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  #1  
Old 09-11-2008, 07:20 AM
luakt luakt is offline
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Native WorldViz support for character animation

WorldViz support only cal3d (.cfg, .csf, .cmf, .caf, .caf etc) for character animation. However, I cannot find any 3D character modeling software that generate cal3d files natively.

Is there a way for WorldViz to accept 3D files directly generated from 3D software ( such as .3ds, .blend. .ms3d etc)?
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2008, 02:59 PM
Veleno Veleno is offline
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Hi Luakt,
Our download page has (free) cal3d exporter plug-ins for both 3ds Max and Maya, and elsewhere on the web there's an exporter for blender. You can find tutorials for the different exporters at various places online.

I just saw in your other thread that you haven't been able to find the one for Blender yet, so I'll see if I can find out where to get it.

As far as other avatar formats go, vizard can read the quake 2 character format, MD2. However, I am not familiar with this model type or its features.

Of the formats you listed, Vizard can read .3ds files. However, from 3ds Max's docs it appears that the format does not support character animation.
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  #3  
Old 09-11-2008, 11:58 PM
luakt luakt is offline
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Why not just support some 3d formats directly?

Sorry, my questions may be very navie as I am too new to this field.

There are more than 50 3D file formats and a few tens of 3D character animation software. I do not understand why WorldViz cannot just support some of the most popular ones.

WorldViz accepts only CAL3D format for character animation. I have sourced the market of 3D character animation software but cannot find any one supporting CAL3D export natively. In such way, we will have to select a 3D character software and at the same time, look for a CAL3D export. This make our job doubly difficult.

I therefore believe that WorldViz must have a very good reason for restricting character animation to CAL3D. Can some body explain this to me?
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2008, 07:27 AM
mspusch mspusch is offline
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The reason is simple: as you have found in your research, there is a large variety of formats and software our there.

in order to do a good job and provide high-end functionality, we needed to focus on one format and support this well, rather than having many different formats and only supporting many of them half-way.

when you keep experimenting with different software and formats, you will find quickly that it's quite hard to establish a good workflow which provides functional results.

the workflow which we have established bases on 3DMax or Maya (or Blender, but this workflow is not supported by us), export into CAL3D with our free exporter, and then use in Vizard.

we'd be happy to hear if you can find another / better workflow, but I personally highly doubt it.

I think you are wasting your time if you try to re-invent the wheel, and recommend sticking with a workflow which we know and can support, especially if you are new to the field.
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  #5  
Old 09-13-2008, 12:38 AM
luakt luakt is offline
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Kindly bring us some tutorials

Thank you very much.

I do not think I am wasting my time. To invest in 3DS Studio Max, I need to pay them USD 3500 and also a few months of my time to study the program. This is costly for me. I therefore spent a few hundred dollars to buy other 3D programs to try out.

Looks like 3ds Studio is my only choice if I still want to work with WorldViz. In this case, I shall be most thankful if you kindly bring us some tutorials to shorten my learning curver.
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2008, 03:07 AM
Veleno Veleno is offline
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Hi luakt,

If I remember correctly, a 13-month academic license for 3ds max is for a few hundred dollars. Other than the limited term, it cannot be used for commercial purposes.
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2008, 06:15 AM
mspusch mspusch is offline
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Hi Luakt, If all you want to do is 3DModelling, there are some cheap and fast options out there like 'Sketchup' which has been purchased and is supported by Google.

however, with all 'cheaper' tools, you will quickly run into limits, and specifically when it comes to character animation, it will most likely be very hard (and in many cases impossible) to find and estabilsh a good work flow.

RE tutorials for 3DStudio, 3DStudio comes with a large collection of tutorials and help files, and also there are tons of commercially available books about character animation with 3DStudio. 3D art is a skill, which is why people study it for many years in some cases, and 3D artists are paid a lot of money.

There are a few programs out there which try to bring 3D art to the 'consumer' but most of them are only good for a limited aspect of things or have limited functionality.

It's like Photoshop for 2D graphics: there are thousands of 2D graphics programs out there, but if you want to do professional work, you will likely not get around to learn and use either Photoshop or one of it's high-end competitors.
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2008, 10:23 AM
luakt luakt is offline
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I am not qulified for academic prices

unfortunately, I have left university for a number of years. I am no more qualify for academic prices.
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  #9  
Old 09-14-2008, 11:47 PM
tobin tobin is offline
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I strongly share the opinion that 3DS Max is a solid and reliable workflow. The relatively high cost of 3DS Max (when compared to free tools) is easily recouped in a matter of months (if not weeks) when considering labor costs.

Regarding the support of other formats, exactly which character format do you feel Vizard ought to be directly supporting? While Cal3D is far from perfect, when it comes to deciding a better format the answer is not too clear (at least to me). But I welcome your opinion and I will happily provide my comments to your suggestion.
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  #10  
Old 09-15-2008, 12:44 AM
luakt luakt is offline
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worldviz native support of 3d caharacter modeling

Thank you for allowing me to put up my wish list.

Basically. I wish that worldviz can suppport more than one character modeling system.

I would not recommend any system. But other the high end systems like 3ds, how about some other cheaper and more easy to use systems? I understand that this will consume more resources from your side. But, as a customer, we always wish to have the freedom of choices.

Also, the use of the direct output would be better to us. For example, why not adopt 3ds for character animation? (May be already supported, but I have the impression that worldviz uses only cal3d files). Every time we are asked to geneate an export, if there is an error, we would never know where the error comes from. This adds complexity to our use of WorldViz.

I must say the WorldViz team has done an excellent jobs of making VR possible by just a few lines of codes. I like it so much that I am going to use to create course contents for e-learning.

I will be many times happier if I can use Worldviz as a stand alone product for every thing I want to do for VR.

If this is not possible, may I suggest that you give us some more documents/guides on the CAL3D files to help us? The interfacing between 2 systems is always the weakest in any combined system. When there is problem, no body will like to solve to problem. System A will ask system B to solve and vice versa.

Sorry, I can be asking too much!

Regards,

Lua KT
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  #11  
Old 09-15-2008, 11:39 PM
tobin tobin is offline
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Regarding formats, 3DS (and OBJ for Maya) is 3DS Max's export format and it a terrible format for anything but emergency export/import of polygons and basic material properties. These are not formats that convey character information. If you meant the .MAX format, then unfortunately that is not an open format and to be able to read/write to that format you are legally required to have a 3DS Max installed on your working computer. For example, Polytrans is a well known 3D conversion program, but to go in and out of .MAX format 3DS Max must be installed to use that feature.

Regarding the WorldViz approach to content creation, we still believe that Cal3D is the best solution for offering our customers powerful character creation abilities on the one end (in 3DS Max) and programmatical control on the other (within Vizard/Python). It is also our approach to stick to what we we do best (make VR authoring tools) and not even attempt to become a 3D asset creation tool. Too many others attempt this and end up providing customers an all-in-one-solution doesn't stand up against 3DS Max. In our opinion, 3DS Max has an excellent track record and you can be very confident about its longevity and your return-on-investment.

Regarding your comment about System A/B and satisfying customer needs, this is one of the main reasons we stick to 3DS Max & Cal3D as our workflow. You will discover that we do in fact stand behind this workflow and support our customers who use it. We feel the quality of our support would not be the same if we overextended ourselves by connecting to other 3D modeling tools and therefore we are upfront about supported and unsupported options.
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