Will the Animation side of DAZ ever get attention?

Ghost_TrainGhost_Train Posts: 18
edited January 16 in Daz Studio Discussion

For starters, I spend a lot of time animating in Poser.   I wanted to learn DAZ a little to help a friend with his animation, but ended up backing out after seeing it was too limited for me to apply my skills in a useful way.  At least my impression was that I'd end up wasting a lot of time wrestling with DAZ and not get anywhere near what I want to do.  It does not seem like it was created for animation at all, but it does have some animation features.   I'm just wondering, will the animation side of DAZ ever get the much needed & overdue attention in deserves?  Its very limited what can be done in DAZ, especially for getting help from animators on projects.  We even tried some "working" methods for getting the models into Blender, but the rigs it brings over are so jank they are not useful at all for animation.  Maybe if there was a proper FBX method for exporting to an app that it can be animated in, and then imported back in.  So far we've had no luck with the available options.  It would be really cool to see this finally get addressed in 2023.   Extra cool if the animation tools within DAZ got revamped so it was more up to standard.   Sign me up as a contributor for testing if it ever comes to that.

Post edited by Ghost_Train on
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Comments

  • Yeah I agree with this I love Daz and I'm working on a web series but not matter how much I learn or try the animation never comes out like I want it to I would really love Daz to invest the animation side more would even be willing to be a tester for them but yeah I think it would be a massive improvement 

  • Why not just learn how to use Diffeomorphic? I don't understand.

  • Sorry what's Diffeomorphic? 

  • LeanaLeana Posts: 10,251

    It's a plug-in to transfer your Daz Studio content to Blender.

  • PerttiAPerttiA Posts: 6,671

    I don't think there is much point at this stage to try to fix animation for DS 4, or to hope anything would be done about it due to the fact that DAZ is trying hard to get DS 5 out.

  • Ghost_TrainGhost_Train Posts: 18
    edited January 16

    Improving software is always a good point for improving software.  That's up to the devs though.  I wish they didn't split everything off from Poser.  It used to be a nice place here for both.

    Im just trying to bring it up in hopes the devs might see it and discuss it among themselves to decide if its worth it.  With an asset store like this, there is so much potential.   One can hope.

    Post edited by Ghost_Train on
  • Please do remember that the application is daz Studio - Daz is the company that develops it, among other things.

    As for animation, while it certainly still has limitations a lot of work has been done. What future work may be done on top of that we do not know, nor whether anything will be added to DS 4 or whether it will have to wait on the next major version.

    Daz Studio's FBX should be compatible with Motion Builder, as I understand it. Unfortunately the standard is not well standardised.

  • jim_doriajim_doria Posts: 92

    I think DAZ has incurred a lot of techical debt on the animation side of things in Daz Studio. Consider:

    • Daz introduced dForce into Studio. While dForce can simulate a single frame, to get some things to come out right, you need to animate the simulation across multiple frames. This means the timeline is now doing 2 jobs in Studio - cloth / physics simulation and character animation. But it's one or the other, since there's only 1 timeline you can't do both things together. (Also why dForce can't be used in animations.) There's just no simple fix for this without completely breaking one workflow or the other.
    • dForce can't be used in animations.(Yes, I just said that but it bears repeating.)
    • Not so much a "Daz problem" but more a 'Daz Studio user" problem. I know a lot of people (myself included) do not use the timeline for animation, but as a way to store mutiple stills inside of a scene file.If you are doing any kind of non-animated, sequential illustration + storytelling with Daz Studio this is the only sane approach to having the same characters in the same location play out part of a narrative. This essentially layers a THIRD use on top of the timeline: scene / shot management. I call it a Stuio user problem cause Daz could claim they never officially supported this workflow, and therefrore can make changes that break it in various ways and users just have to suck it up for doing something in a non-supported way. I could see them doing this, but whether it's a good idea is another matter. There's always some number of customers who are are standing on the edge of the "heck with it, I'll just give in and learn Blender" cliff and some percentage of them will jump if stuff they've come to rely on is taken away. 
    • Probably shouldn't leave out alternatives like KeyMate and AnimMate, or other plugins etc. that have attempted to put bandaids on the timeline over years. I don't use these tools, but I see them come up a lot on the forums, so I assume there's some percentage of users who will be unhappy if these things change or disappear. So we can put a few extra % on the tech debt credit card for backwards compatibility issues.

    So it may be that fixing animation in Daz Studio is a cure that's worse than the disease, and surely far more expensive. That's not even considering factors outside of Daz that affect their place in the market. Like Blender having a far superior workflow for animation and a huge, robust ecosystem of 3rd-party support, or tools like Unreal Engine that offer the alternative of animating in real time without having to wait through 30 Iray renders to get a single second of animation. 

