[CSM] Animations Editing Tutorial[s]

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Re: Animations Editing Tutorial[s]

Postby Senshi » Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:12 am

The BFMDT Tools work fine work Max 5-9. But in 10 and 11 there are major changes that "kill" most of the BF scripts, sadly.

Yes, you can alter the soldier bodies, no problem. Of course you'll have to skinwrap them again afterwards if you modify key skin nodes. It's pretty simple: Don't modify the skeleton. Changes to the skeleton (e.g adding more bones to the spine or changing bone relations) will kill your animations. Modifiyng the skinwrapped model will not. In the end, the soldier skeleton is used for the whole game, there is only one single skeleton applied to each and every soldier of every nation.
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Re: Animations Editing Tutorial[s]

Postby Sgt.Killboy » Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:39 am

Cool, thanks.

:D
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Re: Animations Editing Tutorial[s]

Postby Sgt.Killboy » Wed May 04, 2011 9:58 am

Okay Senshi! Thats a big step foreward for me now. I just succesfully edited the thompson reload animation for testing purpose. Also made the soldier show his middlefinger when finished reloading.
What I did is...I ticked "Auto key" and changed every keyframe to how it should look like by moving the hand,
Is that how it should be done?
I mean...change all 180 frames by using auto key and moving the bones stuff and then export it?

If so, how about the export?

:)

A small step for mankind. A big step for me!

8-)
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Re: Animations Editing Tutorial[s]

Postby Senshi » Wed May 04, 2011 1:52 pm

Yes. Using autokey is good. The BF-format .baf saves animations as single-frame-animations, so it makes every single frame a keyframe. That's the job of the exporter.

As written before, just make sure to select the correct objects (and only the animated ones! E.g. if during an "aim"-animation the weapon trigger isn't animated, don't select it!) before exporting. For a reload animation that would be two/three animations that you'd have to export: 1p (that would be the hand and arm movements), 3p (if you have animated it, this would be the animation others, standing next to the player, would see) and weapon. Weapon defines the animations of additional objects not tied to the soldier skeleton. These can be an almost infinite number of objects, but (!) the base object is force-tied to the right hand (Bip01R), so don't separate them during animating. BF42 won't accept that and it will seriously mess up the exported animation.
Exporting itself is pretty easy: Export the .baf and replace the existing one in the animations.rfa . Structure there should be self-explanatory. There are 4 types of anims overall: Lower, Upper 1p, Upper 3p, Weapon.

If you create a new weapon, you'd have to make a change to the singleshotweapons.inc (if it's a single shot weapon, obviously...) or multishotweapons.inc (I think you got it by now). Again, structure there i self-explanatory, just add the new weapon name in the same way all the other existing names are filed already.
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Re: Animations Editing Tutorial[s]

Postby Sgt.Killboy » Wed May 04, 2011 2:50 pm

Well, what I'd like to animate ist this one:

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(WIP of the model)

It's similar to the Thompson submachine gun, just the left hand should be at the front grip. For reloading that means it starts at the front grip and picks the magazine to remove it, and replace it with another, to end holding the front grip again. So no pulling of the "whatever it's called" button at it's side, like it's made for the Thompson, since that button is at the right hand side. The soldier should just remove the mag and place another.

If I didn't get you wrong that means:

1p Animation for the reload
3p Animation for the other players
One animation for the Mag (???)

What I don't really get is the Mag part of it.

In the russoldier animation the Mag just dissappears and another one appears to be placed. Does that mean, i have to delete the mag somewhere in the timeline (or hide it) and make it show up again later?
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Re: Animations Editing Tutorial[s]

Postby fo0k » Wed May 04, 2011 5:52 pm

Accidentally hit mouse's 'back button' and deleted text for this post. I loathe how phpbb does that.. in e107 you can go back.. then forward to your page and all the text you were writing is still there.

anyway.... grrr.. :evil:



Forgive me if I have missed the answer to this already in this thread.

can i have an animated static object? like a box just bouncing up and down? Purely for visuals.. I appreciate that collision is not possible.

If so I would looooove it if someone could do a tutorial on that.

I can then go crazy in max making a weird salvador dali level.
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Re: Animations Editing Tutorial[s]

Postby Sgt.Killboy » Wed May 04, 2011 11:33 pm

Weird Salvador Dali Level? *lolomatic* Sounds fun! MAybe do an Art series of levels...Dali first, then maybe Van Gogh, then Gaugin...or better weird stuff like Miro or so....I was just thinking about a Shroomz Map with large shrooms and houses like smurfs live in...hehe.

Well animating statics is surely possible. But thats a different kind of animation i guess (code based). Theres no Bones 'n Stuff needed. Just if you want to make a box squeeze, or how do you say it?...to let it look like its breething or so. That would need the kind of animation we are talking about right now. Like the flags in BF42...

Look at some effects for example, like fog thats in EoD. Thats a static with animation. Several planes with textures on it keep moving the way they do. Just a code thing i guess. Or look at the Windmill thats in the Bocage map. It's static and animated too. Just a rotation, but its animated. So if you can make textureplanes move continiously from the left to the right, always pointing to the players view or make wings of a windmill rotate, why not get a box to jump up and down?

And well...collision would be possible too i guess. Scrap metal from planes is animated too, an it has collision, so i cant imagine why it shouldn't work with bouncing boxes.

