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Author Topic: Trying to Learn Animation Export/Import  (Read 10000 times)

DWS_Josh

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Trying to Learn Animation Export/Import
« on: Mar 14, 13, 02:57:08 AM »

Hey guys,

So I have been through the Hero Wiki and have been trying to figure this out. At this point I am seeking someone who is willing to help me out. Whether they can make a video for me showing me the process start to finish for getting an animated asset into HeroEngine. Preferably from 3DS Max (adding SRB and animating it properly) and then importing it into HeroEngine. If you are unable to create a video if you have some time to meet with me on Skype and could show me there I would be highly grateful.

Do I have any takers? If so contact me either through my email (joshn@darkwingstudios.net) or on skype (josh.newman1311). I hope to hear from someone soon!
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PN-Dwight

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Re: Trying to Learn Animation Export/Import
« Reply #1 on: Mar 14, 13, 03:50:27 AM »

Animated Asset or Animated Character?

DWS_Josh

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Re: Trying to Learn Animation Export/Import
« Reply #2 on: Mar 14, 13, 01:04:53 PM »

Sorry animated Characters not assets. Probably would help if I specified that correctly.
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davidcass

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Re: Trying to Learn Animation Export/Import
« Reply #3 on: Mar 16, 13, 07:49:32 PM »

hello, what you requested is time consuming, but with animation i found it easy to download mocaps ( motion capture files ) once you have you character with its biped bone system the skinned it , you can animate it in max. simply import the mocaps to the biped. you can manipulate other sub animations into them.
thanks dave
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DWS_Josh

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Re: Trying to Learn Animation Export/Import
« Reply #4 on: Mar 17, 13, 09:03:34 PM »

I am well aware of how to animate, that isn't what I am trying to figure out. I am trying to find out how to get those animations from Max into HeroEngine. I have followed the Wiki a few times, but for some reason I am not getting something and it's not working.
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PN-Dwight

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Re: Trying to Learn Animation Export/Import
« Reply #5 on: Mar 18, 13, 03:32:06 AM »

You did setup all the necessary files, and let a technical artist write the character controller files? That is probably the hardest part on your setup, and it all depends on how you wrote your character controller.

HE-BENNETT

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Re: Trying to Learn Animation Export/Import
« Reply #6 on: Mar 18, 13, 11:13:49 AM »

DWS_Josh, try to be a little more descriptive.  What isn't working?  Where is the process failing? Are you getting any errors? Are you able to see the character in HeroBlade?

If you've got each animation exported as a separate .hgm, with an animation sequence (.asq) file for each one, and all the sequences listed in the Animationset.dat, and you are able to see the character in engine, but the animations don't play (super-run-on-sentence) Then Dwight is probably right, the issue lies with the Animation Agent Script (.aas) file.  That is where you tell the engine what animations should be playing based on the various inputs set by the ACCC (Advanced Customizable Character Controller).

If none of that helps, give us some more information and we can probably help more effectively ;)
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DWS_Josh

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Re: Trying to Learn Animation Export/Import
« Reply #7 on: Mar 18, 13, 12:05:45 PM »

Okay so here is my process, which I am not sure I am even really doing this in the right order:

Rig Character and animate character.

I open the Hero Character Tools and setup the Character name, Set HE Root Path, Set Character Root Path, Set Character Type.

Create the SRB at 0,0,0 under the root bone (Pelvis).

I lock the rotation axis on the SRB because for some reason if I don't the SRB spins around during the animation.

Then I create Character Files.

I hide everything except the mesh

And then I am not sure if I am suppose to select Static Character, or Animation (VDA or CME) in the Export Mode. And then not entirely sure what files become created that I need to import into HE.

This is where I am struggling. And maybe its because I am trying to do all of this after a long day of work so I am missing something important in the wiki, but it doesn't seem to really explain some parts.
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HE-BENNETT

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Re: Trying to Learn Animation Export/Import
« Reply #8 on: Mar 18, 13, 12:35:44 PM »

Perhaps you've missed the more useful wiki pages, these should contain most of the information:

http://wiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Static_Characters
http://wiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Animating_Characters_Tutorial

The SRB will follow the motion of the Bip01 bone it is attached to unless the relevant channel is locked.  It spins around because thats what it is supposed to do :P  but you've done the right thing by locking it when you don't want that behavior.

