Moho and Smart bone in TV Production

General Moho topics.

Moderators: Fahim, Distinct Sun, Víctor Paredes, erey, Belgarath, slowtiger

User avatar
Jx
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:25 pm
Location: ZAMBIA

Moho and Smart bone in TV Production

Post by Jx » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:01 am

Am working on a 10 minutes TV series Pilot for a client, my particular task is rigging (I wish i could share the file). When i send the character rig for testing the response i get from the animators is that the character posing drags. This may cause problems in the production pipeline.

I examined the rigs of other users with a similar character complexity and. Their rigs and file size are very light when posing on them on the timeline too.
"Mister Bug" by Cramp_Chump
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=31042&p=177587#p177587
"Shakawa by Egyptianboy"
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=30843&p=175583&hili ... wa#p175583

This is what i noted
1. Smart bones are hardly used if used at all
2. their characters have a massive layer structure as compared to mine
3. When i delete my smart bones and action the file is much lighter


Am using Moho 12.2 on a machine with 12GB Ram, Nvidia GTX 750 ti 4GB Graphics on an i7 -2600 series processor.
My rigs are very heavy and drag after i add all my smart bones. I have approx
50 smart bone and actions on my character. The file size is 855kb then 2Mbs after 3sec of animation.
This (the drag) gets worse the more characters i have in the scene and the longer the scene. Rendering becomes unstable with multi[le crushes for
QuickTime (format with alpha channel), Image sequence will not match the original sound clip in After Effects.

1. does some one have info on file management and optimization or a production guideline and practices?
2. Is there a limit on the number of smart bones and actions to use before the file becomes heavy?
3. Regardless of layer comp PSD files from Moho will still preserve ungrouped layers however the audio will be out of sync. Whats the best way to harmonize the frame rate without remapping in After Effects?
its hard but not imposible keep trying and never give up.
dueyftw
Posts: 1942
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:32 am
Location: kingston NY
Contact:

Re: Moho and Smart bone in TV Production

Post by dueyftw » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:19 pm

This has always been a issue with Moho. There is a sort of limit on how much you can have. This happens with all animation programs.

50 smart bones? Ya, that's going to be a problem. Can you split the character? What I mean is the animators are not using all the smart bones to animate.

First thing is if you have a character that is at front and 3/4. Place them in two separate files. Then try animating them.

Next is to have separate bone sets for characters. Are you using all 50 to animate all the time? Can you group them to the need of the animation be animated?

As far as the sync problem, could you be at the wrong frame rate? Moho at 25 and AF at 24. I know dumb, but it does happen to me so I ask. Also video is at frigging odd rate where you have to add or is it subtract one frame in so many to make it match.

Dale
User avatar
Jx
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:25 pm
Location: ZAMBIA

Re: Moho and Smart bone in TV Production

Post by Jx » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:34 pm

dueyftw wrote:Can you split the character? What I mean is the animators are not using all the smart bones to animate.
Thank you for the suggestions dueyftw. I never actually thought about that one. Just to be clear; the entire character has all 50
the smart bone actions and main/root bone layer, would it make a difference if those actions would only exist on specified layer? for instance
the facial action and head turn to only exist on the head bone layer, say 25 on the root bone layer and 25 on the head layer.

The other thing to note in the rig is that most of the smart bones are actually corrective action (they fix joins)

Image
Image

[youtube]https://youtu.be/6Te3ykcjjT0[/youtube]
https://youtu.be/6Te3ykcjjT0

[youtube]https://youtu.be/8_urRwpmKUU[/youtube]
https://youtu.be/8_urRwpmKUU
its hard but not imposible keep trying and never give up.
User avatar
Jx
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:25 pm
Location: ZAMBIA

Re: Moho and Smart bone in TV Production

Post by Jx » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:35 pm

its hard but not imposible keep trying and never give up.
User avatar
Jx
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:25 pm
Location: ZAMBIA

Re: Moho and Smart bone in TV Production

Post by Jx » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:44 pm

Sory I just went through a how to embed video. Ok i got this

its hard but not imposible keep trying and never give up.
dueyftw
Posts: 1942
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:32 am
Location: kingston NY
Contact:

Re: Moho and Smart bone in TV Production

Post by dueyftw » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:55 pm

Nice Character.

You have it at 45 and 90.

You could split them. One for 45 and one for 90. Are all the bones in the 45 is necessary for the 90 and vice a versa?

