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26/09/2014 09:34:08

DreekoMuvizu mogulExperimental user
Dreeko
Posts: 1258
As Iclone becomes more user friendly and cheekily borrows (so it seems) a certain way of animating and character building from Muvizu, (see video below) what can Digimania do to make Muvizu stand out as a realistic option against Iclone's ever growing envious list of features?

iClone Plug-in - Avatar Toolkit 2 & Toon Maker:


I personally have a number of ideas to chuck at it but I'd like to hear what the forum thinks (I'd like to hear what muvizu HQ thinks too incidentally but I doubt they'll say much)

D
edited by Dreeko on 26/09/2014
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26/09/2014 10:20:45

toonaramaMuvizu mogulExperimental user
toonarama
Posts: 661
Dreeko
Iclone is way ahead of Muvizu in what it can provide partly because it has a load more functionality but mainly because you can import any rigged character, prop or animation file as long as you also have 3dxchange.

What Reallusion have done is quite clever in that they have built a very powerful and feature-laden engine but kept the content separate. So the functionality at your disposal is immense but you need extra content/assets.

Animating with Iclone costs a significant amount of money as you need the pro versions of both Iclone and 3dxchange and then will need to buy a lot of additional content.

Can Muvizu compete?

Out of the box (and significantly cheaper) you have something you can use immediately (albeit with its limitations) without any extra purchase - so on that basis yes.

But to really compete I think it will have to open itself up so that characters/animations/props can be imported and they could do this the same way as Reallusion by introducing a separate conversion process. You would probably also need some method of adjusting the characters within Muvizu so that the animations "fitted" the characters.
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26/09/2014 11:13:55

DreekoMuvizu mogulExperimental user
Dreeko
Posts: 1258
Interesting,

I'm aware of the asset/program separation of iclone and the financial implications and have also thought that for muvizu to have a future something similar should be put in place but not something which makes it simply a poor copy of iclone as this would just allow for more direct comparisons between the two and I'm afraid Muvizu can't compete when stacked against iclone.

It needs to set itself apart from the crowd. So what could they add which the competition hasn't?
What could they put in that would allow us to say "Yes, iclone can do all that but it can't do this!"


D
edited by Dreeko on 26/09/2014
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26/09/2014 12:55:16

toonaramaMuvizu mogulExperimental user
toonarama
Posts: 661
Dreeko

I see more what you're asking now.

Well it's probably impossible, but one thing iclone cannot do is have the characters squash/stretch/deform like in old-style animations.

Also (and in line with the mood based approach) it would be good if the visemes more closely matched the characters mood.

Other than that, Muvizu has the great advantage of ease of use, but as we know this is what holds it back too.

Toonarama
edited by toonarama on 26/09/2014
edited by toonarama on 26/09/2014
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26/09/2014 19:26:59

ziggy72Muvizu mogulExperimental user
ziggy72
Posts: 1988
Dreeko, I'd actually be happy for Muvizu to evolve into an iclone...clone, even a poor one, because it'd still give us about a 100 times more freedom than we currently have (Action-wise, at the very least). Nice video though. Also, controlling how much the character's eye opens by actually pulling down their 'eyelid' from the top of the direction ball? That's a nice, intuitive implementation of the concept, I think. Looks alright, that iclone...
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27/09/2014 07:36:59

oziabla
oziabla
Posts: 59
Indeed, Iclone looks tempting.

Flexibility is a weakness at times, having all that extra control over iClone has lead to some utterly awful animations (I just spent 30 mins in the user gallery).

The rigid format of Muvizu at least makes everything have a basic level of quality. (Sure it gets blase to those of us who see it regularly, but try to remember the impact when you first looked at it).

On the other hand, iClone/Reallusion are clearly putting effort into developing their product...
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27/09/2014 12:33:12

fazz68
fazz68
(Account inactive)
Posts: 767
being able to make my own actions whether through some sort of puppeteering and/or mocap would suit me fine. that is really the only thing that gives me problems. no actions for what i need. theres only so much you can do with whats there and im running out of ways to make do. importing new characters doesnt really bother me as i tend to use only the original potato heads anyway and with a bit of creativity you can make all sorts of weird and wonderful things with attachments.

although having a few animals with four legs would be nice Big Grin
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27/09/2014 15:11:33

urbanlamb
urbanlamb
(Account inactive)
Posts: 1796
Inverse Kinematics

iclone has it

muvizu does not

It makes a huge huge difference. Now if you look at the new renderdigiwatsit (this is why i call it because i can never get the name right) they have set themselves up to allow it. If people want this ability i would suggest they download the renderdigitwatsit or .. there is always iclone
edited by urbanlamb on 27/09/2014
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27/09/2014 21:24:34

fazz68
fazz68
(Account inactive)
Posts: 767
whether its built into muvizu or not makes no odds. there is a way of making animations for muvizu. open up that doorway for us. we know they were experimenting with it because of the error messages that would appear on fbx files. if it means learning blender or whatever to make the animations then so be it. you know me im willing to learn new things.
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27/09/2014 22:50:34

urbanlamb
urbanlamb
(Account inactive)
Posts: 1796
Yeah you would have to make animations outside of muvizu and port them in muvizu characters dont work on the IK principle. So all that pupeteering we see in iclone can't happen. I dont know if they can make IK characters or if that tech is not a part of muvizu. However you have to consider they have a second product now and they both do 3D so creating two products that are in direct competition with each other probably isn't going to be something they do.

