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MTS Movie Night - posted on 15th Jul 2017 at 7:21 PM
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Alchemist
Original Poster
#26 Old 20th Jan 2010 at 2:59 PM
I can see her feet and legs are posed the same... her heels are in the air as if she was still wearing high heels. So if the legs aren't moving, then there is something that is keeping the movements subsequent to the starting frame from being passed to the output file.

But her head is not posed the same way as the original, telling me that there may be no output frames for the head, so it stays posed like it was before.

Setting a keyframe in the animation is required to get movements made. The first keyframe is used as a reference by the SMD file, so you need one more to get something done.

There is a checkbox menuitem called "Operate on selected joints only" in the animate menu. Turning this on will only create keyframes for just the selected bones. Turned off, when you "set keyframe" it makes one for every joint.

The difference is, if you want an animation of an arm wave that leaves the rest of the joints as they were, you would check the option. If you want to dance the whole body, you either need to select all the joints you want to move and the set the keyframe, or uncheck the option.

There is a trick you can use to avoid facial movements being overridden by making a custom rigging file. rigfile.txt is a magic name, the converter just goes ahead and uses one if it finds it in the same folder as the SMD file. Otherwise, it will make you browse.

If you make a copy of rigfile.txt, and either delete or put a semicolon in front of all the lines for the facial bones you want to not override, and rename the files, there will be no frame data exported for those bones.

Hardly ideal, but this work has to happen before the SMD file is made. Customizing the rigfile for each project will ensure that game animations for facial expressions will still work, unless you want to modify all those, in which case leave the rigfile alone.

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
Alchemist
#27 Old 20th Jan 2010 at 9:45 PM
Thank you Wes I think I'm being inarticulate because part of what I want to know is not answered there but in reading my question I think I just didn't get it to say what I meant. It's hard talking about movement with still pics I guess. But thank you very much for helping me.

Cmo, in the MS menu the SMD is called Half Life SMD if that helps. I looked in my MS files hoping to find the plugin...I know it has to be there...but I couldn't see anything that had an appropriate sounding name. I'll look again though.

Sort of on topic...Wes, you know I don't think people aren't interested in having animation in Sims 3. I think it's more that all the people, or at least a lot of them, with any Sims animation experience are still playing Sims 2. I've seen several of those people post elsewhere that they have no intention of switching until something is there for them to switch to...for them which game it is they're using is secondary to what they want to use it for. And in that, this tool you've created is competing directly with the one you already made for Sims 2...along with all the hacks, piles of clothes, a gazillion hairs, and thousands of objects already made for that game.

So what you're got in this community, the Sims 3 community, is a bunch of modders and meshers (clothes, hair, objects), builders, and players who would all really like to have their fun animated stuff back but who haven't the slightest idea how to create something like that themselves and who mostly appear too intimidated to even try. I wish more people would, or that better yet, someone with animation experience would get started in Sims 3...I want my fun animated stuff back too.

Just my two cents for what it's worth...and sorry to digress.
˙uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN
#28 Old 20th Jan 2010 at 9:57 PM
Thanks OM, and also, I have to agree with you. This tool is just ahead of its time. But so was the obj tool. I didn't really try to make anything until 3 or 4 months after Wes posted it. I DL'd it, but using it felt beyond my abilities at the time. It took Deluxe Design's tutorial to finally make me think "okay, lemme try this". Maybe it'll take a OrangeMittens tutorial to break the ice

"Part of being a mesher is being persistent through your own confusedness" - HystericalParoxysm
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Alchemist
#29 Old 20th Jan 2010 at 10:12 PM
I was the same way getting started making objects. I didn't even download any of the tools until I saw there was at least a rudimentary tutorial. I knew there was no way I'd be able to learn without one. I think DD got 90% of the meshers in the community going with that tutorial

But the AnimTool has a tutorial. It's in Wes' other post on the topic and it is very easy to follow especially if you've used the ObjTool. The only thing that tutorial doesn't have is the instructions to get your new animation into the game. But Wes put that in the thread below the tutorial. Really no other instruction on using the tool itself is needed.

You'll have no problem trust me...the things you've already done with the other tools are more difficult. It's figuring out the animation-making itself that's taking me more time...hopefully you make faster progress and then you can help me...lol.
Alchemist
#30 Old 20th Jan 2010 at 10:48 PM
Cmo, I looked at the MS site and it says that half life SMD is one of the supported types. Doesn't this mean you shouldn't need a specific plugin for it? I know I never put one in but there it was at the very top of my import menu when I needed it. Take a look and see if it's there. I still can't find anything in my MS program files that looks anything like an SMD import/export plugin.

