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...
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 [Read more..]
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..]
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]
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:
- development of features
- development of an intuitive interface
- development of the anatomy-topology of the models
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:
- Definition of the humanoid: age, muscle mass, tone, face details, body proportions, measures, expression, proxies, pose-animation, ecc.
- 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).
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:
- Creation phase: definition of the body, the physiognomy and the appearance of the character. The model will be characterized with age, muscles, mass, face details, measures, skin shader and skin textures. This phase also includes the random generator, the automodelling, the character library, the definition of rest pose and the type of rigging to use (for example with inverse kinematic or not). Probably it will also include the fitting of hair and clothes[*].
- After-creation phase: use of finalized model during production. This phase includes the loading of poses and animation (with automatic retarget) and the control of the expressions.
With this new pipeline philosophy, that extends the scope of the lab to finalized models too, we will have many advantages:
- Clear separation between the creation and the usage of the character.
- Simplified interface, that will be also separated according to the two phases above.
- Clean code, with a separate module for the after creation tools.
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.
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.