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Life - IdlePoser

Plugins Life - IdlePoser 5 (free)

IdlePoser is a state-based idle animation solution. States are essentially poses, but they can be anchored to body parts or even other characters. This makes it possible for different instances of IdlePoser to interact with each other, creating kind of procedural animation. At this point it's still a standalone plugin, although it will be properly integrated into my Life plugin suite at a later point. While I'm still actively developing IdlePoser, I decided to keep it separate from the Life suite. This way Life itself can be "Free", while this resource moves back and forth between "Free" and "Early-Access" categories every few weeks.

It's important to understand that the demo scene/video is NOT showing a simple animation loop. These are three different animation systems randomly interacting with each other. In theory this scene has 120 different possible poses for the character. Due to independent random timings, it's actually an almost infinite amount of animations. Creating this with other animation solutions available in VaM would be extremely time consuming, with IdlePoser it can be done in a few hours. Its a different way of defining animation, not suited for everything, but very elegant for random idle animation on top of other animation.

There is a tutorial/introduction available to help you get into this rather complex plugin.

States.png Captures.png

Current Features
  • State-based instead of Transition-based animation. When using for example AcidBubbles Timeline plugin or regular AnimationPatterns, you would need to define an animation for each combination of poses. With 10 different poses, that would be 90 animations someone needs to setup. With IdlePoser you define just the poses and some additional transition poses which can be partially shared. If the poses are similar you might be able to get away with defining just some 15 poses total.
  • Anchoring system. Each control position for a pose can be defined relative to another control or bone position. For example many of the lower hand poses in the demo scene are defined relative to the lThigh/rThigh bones of the character. That means if you happen to move the hip due to some other animation, the hands will still be placed correctly. By default poses are relative to the character atom, meaning if you can move or rotate the character, you move or rotate the entire animation poses as well.
  • Load and save as JSON. All animation data is saved in the scene, but can also be saved separately in a JSON file. That means your animations and poses can easily be transferred between characters or scenes.
  • Modular control capture. Similar to the Timeline plugin you can define which control nodes you want to include in an animation set. AcidBubbles called this "Controllers". The demo scene actually uses two instances of the IdlePoser, one for the hands and a second one for the feet and hip.
  • Modular morph capture. Just like control nodes, you can also capture morph states. Obviously you would want to animate fingers, toes and other pose morphs as well. You could also use this for facial emotion animations, although the demo doesn't do that, yet.
  • Tabbed-UI. Also inspired by the Timeline plugin is a tabbed UI, simply to avoid throwing all UI buttons and sliders in your face at one.
  • IdlePoser is of course compatible with the main Life plugin suite for Gaze and Breathing.
  • Debug display options. With a lot of pose states and captures it is difficult to keep track of what is what. I have implemented some lines and colored spheres that will help you understand what's going on. You can enable/disable this in the Options tab.
  • Fancy demo scene. I took the time to make a nice photo shooting scene. The environment was made by VamXFan, the hair as usual by NoStage3. Of course I added some custom global illumination using SkyMagic and I'm using Life 7.
Planned Features
Vague plans for the next few months in random order:
  • Micro-idle layer. I'm planning to add some micro-idle animations that would be applied on top of the pose. These would be very tiny random animations you could scale and tweak for each capture node in each pose.
  • Vertex Anchoring system. Currently you can only anchor against bones or control nodes. However, I have an idea how to anchor against a specific mesh vertex. This would be far more precise as it also takes morphs into account. E.g. the demo scene above could be independent of boob size. Not sure if this is actually gonna work and how much performance it's gonna eat. Did already a weekend worth of investigation and it turned out more complicated than anticipated. Still there is some hope.
  • Interacting IdlePosers! Possibly it makes sense to let IdlePosers interact with each other directly. Like simultaneously triggering state transitions, possibly with restrictions on which states to select. If hands move independently like in the demo scene you want to make sure that can't unintentionally collide.
  • Commission for more poses! Soon I will put out a commission for a selection of some hopefully reusable poses that will be shipped with the Life plugin suite. Facial animation and more like the demo scene comes to mind, we will see what else makes sense. Stay tuned!
  • This was an EarlyAccess release! Download is now available for free under CC BY-SA license. You are allowed to reference this package in your own VAR packages, even if they are paid or use a different licence. Links to my Patreon are always appreciated.
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Latest updates

  1. Version 5 free (VaM 1.20+ required)

    Maintenance update for VaM 1.20 Fixing morph captures which were broken with VaM 1.20. Since...
  2. Version 4 now free!

    EarlyAccess ended, it's now free! Dependencies: MacGruber.Life.7 MacGruber.Essentials.3...
  3. Version 4

    This new update brings a number of usability improvements and some new features: Improved...

Latest reviews

Love this plugin. Simple yet highly effective for adding pose variation and movement. Can't wait for trigger ability.
Great and simple to use, even for dumb people like me :D
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