OT - Getting any BVH animation cleanly into Carrara

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  • bighbigh Posts: 8,147
    msteaka said:

    Wendy,

    Thats quite a long animation - I like how the dresses flow dynamically. I get the misSteaka reference..I've nothing to top that.... Er,,, Does anyone feel like a Tums ?

    Dart, I went to the  Go Figure site...I had no idea that you could get aniblocks ready made for M4/V4 figures. Yikes, what else am I missing. Here I am going half blind making my own.  It is too bad that you have to buy all the aniblocks so as  to use them in Carrara.  I would be interested mainly in the walking aniblocks.  I may wait till they go on sale. Thanks for letting me know about them

    Msteaka aka Starboardtack

    you don't have to buy any aniBlock - you can make your own in DS

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    There are others as well:

    SKAmotion has a few here as well as on their own site under the same name followed by dot com - Very nice walk cycles with options.

    I really like my collection from Posermocap whose V4 and M4 packs are in the Poser PZ2 format, which I really like as well.

    There are others. There was one that was offering game-style animations that looked pretty cool, and now I can't seem to find them. Bummer.

    Like, Predatron's Goblin figure comes with its own walk cycle amongst other poses.

     

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    Don't get me wrong here. I really enjoy making my own animations for my own work. It's actually quite rare when I'll use one that I've purchased without some pretty heavy modification. I've written an article about it, but the link to it got lost with the switch to the new forum, so It would take me some time to find it. I still don't know how to copy a link to a particular post in this new forum. Do you copy the link address to the Quote button? 

    Anyways, yeah... I like to collect these motions mentioned above. GoFigure and Posermocap both use professional mocap techniques and SKAmotion, whatever they do to make theirs, do a wonderful job and obviously put a lot of work into them. The motions that I make by hand are more for single action shots to be spliced together to make movies. I've offered two offerings at my DAZ 3D store, and are fairly simple, but I still find them to be incredibly helpful for my work.

    Oh... BTW, I don't understand why this thread is marked as being OT (Off Topic). This is one of my favorite things to do in Carrara!

    Dragon Animations Promo Video

    M4 Swordworks Promo Video

     

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    Animation is what drew me in to Carrara 5 Pro. I wasn't able to actually(finally - Whew!) buy Carrara until nearly the release of 8, where they had a deal - Buy 7 now and get 8 free when it comes out. Once I found out that it also worked on the Pro version (which I really need) I made the jump (Thanks to my beautiful, wonderful Wife!)

    Animation is why I'll never leave Carrara. Not for people's lack of trying to pry me away to other software either. I just don't get it. I keep telling them why they should switch to Carrara. Anyways, I watch other workflows and have been studying a lot of pro movie CG effects and end up holding firmly to my need to just stay with Carrara. The peeves of other folks are not even a headache for me. For when something doesn't seem to work the way one might intend, Carrara just happens to offer multitude of options to overcome whatever it is that I need to make. Since I've owned Carrara (early 2010) I've found my zone. I still push the limits and end up having to scratch my head about things, but that's just part of the big adventure, right? :)

    For example, while I do enjoy modeling I find that DAZ 3D and Renderosity have most of my bases covered for the actual models. That's a lot of time saved for a one-person project. Well, more people when I record the voices, but I'm the only one in the art, animation, FX, sound, music, and production departments - and I like it. It's a fun and wonderful challenge, and I'm learning constantly. 

    That being said, Carrara is the one magical modeler that works so nicely with Poser 7 and earlier figures, which includes M4 and V4 and family, along with the rest of the Millennium line of people and creatures. Add to that almost everything before Genesis 3 from DAZ 3D and Renderosity and there's an awful lot of assets for me to choose from. Before discovering Carrara, I've read an enormous amount of topics from other software communities regarding using Poser figures within - as expected: meaning that I wanted control of the morph dials and full access to animating their rigging. Back then I didn't realize how Generation 4 and earlier figures (along with Poser figures) were rigged to work. Even Carrara has a normal rigging system for animating meshes, but these figures were set up a bit differently. But that's getting way off topic.

