Generate Avatar from single image into Vizard using ReadyPlayerMe

Video example in Vizard

Here are the steps to utilize the “Ready Player Me” avatar heads in Vizard, where you can generate an avatar head from a single selfie (using webcam or upload an image) and download as a .glb file

  1. Go here to make your avatar from a single selfie https://readyplayer.me/

  2. Download .glb file and open in Inspector (open Vizard and choose Tools- Inspector)

  3. In Inspector, use the translate tools to move the avatar head to the ground plane. Make sure eyes are at:
    0 in the “X” axis , just so eyes are level with 0 in the “Y” axis and just back so that the eyes aren’t being seen in front of your own in the “Z” axis.
    You may also need to rotate the head 180 degrees.

 

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PBR Workflow: Reflecting a Scene with Physically Based Rendering

This article applies to environment exported as GLTF to allow the use of its realtime lighting. For fully baked scenes both the ambient and specular reflections can be produced from the scene itself.

Environment Maps
There are a few options other than Lys. The two main free ones to look at are Modified CubeMapGen and IBL Baker. Both have their quirks. When building maps from existing HDR cylindrical maps such as you would find on HDRI Haven, our source for most of the built in maps, Lys is the best choice for clean results. Last I checked the old photoshop DDS plugin still works on current versions of photoshop.

To use the result of a render from Max in Lys, you'd do best to save out a cylindrical panorama as a .HDR file and use the Load Panorama button.

Captured from the Scene
Reflection maps mean to represent the existing scene should almost never be generated inside 3ds Max - we're aiming to reflect how Vizard sees objects, not how 3ds Max does. We render those from Inspector instead. The documentation that recommends using 3ds max predates this option and is outdated.

Frustratingly enough Lys currently has an error loading DDS cube maps despite writing them just fine, so cubemapgen is the better option despite looking so outdated.
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Bringing models from Sketchfab into Vizible and Vizard

With the largest 3D content library available and an ever growing community of users, Sketchfab is an extremely powerful tool for finding 3D models for your project. All of the models in Sketchfab’s library can be downloaded in the glTF format, a new 3D model transmission format that standardizes how 3D content is delivered.

 

Because Vizard and Vizible support the glTF model format, you can utilize the entire Sketchfab library of models, with 150,000+ free models, licensed under Creative Commons. Here is a quick description of how you can bring Sketchfab models into your scene.

 

First, go to the Sketchfab website. If you don’t have an account, you’ll have to create one.

Filter your search results for “downloadable”. Most of the models on Sketchfab are free, but a few of them are paid.

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Lip Syncing with Fuse/Mixamo Avatars

Programs Needed:

Fuse (available for free if you have a Creative Cloud membership, or on Steam)

3DSMax

Cal3D Exporter (available to download from the WorldViz website)

1. Create your model in Fuse

 

2. Go to “File- Animate with Mixamo” or click on “Send to Mixamo”


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How to have tracked FBX Avatars in vizconnect using 3DSMax and Mixamo’s Auto Rigging

The Autobiped script was created by Ofer Zelichover and Dan Babcock and it is freely released to Mixamo customers

The script will convert any character rigged using Mixamo auto-rigger into a Biped system in 3dsMax

  • If going from Fuse just send to Mixamo and Auto-rig

    • Go to mixamo.com

    • Select “Upload Character”

  • If coming out of other programs (such as Character Creator)

    • Bring avatar into 3DSMax and delete the skeleton (for some models may also have to merge meshes)

    • Export the mesh as an fbx

    • Upload to Mixamo and auto-rig then download

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Moving Unity Assets to Vizard and Vizible with the Sketchfab glTF exporter

This is a method for transferring your Unity assets into Vizible or Vizard using Sketchfab.

Get the latest version here: https://github.com/sketchfab/unity-plugin/releases

Download the Unity Package titled SketchfabForUnity-v1.2.0.unitypackage

Import this into your Unity project

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FBX Avatar to Vizard

In earlier versions of Vizard, Cal3D exports out of 3ds Max were the only option for a character workflow. As of version 6, Vizard includes the ability to use any FBX avatar. These can come from a variety of sources. In this case, we'll be using a .FBX avatar exported from a program called “Character Creator”.

