Affiliate Link Generator Copied!

|
1.415.462.1982

v2023 Autodesk MotionBuilder

EDIT in Admin Edit in WP

Add to Wishlist

Autodesk MotionBuilder
  

3D character animation software

MotionBuilder® is a 3D character animation software with prebuilt moves, that allows you to capture, edit, and play back high-quality animations. Work in an interactive environment optimized to help you work faster and more efficiently without compromising creativity.

What is MotionBuilder?

MotionBuilder is 3D character animation software used to bring loveable characters and ferocious creatures to life. You can:

  • Capture, edit, and play back complex animations
  • Work faster and more efficiently in an interactive environment
  • Seamlessly exchange data between 3D content creation tools like Maya and 3ds Max

Autodesk MotionBuilder Features

Real-time 3D engine

Create realistic human movement with one of the industry’s fastest animation tools. MotionBuilder provides you with many tools that make it easy to create a realistic movement for a character.

For the sake of simplicity, this topic discusses how the MotionBuilder character engine works with biped or human skeletons. There are special conditions and exceptions when animating quadrupeds that are beyond the scope of this section.

Before you can successfully animate a character, it is important to understand how skeletons move and how MotionBuilder can help you recreate believable motion.

Motion capture editing

Fine-tune character animations with production-proven tools used to manipulate motion capture data.

Once you have set keyframes or opened a file containing motion capture data, you can continue to refine your animation. You can edit keyframe animation by manipulating function curves and modifying interpolation. You can also use filters to clean, manipulate, and modify animation.

Smooth interoperability

Included software development kit and FBX data exchange enable easy interoperability with other 3D applications.

Using the single-step interoperability features, you can exchange data between MotionBuilder and Maya, MotionBuilder and 3ds Max, or MotionBuilder and Softimage. You must have matching versions of these applications installed on your system before you can use the single-step options.

Take on demanding, high-volume projects with MotionBuilder

  • Support for consumer motion-capture devices
  • Re-create elements of real-world cinematography with advanced camera options for Animatable Depth and Follow Focus
  • Combine, blend, and layer to block out or previsualize scenes in less time with an additional 100 useful character animations
  • Unified nondestructive, nonlinear editing environment
  • Live device support and live data recording to disk
  • Full-body inverse kinematics character technology with animation retargeting
  • Available as a 64-bit executable for the Linux operating system

What’s New In MotionBuilder 202

Python 3

MotionBuilder 2023 has migrated to Python 3.9.7. Python 3 support provides developers with performance and security enhancements. Python 2 is no longer supported.

See the MotionBuilder Developer Help What’s New for more changes to library dependencies and to the MotionBuilder SDK.

Updated Keyboard Shortcuts Editor

The Keyboard Shortcuts Editor has been reworked to include new features, as well as address problems with the legacy version. The Keyboard Shortcuts Editor has been moved from the Asset Browser (Asset Browser > Scripts > ComplexTools > KeyboardMapper.py) to the Python Tools in the Main menu (Main menu > Python Tools > Keyboard Shortcuts Editor) and the KeyboardMapper.py file has been moved from the bin/config/Scripts/ComplexTools folder to the bin/config/PythonStartup folder named KeyboardShortcutsEditor.py.

Updated Keyboard Shortcut Editor features let you:

  • Edit a factory Keyboard Interaction Mode from a copy
  • Set current, duplicate, and delete user Keyboard Interaction Modes
  • Search with improved listing of Factory/User/Python Editor Keyboard Interaction Modes
  • Search for an action name with a new text field
  • Search for an action name associated to a shortcut key with a new input field

Motion Blend: Take Start/End time value improvement

A new option, Sync Take/Edit Start & End has been added to the Motion Blend General Options to remove the automatic synchronization that occurs between the Edit and Take time values.

This option was added because there is a time value change as each Motion Blend Edit, when selected, stores the current Take Start/End time values. When you select a different Motion Blend Edit, MotionBuilder updates the current Take Start/End time values with the values stored in the Motion Blend Edit, which can be confusing.

Now, activate Sync Take/Edit Start & End to have the automatic range setup applied automatically (the legacy behavior).

