3d sign language modelling

General discussion about JPatch

3d sign language modelling

Postby sucu » Thu Oct 20, 2005 4:59 pm

is Jpatch suitable for such a project? i am new to computer animation and graphics and can't decide what tools to use or in which enviroment to work. ones who are expreinced, will you share your ideas?

thanks...
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Postby sascha » Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:17 pm

You mean sign language for the hearing impaired?

No, not until the bones support is ready. After that - mabye, it depends: What features would you need exactly?

I have no expirence with other tools, but you could take a look at Animation:Master (commercial, about $300), Blender (free, open-source) or Art Of Illusion (free, open-source).
Maybe Poser (commercial) or DAZ-Studio (free) too (these are no modelers, but come shipped with fully rigged human models).
Last edited by sascha on Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby dcuny » Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:22 pm

Ooops, I see Sascha beat me to the answer! :D

Anyhoo, since I've already written this...

JPatch is still in development, so a lot of things you'll need may be missing:
  • The animation module is pretty basic, and under development.
  • Bones-based animation (critical for doing anything useful) is just now being added in - it may be a couple of months before it's usable.
  • Bones-based poses aren't implemented yet.
All of these are pretty critical, especially the last one. You'll probably want to build up your animation out of some set of "building blocks", especially expressions, generic movements, and so on. If you're on a tight time schedule, JPatch isn't for you (yet).

If you're looking for free software to do this with, I'd suggest having a look at Blender or Art of Illusion. Blender is more capable, but it's got a steeper learning curve. The interface is more non-standard, and I've found the animation system (rigging, setting up constraints, posing) to be baffling at times. They are, however, in the process of rewriting the animation system, so it should be a lot more intuitive... eventually.

On the other hand, AoI is less slick than Blender, but has a much more understandable interface. Their inverse kinematics system is very nice, and it's pretty easy to create basic poses, and then build up animations using them.

There's also an animation program called Anim8or. Despite it's name, it's main users seem to be modeler. You might find that to your liking.

So if you're in a hurry to get something done, I think you'll find AoI simpler and less challanging. If you intend to get heavily into computer animation and are in this for the long haul, you'll probably want to take the time to learn Blender.
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Postby sucu » Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:26 pm

yes a 3D sign language education tool for deaf people or the ones who wants to communicate with deaf people(hearing parents with a deaf boy).

i suppose i'll need a tool that have built-in skeleton.

also i need to model the face and the hands of my animator very well in order to be realisic and understandable.
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Postby sascha » Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:34 pm

Have a look at Poser (commercial) or DAZ-Studio (free) too. These are no modelers, but come shipped with fully rigged human models.
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Postby dcuny » Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:35 pm

It sounds like you want to create an interactive realtime application, instead of simply a series of animations. That would rule out most animation tools we've suggested.

Blender has a programmable games module which might be useful, which can be coded in Python. I don't know what kind of user interface is available, though.

There are also a number of free 3D game programs engines (search Sourceforge.net) that are capable rendering bones-based animatable characters.
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Postby sucu » Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:49 pm

let me detail the project specifications, in this tool we'll create a databasae for words(espiacally basic words: colours,animals,basic items,jobs) like a dictionary and when you choose "dog" you'll see the animation of "dog".

also some pre-defined scenarios and games will be in this tool. i mean we don't use animations only for word also for some bigger actions...
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Postby dcuny » Thu Oct 20, 2005 6:40 pm

OK, that clarifies things. So you don't need real-time animation. :)

As Sascha suggested, Poser is a popular program for rendering realistic people that might match your needs. You should also check out DAZ|Studio, which is a free Poser clone by DAZ Productions.

DAZ mainly makes their money selling content (models, etc.) to Poser users. I think they created DAZ|Studio to make sure that if Poser went out of business (Poser has languished for a while, and then was sold off to another company) that they wouldn't go out of business.

I haven't tried creating any animation in it - apparently it supports basic pose-to-pose animation via a plugin. I found animation in Poser to be rather clunky, but I haven't tried any recent version of Poser, so it might have gotten a lot better.

Actually, I've seen very little animation done with Poser, although it's possible - the film Same Difference was made in Poser, and the animation is quite nice. The author wrote:
    Poser’s animation controls are probably my favorite aspect of the program. I have not seen anything that rivals them for ease of use. My process is to pose the figures initial states using the dials and mouse. From there I work almost exclusively in the graph editor which gives a tremendous amount of control and feedback.
So at least somebody likes animating in Poser. ;)
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