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MythicRuler

Bones/Animations

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In aom it was very difficult to animate new models because one would have to start from scratch-the bones were not included with the .brg models. I was wondering, in 0ad will there be bones included so animation can be easier? Thanks.

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Being that we are using mostly open formats, so long as you have 3d modelling software, if you can make your own animations you won't have any trouble exporting them into the game. Whether you want bones or static animations can be up to you.

As for "modding" animations, this is inherently impossible, you either have animation A or animation B. If you mean opening our animations and changing them, you will likely either not need to do that (due to the flexibility of our animations) or will have much better luck making a new animation from scratch.

In AoM the bones are in the granny animation files, but granny is a big time format and is impossible to decompile to get at the animations, so yes you wouldn't ever be able to change them.

You can research this in the meantime to learn about what format we are using for our models and animations.

http://www.collada.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COLLADA

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In AoM the bones are in the granny animation files, but granny is a big time format and is impossible to decompile to get at the animations, so yes you wouldn't ever be able to change them.
To be slightly more precise, most of the models in AoM don't use Granny at all - the BRG files store the position of each vertex at frame 1, the position of each vertex at frame 2, and so on for all the animation frames. Any bone structure used by the animator in 3ds Max is entirely discarded, and everything is flattened into simply a list of moving vertices.

AoM only uses Granny for its high-detail cinematic models, probably since they have a lot more vertices and it'd be really inefficient to store the position for every one at every frame. AoE3 uses Granny for everything, probably for the same reason. Granny files do store the skeletal structure of the model and animation, but everything is highly compressed (e.g. it ignores any bone keyframes that the original animator put it, and works out a new minimal set of keyframes that will give approximately the same movement curve). It might theoretically be possible to reproduce an editable skeleton in 3ds Max from the data in a Granny file, but it'd be really quite difficult and it wouldn't match exactly what the original animator exported.

Currently our game engine is designed to load COLLADA models and animations, which you can theoretically re-import into any modelling program that supports that format (which is most modelling programs nowadays), though in practice there are often compatibility issues if you mix programs (e.g. exporting from 3ds Max then importing into Blender), but it should still work better than trying to import some new undocumented proprietary format. The game automatically converts those files into a more efficient internal format when they're first loaded, but modders should be able to ignore that and just use the COLLADA files.

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Yes - as long as the meshes and animations were made with the same basic skeletal structure, you can mix them together in any combination and it should work sensibly.

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So then would I be able to create a new humanoid model and apply the animations of another humanoid model to it?

I would imagine that our art department would supply some template files (complete with mesh, skin, bones) in a variety of formats for the community so that they wouldn't have to start from scratch.

3ds max (and I'm sure other programs) has some nifty tools to apply motion capture files and custom keyframed animations to custom rigs, and you could certainly do that.

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