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I think the slinger animation is 'ok' as long as we can animate the sling along with it. Shouldn't be too hard and doesn't require screwing with the existing biped animation. Ideally we'd have 2 or 3 good new slinger animations to choose from, but I'm saying the existing one is workable if need be.

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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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EDIT: On a side note, this blender animation will only work with the blender exported mesh. As I figured would happen, when you try to load this animation with one of our existing skeletal animations it turns the mesh into something that looks like a moving mass of crinkled up paper. This is because the rigify structure (bone lengths, coordinate location of the joints) doesn't match the 3ds Max and XSI structures we have been using for the game.

Yeah, I think it might be a workable method for new models. If all we want is a Blender rig compatible with existing ones, why not just import the DAEs or converted DAEs as applicable? I converted all PMD models to DAEs, the skeletal ones haven't been committed yet but are available here (the horse model was about the only one I couldn't recover as a DAE, unless we convert them from .max they are essentially lost). Blender 2.6 DAE import is slightly broken, I think the biggest problem is the bones are rotated incorrectly. I've also tried importing the same DAEs into Blender 2.5 and the bones look much better, maybe even correct (I haven't tested), so would it be feasible to import the DAEs as rigs into Blender 2.5, save as a .blend, then work with them in 2.6?

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Ben, that sounds like a great suggestion. I attempted importing into 2.6 and I got this: http://www.wildfiregames.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=15552&view=findpost&p=232869

Those results in 2.6 are... not cool. Could you post a pic of how the bones look in 2.5 (I don't have that version of blender installed)?

About the horse - I don't understand the difficulty of exporting a .dae file from Max (and all the Max horse animation files are in the art repository). I exported all the time... I thought it was pretty well documented here: http://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/ArtDesignDocument#a3dsMax . If it doesn't work, let me know how I can help out. Maybe nobody has max anymore?

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Those results in 2.6 are... not cool.

Yeah, even my test of a cube with a handful of bones was botched.

Could you post a pic of how the bones look in 2.5 (I don't have that version of blender installed)?

I have multiple copies of Blender, I don't install them, but run the portable versions :) This is how it looks in 2.59:

uGK0bl.jpg

I don't know if that's correct or not so I'll attach the .blend as well. It doesn't seem to work when exported from 2.6 back to a DAE and tested in Atlas, so it may be another dead end :(

m_tunic_short.zip

m_tunic_short.zip

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That looks a lot better than 2.6 :D Thanks!

I can see where the prop points are attaching and the bones are actually in the right direction. I'm going to be on vacation and away from a computer for 10 days starting this next Thursday, but I'd like to try playing with those files when I get back. I see potential!

It doesn't seem to work when exported from 2.6 back to a DAE and tested in Atlas, so it may be another dead end
What kind of errors was it giving you?
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I'm not sure if the 2.59 has the Collada exporter working correctly...

Maybe that's the probleman. The importer on the 2.6 is screwed, but the exporter is just fine.

They are both slightly screwed, that's the problem, and why recently I've seen rumors that Blender may reconsider their support of COLLADA. Everything I know of that uses COLLADA is at least slightly buggy and sometimes completely broken.

But anyway the 2.6 importer is definitely broken for skeletal models, and the 2.5 exporter is definitely broken for animations.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hmm... Some people are complaining about animations. http://www.moddb.com/games/0-ad/news/new-release-0-ad-alpha-9-ides-of-march

I personaly think that we should give it more attention for the next Alpha. I really would love to see the Blender Rig working and help out, but unfortunatly, my life has been prety messed up with studies... So I can't help this year. :(

So...what do you guys think?

