Rigged Max character

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Posted 4/14/2010 6:29:55 PM
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Is there any special 3Dxchange 4 trick to getting a fully rigged character (from 3DS Max, say) into iClone in such a way that the standard iClone drag-and-drop animations will work on it?

Context: I just converted one successfully from Max, using FBX and the "convert to character" - and of course the character can be hand-animated using iClone's Motion Edit menu. But none of the right-click "perform actions" work, although they are listed on the character. Drag-and-drop motions don't work.

Do such characters always have to be specially animated in Max (or Maya) first? Or is there some trick to make them convert with the standard iClone character bones - and so use iMotion and BVH?

Please don't tell me to completely re-rig the character using the CCD Max template (which I can't use, even if I knew how, because I'm not a developer).





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Post #47652
Posted 4/15/2010 6:37:30 AM


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Hi Peter,

It sounds as though you are currently working with what is classified as a Non-Human Character.

To be a Standard iClone character an avatar must meet certain requirements.

They must be rigged with the RL Bone system (not Biped or MAx Bones). They also must have a defined Upper, Lower, Shoes, Face, Hair structure and correctly setup connection points between these parts. You might like to take a look at an older whitepaper that discusses all these requirements. You can find it HERE.

I'm a little puzzled by your pipeline though. Surely if you have 3DS Max then you could use the iClone4 Plugin (available free from the Developer Center) and export directly to iClone rather than going through 3DXchange4? You will of course still need to meet the requirements mentioned above.

 

                                                                

Peter Edwards
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Post #47701
Posted 4/15/2010 7:36:02 AM
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Hi; thanks for the reply. I was hoping that when I clicked on "Convert to Character" 3Dxchange 4 Pro would be powerful enough to intelligently convert a standard rigged biped-human character FBX to have iClone-compatible ("RL"?) bones. It seems not.

Thanks for the tip on the Max export freebie. I do remember seeing something recently about a new version and a download link. Perhaps I already have it installed. But I really don't want to get into completely re-rigging and re-weighting meshes on a perfectly-good already-rigged Max character. That just seems like overkill. And isn't the skeleton bit of it only available to developers?

So.... I guess the answer to my question is: no. It seems that for FBX-import characters the animations have to be either: 1) added in Max before FBX export; or 2) added and saved once in iClone, by using the Motion Editor and timeline.

Additional question: assuming I am going for option 2 and using Motion Edit to make and add some basic motions.... how do I first delete the non-functional "Perform..." commands off my character (once it's in iClone)? The character came into iClone with about 12 non-functional "Perform..." commands on the right-click menu.





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Post #47712
Posted 4/15/2010 8:00:11 AM


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Hi Peter,

The different types of avatar can be confusing but basically you will be working with three types of human avatars in iClone4. There are:

Standard Avatar - Can use standard motion files and has interchangable body parts.

Non-Standard Avatar - Can use standard motion files but NO interchangable body parts.

Non-Human Character - Uses Pre-Defined animations or the Edit Motion Layer controls to animate.

When you use the "Convert To Character" option in 3DXchange4 you are creating a Non-Human Character. If the avatar was exported from 3DS Max with animations then these will be listed in 3DXchange4 in the Modify Panel - Animations. You can play them in 3DXchange and rename them if you wish. These animation will then be available using the Perform functions when exported to iClone4.

 

                                                                

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Post #47719
Posted 4/21/2010 7:52:16 PM
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Peter Edwards (4/15/2010)
Hi Peter,

It sounds as though you are currently working with what is classified as a Non-Human Character.

To be a Standard iClone character an avatar must meet certain requirements.

They must be rigged with the RL Bone system (not Biped or MAx Bones). They also must have a defined Upper, Lower, Shoes, Face, Hair structure and correctly setup connection points between these parts. You might like to take a look at an older whitepaper that discusses all these requirements. You can find it HERE.

I'm a little puzzled by your pipeline though. Surely if you have 3DS Max then you could use the iClone4 Plugin (available free from the Developer Center) and export directly to iClone rather than going through 3DXchange4? You will of course still need to meet the requirements mentioned above.



Peter Edwards (4/15/2010)
Hi Peter,

The different types of avatar can be confusing but basically you will be working with three types of human avatars in iClone4. There are:

Standard Avatar - Can use standard motion files and has interchangable body parts.

Non-Standard Avatar - Can use standard motion files but NO interchangable body parts.

Non-Human Character - Uses Pre-Defined animations or the Edit Motion Layer controls to animate.

When you use the "Convert To Character" option in 3DXchange4 you are creating a Non-Human Character. If the avatar was exported from 3DS Max with animations then these will belisted in 3DXchange4 in the Modify Panel - Animations. You can play them in 3DXchange and rename them if you wish. These animation will then be available using the Perform functions when exported to iClone4.


Ok, now how do you use a 3ds Max character to create a non-standard avatar that can "use standard motion files but NO interchangable body parts"? With 3dXchange or the iClone4 3ds Max plug-in? And, since you are not interchanging body parts (b/c it's non-standard) do you still need to define the UPPER, LOWER, SHOES, FACE, and HAIR structures?

Also, how do you bring morph animation into iClone from 3ds max (fbx> 3dxchange, collada,...)?

How do you rig a 3ds max biped skinned/enveloped character with Clone Bone?

Thank you for your help.

Post #48436
Posted 4/21/2010 9:11:50 PM


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This link may be of some help -


http://iclone-the-missing-link.wikispaces.com/Clone+Bone


Cathy


Just click on the graphic to go there.


Post #48441
Posted 4/21/2010 10:50:49 PM
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Thank you. I saw this video. However, I am looking for a way to rig a 3ds max skinned and enveloped (joint weighted) character to Clone Bone.

The technique your link refers to requires that the mesh be divided into parts. When you go to animate it, the divided seams show. This is O.K. for robots but not for human characters.

I am still looking for a way to rig a unified mesh to Clone Bone (that can be smoothly animated with no joint seams)...in addition to looking for answers to the related questions I asked previously in this thread.

I appreciate any help or insight that anyone has on these questions.
Post #48446
Posted 4/24/2010 2:10:47 PM


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qdai (4/21/2010)
However, I am looking for a way to rig a 3ds max skinned and enveloped (joint weighted) character to Clone Bone.

CloneBone avatars have their own bone system so I'm not entirely sure why you would want to attach a 3DS Max rigged biped to it. CloneBone works by adding individual mesh parts to the bones to make a new avatar that can be fully animated with standard motion files.

If you have a rigged Biped or Max Bones avatar then you can just convert this in 3DXchange4 to a Non-Human character ready for iClone4. For a Standard or Non-Standard avatar it must be first rigged with RL Bones (not CloneBone).

 

                                                                

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Post #48723
Posted 4/25/2010 4:11:52 PM
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Peter Edwards (4/24/2010)
qdai (4/21/2010)
However, I am looking for a way to rig a 3ds max skinned and enveloped (joint weighted) character to Clone Bone.


CloneBone avatars have their own bone system so I'm not entirely sure why you would want to attach a 3DS Max rigged biped to it. CloneBone works by adding individual mesh parts to the bones to make a new avatar that can be fully animated with standard motion files.

If you have a rigged Biped or Max Bones avatar then you can just convert this in 3DXchange4 to a Non-Human character ready for iClone4. For a Standard or Non-Standard avatar it must be first rigged with RL Bones (not CloneBone).


Because I want to use my custom character with iClone Standard Motions. And non-human characters can not use Standard Motions.

Ok, now how do you use a unique custom 3ds Max character to create a Non-Standard Avatar that can use "Standard Motion files but NO interchangable body parts"? With 3dXchange or the iClone4 3ds Max plug-in? And, since you are not interchanging body parts (b/c it's Non-Standard) do you still need to define the UPPER, LOWER, SHOES, FACE, and HAIR structures?

Post #48822
Posted 4/25/2010 6:40:02 PM
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