Wes, when you talk about editing the rigfile.txt I'm assuming you mean use Notepad to do this?...correct? I have to say I find this means of altering things in Sims 3 the easiest part of any of it...sometimes I wish I could make entire meshes that way...it's so much more precise than scooching pixels around.
˙uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN
#31 Old 21st Jan 2010 at 12:09 AM
Yes, it comes with MS, but I think I removed it to clean up the import/export menus, since I only used Wes's plugins.

"Part of being a mesher is being persistent through your own confusedness" - HystericalParoxysm
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Alchemist
Original Poster
#32 Old 21st Jan 2010 at 2:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangemittens
Wes, when you talk about editing the rigfile.txt I'm assuming you mean use Notepad to do this?...correct?


Yes, or WordPad, maybe. Notepad may not show the line breaks since they are LF only instead of the old MS-DOS CR+LF. But they are plain ascii text files, human readable.

As are the .mcfg and .s3ascg in the ObjTool. (.s3asc is actually an empty file, it is just used for the filename).

========= miscellaneous ramblings on rig files and such ===================

The rig files are really a collection of bone names (in a heirarchy), with position (XYZ) and euler rotation values for the "bind pose", which is the default pose you see with the arms at 45 degrees above the sides. Animations need to have the same starting point as the raw mesh, they have to match or the animation will not play correctly.

Object animations should work, too, provided you were to make a rig file. The game uses the granny animation system, but the format for those files hads been tough because these guys have a "better than zip" compression format that we don't understand.

But you can see the object rigs, and extract the necessary joint information by using the granny reader, a free viewer from the makers, a group called Rad Games http://www.radgametools.com/. But there is no cut and paste, it is pencil and paper copying. Ugh.

There are three rigs that cannot be opened with the granny viewer, those right opened, but you have to cut part of the file off with something like a hex editor. One of those three is the adult rig, on which the rig file I distributed is based. Another is the child and the last is, if I remember properly, the toddlers. The child skeleton is a repositioned/resized adult skeleton, it has the same bone structure, just shorter and smaller.

The difference in the two is evident when you play adult animations on a child and vice versa. The animations do not play right because they were made differently. I intended to make a child animation rig, but have yet to do so.

As far as tutorials, maybe. I have my own struggles with animating because, like meshing, it too requires a bit of an artistic eye to do well. I know the technology, but "those that can, do, those that can't, teach" about sums it up for me.

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
Alchemist
#33 Old 21st Jan 2010 at 11:53 AM
Cmo, maybe try downloading MS again then? Shouldn't that fix the problem?

Wes, when you say, "Animations need to have the same starting point as the raw mesh, they have to match or the animation will not play correctly, " does "starting point" refer to the pose the avi has when you first open the afbody4anim.ms3d in MS or does it refer to the pose she takes after you import the .smd and click the Anim button?

Every test that I've tried has started from the pose the avi moves into after I've imported the .smd and hit the Anim button. Is that the wrong thing to be doing?

I'm past the point where a tutorial's artistry is an issue...just a simple tutorial showing how to get an animation, artistic or not, into the game with head and feet moving properly (and holding still properly) would be much appreciated if you could find the time to make one (not always easy I know).

This is what the sticking point is for me...the arms do what they're supposed to but nothing else does. It may very well be (and probably is) that ones I've made myself are made incorrectly, but this happens even when I just try overwriting one of the painting's EA dance sequences with a different EA dance sequence. For example, I tried overwriting the dance sequence a_dance_med_posAHipsShake with the hands above sequence and couldn't get that to work. Is this because I'm starting the whole thing off from the wrong pose?
˙uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN
#34 Old 21st Jan 2010 at 1:14 PM
Thanks OM, but I found it. I hadn't removed it, just disabled it. I'm having issues with the Blender plugin though; things have to be a done a certain way for it work. Also, it doesn't import animations, only export.

"Part of being a mesher is being persistent through your own confusedness" - HystericalParoxysm
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Alchemist
#35 Old 21st Jan 2010 at 1:25 PM
Cmo, do you already know how to animate with Blender? If so, can't you make your animation in Blender, export it as an smd to MS, and then just use MS to do the saving over the smd that was made from a clip part? Kind of how you're using MS to convert objs (or whatever the extension is you're using) for your objects?
˙uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN
#36 Old 21st Jan 2010 at 3:29 PM Last edited by cmomoney : 21st Jan 2010 at 6:33 PM.
Yes, I can animate in Blender. And I was going to try excatly what you're saying last night. But last night was actually this morning (1 hour before sunrise), and the Blender plugin requires that the bones be connected (and they aren't). I didn't want to feed my insomnia by starting something else. I had to import the .ms3d file into Blender instead using the plugin to import the .smd because it borked the bones (trying to connect them , I guess). I'm fearing connecting the bones will cause an issue. I think I'll try some non-sim experiments first.

