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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Change default save from binary to ASCII (maya)

Simple tip but if you can't find where to change this can be frustrating.

Just go to file menu in the top of maya. Then click the little square next to "save scene as" Now in the popup you can select maya ASCII as the default save type.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fix the h264 MOV video washed out, pale gamma playback issue on PC.

To fix that horrid washed out MOV playback problem on Windows in the Quicktime player. Go to Edit>Preferences> QuickTime Preferences you can disable Direct3D video acceleration. This fixed the low contrast problem I had with the h264 and foto jpeg codecs. I also prefer this solution over the “straight alpha” solution (which I was doing in the past) because the straight alpha method seems to make jittery, slow playback for MOV files.

Note it did seem like it maybe caused videos to open up a little slower before playing back, but it still beats the alpha straight method IMO.

Some other great information about the problem.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Maya won't see network file paths (Maya 2015)

So for whatever reason to get maya to actually see network paths when you try to link a file that is on a NAS for example you have to change a setting in your maya preferences.

Go to the menu in the top of maya. Window>settings/prefernces>preferences

Then in the catagories section on the left side of the dialog. Choose Files/Project

Scroll down on the right side till you see "file dialog" section. And select "OS native" now you can browse in maya to network drives.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Slow motion rain drops in Maya (vray maya material)

1. First create a polygon sphere

This will function as our rain drop and we will use it in the nparticle instancer. First thing we will do is setup an animationed "warble" on the droplet so that it isn't just a static sphere.

2. Now in the animation sub set menu goto create deformers>lattice

A lattice appears around our rain drop,

In your attributes on the right you can change it's resolution

3. Set it to 3 x 3 x 3

4. Right click the lattice and go to lattice point and taper the top a bit to make it a little more tear drop shaped.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Motion Builder - characterizing, making a template, and using BVH files in story mode

Motion builder is a bit confusing at first. Here is a quick description of the steps you need to use BVH files in MB and more specifically to use them as clips in story mode.

We will cover:
1. Making sure sure the BVH file you are trying to use has a single frame of t-pose at it's beginning for either making a bone template or using a BVH file as a clip.

2. Creating a bone template from a BVH which you can use on all other BVH's with the same naming convention. Even BVH files from the same company or website may have different naming conventions. So you must create a different bone template for each possible set of BVH files.

3. Using the bone templates you create to quickly characterize any of your BVH files.

Motion Builder - Create a bone template to characterize many different BVH files

1. First make sure your BVH has a tpose on the opening frame (see tutorial)

2. Then in your asset browser templates>characters> drag "character" onto the hip bone of your BVH. and select characterize.

It will try to match motion builder bone names to the skeleton but it can't so a list of all bones that don't match will appear.Go ahead and take note of these and close that popup.

3. Now under "Characters" in the navigator you now can double click "character" and then select the "character definition" Tab to the right. You may need to expand the "base" section of bones.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Motion Builder - How to mirror an animated FBX clip for story mode

1.Open your main character with NO animation JUST the character in t-pose, now open characterized FBX animation you are trying to mirror. In my case i'm going to mirror one of run right 90turn animations from the previs clips that come with mobtion builder 2014. I'm going mirror it into a left 90 degree turn. Drag and drop the FBX into the viewport ( or file open)

2. Select merge>(name of the animation you want top bring in)

3.Now this FBX has a character assigned to it as well as the motion. and we can see them both here.

4. Up in the character controls window your main character should be selected for the character. then select the FBX animated character clip as the source.

Immediately your character matches the movement of the animated character.

5. Now in the navigator select character>your character name and double click it to bring up character settings.

6. Now expand the characters settings and scroll down till you see "mirror animation". Select the check box.

Your character should immediately mirror the animated character we imported.

7. Now in the character settings panel  for your main character select plot character>  then bake animation from input character to "control rig".

8.Now select the FBX animated character in the navigator  that you imported for animation. Right click and select "select all branches" and delete that character. It will say it is being used choose delete anyway. We want to get rid of anything related to that previous character.

9. Then in navigator under "scene select" anything related to the animation FBX model we imported> select all branches. And delete them as well. Confirm any questions about deletion.

10. In the navigator probably a good idea to name the take to "Run_Left_90Turn" before saving your file out.

You should now have a clean version of your main character with the new mirrored animation with it.

11. Now go to file save as and save your new FBX as Run_Left_90Turn. and that's it! This clip will now drop into story mode.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Motion Builder - Applying a bone template to a t-posed BVH for characterization.

This tutorial builds on a previous one so you if you don't already have a T-posed BVH and bone template created you better go check out that tutorial first.

1.Make sure your t-posed starting BVH file is open.

2. Drag and drop the bone template you created into viewport then select merge> noanimation. Or go to file>merge and select your file to bring the template into MB. When it tries to open uncheck any takes of animation if it tries to bring them in.

3. Now in the navigator window select character>character and then choose the "Character Definition" tab directly to the right next to the "character settings" tab.

In the character Definition tab below you should see two sections "mapping list" and naming template"
the naming templates in the required base section should be filled with bone names while the Mapping list sections should say "drop Object here" Waiting for the mapping from your template.

4. Open shematic view in the viewer, >View menu> schematic. Then you may need to hit F to find the nodes, or zoom out to see them. Once you see them select all bones you want to map from the bone template to the skeleton by dragging a box around them all.

5. Hold x (if in maya interaction mode in MotionBuilder if you aren't in maya interaction mode then it's ALT i think) hold x and drag and drop all bones down the mapping area. release and now they should be mapped.

6. If all went as it should and the template does indeed match then the skeleton definition representation should be all green with no errors. Mapping list and naming template lists should match.

7. Now press the little characterize checkbox in that character definition window.

8. It will give you
a message saying character must be in stance pose facing Z. Select bi-ped

9. Now that your character is characterized properly the last thing you need to do before saving it out is push the keyframes over so that the t-pose is on "-1" instead of "0". This will help aviod problems later when you try and use the clip in story mode.

10. Select one bone in the viewer then in the navigator right click the hip bone and select all branches to select all bones.

11. Now in the timeline Keyframe edtior you should see all the keys across the timeline. In the little box to the right double click and type -3 to bring the timeline into the negative values.

12. Now click  drag around ALL the keyframes (MAKE SURE YOU GET THEM ALL AND THAT YOU ARE VIEWING ALL OF THEM TO BEGIN WITH) to select them. Drag them over one frame.

13. Now the t-pose should reside on keyframe "-1" and the animation starts at "0"

14. Then go to file>save as  in the menu. It will save your FBX clip. Make sure that your animations take is checked ON so that it will include the animation in the FBX.

NOW this FBX clip can be dropped into story mode!