Animation Layers

A new editable color hint is now available in the Animation Layer Editor to help you identify the active Animation Layer, and stop from modifying the wrong layer.

This Animation Layer color hint also appears in the corresponding layers in the Transport Controls and the Story window.

The Base animation layer is red, and the first layer (AnimLayer1) is yellow; every layer created after is given a unique color. You can customize the layer colors in the Animation Layer Properties.

Extra Character Controls for sub bones

Extra settings have been added to the Character Preferences that let you set whether individual finger/toe/spine/neck bones are selected when you select bones in the Character Controls.

There is also a new Character Controls UI Configuration file (CharacterControlsConfigEnhanced.xml) which lets you show more bones in the Character Controls. See Load UI configuration in the Character Controls Edit menu. Find the CharacterControlsConfigEnhanced.xml UI Configuration file in the MotionBuilder > bin > system folder.

Updated Character effector selection

New behaviors have been added to the Character Controls to give you more intuitive control over selecting effector cells in the Character Representation.

When you click:

…An empty area of the Definition and Controls tabs

  • Single-click to select all effectors in the current view
  • Double-click to remove all effectors
  • Shift-click to select all effectors in all views
  • Ctrl-click to add all the effectors in the current view to the selection (Ctrl-click to remove effectors from the selection if it is already selected)

….an effector

  • Click to select an effector
  • Shift-click to select the effector and all effectors in the same body part
  • Ctrl-click to add additional effectors to the selected effector (Ctrl-click to remove effectors from the selection if it is already selected)
  • Shift-Ctrl-click an effector to add it, and all effectors in the same body part, to the selection (Shift-Ctrl-click to remove effectors from the selection if it is already selected)

These improvements also work with dragged rectangle selection to let you select more controllers.

Independent IK Pull property

Two new properties, IK Pull and IK Pull Hips, have been added to Control Rig properties when the source is a Character/Control Rig, similar to the existing Reach property.

In earlier releases, the IK Pull and IK Pull Hips properties on the Character were shared when its source was a Character or a Control Rig, and problems occurred when switching from one source to the other.

Note: The new IK Pull and IK Pull Hips values/animation are not supported by Maya, which still uses Character Reach value/animation for both Control Rig and Character input.

New Save reminder

A new Save Reminder dialog has been added to MotionBuilder to complement the existing Save Reminder button, which can be hard to see and is often overlooked. The new Save Reminder Dialog provides a more intrusive window that appears in front of your work, prompting you to save:

This new option, disabled by default, lets you have a configurable reminder, with conditions independent of the red Save Reminder button.

Profiling Center changes now saved

In earlier versions of MotionBuilder, any changes made to the Profiling Center window options in the System Nodes would not persist after MotionBuilder is restarted: all values in the Profiling Center tab were reset. The only way make to changes persist before this release update was to click a “Save User Settings” button which is hidden by default.

Now, your changes are saved. The Profiling Center window Save/Reset/Restore buttons are still there, but any changes to values now persist in the configuration file and are correctly set the next time you launch MotionBuilder.

New unified scaling behavior

A new setting in the MotionBuilder configuration file, LegacyScalingBehavior has been introduced to let you use a unified scaling behavior that applies even to Sphere/Capsule markers or preserve the legacy scaling behavior, which affected Size and Length properties.

In previous versions, a problem where scaling markers that using the Sphere or the Capsule Marker Look changed the Size and Length properties instead of using the real Scaling property. This mis-scaling impacted hierarchies under that marker, because the scaling operation had no effect. This new LegacyScalingBehavior configuration setting lets you use the current behavior or a unified scaling behavior.

In the Application.txt file [Markers] area, set LegacyScalingBehavior to:

  • Yes ; for the marker’s Size and Length properties to be modified (the legacy behavior)
  • No ; to use the real scaling property (same as for other Marker Looks)
Note: Access and modify the config file in C:\Users\{username}\Documents\MB\{version}\config\Applications.txt.

The default setting is Yes (legacy behavior).

Other general improvements

Tearable Models Visibility menu
You can now undock the Display menu > Models Visibility menu, similar to the Character Controls Show/Hide menu, letting you “tear-off” the Models Visibility menu and move it to a convenient area of the screen.

