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Under Construction
Face Animation Importer: MetaHuman Animator Head Movement

<—back to help documentation

 

[THIS IS JUST A VERY ROUGH DRAFT PAGE! Am cleaning it up a bit, just for beta testers, but yeah it needs work I know]

So… how do you transfer the HEAD animation from MetaHuman Animator animations to iClone?

Well, it’s quite difficult. I’m going to add it to the plugin eventually, but it would take a LOT of programming time inside unreal and iClone.

But the workaround I’ve developed works.

So here’s how to record face mocap WITH head movement with metahuman animator and then import it into iclone.

 

STEP 1. Process MetaHuman Animator “Take” As Usual

So the first thing to do is to record your take with your iphone and transfer it to your pc as normal, and then process your MetaHuman animator ‘take’ as normal, just make sure that when you make your MetaHuman Performance file, make sure HEAD MOVEMENT MOVE is set to ‘control rig’. Otherwise it won’t solve the head movement properly.

  • Go through the normal process with the face
    • (ie. As normal, ‘EXPORT ANIMATION’ and add it to sequencer etc etc. all the same steps. Including right click on the face track and go ‘bake to control rig’ / ‘face control rig’. Leave the options as they are and click create. Once that finishes baking, click on the animation track of the face track and delete that. And save that and close it. now in the content browser, make sure that sequence is selected, and then go up to the tools menu, execute Python script and find the Unreal Face export script. Just keep clicking, OK, and save the CSV out.)

 STEP 2. SETUP NEW SEQUENCE FOR BODY ANIMATION

this is where the new process info starts.

  1. In the content browser select the sequence, then duplicate it, and change the end of the name to be body.
  2. open up that new sequence.
  3. on the body track click plus track, Control rig, Asset based control rig, Metahuman control rig.
  4. in the search bar, type ‘mha’ which just filters the tracks.
  5. Under the face, twirl down the “mha head ik control” track
  6. Make sure you’re on frame 0
  7. Select all the keyframes in there, and control X to cut them
  8. inside the BODY metahuman control rig, select the “mha_head_ik_ctrl” track, then click control V to paste.
  9. under the Face Control Board control rig, delete all the keyframes on the track called ‘mha_head_ik_switch_ctrl’.
  10. Then change that the value of ‘mha_head_ik_switch_ctrl’ to 0.
  11. Find the same track on the body, ‘mha_head_ik_switch_ctrl’, change that to 1

STEP 3. BAKE OUT A BODY ANIMATION SEQUENCE

  1. right click on the body track and go bake animation sequence.
    • choose a place to save the animation sequence
    • And name it as “_body” because this is for the body
    • Leave the settings as they are, and click Export To Animation Sequence
  2. Once that’s done, close the sequencer.
  3. go file > save all just once again, in case unreal crashes

STEP 4. RETARGET BODY ANIMATION TO ‘SK_Mannequin’ SKELETON

You now need a ue-4 format body, that you can retarget to. That’s the body that iClone recognizes.

the easiest way is to use the skeleton that’s in the sk_manequin; which is part of the ‘third person’ template.

  1. Add mannequin from 3rd person content pack:
    • in the content browser, click on “+ add”, then “Add feature or content pack”.
    •  in the popup window, click on third person.
    • click on add to project.
  2. So now in the content browser go into the animations folder and then find the “body move” body animation sequence that you just exported.
  3. Right click on it and go “retarget animation assets” > “duplicate and retarget animation assets blueprints”.
  4. change the IK retargeter drop down to RTG metahuman.
  5. on the left, under source skeletal mesh, change the drop down to your MetaHuman body type, which might be something like M tall, overweight body.
  6. under target skeletal mesh, change that to the mannequin which is SK, under score, mannequin, skeletal mesh.
  7. click on retarget.

it’s going to create a new animation sequence which is retargeted onto that mannequin.

STEP 5. EXPORT NEWLY RETARGETED BODY ANIMATION AS FBX

  1. In the content browser, double click the new retargeted animation.
  2. In the window that pops up, you should see the movement is working of the head and the body.
  3. Go to asset >export asset >animation data.
  4. Choose a name for your FBX file and click EXPORT.
  5. In the next window, leave the settings as they are and click on EXPORT.

And now you can close that and save the project. Close unreal.

 

STEP 6. IN iCLONE, ADD A CC4 CHARACTER WITH ‘CC4 EXT’ FACIAL PROFILE

  • inside iclone, add a C3 plus base character with a C4 extended facial profile. (eg. Kevin)

 

STEP 7. LAUNCH ‘FACE ANIMATION IMPORTER’ and IMPORT FACE ANIMATION CSV

  1. go up to the script menu and go load Python.
  2. load latest script.
  3. import the CSV that you exported from Unreal that has the face animation for this body move test

 

STEP 8. APPLY BODY ANIMATION FBX ONTO YOUR CHARACTER IN SCENE

  1. select Kevin in the scene
  2. drag and drop the body animation FBX that you exported from Unreal onto Kevin.
  3. In the window that popups up, change “motion profile” to ‘Unreal Base character‘.
  4. change the “FBX import settings” to 30 samples per second
  5. then click “convert all“.

 

STEP 9.

Once the body animation is finished importing, it’s going to have applied the animation of the body pretty much the same as it is in unreal, which actually looks quite strange. It’s moving the entire body instead of just moving everything about the waist. But there is a workaround for that, so.

  • right click on the motion clip.
  • Click “remove motion >waist”

[again, these are just rough draft instructions! Sorry if they are confusing. Let me know if they don’t work for you.]

 

 





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