  • jim_doria said:

    I think DAZ has incurred a lot of techical debt on the animation side of things in Daz Studio. Consider:

    • Daz introduced dForce into Studio. While dForce can simulate a single frame, to get some things to come out right, you need to animate the simulation across multiple frames. This means the timeline is now doing 2 jobs in Studio - cloth / physics simulation and character animation. But it's one or the other, since there's only 1 timeline you can't do both things together. (Also why dForce can't be used in animations.) There's just no simple fix for this without completely breaking one workflow or the other.

    I'm not at all sure what you mean here - why would you want two different timelines? If you are simulating for an aniamtion then that is the sequence of movements you want to simulate for. You can use the Start From Memorised Pose option if you want to start a simulation in the middle of an animation without disturbing or simulating previous frames, though I think that would be a fairly exotic situation.

    • dForce can't be used in animations.(Yes, I just said that but it bears repeating.)

    Why not (also already asked, but repeating)?

    • Not so much a "Daz problem" but more a 'Daz Studio user" problem. I know a lot of people (myself included) do not use the timeline for animation, but as a way to store mutiple stills inside of a scene file.If you are doing any kind of non-animated, sequential illustration + storytelling with Daz Studio this is the only sane approach to having the same characters in the same location play out part of a narrative. This essentially layers a THIRD use on top of the timeline: scene / shot management. I call it a Stuio user problem cause Daz could claim they never officially supported this workflow, and therefrore can make changes that break it in various ways and users just have to suck it up for doing something in a non-supported way. I could see them doing this, but whether it's a good idea is another matter. There's always some number of customers who are are standing on the edge of the "heck with it, I'll just give in and learn Blender" cliff and some percentage of them will jump if stuff they've come to rely on is taken away. 

    You could always create a new property for each pose and then ERC Freeze to link the pose to the control.

    • Probably shouldn't leave out alternatives like KeyMate and AnimMate, or other plugins etc. that have attempted to put bandaids on the timeline over years. I don't use these tools, but I see them come up a lot on the forums, so I assume there's some percentage of users who will be unhappy if these things change or disappear. So we can put a few extra % on the tech debt credit card for backwards compatibility issues.

    Both are now integrated into the Timeline - the dope sheet and graph sections.

    So it may be that fixing animation in Daz Studio is a cure that's worse than the disease, and surely far more expensive. That's not even considering factors outside of Daz that affect their place in the market. Like Blender having a far superior workflow for animation and a huge, robust ecosystem of 3rd-party support, or tools like Unreal Engine that offer the alternative of animating in real time without having to wait through 30 Iray renders to get a single second of animation. 

  • GordigGordig Posts: 7,838

    jim_doria said:

    • dForce can't be used in animations.(Yes, I just said that but it bears repeating.)

    Yes, it can. 

  • marblemarble Posts: 7,203

    jim_doria said:

    I think DAZ has incurred a lot of techical debt on the animation side of things in Daz Studio. Consider:

    • Daz introduced dForce into Studio. While dForce can simulate a single frame, to get some things to come out right, you need to animate the simulation across multiple frames. This means the timeline is now doing 2 jobs in Studio - cloth / physics simulation and character animation. But it's one or the other, since there's only 1 timeline you can't do both things together. (Also why dForce can't be used in animations.) There's just no simple fix for this without completely breaking one workflow or the other.

    I think I know what you mean here. I found that the only way I could get it to work was to run the dForce simulation first in order to get the clothing draped correctly at the start of the character animation. Thus that character animation starts further along the timeline after the dForce simulation has had a chance to drape to the initial pose. Maybe I'm missing something obvious though?

    Another problem for me with the DAZ Studio timeline is that saving out a single frame as a scene or a scene subset is almost impossible. I would have thought that such a feature would be a no-brainer and I've read threads here requesing it but I have yet to find a straight-forward method.

  • Saxa -- SDSaxa -- SD Posts: 726

    marble said:

    Another problem for me with the DAZ Studio timeline is that saving out a single frame as a scene or a scene subset is almost impossible. I would have thought that such a feature would be a no-brainer and I've read threads here requesing it but I have yet to find a straight-forward method.

    https://www.daz3d.com/daz-studio-animation-tools--set-1

    select Animation Stripper script.  
    Shift select multiple characters and then initialize script.
    Watch script process detail to see what has to happen.

