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Kenneth Nemire
04-27-2004, 03:14 PM
Hi,

Thank you to everyone who thoughtfully shared their experience with software
for creating 3D humanoids. Below, I've provided my initial query, then
followed it with comments organized by the recommended software. Only one
person explicitly gave permission to provide his contact information, so
that is the only contact information that is included.

Thank you again for all your help.

Kenneth Nemire, Ph.D., CPE
HFE Consulting

ORIGINAL QUERY

I'm looking for software that would allow me to quickly create 3D humanoids
and pose them in human-compatible, biomechanically correct, positions and
view from various perspectives. Must have 2D and 3D drawing and modeling
tools and be .dxf compatible [with import and export functions]. The
application should allow quick creation of 3D humanoids with articulated
body parts within human ranges of motion, field of vision cones, and
reach-envelopes for hands and feet.

If you've used an application, I would appreciate hearing about advantages
and disadvantages. Reply to me and I will summarize and post to the group.
Please let me know whether to use your name in the summary.

Thanks.

SUMMARY

POSER

I regularly use Poser 5 by Curious Labs (http://www.curiouslabs.com/) and
whilst the interface is a little non-standard (perhaps catering somewhat to
the more 'artistic' types who have occasion to use a computer, it is quite
simply the best piece of character animation software I have seen by an
order of magnitude. I regularly use Lightwave 6, 3DS Max, and occasionally
use Maya, but nothing comes close for rapid results in posing characters for
demonstration, and making animations of, for example, exercises and the
like. It exports 3D to .dxf, along with most other commonly used format
(about 8 formats from memory), along with 2D output.
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I'm not sure about the purpose of the program you need.
Do you need it to represent with a "fashion look"? or just to display
(with a stick man) human movements?
Kinematic data come from a source such as and optical tracker or come
from other sources?
I know a commecial software called Poser, from curious lab, that has a
database o different human models and can be posed in all human
compatibile poses, it can export in any format and has also the
possibility to create some environment.
It's accuracy in human movement is not submillimetric but is good for
macroscopic analysis.
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You could try Poser 5 - www.curiouslabs.com
I don't necessarily think it will meet all your requirements but its worth a
look. Its aimed at artists primarily but does give fine control of joint
angles.
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Most 3d modeling packages geared towards animation have tools that will
provide that capability. The money in this industry comes from Hollywood FX
requirements and the 3D Game Development communities. The BioMech market
share just doesn't warrant the development of such a specialized tool
targeted towards their needs. Rather, the tools in these apps are designed
to allow 3d artists and animators - who know how to create human-like
figures in 3D with hierarchical joint structures - to adjust the degree of
freedom of each joint in a character's "skeleton" so that when they use
inverse kinematics to move the character around it looks like the motions of
an actual human. This is not trivial and there's really no "button" or
series of clicks in any application that I'm aware of that will
automatically create a human character with a joint structure that reflects
the actual movement of a human skeleton.

That said, "poser" (http://www.curiouslabs.com/) might be a good place to
start. This has tools designed to help an artist create human-like
characters that can be animated in programs like Maya and 3D Studio Max.
Might be worth the $200 for this guy to just educate himself on the
requirements of what he wants to do.

He're something I'm working on and you can kind of see where this could be
developed to the point where it might be useful for the original author's
purposes.

http://www.ccad.uiowa.edu/~beck/VirToolsTesting/Santos-Interactive.htm

NOTE ON USE OF AVATAR LINKED TO ABOVE: Place the middle finger of your left
hand on the "s" key on your keyboard. This centers your hand around the
keys that - with the left (x axis), middle (y axis), and right (z axis)
mouse buttons - allow you to rotate the various joints currently available.

[ q ] [ w ] [ e ]
[ a ] [ s ] [ d ]
[ z ] [ ] [ c ]

Directions for camera and joint control are also available on the webpage
linked to above.
Steve Beck, steven-beck@uiowa.edu.
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LIFEMOD

You should try lifemod I am using it and it works very
effectively for modeling human musculoskeletal
geometry. But it works in ADAMS software you can get
some info from lifemodeller.com web page.


RAMSIS

You should look for RAMSIS (http://www.ramsis.de/).


CLASSIC JACK

You might want to take a look at Classic Jack software from EDS. We use it
at Ford Motor for doing some of our human factors and ergonomics anaylses
and does all the things that you list that you are looking for.


VISUAL 3D

Check out www.c-motion.com
Visual3D software might do the trick!


HUMANCAD PRODUCT SERIES

Try:

and


I had a small experience with this software (ManneQuinPRO) some years ago.
The program had some important characteristics for ergonomics analyses (I
think that a demo version should be available). We didn't acquire this
software because our needs were different: clinical gait analysis and human
movement, thus, we opted to use a software of cinematic simulations
(WorkingModel).





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