Makehuman Alpha 8 and Production Workflow Choices

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Makehuman Alpha 8 and Production Workflow Choices

Postby brkurt » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:53 pm

Hello everyone...well it seems Makehuman is about to hit the bigtime, by the looks of all the forum posters.
This leads me to a question I think needs to be addressed in some sort of mission statement (you can tell that I am a corporate type, just by the choice of terminology).

Right now, what I see mostly is an open-source workflow, using GIMP and Blender, occasionally using Inkscape, then onto Aqsis. Recently there has a been a spate of new exporters, most notably FBX. The crew can certainly add software packages to the bare-bones skeleton that I am outlining.

The core question as I see it is: how does Makehuman fit into the standard commercial workflow for a game designer, or an effects house? Is the team going to make a big effort to integrate into 3DS and Maya/Lightwave (traditional) as much as it has with Blender? Or is there going to be a big push for Unity?
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Re: Makehuman Alpha 8 and Production Workflow Choices

Postby Manuel » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:21 am

brkurt wrote:The core question as I see it is: how does Makehuman fit into the standard commercial workflow for a game designer, or an effects house? Is the team going to make a big effort to integrate into 3DS and Maya/Lightwave (traditional) as much as it has with Blender? Or is there going to be a big push for Unity?


What do you mean for "integrate" ?
We are not going to write plugin for these software. But gradually are are supporting their file formats.
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Re: Makehuman Alpha 8 and Production Workflow Choices

Postby brkurt » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:57 pm

The question I have seen coming up many times has to do with rigging and shape keys (morph targets); probably because that's where I am working right now. ;)

Will there be an exporter for Maya/Lightwave that handles IK and visemes, such as the mhx exporter does?
And for other major animation packages?

I for one would like to see a Marvelous Designer exporter, because that is the premiere fashion design program.

It would be interesting to see a map of what design and animation software is the most used, and how a new program like MH would fit into that map. :)
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Re: Makehuman Alpha 8 and Production Workflow Choices

Postby ThomasL » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:50 am

brkurt wrote:Will there be an exporter for Maya/Lightwave that handles IK and visemes, such as the mhx exporter does?
And for other major animation packages?


To do that, it takes somebody who is fluent in Maya/Lightwave, including scripting. AFAIK, there is no such person in the MH crew at the moment. It is probably best done by adding the required stuff to the fbx exporter (mainly IK, drivers and properties in Blender lingo), since that should cover all AD products. Unfortunately, the FBX SDK is not legally compatible with MH, so it has do be done with reverse engineering, which is a major effort. Especially since I never manage to find my way around Maya.
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Re: Makehuman Alpha 8 and Production Workflow Choices

Postby brkurt » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:17 pm

ThomasL wrote:
brkurt wrote:Will there be an exporter for Maya/Lightwave that handles IK and visemes, such as the mhx exporter does?
And for other major animation packages?


To do that, it takes somebody who is fluent in Maya/Lightwave, including scripting. AFAIK, there is no such person in the MH crew at the moment. It is probably best done by adding the required stuff to the fbx exporter (mainly IK, drivers and properties in Blender lingo), since that should cover all AD products. Unfortunately, the FBX SDK is not legally compatible with MH, so it has do be done with reverse engineering, which is a major effort. Especially since I never manage to find my way around Maya.


Thanks Thomas...there are a lot of people coming over from 3ds and Maya, looking at MH. Some packages will be too proprietary to be worth the trouble; others will mesh with MH.

I believe your post here is crucial to understanding the future of the MH project; it may be that there are other avenues to bring MH to the masses. Take a look at this program, for instance:

http://www.marvelousdesigner.com/

One of Blender's problems is that there just isn't enough talent to improve/perfect the Clothing Modifier; nothing like you will see in Marvelous Designer.
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Re: Makehuman Alpha 8 and Production Workflow Choices

Postby gmr » Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:21 pm

Wouldn't it be easier to modify blender's cloth simulator to get some of the main features? For example the shrinkable/expansible cloth mapping? It doesn't seem like a huge modification and along with "subdivide" and "wrap" modifiers it seems like a powerful combination, doesn't it?
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Re: Makehuman Alpha 8 and Production Workflow Choices

Postby brkurt » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:04 pm

gmr wrote:Wouldn't it be easier to modify blender's cloth simulator to get some of the main features? For example the shrinkable/expansible cloth mapping? It doesn't seem like a huge modification and along with "subdivide" and "wrap" modifiers it seems like a powerful combination, doesn't it?


I agree with you, but as far as I know, Cloth modifier development in Blender has stalled. There was about a year ago on Blender Nation a wonderful tutorial about how to tweak the modifier in 2.62 so that it 'sort-of' worked; that's close, but nothing near the algorithms in Marvelous Designer. :o

In my next post, I'll upload my Female Jedi, complete with tunic, pants, boots and cloak, to show how close one can come with subdivide and shrink wrap; the biggest problem is that real cloth 'gathers' in folds, and then releases. It's something one witnesses a thousand times a day and don't notice. Until of course, one tries to emulate with software. :(

To completely control such folding, one would need a clothing rig, either a redesign of the standard rig or a second rig, synced to the first, and shape keys to handle the folds. The problem with that is it is a 'one-of': good for a single character, but not an application suite. :?
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