Importing and Preview Lighting
First, import your avatar into Inspector. This can be done by using Open With... and selecting Vizard 6 Inspector from the list, or by running Vizard 6 Inspector and dragging the avatar's FBX file into the scene.


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PBR Workflow: Tools, Resources and Additional Reading

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An Industry-Wide Revolution

The addition of physically based rendering to WorldViz products brings us into the fold of an industry-wide revolution in artist workflows. Physically based rendering has a few new concepts and methods compared to older methods, as well as some amazing new capabilities that simplify artist workflows an make sure that once an asset has been made once, it can be used anywhere without having to retouch the source files. This is a list of tools and resources to help you on your way.

Krzysztof Narkowicz's Interactive PBR Example

The most intuitive way to get a feel for the capabilities of a shader is often to simply mess around with some sliders and see how it responds. Krzysztof Narkowicz's embedded below from Shadertoy does just that, and even includes a realtime display of what's going on at the microsurface level.


Permalink: https://www.shadertoy.com/view/4sSfzK

Babylon.js GLTF Exporter for 3DS Max

At the moment, the best way to export models for use with Vizard's new PBR workflow is the GLTF format. GLTF stands for GL Transmission Format, and is designed as an engine-neutral way to deliver models ready for use with PBR conventions. The most popular GLTF exporter for 3ds Max is the one produced by the good people at the Babylon.js project.

Instructions for download and use can be found here:
https://doc.babylonjs.com/resources/3dsmax_to_gltf

Be sure to use the "scale factor" option to convert the units to meters for Vizard/Vizible use. e.g. if your 3ds max system unit is set to 1 unit = 1 cm, the scale factor to use in the exporter is 0.01.

Comparison to the old OSGB workflow

One of the awesome things about the approach is that cube maps are now part of environments instead of individual objects, so objects can be easily transferred between scenes and just reflect what's around them. This is as compared to having to manage reflections on a per-object basis with the old OSGB workflow, and having to replace them on every object anytime you want to bring it to a new scene. With this workflow, you make a prop once and it's done forever.
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PBR Workflow: Processing HDRs for Image based Lighting With Lys

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A Tool for Processing HDR Images for Image Based Lighting

Image based lighting can use 8 bit images, but requires true HDRI cube map to get the best results. Once you have on in hand, you'll need a way to process it.

First you'll need a copy of Lys from Knald Technologies. Freeware tools also exist, but many of them are either buggy or are very outdated. Lys can be tried out for free with LDR watermarked images for free, but the paid version is fairly cheap and the reliability and features make it easily worth the price.
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Where to get HDR Panoramas and Cube Maps

Next you'll need an HDRI panorama or cube map. A great source for free HDRI sky panoramas is HDRI Haven The website is run by CG artist Greg Zaal, who generously puts them out with a CC0 license - free for both personal and commercial use, no catch. Shooting HDRs yourself can be done with any 360 capable camera that supports exposure bracketing, though higher resolutions give better backgrounds.

You can also capture HDRI cubemaps from virtual scenes within Inspector. These currently need to be reorganized into a cross format before use in Lys. This can be done through with AMD's classic editing tool, CubeMapGen. If you're using the modified version of CubeMapGen designed for making quick ambient maps, you'll want to temporarily disable multi-threading first before saving out to cross format.

HDRI Haven - a free source for high quality HDRI images
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PBR Workflow: Saving HDR Cube Maps From Inspector

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Welcome to Inspector R6

If you've been working with WorldViz products for a while, you may already be aware of our visual editor, Inspector. Inspector allows for the inspection and manipulation of scenes, setting up realtime lighting, particle effects, Level of Detail nodes, and various other options.

New to Inspector in Vizard 6 is the ability to render out High Dynamic Range cube maps that can be processed in external programs for Image Based Lighting in a Physically Based Rendering workflow, such as in commercial tools like Lys, or freeware like IBLBaker.

Inspector is included with all installations of Vizard, and is unrestricted with all licenses including the free mode. If you don't already have a copy of Vizard installed and would like to try Inspector, download the free edition of Vizard here.

Start Inspector and Load the File

To start off, open up inspector from the start menu, then load your environment model using File > Open.
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