(I have already given him a small answer ;) )

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I agree with him. Our animations are well made but are not really...fluid. Now, I'm not saying that can do better, I can't. But it would be really useful for us to get a rig done. I would like to make new models too, but that seems too much work :P

After my exams(which end on the 6th of May) I hope to study animation a bit and get a good rig in game :)

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I agree with him. Our animations are well made but are not really...fluid. Now, I'm not saying that can do better, I can't. But it would be really useful for us to get a rig done. I would like to make new models too, but that seems too much work :P

After my exams(which end on the 6th of May) I hope to study animation a bit and get a good rig in game :)

What do you guys mean with a new rig done? one that works ingame due to the engine/game restrictions? (like max bone number, strict hierarchy...) or you mean a more elaborated one with IK/FK for arms, legs, etc?

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Apologies, I just haven't been able to make this a priority - though I know many of you are very interested in furthering this.

one that works ingame due to the engine/game restrictions? (like max bone number, strict hierarchy...)

I'd recommend this option. A blender rig / template needs to be made based on these models:

http://www.wildfiregames.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=15552&view=findpost&p=234092 Snap these bones...

http://www.wildfiregames.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=15552&view=findpost&p=233126 to match this structure (if they don't already).

Then take the prop points helpers in the second link and reconnect them to the bones in the first link.

It is critical to keep the bone position and joint positions identical (which would make the number of bones identical). Otherwise the model vertex transforms won't be assigned to each bone correctly and sharing animation files between max, blender, and xsi exports will look like a moving blob of crumpled up paper. The name of the bones doesn't matter, this can be re-referenced in the skeleton.xml file later.

IMHO an IK/FK rig isn't required. I'm assuming that whoever has been rigging and animating the blender animals in the game was doing so without one.

I wish I knew blender like I know max. If I did, I think it would be pretty straight forward to set up.

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IMHO an IK/FK rig isn't required. I'm assuming that whoever has been rigging and animating the blender animals in the game was doing so without one.

Actually, I believe Zaggy has started using IK on his animations. It might be slightly more complicated but apparently leads to better results.

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I don't know...

I'm really out of free time to take a more in depth look into this - [just got home from school (20pm). Tomorow needs to be there at (9am).]

I personaly work better with IK/FK solvers, but that's just me - I really feel that they make the animation more "realish" and "fluidish".

Peharps, Jason, If you get the time, maybe you could take a look in Blender? there are some prety foward begginer tutorials that may help you get started:

http://sagefans.net/

And related to Blender Rigging: http://www.blenderguru.com/videos/introduction-to-rigging

;)

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Actually, I believe Zaggy has started using IK on his animations.

Ok, that is good to know. Maybe I could work with Zaggy to get something working in Blender then?

Peharps, Jason, If you get the time, maybe you could take a look in Blender? there are some prety foward begginer tutorials that may help you get started:

http://sagefans.net/

And related to Blender Rigging: http://www.blendergu...tion-to-rigging

Thanks man! I'll check those out hopefully by the end of the month.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, that is good to know. Maybe I could work with Zaggy to get something working in Blender then?

Well, go ahead and tell me what I need to do! :)

I've already tried importing one of the biped animations into Blender, successfully got it into the engine, but the problem is it turned out totally messed up... The problem, I believe, is that the current Collada importer in Blender (and the one in 2.49 too) imports the bones extremely inconsistently, sometimes rotating them to be totally horizontal or totally vertical, and sometimes appearing to put them in the right position... I tried joining all the important bones to the ones they were supposed to be connected to but it work.

You could export the skeleton to the BVH format, and let me try to import it. (I imported one of the motion capture files in the art repository, and it looked OK, but the structure of the skeleton was wrong)

About the IKs, it worked fine when I baked the animation to remove the constraints on the zebra (historic_bruno's idea ;) ).

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Michael it is interesting you posted that comment today. It is your choice, of course.

Coincidentally, I met a guy today at a Microsoft store (of all places - first time I've been in one) who is an animator that works in a variety of different 3D programs. He said he would be happy to take a look at the 3ds Max dude and get it into Blender. I'm going to send the files to him tonight to see what he can do with them. I was excited to come home and share this news with you all as I know you are very interested in this. :)

A request though... could we move this topic to the development forum so that he could catch up on the challenge?