    So now I had Carrara 8 Pro beta. I only tried 7 Pro for a little while and then switched entirely to the 64 bit 8 Pro beta, and haven't gone with anything less than the latest Carrara build since. Getting off topic again. So when I bought Carrara, it came with a lot of stuff! At that time I joined Platinum Club(yearly! Thanks to my Wife!) to lower the price of Carrara, and that came with a lot of stuff too, plus it all lowered the price to a bit lower than we were expecting to spend. Well Rosie told me to just spend the rest on assets - so I did so, very gladly! 

    Back then I was using Poser. So I had no clue how HUGE of a stage Carrara has. I was buckled down into using these wonderful sets made for the Millennium Environment, because that could be duplicated and rotated 180 degrees to create a full 360 degree surrounding scene - and the sets for it are set up to work as 360 as well - so that was really cool! Well it took me a while to get used to using all of that. Drop the Mill Environment into Carrara and it's just this tiny thing - even in a standard medium scene. Then it comes to lighting. I had to tell the lights to ignore the walls and then have the shaders for those walls 'glow' so I don't have to light them. It was all very fun and I've been thinking of opening some of those old files just for nostalgia! LOL

    Getting used to that Texture Room and the fact that I needed to visit that room every time I loaded in something new, was a real blast. It also taught me to set up a creative, useful organization system to my Carrara browser, so that I could save Carrara-optimized versions of everything I need to use in my animations - so I don't have to worry about optimizing within fully realized scenes. That led to learning more and more about how awesome this Carrara render engine is - in conjunction with this wonderful Texture Room. Just fantastic for my style of working. I just love it. So now I know how to animate shaders and effects as well as my main focus characters and/or objects. I have a nice collection of villains, background folks and items, scene stages, effects, lighting rigs, and now I'm working on storing various helpful cinematic effects that I need next.

    So the whole past five years have sort of flowed together as a large but smooth learning curve. A friendly transition due to this awesome community. I've never seen a finer support staff for anything else in the world. True. How long does it take to get answers to conundrums around here. A lot of these people that we bump elbows with in this forum are really, really experienced with all things Carrara. In my dealings with folks that know me face-to-face, they all know about my love and respect for this Carrara forum - folks that I refer to my friends as my friends. Because, even if we argue or disagree about things, let's face it: we're all pretty darned good friends here.

    I don't know what happened to the "Animation" forum here at DAZ 3D, but it's disappearance is horrible. I've spent quite some time in there following the works of folks like "bigh", here in this forum, as well as others, like Ivy Summers, for example.

    In my efforts to improve on animation, I wanted to work with some 'real' motion capture files, and GoFigure's aniBlocks are just that, but they've gone steps further for folks like me, where they've optimized them for M4 and V4, but even better, they've developed aniMate software which eneables these different mocap files to link together and then be edited and saved as new aniBlocks! It's so cool how easily it all works, and they have some fine instructions and inspiration at their YouTube channel.

    Speaking of YouTube, there are a lot of forum members here with some really cool stuff. I owe a lot to many of the folks here, for without them I would have been far more lost for much longer. Cripeman has made some amazing and entertaining lessons. I love them. GKDantas(Marcelo Teixeira) has also gone above and beyond with his silent take on showing us how to perform many of the functions within Carrara. 

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    All this time I've only used BVH files a few short times. Likely due to them not being converted over to Millennium Generation 4 figures, so there was always a lot of work to do to them to make them work. aniMate came out right around that same time when I was getting into all of this, so it was an exciting alternative. aniBlock Importer for Carrara was an early purchase for me and getting a bunch of those aniBlock packs during their intro sale prices was really fun. Rosie instanly became a black belt in martial arts! As I've mentioned earlier, I wrote an article about how I pulled them apart in Carrara and saved off NLA Clips for different parts of the body - which is really fun. When I delete keyframes, I'm not actually 'losing' anything, since I still have the original file that I've just imported, so I never worried about getting agressive with them, and I'll do the same with this whole DanceForms thing.

