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Author Topic: Character Animation  (Read 4108 times)

andfly

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Character Animation
« on: November 28, 2016, 07:19:49 pm »

Here is a fantastic new possible method of animation in the world Outerra !!!
(  New to me ... probably always existed! )

In all honesty, this discovery, it is not my doing.
Once again I have to thank KW71 (sooner or later I'll have to offer him at least a beer ...)
It was only because of his stubbornness and insistence that I was (almost) forced to perform tests that led me to discover this new method did not think possible!

In his opinion it was possible to animate a character (or a model in general) through moving the bones of her structure , if you use 3DS Max.
I had already tried, years ago (with the Orca), but I had not gotten results: so I had abandoned.
The cause of the failure was the use of software not designed for this purpose: the original Outerra importer from "collada" file and the "Blender" program of building models.

But if you use the Outerra FBX importer  and building the model with 3DS Max: then the file "PKG" contains the definition of the model bones and the connections of bones with assigned vertices.

At this point just set, in the script, the bones as a "joint" and apply the "rotate_joint" method.
The bones will move, and drag the vertices linked, redesigning and "stretching" the meches in the new location without interruption ... as within the 3D drawing program !!

Unfortunately Blender is not able to create a "FBX" file correctly interpretable by the importer of Outerra and it would seem mandatory to use 3DS Max ... but it's not true at all !
If you export your model, from Blender, in "DAE" and becomes "FBX" with an external converter, you can get a "good" file to the FBX importer of Outerra.
And this is a great opportunity because Blender is totally free and 3DS Max instead ...

I sketched in a short time, a model without too many demands for perfection only to concretely illustrate the method discovered.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6114pZ3kPTgaGhVOEdHclNHZ0k/view?usp=sharing

and I made a short video :



At this point there are no more excuses ...
I expect, in a short time, an explosion of life in the world of Anteworld !!!
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KW71

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Re: Character Animation
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2016, 08:31:26 pm »

No, no. Thanks for the credits but:

" If you export your model, from Blender, in "DAE" and becomes "FBX" with an external converter"


You found out that, not me...

"In his opinion it was possible to animate a character (or a model in general) through moving the bones of her structure , if you use 3DS Max."

And this are Angrypig's tips & indications

    I'm just a link... you're in one end, and Angrypig in the other, so... Kudos for both of you!    :)
« Last Edit: November 28, 2016, 08:37:28 pm by KW71 »
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Acetone

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Re: Character Animation
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2016, 02:42:03 am »

Nice work!  :)
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nothinglikethesun

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Re: Character Animation
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2016, 04:44:29 am »

Here is a fantastic new possible method of animation in the world Outerra !!!
(  New to me ... probably always existed! )

In all honesty, this discovery, it is not my doing.
Once again I have to thank KW71 (sooner or later I'll have to offer him at least a beer ...)
It was only because of his stubbornness and insistence that I was (almost) forced to perform tests that led me to discover this new method did not think possible!

In his opinion it was possible to animate a character (or a model in general) through moving the bones of her structure , if you use 3DS Max.
I had already tried, years ago (with the Orca), but I had not gotten results: so I had abandoned.
The cause of the failure was the use of software not designed for this purpose: the original Outerra importer from "collada" file and the "Blender" program of building models.

But if you use the Outerra FBX importer  and building the model with 3DS Max: then the file "PKG" contains the definition of the model bones and the connections of bones with assigned vertices.

At this point just set, in the script, the bones as a "joint" and apply the "rotate_joint" method.
The bones will move, and drag the vertices linked, redesigning and "stretching" the meches in the new location without interruption ... as within the 3D drawing program !!

Unfortunately Blender is not able to create a "FBX" file correctly interpretable by the importer of Outerra and it would seem mandatory to use 3DS Max ... but it's not true at all !
If you export your model, from Blender, in "DAE" and becomes "FBX" with an external converter, you can get a "good" file to the FBX importer of Outerra.
And this is a great opportunity because Blender is totally free and 3DS Max instead ...

I sketched in a short time, a model without too many demands for perfection only to concretely illustrate the method discovered.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6114pZ3kPTgaGhVOEdHclNHZ0k/view?usp=sharing

and I made a short video :



At this point there are no more excuses ...
I expect, in a short time, an explosion of life in the world of Anteworld !!!