You have the character running. Assuming your using smart bones for the mouth. Do you need them all? Or the bones that make the head turn when the character is running? One character file for just running. One character file for her standing and talking. One with the hands that morph positions. Each would have all the bones to do the task at hand. And one bloated file with everything. Now the animators have smaller files that should respond much faster. Now the only problem is that have to match the last position from one to another. So render a pic on the last frame and use it as a reference for the change in character files.

Dale
User avatar
Jx
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:25 pm
Location: ZAMBIA

Re: Moho and Smart bone in TV Production

Post by Jx » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:18 pm

Thank very much dueyftw
May be treating every Camera cut as a scene will fix the continuity problem.
Let me try just that and see how it will be fitted in the pipeline.

let me propose it to the team. Thanks
its hard but not imposible keep trying and never give up.
User avatar
Greenlaw
Posts: 4589
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Moho and Smart bone in TV Production

Post by Greenlaw » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:36 pm

Some of our 'hero' rigs have 100 Smart Bones Actions, and we're able to animate multiple characters in a scene without any problems. Last week I had a scene where I needed to animate 45 'medium complexity' characters in a scene...smoothly animating them wasn't a problem (there were just too darn many of them.) :D

Where Moho seems to slow down is when I have a ton of keyframes in the scene, and the scene is several hundred frames long (like 900 frames or more.) Fortunately, I'm rarely asked to animate a scene that long, and most of the time, the rigs are very fluid to animate. I don't think we've ever had to break out characters from a Moho scene to improve performance. (Have had to do that in other animation packages though.)

One thing that seems to cause performance lag for us (among other problems) is GPU Acceleration for the workspace, so we keep this feature off. I also leave Antialiasing off for the workspace...I really don't need to see AA to animate a character, and it's mostly a waste of CPU usage.

In the rig itself, I find that deforming super large images can be slow, especially if you're using a custom mesh with many polygons. Try to optimize this as much as you can...don't make the images bigger or the meshes more complex than you will actually need.

A lot of bone dynamics on a character can slow things down a lot. I try use dynamics sparingly on a character, and if I absolutely must use a lot bone dynamics, I'll disable Enable Bone dynamics while I'm animating a scene.

I ran into one situation a couple of weeks ago where one single bone was causing a drag on a character. Every other bone and Smart Bone worked fluidly so it was puzzling. I wound up replacing that bone and things became fully interactive again, so maybe that bone got corrupted or had bad keys in an action. I mentioned this in a forum post a couple of weeks ago and somebody suggested that the combination of a Lock Bone and Target Bone might cause performance to drop. I don't think that was my case but it's something to watch out for.

Hope some of this info helps.

Just curious but how was the artwork generated? If they're vectors exported from another program, check that Moho didn't generate an excessive number of points. If you use SVG in Moho 12, the point count and curvature should be mostly identical, but earlier versions (i.e., ASP) were not optimal with vector conversion.
D.R. Greenlaw
Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Little Green Dog Channel on Vimeo | Greenlaw's Demo Reel 2019 Edtion
Lead Digital Animator, Dreamworks Animation

Image
User avatar
slowtiger
Posts: 5460
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:53 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany
Contact:

Re: Moho and Smart bone in TV Production

Post by slowtiger » Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:26 pm

What I do:
- create characters in a master file with all views and stuff
- duplicate multiple single scene files from that
- in these files, delete everything (characters, props, vies) I don't need for that scene.
Also I switch off visibility for layers I don't animate in the moment and don't need to see.
AS 9.5 MacPro Quadcore 3GHz 16GB RAM OS 10.6.8 Quicktime 7.6.6
AS 11 MacPro 12core 3GHz 32GB RAM OS 10.11 Quicktime 10.7.3
User avatar
Greenlaw
Posts: 4589
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Moho and Smart bone in TV Production

Post by Greenlaw » Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:53 pm

Have you considered rendering to image sequence and then compiling the frames to a single movie file in another program? If you don't have another program, you can import the image sequence into a clean Moho scene and then render the movie.

This may reduce or eliminate the crashing you get because it's easier for Moho to calculate animation and output single frames than it is to do the same while also keeping track of all the frames for the movie file.

You might also consider using the Layer Comp system. My typical workflow is to setup a layer comp for characters, bg, mg, and fg enviro elements. Sometimes there may also be an FX layer comp. Once output, the layers are composited in AE.

Part of the reason for this is that it makes it faster and easier to address changes that inevitably come up. Also, by breaking out the elements, it makes it easier to add lighting and optical effects in AE. (Sometimes I will even break a character down to smaller parts using Layer Comps so I can get more convincing lighting effects.)

