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User Manual: Fuse 1.3

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Summary

Mixamo Fuse is a data-driven tool for modeling 3D characters. It was developed in collaboration between Mixamo and Vladlen Koltun's research group at Stanford University, with Siddhartha Chaudhuri as the chief architect and programmer. With Fuse, Mixamo aims at democratizing character modeling and assembling, giving the user full control over the uniqueness of the character while keeping quality of the assets high. Mixamo enables a seamless and direct integration with the Mixamo Auto-Rigger and animation collection.

What do I do with my Fuse models?

Animate them! Select the "Animate" button inside Fuse and upload your model to Mixamo. It will be automatically rigged and prepped for animation. Select any animation in Mixamo and it will be automatically applied to your character. Download back into any 3D software or game engine. Custom 3D animated characters, as simple as that!

Features

Features

  • Seamlessly modular character construction
  • Advanced Character Customization with 280+ face and body controls
  • 2k skin texture maps for high resolution characters
  • Parametric texturing powered by Substance from Allegorithmic
  • Advanced Skin Substance with dozens of option to make your character all your own
  • Excellent topology for project-ready characters, previs, or to use as your base models
  • User-generated content import, making Fuse the first open-platform character suite
  • Virtual Assets allow you to create unlimited character and clothing presets to customize your library and accelerate your workflow
  • Direct upload to the Mixamo Autorigger
  • OBJ export with diffuse, normal, specular, and gloss maps
  • Facial Animation Blendshapes - automatically generate 50 embedded facial blendshapes upon upload for rigging at Mixamo.com (FBX format only)
  • Download Auto-rigged characters from Mixamo as FBX, FBX for Unity, Collada or BVH

Suggest more content and features for future iterations by giving us feedback! There is a survey available here: https://www.mixamo.com/fuse

Installation

Windows

  1. Check that your system meets the minimum requirements.
  2. Open Setup Mixamo Fuse.exe
  3. The Mixamo Fuse Setup wizard will open.  Click "Next" to continue installation.
  4. Select the destination for instalation.  The default is C:\Program Files(x86)\Mixamo Fuse.
  5. Select whether a Start Menu shortcut is created.
  6. Select whether a desktop shortcut is created.
  7. Finalize installation by clicking "Install".

Mac OSX

  1. Check that your system meets the minimum requirements.
  2. Open Setup Mixamo Fuse.dmg
  3. Drag the Fuse icon to the Applications shortcut to install Fuse in the application folder on your hard drive.

Main UI

File Functions

UPDATED SCREENSHOT

Several shortcut icons have been added for common file functions.

  • New Model - Create a new Fuse file with a blank canvas.
  • Open - Opens a window to locate and open an existing Fuse file.
  • Save - Opens a window to save the existing Fuse file.
  • Undo - Reverse the latest action.
  • Redo - Reapply the latest undone action.

Controls

There are multiple ways to manipulate your character within the viewport.  By default the "Select and Move" tool is selected.  This tool lets you manipulate both the viewport and the character at the same time.  Clicking and dragging on the viewport will rotate the camera around the character.  Holding Ctrl/⌘ + Clicking and Dragging will pan the camera.  Clicking and dragging on the character will select and modify body parts.

Additional Controls

  • Translate - Sets the camera to translate / pan only.
  • Rotate- Sets the camera to rotate / orbit around the character only.
  • Focus - Centers the camera on the character.
  • Select and Move - Restores the default select and move tool.

Character Shading

Fuse offers several options to view your character in different ways.  The default shading method is "Shaded".  The available options include:

  • Wireframe - Renders only the edges of the character, making the mesh transparent.
  • Shaded - Renders the lit surface of the mesh.
  • Shaded Wireframe - Renders the lit surface with the wireframe overlay.

Create Preset

You can save the current settings of any item (body, clothing or hair) within Fuse as a new item by creating a Preset.  Select the item you have customized and press the Create Preset button.  Name your preset and a copy of the item will be added to your library in the same category as the base item.  For example you could edit a pair of pants to have a black leather substance then create a preset called “Black Leather Pants” which would be in the “Bottoms” category.

Viewport

The Viewport is the area within the user interface where the model is manipulated, either by adding or removing components, scaling limbs and features, moving the view around the model or selecting parts to texture.

Workspace

Fuse contains workspaces specific to different steps in character creation.  Changing the workspace will change the Editor panel and functions available to you.