Bravo!!! :-)
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andfly

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Re: Character Animation
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2016, 01:16:59 pm »

No, no. Thanks for the credits but: ......

I'm not used to free thanks ...

I confirm!
If it was not for your intuition and your concern, I would never have discovered this method!

But ... maybe I get it ... you do not like beer !!!

 ( This can be remedied in another way ... )

 :) :) :)       :) :) :)
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andfly

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Re: Character Animation
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2016, 01:31:41 pm »

Thanks Acetone!  :)

And thanks nothinglikethesun !  :)
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nothinglikethesun

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Re: Character Animation
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2016, 09:59:38 am »

:-)
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jonslynn

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Re: Character Animation
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2017, 09:06:08 am »

This is very interesting.  At first you make it sound like 3D Max only.  Then perhaps Blender?  But it needs to be a boned character I guess.  I will have to play around with this.

Thanks
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jonslynn

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Re: Character Animation
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2017, 09:55:23 am »

Wait?  So a vehicle java script does the animation?  I was confused but still interesting.  Just not the way I would import an fbx animation.  I can wait a few years for that I think.
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andfly

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Re: Character Animation
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2017, 07:33:24 pm »

This is very interesting.  At first you make it sound like 3D Max only.  Then perhaps Blender?  But it needs to be a boned character I guess.  I will have to play around with this.
When Developers have published the character of the mercenary (in 2014), exploring the related files folder and seeing a large number of "anim" files, I was convinced that all the movements were created prior in 3DS Max as "animation" and they were reproduced in outerra precisely as "concatenate animations" able to display all the character's situations (walking, running, twisting etc ...).
This belief was reinforced by the fact that, having tried to create a model, complete with armature, I could not move his bones with the usual script commands.
And also from the conviction that it would be burdensome for the computer (and also not easy to accomplish) the fact of writing and place, within Outerra, routines able to recalculate the meches deformed by movements.
Because of this conviction (not being able to create animation and not even knowing the method to reproduce them) in all models I've created so far, I had "cut" and "separate" parts to animate, and I had commanded the movement as you do move one aileron or rudder or a gear, with the difficulty of covering, in some way, the contact points between the various pieces and hide the empty spaces that were highlighted.

The discovery of which I speak in this topic, that is, you can control the movements of the bones, it was a great surprise especially for me!

He also caused a large (and further) sense of admiration for cameni, angrypig & co, for the demonstrated ability to insert these routines into the engine without weighing on performance.

A little difficulties arise from the fact that the "FBX" file must meet stricter standards that (at least in my experience as an amateur) not always Blender is capable of producing.
I do not know, at this point, if it comes from a lack of Blender or my inability to build a model with a "well-made armature", but this can be considered irrelevant because there is a way to make sure that the model is "properly interpreted" for Outerra.
Simply export from Blender in "DAE" or "FBX" and carry out a further conversion with the "Autoesk Official converter in the FBX " ( http://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Graphic/Image-Convertors/Autodesk-FBX-Converter.shtml ).
After this conversion the "FBX" file is correctly interpreted by Outerra SURELY!

(Or use 3DSMax .... and every problem is already solved immediately)

Wait?  So a vehicle java script does the animation?  I was confused but still interesting.  Just not the way I would import an fbx animation.  I can wait a few years for that I think.
The result is this:
If you build a model that respects the parameters of a "FBX" file as if it were produced by 3DS Max,and it imports it to the FBX importer Outerra, you can control the movements of the bones of his armature (with the commands of the javascript file) getting extremely natural and realistic movements as if it reproduce an animation.
The huge advantage is that by using the script, ANY movement is possible without the requirement to develop a special animation !!!
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jonslynn

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Re: Character Animation
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2017, 08:03:48 pm »

That is all nice but I do not know java scripting very well.  Seems like it would take a long time to get anything to work right.  I have not had much spare time to play with Outerra but this really caught my attention.  I don't use Blender much.  I have used 3D Max and the FBX converter way more.  I know the software and get what you are saying but my lack of Java script is a crutch.  Thanks for the reply.
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patmarrnc

