HeroEngine Forums

HeroEngine Support => Art & Art Pipeline => Animation => Topic started by: Firefly1213 on Feb 07, 14, 10:18:24 PM

Title: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: Firefly1213 on Feb 07, 14, 10:18:24 PM
My team has a character with a working rig that works in 3DS Max just fine.  I am able to export the rig with the animation successfully.  The problem is that I don't use 3DS Max for animating.  I used Maya for everything.  But when we try to export the rig from 3DS Max to Maya, it converts the 3DS biped to bones and all the bone names get all messed up because there is a space in the name (for the biped in 3DS Max).  Is there anyway to convert or get the biped from 3DS Max to work correctly in Maya, so when I export it from Maya, the animation works?

Is there anyway I can do my animations in Maya?
What am I missing?  What am I doing wrong?

Thank you
Jesse
Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: keeperofstars on Feb 07, 14, 11:19:04 PM
Have your 3ds artist do a bone rename to ensure a set pattern / naming convention. That should help with the names.

I also think there is a tool or two, just search for it. That makes changing biped to maya bones a bit more effective.
Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: Firefly1213 on Feb 09, 14, 07:13:19 PM
We are trying to test out the animation pipeline for a character.  We are using the character_sample and rig but we don't know how to get the rig to work in Maya (because I animate in Maya).

Is there a Maya rig out there that will work?

If there is, please post the link or file.

Thank you

Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: WorldWideZ on Feb 10, 14, 12:44:20 AM
have you tried using the intermediary motion builder in your workflow? personally i tend to use the AutoRigger offered by Mixamo on their website , that has a special script to finalize in whichever of the programs you use.
Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: keeperofstars on Feb 10, 14, 10:10:27 AM
eh careful with Mixamo rigs. They are perfectly fine to use, but just be careful with your bone counts. Mixamo rigs tend to care little about overall bone count.

Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: WorldWideZ on Feb 10, 14, 12:12:32 PM
True depends what you want to achieve with your rigs , i have a lot of human base mesh characters and have a lot of animations based on the standard 3ds max biped rig , which is what the mixamo rigger also produces.

the hero guys just posted up a interesting rigging thing on their facebook page - "world zombination" that seems to be handy maya autorig tool that might be worth checking out (its a free download too)
Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: HE-Cooper on Feb 10, 14, 01:25:44 PM
Yeah, to be honest, I haven't played with it much, but I figured it would be worth folks checking out that needed some quick and dirty solutions. Seems like it has some really smart stuff. Not all of it will be applicable in engine, but worth a look.
Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: HE-BENNETT on Feb 10, 14, 02:16:29 PM
On that note, I've been looking at that "World Zombination Rig": http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/SterlingReames/20140203/209913/Rigging_and_animating_for_the_apocalypse.php

and it looks VERY interesting indeed. 
Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: Firefly1213 on Feb 10, 14, 03:47:33 PM
Hey guys, thank for your help.

My team actually found a rig that will work for our game and with Maya.

Thanks again for all your help!
Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: HE-BENNETT on Feb 10, 14, 03:55:23 PM
Out of curiosity, what rig have you chosen?
Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: Firefly1213 on Feb 10, 14, 04:00:29 PM
We just wanted to test and make sure the pipeline works for our animations with Maya.  We are using one of the sample models/rig from the Art pipeline (from HeroEngine).  I'm going to add IK handles and curves for controls (and whatever else I need for the animation).
Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: keeperofstars on Feb 11, 14, 01:03:15 AM
Oooh please tell me you used the lightless rig. :)

At some point I'm going to have to bring that bad boy into my world just for kicks.
lol.
Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: speedtek_99 on Feb 23, 14, 10:11:32 PM
Well, the above solution did not seem to work as well as we hoped.  Here's the breakdown.

We have a working biped rig that exports animations perfectly from Max.  The animations work as they should when we load a model and the animation in the hero engine viewer.

Our animator works best with Maya though, so I took the biped, sent it to Maya.  When the animation was then exported from Maya and loaded into the viewer, the model immediately rotated 90 degrees and would not move.

Now, our skinned rigs were originally created and exported from Max.  Would applying animations generated in Maya cause this? It would be a bit of a nightmare to have to reskin all of our models in maya in order to add new animations.  I realize that max is z-up and maya is y-up, but I would assume that the exporter takes this into account?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks!!
Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: HE-Cooper on Feb 23, 14, 10:21:10 PM
The exporter does not adjust your animations. If you use max, you will likely need to rotate 90 before import if you are using the example character controller. If you have written your own, then you can have it translate, adjust, or do whatever you'd like it to.
Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: Stadi_Thompson on Feb 24, 14, 11:03:56 AM
My team has a character with a working rig that works in 3DS Max just fine.  I am able to export the rig with the animation successfully.  The problem is that I don't use 3DS Max for animating.  I used Maya for everything.  But when we try to export the rig from 3DS Max to Maya, it converts the 3DS biped to bones and all the bone names get all messed up because there is a space in the name (for the biped in 3DS Max).  Is there anyway to convert or get the biped from 3DS Max to work correctly in Maya, so when I export it from Maya, the animation works?

Is there anyway I can do my animations in Maya?
What am I missing?  What am I doing wrong?

Thank you
Jesse

No way around it unfortunately. Was my biggest gripe about Maya, not being able to have spaces in node names. After 12 years of Maya I switched to Max a few years ago. Not sure why Autodesk still hasn't addressed this.
Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: speedtek_99 on Feb 26, 14, 11:36:56 AM
So to just clear this up.

To apply an animation created in Maya, the original hgm skeleton must also have been exported from Maya?

Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: HE-BENNETT on Feb 26, 14, 01:44:21 PM
Yes, basically.  Frankly, the biped rig is extremely out of date.  I believe Max's CAT rig can be more easily transferred to Maya via FBX - there is an option to convert CAT to Maya's HIK system.

It may seem like more effort now, but a simple and flexible pipeline for characters will save you an immense amount of headache later.

If you are capable of getting the rig - however it is setup - into Maya to animate, you should be able to export the skeleton and meshes from there as well.
Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: speedtek_99 on Feb 26, 14, 02:07:00 PM
Makes sense now, we were just chasing our tails attempting to use maya animations on rigs exported through max.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Issue with Character Animating in Maya
Post by: dbouvier on Feb 26, 14, 04:42:45 PM
Another approach might be to use BVH as your intermediary or library format. As long as your rigs bone hierarchy is identical in each modelling software then you would just import and retarget from BVH into whichever model software a person prefers to use. When you do editing work you export back out to BVH, and then one person would take the final BVH's import/target and then export to game ready versions. Just about any decent modeller I've used has support for importing and retargeting BVH built into it.