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18/03/2016 18:27:25

theotherguy
theotherguy
Posts: 176
I had an interesting conversation with a programmer the other day, I described Muvizu and he was impressed, he called it a 'virtual machine' and opined that if it (or something quite like it) wasn't part of a big-time animators toolkit right now, it would be in the near future.

He listened with bemusement to my gripes about what the various characters couldn't do, he seemed to believe that the software's 'heavy lifting' phase was essentially done, and that modifying character actions etc. would be a lot of work. "It's finished, it's complete, it works." he insisted. "Learn to work-around it's limitations." he added somewhat unnecessarily. This is what I, and many others, have been doing.

Muvizu is an incredible deal for the money and I'm pretty darn happy to have something you can tell a story (effectively) with. I'm wondering though if some things are much more do-able than other things. For instance, I have problems with the move controls, would it be possible to effect a change that would allow one to use the arrow keys or the W-A-S-D keys? To get more of an idea of what can (realistically) be done would be a real blessing.
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18/03/2016 18:53:07

MrDrWho13Muvizu mogulExperimental user
MrDrWho13
Posts: 2221
There are new features coming soon. (I'm not sure what, but Muvizu seems pretty active right now)
That's an interesting discussion, although I'm not exactly sure what he meant by the "heavy lifting phase".
From what I understand, actions have to be painstakingly created, frame by frame, in several pieces of software before they're anywhere close to what we can use in Muvizu. The same goes for allowing users to create new characters, which would be a massive headache for the Muvizu devs. (They have to make the skeletons with rotation points, textures, fluid materials, and then add all the actions, walk cycles etc - you get the picture)
What movement are you talking about? I'm pretty sure you can use WASD to move around the skydome and to animate camera movement, but I'm not sure about anything else.
edited by MrDrWho13 on 18/03/2016
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18/03/2016 20:31:20

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
MrDrWho13 wrote:
There are new features coming soon. (I'm not sure what, but Muvizu seems pretty active right now)


now there's a teaser statement if ever there was one!!

It's been my experience with other software companies that when the users don't bombard the developers with random suggestions and let them develop their plan for the product, what they come up with tends to be better than what people were asking for. (the range of possibility is nearly endless, and spreading focus in too many directions inhibits development of the big picture)

My guess is that the things we've seen lately are hints of what's to come:

1) The store sets the stage for new content... hopefully LOTS of it... something I'm sure would be well received. An influx of high quality new content would generate income for the company, and make the product interesting to a wider audience. Plus, the existing user base also likes new content.

2) Keyframes set the stage for a LOT of new timeline potential, depending on how it is implemented.

3) The 360 view sort of baffles me... in a video paradigm where I want to control the views, I don't understand why it would be desirable to let the viewer scroll away from the scene I want them to see. But they didn't go to that trouble for nothing, so I figure its part of a plan. Since unreal is a game engine, and 360 view makes more sense in a game environment than in a movie environment, maybe they're planning features that make MUVIZU more relevant in the world of game development.

If nothing at all ever changes, I'll be happy with Muvizu for quite a while. One thing is for sure: they have an amazing product, one that merits the attention, time and resources to expand its market.
edited by PatMarrNC on 18/03/2016
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18/03/2016 22:56:21

mrmuviz
mrmuviz
Posts: 51
Nicely put Pat.

Hesh
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19/03/2016 03:19:15

jgourlay
jgourlay
Posts: 21
From muvizueducation.com the following seems fairly recent (i.e. after the Asian character pack was released) and suggests the education market is a big driver of new features.

A few highlights:


  • Now in response to requests from schools, colleges and universities we will be adding carefully designed educational content to it!
  • There will be two themes to the educational packs: Support for curriculum subject areas, and Interesting historical or cultural periods.
  • The first education specific pack has now been released! This is a curriculum support pack for Chemistry.
  • The first Asian set will soon be followed by more Indian, African-American and Caucasian characters.
  • Now these new characters are available we are going to give you all sorts of ways to dress them up with clothing packs. Many Historical and culturan styles will be made available.

edited by jgourlay on 19/03/2016
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19/03/2016 03:44:46

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
jgourlay wrote:
From muvizueducation.com the following seems fairly recent (i.e. after the Asian character pack was released) and suggests the education market is a big driver of new features.

