Getting to grips with creating an Avatar for HyFy


#1

I’m still trying to get to grips with building an avatar for HyFy. I’ve got PrioVR suit on the way as well as a STEM set from six sense which will be joined by the Oculus DK2 to replace my DK1, so i really want to get into this avatar stuff because I’m itching to explore whats possible. From a large collection of pages here I’ve put together a list of what i THINK is the key components i need to figure out. I’ll figure each step out before moving onto the next and maybe this will help others also.

STEP 1. The Mesh - Texture and Material mapping, plus FBX compatibility. FAILED

STEP 2. The Rig - Understand the bare minimum joints required and how to expand to more complex skeletons.

STEP 3. .fst file - Understanding the list of commands and what they refer too.

STEP 4. Blendshapes - Using face shift beyond the limited demo for mapping facial expressions.

STEP 5. The Scripts - Handling Animations & attachments.


#2

STEP 1. The Mesh. - FBX format Issues. - UPDATED 1
Since i use Blender is there an issue with it not exporting the rigged mesh to .FBX format as a .FBX format that is not recognised by High Fidelity, or is it Faceshift that does not recognise blender exported .FBX format? Why are there different .FBX formats?

**Update 1: **
There is no way of knowing from the .FBX file wether its exported correctly or been rigged correctly. Over at SL one of the geniuses of mesh import is the preview that allows you to see your rigged mesh moving before import which helps spot issues. We have no such preview here. HyFy seems to check all is ok then uploads even if nothing is rigged. Does anyone have any ideas of where we could preview our .fbx avatars in an environment that would show wether the .fbx has exported correctly? Would save a lot of uploading to HyFy.
Also @Judas has suggested using [Autodesk FBX converter][1] in order to convert Blender exported FBX files to super official FBX. Might be worth diving through the FBX file code to see what the difference might be.

Update 2: So it’s looking like this issue with Blender and FBX export is killing my attempt of making an avatar for HyFy at the first step. I can’t justify purchasing industrial software such as Maya, even cinema4D is expensive.

Watching Maximo and Faceshift doing separate things, i kinda hope they come together to create a tool that can export a ready to import avatar standard. Maybe HyFy may start accepting other 3d file formats for use in the .fst package. Maybe even create a virtual world standards package file ‘.avatar’
[1]: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/item?siteID=123112&id=22694909


#3

Well, I’m a total rookie heading down the avatar path so I will attempt to follow your steps. I am going to attempt to upload my first project, a simple textured head and body when I am finished before I try anything more complicated. I am using Blender but wonder if it is going to be possible to export the files in the correct format without a lot of problems. Maybe it would be easier if I just try to teach myself Maya before I get too far with Blender.


#4

Johnny
Johnny magic, you will love Maya. I started in blender but switch as Maya to is less complicated.


#5

in the uk Maya is only £1200 So next to Blender its a bargain.I Have both (teacher perks)Other than fully supporting its own proprietary FBX format, I’m yet to see any features that Blender doesn’t have, which would encourage me to spend the cash


#6

There is no way of knowing from the .FBX file wether its exported correctly or been rigged correctly. Over at SL one of the geniuses of mesh import is the preview that allows you to see your rigged mesh moving before import which helps spot issues. We have no such preview here. HyFy seems to check all is ok then uploads even if nothing is rigged. Does anyone have any ideas of where we could preview our .fbx avatars in an environment that would show wether the .fbx has exported correctly? Would save a lot of uploading to HyFy.
Also @Judas has suggested using Autodesk FBX converter in order to convert Blender exported FBX files to super official FBX. Might be worth diving through the FBX file code to see what the difference might be.


#7

Might be worth trying the Mixamo.com rigging thing. I still couldn’t get the avatar to work from Blender, but it previewed and rigged correctly with there annoyingly easy rigging solution. But Chris seemed to have no problems with it.


#8

I tried Maximo, but while it gave fantastic rigging results, i think it takes away from what i need to learn and understand. Im trying to map out the rules needed for an avatar to work in HyFy.
So to clarify @Judas , even with the FBX convertor, you were unable to import a successfully rigged avatar?


#9

I would also prefer to rig in Blender. The built in FBX importer cant handle rigs. The bos fbx blender plugin will import the rig but seems to unparent the bones and also seems to mess up positioning on the smaller bones, in the fingers.
The FBX seems to be able to export a rigged avatar but not re import. They seem to need to triangulate the model to be compatible with Hf either way(SL’s importer triangulates everything).
The one partial success I had.Opened the Ron body avatar in blender using the Bos Fbx.
I deleted the body and used the rig, parented and weighted my dolly avatar to it, but made no changes to the actual rig.
I exported that out of Blender as a DAE into cinema 4D and exported an FBX from C4D to HF.
That arrived rigged correctly but lost the textures, because I hadn’t changed their path from absolute to relative.
Hopefully the FBX convert prog will fulfill the same role as C4D.
So many little steps have to be correct, its so infuriating…


#10

so the REAL bottom line here is that its not possible to create a HyFy avatar using Blender. FULLSTOP. grrr dam proprietary file formats!!.

So i guess the next option is like you said exporting the blender model to another 3D software that can handle exporting armatures in the Autodesk FBX format, which since FBX is proprietary, probably means exchanging cash for the privilege.


#11

You may want to approach Gaia Clary of Second Life Avastar fame. She is also on the Blender development team I think. She may be able to communicate what is needed to the Blender team for a custom plug in or perhaps their next Blender release. It’s a long shot, but you never know.


#12

¬.¬ wonders if we can get her in the alpha


#13

So it’s looking like this issue with Blender and FBX export is killing my attempt of making an avatar for HyFy at the first step. I can’t justify purchasing industrial software such as Maya, even cinema4D is expensive.

Watching Maximo and Faceshift doing separate things, i kinda hope they come together to create a tool that can export a ready to import avatar standard. Maybe HyFy may start accepting other 3d file formats for use in the .fst package. Maybe even create a virtual world standards package file ‘.avatar’


#14

Did i read somewhere that HyFy Alphas can get a free faceshift activation code? after hitting the Blender FBX wall my 30 day trial ended.