Blender to Carrara

RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
edited December 1969 in Carrara Discussion

Has anyone successfully brought in a rigged figure from Blender into Carrara?

If so, please share your method:)

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Comments

  • fabafaba Posts: 53
    edited December 1969

    In general the workflow is quiet easy.

    In Blender i pick export from the file menu and pick autodesk fbx.
    You don't have to change the export settings.
    In Carrara I pick import from the file menu and don't change any settings either.
    That imports the character including the animation.

    There are some features that do not translate over well.
    What problem are you facing? Do you get an error message?

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited April 2014

    Hi :)

    Firstly, when I export from Blender as fbx, I get a warning that the scale of the model is 0.059 in all axes and that the armature will not work correctly. As expected, importing into Carrara it tells me the skinning data is invalid and it imports a mess. Couldn't say i wasn't warned!

    In Blender, when I set the scale of the model to 1.00 in all axes, it scales up, but leaves the armature behind and I don't see a way of setting the two together.

    This is actually a problem at the Blender end, so was hoping someone had found a method other than fbx :)

    EDIT: I've made some small progress - by scaling the model up, it left the armature behind (which shows it is scaled to 1.00, but it is way smaller than the model. Importing now gives me the same error message, but the model is now visible and I can attach the armature - but the armature is minute and a long way away from the model. Only moving the main bone has an effect on the model. If I scale the armature to the same size as the model, it is a horrible mess. Still, progress of a sort :)

    Post edited by Roygee on
  • fabafaba Posts: 53
    edited December 1969

    Did you apply loc/rot/scale to the model?

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    I did it after getting your message - both armature and model now show loc as 0.00 and scale as 1.00 in all axes. No warning message on export or on import to Carrara - so, progress there, thank you :)

    This is what it looks like in Blender - the dot in the small ring at the bottom of the scene is the armature - that is what it also looks like in C.

    I'm thinking that what I must do is open a new Blender file, import my model and set it's scale to 1.00 - that way, hopefully the model and armature will be together as one!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    In one of Andrew Price's tutorials, he mentions that it is important to keep the scale at 1,1,1. But I do not remember which. There are other problems that can arise from deviating from that, he explains.

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    Thanks - I'm going to try that tomorrow - had ourselves a family barbecue, great time had by all, but the eyes do droop and the bed does call :)

    Cheers

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    After spending most of the day trying to get this right, I'm about to throw in the towel:(

    Eventually got both armature and figure at the 0,0,0, positions and scaling matching at 1,1,1. All locRotscale, exports from Blender without an error, but importing to C gives the Invalid Skinning Data warning and sure enough, the model comes in lying on its side - scaled correctly at 100%, the fbx is scaled up to 113655.56 and the armature is shown as 100%, but is minute and not attached.

    I seem to remember someone saying that fbx only started working correctly in 8.5 - could someone please confirm this, so i can stop flogging a dead horse here?

    Cheers:),

  • fabafaba Posts: 53
    edited December 1969

    Would you mind to make the .blend file available to test?

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    Yes, I'll send it right away - sure hope you can find something wrong with it :)

    Something just occurred to me - I can get MakeHuman fbx to work correctly in Carrara 8.1, so it must be something I'm doing wrong in Blender...

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    Since we have this fine "Blender to Carrara thread", would you folks mind sharing some more of your thoughts on this? Maybe stuff you like to do between the two, tips you might have? I am very interested in adding Blender to my workflow.

  • th3Digitth3Digit Posts: 17,796
    edited December 1969

    FBX definately works better in 8.5 in fact most things I cannot get into 8.1 via FBX unmangled
    however collada in C8.1 not bad, (at least for non-Blender!) try that perhaps,
    I do not have the new Blender yet, must get it downloaded as no Blender FBX or collada has ever come in rigged for me.

  • tsaristtsarist Posts: 1,097
    edited December 1969

    Roygee

    As far as I know, FBX was never fixed. It seems unlikely that it will be fixed.

    Perhaps someone has a workaround, but I'm not sure.

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    This is my first effort to get something from Blender to Carrara and so far it is not going well. It did come very close in one of my iterations, with no error message, but the armature being tiny and far removed from the body. Thought that once I got the proportions right, it would work, but no luck yet.

    I do know that fluid and cloth sims can be brought in via the MDD plugin as sequential .obj's, but haven't done it myself.

    As I get more into Blender and start seeing the power and capabilities, I see no reason to bring stuff over - rather just keep it there and render. In fact there is more reason to port stuff over from Carrara to Blender. From videos I've seen, but not yet tried, Blender handles G2 better than Carrara!

    Some flavour of fbx does work in Carrara - MakeHuman works perfectly in C8.1

  • fabafaba Posts: 53
    edited April 2014

    Trip had 2 issues:

    => location and rotation were not applied. Not only scale, but also location and rotation should be 0/0/0 (scale at 1/1/1 each).

