Blender animations test thread.

For those working on art content.

Postby adamsderk » Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:49 pm

Smoking_Mirror,

The lfoot, lknee, lelbow, and lhand (and the right ones) are used in physical combat. The rest can be changed.

For now, feel free to change them. If you get a system that works, I will change it over to your names and redo all of the Mechs.

Keep the names short though, I think there might be a character limit.

Thanks.
Image
adamsderk
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1404
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 11:52 pm
Location: Western Washington

Postby Smoking_Mirror » Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:54 am

Well, I've managed to replicate my initial success with the grasshopper and got the Thug in to the game, so it seems that it's equally easy to use the animations for any bipedal mech with very little adjustment.

Still haven't worked on the falls yet, as there's no way to test it in game.

I'm going to clean up the rig add mount points and refine the animations this weekend. Expect to see a example TDS download sometime next week.
Smoking_Mirror
 
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: South Korea (English)

4 legged animation test.

Postby Smoking_Mirror » Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:31 am

I've finished preparing the 4 legged rig and produced a walk animation.

You can check out the animation on you tube.
Smoking_Mirror
 
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: South Korea (English)

Postby adamsderk » Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:31 am

Smoking_Mirror,

Sweet. I'd love to see that level of animation in the game.

Thanks.
Image
adamsderk
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1404
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 11:52 pm
Location: Western Washington

Postby Smoking_Mirror » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:02 am

OK, I'm going to post the DTS output from my basic animation this weekend. I'd like you to give it a good testing, make sure it all works with the newest version.

I'll put together a tutorial at some point in the future on how to use the blender exporter with my template. It's not that easy to do, but should be simple if you know how to use blender.

The biggest hurdle is understanding blender, which I actually found more friendly than milkshape.

I'm going to post the standard model, but it'll have the damage model attached too, so you can start to test it.

The components will be;

torsoupperd (d for damage)
torsolowerd
headd

armupperdl (d for damage, l for left)
armlowerdl
handdl
armupperdr (d for damage, r for right)
armlowerdr
handdr

legupperdl
leglowerdl
footdl
legupperdr
leglowerdr
footdr

This will let you begin coding for a damage model reveal. I'm keen on keeping things simple, thus a single torso model instead of left and right, front and back and all that. You could go more complex, but it's going to require much more detailed models, more polys and much more time.

I think it's just important to be able to tell when a mech has been critically damaged on a limb or completely destroyed, just by looking (as there's no enemy damage display in the HUD).

If you want different names for the damaged body parts, just tell me, anything I can do to make the coding easier?
Smoking_Mirror
 
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: South Korea (English)

Postby Smoking_Mirror » Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:52 am

Having trouble at the moment. It's certainly not an easy thing to get it exported. Once I find out what exactly needs to be done, I should be able to get it to work every time.

Right now it's a pain in the neck.
Smoking_Mirror
 
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: South Korea (English)

Postby Smoking_Mirror » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:35 pm

OK, think I've identified the key bones which need to be set in order for the main animations to work.

Here's an example DTS test export you can try out. It's the thug, but I've renamed the file "atlas" so you can try it out.

Just drop the texture and DTS file in to your "atlas" folder in BTS.

Launch an instant action mission piloting the Atlas and give it a run.

I need to clean up some of the animations, and some are not showing up at all. Do right kick and left kick have special names? I used "rkick" and "lkick" Should I use capitals? My evaluation period on Milkshape has expired so I can't check against the original file (I can open the file but I can't enter the export dialog).

The fall and get up I've used here are falling forwards animations. had a lot of problems with the get up animation with a falling backwards style fall, simply because of the leg configuration of this mech (you've all seen that scene in Robocop where ED209 falls down the stairs and can't get up). It may be that each mech just needs two fall and get up animations, one to the knee and one to the ground (or nearly to the ground). As long as there is an animation showing that the mech is down, that's the important thing. Remember that in the board game it's common just to roll a model on to it's side, realism is not so important, only representation is important.

Also this model is a little big, don't worry it's easy to change the size either using the universal scale on export or manually.

Here's the files;

TEST

Once I get this worked out correctly, I think I could export about two to three mechs a day working on those which I've already made.

Also working on the damage model, which could be added later.

Image

I will need someone to work on the textures too... They are available here on the site, just need to be put together for each faction.
Smoking_Mirror
 
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: South Korea (English)

Postby Smoking_Mirror » Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:29 pm

Please test the Mech I've uploaded and give me some feedback.

I want to get started on some more DTS exports, but I want to wait until I get some feedback.
Smoking_Mirror
 
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: South Korea (English)

Postby adamsderk » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:38 pm

Smoking_Mirror,

Sweet. There are a few issues with it, but overall, darn cool.

Before you start exporting dts's, I will need you to train me on how to use Blender for exporting. It will be easier for me to fix the little issues and send it back to you, then explain them through text.

Also, in order for me to integrate anything into the game, I need to be able to recreate it, in case something is added later, or people leave :) By all means, I will let you and Sandman do the heavy lifting (I don't think I do animations even close you you), but I need to be the backup, just in case.

Thanks.
Image
adamsderk
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1404
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 11:52 pm
Location: Western Washington

Postby Smoking_Mirror » Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:04 pm

I'll put together a tutorial this weekend (I hope) showing some of the basics of using blender and also specifically how to export the mechs.

It's not as quick a process as with milkshape, but that's because of the IK bones. BTS can't use the IK solvers so it's necessary to "bake" the information as a regular animation for each new mech.
Smoking_Mirror
 
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: South Korea (English)

Postby Smoking_Mirror » Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:57 pm

Right, here is some basic info, just to get you started on looking at the export file. You'll need to download the exporter form Torgue as well as the latest version of blender.

