Rainbow Studio Brings Cartoon Style to CG with Morph-O-Matic

Blur Studio and Snowblind created Justice League Heroes with the help of Morph-O-Matic

Rainbow Studio brings cartoony style to CG with the help of Morph-O-Matic

Nexus Productions rely on Morph-O-Matic to create award winning animated ads campaign.

Nexus Productions rely on Morph-O-Matic to create award winning animated ads campaign.

Digital Dimension uses Morph-O-Matic to animate Spyro the dragon

Luis San Juan creates impressive facial rigs using Morph-O-Matic for KEYTOON

Nexus Productions rely on Morph-O-Matic to create award winning animated ads campaign.

"Gopher Broke", Oscar nominated CG short from Blur Studio, was animated with the help of Morph-O-Matic

Blur Studio animate SpongeBob SquarePants with the help of Morph-O-Matic

Luis San Juan creates impressive facial rigs using Morph-O-Matic for KEYTOON

Luis San Juan creates impressive facial rigs using Morph-O-Matic for KEYTOON

Nexus Productions rely on Morph-O-Matic to create award winning animated ads campaign.

"In the Rough", the impressive CG short from Blur Studio, was animated with the help of Morph-O-Matic

Blur Studio : Bring Sonic to life with Morph-O-Matic

Morph-O-Matic played a key role in making Mickey Mouse in 3D for the first time by helping Blur Studio and Disney.

Morph-O-Matic played a key role in making Mickey Mouse in 3D for the first time by helping Blur Studio and Disney.

Nexus Productions rely on Morph-O-Matic to animate Yao and LeBron in COKE Unity commercial

Relying on Morph-O-Matic many studios have worked for Vivendi to bring Crash Bandicoot to life, including Virgin Lands and Digital Dimension.

Relying on Morph-O-Matic for the facial animations many studios have worked on various Sonic games, including Blur Studio and SEGA.

Morph-O-Matic played a key role in making Mickey Mouse in 3D for the first time by helping Blur Studio and Disney.

Blur Studio created and animated the new Lara Croft using Morph-O-Matic

 Di-O-Matic.com > Press > Success Stories  

Morph-O-Matic, the award winning Morph modifier for 3ds max, celebrated its 10th year of existence in 2011. 2011 also marked the introduction of Morph-O-Maticís game engine scripting API. For several years, many were under the impression that it was impossible to use morph based animations with game engines like Unity 3D. We had the chance to speak with Chris West, one of the creators of Mega-Fiers; who have made this possible for everyone; and as he puts it, it wasnít impossible Öjust very complicated.

Can you tell us a bit more about what Mega Fiers is about, and who you are?

Chris: I started programming games with the Vic20 and have worked my way through C64, Amiga, SNES, PSX, Saturn and PC and now ended up with Unity. For the past 27 years I have worked in the game industry with my brother Tony handling the artistic and creative side of things, doing all sorts of games. MegaFiers came about after we moved over to Unity, we created our own 3d engine for the PC and part of that was a recreation of 3ds Maxís modifier system. So we could use things like FFD, Morphs and Bends in our game worlds and have complete control over the systems instead of using baked animations. When we moved to Unity we wanted those same functions in our system so I started porting them over to C#, I did a little video on YouTube to show it off and was surprised by the number of emails asking where they could buy the system, so once the Asset store came along I took the plunge; packaged it all up and made it available.
 

What's your take on why so many game engines don't support morph animations and some claim that it is not do-able?

Chris: Thatís an interesting question, to be honest I didnít realize people claimed it wasnít doable, I guess people don't like the idea of having to code up two systems when one will do in their minds. Skin and bones is a great system but to get the finesse and detail that morphs provide you need a lot of bones and with the limitations on number of bones per vertex, especially on mobile platforms, it just isnít possible to get the depth of animation that you can with morphs, plus with a good morphing engine once a morph is set you have no overhead. Unity makes it nice and easy to update meshes for each frame; so it was relatively simple to add a morph layer on top of the normal bone based animation system; and with the very compact and optimized nature of the Morph-O-Matic data, the morphing system really has very little impact on frame rates. It just allows the artist to have the control they want especially with the easy channel mixing and progressive targets.

To integrate Morph-O-Matic, you have used the Morph-O-Matic Game Engine Scripting API, How easy was the integration with your code/pipeline?

Chris: It was a breeze to use, the only issue I had was I use C++ for my max plugins and exporters so I just had to learn to use Maxscript from C++ but that was easy in the end, most people would probably use Maxscript from the start and the API is so simple to use with that. To do the exporter was a few simple lines of code as the API was obviously designed with ease of use in mind, it just gives you the data you need, nice and simple. The equivalent C++ version for morpher was a little more complex plus you have to figure out the redundant data yourself something which isnít an issue with the Morph-O-Matic API. On the Unity side of things I did decide to write a new morpher to use the Morph-O-Matic data as it has some extras mainly the greatly reduced amount of memory for morphs which allowed for a cleaner and faster morph modifier in Unity.


 

Web Links
For more information about Mega-Fiers please visit: www.west-racing.com/mega-fiers/ or its page on the Unity3D Store.

Morph-O-Matic is available at $249, for more info visit Morph-O-Matic's webpage or get the FREE trial here.

 

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