Animation Layers tool fixes
Display issues in the Animation Layers tool when parenting animation layers have also been fixed.

Subscription benefits

Technical support
Let us help you resolve issues quickly. Every subscriber has access to:

  • Autodesk support specialists—You can schedule a call, chat online (limited availability), or email us.
  • Remote desktop assistance—Get secure hands-on troubleshooting.
  • Online resources—Access our knowledge base with help documentation, tutorials, training videos, and community support forums.

Access to the latest software
Get instant access to the latest releases and enhancements.

Use software anywhere
Use your software at home or when traveling.

Access previous versions
Download and use previous releases (available for most Autodesk products).

Flexible term lengths
Get exactly the software you need for as long as you need it. Subscribe monthly, annually, or for 3 years.

Administrative tools
Simply and effectively manage software licenses, seats, and usage from your Autodesk Account.

Autodesk® MotionBuilder® 2023 software is supported on the following 64-bit operating systems and at a minimum, requires a system with the following 64-bit hardware:

Software

Operating System

  • Microsoft® Windows® 10. See Autodesk’s Product Support Lifecycle for support information.
  • Linux® Red Hat® Enterprise 8.2, 7.6-7.9 WS operating system
  • Linux® CentOS 8.2, 7.6-7.9 operating system

Browser

Autodesk recommends the latest version of the following web browsers for access to online supplemental content:

  • Apple® Safari®
  • Google Chrome™
  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer®
  • Mozilla® Firefox®

Hardware

CPU

  • 64-bit Intel® or AMD® multi-core processor

Graphics Hardware

Refer to the Maya Certified Hardware page for a detailed list of recommended systems and graphics cards

RAM

  • 8 GB of RAM (16 GB or more recommended)

Disk Space

  • 4 GB of free disk space for install

Pointing Device

  • Three-button mouse

What’s new in Motionbuilder 2023

Python 3

MotionBuilder 2023 has migrated to Python 3.9.7. Python 3 support provides developers with performance and security enhancements. Python 2 is no longer supported.

See the MotionBuilder Developer Help What’s New for more changes to library dependencies and to the MotionBuilder SDK.

Updated Keyboard Shortcuts Editor

The Keyboard Shortcuts Editor has been reworked to include new features, as well as address problems with the legacy version. The Keyboard Shortcuts Editor has been moved from the Asset Browser (Asset Browser > Scripts > ComplexTools > KeyboardMapper.py) to the Python Tools in the Main menu (Main menu > Python Tools > Keyboard Shortcuts Editor) and the KeyboardMapper.py file has been moved from the bin/config/Scripts/ComplexTools folder to the bin/config/PythonStartup folder named KeyboardShortcutsEditor.py.

Updated Keyboard Shortcut Editor features let you:

  • Edit a factory Keyboard Interaction Mode from a copy
  • Set current, duplicate, and delete user Keyboard Interaction Modes
  • Search with improved listing of Factory/User/Python Editor Keyboard Interaction Modes
  • Search for an action name with a new text field
  • Search for an action name associated to a shortcut key with a new input field

Motion Blend: Take Start/End time value improvement

A new option, Sync Take/Edit Start & End has been added to the Motion Blend General Options to remove the automatic synchronization that occurs between the Edit and Take time values.

This option was added because there is a time value change as each Motion Blend Edit, when selected, stores the current Take Start/End time values. When you select a different Motion Blend Edit, MotionBuilder updates the current Take Start/End time values with the values stored in the Motion Blend Edit, which can be confusing.

Now, activate Sync Take/Edit Start & End to have the automatic range setup applied automatically (the legacy behavior).

Animation Layers

A new editable color hint is now available in the Animation Layer Editor to help you identify the active Animation Layer, and stop from modifying the wrong layer.

This Animation Layer color hint also appears in the corresponding layers in the Transport Controls and the Story window.

The Base animation layer is red, and the first layer (AnimLayer1) is yellow; every layer created after is given a unique color. You can customize the layer colors in the Animation Layer Properties.

Extra Character Controls for sub bones

Extra settings have been added to the Character Preferences that let you set whether individual finger/toe/spine/neck bones are selected when you select bones in the Character Controls.

