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Unable to run most demos (Windows 7 sp 1)
February 1, 2017
10:42 pm
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February 1, 2017
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I am trying to get a feel for the capabilities of Smartbody so I downloaded the latest .exe build (6597) and installed it on Win 7 SP1 (64 bit).   But for most of the scripts featured on page 10 of the manual, I just get a grey screen, including for,, and many others. Sometimes the grey screen has a red dot (or maybe it is a skeleton of a sphere). (Am I zoomed way out? How do I zoom in?)

I also get weird errors that make me wonder about file paths - when I load, I get a flurry of status messages ending with "Script with the name blenddemo does not exist" (even though that's what I loaded.) That suggesta filepath issue to me. With many of the scripts there are warnings or errors - I didn't bother to list them here because I think the problems are more generic.

The character with the ragdoll effect and the dancing skeleton worked. 

I also am not having much luck with the GUI's menu commands. If I Create - character, I find I can not select any skeletons, and the create button throws an error if I just click it. Another indication there may be filepath issues.

So my questions are:

1) I see a lot of the traffic on this site is years old. Is this software being maintained or is it just not working because it hasn't been tested with the latest Windows updates?

2) It is installed at C:\Users\<my-username>\Documents\SmartBody\ - is this right? (I was surprised it didn't install to C:\Program Files\ and the error message for blenddemo seems to imply there is something wrong with the paths.).

3) Is there documentation that gives a better description of getting started? (The tutorial at the end seems targeted to coding, not first out-of-the-box experience, and the information at the front of the manual just says do File - Load from script.)


February 2, 2017
9:52 am
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You might have insufficient graphics drivers on your video card. You can try switching to the CPU renderer (View->Character->Deformable Geometry after loading a file, or just show the bones View->Character->Bones). 

1) The software is being maintained, although development on the core capabilities is not as active as in years past. The software is a research platform that is used for many of USC ICT's virtual human systems, which had requirements for various capabilities (lip sync to speech, gesturing, gazing, etc.). Now that the 'core' capabilities are in place, most of the improvements are supporting my ongoing research, but we haven't added major functionality in the past couple of years. Also, in the past I've made an effort to support as many platforms as possible (Windows, OSX, Linux, Android, ios, javascript) but that task has become overwhelming, so the Windows platform should work, and the other platforms are fixes when i and my team have time to do so.

2) You can install it anywhere you like. If you install it in Program Files, you might have permission issues (since those folders are protected by the OS). I suggest installing it in a home folder instead.

3) SmartBody is a specialized research system that is meant to easily provide basic human motion and interaction capabilities. It is not comparable to commercial game engines (Unity/Unreal, etc.) which are end-user focused. When I have some time, I will put out a video that shows some steps for using SmartBody.  The manual is a bit outdated, but is still nearly 300 pages long. There is a focus on scripting (as opposed to controlling with GUIs) since UI development takes a long time.



March 21, 2017
10:02 pm
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