Transformation Animation from MAX

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SamH
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Transformation Animation from MAX

Post by SamH »

Hello,

I'm currently working on an OGRE project with a programmer. The result is going to involve a fairly complex heirarchical transformation animation. Obviously it would be ideal for me as a MAX artist to put this together in MAX, export it and give it to the programmer. It seems though that the available exporters only support skeletal animation on export.

Does anyone have a route/method to recommend for doing this?

Cheers :D

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Banania
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Post by Banania »

Can you please elaborate a bit your question ? I don't understand what exactly you are talking about...
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SamH
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Post by SamH »

Sorry Banania,


We are going to use Ogre in a non game context for a kind of live machinama style project.

I am producing an animation in 3DS MAX which will use mostly transformation animation (Position, rotation and maybe scale) to move objects around. I understand that the current OGRE exporters from 3DS Max cannot export this type of animation data and this is the problem. My main need is to figure how out to get my animation out of MAX and into an OGRE App as easily as possible. By heirarchical I mean that I have animated objects parented to other animated objects (like having an animation of the moon going around the earth going around the sun).

The ideal thing would be an exporter that exported the entire scene, including transformation animation, straight out. Kind of like RenderWare does. I'm was just wondering if there was an exporter out there that did this?

Sorry if I am unclear, I'm just a babbling artist! :?

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Banania
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Post by Banania »

I am producing an animation in 3DS MAX which will use mostly transformation animation (Position, rotation and maybe scale) to move objects around. I understand that the current OGRE exporters from 3DS Max cannot export this type of animation data and this is the problem
I talked about this with psyclonist once. We were both interested in what you call transformation animation. I wanted to integrate this to the exporter (or make a new one) and he was interested for the yake framework.

For my part, I never did find the courage to do it. I can't speak for psyclonist though.

The exporting part is pretty easy. I remember someone did write a small exporter to do just that. It could be easily done by reproducing the same behaviour as the exporter for bones export (the writeTrack function in OgreBipedLib.ms from the top of my head). Because it is not so different after all.

You would then have to figure out a way to get it into Ogre. Again, I don't think it is too much work. It is quite easy to generate such an animation once you have the keyframes (look at the CameraTrack demo for an example of this). The only brand new part would be to load the keyframes from a generated file.

Here is the thread where we discussed this : http://www.ogre3d.org/phpBB2/viewtopic. ... 91&start=0

I don't think it will help you so much but .....
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RyanN
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Post by RyanN »

a current project our studio is working on will, in the very near future, involve putting a simple yet highly complex concept vehicle into space, however our current concept must compact as much as possible resulting in some complex bone hieracharys. Bones are pretty much the only way to animate a mesh.

The sims 2 facial bone rigging looks complex however its quite simple to rig using MAXs physiue modifier, which modifier will you be using?

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Banania
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Post by Banania »

I don't think he wants to use any modifiers, just basic keyframes and links to create a hierarchy of objects
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RyanN
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Post by RyanN »

mesh can't be animated using rotation, transform and move keyframes from MAX, bones is the only way to go

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Banania
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Post by Banania »

just to be sure we understand each other, we are not talking about any morphing animation here, just movements of solid objects.
It is not possible with Ogre right now but could be done without too much work.
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RyanN
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Post by RyanN »

i don't think SamH is talking about morph targets, but yes, objects can be animated using rotation and move but not through max. You can but have to run a bone through them.

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Banania
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Post by Banania »

I don't think we understand each other. I have been animating objects with max since version 1.0 and I never ever used a bone for that. So obviously, we must be talking about different things.

And sorry SamH, even though it is still related, we are a bit off topic.
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RyanN
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Post by RyanN »

i have tried but usually verts/faces can only be manipulated through a bone, viewpoint was the only other software i used that allowed me to use keyframed rotation and tranform. Most 3d engines don't support this kind of animation do they?

ie: i think hes (SamH) talking about linking up a hierachary of mesh together and animating them like a robot arm for example, this won't usally work will it? the arm would need a bone structure.

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Post by SamH »

No worries banania.

I have been considering using a handy script I've found to collapse all the heirarchies in my scene while maintaining my animation. This will give me a non-heirarchical animation, lots of animated objects not in a heirarchy but looking like they are visually.