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Re: Character Animation
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2017, 02:51:26 pm »

wow! thanks for sharing this!  It reinforces my desire to learn more about how to use outerra's power

(is there a tutorial or document that goes into more detail about how to animate imported objects? )
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andfly

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Re: Character Animation
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2017, 06:03:53 pm »

It's been a while since I wrote this post and ... something new I've learned!
The most important novelty is that you no longer need to go through Autodesk's FBX converter to get an animated model.
(maybe it was not necessary even before ... but the models I had built, probably because of my inexperience, were not imported correctly by the Outerra FBX importer and the passage through the Autodesk converter was able to fix the errors and produced a file that could be correctly interpreted ...)
However, just export from Blender in FBX format and use the Outerra FBX importer to get a perfectly animated model.
If, then, in the Blender environment, you build an animation, it will be recognized by the importer of Outerra and correctly inserted in the folder of the model files.
(If you use 3DS Max, the result should be even more secure!)

Explaining the  mechanisms capable of moving the meches of a model and its bones is beyond my dialectical skills because I'm not a full time programmer, I might use improper or even incorrect terms: all I know by studying it ( and copying) the javascript files of the users who made their models available before me.
However, is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY (and is the best tutorial possible) first of all, read the WIKI information in this forum explaining a great deal of the commands that can be used for land, sea or air vehicles.

Use animations created in Blender and import them into Outerra as "anim" files (work done automatically by the Outerra FBX importer) is even easier!
I learned by browsing in the "hero.js" file, which has long been included in the "scripts" folder of the program.
For simplicity, I recommend downloading the Forgotten Island model (https://forum.outerra.com/index.php?topic=3746.0).
Among the animals present in this environment is a "Baby Brachiosaurus".
The javascript file that controls this model, excluding the sound setting, only contains the commands to execute its animation defined in the "Action.anim" file.
You can copy everything by specifying the name of your ".anim" file and you will get a safe working ...

Good work and, above all, good fun!  :)
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 06:25:43 pm by andfly »
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patmarrnc

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Re: Character Animation
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2017, 11:33:16 pm »

do you (or anyone else) know if FBX animations created in the POSER program would work in the same way?  I ask because my interest in Outerra is related more to animation/film making than it is to gaming.

There is a lot of overlap between 3d animation and gaming, and whether the developers realize it or not, the current state of outerra is very close to being a universal set for animators.

If animators can create characters and movements in other software, then import FBX + ANIM it to Outerra and get it to work in this environment (with reasonable ease defined by a comprehensive set of instructions) I think a whole new demographic would become interested. I also think animators would be willing to pay a lot more than you are currently asking for your alpha license. Just sayin'.

With no changes at all, it is already possible to use green screen footage to merge characters with Outerra backgrounds in a video editor... but there is something to be gained by filming everything in the same 3d environment.

In reading andfly's post it seems that what I want is already possible. The remaining task is to discover how to import and use the animations.

Any help or insights that others may have to offer will be greatly appreciated.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 11:56:42 am by patmarrnc »
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andfly

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Re: Character Animation
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2017, 12:40:50 pm »

I do not know the POSER program, but if the animations are plugged into an FBX file, they should work the same way as if they were built with any other program.
In the Autodesk Converter I was talking about before:
(http://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Graphic/Image-Convertors/Autodesk-FBX-Converter.shtml)
there is a possibility to use an "FBX Viewer".
Upload the FBX file to this Viewer and try to get it started ...
If it works right away it should be OK for import, otherwise try to use the converter: you should get a working file ...

P.S.
I read the last edit of your speech and ... talk about animation films.
I do not think Outerra is naturally prepared for this purpose.
I managed to import animations of a limited number of frames, (150-200), beyond that number import was not successful ...
I do not know if for my fault or if there is a set limit.
I think Outerra's goal is to have short animations of a character that "concatenate" to see its various actions (running, walking, jumping, twisting, etc.).
By commanding the execution of these animations (appropriately and managed by a program), you should be able to highlight all the possible movements of a character ...
It's just my personal opinion ... I have no official news to confirm or deny it!  :(
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