It’s directly aimed at providing faster more cost effective workflows for individuals and studios in order to financially protect those who are dealing with the current covid 19 pandemic, and in the future the time and money saving theme would continue.
I’m not going to be bothering with what is EASY, there are enough of those.
Instead I’ll show you the easiest ways to do something HARD.
For now, all of this will depend how the first tutorial is received:
I want to show you first off how you can take the entire mixamo animation library from adobe, and make your own editable rigify animation library by baking animation directly to your control bones.
This will teach you scene management, stock asset production, rigging basics, animation management, as well as the principles of modular design. Best of all, your prize will be all your favorite mixamo animations in rigify format for hundreds of hours saved on future projects.
(Adobe deserves some credit for this)
What you’ll need:
Blender 2.83 (Free)
Rigify (Free, comes with Blender)
A sign-in for Adobe CC (free, costing some privacy)
If this sounds good to you, give us a like so I know whether it’s worth it. If you have any ideas for the first episode, have some tips or tricks or just want to see useful things like this in general, be sure reply and subscribe to receive updates on this thread on where the first video will be found.
Hey guys, part 1 of the tutorial is still in progress, sorry about how slow I’m moving. I don’t have an official channel just yet, but simply stay subscribed here and I will keep you in the loop when it’s made. I’ll try to wrap up what I have a bit faster. I’m trying to ensure that the tutorials have all the theory as well as the practice required to make sure everyone not only knows what to do, but why they are doing it.
What I have so far:
I’m currently working on part 1 which will summarize the entire process. In part 1 you’ll be shown how to grab large free animation sets from mixamo, where you can also get free character art, how to import these actions with minimal issues. We’ll wrap up by comparing the rigify and mixamo rig to have an understanding of how in part 2 we can start to make the mixamo rig drive the actions of the rigify rig. By the end of the tutorial you’ll already have a blend file with a list of mixamo actions in it.
-Intro script complete
-half of the rest of part 1’s overall script
-Most of the require footage is recorded for part 1
-Some infographic to explain where stock footage usually comes in between budget, time allocation and quality control.
I’ll be voicing this along side my wife who is a professional voice over artist. I’m excited.
That’s pretty much all I have to report at the moment. Thanks for commenting, this motivates me to work faster to complete this for you.
I like your approach! There are tons of tutorials that are basically just a “I press this button and then I press that button”, but it can’t give understanding of the global principles.
However I have one question. Is your workflow based on default mixamo bots and their rigs? I mean I’m a little worried adobe may decide to close free access to Mixamo library at any time. So maybe I should start to download animations. Or for your workflow it is essential to make and upload to mixamo some custom made rig and then download all the animations with this rig instead of mixamo default one?
I thought about people who don’t have access to mixamo. My hope is to include the whole world on having this kind of technology no matter their economic status or political/socio-economic background. I’ll even be covering what to do for those who might be using blender in China, as Chinese users have to find Maximo animation elsewhere due to current licensing restrictions. I want to make a big impact for people who have a good dream that their status won’t provide them.
So I’ll be making sure that anyone who follows my tutorial, has exactly the right content to follow along, in respect of adobe’s legal requirements (of which there aren’t as many as you might think).
By the end of the series, it’s my ultimate ambition to help all viewers know how to apply this same theory to other rigs. It’s just that Maximo is a perfect example to focus on for it’s large animation library.
I think it’s really fun making your character instantly do the gandam style for the 50th time. Call me old fashion haha.
If adobe retract rights on it, I will reluctantly convert the format of my tutorial series to an opensource library… I hope it does not come to that, Mixamo is a really nice collection. At any rate, my series might be less likely to be taken down simply due to how it could make Adobe look like EPIC in terms of charity focus, and brand awareness.
It’s kind of essential to appeal to Adobe, but this is to empower the masses to create without drawback.
My payment for selling out is to help everyone, so I’m ok with it.
I need this for yester-date?
Thank you for posting your view about this workflow. Indeed this is one of the hardest thing to tackle for any level of artist and studios.
Definitely an awesome idea.
The only suggestion is: WHERE IS THE URL to subscribe to something? a website, twitter, youtube account?
I must admit, I’m currently swamped with cg art to complete in my work life, but working really hard to at least keep in touch here with you guys. On the bright side, being busy with CG work is nice practice in the meantime.
But It’s been asked of me a few times now, I’ll just go ahead and create the youtube channel so you can just subscribe there if you. Keep an eye on this reply, I’ll update with an edit to show that it’s set up and ready to subscribe to.
AND HERE IT IS! It’s a little basic for now sorry guys. I have a bit more to do today on my main work, then I can jump back into that first video. I’m way more keen to get that done that to make my channel look nice… That can come later I think
I’m very interested in your course. I too had spent some time trying to make a good unified workflow to combine different character creation, rigging, export, and animation tools.
