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In order to perform an animation retarget operation, you first need to bring in the target character you want to retarget the animation to and the source animation skeleton or character you want to retarget the animation from.
To help you with this process, there are several ways to import animation skeletons, captures (skins), and characters into KineFX.
Unpack SOP characters or import from disk
If you have a stashed or bundled SOP animation skeleton or character that you now want to unpack, then you can unpack the character data stored in the Stash SOP node or Object Merge SOP node with the Character Unpack SOP node.
If you want to unpack a SOP character’s data stream that is saved on disk, and then have the option of using the sequence on disk or a live stream, then you can use the Character I/O SOP node.
If you want to import a SOP animation skeleton or character that is saved in a file on disk, then use the regular File SOP node.
Import motion capture data
You can import Acclaim, BioVision, and Motion Analysis motion capture animation files into KineFX with the Mocap Import SOP node or with the File > Import > Motion Capture main menu item.
Bring in agents from Crowds
You can bring agents or agent clips into KineFX for use with SOP characters and MotionClips in the following ways:
Generate a SOP animation skeleton from an agent with the Agent Animation Unpack SOP node
Create a MotionClip or multiple MotionClips (packed MotionClip) from an agent with the Agent Animation Unpack SOP node
Generate a SOP character from an agent with the Agent Character Unpack SOP node.
If the animation skeleton that the Agent Animation Unpack SOP generates for you has a different joint hierarchy than the SOP character you want to retarget its animation to, then you can constrain the animation skeleton’s joints to its target character by using the Rig Copy Transforms SOP node.
Bring in USD data from Solaris or other sources
You can bring in the animation skeleton, character, or capture (skin) from a UsdSkel character (the Skeleton primitive underneath the SkelRoot primitive in a Solaris stage) in the following ways:
Import FBX data
Bring in object-level character data or HDAs
You can use the Scene Character Import SOP node to import object-level characters or HDAs into KineFX.
If there are any problems with your character now that it is in KineFX, please see Troubleshooting your characters after import into KineFX.
For best results, do the following:
Select the Scene Character Import SOP node.
In the Import tab, turn off every Type except Geometry.
This way you will only import the bones responsible for the skin deformation.
Bring in character data from other DCCs
Troubleshooting your characters after import into KineFX
Problem: Character’s global scale is off
Problem 1: If your imported animation skeleton or character is dramatically larger or smaller than it should be, then your animation skeleton or character may come from a source that uses different world units than Houdini (for example, meters vs. centimeters).
Solution: To correct this problem, locate the Convert Units parameter on the KineFX import node you used to bring in your character or motion data, and then turn it on.
Problem 2: If the source or target characters you want to retarget are dramatically different sizes, then you can use the Rig Match Pose SOP node’s bounding box matching to automatically resize their skeletons and conform them to each other.
Problem: Skeleton is broken into separate joint chains
Problem: Control objects are missing or they are garbled
Often times when you import a character rig, the links between the control geometry and the joints they drive will not survive the process or the control objects will not come through at all.
To correct this problem, you need to re-attach your control geometry to your character or attach new controls. For more information, see Setting up control geometry.