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lafortuj 07-07-2015 10:08 AM

Motion Builder Without Live Characters?
Is it possible to do motion capture animation through Motion Builder without using Vizard Live Characters?

I want to animate several line dances for a research study. Our lab has six PPT trackers, two of which are fixed to a head-mounted display, and two cameras for optical tracking. I want to be able to record myself performing the dances, then animate an avatar based on the recorded data. I have tried using vizconnect inverse kinematics, but the movements are not very realistic.

I need the animations to be good enough for a novice to learn from. From what I can tell, Vizard Live Characters would be the best way to do it, but it's beyond our price range. I've seen demos of what Autodesk Motion Builder can do with even just a handful of trackers, and it seems like it would be a great tool that could be more affordable. However, it looks like all the tutorials out there use Motion Builder in concert with Live Characters. I want to know if it's possible to animate a Vizard avatar with Motion Builder without going through Live Characters. It does not have to be done live. In fact, I need to be able to save some kind of data file for later playback. Is there any way to do this?

If not, do you have any recommendations for other approaches to the problem? I can choreograph the dances to fit within reasonable hardware constraints, and I'm not too picky as long as the virtual instructor's movements are realistic enough for a novice dancer to pick up. Thank you for your help!

Jeff 07-30-2015 04:12 PM

Live Characters is required to stream avatar data from MotionBuilder to Vizard. It's possible to get much better results with Vizard's built-in avatar IK than shown in the video. How many PPT cameras are being used for tracking and do you have active markers? I'll post a tutorial for using Vizard's IK soon.

lafortuj 07-30-2015 05:21 PM

We are using two PPT cameras. Occlusion of the markers (making them inactive?) is the cause of the bizarre leg-lifts. I'm more concerned about the legs rarely bending. In the video, I had markers on both of my feet, my right calf, and my head. Even with the calf tracker, both of my legs seem unnaturally straight. Should I be using Inverse Kinematics better, or not at all? If I can make better use of IK, I'm sure a tutorial could be helpful.

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