LW and FBX



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Understanding LW and FBX

Here’s a little walkthrough and technical guide for anyone who’s lost, or confused about how to get a clean exchange between LightWave and the FBX format for animation exchange.

Far from being difficult, or there being lots of hoops to jump through, the process is very simple and straightforward and with the new native FBX exchange tools built into LightWave (Valkyrie), there’s no need to mess around with old or obscure plugins, and the whole process works perfectly on all platforms, Win, Mac, 32 and 64.

To further simplify matters, I have also provided a sample character with an FBX compatible joint rig that you can fit into your own characters so as you can start working with motioncapture right away.

Click here to download the rig now.



Part 1 - This covers the basic technical details of how LightWave’s joint and bone systems relate to the system present in MotionBuilder (and other packages), showing you the different options for setting things up to be properly compatible, and also explaining how these issues affect your work inside LightWave itself.

Part 2 - This covers the actual exchange of rigs and animation data between LightWave and MotionBuilder... Getting your characters setup and posed, and exported from LightWave, bringing them into MotionBuilder for retargeting, and bringing the result back to your LW rig.

Part 3 - This looks in more detail at some of the LightWave specific tech details that are important for getting the correct skeleton structure for MotionBuilder (or others) to recognise, as well as specific details to make sure motion loading works properly. It then moves onto details and changes in the process when dealing with FBX exchange using LightWave 10.0.

Part 4 - This guides you through getting characters into, and out of Animeeple for those without access to MotionBuilder. This exchange process requires LightWave version 10.

Part 5 - This covers issues surrounding weighting and deformation and the differences between how they work in LightWave and other packages, as well as showing how to work with them to get them behaving as you want in your pipeline.