    As posted in DAZ beta thread, the 0-frame stores everything.
    In a simplified form, 3du combines from frame of your choice and 0 frame.
    Then save scene.

    3DU is about only PA that makes anim tools.
    Surprised more animators don't support him.
    Or that this feature wasn't even talked about.
    Why was this tool ignored at DAZ forums?

    At least his Limbstick is well known as super-helpful.

  • Saxa -- SDSaxa -- SD Posts: 726
    edited January 16

    marble said:

     I found that the only way I could get it to work was to run the dForce simulation first in order to get the clothing draped correctly at the start of the character animation. Thus that character animation starts further along the timeline after the dForce simulation has had a chance to drape to the initial pose. Maybe I'm missing something obvious though?

    https://www.daz3d.com/dforce2morph

    Post edited by Saxa -- SD on
  • There's a lot of great plug ins for Daz animation like the ones posted in this thread. I do hope too that animation gets an improvement as well but I've been using animation for over a year and half now and I'm starting to get the hang of the controls. I use the timeline and Animate 2. I learned a lot from Ivy's tutorial and Dreamlight. Learning animation is more than just knowing how the tool works. It would be nice if updated Aniblocks for a variety of actions were provided. I was kind of hoping Daz would incorporate Cascadeur into it's animation toolbox. That physics engine looks really helpful in Cascadeur. I would like to do everything within Daz to avoid exporting into other software.

  • wolf359wolf359 Posts: 3,613
    edited January 17

    StrapMacGow said:

    There's a lot of great plug ins for Daz animation like the ones posted in this thread. I do hope too that animation gets an improvement as well but I've been using animation for over a year and half now and I'm starting to get the hang of the controls. I use the timeline and Animate 2. I learned a lot from Ivy's tutorial and Dreamlight. Learning animation is more than just knowing how the tool works. It would be nice if updated Aniblocks for a variety of actions were provided. I was kind of hoping Daz would incorporate Cascadeur into it's animation toolbox. That physics engine looks really helpful in Cascadeur. I would like to do everything within Daz to avoid exporting into other software.

     

    Well you can use you cascaduer animation in Daz studio

    according to this video

    Post edited by wolf359 on
  • marblemarble Posts: 7,203
    edited January 17

    Saxa -- SD said:

    marble said:

    Another problem for me with the DAZ Studio timeline is that saving out a single frame as a scene or a scene subset is almost impossible. I would have thought that such a feature would be a no-brainer and I've read threads here requesing it but I have yet to find a straight-forward method.

    https://www.daz3d.com/daz-studio-animation-tools--set-1

    select Animation Stripper script.  
    Shift select multiple characters and then initialize script.
    Watch script process detail to see what has to happen.

    As posted in DAZ beta thread, the 0-frame stores everything.
    In a simplified form, 3du combines from frame of your choice and 0 frame.
    Then save scene.

    3DU is about only PA that makes anim tools.
    Surprised more animators don't support him.
    Or that this feature wasn't even talked about.
    Why was this tool ignored at DAZ forums?

    At least his Limbstick is well known as super-helpful.

     

    Wishlisted, thanks.

    Added comment: I do have Limbstick and use it often but it too is hampered by the basic DAZ Studio timeline. Maybe I misunderstand as I only play with animation in a very limited way but I find that Limbstick adds keyframes which affect everything, so adjustments after running the script can be troublesome. I think - and again I wish I had a better understanding - that some kind of Non-Linear timelime would be a lot more flexible allowing different body parts or clothing or attachments to be animated independently.

     

    Post edited by marble on
  • Ghost_TrainGhost_Train Posts: 18
    edited January 18

    jim_doria said:

    I think DAZ has incurred a lot of techical debt on the animation side of things in Daz Studio. Consider...

    Yea if it can be done in Blender that's fine (I used Blnder and Poser). getting a proper rig into Blender from DAZ that can be animated and sent back to DAZ is where the trouble has been.  So if it's a futile dream to hope DAZ just gets proper animation tools, that is definitely the way to go.  We just had no luck gettnig that working.  The rig is gave in Blender was not right for animation.  All the joints were locked to strange angles (like in DAZ). I think that was the DAZ to Blender addon. I need to catch up on all the comments here.


     

    Post edited by Ghost_Train on
  • WendyLuvsCatzWendyLuvsCatz Posts: 35,066

    Gordig said:

    jim_doria said:

    • dForce can't be used in animations.(Yes, I just said that but it bears repeating.)

