DevTools | Skeleton Retargeting Tool


When the user opens Manus DevTools, it will try to connect to Manus Core, if “Autoconnect” and “Local Host Only” are checked and Core is running, it will automatically connect.

If autoconnection if not possible the Core Selector Panel will popup letting the user to choose which Core, he wants to connect.

Figure 1‑1 Core Selector panel

After a successful connection the Connection button will be highlighted with a green color.

Figure 1‑2 Connection button

Loading a Skeleton

If only one Skeleton is already saved in Core, Manus DevTools will automatically load it.

The user can also click the button “Available Models” to load or reload a new skeleton.

Figure 2‑1 Available Models button

A popup panel will show up with the list of Sessions and available models to load.

Figure 2‑2 Available Models panel

The use can then select a skeleton and “OpenModel” or import a skeleton from the file system, previously saved as an mskl file.

Figure 2‑3 Import From File

Figure 2‑4 Loaded skeleton


Manus DevTools offers some camera controls and predefined views so the user can position the camera to look into parts of the skeleton in more detail.

The user can also switch between 2D and 3D modes (orthographic and perspective).

Using right click + WASD keys, the user can free fly the camera into any desired position(in 3D mode) or pan the camera (in 2D mode).

Figure 3‑1 Camera Controls

Figure 3‑2 - Top View
Figure 3‑3 - Side View

Figure 3‑4 - Front view

Figure 3‑5 - Free flight view

Hierarchy Panel

The Hierarchy panel displays every node of the skeleton organized in a hierarchy.

Every node can be selected, collapsed/expanded, or hidden/shown.

On the bottom the list of selected nodes is displayed with a bit more detail.

Figure 4‑1 Hierarchy Panel

Every selected node is also highlighted on the skeleton in the main view.

The visibility of each node can be toggled and hide undesired nodes in the skeleton.

Figure 4‑2 Selected nodes

The Hierarchy panel also offers a filter that the user can use to focus on only parts of the skeleton.

Figure 4‑3 Search filter


Node Selection

Selecting nodes can be done by clicking on node in the Hierarchy panel or directly on the skeleton.

To select multiple nodes the user can press the Ctrl or Shift key.

Ctrl key will select multiple individual nodes and Shift key will select every node between the first selection and second selection.

Figure 5‑1 Shift selection

Ctrl key will select multiple individual nodes

Figure 5‑2 Ctrl Selection

Shift key will select every node between the first selection and second selection.

Shift key selection on the hierarchy will follow the hierarchy, if used directly on the skeleton it will follow a path tracing algorithm.

Figure 5‑3 Shift Selection on skeleton


Creating Chains/Adding Bones

The whole purpose of Manus DevTools is to create and configure chains so the skeleton can be properly animated.

6.1.  Manual creation

To create a chain manually, the following steps must be followed:

1.       Select the desired nodes to be included in the new chain.

2.       Click the button “Create Chain”.

3.       Select a Type and Side.

4.       Configure the Chain settings by setting the values in the displayed form.

Figure 6‑1 Select nodes

Figure 6‑2 Setting type and settings

6.2.  Adding Bones

Nodes can also be added to the existing chains, the following steps must be followed:

1.       Select the existing chain where nodes should be added.

2.       Select the desired nodes to add to the chain.

3.       Click the “Add Bones” button.

Figure 6‑3 Select existing chain

Figure 6‑4 Select nodes

Figure 6‑5 Add nodes

Chain Settings

For each chain type, different chain settings need to be configured, to do that simply select any chain and edit corresponding settings showed in the bottom form.

The user can also change the type and side of chain. Changing the type will change the settings form presented in the bottom.

Figure 7‑1 Chain settings

Figure 7‑2 Leaf node settings



All operations (excluding loading and saving a skeleton) can be undone or redone by pressing the key combination Ctrl + Z (Undo) or Ctrl + Y (Redo).

Preview Animation (ver. 2.1)

Starting on version 2.1, the user can preview pre-recorded animations and validate the result of the chains configuration.

Figure 9‑1 Preview animation

Figure 9‑2 Preview animation controls


Progress Panel

The progress panel shows a global view of the configuration progress.

A completely empty skeleton will display every segment in dark gray.

Figure 10‑1 Empty skeleton progress

A skeleton with only empty chains (no nodes added) will be highlighted with a lighter gray.

Figure 10‑2 Empty chains progress

If the chains contain the minimum required number of nodes to be considered “valid” the segments will be highlighted with green.

Figure 10‑3 Complete skeleton progress

Figure 10‑4 Invalid Chain progress

Saving a Skeleton

Once the skeleton configuration is finished (or at any time), the user has 2 options to save his work.

1.       Send to Plugin: This will save the skeleton on the Core so it can be loaded back in the plugin that was used to send the skeleton to Manus DevTools.

2.       Export to File: This will save the skeleton into the local file system using the .mskl file format, this file can be later loaded back into Manus DevTools or directly into the plugin.

Figure 11‑1 Save skeleton buttons

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