This just covers modifying and animating bones, I also need to cover textures, I'll do that later, not muh time now becuase it's late on a Sunday evening.

Here's a look at the blender window;
Image

The main points of interest for you are;
1.> Modes for each object. Select an object in the 3d view by right clicking on it. You can then change the object's mode by using this drop down (up) menu, or by pressing the TAB key. For the bones you need the pose mode (for moving bones) and the edit mode (for adding and deleting, also for repositioning bones when using a new model).

2.>Panels. This is the edit panel. You probably won't need to access the others, but you can find the render panel for setting render preferences, and the texture panel for setting texture settings, though you probably won't need to use it.

3.>Bone layers. The three different sets of bones are on three layers. The first is the deform bones. They have the standard names, and they are what you attach the mesh to. Second is the IK bones. They are all prefixed by x, such as xlarmtop. These are what you use to adjust the animation, but are deleted before exporting, to reduce resource drain in Torque. The third bones are the mount bones. I've put them on the third bone layer for convenience so they don't get in the way. Use the M key to bring up a dialogue to move the bones (have to select them first by right clicking, or by pressing the B key to get a left click rectangular border select).

Image

4.> Change bone layers by left clicking on a button, or shift left clicking to display multiple layers.

5.>When you right click to select a bone in Edit mode (tab to edit mode first) you can set the bone's parent here.
6.>You can also state whether it is connected physically to the parent bone.

7.>Press the I key to add new keyframes when in the pose mode (tab to pose mode first). You will need to add a key frame for each bone on layer 1 to match the bones on layer 2. This will manually match the deforming bones to the IK animation bones, allowing the IK animations to be used with non IK bones. Use VisualLocRot from the drop down menu. This collects the data for the bone based on it's location and rotation visually based on existing constraints (the deform bones are constrained to copy the location and rotation of the IK bones.)

8.> shows a selected bone in this case Mount 30. The other bones do not apear as they have not been keyed.

9.> shows the frame that has been keyed. The green line is the current frame. You can move frames by dragging or clicking the green line. You can move keyframes (the orange dot) by right clicking to select and hitting the G key to "grab" and move the dot. Hold CTRL to constrain the dragged movement to the nearest frame.

10.> This shows a list of the animations and thier position on the time line. When you export they will all be listed by name. If you want to change the name use the text box which displayes the action name, in this case AC:look

There's a lot more to learn, but this should get you started.

In general, if you want to preview the animation in real time, hit ALT-A. If you want to move something numerically you can hit the N key when over a window to bring up a "transform properties" dialog box.
Press SHIFT-F1 to access the append or link menu which will allow you to import other models. Right click on an object then SHIFT right click to select a second. CTRL-P to parent the first object to the second, at this point you may be given options to add names when dealing with an armature, I'll add some details on that later. Also some more on the exporter and the UV editor window to come. When you have the skeleton in Edit mode press space to add a bone. Use the "transform properties" box to change bone names.

Here's the export file.
Basic Exporter
Smoking_Mirror
 
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: South Korea (English)

Postby adamsderk » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:46 pm

Smoking_Mirror,

Very cool. Any chance I can get the texture too, now it is just a purple outline.

Thanks.
Image
adamsderk
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1404
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 11:52 pm
Location: Western Washington

Postby Smoking_Mirror » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:15 am

It's the Thug model I posted a while back so the texture template is already around here somewhere.

Here's a full template if you want to use it for viewing; Thug

And as promised here's the next part of the guide which shows some info on textures and mesh control;

Image

11.> If you append a new mech and want to attach it to the skeleton, or if you want to split the mesh in to the required objects (I'd recomend doing this after attaching the parts to the skeleton, it's just easier) use TAB or the dropdown menu to change to edit mode with a mesh selected.

12.> Use right click to select verticies, faces, or edges, you can change what you are selecting further along the tab which holds the edit mode dropdwn menu. Hold the middle button on the mouse to slide the tab (you can use the same method on any other window). Press the B key to use a border selection or with the cursor over an object press the L key to select that object only (very fast way of selecting). Press A to select or de-select everything in the mesh.

13.> When you parent a mesh to the skeleton it will give you the option of adding name groups, you should always take that option. The groups will be added here. Select a group, select some verticies on the mesh and then use...

14.> ...Assign to attach the verticies to the selected bone. If you add new bones to the skeleton after parenting the mesh you'll have to create a new name group, make sure the names match exactly, including use of capital letters. When you want to separate a group of verticies to make a new object (to make the head arms and other objects for use in the game) select the verticies and press P to bring up the separate dialog. You can separate by selected verticies or by loose parts. Use the "transform properties" box to change the name of the objects to match in game objects.

15.> Each mesh I've made has an Edge split modifier added. This is like using smoothing groups on another package. It stops hard edges from being smoothed. You'll have to hit "Apply" before you export the mesh for it to take effect. If you want to add the modifier yourself choose it from the modifier dropdown menu and set the edge split angle to 60 degrees.

16.> This button allows you to change the mode of any window. You can also change the size of the windows by putting the cursor over the edge and left dragging the edge of the window. You can split or join windows to create more or less work areas too.

17.> to add a new texture select all the verticies on the model, use the "image" dropdown menu to find "open..." or "replace..."

I'll place some more help here later coving the export process in detail. This should fills some of the gaps for now. Blender is an awesome piece of software considering it's completely free.
Smoking_Mirror
 
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: South Korea (English)

Previous

Return to Artwork

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron