Mac Reiter Creations
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Mac Reiter Creations develops tools to make animating fun again. By re-evaluating what can be done and how it can be done, we hope to "Open the Door to Your Dreams"!

Our first tool, Timothy Albee's Facial Animation, by Mac Reiter (TAFA) provides real-time morph lip-synching and animation tools for LightWave, OBJ, and Poser CR2 models on Windows. TAFA generates output files in LightWave Morph Mixer, Motion Designer (MDD), Poser PZ2, and a simple text format. These output files can be used with other animation and rendering packages. We are currently developing TAFA 2.0, which will support other applications via FBX support, and will run on both Windows and OSX (and most likely on at least some distributions of Linux)

TAFA was designed and developed to be the animation tool that Timothy Albee always wanted. It has already been used on his ground-breaking short film Kaze: Ghost Warrior, where it allowed him to create the animation data for the 1320 frame introductory monologue in about two hours.

We have some tutorials available, as well as a very complete Getting Started Guide that is included with TAFA. We also have a fully functional (except that it can't save) Trial version so that you can see exactly how TAFA will work on your system. While you're here, make sure to visit our discussion forums to see what other people have been doing with TAFA.

Thank you for your visit.


August 11, 2013

Another server move...

My hosting provider moved my site to a different physical host, and something in the configuration there is keeping my bulletin board software from working. I attempted to upgrade to the newest version of the BB software -- something I've been meaning to do for awhile anyway -- but I couldn't even get the new version to work. I imagine that there is a security configuration issue somewhere. I'm glad that my hosting provider is keeping me safe, but it is unfortunate that my BB provider doesn't have troubleshooting advice for this situation.

The practical upshot is that I've had to change BB software. The new system is provided by my hosting company, so it should transition properly in any future host upgrades. Unfortunately, there was no automatic system for migrating users and posts from the old system to the new system, so I have to ask you to sign up again on the new bulletin board. I will try to move over some of the more useful and interesting posts from the old BB as I get time.

May 9, 2013

Something for the OSX users:

"I'm running a Windows 7/64 virtual machine using Parallels 8, and have TAFA installed on that. It runs very slick, and I'm currently working seamlessly back and forth between that and LW 11.5 for the Mac as though I weren't even running Windows. TAFA is just another window on my Mac desktop. [...] The lack of a Mac version is what held me back for this long, then I decided to test the demo and on the strength of that I bought the license. I think other Mac users might want to know how easily it can be integrated into a Mac-centric workflow." --Mark Dyson, Spinland Studios, LLC

In other news, I've settled on the Unity engine for development of TAFA2. That will provide cross-platform support, even onto tablets, as well as automatic support for many file formats and animation technologies. Basically, it should provide most of the heavy lifting of working with your resources, so that I can focus on what makes TAFA special -- direct manipulation, immediate feedback, fast cycle times, and "does what I expected" behavior. And, since Unity is an engine designed originally for 3D action games, speed and latency are very important to them as well.

And, because Unity provides the tools, TAFA2 should be able to support bone-based animation as well as morph-based animation. I'd like to support "in scene" animation tools, so that you could work on multiple characters interacting within a scene, doing as much or as little animation as you want within TAFA2. The FBX file format appears to support that, but I will need to do more research, both into the technical details and into "how should that user interface work?" But I'm looking forward to it.

March 15, 2012

Two years... Bleah.

On the happier side, a lot of things have come together to make TAFA2 easier:

  • Qt has gone LGPL, so I can use it as a cross-platform basis for Windows, OSX, and Linux.
  • FBX has gained a lot of ground for cross-tool interchange (not least because Autodesk now owns the three non-LW big players). This will let me support a lot more programs with only one more development thrust, which helps a lot in a single-man operation.
  • I ported the core components of TAFA into a Qt application awhile back on a contract, so I've done some of the cleaning to get away from Windows-only code.
  • libvlc is now LGPL, which gives me a way to use varying audio and even video reference file formats -- a much requested feature for TAFA2.
  • RtAudio looks like it will give me low latency audio control on all platforms, which is absolutely critical for accurate synchronization.
  • Some changes in my life should open up more time for me to dedicate myself to TAFA2 development.
In the meantime, I am still here. I still listen and help. The original TAFA still works fine, too ;)

More updates when I have more progress...

March 6, 2010

Well, my hosting company changed physical hosts on me, which has gone well for most stuff. But the move upgraded some of the service software, and there seems to be some kind of issue with the forums now. I'm working on it. Probably something minor. I've been meaning to switch forum software anyway, to something with search capabilities, but I need to get the old one back up just for archived information, if nothing else.

(half an hour later) Well, that was both faster and slower than I'd have hoped for. Turns out the location of the necessary interpreter was in a different place on the newer machines. Practical upshot is that the forums seem to be back online. If you find any broken links or broken behaviors -- in the forum or anywhere else in my site -- please let me know. My email name is just mac, and you know my domain name already.

October 19, 2007

Long time, no news. But hopefully this is happy news.

Well, I haven't been making progress on features or cross platform support, but at least I can do this: TAFA is now $200 for the downloadable version ($250 for physical delivery). If you've wanted to use TAFA but been held off by the price (or know someone else who has), now's your chance!

July 29, 2006

The Macintosh build actually linked and ran today!

It still doesn't do anything particularly useful, but now it's entirely up to my coding ability. All the library references and everything are in place. And I'm using static linking, so hopefully I will have few or no problems with different versions of Mac OS X with dynamic libraries in different places.

July 28, 2006

The Macintosh build finished compiling for the first time today!

Unfortunately, it still doesn't link, since all I've got are the stub declarations for the Windows-to-Macintosh routines, but without the backing logic. For the non-programmers out there, that basically means there's still a lot of work to do. But at least some progress is being made... More importantly, it means I'm getting to devote some serious time to the project again, so progress should be much faster.

March 20, 2006

A couple of updates:

  • LW9 adds Catmull-Clark subdivision surfaces. TAFA does not use the CC algorithm, but it does at least recognize those surfaces as of v1.2.2.7.
  • At some point during the addition of the new file formats, I introduced a bug that affects objects with different morphs in different layers. That kind of object appears to be somewhat rare, so hopefully it hasn't been too much of a problem. Symptoms include crashing on loading the model or failing to animate the model properly. Again, this is fixed in v1.2.2.7.
  • Unfortunately, my ISP changed my IP address somewhere after March 13, so TAFA can't access the update server. It should be fixed tomorrow, and the fixes should roll out the next time you run TAFA.

January 13, 2006

The issues with the licensing servers have been fixed (at least to the best of my ability to test), and are back online.

Please let me know if you encounter any issues.

January 11, 2006

I know that the update server is currently offline pending resolution of some licensing issues, but I would still like to announce:

I have now had a user go completely non-LW with TAFA! Using the OBJ loader, MDD files, and Point Oven Pro, one of my users has been able to use TAFA with 3DS Max without needing any intermediate LW steps.

If you are in a similar situation, however, you will need to contact me to get version Previous versions have issues with MDD export. Normally, this would just roll out on the update server, but since it's offline we're reduced to email.

December 19, 2005

Version is now available. The reason for the release is to try a new "floating" license. The new system is designed to let you run TAFA on multiple machines, as long as you are never running it on more than one at the same time. If you have any problems, PLEASE let me know immediately.

Other items of interest include preliminary FRAW2 output for XSI. I hope to replace this with dotXSI integration, but for now it does at least provide a way to get TAFA curves back into XSI (even if it is somewhat tedious).

Counting you, we have had visitors since our reorganization!.