Animation export and motion transfer
From iPiSoft Wiki
Use “File->Export Animation” menu item to export all animation frames from within Region of Interest.
To export animation for specific take, right-click on take and select “Export Animation” item from pop-up menu.
Default iPi Character Rig
The default skeleton in iPi Studio is optimized for markerless motion capture. It may or may not be suitable as a skeleton for your character. Default iPi skeleton in T-pose has non-zero rotations for all joints. Please note that default iPi skeleton with zero rotations does not represent a meaningful pose and looks like a random pile of bones.
By default iPi Studio exports a T-pose (or a reasonable default pose for custom rig after motion transfer) in the first frame of animation. In case when it is not desired switch off "Export T-pose in first frame" checkbox.
Motion Transfer and Custom Rigs
iPi Studio has integrated motion transfer technology. You can import your character into iPi Studio via “File->Import Target Character” menu item and your motion will be transferred to your character. You may need to assign bone mappings on the “Export” tab for motion transfer to work correctly. You can save your motion transfer profile to XML file for future use. iPi Studio has pre-configured motion transfer profiles for many popular rigs (see below). If you export animation to format different from format your target character was imported in, only rig will be exported. If you use the same format for export, skin will be exported as well.
Use the “Export Animation for MotionBuilder” menu item to export your motion in MotionBuilder-friendly BVH format. MotionBuilder-friendly skeleton in T-pose has zero rotations for all joints, with bone names consistent with MotionBuilder conventions. This format may also be convenient for use with other apps like Blender.
3D MAX Biped
Use the “Export Animation for 3D MAX” menu item to export your motion in 3D MAX-friendly BVH format.
Create a Biped character in 3D MAX (“Create->Systems->Biped”). Go to “Motion” tab. Click “Motion Capture” button and import your BVH file.
Our user Cra0kalo created an example Valve Biped rig for use with 3D MAX. It may be useful if you work with Valve Source Engine characters.
Latest versions of Maya (starting with Maya 2011) have a powerful biped animation subsystem called "HumanIK". Animations exported from iPiStudio in MotionBuilder-friendly format (the “Export Animation for MotionBuilder” menu item) should work fine with Maya 2011 and HumanIK. The following video tutorials can be helpful:
- Maya HumanIK Mocap retarget with iPi Mocap Studio, by Wes McDermott
- Non-Destructive Live Retargeting — Maya 2011 New Features
- Motion Capture Workflow With Maya 2011
- Humanik Maya 2012 Part 6
For older versions of Maya please see the #Motion Transfer and Custom Rigs section. Recommended format for import/export with older versions of Maya is FBX.
iPi Studio supports FBX format for import/export of animations and characters. By default, iPiStudio exports animations in FBX 6.0 format using FBX SDK 2012. If your target character is in FBX 7.0 or newer format, iPiStudio will export retargeted animation in FBX 2012 format.
Some applications do not use latest FBX SDK and may have problems importing newer version FBX files. In case of problems, your can use Autodesk's free FBX Converter to convert your animation file to appropriate FBX version.
iPi Studio supports COLLADA format for import/export of animations and characters. Current version of iPi Studio exports COLLADA animations as matrices. In case if you encounter incompatibilities with other applications' implementation of COLLADA format, we recommend using Autodesk's free FBX Converter to convert your data between FBX and COLLADA formats. FBX is known to be more universally supported in many 3D graphics packages.
Recommended format for importing target characters from LightWave to iPi Studio is FBX. Recommended format for bringing animations from iPi Studio to LightWave is BVH or FBX.
Our user Eric Cosky published a tutorial on using iPiStudio with SoftImage|XSI:
Export your poser character in T-pose in BVH format (File->Export). Import your Poser character skeleton into iPi Studio (File->Import Target Character). Your animation will be transferred to your Poser character. Now you can use File->Export Animation to export your animation in BVH format for Poser.
Poser 8 has a bug with incorrect wrists animation import. The bug can be reproduced as follows: export Poser 8 character in T-pose in BVH format; import your character back into Poser 8; note how wrists are twisted unnaturally as the result.
A workaround for wrists bug is to chop off wrists from your Poser 8 skeleton (for instance using BVHacker) before importing Poser 8 target character into iPi Studio. Missing wrists should not cause any problems during motion transfer in iPi Studio if your BVH file is edited correctly. Poser will ignore missing wrists when importing resulting motion so the resulting motion will look right in Poser (wrists in default pose as expected).
The workflow for DAZ 3D is very similar to Poser. Import your DAZ 3D character skeleton into iPi Studio (File->Import Target Character). Your animation will be transferred to your DAZ 3D character. Now you can use File->Export Animation to export your animation in BVH format for DAZ 3D.
