Anyone care to D.A.N.C.E.?

http://www.magix.ucla.edu/dance/3897493824/

Pretty cool project at UCLA. It even saves to .BVH files and source code / Windoze binary are available.

Wouldn’t something like this be -real- cool to use in conjunction with Blender and MakeHuman?

I notice they’ve even got a ‘how-to write a plugin’ document on that page. Looks like a good idea.

Sadly, I’ve too much schoolwork to mess with it…

hooo boy! If this got added to Harkymans’ blender people script we’d be one step closer to having our own homebrewed Massive script. It I could code my way out of a paprer bag, I’d take a crack at it, but as it is all I can do is offer cookies and icecream to whoever ports this to blender for us :stuck_out_tongue:

-Trev

Anyone compiled it for windows yet?

I tried, but I get errors about missing .h’s (or .dll’s, cant remember) that dont exist in the download.

It says that the scripting language it uses is python (!.. slightly coincidental) so if someone could get it to work im sure there is a bunch of people who would want to use it…

Anyone compiled it for windows yet?

No need. The full application is already compiled, just download the “demo” application. It is fully functional and even imports and exports .bvh files.

I tried, but I get errors about missing .h’s (or .dll’s, cant remember) that dont exist in the download.

You’re right. There are three .dll’s missing (from the C++ developer’s library to be exact). I contacted the developer, Ari, to let him know. In the mean time, just write down the name of the file (it’ll take 3 tries) and Google for that file. The .dll’s are easily available on the internet and once they are copied to the Dance folder it will work. That’s what I did and I’m able to use the application now.

It says that the scripting language it uses is python (!.. slightly coincidental) so if someone could get it to work im sure there is a bunch of people who would want to use it…

That’s why I posted it here :wink: From my “non-programmer’s” viewpoint, looks like most of the application’s functions are provided by “plugins” and they all appear to be uncompiled .py files. I’m guessing this should make it fairly easy for a real programmer to look at and play with.

I got it up and running the other day once I found the missing .dll’s. It runs pretty slow on my computer, but the concept is pretty cool. I played with the “autonomous” settings, having the character walk into a ball. If the ball is light, the character pushes it aside, if it’s heavy, he falls over it. Once he falls down, he tries to get back up… not usually successfully, but it’s interesting to watch.

This might very well be the future of character animation we’re looking at here…

The license is not GPL compatible and you can’t use it ‘for commercial purposes’ (it isn’t clear whether they mean the code, the results, or both),

LetterRip

The license is not GPL compatible and you can’t use it ‘for commercial purposes’ (it isn’t clear whether they mean the code, the results, or both),

Not to split hairs with you, but that’s not exactly what it says, here’s a direct quote from the website:

DANCE is a portable, open, plug-in based, object-oriented software package for physics-based character animation. The entire DANCE system with source code is available free for noncommercial use.

Although it doesn’t appear to be open sourced, it doesn’t say that it can’t be used for commercial use, it only says that the source is available for free for non-commercial use. The way I read that is, you can’t take the code and turn around and sell it as a commercial application.

The application itself is written in C++ (or so I’m assuming since it uses the C++ .dll’s). Perhaps it may not be possible to integrate this -into- Blender, but perhaps it could be used -with- Blender.
I think if an open source developer was interested, an email to the developer might be the best first step.

I’m not pushing, just trying to let you-all know that something cool is out there :wink:

Although it doesn’t appear to be open sourced, it doesn’t say that it can’t be used for commercial use, it only says that the source is available for free for non-commercial use.

If the intent is as you suggest, then the correct wording would have been

DANCE is available free for commercial or non-commercial use, the source code is also available for non-commercial use.

With the current wording it would be only usable for non-commercial usage.

LetterRip

if we are really interested in this, perhaps we could contact the developers to get more clarification about the license.

It says that the scripting language it uses is python (!.. slightly coincidental) so if someone could get it to work im sure there is a bunch of people who would want to use it…

Not so, Python, since it can use math internally, makes it better suited for grphical programs. I know many 3D programs that use python, like Poser.

Hello all,

My name is Ari Shapiro - I am the developer of the DANCE software. Regarding the license, we at UCLA are distributing the DANCE code in the hopes that it is useful for other people in the character animation research field, as well as those who like to tinker in this area.

The license is intended for academic or non-commercial use. I’d like to give others in my field the opportunity to leverage my work. However, if someone is interested in using it for commercial use, they are welcome to contact me ([email protected]) in order to make some arrangement regarding a commercial license.

I don’t think there is any problem incorporating the code with Blender (such as a plugin) and using it with Blender, assuming that the users of that plugin respect the license. Obviously, incorporating the code into some other application and then selling that application would be termed ‘commercial’ use. If you have any specific questions, you are welcome to contact me directly.

Ari Shapiro
PhD Candidate
UCLA
http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~ashapiro

Anybody interested in making a plugin now :smiley: pretty please?

I’ve only toyed with the DANCE demo a small bit and I haven’t yet tried to do anything “functional” with it yet. But from what I’ve seen, I think you can start using it right now. It looks like once you’ve set up a scene, you can have the “actor” play his part and capture the motion info in a .bvh file. Assuming your skeleton is set up correctly, you could then bring in that .bvh file into Blender and use that in your animation.

Another possible use for this would be with the Blender Game Engine. If this character and physics could be integrated into Blender, you’d have animated characters that would not only interact with other characters, but also their environment.

I’m not a programmer, and I’m sure this would be pretty tough to accomplish, but I think the -wow- factor is pretty high :wink:

The DANCE demo is only meant to show the use of physical simulation and autonomous control. The standard DANCE software package gives you the ability to write such controllers for your characters. Unfortunately, the system isn’t at the point where it is very easy for a non-programmer to get all this functionality. if you want to create some ragdolls and throw objects at them, you can do that easily right now.

If I have some time, I’ll create some demos that make it easier to load in motion capture, animate the characters, then physically interact with the environment.

Regards,

Ari Shapiro
http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~ashapiro

That would be -very- cool Ari. Thanks!

Yeah, that would be awesome! What do I have to do to get this running on OSX?

You’d have to port the software to OS X first. On the upside, all of the libraries in use are cross-platform (FLTK, ODE, OpenGL) and there is very little windows-specific code (some timer events, not much else). In the past, we have ported the DANCE application to Linux, but we haven’t maintained that version for awhile so it doesn’t work anymore. The porting effort isn’t going to require a major rewrite - only time and effort. If anyone wants to volunteer for such an effort, I’ll be glad to offer technical support to do this.

Regards,

Ari Shapiro

Quite Impressive! :slight_smile:

If only I had any skills in this area whatsoever I’d volunteer, but I know nothing about coding :-/