A few highlights:


  • Now in response to requests from schools, colleges and universities we will be adding carefully designed educational content to it!
  • There will be two themes to the educational packs: Support for curriculum subject areas, and Interesting historical or cultural periods.
  • The first education specific pack has now been released! This is a curriculum support pack for Chemistry.
  • The first Asian set will soon be followed by more Indian, African-American and Caucasian characters.
  • Now these new characters are available we are going to give you all sorts of ways to dress them up with clothing packs. Many Historical and culturan styles will be made available.

edited by jgourlay on 19/03/2016


now that makes sense! Thanks for that post! (I like the part about giving us more ethnic character groups and ways to dress them up!)
That not only gives them an inroad to education-based customers, but the historical emphasis also provides a lot for the storytellers among us to work with!
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19/03/2016 03:47:34

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
for the biology curricula, we'll need quadrapeds. Just sayin'. ;-)

And if one of them happens to be a dragon, all the better
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19/03/2016 17:02:01

theotherguy
theotherguy
Posts: 176
Adding 'packs' to make characters look different and making different props is fine. I would be more interested in things that would make the workflow smoother, the arrow key and W-A-S-D business I was describing was in regards to the 'Direct Character Movement' tool.
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22/03/2016 02:03:34

braj
braj
Posts: 286
Regarding the heavy lifting, I would say that is in using the game engine for animation. They can always get new content in, I think that is just a manhours issue, probably as more content gets available, it will be more and more attractive to their target audience: education, which I think it perfect, and hopefully they can get more staff to create more content. I do think they would do well to court some of the artists on the Unity store to market their models customized for Muvizu, but I dunno, maybe they want to do it all, which is understandable when you are trying to create a cohesive product.

I'm working in Poser a lot and even the limited OpenGL preview rendering takes so much more time than Muvizu's renderer. Forget about rendering with depth of field effects, it literally requires a server farm. I really hope Muvizu gets to the point we can import FBX characters and animations because the biggest draw for me is the very fast rendering capacity. Maybe a Pro version is in order perhaps?
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22/03/2016 05:58:39

theotherguy
theotherguy
Posts: 176
I think Muvizu, with a game engine doing the heavy lifting, is that things the characters do are things they would do in the context of a game. If a game developer wants to pony up the money to make characters do more (mundane) things, they will. I think the characters in Muvizu have to be rigged a certain way to work, I'm not sure if outsiders could do that.

The programmer I spoke to was leery of looking 'under the hood' and to get someone who really understood what was going on, and how to make things that would work in Muvizu, aside from simple FBX objects, would take some doing.

I've tried Poser and given up on it.
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22/03/2016 06:28:48

braj
braj
Posts: 286
They are just animation clips that get played when you invoke them, there is no reason more subtle things couldn't be added, like more walk cycle styles than fast and walk. I want someone walking sad, I want old man walks, fat people walks, things that can make more distinct characters. It would be great if motion capture files could somehow be used in the future, then when you assign actions to keys, you just select something like 'load custom action' and import the file, then you can invoke with a 9key press like other actions. Maybe kinect support (I'm going to get one to use in Poser eventually, imagine that with Muvizu, that would be way cool). MAybe this is all way beyond the scope of what is planned though, but a girl can dream.
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22/03/2016 17:06:09

theotherguy
theotherguy
Posts: 176
"They are just animation clips that get played when you invoke them" Um, no, I wish it were true. They are behaviors that are programmed into the characters bones, muscles, 'DNA' if you like. That is why newer characters have their own distinct movements (unfortunately sometimes) and why we won't see many new ones.
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22/03/2016 19:38:01

blickfang
blickfang
Posts: 106
theotherguy wrote:
That is why newer characters have their own distinct movements (unfortunately sometimes) and why we won't see many new ones.


I am not so sure I subscribe to that. I could be mistaken, but I thought there were some core characters that shared a lot of the same resources. All you would have to do is rig your new character and link it to the libraries of said resources and you're good to go. I am hoping some one won't tell me it isn't that easy..........
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    22/03/2016 20:48:20

    braj
    braj
    Posts: 286
    I'm thinking they could even just change up some of the model geometry, give some new head shapes, body shapes, that wouldn't be hard at all minutes with the mesh and I bet you could keep it from breaking anything.
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    23/03/2016 01:56:57

    theotherguy
    theotherguy
    Posts: 176
    The 'stock' characters share the most, and have the widest range of characteristics. The (seemingly) more elaborate new characters are more directed to certain kinds of behavior, and, as I learned to my dismay - can't wear roller-skates!

    I imagine if there was enough demand they could modify existing models to look like whatever. As someone who applies image-maps onto them, they work.

    The process for inserting a camera overlay for instance, is convoluted, if you're putting your muvizu characters in the real world, or a video game world, overlays are critical and they should be wayyyyyyy easier to use and reuse.
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