After this I will look at exporting the scene as VRML or ASCII format and see if there is any way (working with the programmer assisting me) to convert the keyframes to something that can be coded in OGRE and reattach them to the OGRE exported objects. That way I can get my anim from MAX to OGRE....Maybe.

What do you think??

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Banania
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Post by Banania »

@SamH. yeah, I think it is very possible to do that.

@RyanN:Yes, vertices and faces can only be manipulated with bones (or morph targets). At least, I think so. But I was not talking on the Faces/Poygon/Vertices sublevel but on the object level.
And your arm would need a bone structure only if you plan on deforming it. A mechanical arm composed of solid iron bars would not necesarily need a bone structure, just a proper hierarchy through links
EDIT: I was not sure but just checked. Maya allows to put keyframes even on faces and vertices. But you must be right about 3d engines. I don't think any supports that kind of things.
Last edited by Banania on Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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SamH
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Post by SamH »

I shall have a go then Babania

RyanN..
I used renderware until very recently and with that I could pretty much just click export and heirarchically setup animations would export. The export would be a geometry file (.dff) and an animation file (.anm). It could also export shape animation directly too as either a sampled morph (a new shape every n frames) or a morph target (where several shapes are defined and a the weighting of each is keyframed, really good for facial expressions etc...)

I think I've been a little spoiled with all that though I'm sure OGRE will be able to do similar at some point. It just needs someone with more technical ability than me wanting it real bad...

So there is stuff out there that does it, its just expensive (apart from VRML which also does it as a standard and exports from MAX, it just doesn't look as good)

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Post by SamH »

SamH wrote:I shall have a go then Babania
:shock: Sorry, I meant Banania!!!!!

I'll let you know how I get on and I'll post a solution if we figure one out

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RyanN
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Post by RyanN »

same here, i came from animating in viewpoint which was very relaxed when it came to animating. Basically i could just rig up simple hierachary then keyframe animate it, however ogre seems be similar to most 3d engines where bones must be used. Darn! its a change that im still getting used to but well worth it when it comes to dynamic animations.

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Banania
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Post by Banania »

SamH wrote:I used renderware until very recently and with that I could pretty much just click export and heirarchically setup animations would export. The export would be a geometry file (.dff) and an animation file (.anm). It could also export shape animation directly too as either a sampled morph (a new shape every n frames) or a morph target (where several shapes are defined and a the weighting of each is keyframed, really good for facial expressions etc...)
Yeah, Renderware is pretty good for animation. Ogre is no doubt better on a lot of other topics but can't keep up with Renderware about animation... for now...
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RyanN
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Post by RyanN »

im going to have a go at getting g-man sytle facial rigging in all our characters for our projects, i'll keep you posted, however my first problem is that all the current exporters don't seem export max's BIPED hierachy properly, which makes an excellent base for character riggings.

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Banania
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Post by Banania »

my first problem is that all the current exporters don't seem export max's BIPED hierachy properly
if you can provide examples and description of the problems, that would help a lot.
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semicolon
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Post by semicolon »

Hi all,

I think Biped could be exported just fine as common bones. Right now the exporter could treat biped the same as bone when exported. Then I think that argument would probably be out of date saying that all the current export don't seem to export biped properly.

Please try the one supported by Banania. Right now it's much improved a lot from the last one, version 0.14.0 and below.

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RyanN
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Post by RyanN »

BIPED uses a strange hierachry where bip01 > hip > spine > spine1 is the hierachy however in MAX the hip and bip01 are the root where as from experience the converter makes spine1 the root of the hierachary. another thing i noticed was that the exporter exports the main object mesh (blahblah.mesh) but also Bip01.mesh, bip01 must be the bone mesh?

Banania, do you have an email address i could use to send you the example?
(the email will be about 4mb)

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Banania
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Post by Banania »

BIPED uses a strange hierachry where bip01 > hip > spine > spine1 is the hierachy however in MAX the hip and bip01 are the root where as from experience the converter makes spine1 the root of the hierachary.
this should not be true anymore. Bip01 should be the root of the hierarchy now.
the exporter exports the main object mesh (blahblah.mesh) but also Bip01.mesh
:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
do you have an email address i could use to send you the example?
bananuphe(AT)hotmail.com
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RyanN
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Post by RyanN »

email sent! you'll see what i mean.....

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Post by RoundSparrow »

So where we at on this issue now? Thanks.

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