Since rederdigiwatsits allows for importing of fbx animations I dont know if they would add such a thing to muvizu (not without a price tag anyhow) because it would compete with its other newer product. Renderdigiwatsits which is essentially from what I have looked at and seen "muvizu pro".
edited by urbanlamb on 27/09/2014
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29/09/2014 13:16:34

ukBertyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
ukBerty
Posts: 976
I'm with Fazz on this one. Muvizu allows me to do everything I need except import my own animations. Everything else is bug fixes and to make things more usable.

It's true that Muvizu characters cannot act. You cannot convey anything even slightly subtle - it's all in the actor's voice over - but I have come to terms with that. However I have not seen an iClone movie where the animated characters are acting either (Cue everyone sending me links demonstrating just that very thing !)
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29/09/2014 14:32:54

toonaramaMuvizu mogulExperimental user
toonarama
Posts: 661
I agree that the ability to import animations is the most important feature required.
And, taking up the gauntlet, you can make Iclone characters act as you can adjust any part of the body/face manually; it is just that most people choose not to bother as it significantly adds to the time involved.

By the way if anyone is thinking of buying Iclone and has $200 dollars to spare - now is a very good time. if you buy $200 worth of content you will get the soon-to-be-released iclone 6 Pro for free.
edited by toonarama on 29/09/2014
edited by toonarama on 29/09/2014
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29/09/2014 16:22:18

ukBertyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
ukBerty
Posts: 976
Toonarama -I understand the principle in iClone - I've just never seen it actually done !
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29/09/2014 19:19:10

toonaramaMuvizu mogulExperimental user
toonarama
Posts: 661
Perhaps what could be considered is the development of a separate conversion process which accepted motions/character/props in standard external formats and could be used to convert them into assets which can be used within Muvizu. Perhaps this could be a cut down version of the renderdm product.
This would perform the same function as 3dxchange does for iclone and would isolate the main program from the conversion process. At the same time the sometimes flaky imporr functionality could be removed from Muvizu itself.
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30/09/2014 01:59:13

oziabla
oziabla
Posts: 59
ukBerty wrote:

It's true that Muvizu characters cannot act. You cannot convey anything even slightly subtle


And the same could be said for the Muppets. They managed to do OK

Well said (to your entire post, not just the quoted line above).
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05/11/2014 09:54:35

DreekoMuvizu mogulExperimental user
Dreeko
Posts: 1258
Another video posted to spark discussion on where we would like to see improvements with Muvizu. iClone 6 Sneak Peek:


Some amazing things shown in the video above. What would you like to see in a Muvizu sneak peek video?


D
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05/11/2014 11:59:33

DanimalMuvizu mogulExperimental user
Danimal
Posts: 477
Those preview videos are tempting, but the proof is in the pudding. In general, the actual products fall well short of that mark. There's a distinct effort to try and make the end product more realistic, and it doesn't look that way at all.

For me, what sold me on Muvizu was its cartoony look. I love the original characters and more or less hate the newer ones because there's more of an attempt to look realistic rather than silly and fun.

More actions, more variety in the characters' assets would be Muvizu's key. Show people that it not only makes some pretty cool cartoons, but it's FUN. Oh yeah, and what you need is built in, you don't have to buy every single piece of your animation like in iClone. And if there's something you need, this community is willing to build and post it, another of Muvizu's strong points.

It's fun, it's simple, and there's a sense of belonging. That's what Muvizu has that others don't.

(OK, where's my free stuff now after that plug? laugh )
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05/11/2014 12:01:18

DanimalMuvizu mogulExperimental user
Danimal
Posts: 477
Dreeko wrote:
I personally have a number of ideas to chuck at it but I'd like to hear what the forum thinks (I'd like to hear what muvizu HQ thinks too incidentally but I doubt they'll say much)

Let's hear 'em, Dreeko! I'll bet basic facial animation is in there somewhere, but I'm curious as to what else since you're one to push this software's limits since its origin.
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05/11/2014 15:07:15

DreekoMuvizu mogulExperimental user
Dreeko
Posts: 1258
Facial animation! Oh god, yes please. It's no secret that I've been hankering after that one for years..

Most stories that people make with Muvizu are conversational in nature as opposed to slapstick. With that in mind I'd love to see a much greater variety of conversational character actions which would include actions that people perform whilst talking too eg. Eating, using a mobile phone (both talking on and texting) etc. It's the most basic and glaringly obvious every day movements like these which are missing from the Muvizu catalogue. I can see how they may have resisted including them in the days before characters could hold objects but now I see no reason to hold back.
Ideally it would be great if we had more puppetry controls over the characters limbs and hands to allow us the opportunity to expand the available character actions with our own. I can see that how would use up a lot of development time at Muvizu hq but maybe in the long term it would save on the time involved creating and testing individual character actions one by one?

Whilst we're dreaming..

If they do decide to go for facial animation, I imagine that it will be based on morph targets in a similar way to what we saw with the heroes and villains characters (morphs which I personally felt could have been much more varied!) So with that a great opportunity is available to have much more customization options for the user to create more individual characters eg spacing the eyes, reshaping the head and other features of the face, resizing the mouth and moving it around the face.
Make the morph targets looser this time. Not just fractional differences like the hero guys.

These are a couple of things which I feel would make a huge difference to Muvizu.

Simplicity and speed are the biggest selling points to Muvizu in my eyes. I don't post videos of iclone to make Muvizu look bad in comparison with its lack of features, quite the opposite. There are a lot of things that could be a great addition from the iclone toolset but Muvizu has to stay focused on how to best make it easier to tell a story rather than make it shine and pretty

Although... Both would be nice


D
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