    Yes, it can. 

     not all Dforce clothing can be admittedly but Dforce itself certainly can be

    I actually have more success with older clothing that I add a Dforce modifier to than many later Dforce ready products

     

  • cain-xcain-x Posts: 110

    DAZ Studio actually has a surprisingly impressive Auto IK implementation that require zero control rigs. Paired with Puppeteer and pins, it gives beginners some interesting tools to quickly prototype an animation. I am hoping for a closer integration with Cascadeur and other mocap solutions like Rokoko and Mixamo... fingers crossed.

    One thing I wish DAZ could implement is to allow multi figure/prop control in a single Puppeteer graph. It would allow for unprecedented control to sync animations in the scene.

    For sure DAZ Studio needs control rigs in the near future.

  • IvyIvy Posts: 7,073

    wolf359 said:

    StrapMacGow said:

    There's a lot of great plug ins for Daz animation like the ones posted in this thread. I do hope too that animation gets an improvement as well but I've been using animation for over a year and half now and I'm starting to get the hang of the controls. I use the timeline and Animate 2. I learned a lot from Ivy's tutorial and Dreamlight. Learning animation is more than just knowing how the tool works. It would be nice if updated Aniblocks for a variety of actions were provided. I was kind of hoping Daz would incorporate Cascadeur into it's animation toolbox. That physics engine looks really helpful in Cascadeur. I would like to do everything within Daz to avoid exporting into other software.

     

    Well you can use you cascaduer animation in Daz studio

    according to this video

    This looks useful :)

  • IvyIvy Posts: 7,073

    WendyLuvsCatz said:

    Gordig said:

    jim_doria said:

    • dForce can't be used in animations.(Yes, I just said that but it bears repeating.)

    Yes, it can. 

     not all Dforce clothing can be admittedly but Dforce itself certainly can be

    I actually have more success with older clothing that I add a Dforce modifier to than many later Dforce ready products

     

    You took the words right out of my mouth laugh

  • GordigGordig Posts: 7,838

    Ivy said:

    wolf359 said:

    StrapMacGow said:

    There's a lot of great plug ins for Daz animation like the ones posted in this thread. I do hope too that animation gets an improvement as well but I've been using animation for over a year and half now and I'm starting to get the hang of the controls. I use the timeline and Animate 2. I learned a lot from Ivy's tutorial and Dreamlight. Learning animation is more than just knowing how the tool works. It would be nice if updated Aniblocks for a variety of actions were provided. I was kind of hoping Daz would incorporate Cascadeur into it's animation toolbox. That physics engine looks really helpful in Cascadeur. I would like to do everything within Daz to avoid exporting into other software.

     

    Well you can use you cascaduer animation in Daz studio

    according to this video

    This looks useful :)

    I highly recommend Cascadeur. I'm not sure if there's still a free version now that it's been fully released, but even if not, it's worth the investment. 

  • IvyIvy Posts: 7,073
    edited January 27

     I am looking forward to daz 5 and hopeful that some of the new animation tech will be implemented into daz studio. I am to sorry and to old to start a new learning curve with complicated new apps even if they have intriguing new tools..

    I can not say what would be the best animation software or app? To tricky to answer because there are so many animation apps on the market & I have no experience with them.  So I dare say IMO the best app would be the one you are most comfortable in knowing how to use.

    Some apps are easier to use than others for sure, drop and drag animation tools are great,  some apps have better tools like soft body & partical physics. such as blender and poser pro 12 

    But having a High-end animation app like Unity or Maya Indie is not very good if it takes you 4 years to learn how to use the software. and your 60 years old.    Even blender as much as it has improved, still  has a bit of a learning curve. IMO

    But if you do not mind creating animation old school like they did 20 years ago, 1 frame at a time in a image sequence then put together in a film editor .Then yes daz studio app can do animation very well. & in a timely fashion with great finished results. I can complete most of the animation I sell in about a week or less.   I can say this because I use Daz Studio everyday to make commissioned art and animations with including adult animation with no complaints from my clients.

    If I was younger & just starting out learning animation I would concentrate learning on gaming animation apps UE, cry-engine or Unity would be good choices. . But after using daz studio & poser for the last 15+ years for animation. I think I gonna stick with what I know.

     

     

    Post edited by Ivy on
  • IvyIvy Posts: 7,073
    edited January 27

    Gordig said:

    Ivy said:

    wolf359 said:

    StrapMacGow said:

    There's a lot of great plug ins for Daz animation like the ones posted in this thread. I do hope too that animation gets an improvement as well but I've been using animation for over a year and half now and I'm starting to get the hang of the controls. I use the timeline and Animate 2. I learned a lot from Ivy's tutorial and Dreamlight. Learning animation is more than just knowing how the tool works. It would be nice if updated Aniblocks for a variety of actions were provided. I was kind of hoping Daz would incorporate Cascadeur into it's animation toolbox. That physics engine looks really helpful in Cascadeur. I would like to do everything within Daz to avoid exporting into other software.