"Part of being a mesher is being persistent through your own confusedness" - HystericalParoxysm
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Alchemist
Original Poster
#37 Old 21st Jan 2010 at 5:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangemittens
Wes, when you say, "Animations need to have the same starting point as the raw mesh, they have to match or the animation will not play correctly, " does "starting point" refer to the pose the avi has when you first open the afbody4anim.ms3d in MS or does it refer to the pose she takes after you import the .smd and click the Anim button?


I meant the positions and rotations in the rigging file must match the ones used in the game, which is the standard meshing pose.

Another observation for you to consider on the position is that the first keyframe (what you see when you click on ANIM) has to be moved to at the start of the animation. Example: You make an exercise animation, laying on the floor. Game play has sim standing. Result is sim just rotates down to the floor, quite surreal. Generally, there would be three animations for this, one of a sim going from standing to laying down, done the awkward way that people really do it. A second animation of sit-ups (or whatever) plays. And a final animation of the sim rising from the ground back to standing, something that becomes increasingly difficult as time goes on.

I think that you will find "Operate on selected joints only" to be at the root of your animation issues. When you set a keyframe, MilkShape can take a snapshot of the whole skeleton, or just part of it. That is what the option is for (and you can change it between keyframes). The difference is that the animations play as an overlay... if the keyframe is set only on a selected arm, the arm will be the only thing that is moved. This is by design.

However, you may pose the whole sim by moving everything into place, selecting the pelvis and setting the keyframe. Regardless of the option, this will snapshot everything but the root. The game will manage that for most animations.

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
˙uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN
#38 Old 21st Jan 2010 at 11:20 PM
Well, I was able to get the animation in Blender, and play/edit it. But the plugin doesn't work (maybe outdated), so I have no way to get it out of Blender.

"Part of being a mesher is being persistent through your own confusedness" - HystericalParoxysm
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Alchemist
#39 Old 22nd Jan 2010 at 12:55 AM
Thank you again for your help Wes. I am taking this, "I meant the positions and rotations in the rigging file must match the ones used in the game, which is the standard meshing pose..." to mean that since I'm using the rigging you created that my rigging does match. So that shouldn't be my problem (one thing checked off the list...lol).

Here is one thing that I've tried: I copied the hands pump sequence out of FullBuild and opened it up in MS but did not change it. I used that to overwrite an smd. that I had made of the hips shake sequence. I then converted that smd. to a clip, packaged it, and put it into the game. It did make the Sim perform the hand pump sequence in the game but she did so without moving her feet at all. She didn't even have the little heel lift thing going on. Her feet were just flat, were not shoulder width apart, and her knees didn't move. Her head, instead of looking forward throughout the sequence, sort of jerked around.

Clearly I need to do something to match the beginning of my sequence to what the game is expecting to see, or maybe I am somehow deleting information it needs to run the sequence correctly but whatever it is I can't figure it out.

I have a folder full of tests of all sorts and the very same problem dogs them all. This has to be something basic that I'm screwing up right from the start. I did all these tests quite awhile ago and I didn't take "footage" of them. I plan to try some of them again and shoot them so I can show you what I mean because I feel like my inability to describe what's going on is making it impossible to successfully communicate my problem. I feel like I keep repeating the same thing over and over without becoming any more descriptive...I apologize for that.

"And a final animation of the sim rising from the ground back to standing, something that becomes increasingly difficult as time goes on..." Don't know about that...I think it's probably the case that all people occasionally need a hand getting back on their feet again...that's life. Presumably, wise and happy people just accept that and move along...at least that's what I've always been told by people wiser than me.

Cmo, have you looked at the newest Blender and the newest Milkshape to see if there are any other extensions they share that support animations? Would any other extension work for this purpose?
Alchemist
#40 Old 22nd Jan 2010 at 11:12 PM
My post above is a great illustration of why not to post when frustrated with self for not getting this. Please ignore the whole garbled thing.

I still haven't figured out how to post an EA film in a forum but I can at least post a link to the films. The first (video-10) shows the original Hands Above sequence as it is when you click on the ChaosMage painting and choose the looped sequence.

http://jaue.com/om/Video-10.avi

The next one shows the Hands Above sequence as it looks after I exported the original from FullBuild, turned it into an smd and then turned it back into a clip without opening it in MS (video-9). I took that clip and packaged it using s3pe.

http://jaue.com/om/Video-9.avi

Both of these were shot from a similar angle facing the Sim directly. The biggest change is the leg position and the lack of movement in them.

