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[MeshSync] Rendered animations preview

Discussion in 'Film, TV, Animation & Cinematics Previews' started by GeniusKoala, May 20, 2021.

  1. GeniusKoala

    GeniusKoala

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2017
    Posts:
    72
    Hey!

    Working in an animation studio for cartoon animation, we are willing to upgrade our methods to work. We are thrilling to use new tools to make our series in Unity! So far we used Unity only for lighting and rendering. Animations are exported from Maya into alembics and importing in Unity with some script to automate processes. We tested new Unity tools like alembics while it was still in preview because we wanted to go beyond in term of quality. We are satisfied with what we've come to so far. I'm glad you opened this forum for Film because Unity deserves it. It can handles animation productions today. The past shows that it was already the case years ago with Monsieur Carton and some other productions. We want to trust Unity about their plan to allows animation studios to use Unity for their productions.

    Sorry for this long introduction. MeshSync is one of the tool we would like to experiment further. It would be a blast to preview inside Unity with lighting and post processing how our characters would move. It would make faster iterations. Is MeshSync a tool still under developement? For the moment it is still in preview but we can't really use because the sync does not follow our animations (25FPS). I'm working on a RTX3600 with just one character for the moment for testing. Have you got hints to improve the results or is the tool too early for animation? I know it was designed for modeling preview first.

    Thanks for creating all these kind of tools for animation!
     
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  2. sindharta_at_unity

    sindharta_at_unity

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2019
    Posts:
    29
    Hello, thank you for your interest in using Unity for animation.
    Yes, MeshSync in still in development, and we'd like to bring it out of preview.
    One of the things that we need for this to happen is to have more users using it (like you!), and their feedback.
    So keep the feedback coming :).

    When you said this, did you mean that you played the animation on a DCC tool and were hoping that the animation would sync automatically in Unity in 25FPS ? If that is the case, then unfortunately we think that this is not possible.
    The reason is that, the amount of data that the DCC tool has to send to Unity will be very huge for any real use-cases, and the network (although local) will always be overloaded.

    As an alternative, there are two workflows that we provide.
    1. "Sync animation" button on the DCC tool side. This will send the animation and create PlayableDirector asset on the Unity side. Then, entering play mode in Unity should play the animation
    2. [Experimental] Use "Export Cache" to export the animation into a custom cache file (SceneCache), and load it using SceneCachePlayer component. Please see the SceneCachePlayer doc for more details.
     
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  3. GeniusKoala

    GeniusKoala

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2017
    Posts:
    72
    Hey! Good to read it's still in developement. The idea on our side is to consider Unity like any Maya render engines the most possible. One feedback I had from our directors was "ok it's real-time rendered but only once we export the alembics, what about while we work on the assets/animations ?". That's why I thought about Blender (Eevee) and the MeshSync repository for Unity.

    One workflow could be to create a cache on the fly from Maya to preview the animation inside a Unity project. Again that's quite against their expectations of real time if they need to bake animation to preview it rendered. Would be cool to have someday like a plugin inside Maya that could uses Unity as a render engine like VRay or Redshift. I know Unreal Engine 4 has a LiveLink plugin. I don't know how performant it is but some motion capture studios use it in their pipeline. We use mocap too with the XSens Live Link suit. It can stream the data from their software Animate Pro to Unity and it's really performant for a streaming. Maybe I expected MeshSync to acts like that in Maya...

    I think there is also a streaming tool for Substance Painter? Is it still supported? I did not try it yet. It could be nice to preview the shading while texturing.

    I showed this morning in our studio meeting your Cinematic Studio Sample project and Virtual Camera tool and they all loved it by way!

    I won't stop to send feedbacks if it can help everyone!
     
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  4. HIBIKI_entertainment

    HIBIKI_entertainment

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Posts:
    195
    it's some time off and production adoption still needs to happen for things like this to take ahold, but I could imagine seeing Mesh Sync and USD being such an amazing combo to interchangeability through engines and DCCs while crossing diverse team skillsets for unity. both packages are still in preview but, here's to hoping
     
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