I have the whole mixamo library downloaded in many different formats thanks to the work of others, but the mixamo library is always changing… old formats are not working so well in some cases…while for example the best for me for retargeting is the bvh format which is not available anymore.
Rigify has it’s good points, nice rig, free and there are some bridge with character creator tools (MB lab, DAZ for example have addons for rigify conversion). Since I’m mostly interested to send the animations (after tweaking) to game engine i find this tool very useful and suggest that you take a look:
Ok I just realized that the author of this addon is also Simon…could it be you or an other? anyway this is an upgraded version of this script:
What they do is making an export to game engine much easier by striping the control bones by creating a new rig from the deform bones and rebaking the animation to the newly created rig. There are also useful options and the possiblity to change which bones gets exported, and the hiearchy of bones can be changed in this new rig (which was a bit strange when you tried to export simply by clicking only deform bones in rigify export). This intermediate rig was worked for me to retarget bvh animations on it in blender. (I couldn’t do it on the full rigify rig).
Now the retarget tool is coming from autorig pro… which is a paid addon and does almost the same as rigify, but more, i own that tool and i could recommend it, but i would still use rigify, since as I said many character creator has cool bridge with it.
It’s a different Simon, although that’s a cool addon. My tutorials should help given what you’ve shown me. I think the techniques I go over will be valid for you, as the final animation should work on most recent versions of rigify.
Also a note to people waiting on the video, I am SOOO close to releasing part 1.
If anyone would like to see some work in progress snapshots, feel free to show your interest. Otherwise, It’s almost done.
Thanks David. Excellent! I’m humbled that you’ll check it out given your background of skills, and will apreciate any input once I’ve got more to show.
Just an update for everyone;
I’ve just completed all the footage I think I need for part one. I had a free day today and the rest of the week is my regular CG dayjob. However I’ll try to squeeze as much editing in as possible.
I got up to the part where I get both the rigs to adapt just a little to compensate to the slight differences in rigs. Just before the constraining process. I’d say I’m about 25% through editing this first episode and I should have the intro script soon.
I’ve found someone to narrate my video. Fun fact, she’s she’s also a metal vocalist.
I apreciate everyone’s patience! I’m so glad to have this much interest on this project. I’ve worked really hard today on this and I’ll continue to do my best. I want my video to convey how proffesional working with Blender can be. To that end, It may be another week to ensure first time polish, I doubt 2 weeks is need, but we’ll see. But above all, it HAS to make the Blender community look as cool as they are.
And to be completly honest, this is my first tutorial, so it’s a good thing I’m not rushing it
I did try to retarget animations to control bones, but it causes whole bunch of problems, feet slide for example. One way to fix it -in theory- to use the ik control bones, but it’s not easy… need to track the pole somehow… autorig pro has some options for this, but never worked for me well enough.
So I thought if I needed retargeting i’d do it on the deform bones (see the script I posted above), and the edit can be done by an animation layer system (Blender has no anim layers, but similar solutions exist).
So i’m interested to see your solution.
I can’t check it now, but it’s in a thousand range. There are ofc variations that you might need ( root motion or in-place version for example). I think if you do a google search you may find scripts that download them automaticly, but it takes quite a lot of time… and then you still don’t have the thumbnail which is useful.
Hey mzprox, I too had trouble with that the first time. Part of my first tutorial compares the feet in mixamo and rigify amongst other things. I never had to worry about IK/FK stuff until I either had to edit the animations to place feet etc. Then you simply flick IK on in rigify controls, and maybe have it driven by his foot’s proximity to the ground. Some minor tweaks are par for the course. We’ll prepare the mixamo rig to behave in tandem with the rigify rig by modifying it slightly, only enough to allow rigify to meet it the rest of the way. So we’ll get it FAIRLY close, hopefully close enough to perfect.
Perhaps a good mindset is to think of the driving rig as replacing the functionality of an animator. So what ever an animator might want to do to the rigify rig, you have to enable that via the mixamo rig’s actions.
Also on the topic of batch download mixamo animations;
There are several places you can get large portions of mixamo animation at once legally. Off of the mixamo site there are packs of up to 60 actions. There are also some packs for free in the unreal store.
Honestly, I think Adobe like most free stock sites; prefer when you download what you need, when you need it. That’s my official statement.
My non-official statement is this: Google and DuckDuckGo are your friends
Since I’m taking so long I figured it was time for another update, this time I’ll be showing off a part of the video intro.
I’ll be using it to explain how free stock art fits in between quality, budget and speed of production.
So many other artists will tell you that if there’s none of these, that you can’t go through with the job. Well part of my mission on this video is to challenge that concept by suggesting that there IS an acceptable comprimise between the infamous triad of production priority.
BTW! what you saw above is a VP9 WEBM video, output from Blender. See how well it embeds here on the forum? Thanks google