WIP: FBX HD & SD importer, Joints to Bones Converter and Morph-Helper (was: DAZ to Houdini converter)

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Quick update, on my way out for a few days: This version creates “Handles” on multi-bone-spots (e.g. hands) for easy rotation/twisting. Scale/Size of the handles can be controlled by a slider on the FBX-rig-tab.


Marc
Edited by malbrecht - April 8, 2020 12:56:51
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Out of here. Being called a dick after having supported Houdini users for years is over my paygrade.
I will work for money, but NOT for "you have to provide people with free products" Indie-artists.
Good bye.
https://www.marc-albrecht.de [www.marc-albrecht.de]
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Latest version includes:

- alphabetic sorting of morph names
- zero morphs function
- improved bone linking
- updated help :-)
- auto-sized control handles (wrist balls)
- some minor tweaks and improvements (runs a bit faster, two “hits” caught where the script would stop)

I've removed the HDA from this forum because of lack of feedback. Still giving it away for free (or a donation, if you will, to NGOs), all I am asking for is the courtesy of being TALKED TO.

Marc
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Out of here. Being called a dick after having supported Houdini users for years is over my paygrade.
I will work for money, but NOT for "you have to provide people with free products" Indie-artists.
Good bye.
https://www.marc-albrecht.de [www.marc-albrecht.de]
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Hi,

I'm one of those Dazholes you mentioned earlier :p. A high res mesh Daz export that's skinned and rigged for use in Houdini would be the Holy Grail for me. I can only get low res rigged Daz models into Unreal Engine, alas (Vector Displacement Maps looked promising but there's no robust implementation of them out there I don't think).

Anyway I'm very interested in this project of yours!
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Hi Marc!

Amazing work! This is something that I have attempted to achieve, but failed miserably. I would love to give it a spin and comeback with some feedback.
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Next step: Rewrite from scratch (again - I love doing that) to incorporate nuts and bolts figured out along the way and make use of new features.
Going to contact @RobinsonUK and @Johnkke by PM.

Marc
---
Out of here. Being called a dick after having supported Houdini users for years is over my paygrade.
I will work for money, but NOT for "you have to provide people with free products" Indie-artists.
Good bye.
https://www.marc-albrecht.de [www.marc-albrecht.de]
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Sometimes bones will drive the wrong joints/weights, here's a video about how to rewire the bones when necessary.



Marc
---
Out of here. Being called a dick after having supported Houdini users for years is over my paygrade.
I will work for money, but NOT for "you have to provide people with free products" Indie-artists.
Good bye.
https://www.marc-albrecht.de [www.marc-albrecht.de]
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Hey Marc, would love to give this a try! Did you manage to get all morphs name exported?
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Hi, Alelordelo,

> Did you manage to get all morphs name exported?

… I assume you are referring to DAZ exports - yes, all morphs/blendshapes that I export from DAZ Studio make their way safely and controllably into Houdini.
The workflow is automated and it's neither nice nor memory-friendly. I am reworking most of this, basically rewriting a whole piece of pipeline - but I am going as vendor independent as possible, since there are way more interesting FBX out there than “only DAZ” :-)

Marc
---
Out of here. Being called a dick after having supported Houdini users for years is over my paygrade.
I will work for money, but NOT for "you have to provide people with free products" Indie-artists.
Good bye.
https://www.marc-albrecht.de [www.marc-albrecht.de]
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Hi Marc,

I would like to try your DAZ to Houdini Converter, I have some Object to import and I will try to give you feedback.

Thanks.

Xenicle
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Hi,

this thread has been moved to “third party”.

This is not about a third-party app, but about an ongoing project within and exclusively about Houdini. There is no “paid service” around this, there is no “party” involved and there is not “secondary download site where you need to register” or anything.

I am not going to post updates to this WIP in a “third party APP” forum/thread, if necessary please remove this thread altogether.

Marc
Edited by malbrecht - May 16, 2020 08:13:02
---
Out of here. Being called a dick after having supported Houdini users for years is over my paygrade.
I will work for money, but NOT for "you have to provide people with free products" Indie-artists.
Good bye.
https://www.marc-albrecht.de [www.marc-albrecht.de]
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… figured out how to get cloths and additional layers over from DAZ to Houdini in “one go”.
Since this thread is now considered “third party”, while it isn't (it's about working in Houdini with FBX rigs), I'll keep quiet and don't pollute this forum with hints about how to get Houdini to work nicely with that specific kind of FBX workflow.

