Status of animations?

(Simon Kratz) #1

Hi everybody,

so it's been a while since animation capabilities have been discussed inside the forum so I wanted to ask if there are any news concerning this.
I know every dev hates the "when do we get this?" question so that's really not what I'm expecting. I'm just wondering if animations are still priority feature or if there's anything the community can help you with concerning a proper realization (for exampe our needs, the type of animation system we use or something like that).
I recently saw another webGL based 3d model viewer that already supported animations. To be honest their implementation of it didn't look very satisfying and judging from previous features you added I guess you value usability and quality over a fast implementation. Which is great! smile
But is it still possible to give us a little update on your progression?
It has been pretty silent concerning this topic and I'm sure it's something many people here wish for.

Thanks in advance.

(Adeboye Grillo) #2

I agree with your point. Let's enjoy the current features available. They have a lot on their to do list which will be coming soon. By the way, if your animations are just limited to camera animations to explore your model, you could use the autopilot feature in such a creative way to interactively navigate the scene.

(Bart) #3

Hey @essimoon!

animation is a hard thing to do 'right', we're still thinking about the best approach. If you need camera animation, I've started a 'hack' that will export Blender camera animation to Javascript:

It's not finished yet, I'll try to work more on it over the next few weeks.

There's also a similar project for 3DS Max camera animation:



(Simon Kratz) #4

Thanks Bart! Thats an already cool approach, I'll keep it in mind. It'll surely be useful in upcoming projects smile
To be honest I was more thinking about animating objects. So for example keyframed animation for characters or baked physic/particle simulations.
But I understand its probably not easy to realise it in a way people feel comfortable with.
So thanks for your reply, that already helps me understand a bit better about the progression. smile

(Bart) #5

Yeah those are a little harder to do right. Probably the best approach would be to 'bake' animations too instead of trying to support all types of rigs, deformations etc. What do you think?

(Simon Kratz) #6

Yes that would definitely be fine as well smile I mean baking animations to keyframes ins pretty easy in most programs. And it would already make a variety of things possible, probably everything except skinned animations and maybe morph targeted animations.
For character animations I guess some type of rig/bone support will still be necessary since normally if you bake them the data is baked to the bones (so the skinning and rigging still takes effect for the model).

(Racecar) #7

If you think the amount of data you get with baking is acceptable, then YES please go with baking!
Baking would ensure that everything plays as it should. Even for character animation this would be THE approach as I have seen horrible things happen to rigs/deformations after they leave their host software.
As there will be sooooo many variations of animation to consider, rig deformation, objects PSR, and so on, it will be better for everybody to have a single workflow that works for everything and it will be better for you Sketchfab guys to optimize this single way of playback.

As a starting point, I wouldn't mind settling with some limitations, like a max amount of frames or similar just to get something moving smoothly.

(Veyratom) #8

Just a thought, but the .fbx file format is quite good at exporting animation.

And yes, if I could animate my scenes in Sketchfab, you'll make me so happy !
The site is already awesome ! With animations ? it becomes unstoppable. wink

(Chrisoffner) #9

I think fully baked Alembic or FBX animations would be the way to go. I don't expect Sketchfab to support all rigging systems out there, that'd be unrealistic - but I'd love to be able to show off my character animations on Sketchfab! smile
That'd have to include playback features in the viewer like stepping through frame by frame, forward and backward, changing the playback speed to 25%, 50%, 100%, 200% and ideally also a timeline slider.

(Bart) #10

I'll check in with the team today to see the state of things, and ask what we can share at this point smile

(Chrisoffner) #11

Thank you Bart, that'd be really interesting! relaxed

(Simon Kratz) #12

Wow, you're building up quite some expectations there! smiley Really looking forward to hear some news!^^

We're looking for some awesome animation content
(Bart) #13

Hey folks! Here's a first glimpse at what's cooking. Please understand that this is still under heavy development, and the player is inside osg.js, the foundation of our viewer technology. More previews will follow smile

Sample by Guillaume Kurkdjian,

(Simon Kratz) #14

Nice! smiley
May I share this on twitter?^^

(Bart) #15

Sure, this forum is public after all :slight_smile:

(Chrisoffner) #16

Holy moly, now this is really exciting stuff!! heart_eyes

(Adeboye Grillo) #17

@bartv please tell us more about the animation feature. the formats supported, current features supported...

(Bart) #18

It's still too early to share such information, sorry. We're still in the prototyping stage and haven't integrated it into the site yet.

(Simon Kratz) #19

Not sure if it's already interesting for you but do you know Autodesk FBX Review? It's a free fbx viewer from Autodek with (in my opinion) excellent usability.
Using right-click you can toggle an interface with more advanced controls and space bar starts the animation (if there is one).
I really like it for it's ease of use so if you ever need some reference for cool usability FBX Review is the way to go smile

(Bart) #20

Thanks @essimoon!

@mauricesvay - maybe nice for inspiration?