Development news

New preview of IK and muscles

09 September 2017

Development and integration of IK and basic muscle system completed: see how they work in the new preview. [See the video]

Improvements of anatomy

02 September 2017

Better 3D feet, toes, nails. Also improvements of 3d tongue for professional phonemes animation. [See the image...]

Hair shader and physics

24 August 2017

Testing the hair shader and the best way to use physics with polygonal hair [Read more...]

Testing the lab in Blender 2.79

10 August 2017

Awesome results with Filmic color management and denoising filter [Read more...]

New video preview for the muscle system

04 August 2017

See the preview of the muscle system GUI and how it works for all types of characters. [Read more...]

Preview of the base muscle system for 1.6.0

22 July 2017

A cool video + article to show the prototype of the base muscle system for 1.6.0 [Read more...]

Facebook official page

If you like the lab...

For comments and more, please visit the official Facebook page. [ Visit it]

New advanced rigging for 1.6.0

11 July 2017

Two new images showing the new advanced rigging system with basic muscles masses. [Read more...]

1.6.0 W.I.P. Hair test

01 July 2017

Dev progress and hair test [

Official Youtube channel

If you like the lab...

This channel collects videos about the development of my open source projects related to 3d humanoids, computer graphic and Blender [ Visit the channel...]

1.6.0 W.I.P. Hair library

22 June 2017

High quality 3D hair library and improvements of the proxy system [Read more..]

1.6.0 W.I.P. New expression system

07 June 2017

Article + video preview of the new expression system [Read more..]

1.6.0 W.I.P. New animation correction tool

01 June 2017

A short article + one video to show this new feature under development for lab 1.6.0 [Read more..]

1.6.0 W.I.P. New philosophy in production pipeline

27 May 2017

The lab will be more usable and productive. The article illustrates the main changes in GUI and philosophy. [Read more..]

1.6.0 W.I.P. male improvement

17 May 2017

Increasing the correctness of the male anatomy. [See the image..]

1.6.0 W.I.P. IK prototype

11 May 2017

Testing the prototype of IK rigging for characters in vers. 1.6.0. [See the video]

1.6.0 W.I.P. Hands improvement

05 May 2017

Increasing the correctness of the hand anatomy and the realism of hand poses. [See the image..]

1.6.0 W.I.P. Skeleton improvements

02 May 2017

These improvements will greatly improve realism of animations. [See the image..]

1.6.0 tasks progress page

25 April 2017

The detailed tasks progress page for 1.6.0 is ready and will be updated very often! [Read more..]

Version 1.5.0!

14 April 2017

The new version 1.5.0 is available! [See the release notes]


Since Jan 2016

See the full development history. [Visit the archive]

[Back to development log]

Changes in ManuelbastioniLAB 1.6.0: Graphical User Interface, usability and philosophy.

27 May 2017

Current lab production pipeline: pro and contra

Over a year ago, the first version of ManuelbastioniLAB was released. The goal was to create a laboratory to implement new ideas and algorithms (as the automodelling and the measure system, still experimental) in order to provide to Blender community a new powerful state-of-the-art tool in the field of 3d humanoid generation.

In these 15 months the resources were focused on:

After the release of 1.5.0 new goals can be added to the existing list, for example the improvement of production pipeline.

Studying the software usability and listening to the community feedback, it was realized that the lab can be even more productive, standardized and easy-to-use just changing some elements of the current production pipeline philosophy.

Currently there are two main steps in using ManuelbastioniLAB:

  1. Definition of the humanoid: age, muscle mass, tone, face details, body proportions, measures, expression, proxies, pose-animation, ecc.
  2. Finalization of the humanoid, in order to transform it from a lab-character (suitable to be modified in the lab, but not usable in production) to a standard-character (suitable to be used in production, customizable by hand, but no longer editable with the lab tools).

Graph of the current production pipeline

This design has pro and contra.

The pro is that in a lab session the elements are "under control": there is only one character in the scene, with a well defined skeleton that use lab-standard bone names, an human mesh with an exact topology and with a series of custom properties to provide information to the lab engines. These conditions make the tools very stable and reliable.

The contra are that after the finalization, the lab expression library, the lab proxie fitting ,the lab pose library and the lab animation retargeting system are no longer usable. This creates redundant cycles in the production phase, for example the user needs to produce a finalized character for each animation.

Improvement and optimizations in production pipeline of ManuelbastioniLAB 1.6.0

Until now the lab was focused only on the editing of non-finalized models. After the finalization, the humanoid was out of the lab scope: a standard character to be posed and animated using the normal Blender tool. In 1.6.0 this behaviour will change.

We will have two production phases:

Graph of the new 3d character production pipeline

With this new pipeline philosophy, that extends the scope of the lab to finalized models too, we will have many advantages:

The lab users will be able to change the animation, the pose and the expression on finalized character, without the needing to restart a creation session each time.

Sketch of the new GUI for ManuelbastioniLAB 1.6.0

Of course, any design has its contra. In this case the main problem is that a finalized character can be subjected to customization from the user: it can have more or less bones than expected, different names, altered topology, different shapekeys ecc.

This is a challenge for the lab developer, that will try to handle all the cases. Anyway the recommendation will be to customize the topology and the skeleton only if absolutely necessary, considering that in case of noticeable changes the after-creation tools may not work.

This is a little cost in comparison with the benefits of the new pipeline.

[*] Under evaluation the possibility to move it to after-creation panel.