I had assumed that since I wasn't changing any of the animation in the sequence that it would be an exact copy of the original clip from FullBuild but it isn't. Is something happening to the keyframes in the clip-->smd conversion that makes it so that they need to be added back in prior to converting the smd back into a clip? Or is it possible that somehow the way I'm packaging the clip is the problem?

I hope these .avis show up...this is the first time I've posted something with this extension. Anyway, if you have time to look at them I would really appreciate it. I'm hoping they do a better job of explaining what I mean than I've been able to do with words.
Alchemist
Original Poster
#41 Old 22nd Jan 2010 at 11:47 PM
At least it doesn't have the Black Eyed Peas as a sound track, like some on that sheep site, Ewe-Tube.

It might be helpful to see the broken package file.

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
Alchemist
#42 Old 22nd Jan 2010 at 11:59 PM
"At least it doesn't have the Black Eyed Peas as a sound track..." ...true.

Hang on...let me get it.

http://jaue.com/om/HandsAbove-original.rar

Thank you very much for taking a look at this.
˙uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN
#43 Old 23rd Jan 2010 at 4:59 AM
I found another plugin that the author stated in a tutorial as "the only one that works". And well, it works, sort of. I was able to export a simple two bone animation, and open/play it in MS.
The author also stated that he will make the plugin for 2.5 as soon as he feels its stable enough. So, now its on to try to exporting the animated rig, I hope....

"Part of being a mesher is being persistent through your own confusedness" - HystericalParoxysm
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Alchemist
Original Poster
#44 Old 23rd Jan 2010 at 5:18 AM
I will help as well as I can. The secret key to success I have been preaching is to have the starting mesh with the correct positions/rotations (same as used by the game). You can see those values in the rigfile.

The SMD format is pretty simple, it is just a set of snapshots of bone positions/rotations for every bone that is supposed to move. Repeating bones that didn't move is OK, I think the converter filters the repetitious frames out... and they would hurt nothing if it didn't, they just make larger files (sometimes much larger).

I have Blender 2.49 installed here, but I am not well versed at using it, nor their scripting language (python). But I am interested in your progress.

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
Alchemist
Original Poster
#45 Old 23rd Jan 2010 at 5:46 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangemittens
Thank you very much for taking a look at this.


Well, you aren't crazy, it plays the same here in game as your .avi file. Interestingly enough, converted back to .smd and placed in MilkShape it plays fine.

I will look at this, I suspect the rigfile has something wrong with it, because the conversion smd->anim->smd use two different pieces of code (stuck in the same shell), making the rigfile the common denominator.

Film at 11:00 (on what day I can't say).

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
Alchemist
#46 Old 23rd Jan 2010 at 4:05 PM
Wes, you wound me...here I thought you found me terminally ineducable and somewhat annoying and now I discover you're over there thinkin' I'm crazy.



lol (and yes, I'm kidding )

What is also interesting, at least to me, is that the ChaosMage painting version of the HandsAbove sequence is not quite the same as the EA clip version of the same sequence that can be exported from FullBuild. Here's footage of an animation package I made last November by just exporting the HandsAbove clip and packaging it as-is (I didn't convert to smd first...just packaged it):

http://jaue.com/om/Video-11.avi

If you compare that to the sequence played by the ChaosMage painting which I filmed in video-10 above you can see that the head movements are not exactly the same as I, at least, would have expected them to be. I'm not sure which version is "right" but they aren't the same.

So there are 4 versions of the sequence all in all if you count the Milkshape version where her head doesn't move at all.

I'm looking forward to the movie at 11...regardless of what day it's showing.
˙uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN
#47 Old 23rd Jan 2010 at 4:27 PM
Animated rig exported successfully. Now to get it in game

"Part of being a mesher is being persistent through your own confusedness" - HystericalParoxysm
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Alchemist
#48 Old 23rd Jan 2010 at 4:35 PM
That was fast cmo! If that works for you maybe I should see if animating in Blender is easier than animating with Milkshape. Have you tried Milkshape?...if so do you think Blender is easier?
˙uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN
#49 Old 23rd Jan 2010 at 5:55 PM
I'd have to say I'm already biased towards Blender. I feel like a complete clutz using MS to do anything.

"Part of being a mesher is being persistent through your own confusedness" - HystericalParoxysm
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Alchemist
#50 Old 23rd Jan 2010 at 10:08 PM
Thanks cmo...I'm thinking I might give Blender a try then. How did your experiment work out?

Heh...I thought my Sim drama queen was cute (not perfect but I'm learning). Sigh...I always forget that, with the exception of HL, few people here seem to appreciate humor too much. Sorry 'bout disruptin' the serious tone yet again...my mistake.
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