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BIGBOSS SIGGRAPH 2011 DIARY

Posted By Bigboss 9 Years Ago
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Bigboss
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IC5 MOTION CAPTURE WITH KINECT STANDALONE CAMERA.

The REALLUSION boot was setup with a standalone Kinect Cam (about 150$) and one iC5 average Laptop, the kind of limited power laptop given to most Marketeers BigGrin

The first step you do with this system is to go into a calibration mode for the camera.

The motion capture is activated from the "Device Mocap" button that is under the Character Animation Motion Tab with other controls for "Motion Puppet" and "Direct Puppet" buttons. I will speak about those two other buttons later.

Once the calibration mode is activated, there is a skeleton displayed in the iClone Viewport with an overlayed shadow that represents how the camera captures your body shape when you are standing in the motion capture zone. Simply step backwards until your shadow matches the skeleton and then the calibration is complete. This step is quite easy to do and takes about 30 seconds.

From then on, you can move your arms, legs and body anywhere within an area that represents about a 10 foot diameter circle and preview or record your animation segment. The performance was quite impressive. Motion capture works for arms, legs and body. the Head and hands are excluded from this capture but can be animated separately.

Geneally speaking, the system performed quite well but may display some jagginess for very fast movements or 360 like rotations. In any case, the system is very good for capturing everyday movements. I asked Akznrdude to do a backflip but we were not able to complete it during our testing ! Smile

More to come...

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9 Years Ago by Bigboss
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THE MOTION PUPPET FEATURE

The motion puppet feature is activated using the new "Motion Puppet" button available from the Character Motion panel. IC5 comes with a series of preset scripts representing standard human IK motions LOOPS presets such as for Running or Walking toon style etc. The analogy of these Scripts would probably be the Crazytalk CTS scripts for facial animation but these new scripts are for Body animation.

So you can apply these motion loop scripts to a character Body and then use sliders in the Motion Puppet Panel to adjust the different parameters of the actual motion cycle. Using this feature, you can give an entire new style to your character walk or run etc... Once you have fine-tuned your character motion script, you can save your work as a new script for later use.

The typical use of this feature would be to accentuate the walk motion of a Toon character.

This feature will provide great time saving to the task of animating your character and also give you the ability to stylize your character moves.

THE DIRECT PUPPET FEATURE

The DIRECT Puppet feature is also activated using the new "Direct Puppet" button available from the Character Motion panel. the simplest way to describe this feature is to compare it to the current IC4 Facial Animation Puppetry. The Direct Puppet feature is to the body what the Facial Animation Puppetry is to the face.

When you activate this feature, you have a side panel representing a Human Body with nodes and IK constraints. You can activate or lock nodes from the Ik Chain and then animate the remaining skeleton parts by moving your mouse much in the same way as you would to do facial Animation by locking and activating certain parts of the face and then aminating the face using your mouse..

A sample use of this feature would be to have a character sitting in an electric chair, you would lock hands and feet from moving as they are chained to the chair, activate the other body nodes of the IK chain and then, vibrate your mouse to simulate the body going into heavy convulsion during the electric shock scene.

Quite effective !

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9 Years Ago by Bigboss
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HUMAN IK WITH RANGE TARGETS.

This feature is an absolute killer! The Human IK part of the feature keeps your body parts together using Human inverse kinematic constraints and the range target part of the feature lets you define the range target Prop for a given body part.

For instance, you can create an animated bicycle Prop with spinning wheels and rotating Pedal gear, sit an iClone character on the Bike. Apply a range target constaint on each foot to have each foot locked to its respective pedal gear. When you activate the bicycle animation of rotating pedal gear, the character legs will follow the rotative motion of the pedal gear driving the motion of each foot via its range target constraint, i.e. the character will appear to be pedalling the bicycle along a path.

BETTER ROTATE GIZMO.

in IC5, when you select a character and activate the Rotate Gizmo, you can now simultaneously apply rotations on all 3 axis at the same time by cliking in the center of the proper handle and moving the mouse around. Because the character has a better IK chained constrained skeleton, moving the mouse around will give the sensation of Ragdoll physics applied to the character.

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9 Years Ago by Bigboss
Rampa
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ere you able to play with having the character walk on different terrains/surfaces? Were the footsteps convincing?

Thanks for your report!
Bigboss
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POST EFFECTS.

Well, you all saw the Ambient Occlusion Demonstration Video... But the killer app is going to be the arrival of the new "Toon Shadow" and "NPR" effects which i will gently baptize "THE PAUMANOK SUITE" for the purpose of this forum !!! BigGrin

Toon shadow will give a toonish like rendering by accentuating the edges and applying toon like color filters while the NPR effect will give a Sketchy output, much like the kind of outputs what Paumanok has been so diligently pioneering. Wink

These simple to use effect are all paramerized and can be adjusted to your liking but generally speaking, they allow for the artist to generate an entirely new animation rendering style upon a push of a single button, much like the effects and filters you fnd in Photoshop except these apply to the overall rendered video output. 

Quite Impressive !


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Bigboss
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To Rampa:

I was not able to play in different terrain but my understanding of the feature is that it allows the user to apply IK effects to existing motion segments to give them another style.

So for instance, you already have a walk motion segment for a character and you use the Motion Puppet feature to modify the overall walk motion by changing the weight of the different nodes in the IK chain of the skeleton. An example of this is that you can change a normal human walk cycle into a Toon like walk cycle or create a limping character walk etc. but you raise a good point and I will try to more information on this feature ...

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Rampa
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Thanks BigBoss. Its been the issues with walking that have kept me from fully embracing iClone. (I have preferred the Moviestorm walking because of its "non-slip" qualities.) If the walks are convincing, it seals the deal with iclone and myself, because everything else is as good or better or simply non-existent in Moviestorm. Looking forward to more!
Alley
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Thanks for the detailed updates - looking forward to aknzrdude's pictures of you all. Smile

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Bigboss
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THE MEDIA TAB

IC5 has a new MEDIA TAB which lets you see your Movies and Pictures, and Audio assets directly from the Scene management Panel (which was no the case in iC4). In the preferences panel, you can set a checkbox to tell iClone whether you want it to make a copy of those files or just manage a then with a link.

Smile

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aknzrdude
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it was great to see Guy as well as John Martin and Ricky Grove - learned about some really new cool things coming up with iClone 5 - got to play a little with mocap and motion editing. In addtiona to what Guy point out

The animation section now has three options

1) motion puppet - this is for looping motion - i.e. someone walking or running, you can adjsut a variety of things including swaying of arms, hips, shoulders, elbow height, stride etc.. and you can then record a looping motion for however long you need

2) Direct puppet - this is similar to director mode where you can grab a body part and move it around while recording -

3) mocap design where it uses Kinect to directly capture the motion and is reflected real time to the avatar in the work stage

there is also a mixMoves buttong which allows you smoothly blend two separate motion files

and the best part is a new motion editor that supports layers - i.e. each body part can be edited and keyframes separately. I tested this using mocap and jumping into one frame and changed the hand position - worked great!








Edited
9 Years Ago by aknzrdude



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