     

    Well you can use you cascaduer animation in Daz studio

    according to this video

    This looks useful :)

    I highly recommend Cascadeur. I'm not sure if there's still a free version now that it's been fully released, but even if not, it's worth the investment. 

     

    first I want to thanks @Wolf for pointing me to this Software and @Gordig  for recomending it.

    I went to their site and they have a free indie version for users making under a 100k  and its limited on what tools are avilable https://cascadeur.com/plans

    So I downloaded & installed it.  and have been reading over the documents . it does not look to hard to use. pretty straight forward User Interface with custmizable UI options lots of user documents & it can handle Xbox kinect BVH animation files which what I was hoping for.

     I have xbox kinect but there is no way that I have found to get the kinect animation BVV into daz studio working properly. Ive even used the tricks from Kinechacks https://www.kinecthacks.com/guides/bvh-motion-capture-guide/ I have even tried using Azure Kinect SDK to move over the BVH files that are created with horroibale results when used in daz studio, so I am hoping Cascadeur will be a good way to export those kinect BVH animation files properly into daz. I'll let you know my progress on it.

     

    Post edited by Ivy on
  • GordigGordig Posts: 7,838
    edited January 27

    I made all these animations in Cascadeur, having previously never seriously attempted to animate:

    Post edited by Gordig on
  • his xhis x Posts: 850

    Gordig said:

    I made all these animations in Cascadeur, having previously never seriously attempted to animate:

    Bravo! I am inspired!

  • cain-xcain-x Posts: 110

    Nice work! How long did it take to make that animation? Were the effects done in DAZ?

  • GordigGordig Posts: 7,838

    cain-x said:

    Nice work! How long did it take to make that animation? Were the effects done in DAZ?

    Nine months, but that time period covers finally buckling down to learning C4D and establishing a workflow, changing render engines a couple times, multiple iterations of each scene, working out how to art-direct the effects the way I wanted, clothing design, and so on. Nine months might seem like a long time to spend producing 17 seconds of footage, but that time spent means that future shots will take a fraction of that time.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,644
    edited January 28

    Although I have a thread HERE stating my efforts at animating in Daz Studio, I'd like to chime in here as well.

    I think it would be lovely to make at least a few additions/changes to the Daz Studio Timeline:

    • Remove the 'lock' on grouped key frames - we should be able to grab and move keyframes without having to open the entire hierarchy if we want to
    • Add more Tweeners - at the very least Bounce and Oscillate
    • Give us curve handles for editing the in/out behavior of the tweener curve on a per-key basis
    • Please (PLEASE) make it possible to delete keys using the Delete key! If we select a key, that should be the item selected, not the whole figure it belongs to. Argh!!!

    I am very busy animating most of the time, so I haven't been frequenting these forums. I must say, I had no clue all this time (I started attempting to animate in DS in 2021) that we cannot animate and use dForce! Hmmm... how did I succeed? I don't understand. dForce really kinda Rocks, at least that was my experience. 

    The paid version of aniMate (aniMate 2+) gives us a lot more useability, I think. Since it was in my very first order at Daz 3d, I have no clue what the free version has. But while animations are in aniBlock form, we have another graph editor (I still haven't figured that one out just yet, though) and various other options that really made my life easier. So I can take my animation from the timeline and Create New aniBlock. With that I can go into Key Frame mode and make any changes to any joint(s) anywhere in time using multiple 'layers' to keep edits separated. Where I want the edits to stop editing (go back to the original data) at any place in time, click the "0" button and the changes made in Key Frame mode go back as if no changes were made - yet they are still in effect where the changes were made. Whew... what a mouthful!

     

    Here, this explains that better. I have a full list of these instructional wonders HERE

    Check out this awesome feature!

    Putting some of what we've learned from the list we can do cool stuff like this (I use these features all the time)

    One of those shows him using the aniMate 2+ Graph Editor, but I can't remember which one right now - and it's time for this fella to get some shut-eye! ;)

    Ooops! Is that dForce hair? It is! Which was the whole reason I decided to learn to animate in Daz Studio

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • his xhis x Posts: 850

    "Ooops! Is that dForce hair?"

    DForce is a tricky tool to learn to use, I would even say diabolical. Professional documentation would make a lot of difference for many people. Not to demean your videos.

     

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