Prelink for MotionBuilder is a plug-in that allows Autodesk MotionBuilder to transmits animation data transforms over the network into a Previzion system for real-time character and object animation. This enables any motion capture system that integrates with Motion Builder to be used with Previzion, and take advantage of Previzion’s frame-accurate time sync and optically matched renderer.

We currently support MotionBuilder 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Installing Prelink for Motion Builder

Prelink is a plug-in for MotionBuilder that transmits animation data transforms over the network. This enables any motion capture system that integrates with Motionbuilder to be used with Previzion, and take advantage of Previzion’s frame-accurate time sync and optically matched renderer.

MotionBuilder 2010-2011, Windows XP/32

  • Download Prelink for Maya/MoBu 2011 from the Dashboard.
  • Download and install the Visual Studio 2010 x32 redistributable
  • Download and install the hardware protection key installer.
  • Place the Prelink plugin in the C:\Program Files\Autodesk\MotionBuilderxxxx\bin\win32\ plugins directory.
MotionBuilder 2012 and 2013, Windows 7/64
  • Download Prelink for Maya/MoBu 2012/2013 from the Dashboard.
  • Unzip the folder and run the InstallPrelink2012×64.exe.
  • Follow the instructions to install Prelink and Precam.
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  • Use the Repair setting for the HASP Run-time Setup.
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  • If you get a Redistributable Setup error, disregard and close.
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Prelink Transform Selection

The connection from MotionBuilder to Previzion is achieved through the Prelink plugin. To use: – Drag and drop the Prelink plugin from the Devices tab in Motionbuilder’s Asset Browser into the scene.

In MotionBuilder’s Navigator window, drag and drop the desired joints and transforms into the Prelink model list as shown above.

Note: Prelink sends each transform as a local transform, so all transforms between the root scene node and the character must be dragged into Prelink to match character scene motion between MotionBuilder and Previzion.

  • Set the Export FPS to match the camera speed.
  • Under the Network tab, check that the correct TCP/IP address and port is selected. 4444 is the default port. The TCP/IP address should be the address of the Previzion system being connected to; see next section for details.
  • Click Online to start broadcasting data. If successful, the Online button will turn green.
  • To move individual scene elements around, select the object and click Add Selected in the Prelink window.  After moving the object, click Sub Selected to remove its transform from the list being continuously updated.

Deselecting From List UI Quirk (MoBu 2010)

Due to a Motionbuilder 2010 interface quirk, the way to remove nodes from the list requires 2 steps:
  • Click on the node in the list to highlight it, then click Select Highlighted.
  • Click Sub Selected to remove the selected node.

Prelink Network Configuration

  • Change to the Communication tab in the Prelink UI.
  • Type in the IP address of the Previzion system you wish to connect to (available in the About button on the Previzion system in the Systems tab.)
  • Change back to the Stream tab, and click the Online square. If both machines are on the same network, and the IP address was correctly entered into the previous step, the light will turn green and the link will show up in the Previzion Systems tab.

Enabling Timecode

To embed the time code of the current frame into the data packet, select Send Time->Local in the Prelink Stream tab.  To set Motionbuilder into displaying the current frame in timecode mode, right click on the Timeline, and select Time->Display as Timecode.

The incoming timecode frame from Prelink will be displayed in Previzion next to the incoming video timecode with the label Animation, and will be written into the take file.

No Snap

Depending on how frames were interpolated in MotionBuilder, you may need to select “No Snap” to allow for a more smooth animation.

To do this, next to the FPS menu on the timeline, set the drop down menu to No Snap to prevent Motionbuilder from attempting to interpolate in between frames.

Last Modified: October 29, 2013