Brekel Kinect v0.33 update, now with BVH support!

I just released the latest long awaited update, which from now on I’ll be calling “Brekel Kinect”, removing the reference to 3D scanning, as it does much more than that nowadays 🙂

Among a lot of little tweaks and cleaned up GUI (with dark skin), it brings the much anticipated BVH support.
Meaning you no longer need MotionBuilder in order to record motions for use in your favourite 3D package.

See the ReleaseLog section for more details on what’s changed and the Downloads section to get it.

Note that when you’re importing a BVH into 3DMax Biped, that in the “Motion Capture Conversion Parameters” dialog you set the “Limb Orientation” (bottom right of the window) for the Knees and Elbows to “angle”, instead of the default “point”
Failing to do so may result in jittery limbs.

Have fun!

Sunday, February 6th, 2011 Kinect, Ranting

20 Comments to Brekel Kinect v0.33 update, now with BVH support!

  • Koke says:

    Hi Brekel.

    At first, thank you very much for this amazing tool!.

    I have a problem with this last version. When I export to bvh in brekel and next I import to my 3d max biped, the biped lose his original scale, the forearms turns very small, and the legs aswell.

    do you know why?

    thank you!!

    • brekel says:

      With Biped you always need to import the BVH onto a fresh Biped, then export to .bip and then import that onto the Biped that’s connected to your character.

  • Jocken75 says:

    Collapse animaten is the action you will use not “Bake” and if you have higher smothing value in the Brekel Kinect program the Bip will not shake as much…

  • Jocken75 says:

    Look nice with the new BVH files, just resave the file as a BIP file and load it on to a new Bip. Then adjust the clavicles in a animation Layer and Bake the animation and save it again.

    There is still a slight shivering or shaking in the BVH but it’s a big step forward Brekel! You are great!

  • CNG says:

    The update looks promising. I’m having issues where the spine/shoulder/head bones are not as they should be, resulting in a disproportionate biped figure. The shoulders are at a V shape while neck is super-large and the head very small. Thanks.

    • brekel says:

      Ahhh yes, I noticed that however since retargeting seemed fine in MoBy I wrote this off as a visual discrepancy for now.
      The Kinect skeleton is a bit weird as the head joint is more of a tipjoint, and the clavicle’s don’t really exist, so I have to fiddle it a bit to at least comply with what Biped wants.
      I do have some ideas how to improve on it.

      Can you see what happens when you export as .bip and then use that on an actually skinned character?
      With my limited Max knowledge and trial I only figured out how to create a biped and import a bvh, still using the dreaded viewcube just to orbit around as I don’t know the keyboard equivalents for things like orbit 🙂

      • CNG says:

        After re-importing the bip it is not far off. The clavicles are angled up about 30 degrees but it is all proportionate now. Though we can just manually fix it, it would be great if the offset were tweaked so they can be flat with the shoulder joint. Let me know if you want me to test anything out. I’ll try a skinned character and write back.

  • RF says:

    Hi Brekel,

    Nice update. Like the 3D camera rotation 🙂

    Having a few issues with the new scanner software tho. Managed to get the BVH data into Max but it froze up around 100 frames in (recorded about 800 frames). Also had problems with the recording in Motionbuilder. Skeleton was there when recording but half of it disappeared when I played it back.

    Very strange.

    Anyway, maybe it’s just me. Will keep trying.
    Cheers again. Appreciate all your hard work!

    P.S. Thought I’d post up a viewport capture in Motionbuilder as my other posts only show 3dsMax captures.

    • brekel says:

      That’s weird indeed.
      Could you mail me the BVH or put it online somewhere please?

      A BVH is a readable ascii file, there is a header with the joints, then a few lines specifying how many frames and what framerate and then one line per frame with the data.

      I’m curious if there are 800 dataframes in there, or if there is anything bogus in it that I could filter for.
      I also have a few other mocap packages I could use to try the file out.

      I did try files longer than 100 frames successfully, does it stop after 100frames all the time for you? Or just occasionally?

  • Matty C. says:

    Hi there, the new version looks great and BVH is a welcome addition. However I can’t get anything real time from the camera with the new version and when I try to click on anything the program pretty much hangs or crashes.

    I’m using win xp and I had the previous version working. Thanks for a great program, regardless. I hope it’s something trivial…

    • brekel says:

      Hmmmm, that is weird indeed.
      I do use an additional library or two in this version, and haven’t tested myself on XP only on win7 x64 this time.

      What’s the last message in the console window when it crashes?

  • nick says:

    hey thanks again.. Is there any possibility porting kinect directly into 3dsMax without motionbuilder? Or is it a lot of work to you?

    • Nathan says:

      I would like to see this as well!

      • Nathan says:

        Never mind i’m an idiot. After I posted that upon further inspection of the program i saw that there was actually a BIPED (3Dmax) option. Sorry!

        Nick: Look for the (Start Capture BVH) button and above that should be a drop down box that you can change to Biped (3DMax)

        • brekel says:

          Yep, you’ve found it 🙂

          It may be possible to write a plugin to stream it into 3DMax in realtime, but I’m not a Max user myself.

          If you find a programmer that wants to write something like that I can provide the networking protocol used for MotionBuilder which could serve as a basis.

          • ivan cueto says:

            Hi Jasper,
            well I don´t know any programmer , but as I told you few days ago via facebook chat, Optitrack has a free plugin that works in realtime between there app, ARENA and 3ds max. Maybe you can chekeck that plugin , open it andsee the code in order to change the parameters to make it work with your app. I will be glad to give you the plugin in case you don´t want to find it.

            • brekel says:

              Unfortunately you can’t look in the code when all you have is the plugin for Max, you actually need the source code.
              And then still I have no knowledge of Max, nor access to it.

              Maybe there is someone you can find in a Max forum that knows how to code for Max and is up for the project? I can help out with providing all the networking specs etc.

  • sean v says:

    Thank you! You have literally saved my architecture thesis by making a stable, easy to demonstrate program. Is there any chance of getting two or three kinects to work in concert with each other for added resolution?

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