Thursday, September 7th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

MoGen generates animation cycles in your web browser

Swedish startup Motorica has launched MoGen, a promising AI-based online platform for generating motion cycles for animation, game development, architectural visualization, motion graphics or VFX work.

The tool, which is free in beta, generates custom walk and run cycles for human and humanoid characters that can be downloaded in FBX format for use in DCC applications and game engines, including Blender, Houdini, Maya, Unity and Unreal Engine.

The browser version has been available since the start of the year, but Motorica Studio, the Unreal Engine integration plugin, has just been updated to support Unreal Engine 5.2, so now seems a good time to take a look.

Generate custom movement cycles for humanoid characters in a range of styles
MoGen generates custom animation cycles in a range of preset motion styles, based on a random seed, and with the option to blend between two presets.

As well as male and female cycles, presets cover emotional and physical states – like energetic, tired or injured – and social and personality traits like low status and ‘cool guy’.

There are also presets for a soldier (for moving while holding a weapon, rather than combat animations), and for humanoid creatures, including giants, goblins and zombies.

It’s also possible to generate some truly weird and wonderful cycles – including making your character pretend to be a penguin, roadrunner, lawnmower or teapot – thanks to a class of presets based on researcher Ian Mason’s free 100STYLE dataset of mocap clips.

Creates idle, walk and run cycles
As well as the style of the motion cycle, users can control the speed at which the character moves, making it possible to generate idle, walk and run cycles.

Characters can be made to move in a straight line or in a circle, with Blender and Maya users also having the option to use custom motion paths, by keyframing the root of the character and uploading it to MoGen.

You can also make the character move forwards, to sidestep, or to turn on the spot.

Generating a new clip takes a second or so, after which the results can be previewed in the browser.

There are slider controls to adjust the on-screen avatar, with options to blend between male and female figures, and thin and chubby bodies, but the avatar is always human, so you’ll need to exercise some imagination when visualizing creature animation cycles.

Downloadable in FBX format for use in DCC software or game engines
The completed animation can then be downloaded in FBX format, making it possible to use in standard DCC applications and game engines.

You can’t currently upload a custom character, so retargeting has to be done in the host application: the user guide has instructions for Unity and Unreal Engine, and there are third-party video tutorials for Maya and Houdini.

The results may need some manual refinement, so MoGen is probably currently better suited for background NPCs than hero characters, but it’s a lot of fun to play with.

Price, release date and system requirements
MoGen runs in a desktop web browser. It’s currently free to test in beta. Motorica hasn’t announced a final release date or pricing yet.

Editor’s note: at the time of writing, MoGen has been getting a lot of attention on CG community sites, so the maximum duration of the animation clips it generates has been temporarily reduced to reduce the load on Motorica’s servers.

Motorica Studio (MoStudio) is compatible with Unreal Engine 5.0-5.2, and is free in alpha.

Try online AI-based animation cycle generator MoGen free in beta
(Requires registering on the site)

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