Editor 

The Editor panel contains context sensitive content related to the active workspace.  In the Assemble workspace it displays the various meshes you can combine.  In the Customize workspace the Editor will display sliders for fine-tuning body adjustments.  Within the Clothing workspace the Editor panel will display the clothing meshes you can add to your character.  In the Texture workspace the Editor displays detailed parameters used to control substances.

Workspaces

Assemble

The Assemble workspace contains all the essential ingredients for fusing your character: head, arms, torso, legs.  As you build your character the Editor panel will automatically open to suggested body parts you can use to complete your character.  Right-clicking on a body part will also bring up the option to add the full set of matching body parts.

Customize

The Customize workspace contains all of the 280+ possible character customization options. Like the Assemble workspace, it is organized into subsets for different areas of the body. These customization sliders are also activated by the controllers that appear when you pass your cursor over different areas of your character’s body. Clicking on one of those controllers will make the relevant sliders visible at the top of the Editor panel.

Clothing

The Clothing workspace is enabled once all of a character’s body parts have been combined. Like the body parts, the clothing is separated into different categories, such as Tops and Bottoms.

Note: When you import your own clothing content, you can add your clothing to the preset clothing groups, or you can create an entirely new category.

You can always go back to the Assemble workspace to try fusing different parts on your character, the clothing will adjust to any changes!

Texture

The Texture workspace is powered by Allegorithimic’s Substance texturing system. Where the Editor previously contained meshes in the Assemble workspace, now the body, hair and clothing textures are all able to be customized through procedural inputs from these substances. Attributes such as eye color, age, fabric patterns and texture resolution can all be manipulated with ease.

Note: Limbs and clothing cannot be deleted in the Texture workspace, The Assemble workspace must be activated first.

To change the texture options for the body, hair or clothing, select the item you want to change. The options for the selected object then appear in the Editor panel. There are some slight differences between the options for body, hair and clothing substances. Every piece of the character can have the resolution of the texture changed anywhere from 64x64 all the way to 1024x1024. Higher resolutions improve the texture quality.

Substance Details

Body

Selecting a body part opens the controls for attributes like the color of the eyes, skin tones and a rapid aging slider for characters with an aged Normal Map!

The following sliders are functional depending on whether the character has a Detail Extra map, like the zombies included with Fuse. The settings can be changed independently of the skin options.

  • Detail Hue Shift – Adjust the hue of the extra detail texture
  • Detail Saturation – Adjust the saturation of the extra detail texture
  • Detail Visibility – Adjust the visibility of the extra detail texture

Hair

The primary attributes of the hair substance are the Base Color and the Highlight, many more options are enabled for Alpha-style hair. Detail adds sharpness to Alpha hair strands.

Hair objects are able to contain simple objects like bows and hair bands. The “Extras” Sliders are functional depending on whether there is a Detail Extra map for these objects

Clothing

Clothing attributes are broken down into separate areas depending on the piece of clothing the character is wearing, such as sleeves, or laces, or pockets. When a piece of clothing is selected, the Substance Texture tray activates and you can swap out the current texture substance for a different one by selecting the desired texture from the tray! Each substance has a unique set of highly customizable attributes.

Note: You can quickly propagate substances and setting you like in one area by selecting Copy, clicking the next area of the clothing you want to change, and select the Paste button.

Animate

Clicking the Animate button uploads your character to Mixamo’s web-based animation service. After the character is packaged using Fuse’s OBJ exporter, a web browser window will open with the Fuse character ready to be autorigged!

Creating Custom Content

Creating content for Fuse makes the potential for customization endless.  We've created specific in depth tutorials that will guide you through the creating of Fuse bodies, clothing and hair.

Creating Custom Content for Fuse

Importing Content

Fuse can import user generated content into a custom database. Once your content is complete and ready for import, open Fuse and under the File dropdown menu there is now a submenu called “Import.” Under Import, select which type of file you would like to add to your Fuse database: Substance, Character, Clothing.

File Options

To get you started, Fuse includes a Content Creator Package that contains Male and Female meshes as well as examples of the various maps specific to Fuse. To download these files open the File menu and select “Download Content Creator Package.”

Substances

Allegorithmic Substance SBSAR files can be directly imported into the Fuse substance tray. This means that you can use any of Allegorithmic’s pre-made substance files from their website, or use Substance Designer to create completely custom substances for use within Fuse.