Well...talking bout Dali...you should have liquid clocks in that map, with rotating hands...and Giraffes and huge ladies with drawers in the stomach!

;-)

And of course the players should all have funny Dali moustaches!
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Re: Animations Editing Tutorial[s]

Postby Senshi » Thu May 05, 2011 7:15 am

First things first.

The "mag" part. You got 1p and 3p correct, and the third, the "weapon" animation is simply everything that moves around the weapon, which usually consists of multiple parts (well, mostly the "base" and a "mag"). Animating those is done in a separate .baf.

Animating the weapon itself works just like the rest, no need to delete anything, that wouldn't make sense. The mag in the russsoldier does not disappear, it is just moved out of the field of view of the player and then returned (the same one!). As there's no visual difference between a full and an empty mag. Anything that you want to "disappear" during an 1p animation, just move it out of the field of view.
EDIT: Check this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVEI4hg9 ... tube_gdata - First half shows the animation as seen by the player ingame, second part shows how I did it. The removed mag never actually is removed, I just moved it "away". The small cylinder in front is an indicator I placed so I know where the ingame crosshair is, so I can adjust my animations accordingly, making the weapon point roughly towards it. Also, I regularly make the soldier's head invisible as well as the body "see-through". Helps a great deal when animating hand details. And sorry for the texture fault, I quickly rendered the vid on max11 where the BF shaders don't work, my max7 still is acting up.

Oh, there's another limitation: No weapon animations in 3p possible. So in 3p you can never get the magazine to be shown separated from the weapon. A pity, but that's how it is.

For your Owen, you'd need to make all animations all over again. My tip: Start with a good max saving structure and save a individual .max for every single animation. That means a lot of .max, but will be worth it once you have to make various adaptions...also, name the .max very clearly. My structure: Folder name=Weapon name. max name: 3pSoldierCrouchBreath etc. . Exactly like the animation name.

I'd suggest starting with the basic and most important animations. These are "Run", "Walk", "Crouch", "Lie", "Stand". Best is to start with "stand" obviously, as most animations will transition from there. Transitioning between animations is done by Refractor, it simply interpolates between the "current frame" to the "start frame" of the new animation if triggered. Obviously, this transition should be done very quickly and as smoothly as possible so it doesn't look all weird. So especially Stand and Run should be well animated.

To get your weapon in properly, there's a small trick that can be useful: Import the skeleton of your weapon first, in a separate skeleton.max. Then you get a bunch of ugly small boxes that have the perfect position (if you have implemented the weapon already). Write down or remember how every weapon part is called (Case-sensitive!). Then import your weapon standardmeshes in a new weapon.max. Name each weapon part exactly as the skeleton parts. Then switch back to skeleton.max. Now you can just replace the boxes with your weapon parts via File-Replace. Then import the weapon to your russsoldier-base template and it should be attached to Bip01R. If not, do it yourself (Link constraint, you probably know the deal).

Once your soldier and weapon are in, I advise starting by importing a basic "existing animation. First import the regular "Run" animation for the Lower Body. Yes. That is because all upper body animations are based on the lower body-run animation. Don't import "Lower Body stand". A standing soldier is obviously a bit taller, yes, but even the Upper Body "Stand" animation accounts for the lower body to be running. Confusing, but that's how it is.
After you imported the Run-animation, there should be all "changed" bones selected automatically in max. Now delete all frames except the first to prevent your soldier from bobbling up and down during your animation code. As said, run animation is the base, but only the first frame as a "fixed stance".
For 3p-animation, you need to account for lower body animations, obviously, but we currently talk 1p.

After that, import the best fitting animation for the upper body (1p!!!). In your case, maybe the Thompson one. You can try around here. There will be things off, but you get a basic animation of the upper body moving during running and thus a bit of "feel" on how your final animation should look like. You even can leave all the upper body untouched and only alter the "important" things: Attaching the hands to the gun correctly and the weapon "swaying".

Once you have your first animation all done, it gets easier, as you can use that base (as said: "Stand" animation works best) for every other animation of that weapon. That will save you a lot of hazzle.

EDIT: Included video link for the how-to-exchange-mag? issue.
Also, a hint regarding animation of the arms and hands. Us a Animation-IK Constraint to link the hand to the shoulder on each arm. Before you fiddled with the imported animation. This has the HUGE advantage that you only need to move the Bip01R/Bip01L and both arm segments will move "fittingly" as the IK Constraint dictates them to interpolate any movements of the hand. This avoids you having to place any concern on the arm movements.
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Re: Animations Editing Tutorial[s]

Postby fo0k » Thu May 05, 2011 10:06 am

Sgt.Killboy wrote:Like the flags in BF42...


I failed to remember these little swines. Yay!

I shall investigate them, whilst wearing my moustache.

edit.. they do have bones though I think.. buuut... whyy?
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Re: Animations Editing Tutorial[s]

Postby Swaffy » Thu May 05, 2011 10:34 pm

Senshi, I give great thanks to you. You're so much help to me right now.
Quick question: Is it possible to edit the firing and reload animations without having to redo all of the weapon's animations?

Anyway, animations have been the largest "wall" I've ran up upon during my modding life, so you are awesome for giving help.

[Edit] Hmm ... can you please create a "how-to" video? Mainly about the importing and exporting.
(Forum Thread|Download) Swaffy'sMod v0.34 | Download link to come Soon™
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