To find more about this technology, visit www.brekel.com. I’ll try to make a post soon on how to tweak and refine the animation data coming from the Kinect device. And how to put it back on max rigs using the techniques shown above.
I hope this information was useful for you. Have a great week!
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