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The reasons for making new dude meshes are many-fold.

Compatibility:

The previously mentioned Blender compatibility. Compatibility is one of the major issues holding us back in the animation dept. It makes it difficult (i.e. impossible) for new talent to jump in and begin making animations for our existing units.

Unit identification:

A wider array of meshes, representing non-armored and heavily armored dudes, would give us distinctive "silhouettes" that would assist in unit identification from max zoom. This one is important and difficult to achieve with the current meshes which all have the exact same silhouette. Basically, what we'd do is have a set of "skinny dude" meshes for archers, slingers, skirmishers, and then a set of "beefy dude" meshes for heavy infantry. The proportions of the new dude meshes would conform more closely to an "ideal" artistic human proportion. Lastly, heroes would have a set of meshes with "heroic" proportions. They would be slightly taller and slightly more exaggerated, but not overly so. The key words are "exaggeration" rather than "cartoony." Basically, the design aesthetic would be less cartoony and more "stereotypical." We stereotype ranged units as skinny weaklings, while melee units are beefier and more muscular. And consequently, heroes are beefier than that, but not freakishly so, just enough to give each set a distinctive silhouette from a distance. A big thing that would also help this would be to have a specific set of idle animations for each type of unit. Right now they all use the same set of idle animations, which makes them less distinctive. So a combination of "stereotypical" meshes and new sets of idle animations for different types of units would make our units look 10x better and even assist in making gameplay better.

Skinny, non-armored, ranged units:

post-130-0-09876300-1333075784_thumb.jpg

Beefier, heavy infantry ("Ideal") proportions, and then "Heroic" proportions for heroes:

post-130-0-57790000-1333075785_thumb.gif

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What I'm attempting to help you with isn't going to stop you from making a new mesh. You can still do that. I'm trying to preserve the dude skeleton, so it saves you guys from remaking the 50 plus humanoid animations.

Yeah, that's fine, brosephus. It might be possible to just edit the meshes and keep the existing skeletons. So, please continue.

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The reasons for making new dude meshes are many-fold.

Compatibility:

The previously mentioned Blender compatibility. Compatibility is one of the major issues holding us back in the animation dept. It makes it difficult (i.e. impossible) for new talent to jump in and begin making animations for our existing units.

Unit identification:

A wider array of meshes, representing non-armored and heavily armored dudes, would give us distinctive "silhouettes" that would assist in unit identification from max zoom. This one is important and difficult to achieve with the current meshes which all have the exact same silhouette. Basically, what we'd do is have a set of "skinny dude" meshes for archers, slingers, skirmishers, and then a set of "beefy dude" meshes for heavy infantry. The proportions of the new dude meshes would conform more closely to an "ideal" artistic human proportion. Lastly, heroes would have a set of meshes with "heroic" proportions. They would be slightly taller and slightly more exaggerated, but not overly so. The key words are "exaggeration" rather than "cartoony." Basically, the design aesthetic would be less cartoony and more "stereotypical." We stereotype ranged units as skinny weaklings, while melee units are beefier and more muscular. And consequently, heroes are beefier than that, but not freakishly so, just enough to give each set a distinctive silhouette from a distance. A big thing that would also help this would be to have a specific set of idle animations for each type of unit. Right now they all use the same set of idle animations, which makes them less distinctive. So a combination of "stereotypical" meshes and new sets of idle animations for different types of units would make our units look 10x better and even assist in making gameplay better.

Skinny, non-armored, ranged units:

post-130-0-09876300-1333075784_thumb.jpg

Beefier, heavy infantry ("Ideal") proportions, and then "Heroic" proportions for heroes:

post-130-0-57790000-1333075785_thumb.gif

high+model+showcase.png

;) Its too detailed of course, since it wasn't made for 0 AD. But I could get the poly count down by quite a bit, I believe :)

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