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Animation Pipeline


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I just want to let everybody know that thanks to Stanislas69 and Hephaestion we finally have a working armature in blender compatible with the current unit meshes. Thank you guys! I'll be posting s

Ah, I forgot ... this might be normal because of the not-fitting animation? We have a pipeline! That means if you remember how brilliantly you got to this .dae , if we can repeat it for other anim

I'm not sure if I understand the question. What happens is that by default max is set up to work with inches. You can change the parameter to meters, but that's kind of annoying since you have to resc

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@Enrique: What is the job of the two knee-bones root_L_Knee_IK and root_R_Knee_IK and why are they placed so far from the sculpture. Sry, I'm relatively new to Blender and I'm a little bit confused.

Those are track bones. The knees will point to them. With the Inverse Kinematics solution, if you move the feet, the knee will bend depending on where the feet are placed. These knee IK bones gives you control on how the legs are bending.

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No, the biped still doesn't work in Blender. I don't have any ideas to get it to work either, other than just making a new rig and set of animations. Hopefully Khopesh will be able to make the new animations, if that's what we do (which we very well may, considering Mythos wants new human models).

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This is news to me... I thought the export was tested and worked?

What problems are you guys having now?

At this point though... Unless someone is really interested in getting this sorted out, I don't think I have the motivation or energy to trouble shoot further as it seems nobody else has the heart for preserving the old models and animations. I think it is probably a waste of my time seeing that most the the art department has their eyes fixed on new models and animations.

So, go for it guys (y)

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This is news to me... I thought the export was tested and worked? What problems are you guys having now? At this point though... Unless someone is really interested in getting this sorted out, I don't think I have the motivation or energy to trouble shoot further as it seems nobody else has the heart for preserving the old models and animations. I think it is probably a waste of my time seeing that most the the art department has their eyes fixed on new models and animations. So, go for it guys (y)

I don't mind to spend some time getting the animation exporting thing working, clear and documented. I always thought that is one of the high priorities that the art dept should take care.

The problem is that I have a very basic idea of the needs and restrictions of the engine for the rig to work, like the number of bones allowed, bone naming, hierarchy....

Also discarding all the current animations sounds like a lot of work to redone with so little manpower on the animation area... and some animations sure needs revamp, but others look great to me.

Some questions if someone knows the answer:

-Do we have a revamped unit mesh?

-Did someone get any animation done in Blender currently working in-game?

-If we are aiming for a new unit mesh and rig revamp, that means that the rig could have more bones/different bone hierarchy and naming?

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The problem with a new mesh is matching all the textures to it...

There's a proverb in spanish that says "Con paciencia y saliva, el elefante se la metiĆ³ a la hormiga"

"with patience and saliva, the elephant stuck it to the ant" xD

I don't mind to spend some time on UV mapping if I get my hands on a new mesh, but modeling lowpoly humanoids is not my expertise :P

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-If we are aiming for a new unit mesh and rig revamp, that means that the rig could have more bones/different bone hierarchy and naming?

Having more bones (joints) depends on memory/compression. It's usually best to have as little joints as possible as to not overload the game, and end up with lag. For a game like this (with low-poly mesh and MANY uinits on screen at once) it's usually best to cut as many corners as possible with joints. I haven't had chance to look at the current rig yet (will do that sometime this week), but it might be a good idea to figure out why it's not working, so we don't end up running into the same problem in the future.

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There's a proverb in spanish that says "Con paciencia y saliva, el elefante se la metiĆ³ a la hormiga"

"with patience and saliva, the elephant stuck it to the ant" xD

I don't mind to spend some time on UV mapping if I get my hands on a new mesh, but modeling lowpoly humanoids is not my expertise :P

If ur willing to give it a try, then I'll provide the mesh ;)

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Would it not be best to use orthographics shot of real humans as reference? Once you have the basic shape you can take some liberties with it and adjust it to your needs.

Also, if possible could you post a pic with the mesh (edge loops) so I can get an idea of how things are going to go for skinning the rig (as well as an idea of poly count). Thanks. :D

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Here are a few orthographic shots. It's really hard to find any good photo-reference ones but I think these are pretty good (we use these at my uni).

Looking at these and the model above, I'd say the torso is too far back (making the centre of gravity wrong and the character would be off-balance). The upper legs are too narrow (from the front and side views), and they should be positioned a little further forwards (so the butt stands out a bit more).

Also, when modelling the hand it's usually best to have it palm-down (rather than forwards). But in an RTS game with low poly characters, it might be best just to model the hand in a gripping position. All the fingers are usually one mesh (like a mitt - although some have the index finger separate if needed).

And finally, it's good practice for the edge loops to follow the curvature of the muscles where possible. This makes it easy to skin the character and makes it look more natural at a lower poly count.

torso003.jpgtorso002.jpgback001f.jpg

leg004.jpgleg003.jpg

arm004i.jpgarm002.jpg

arm003.jpgarm001.jpg

anatomymaleorthos.jpg

bobpg.jpg

loomis13m.jpg

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/4930/steveprofileref.jpg

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Done :) With those loops it comes to 766, without them 686 tris :)

What format should I pack the file in?

Attached is the .blend file, for you Enrique

EDIT:

We'll need to have different models for short robe, long robe and trouser-ed units. Maybe I'm missing some more...Armoured, bare-chested etc. What about gauntlets and shin guards?

dudex model.zip

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Yes, we'll need an assortment of these for:

Tights/Nothing (as it is now)

Short skirt

Medium (knee-length) skirt

Long (ankle-length) skirt

Pants

Pants w/medium skirt

Long skirt w/ sleeves (some priests)

and maybe others that we may need (maybe Short skirt+skinny build for most archers, special pants or skirt styles for Mauryans). Good thing is though that once we have the base dude decided it should be relatively simple to edit it to suit our wishes.

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Yes, we'll need an assortment of these for:

Tights/Nothing (as it is now)

Short skirt

Medium (knee-length) skirt

Long (ankle-length) skirt

Pants

Pants w/medium skirt

Long skirt w/ sleeves (some priests)

and maybe others that we may need (maybe Short skirt+skinny build for most archers, special pants or skirt styles for Mauryans). Good thing is though that once we have the base dude decided it should be relatively simple to edit it to suit our wishes.

What do you think about making Basic Citizen-soldiers skinny too? And the Advanced and Elite guys bulkier? Also Champions could have some unique models...

@Kopesh: That would be swell...though I might not have time anytime soon to do anything with them :)

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