My typical workflow is: set up the Layer Comps in Moho, use Moho Exporter to automatically break out the Layer Comps and render them, Composite in AE and add lighting and other FX, then output a movie file for editorial.

When revisions come up, I only need to render the affected Layer Comps and frame range, not the entire scene. Moho Exporter makes this pretty easy to do.
D.R. Greenlaw
Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Little Green Dog Channel on Vimeo | Greenlaw's Demo Reel 2019 Edtion
Lead Digital Animator, Dreamworks Animation

Image
User avatar
Jx
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:25 pm
Location: ZAMBIA

Re: Moho and Smart bone in TV Production

Post by Jx » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:37 am

@ Greenlaw
WOW 100 Smart Bones Actions and yet no lag, I would really be happy to see that
in my output.

Yes i have noticed that keyframe are heavy, it makes it hard to scrub back and forth in
animation check.

I Haven't used any vector mesh in on the characters and everything was created within
Anime 11 then continued in Moho 12. In anime studio 11 there is an indicator on the layer (red dot) showing wether or not the layer is heavy with complex points (vertices).

I have 2 bones (characters ribbon) with bone dynamics will try switching them off and see.
Greenlaw wrote:Have you considered rendering to image sequence and then compiling the frames to a single movie file in another program? If you don't have another program, you can import the image sequence into a clean Moho scene and then render the movie.
That's a BRILLIANT IDEA Greenlaw, whether it works or not it already massages the brain with some feel good feelling.

@Slowtiger
Thanks for the quick tips. We are just going for character animation in Moho (for now), the backgrounds and foreground are just simple 2 reference files. The compositing guy will handle camera exporting and compositing in After Effects. Rendering HD or 2K PSD files in Moho is lengthier than the way AE handles the PSD

The Background designing is primarily done in Moho. But the guy handling the scene Texturing and lighting is a Photoshop user.
Do you feel it would lighten the production to have the background textured in Moho (it would usually mean lots of layer and masking folder). Has any one tested the Moho Blend Mode?


Thanks this has definately added to my knowledge (I now have to schedule for a n experiment in my Moho lab)
its hard but not imposible keep trying and never give up.
User avatar
Jx
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:25 pm
Location: ZAMBIA

Re: Moho and Smart bone in TV Production

Post by Jx » Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:44 am

My first test results are based on the relieving the GPU on the UI as suggested by Greenlaw.

1. I disabled GPU on the Display Quality, shape effects. I also disabled image (for i have no image used on the characters)
2. I disabled GPU under "Preference-General tap"
3. I Disabled Antialiasing under Project Settings

The character posing and animation is now about 75% fluid

Next test would be an endurance test:
1. I will fill the timeline with copy pasted random keys and see how much and how long the project can hold without dragging.
2. I will also sturdily increase the number of animated characters (duplicated layer) the scene can hold

That way it will help us determine the max duration of our scenes. My work station is the lowest in terms of CPU and GPU, what ever works on
my PC will work perfectly fine with the Animators.
its hard but not imposible keep trying and never give up.
User avatar
slowtiger
Posts: 5460
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:53 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany
Contact:

Re: Moho and Smart bone in TV Production

Post by slowtiger » Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:15 am

In general I'd create backgrounds outside of Moho because other software is better suited to do that. Photoshop and TVPaint have brushes and textures and blend modes with much more diversity than Moho, plus lots of tools which just don't exist in Moho (like overall colour and contrast correction tools). Even if you go for a clean vecor look, I'd just create shapes in Moho, then export to bitmap and do colouring elsewhere.
AS 9.5 MacPro Quadcore 3GHz 16GB RAM OS 10.6.8 Quicktime 7.6.6
AS 11 MacPro 12core 3GHz 32GB RAM OS 10.11 Quicktime 10.7.3
User avatar
Greenlaw
Posts: 4589
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Moho and Smart bone in TV Production

Post by Greenlaw » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:58 pm

Oh, one more thing: If you have it enabled, try disabling Play Every Frame. This can dramatically improve performance for complex scenes. Frames may drop when you hit play but that's what Preview Animation is for. I have this feature disabled most of the time, even with simple scenes.
D.R. Greenlaw
Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Little Green Dog Channel on Vimeo | Greenlaw's Demo Reel 2019 Edtion
Lead Digital Animator, Dreamworks Animation

Image
User avatar
Jx
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:25 pm
Location: ZAMBIA

Re: Moho and Smart bone in TV Production

Post by Jx » Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:52 am

Thanks again Slowtiger

Greenlaw where can i find the Play Every Frame option in Moho 12.2
its hard but not imposible keep trying and never give up.
Post Reply