ARENA and Poser

tvining
Posts: 126
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:24 am

ARENA and Poser

Post by tvining » Fri May 30, 2008 4:12 pm

I have an 8-camera system, and am presently formulating a workflow for Arena-to-Poser (and then rendered in Cinema 4D). So I was wondering how many other Arena owners are taking their BVH into Poser? I've found it to be a somewhat quirky process so far, and was wondering if others have come across problems & solutions in their workflows. I'd also be really interested in seeing samples of other people's work, if it's available. The project I'm working on is at the link below (this is pretty much all by hand), and I hope to improve (and speed up!) my animating with Arena.

http://www.auroratrek.com

--Tim

rjandron
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Location: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Re: ARENA and Poser

Post by rjandron » Sat May 31, 2008 10:36 am

I'd be interested in this as well. I'm still getting set up, but my main workflow is going to be pretty much the same as yours Tim. I'll do some experiments and let you know what I find out.

RJ

Jim
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Re: ARENA and Poser

Post by Jim » Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:03 pm

Hello:

We have worked with importing BVH files into Poser, and have had good results, if not with a little too much work involved. We found that Poser doesn't like long BVH takes, so you need to limit their length and also when you save out to BVH, you want to downsample your FPS from 100 to 24 or 30.

Let us know how it goes, we would be happy to contact the Poser guys with any issues you run into, as we think that good Poser support is very important.

Also, we use DAZ3D and have had good luck with it. DAZ3D can have some arm offset problems with BVH files, but we are working on that with them, it appears to be a non-standard BVH support issue in the program.

bsteagal
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Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Re: ARENA and Poser

Post by bsteagal » Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:20 am

Tim:

I use Arena with Poser quite extensively, without too many issues, I work mostly with cartoon characters since most of what I do is for kids, so there is some editing involved (mostly due to characters not having clavicles or buttocks and non-standard body types). For example, I have a script given to me by 3duniverse to take care of issues with his characters with translation of the hips (since the characters don't have buttocks, they move from side to side quite extensively when the bvh file has subtle hip movement) which takes care of this problem. However, most of the time I use it straight from Arena, just adjusting things like shoulders and hands.

Perhaps if you could elaborate on the quirkiness? what type of problems are you seeing? What version of Poser are you using? (most of the time I stick to poser 5, although for the 3d Universe characters I use 7, since the python script is only for 6 and above)

I also use an old copy of Motionbuilder on occasion to clean and edit the bvh files that I generate (mapped to the specific character in MB, especially when characters have additional bones such as tails, etc)

You can see some examples of my work here:

www.kkstudio.us

click on english and then go into the gallery under "video gallery"

Bryan
Bryan Steagall
Owner
Kidz Korner Studio
OptiTrack Distributor
Mexico, Central and South America
505-615-2410
bryan@kkstudio.us
www.kkstudio.us

tvining
Posts: 126
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:24 am

Re: ARENA and Poser

Post by tvining » Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:18 pm

Overall the Arena/BVH/Poser/Cinema 4D/Daz workflow seems to work okay, but I guess I just meant "quirky" in the little things you need to do to make it work, such as:

When importing a bvh file, it's best to first import/apply it to a basic figure (no morphs etc., so like V3 base), save that animation as a Pose in Poser, then bring up the figure you want to animate and apply that Pose to that. The reason for this is that when you import the bvh the directly, Poser adds a keyframe to every body part and transition (like "Taper") whether that was called for in the bvh/animation or not. Saving the Pose, and then applying the Pose to a new figure seems to strip out all those extraneous keyframes, and applies them only to the correct translations.

This is just one a few little workarounds I've encountered, so I guess I was wondering if other people had run into similar things.

--Tim

tvining
Posts: 126
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:24 am

Re: ARENA and Poser

Post by tvining » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:35 pm

PS: A couple actual problems I'm having when importing the bvh into Poser is that there seems to be a fair amount of foot-sliding in Poser that isn't evident in the Arena skeleton.

Also there is some kind of "flopping" of the position of keyframes by 180 degrees in the graph editor so that the Hip z rotation, for example, flops back and forth between +179 degrees and -180 and back again--I'm guessing it's some kind of thing where it's translating the bvh data based on a 0-centered scale, and when it crosses over 180 degrees, it jumps to negative numbers until it rotates again back to towards 0. The problem with this is that it makes it really hard to edit the curves because they're all "broken up". Normally you can just take an entire curve and move it up and down as needed, but not if it's flopping around.

Anybody have thoughts on how to prevent these?

Thanks--Tim

bsteagal
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:00 am
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Re: ARENA and Poser

Post by bsteagal » Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:20 am

Tim:

I've seen this flopping even in bvh from other applications, so I believe it is something that Poser is doing, not necessarily anything that comes from Arena. I've had this happen even when importing data from Motionbuilder. I go back to compare those frames and the original data does not have this flop... so I don't know why Poser does this (and it drives me nuts) Arena to MB doesn't do this, nor Arena to 3ds max.
Bryan Steagall
Owner
Kidz Korner Studio
OptiTrack Distributor
Mexico, Central and South America
505-615-2410
bryan@kkstudio.us
www.kkstudio.us

tvining
Posts: 126
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:24 am

Re: ARENA and Poser

Post by tvining » Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:51 pm

Thanks, Bryan--so at least it's not just me ;-).

I thought it might be a Poser thing. I guess I'll just have to do more editing in Arena. I'll work with this some more and let you know how things go.

--Tim

Jim
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Re: ARENA and Poser

Post by Jim » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:58 pm

The foot sliding is because you have to re-target the motion of the capture skeleton, the one from Arena, onto your character. This is needed if the proportions of the two skeletons don't match exactly. If you can scale them to match, then you will have better results, or use MotionBuilder to retarget.

tvining
Posts: 126
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:24 am

Re: ARENA and Poser

Post by tvining » Sun Jun 08, 2008 6:17 pm

Do you know how this is done in Poser (or if it can be done?) I do "scale automatically" which I assume is a kind of retargeting, but do you know if there's something else I need to do?

Thanks--Tim

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