There is also a new Character Controls UI Configuration file (CharacterControlsConfigEnhanced.xml) which lets you show more bones in the Character Controls. See Load UI configuration in the Character Controls Edit menu. Find the CharacterControlsConfigEnhanced.xml UI Configuration file in the MotionBuilder > bin > system folder.

Full Release Notes

What’s new in Motionbuilder 2020?

Improved playback

  • Toggle manipulator visibility: You can now turn on the new Display > Hide Manipulators during Playback option to remove all manipulator elements during scene playback, providing you with a cleaner viewing experience.
  • Render scenes using MP4: MP4 is now an Output Format in the Render window.

Bookmarks in the Schematic view

New bookmarks in the Schematic view let you quickly jump from one region of the schematic to another, eliminating the need to manually search for nodes. Bookmarks save the x and y position of the existing nodes, the expanded or collapsed state of the nodes, and the width, height, and zoom factor used by the Schematic view.

Lock story clips

You can now lock story clips using the new In/Out Locked property. Locking a clip prevents animators from accidentally moving or retiming a clip, and avoids subsequent issues that can arise later in the animation pipeline.

New custom Frame Rate support

The frame rate 119.88 is now supported. This is a standard used for UHDTV and many cameras.

Unlimited undo levels

A new Undo preference (Settings > Preferences > Undo) lets you set an infinite undo queue.

Support for arithmetic operations

Numeric and timecode fields now support basic arithmetic operations.

Modify a single axis using a delta numerical value

Simply double-click a translation arrow, rotation ring, or scaling handle, and enter a value to precisely transform the object.

Resize Add/Remove Namespace window

The Add/Remove Namespace window now easily accommodates long namespaces. The window’s default size is larger than in previous releases, and it can now be resized.

SDK Help improvements

When starting MotionBuilder from the command line the -3 flag is now supported, enabling Python 3000 compatibility warnings.

What’s new in Motionbuilder 2019?

Camera Switcher improvements

The following are improvements and fixes to the Camera Switcher:

  • Improved look and feel: The list of cameras in now displayed in a separate left pane, making it quicker and easier to select cameras.
  • Lock switches: Ctrl-select multiple camera switches, right-click the Switcher timeline, and then select Link Selected Clips to lock the selection together, making it easier to move and edit multiple switches at once.
  • Move camera switches: Drag the selected camera switch(es) to reposition them on the Switcher timeline.

New embedded media settings

New embedded media settings in the Saving preferences let you select a specific location for your media files locally and preserve their original file paths. You can also enable a warning that appears before saving a scene with embedded files.

Reduce file size with Clean Up Scene

A new tool, Clean Up Scene, has been added in the File menu to let you remove empty or unused assets from your scene. This helps you organize your scene and reduce file size.

Translation tool updates

The following improvements have been made to the translation tool:

  • Translate objects in local relative space: You can now move multiple objects in their own respective local space using the translation tool. Instead of applying to all of the selected objects like a global translation, the local translation only applies to the object with the translation handle.
  • Parent Reference Mode: Lets you translate an object along the axes of the object’s parent.

Story Window improvements

The following updates and fixes improve the overall performance of the Story window:

  • Ripple Manipulator: The new ripple manipulator lets you scale a clip and move the position of all subsequent clips at the same time. The change in one clip’s duration moves all subsequent clips later on the timeline. To see the manipulator, extend the clip length and track height. See Scaling Clips.
  • Sync Shot and Shot Clip Lengths: You can now sync the lengths of a shot and its associated shot clip when stretching one or the other, instead of creating loops. To enable this new mode, click motionbuilder icon in the Story window controls or turn on Maintain Shot and Shot Clip Lengths Synced from the Story context menu. This mode only affects shots and shots clips and does not affect other types of clips (animation, audio, video). Before using this mode, Time Discontinuity and Loop mode must be turned on.
  • Show or hide a clip’s text: The following new options can be used to hide a story clip’s text during playback and manipulation, improving performance in scenes that have many clips:
    • Disable motionbuilder icon in the Story window controls to hide text.
    • Turn on Settings > Preferences > Story > Remove Clips’ Texts During Playback & Manipulation to hide text.
  • Shot display: Shots are now displayed on multiple tracks, making it easier to manipulate them.
  • Matching shot and shot clip colors: In previous versions, shots were always red, now a shot is the same color as its corresponding shot clip.
  • Show or hide shots: By default, a shot is hidden if its associated shot track is minimized or collapsed. Turn on the new preference Settings > Preferences > Story > Display Minimized Action Shot Clips to display shots belonging to shot tracks that are minimized or collapsed.

