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3DS Max Character Animation Toolkit (CAT) animation to Unity

Discussion in 'Animation' started by adamz, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. adamz

    adamz

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    When I export my skinned mesh the Character Animation Toolkit (CAT) boxes that's used to setup the weighting imports also. Any thoughts on how to not have that import?
     

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  2. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    What does boxes that you used to set up the weighting mean?
    Do you mean the boxes representing bones in the CAT system?
    I just imported 3 different CAT rigs with different settings in Max and the fbx export dialogue, and none of them came in with visible bones.
     
  3. adamz

    adamz

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    Here is a screenshot. Im referring to the boxes that you use to adjust the weighting for CAT. For some reason those are importing in, even though I only have the mesh and the two eyes selected when exporting.
     

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  4. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    Try selecting all the mesh and the boxes/bones and then export.
    Also select the boxes that are being exported and right click, select properties and uncheck renderable then export.
     
  5. adamz

    adamz

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    Stil wont work. It's weird... if I check "Convert Deforming Dummies to Bones" in the FBX rollout, it doesn't export the mirrored CAT arm and leg. But if I un-check that it exports all the CAT boxes.
     
  6. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    Which Max version are you using? I've performed CAT exports successfully as expected from Max 2012, thru 2014.
     
  7. adamz

    adamz

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    Im running 2016. I haven't used Unity in a while until recently, but I don't remember having any issues like this before...
     
  8. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    Test export fbx out of Max then import the fbx back into Max. Are the boxes visible?

    Show a screenshot of the reimport back into Max and the bone hierarchy if you can.
     
  9. adamz

    adamz

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    Attached. It seems that it converted my CAT "boxes" to meshes, and it did not import the mirrored CAT limbs.
     

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  10. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    This is fixable one way or another.
    A couple steps to perform -
    Save the cat skeleton you have as a template skeleton.
    Save the skin data
    Create a new CAT skeleton using the template. Does the template display as expected?
    Orient the model to the new skeleton, apply a new skin modifier, load the saved skin data.
    Use the CAT Capture Animation utility under the animation tab, and/or use these two links (link1 link2) to retarget the animation onto the new rig.
    Re-export and see if that works.

    Another option - if that doesn't work you can send me the file, and I can check it out if your comfortable with that. I have Max 2012 available now, and 2014 tomorrow. You will need to "Save As" under the save function. Not sure if 2016 saves back to 2012 or not.
     
  11. adamz

    adamz

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    I think Max has some serious issues... it keeps crashing on my quite frequently when it comes to CAT. For example; I exported my mesh as an obj, my Skin, and my CAT rig. As soon as I tried to created new scene Max crashed. This isn't the first time it crashed when saving or deleting the CAT rig. The rig itself was created in 2016, so it's not like a compatibility issue sort of thing... I would use Maya, but I paid for Bones Pro which is fantastic at skinning, and I do like the CAT Motion Layer which lets me do procedural movement cycles. Do you know if Maya has a plugin which does something similar?

    Anyways I tried importing my CAT rig (.rg3) file onto a CAT Parent and it keeps crashing Max. So I decided to create a new Rig using the Human template. That exported fine into Unity.

    When I tried to change the amount of Spine bones after I removed the skinning it crashed Max.

    When I created another new scene with a fresh CAT Human Base template and changed the spine bones, that did not crash Max. After I moved some bones with this new rig, it seemed to export fine. Then I removed the skinning, and tried to delete the clavicle bone so I can mirror the arm again once I made changes, that crashed Max.
     
  12. adamz

    adamz

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    When I create a new rig, modify the bones both position and quantity, THEN skin, it works. It looks like I'll need to set everything up correctly prior to skinning.
     
  13. adamz

    adamz

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    I even opened an old scene to export my character and clothing using obj, and when I tried to create a new scene it crashes Max. Im running 2016 with the latest service pack too...
     
  14. adamz

    adamz

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    And then Maya is silly because I was unable to use Heat Maps to weight my character, if my mesh had separate objects combined into one. For example a character mesh and eyelashes; if the eyelashes weren't attached to the characters geometry, it would give me an error.
     
  15. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    Hmm
    I may hold off updating to 2016 if this is consistent. I don't like the sounds of that.
    You might have a bad Max install, which sucks but you might consider reinstalling.
    So there is something wrong with the original rig, but it seems also that editing a new rig after removing the skin modifier has some problems also. Just don't do that. :eek:

    If you can capture the animation data from your old rig, if it were me, I would re-rig/skin using a new CAT rig and then retarget the animations onto the new rig.

    I'm not a Maya user - but I have seen some real cool stuff with the HIK rig they have. Kind of wish Max had that, but I'm comfortable with biped, CAT and bones so it's only a fleeting wish. But with the HIK it seems retargeting animation from any source seems to be a little more fluid. Might want to check into that.
     
  16. adamz

    adamz

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    haha Im going to try to create my rig prior to skinning and see if that will do it. It's frustrating, but it may be the best solution for now. I'll try this at home too, and see if it's Max or my install at work.

    I appreciate all your help with this!
     
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  17. adamz

    adamz

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    Well i figured it out. I went into Bone Options, checked Bone On/Off and clicked Auto Align, then hit the button, Updated Selected after I selected all of my bones.
     
  18. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    So what was the problem?
    So - the bones were showing up in the export because the bones were not aligned?
     
  19. adamz

    adamz

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    I dont know enough about Max/rigging to give you an exact reason why that worked. At first I thought it was the Show Links being active since when I created a new limb on both the Pelvis and Chest, those limbs didnt have the CAT boxes when exporting. So after playing around with the different Bone Options thats the conclusion I came to.

    On another note; do you know where I can find generic animations that I can import when using the CAT Motion Layer? Autodesk provides a few (GameCharWalk, GothGirl Walk, etc.), but I was wondering if there were more I could add for bipedal characters as a starting point?
     
  20. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    I usually use biped for retargeting, and I can't recall what file type CAT allows.
    I seem to remember one of the mocap files being acceptable bvh or the other one. :)
    Any mocap content can be used, and I think there is an intermediary that .bip can convert to and CAT can read from. So anything that can be loaded into biped can be converted to CAT.
    There are 3 huge mocap libraries in the asset store for free. These are raw but provide a good starting point for poses.

    I'm actually just now getting back into CAT from a hiatus of an extended period. Embarrassingly I don't even remember the capture animation process.
     
  21. adamz

    adamz

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    Thanks for the suggestions!
     
  22. glennnn

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