Sigh.

Marc
---
Out of here. Being called a dick after having supported Houdini users for years is over my paygrade.
I will work for money, but NOT for "you have to provide people with free products" Indie-artists.
Good bye.
https://www.marc-albrecht.de [www.marc-albrecht.de]
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I for one I'm quite interested in your developments with this. I don't think you should allow the whole “third party” forum issue come in the way of something that could be quite useful to many.
>>Kays
For my Houdini tutorials and more visit:
https://www.youtube.com/c/RightBrainedTutorials [www.youtube.com]
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V0.5 supports cloth layers (fully rigged), hair, eyelashes AND also converts those to matching single-hires OBJ versions. Of course, morphs/blendshapes that span multiple layers (e.g. eyelashes deforming according to facial features) are handled as well.

This version adds a bunch of workarounds for bugs in Houdini's FBX importer (bugs either crashing Houdini or making imported layers unusable). Since this is considered “third party” by SideFX, discussion about how to deal with these issues will continue elsewhere, obviously.

Marc

P.S. Note that this Re-Rigger tool is in no way limited to “DAZ” stuff, I invested a lot of work to make it “FBX” compatible and working with exports from various sources. The IDEA was and still is to provide an import-system for Houdini that not only converts joints-based rigs to bones (and obviously, by exporting, back) but also deals with hires-variants of meshes, mutli-layer FBX/clothing/add-ons etc. I am merely using DAZ exports for examples because they are simple to create and provide a lot of issues that need handling.
Edited by malbrecht - June 7, 2020 08:58:59

Attachments:
ReRigger_V05_preview.gif (2.5 MB)

---
Out of here. Being called a dick after having supported Houdini users for years is over my paygrade.
I will work for money, but NOT for "you have to provide people with free products" Indie-artists.
Good bye.
https://www.marc-albrecht.de [www.marc-albrecht.de]
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Hi,
This all looks great, it seems to go around many troubles. Any chance to try the tool? I will give you some feedback.

Gabriel
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Hi Marc! Any updates with the option to keep the animation of the converted FBX? This would be very handy and really the only thing that is missing.
Have you tried the CHOPs workflow? Importing T-pose and then adding animation via CHOPs FBX node? May be it can handle the animation channels that will keep working on the bones?
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RE: Contact/“Testing”

Please read what I wrote above, I am only and exclusively interested in dealing with real people, not with anonymous avatars via the web. If you don't want to contact me by mail, skype, phone or whatever, at least send me a PM through this forum and give some background about what you do, what experience with rigging and Houdini you have and what exactly you expect from the HDA (let me repeat that I am NOT doing a “DAZ-only” tool here, I am looking into supporting as many FBX rig flavours as I can - I do know, for example, that Blender exports are a nightmare and, typically Blender, not pipeline-friendly in any sense of the word).


Animation Import Support

While this is technically doable and I did have some success with tests, I am not following this road at the moment due to changes in the hosting platform. I am concentrating on supporting parallel deformation (e.g. for high res meshes from DAZ, but also for multi-layer and other types of “special case” workflows), morphs and, hopefully soon, animator-friendly “starting points” (rig-supports).
Material magic is on my list, but since Redshift is a definite no-go and Mantra is a tiny bit on the slow side, I am looking into creating a render-agnostic material-setup system. Lots of experimentation to do there and this is unpaid time, so it may take me several months.


Marc
---
Out of here. Being called a dick after having supported Houdini users for years is over my paygrade.
I will work for money, but NOT for "you have to provide people with free products" Indie-artists.
Good bye.
https://www.marc-albrecht.de [www.marc-albrecht.de]
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malbrecht
RE: Contact/“Testing”

let me repeat that I am NOT doing a “DAZ-only” tool here, I am looking into supporting as many FBX rig flavours as I can - I do know, for example, that Blender exports are a nightmare and, typically Blender, not pipeline-friendly in any sense of the word).


Animation Import Support

While this is technically doable and I did have some success with tests, I am not following this road at the moment due to changes in the hosting platform. I am concentrating on supporting parallel deformation (e.g. for high res meshes from DAZ, but also for multi-layer and other types of “special case” workflows), morphs and, hopefully soon, animator-friendly “starting points” (rig-supports).
Material magic is on my list, but since Redshift is a definite no-go and Mantra is a tiny bit on the slow side, I am looking into creating a render-agnostic material-setup system. Lots of experimentation to do there and this is unpaid time, so it may take me several months.


