Introduction to Actorcore MoCap Library

Jan 06, 2021 at 11:38 am by Warlord720


Back on December 3rd, I wrote about Reallusion releasing their Actorcore Motion library, which is filled with quality, studio-level, motion capture. The library has basic, everyday motions to hardcore action or social/work scenarios and too many things in-between to list.

As an iCloner I have worked with many of these motions and find them to blend well with accompanying motions, a very important feature to new and seasoned animators as that saves time which saves money on commercial productions, and reduces frustration for all concerned.

There has, however, been some confusion. It seems that some think this is an iClone motion library when in fact, at least to me, it is just the opposite. Most of these motions are already available to iClone users in the native format. Actorcore takes that large mocap library and makes it available to OTHER software packages like Maya, Blender, and 3DS Max instead of just the native iClone file type.

The library is built with retargeting in mind. During my initial testing of the library, Reallusion provided excellent video tutorials on how to retarget the skeletons for various applications. I mainly used 3DS Max during this time and the retargeting was spot on. No drifting, no twisted limbs. In fact, it eventually became somewhat boring to retarget as it was so easy.

In this series, we are going to explore the simplified, web-based, Actorcore interface so you can get an idea of what is involved during the searching, purchasing, and downloading of motions. After that, we’ll dive into retargeting, most likely 3DS Max at first. Then we will move on to other applications like Blender and Maya if I can manage it since I rarely use those apps. Basically, that will be an… if I can do it then you can do it type of thing… with my experience being limited outside of my usual toolset.

That is also one of the reasons behind this series… to show that this type of library can be utilized in the software you have limited knowledge of as long as you have a guide to get you started. If I hit a roadblock I will be getting in touch with the appropriate tech support at Reallusion to get past it and keep making progress.

I’m not saying any of this will be pretty, except for the motions of course, but it should be informative if not entertaining.

As an animator, I have never hidden my disdain for the actual process of keyframe animating. Since I’m a dinosaur I’ve been there, done that, and don’t want a T-Shirt. I admit I got into animation to animate but once in it I found out making things is much more fun than animating them. I still remember an early grunt job of animating and placing over one thousand low poly soldiers in a scene only to have the more senior animators chop the project into small groups so they could fine-tune them.

That job tore a big hole in my utopian dream of animation for a living. Back in the day… before a lot of scripts and plug-ins we did things the hard way… every day… and BORING became a way of life for us animation grunts. Keyframe to keyframe, then curve editor, then keyframe then curve editor, and so forth and so on.

It was a grind. Worse… it killed the creative flow as the technical side of animation overrides the aesthetic side squashing the creative thought process to get the animation technically right. This leaves the aesthetic side to whatever time is left since the technical aspects ate up so much of the production time and budget.

Actorcore motion library can help eliminate or alleviate these types of problems and concerns.

As mentioned earlier, in future installments we will go through the mechanics of using the Actorcore website and then into retargeting the motions to specific applications. As always… hop over to my website and send me any questions via the contact form and I’ll try to address them in future articles.

With 2020 finally behind us I hope you have a wonderful and prosperous 2021!

 


M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years.  Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website






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