IMPORTANT: You can use DAZ character in COLLADA (.dae) format for preview, but it is strongly recommended that you use DAZ character in BVH format for motion transfer. DAZ3D has a problem with COLLADA (.dae) format: DAZ3D Studio does not export all bones into COLLADA (.dae). In particular, the following bones are not exported: eyeBrow, bodyMorphs. DAZ3D Studio does not use bone names when importing motions; instead, DAZ3D Studio just takes rotations from the list of angles as though it was a flat list with exactly the same positions as in DAZ3D internal skeleton. As the result, when you transfer the motion to a COLLADA character and import it back into DAZ3D, the motion will look wrong. iPiStudio displays a warning about this. To avoid this problem, import your DAZ target character in BVH format - DAZ3D Studio is known to export characters in BVH format correctly (with all bones).
You can improve accuracy of motion transfer by doing some additional preparation of your DAZ 3D skeleton in BVH format. For DAZ 3D Michael 4.0 and similar characters, you may need to clamp thigh joint rotation to zero to avoid unnatural leg bending. For DAZ 3D Victoria 4.0, you may need to adjust foot joint rotation to change the default “high heels“ foot pose to a more natural foot pose.
Current version of iPi Studio can only export animation in iClone-compatible BVH format. The iMotion format is not supported as of yet. That means you will need iClone PRO to be able to import the motion into iClone. Standard and EX versions of iClone do not have BVH Converter and therefore cannot import BVH files.
Workflow for iClone is straightforward. Export your animation using “Export Animation for iClone” menu item. Go to Animation tab in iClone and launch BVH Converter. Import your BVH file with Default profile, click “Convert” and save the resulting animation in iMotion format. Now your animation can be applied to iClone characters.
iClone expects an animation sampled at 15 frames per seconds. For other frame rates, you may need to create a custom BVH Converter profile by copying Default profile and editing “Frame Rate” setting.
BVH Converted in iClone 4 has a bug that causes distortion of legs animation. iPi Studio exports an iClone-optimized BVH correctly as can be verified by reviewing exported BVH motion in BVHacker or MotionBuilder or other third-party application. No workaround is known. We recommend that you contact iClone developers about this bug as it is out of control of iPi Soft.
Valve Source Engine SMD
Import .smd file for your Valve Source Engine character into iPi Studio via “File->Import Target Character” menu item. Your animation will be transferred to your character. Now you can use File->Export Animation to export your animation in Valve Source Engine SMD format.
Our user Cra0kalo created an example Valve Biped rig for use with 3D MAX. It may be useful if you wish to apply more then one capture through MotionBuilder or edit the custom keyframes in MAX.
Valve Source Filmmaker
First, you need to import your character (or its skeleton) into iPi Mocap Studio, for motion transfer.
There are currently 3 ways of doing this:
- You can import an animation DMX (in default pose) into iPi Mocap Studio. Since it has a skeleton, it should be enough for motion transfer. To create an animation DMX with default pose, you can add your character to your scene in Source Filmmaker and export DMX for corresponding animation node:
- open "Animation Set Editor Tab";
- click "+" -> "Create Animation Set for New Model";
- choose a model and click "Open";
- export animation for your model, in ASCII DMX format;
- There is a checkbox named Ascii in the top area of the export dialog.
- Alternatively, you can just import an SMD file with your character into iPi Mocap Studio. For example, SMD files for all Team Fortress 2 characters can be found in your SDK in a location similar to the following (you need to have Source SDK installed): C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\<your steam name>\sourcesdk_content\tf\modelsrc\player\pyro\parts\smd\pyro_model.smd).
- If you created a custom character in Maya, you should be able to export it in DMX model fromat. (Please see Valve documentation on how to do this).
Then you can import your model DMX into iPi Mocap Studio. Current version of iPi Mocap Studio cannot display character skin, but it should display the skeleton. Skeleton should be enough for motion transfer.
To export animation in DMX, you should just use "General..." export menu item in iPi Mocap Studio and choose DMX from the list of supported formats. You may also want to uncheck "Export T-pose in first frame" option on the "Export" tab in iPi Mocap Studio.
Now you can import your animation into Source Filmmaker. There will be some warnings about missing channels for face bones but you can safely ignore them.
Old way involving Maya
This was used until iPi Mocap Studio got DMX support. And still may be useful in case of any troubles with DMX. Please see the following video tutorial series:
iPiStudio can export animations in Blender-friendly BVH format (File->Export animation for Blender).
If you have experience with Cinema4D please help to expand this Wiki by posting Cinema4D import/export tips to Community Tutorials section of our user forum.
iPi Studio supports importing of skinned Evolver characters in COLLADA or FBX format. Import your Evolver character skeleton into iPi Studio (File->Import Target Character). Your animation will be retargeted to your Evolver character. Now you can use File->Export Animation to export your animation.
Evolver offers several different skeletons for Evolver characters. Here is an example motion transfer profile for Evolver "Gaming" skeleton: evolver_game.profile.xml
Import your Second Life character skeleton into iPi Studio (File->Import Target Character). Your animation will be transferred to your Second Life character. Now you can use File->Export Animation to export your animation in BVH format for Second Life.
See the discussion on our Forum for additional details: http://www.ipisoft.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&p=7845
Please see our user forum for a discussion of animation import/export for Massive:
Please see the following video tutorial on how to use iPi Studio with IKinema WebAnimate:
Please see the following video tutorial on how to use iPi Studio with Jimmy|Rig Pro: