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HELP! Importing morph animation from Maya - blendshapes work, but no animation

Posted By mrtobycook 3 Months Ago
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HELP! Importing morph animation from Maya - blendshapes work, but no...

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mrtobycook
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Hi all,

I setup CC3plus character "Caleb" in Maya and did some animation in there - with blendshape keys set in the timeline, for facial animation. (It's not great but it's just a test)

I can export it ok from Maya (via FBX, with animation on and blend shapes on in the Maya options, bake animation off)... But inside 3dxchange, I can see the blendshapes and it SAYS theres an animation, but pressing play does nothing. Any ideas?
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/38dc455e-14eb-40a3-a43b-c848.jpg
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/dab331d1-7df9-46da-8135-7b37.jpg(My end goal is to get this blendshape animation back into iClone and apply it to Caleb/Katherine/standard iClone characters... Somehow...)


mrtobycook
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Here's a quick video showing the issue:


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Oh crap. It seems that possibly 3DXCHANGE (and therefore Iclone) aren’t able to import blendshape animation (aka morph target animation). !!!

According to this feedback tracker entry.
https://www.reallusion.com/FeedBackTracker/Issue/Unable-To-import-Animated-Morph-Targets-using-FBX-2011

Wow. Can that be right?? You can CREATE characters that have Blendshapes, but you can’t actually import ANIMATION? (Ie. Blendshape keys on a timeline)
4u2ges
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You can have individual blendshape (morphs) keys with workaround on the timeline and animate them in iClone. You can even export that animation. But you cannot import blendshape key animation.
If you need to know how, I'll write quick steps for you.

This is standard CC character exported from CC and imported through 3DX as non-standard.

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/39435d65-8be7-4db7-907d-740c.jpg







mrtobycook
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Thanks so much for the answer!

That’s such a major major limitation. What a pity. I was hoping to still animate inside iClone, but seems like for very high quality facial animation (mocap solutions like true Faceware and Dynamixyz) I’ll need to animate in Maya then go to Unreal.

Oh yes please tell me the steps for that workaround - I see what you mean. Actual keyframes for each blendshape. I haven’t seen that! Would love to know how. Does that work with curve editor?
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3 Months Ago by mrtobycook
4u2ges
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So yes, 3DX cannot import blendshapes or animation directly as morphs for a character.
It was assumed a long time ago by RL that facial features could only be done with built-in morphs inside iClone.
But sometimes there are whole lot more than facial needs to be imported with character and there is no way to do it.
Anyway...

1. Import your character to iClone through 3DX as you would normally do.
2. Open character FBX in 3DX again, but this time, do not apply any non-standard profile (if it's recognized automatically, click NO at the prompt) and import it as a prop. A T-pose better be baked when you export from the source app.
3. Send prop to iClone.
4. From Animation tab in iClone send the prop to Morphs Creator. Click YES at the prompt. All blendshapes would be applied automatically. Choose what you need to keep. Delete the rest.
5. In iClone select the character and in Morphs Creator click "Update Morphs to iClone"
6. All morphs from the prop would be applied to the character.

Note 1: Morphs track on the timeline may not be available right away. Save your character, bring saved character back to the stage and animate blandshapes on morphs track.
Note 2: Curve Editor cannot work with morphs track at this time (maybe it'll be available in the future releases). But you may apply transition curve presets for now.

Good Luck Smile





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3 Months Ago by 4u2ges
mrtobycook
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Thanks! That's incredibly helpful!!

I assume there's no way to then turn the "prop" into a character?

Because the big problem with this workflow is that I end up with a prop - so I can't use Edit Motion Layer, face key, etc or all the other character tools :-)

Also, all the shaders for human skin are gone of course - so it looks terrible. Oh dear! :-)
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3 Months Ago by mrtobycook
4u2ges
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No, you did not end up with the prop. You can delete it at the end.
Read my workflow again. You apply morphs from a prop to the CHARACTER.




mrtobycook
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Sorry about that! Will try again :-)
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It works so well!

Do you mind if I post a quick YouTube video covering this process? I'd credit you of course for the workflow. :-) I just recorded one because I'll NEVER forget how this all works lol



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