Marc

Sure Marc, I really appreciate your time and efforts to this tool. It worked great with one of my rigs in the past, which was not a human at all, but bird. I hope you'll have time once to implement animation as well. You can test it with any mixamo clip.
By the way, may be it's good idea to rename the topic to something more general than DAZ, like FBX re-riger or something, I think this is the cause why it's considered 3rd party
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Hello there !

Can i try your Fbx Importer Please ?

_______

Im having a Real lot of troubles importing daz characters to Houdini with Animation Poses then Fix and better animation inside houdini …

But its seriously incredible how the bones come totally messed up omg …

https://postimg.cc/ZB4F3B63 [postimg.cc]

https://postimg.cc/67dfyL4t [postimg.cc]

My goal is to build a Pipeline of Dazstudio to Houdini

For World Building and characters animation …

Then export all Animation Ready to UNREAL as usd / or houdini engine …

______

But not Having Any Luck With the Terrible FBX export from Dazstudio

IM ABOUT TO GIVE UP … And just use Reallusion ICLONE instead

But iclone Seriously Lack World Buidling and fx Features ….

___

YET At the end of the line I just Found out Your AMAZING Work !



CAN I TEST IT OUT YOUR EXTRAORDINARY TOOL ?

Thanks Deeply so much !

Wishing Happy days With
Much Health and Artistic Achievments !
To you And all Yours !


Best Regards !
THANK YOU

SILVA DINIS
3DD Arts
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this looks reallllllllllly great, would love to try this out!
http://www.christophers.website
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Here's some news from the farm:

The next iteration of the tool (again another rewrite from scratch that aims for things to come) solves a bunch of problems with various FBX sources/issues. It will “recreate” high definition geometry instead of using parallel imported OBJ (it still allows for OBJ imports to DEFINE the HD version, but also enables users to create high definition layers like clothes for better simulation results), it will feature a material creation system (with the ability to use different render engines) and it will, again, improve on animation performance.

That said, I have also looked deeper into DUF files. While this tool is NOT intended to be a DAZ-only-thing, DAZ is doing some nasty shortcuts when creating their FBX exports that are the cause of more than 50% of the problems I have solved by now.

I am now able to write a DUF-importer system for Houdini, which would be able to

  • automatically create material setups with texture files and value settings (not limited to diffuse channels)
  • sail around most of the FBX problems (including some random UV-error-deformation slips)
  • work with static and deformed meshes, meaning, it would work with characters, animals, environments, buildings etc (as opposed to the infamous “DAZ bridge tools” that are currently hardcoded to work mainly with Genesis3 and Genesis8 figures, nothing else)
  • use the OBJ HD workaround and recreate geometry OR, if so desired, create displacement maps tailored for individual polygon groups (to get around the deformation issues a simple bake would create)

Reason for writing about this in public instead of sending a mail to the over 30 people who “test” the tool is that out of those over 30 people the overwhelming number of 3 have actually given any feedback, 1 reporting problems that I was, partially, able to solve. I would not need to write a special “DAZ DUF TO HOUDINI” system for myself and ONE other user. Creating such a tool and providing support for it, extending its features over time and adjusting to ongoing development in Houdini would require a significant amount of time, so I would have to SELL such a tool (I haven't found a sales channel yet, but haven't really searched either).

INTERESTINGLY it would, technically speaking, be possible to PORT BACK changes one did to a DUF based geometry in Houdini into a DUF. Meaning, it would, technically speaking, be possible to DEFORM say a building in Houdini and create a new version of the base asset for DAZ Studio (writing back to a new DUF). This includes changes to materials (imagine using a paint system in Houdini to add dirt etc onto DAZ characters), sculpting etc.
The same caveat as above applies: Developing this only makes sense if development time “is worth the investment” - I am way too old to “just do it and see how many people are buying into it”. I've only got so many hours left of my lifetime :-)

TLDR: Please provide feedback about whether you would be willing to pay real money for a Houdini-DAZ-connectivity system that, at minimum, supports the listed above features and would aim for backward exporting features as mentioned above.

Thank you.


Marc Albrecht
---
Out of here. Being called a dick after having supported Houdini users for years is over my paygrade.
I will work for money, but NOT for "you have to provide people with free products" Indie-artists.
Good bye.
https://www.marc-albrecht.de [www.marc-albrecht.de]
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