    So I really appreciate this whole thing with DanceForms along with your informative tutorial. After all this time, I feel as if I truly have what I need to do pretty much everything that I want - mainly because I really do like making my own motions. I have an article on Carrara Cafe regarding the basics of how I go about doing that. But to suddenly have a new slew of motions to grab ahold of - free or even buy a pack or three, since they really aren't that expensive, is just a really cool thing to happen, and the timing couldn't be better!

    Unfortunately, the Holiday has me busy doing stuff, so the only animation I've been doing are from within my comfort zone, since it's fast and I know exactly what I'm doing. But as soon as this all settles down, I'm gonna check this whole DanceForms thing out. I've downloaded your models and installed DanceForms, downloaded their free BVH files and I already have a whole bunch of them that I've collected in my "Download everything I see" days.

    So... Thank you for this new jump of inspiration. I think you can tell that I'm all excited... I type a lot when I'm all excited! :)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    Sorry for the super-long babbling ;)

    I've been working on the ►►► Carrara Information Manual ◄◄◄ thread to fix the links, after chohole sweetie instructed me on how to do so. So here's that article I was talking about, edited now to include your cool tips: ► AniMating in Carrara

    I do like inserting images in text threads just to add a little color

    This little sequence I made to help illustrate some kind of point is actually being reused in many of my episodes. Since the file was saved with just these two characters into the browser, I just drag them into whatever stage I need them in and set the camera, and they fit right in.

     

  • Hey Dart..if you don't mind me abreviating your name...

    I have gone for the GoFigure aniBlock bundle..I wanted to wait until it went on sale, but my time is worth more than any money saved.  After downloading the Carrara GoFigure bundle, I followed the tutorial on loading the aniblocks into a scene and I was able to figure out how to make the walk cycle match so that the  M4 continued  walking along amd not go back to the start point with the next aniblock.  However I was never able to make it match the aniblock that goes from a standstill to a walk.  And now I have loaded the left turn aniblock and it does nothing just stands there....no turn. Is there somethiing I am missing here.

    I read through you comments and clicked on your links.  However I have enough to keep me very, very busy with just the assets I have just bought (aniBlocks for Carrara)..If I can figure them out.   Those promos on Dragon and Swordwworks  are really fun. It is not hard to see why you  attracted to Carrara...and as you explained.  I don't see how people like your selve can retain it all..As fast as I learn one part of Carrara I am forgetting another part.  Well not totally, but enough to where I have to go back and review.   

    Anyway Dart, I think the AniBlocks just might save my sanity..I was getting  deeply frazzeled with all the keyframing I was doing. Thanks for bringing them up.

     

    Msteaka

    Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 2.31.51 PM.png
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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,848

    In the posted image, I see that it was converted into an NLA clip. Have you tried the animation imported before converting to clip?

    One important (maybe not for some folks) tip:

    I often set my scene time start marker (yellow triangle) on the timeline to 1:00 second and then use that time when I import aniBlocks. I do this so that I can easily drag-select over all of the imported keyframes and delete them, if I need to. But when doing that, we have to set "Use Scene Time" radio button in the NLA Clip Creatioin dialog window instead of the default "All Keyframes" or whatever it says there. It's in the middle of the dialog window.

    Anyways, it's really hard to say what may have gone wrong without seeing the process in person. 

    - Select the main Figure name in the instances tray. Example: In M4's case, the name just above "Model" in the hierarchy.

    - File > Import > 'aniBlock of choice'

    - Answer the dialog according to your choices and hit Okay

    You should now have populated the figure with keyframes.

    GoFigure recommends that you set your preferences to "Linear" tweeners and 30 keys per second before importing

    When importing aniBlocks, try to not have any clips on the character - even if they're pulled out of the time range.

    Do these few things help?

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