    To fix this:

    - select the mesh
    - hit ctrl+A and pick location
    - hit ctrl+A again and pick rotation and scale

    I have attached a screenshot.


    => The mesh had some vertices with no weight assigned (moving the root around showed some parts of the mesh left behind)

    To fix this:

    - weight paint the parts left behind

    result imports fine into Carrara

    weight.jpg
    751 x 577 - 87K
    apply.jpg
    326 x 306 - 57K
    Post edited by faba on
  • fabafaba Posts: 53
    edited December 1969

    I do not use FBX in my current projects, but I did some intensive testing with exchange formats when I started to use additional software as companion to Carrara.
    In past projects I mostly used OBJ (static objects), MDD (characters) and OBJ Sequence (fluid simulation).
    Each software writes and reads FBX in a different way, and some features are not supported at all,
    so it sometimes can be tricky to make it work correctly.

    Which exchange format to use has to be decided from case to case.

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    Just to get those who are interested up to date. Faba has been helping me with some off-forum detective work. The Blender file which she corrected imports for her into C8.5 OK - the same file doesn't work for me in 8.1 - no error report, just messed up.

    I made a simple figure with a simple armature and got the same messed up result importing to C8.1, so at least I know that my process in Blender is now correct - learned something at least from this exercise - thanks faba :)

    Ran my simple figure through fbx converter - every version it offers, same bad result.

    My conclusion is that fbx import to C8.1 is not good and seems to have been fixed in C8.5 - lucky co-incidence that I can get Makehuman fbx to work correctly in C8.1.

    At least you guys on C8.5 know you can transfer rigged figures from Blender to Carrara :)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    Thanks Roygee.
    Could you, perhaps, try the MDD route?

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    Sorry, I don't have MDD. As I understand it, the purpose is to get cloth, fluid sims and suchlike to render in Carrara by importing as sequential .obj? I don't see me using such a workflow and doubt whether my computer could handle it, anyway :)

    Another tidbit of information for the software sleuths. Faba sent me two files; a .car file in which she had imported an. fbx from Blender to C8.5 and the. fbx file. The .fbx imported into C8.1 in a mess, as described above, but the .car file worked perfectly in C8.1.

    I then exported to .fbx and re-imported to C8.1 and it worked!

    So, C8.5 can be used as a file converter to get Blender .fbx into C8.1.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:

    So, C8.5 can be used as a file converter to get Blender .fbx into C8.1.

    The problem with that is that, once you start getting used to the newer 8.5, going back into 8.1 gets stranger and stranger until you finally just quit doing it! :) Probably like going back into an earlier build of Blender and losing the new tabs...

    Sorry about the MDD thing. I'm not very familiar with what it's for. Faba mentioned earlier that she uses it. I thought that it might be worth the extra 30 if you wanted to get stuff in without upgrading the big C. ;)

    So if I'm reading this right, I can build an armature in Blender, say onto a MakeHuman or whatever, and fbx it into Carrara? That's really cool. And if I wanted to animate in Blender, I can bring it in via MDD... but possibly fbx too?

    My biggest problem with downloading and installing Blender's latest, I might have mentioned already, is that I keep uncovering new ways that Carrara's VM and other modeling tools are improving my fun within. I'll say to myself: "I'll wait until I cannot go any further with this, then I'll get Blender and see if I can OBJ over. But I never get to a point that Carrara cannot take me further. And I am now so accustomed to the interface that it's all a very comfy situation. So I'm really grateful for that.

    But it's been a while since I've really modeled in another app, so I do owe it to myself to break that trend and just go have a bit of fun in Blender for a bit. Andrew Price has me feeling pretty comfortable with how some of the tools work, and how to set up some cool shaders. Other Blender tut volunteers have shown me a bit of where to go getting stuff done. Not sure how well I'll fair with having to memorize keystrokes in order to do anything, though.

  • fabafaba Posts: 53
    edited December 1969

    As Roygee already mentioned MDD is just an object file with a companion morph sequence.
    You can use it for everything , as long as the vertex count of the objects stays the same the whole animation.
    Since it is some kind of deformation bake all kind of animation effects can be transferred from one application to another without problem.
    The huge disadvantage is that editing of the MDD in the target application is very limited.

    Yes, you can rig and animate your characters in Blender and export them as FBX to Carrara.
    But there might be some features that do not translate over.
    B-Bones for example do not seem to work.
    I also wasn't able to get shape keys from Blender to Carrara, but maybe someone else found a solution for this?

