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BVH to drive a skeleton
Posted: 31 October 2012 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I created a BVH file from Faceshift.

I would like to assign the specific animation controllers to the face of a DAZ/Poser Character.

Does anyone know how to assign a BVH motion from an import to the sequencer timeline to drive the movement of a model?

I can do this quite easily in Motionbuilder but I want to figure out how to do it with Daz products.

If you have any ideas please let me know.

Thanks,
Craig

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Posted: 31 October 2012 11:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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HI smile

I’ve never heard of face shift,. i’ll check into that later,. but right now I can explain a couple of things.

Daz figures only have a couple of bones in the head ,.. there are several in the tongue parts of the Generation 4 (V4 . M4 etc..) and the same in the Genesis figures. but less in V3 / M3 etc.

Facial animation isn’t normally done in Poser, / Daz Studio, or Carrara by animating Bones, apart from the Jaw and tongue, and sometimes the eyes.(although it can be, ..if you’ve built the figure that way)

Most of the facial and Lip-sync animation is done by adjusting morphs in the figures head.

you’ll find that even the Base figures have a bunch of “Viseme” morphs, ,.,shapes for vocalisation, like Aa, Ooh, Ch, etc…

You’ll also see some basic facial expressions,. like Happy, Sad, Afraid,  etc…

All of these morphs can be animated to produce the facial animation you need, you can make the eyes blink or flutter or wink or wince.
and as with all animation, you have keyframes and tweener types in carrara which can be adjusted to suit what you want.

There’s also Mimic Pro for Carrara, which is a Plugin, to create Lip-sync animation from a vocal ,..audio (.Wav / Aiff) file.

In Carrara 8 and the 8.5 beta,.. you;ll also see a thing called “Puppeteer” which is also in Daz Studio,.
Puppeteer allows you to create a bunch of (Pose) dots in a grid, where each dot represents a different pose,.
you can then run your mouse around over the dot’s, and the figure changes as you move.

you can record this as an animation,. whether the pose dot’s you create make the figure Walk, Dance, or only change the expressions of the face is up to you.

Lastly,.. BVH files,.. I love them and use them all the time BUT… they have some issues.
Normally the BVH is a list of Bone names and XYZ locations, and that’s exactly what it should be.
but BVH are specific to the figure they were created on,. (because of that “Bone names” list)
this means that unless the figure you’re applying that BVH to,. contains the exact same names for all the bones,.. you’ll either get Nothing,. or an error,. or a completely distorted figure.

To load a BVH onto a figure in Carrara,..
You need to select the HIP bone of the figure,.. then go to FILE / IMPORT, then locate your BVH file.

but because there’s only a couple of bones in the head, you may only get some head motion, rather than a range of emotions.

Hope that makes some sense smile

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Posted: 31 October 2012 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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As always you are a great help.

You really should check out this faceshift.com

It is a motion capture software that works with the Kinect sensor.

It works with Motionbuilder, Maya and 3dmax.

I think it will be able to work with Carrara but like you said the bones and the morphs have to be named properly.

It appears that there is access to the morphs and bones in the Carrara sequences. The problem I am having is being able to reassign or rename the morphs/bones to line up with the BVH file that I am importing.

I attempted to text edit the BVH file but that turned out to be useless.

My suspicion is that both Carrara and DAZ Studio have the capability to edit those parameters but find them and figuring out how to use them is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I found some interesting deep editing capabilities for DAZ in the Figure Setup window. I went to Window - Panes - Figure Setup.

I don’t know how it works, but it has a bunch of things you can adjust on the figure in there.

Craig

 

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Posted: 31 October 2012 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I had a quick look at the site,. but i’m not a gamer, so I don’t have a Kinect or anything .

I’ve seen the other Motion capture stuff for the Kinect, and it’s interesting, but not interesting enough to make me dance, or learn to dance.

Figure setup tools in DS, is powerful kit, and allows you to rig a figure,. I’m not really familiar with it, but it should be possible to create a copy of V4 or whatever figure, (So you don’t effect the original)  then add some bones and name them, weight map the mesh to those,. 

In Carrara,. Daz3D and Poser figures are “protected” (usually from the user) ...but you can break in by going to the EDIT menu / Add Smoothing. or Fenric has a Plugin set , which has an Unlock / Lock feature, which gives you a more graceful approach to editing the figure structure.

Note that at this point you’re on your own,. and things can get broken, but you should be able to detach the skeleton from the mesh, and add a couple of bones.

Most BVH use the HIP as the root bone, so as long as Faceshape kicks out a BVH with a HIP it should be possible.

Another option is DS which can also import the BVH, and it’s less sensitive to what you throw at it.
but the animation of the face bones still wouldn’t apply if the bones aren’t there.

If you make a custom figure,. or head in Carrara, you could name the bones according to the Faceshape bones, and that should work, but transferring that animation to a Daz figure without those same bones in the figure to animate,. would do nothing.

Have a play around with some facial poses or expressions and Puppeteer,. 

smile

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