Play all takes consecutively

A new option in the Transport Controls lets you playback all takes consecutively. To enable this option, click the motionbuilder icon button until motionbuilder icon appears. When this option is active and the time cursor reaches the end of the first take, the next take plays automatically. Playback stops once the end of the last take is reached.
Note: If reverse playback is enabled, playback stops once the beginning of the first take is reached.

FCurves Preferences

The following options are now available in the FCurves preferences:

  • Detect Invalid Keys: An invalid FCurve key can be inserted in a curve following a computation error. When enabled, this new preference detects when an invalid key is inserted, and displays an error message if needed. The problematic key value is automatically reset to 0 and can be fixed manually.
  • Force New Keys on Ordinal Property to Step: When enabled (default), keying an ordinal property generates a Step key.

Character Controls: Pinning Presets

A new Pinning Presets icon motionbuilder icon in the Controls tab of the Character Controls window lets animators save frequently used pinning setups. It is now possible to save Translation and Rotation pinning values into a unique preset file, and multiple preset files can be saved with different pinning values. Presets can be loaded at any time, eliminating the need to pin and unpin the same effectors repeatedly.

Baking Improvements

The following new options are now available in the Plot All Properties window:

  • Plot Aux Effectors: When turned off, this option prevents auxiliary effectors from snapping their position onto their related effectors when plotting to the Control Rig.
  • Evaluate Deformation: When turned on, allows deformation during the baking process.

Control automatic popup of Character Controls

A new option in the Application.txt config file lets you control when the Character Controls opens. By default, the Character Contols opens automatically when a new character or actor is loaded. Set the new PopUpCharachterControlonce option to No to disable this behavior.

Control Human Finger Limits default value

A new Human Finger Limits preference (Settings > Preferences > Character) has been added to control the default value of the Character’s HumanFingerLimits property value when creating a new character. The preference is turned off by default.

FBX Version 2019.5

MotionBuilder 2019 picks up the latest version of FBX (2019.5), which provides various bug fixes.

Support for DDS bc6 and bc7 video formats

It is now possible to open a DDS image file compressed with the bc6 or bc7 format natively in MotionBuilder.

LTC device support

The LTC device is now available if you are running MotionBuilder on Linux.

Run MotionBuilder in batch mode

MotionBuilder can now be run in batch mode, letting you execute commands without the interface. To do so, the -batch flag must be used when starting MotionBuilder. The batch flag is usually used for executing a Python script, which can be set with the -F flag.
Note: The -batch command is not used for batch rendering.

Time precision improvements

MotionBuilder 2019 introduces a more accurate tick rate, and the precision of the working rate has been adjusted to match Maya. While working the new rate is used, but while saving the legacy rate is used. This results in greater precision while working, but the same precision as the past while saving.

Set variables in Python console during start up

The Python Editor now reads the content of the C:Users[username]DocumentsMB[version]-x64configPythonpythonidelib_init.py file, allowing users to execute specific code on startup, like shortcut variables. If the file doesn’t exist, MotionBuilder creates it. For example, after scn = FBSystem().Scene is added to pythonidelib_init.py, the shortcut variable scn can be used in the Python Editor each time the editor is launched.

SDK Help improvements

You can access SDK Help topics directly from the MotionBuilder Help table of contents as well as use the help system’s improved search feature.

View Bug Fixes here

Creating a Walk Cycle in Maya

In 2015 I wrote an article about how to create a walk cycle with several tutorials and examples, plus, some animals, not just people! This article is a follow up, focused on Maya. Yes, we missed Maya Monday due to the holiday yesterday, but we’ll do it like the garbage man, and bump things back a day!

More...