    Anyway if you will make the step to rig and animate your characters in Blender it possibly will be easier to just render it in Blender too.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    faba said:

    Anyway if you will make the step to rig and animate your characters in Blender it possibly will be easier to just render it in Blender too.
    True... I was thinking the same thing. Speaking of which, are there any success stories regarding getting figures like M4, V4, Genesis, etc., into Blender, while retaining the rig? Having to re-rig content would drastically reduce the benefit of using it, I think.
    Just wondering if it works. Like FBX from Carrara into Blender? or MDD into Blender?
  • th3Digitth3Digit Posts: 17,796
    edited December 1969

    I do infact open my C8.5 scenes in C8.1 regulary
    esp FBX imports
    to weightpaint!!
    C8.1 is easy for general weightpainting the triax has made it difficult in C8.5 you cannot see realtime effects on mesh in animation weightbrush mode.

  • fabafaba Posts: 53
    edited December 1969

    I haven't been able to get any FBX with intact rig from Carrara to Blender,
    neither Poser rigs nor Carrara rigs
    Possibly someone else found a way?

    MDD works fine, but since DAZ/ Poser content has a huge poly count the MDD files become very big.

  • th3Digitth3Digit Posts: 17,796
    edited December 1969

    not Daz or any other imported fbx rig
    but I have gotten things in I rigged and animated myself
    and some things by others like Andy's Kreature, via collada.

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    There are plugins available to port Daz figures over from DS and Carrara to Blender. I haven't tried yet, but from a video I saw, it seems that G2 works better in Blender than what it does in C8.5.

    https://sites.google.com/site/mcasualsdazscripts/mcjteleblender-for-ds1-2-3-4

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    There are plugins available to port Daz figures over from DS and Carrara to Blender. I haven't tried yet, but from a video I saw, it seems that G2 works better in Blender than what it does in C8.5.

    https://sites.google.com/site/mcasualsdazscripts/mcjteleblender-for-ds1-2-3-4

    Good enough for me. I've forgotten about these scripts. Sweet! Thanks Roygee

    ...and thanks to Faba and Wendy... I would welcome anything you have on your minds regarding this whole thing.

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 2,220
    edited December 1969

    OK - understand that I'm not punting Blender or putting down Daz or Carrara! Just that for years we have been asking for certain improvements which are not forthcoming. Q1 2014 has come and gone, with nary a word on C9, in the meantime, stable releases and Beta's of DS are rolling off the presses at amazing speed. Clearly, Daz has embarked on a development path with diverges from what I was hoping for. That is their business model and that is just fine by me.

    So I figured that if I ever want to use any of those good things we have all been asking for for ages, I'd better get down and learn them in the only other app that is in my price range! It is notoriously difficult to learn, but after concentrating for a few days, it is staring to make a lot of sense - if someone of my advanced years can do it, anyone can:)

    Just to clear up on MakeHuman - it comes into Carrara, fully rigged using .fbx. It ports into Blender, fully rigged using .dae. Then there is what seems to be pretty complex method of getting it into Blender using MH's native .mhx rig - not tried that yet.

    I don't have a lot of need for perfect human forms - and Daz's are about the best there are - and the millions of highly confusing morphs and constant breaking of things is too much for my simple needs. So much simpler just to make up whatever character I need with MH, which is not "protected" and morphs easily and simply in Carrara or Hex, without having to go through complex processes. The breaking of the .cr2 format in the latest release of DS was the final straw for me.

    I now have no path of getting home-made characters into Carrara C8.1, I totally detest Carrara's rigging sysytem, so might as well concentrate fully on Blender :)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    For really easy 'extras' people, have you ever tried Predatron's Loretta Lorez and Lorez Lorenzo, and others? Their morphs are built in, and go from various human shapes including children, elf, dwarf, orc, zombie... and have a bunch of pose adjustment morphs built in too.

    I hear you. DAZ Studio will always take precedence over any other software sold at DAZ 3D, because it's their own. For some folks on a low budget, that works well. Upgrades are expensive. But this complete silence - total lack of developmental communication with the users does feel like some horrific sign that we no longer matter. It feels like... if there is further development, it will have nothing to do with our concerns and needs. It feels wrong. So I started looking into LightWave. C4D, but that is way beyond my budget. Now to Blender. I keep coming back full circle to Carrara. I really do like using this software. So far the extra bits of development that have been done to it have really catered to me well. So perhaps people like me are part of the problem. But I think that it's also people like me that are helping to keep Carrara alive, as long as it remains in the hands of DAZ 3D.

    I know. I wish we had just those few extra bits that we could do to our rigs made in Carrara to make them a bit more like the rest of the world. Rigging simple things and using any generation of CR2 figure or Triax for the complex people, etc., is beautifully simple. Carrara's rigging system is so easy to use, it makes up for a lot.

    I think we just need to think a little more along the lines of using Carrara's other tools to help us. Like constraints, helpers, and IK... like Faba did with her character that she rigged in Carrara. He seems to work beautifully.

  • fabafaba Posts: 53
    edited December 1969

    Hey Roygee,

    Roygee said:

    I don't have a lot of need for perfect human forms

    Mr. Pig says "thumbs up!" :)

    thumbup2.jpg
    1682 x 946 - 163K
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    Now That's a perfect human form! Wow!

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