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Stan`

Animation in 3dsmax to be imported in 0.A.D

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Hi, all i need your help with animations. I ´ m using 3ds max 2014 and if needed the 8th version i have little knowledge about blender thanks to the tutorial here and the one that helped me to make my avatar.

I am willing to improve my skills and be able to add little animations like for instance the crane on the ptolemaic dock, the rotary mill or even barracks getting the door open when units get out and with the ox cart.

Thing is i don ´t know much about bones. I made an animation with the ox cart but its no rigged. I ´ m able to do the same with links according to this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlCMkYzkfrk

But Enrique told that it was a skin modifier. I know about both. But the last one is really harder. So I need your help. Can someone tell me how to do it with the cart ?

If I succeed I ´ll make clear tutorials for the next generation.

Thanks for the reply

Regards Stan.

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I think you'll have to go via blender (export it from 3ds Max to blender), or find it out yourself. There's nobody currently active on the art team using 3ds Max.

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Before Blender became so prevalent, 3DS Max was the tool that exported the majority of models and animations until around 2006-2007. It should still be possible, in fact many original .max file are available in the artist's SVN repository if you would like to view those.

It sounds like you need general information of how to do rigging, not specifically how to get 3ds models and animations into the game? There are numerous resources for the former, and I'm one of the few resources for the later.

So if you ask me specific questions I'll do my best to answer them. I'll subscribe to this thread and try to keep up with answering ASAP.

Like blender - the goal is to output a .dae file. The method behind the output could vary. For example you could use the character studio feature of 3ds Max for your bones structure or you could use your own custom bone objects. You could use the skin or the physique modifiers for interpolating the mesh and assigning weights to each vertex. So right off the bat you have two options. I haven't exported to .dae in years and I think I was using 3ds Max R7 at the time with a open source freeware plugin called ColladaMax. This was because the default .dae exporter from max at the time was doing a poor job and the .dae file outputted weren't recognized by the engine at the time.

The first step I would try if I were you would be to try and simply export one of the old models with the new version of max and it's .dae plugin and see if it breaks. Here is one you can play with. I think there is some very basic animation in it using a few bones (helpers) and a skin modifier.

chariot.zip

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A big Thanks Wijitmaker, I'll get on it asap, I was actually hoping you legends comme down from the sky and help me out =)

Files open, but i get thoses errors related to missing files...

LxUUA3F.png?1
Edited by stanislas69

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Ok cool it worked ;) The missing .dle file could be found here:

The bip and graphic files live in the art repository - but you don't need those. You could get some of these from the game's texture folder. which lives here: ps/trunk/binaries/data/mods/public/art/textures (it should like this - if you have access - http://trac.wildfiregames.com/browser/ps/trunk/binaries/data/mods/public/art/textures )

(BTW, as your learning, document it here: trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/ArtDesignDocument)

Check out the simple bone structure in the file and the modifiers to get a feel for it. Like I say, try exporting a .dae and replacing

ps/trunk/binaries/data/mods/public/art/animation/mechanical/chariot_run.dae

See if it works in the map editor or actor editor.

Edited by Wijitmaker

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Does this look familiar ? I have a lot of exportation errors, due to the "physique" modifier. Also all null objects are deleted.

post-12287-0-67218100-1392761338_thumb.p

Edited by stanislas69

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Yeah, it doesn't like your skeleton. It looks like the big skeleton file has been split up into separate files and now lives here:

http://trac.wildfiregames.com/browser/ps/trunk/binaries/data/mods/public/art/skeletons/chariot.xml

The engine doesn't like your model because the skeleton doesn't match the model. Which could be because the bones aren't named correctly in Max. Check the object names. It could also be plain missing... When you export the .dae actively select the objects (meshes, bones, helpers, etc) you want to exported and try "export selected" vs. just "export" which will do the whole scene. You don't want all the other junk in the file exported.

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Deleted everything except bones. Seems according to the picture that the biped is utterly destroyed

post-12287-0-01877300-1392764284_thumb.p

Also why is there a biped, and nothing else, while it is supposed to be a chariot ?