Files:

  • .sbsar substance file

Import Process:

  • Select Import Substances from the File menu
  • An OS based file dialog will appear for you to navigate with and select the Substances you would like to import.
  • Imported Substances are organized in the Substance tray under “Custom”

Characters
Files:

Meshes:

  • Character OBJ Mesh (Strict UV requirements)
  • Template Mesh (Generated automatically with base mesh)

Maps:

  • Ambient Collusion map (_AO.png) (Optional)
  • Detail Diffuse map (_DetailDiff.png) (Optional)
  • Detail Extra map (_DetailExtra1.png) (Optional)
  • Standard normal map (_StdNM.png) (Optional)
  • Aged normal map (_AgedNM.png) (Optional)
  • Segment File (Generated automatically with base mesh)
  • Template Segment File (Generated automatically with base mesh)

Fuse-specific files:

  • Detail Extra Map – An extra texture map to contain details of your character that you may not want to alter when changing parameters like skin color and contrast. Examples within Fuse of the use of Detail Extra maps are the scarring and wounds on the zombie characters.
  • Template Mesh – The template mesh is what drives the deformation of the clothing around your character. If your character is based on the Fuse base character exports, or if you UV your custom character to fit the Fuse UV layout, the template mesh will be created for you automatically. The only case where you will need to create your own template file is if your character does not fit the Fuse UV layout and not based on the Base character, in which case you will need to manually fit the Fuse template mesh to your character similar to caging or enveloping.
  • Segment file – The segment file is based on the UV layout and is generated by Fuse on import. It directs Fuse in how to segment a character into its individual parts: Head, Torso, Legs, and Arms.
  • Template segment file – The template segment file is the equivalent of the segment file for the template mesh.

Import Process:

• Open the Import Character dialog by selecting File->Import->Import Characters
• Select the character OBJ file you would like to import
• Configure the metadata

  • Edit the display name of your character
  • Use the whitelist to select only certain sections of your character to import. 
  • Leave black to import the entire character. An example of use is if you want to create only a new head for MaleFitA, you would import an obj of the entire character, but in the whitelist field, write “Head”. Your new head will be an option in the Head section without adding the redundant body again
  • Assign any tags you would like to the character metadata

• Select the available texture files. If the files follow the Fuse naming conventions and are in the same folder as the OBJ, they will auto-populate the texture fields. All texture files are optional.

• Select Segmentation and Template files. These files are not required if your character is based off of the Fuse base character exports or if the UV shells for your character are fit to the Fuse UV layout.

Clothing

Importing clothing requires only an OBJ file that has UVs laid out and is fitted to a particular character template. You may model clothing to fit a custom character, but you will not be able to import it until that custom character is imported first with a working template.

Files:

• Base Character mesh to model clothing on and paint Occlusion Mask
• OBJ clothing mesh (.obj)
• Textures files:

  • Color Mask (_Mask.png) (Optional)
  • Normal Map (_NM.png) (Optional)
  • Ambient Occlusion map (_AO.png) (Optional)
  • Detail Diffuse Map (_DetailDiff.png) (Optional)
  • Occlusion Mask - body UVs (_OccMask.png) (Optional)

Import Process:

• Open the Import Clothing dialog by selecting File->Import->Import Clothing
• Select the clothing OBJ file you would like to import.
• Configure the metadata:

  • Edit the display name of your object
  • Select the category you would like the object to be stored under, or enter a 
  • Select the character template the object was modeled for; i.e. if you new category downloaded the Content Creator Package and modeled clothing for MaleFitA or FemaleFitA, here you would select the MaleFitA or FemaleFitA template. Imported characters also have templates.
  • Assign any tags you would like to the content metadata

• Select the available texture files. All texture files are optional.
• Name the different components of the clothing item based on the color mask.

Altering your Database

All imported content is contained in a custom user database. To manually add items or new maps, or to remove custom content you no longer want included in Fuse, open the File menu in Fuse and select Browse Imported Files.  This will open the folder that holds your custom content.

Notes

Mixamo Control Scripts

Auto-rigged your Fuse character? Use these scripts to automatically create controls in either Maya or 3dsMax!

Other 3D suite workflows:

Notes

Uploading to Mixamo requires a working internet connection

 

 

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