Once you've created the character files and want to do the animations, you need to export each animation sequence or loop as an individual animation .hgm file using the VDA animation setting in the export window.

All of this is pretty extensively explained in the pages I've listed, just read everything and walk through step by step, you'll figure it out :)
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DWS_Josh

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Re: Trying to Learn Animation Export/Import
« Reply #9 on: Mar 18, 13, 09:37:42 PM »

Thanks Bennett. Glad to know I was doing most everything correctly. I just must be missing something while going through them, so I will go at it again once I am more rested.
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DWS_Josh

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Re: Trying to Learn Animation Export/Import
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 13, 11:32:20 PM »

Okay, so been trying this again. How would I create an asq and a dat file? The tutorial doesn't really explain it, it simply says to create one. I am assuming this is somewhere within HE?

And then the final question. When the files are exported from 3DS Max/Maya, where in the Repository should they go? Is there a specific folder or do I create my own and just make sure the asq/dat file is pointed to the  right folder?

Those tutorials are great, but it does leave a lot of gaps for those of us that aren't really experienced.
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uexilon

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Re: Trying to Learn Animation Export/Import
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 13, 03:16:34 AM »

http://hewiki.heroengine.com/wiki/.asq
http://hewiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Character_Spec

I thought the Character Tool also creates those two files, maybe I'm wrong. However, it is really easy to set them up with Editor/Wordpad or something like this.

Character files need to be placed in the Character folder (You should create a Subfolder for each Character). Characters with dynamic switchable parts, facegen and so on need to be placed in the Character/dynamic_2/ folder.

Using the Hero Engine Character Tool that comes together with the ArtPipeline is the best way to go. Just set the Character Path either to the Folder Character or dynamic_2 depending on what kind of Character you would like to create (like mentioned above). Clicking on create Characterfiles gives you the correct folder structure and the needed files (you need to create more and edit some files on your own to add more Animations, Parts, etc.). I export the whole Character at Frame 0 (means the skeleton and all the parts - only one part + skeleton unhidden, then the next part). You can either have all Animations in one file and "slide" the Animation "time range" inside of Max ( don't know about maya), or you can create a file for each animation. When it comes to exporting animations, simply go to the export tool, hit .vda and export it to the Animation folder the Character Tool created for you. Editing the ANIMATIONSET.dat and creating a new asq for this animation is the final step before uploading.

Hope this helpes
« Last Edit: May 10, 13, 03:27:29 AM by uexilon »
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DWS_Josh

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Re: Trying to Learn Animation Export/Import
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 13, 04:03:00 PM »

This does sort of answer the question for me. So when I am in 3DS Max in the Character Tools script, I set the Character path and that is suppose to set up the path that the engine will use to look for the animations? And what exactly do you mean by create the asq in wordpad/editor? If I did it in wordpad would I just save it as a .txt and then upload it to the repository some where? Or which editor in the engine would I use? Those wiki's you linked are great for explaining what those things are, but it doesn't tell how or where to create them. I get that an asq is what defines the animation itself, but where would I go (step 1) in order to create one. (same with the animationset.dat file)

I really appreciate all the help you guys are giving me, and hopefully I can get this figured out soon. Maybe it's because I am not a programmer or something but there just seems to be info missing/gaps in explanations on certain parts of the process.
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uexilon

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Re: Trying to Learn Animation Export/Import
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 13, 07:43:56 PM »

Well... you would save it as a .asq fileafterall :)

When you save it, just select "all files" and then type  NAME.asq   or ANIMATIONSET.dat or NAME.aas

Those files are stored in the simplest text format, they just have a different file extension ;)

The HeroEngine Art Tutorial Sample Files at your account download page may help you. This zip file contains a dynamic character with the complete folder structure. You could also download the sample_character from your HeroEngine World to your local Repository and then dive into those files.

If you still have problems afterwards I'll write a short explanation of all those things. But first I need a little rest. It's 02:43 here ;)
« Last Edit: May 11, 13, 03:43:48 AM by uexilon »
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DWS_Josh

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Re: Trying to Learn Animation Export/Import
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 13, 12:50:07 AM »

I see, that makes a bit more sense now. The only other question I really have left is about where to put it in the Repository. Would it go in the models sub folder, or is there a specific folder that it needs to be in that already exists?
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