Edited by stanislas69

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Stanislas, I second the suggestion to document the exporting (and other things for that matter) on Trac, I do however suggest you create a new page, maybe named AnimationExportTutorial3DSMax or something similar. That way it's a lot easier to link to than the entire Art Design Document (which is in need of being updated anyway in many cases). (Plus it's probably easier for those who have a slightly slower internet connection if they don't have to load a huge amount of pictures at the same time :) )

It's great to see how you're willing to learn and increase your knowledge (y) Very encouraging to see!

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I have a sneaky suspicion that something there is hidden geometry. Right click and unhide all. Then delete anything else that isn't reliant. The only thing you really want is the chariot body and the left and right wheels for geometry. There is also going to be some helper objects that define "prop points". I'm not sure if you are familiar with those or not. You'll need to keep those, and keep whatever the bone structure is - I forget if it was a bone, or a box, or a helper (Its been close to a decade since I made that file :P).

If you should post a screenshot of your screen and maybe a screenshot of the list of objects you see if you go to the menu and "select by name". That would be helpful for me in assisting to troubleshoot.

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[...]

Thanks for helping out btw (y) It's really encouraging to see how this project/idea seems to keep drawing people back to help out in smaller/greater amount :) And of course you personally in particular :)

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Always glad to help when I can - consulting is the easy part. You guys are doing the hard work these days, developing! It is amazing to see the vision I and a few other founders set for the project 13 years ago still in motion. So thank you Erik, and everyone else who has picked up where others have left off - successfully passing the torch.

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Stanislas, I second the suggestion to document the exporting (and other things for that matter) on Trac, I do however suggest you create a new page, maybe named AnimationExportTutorial3DSMax or something similar. That way it's a lot easier to link to than the entire Art Design Document (which is in need of being updated anyway in many cases). (Plus it's probably easier for those who have a slightly slower internet connection if they don't have to load a huge amount of pictures at the same time :) )

It's great to see how you're willing to learn and increase your knowledge (y) Very encouraging to see!

I have reached a point were I can't learn by myself, so being here and helped with some people with greater experience. Also, I want to share this knowledge for people in my situation may need this.

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Here is what is in the chariot.max

[attachment=7172:Help6.png

Here is what I was expecting =)

attachicon.gifHelp7.png

The later is a great model. The first... hmm maybe this is not the file I thought it was. I'll need to open up Max and check that file out.

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The later is a great model. The first... hmm maybe this is not the file I thought it was. I'll need to open up Max and check that file out.

The later is the new Ox Cart. I'm hoping to animate it. =)

I'm able to animate the model, with no bone, and with links.

Edited by stanislas69

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Thanks I ´ll check it at my lesson ´s break :)

Okay, that's great, so basically, you make an editable poly to fit the shape of the object, and then apply a skin modifier. Then you animate the polies you made and since its skinned the model will move aswell. Thing I don't understand is how you make each part of the model independant ? I know it has to do with weight, but when I do it vertices go wrong X(

Good thing though, no bones to draw.

Small Question about props. I saw the need to be named prop-thing. How to create it in max ? I don't have that ps helpers menu =S;

Edited by stanislas69

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Good!

So to define objects as props by the game engine, you just need to name them prop-_____. You could used bones or geometry or helpers. I like helpers. Do you see helpers here? This is where they used to be. Ignore the right side of this image:

001.jpg

I usually use the point type because you can turn on x,y,z vectors to help visualize it's orientation.

For manually assigning vertexes to a "bone" what you do using the skin modifier is pretty well defined here:

http://docs.autodesk.com/3DSMAX/15/ENU/3ds-Max-Help/files/GUID-0D847E14-366A-4629-A87A-D24CAF591226.htm

Select the box that says "Vertices" at the top of the select menu:

GUID-A07641D8-4500-4CAB-9732-43543855525

Select the name of the bone in the bone list. Then assign a value of 1.0 in the Abs. Effect box under weight properties.

Usually I use envelopes for weighting vertexes in organic objects. But, for mechanical ridged animation, this is how it has worked for me in the past.

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