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Original Poster
#1 Old 26th Oct 2009 at 9:30 PM Last edited by WesHowe : 7th May 2011 at 2:45 PM.
Default TESTERS WANTED: AnimTool, updated V05 (03/07/2011)
I made an experimental S3 Clip converter. Clip is the file that has the actual Sims 3 animation in it. The conversion is to and from the SMD format. SMD is a widely supported format, originally used on the game Half-Life, that supports skeletons, meshes and animations. This is just about the skeletons and animations, but you can add a weighted mesh to the skeleton and it will animate.

The Clip files work on both bodies and objects, but my testing so far hasn't gotten past body (sim) animations. In both cases, you need to supply a rigging file, I have two examples in the package, but they may need adjusted for specific animations. I have tried to explain that in the program notes file inside the archive.

Conversion works both ways, the pictured demo is of an animation that was converted to SMD and then back to .animation and packaged. I have only done replacement packages so far, I think that Tiger's Smooth Jazz program will help make new animations, but I haven't tried that yet.

I have been using ChaosMageX's painting (get it here) to trigger the animations. It is quite useful. Better yes, see the orangemitten tutorial for using it with Cmomoney's Pose Player: http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=438716

Oh, did I mention that poses are just 1 frame animations? Yes, it works with those, too. Did I mention that SMD is compatible with both MilkShape and fragMotion (low cost packages) and should be workable with others (the Blender plugin does not support animations)?

Is there a lot more I didn't mention? You betcha... which is why we have a thread and not a post in downloads. Experience has shown that it will take some effort to get all of the problems ironed out, starting with teaching people how to get started.

As always, you must take full responsibility for the use of the program. All the fine-print limitations of liability are incorporated here implicitly, including any responsibility for loss of sleep or sanity.

This is the initial release. Attachments include the tool package and an optional demo package that contains an .avi and a demo of the a_dance_handsAbove animation.

Updated 11/7/2009 to V0.04.
06/12/2010 - Added version 04a, which has a larger (1200) size frame buffer.
07 May, 2011 -Added V05, which is V04L with room for handling the info joints.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: rar AnimTool.rar (71.6 KB, 8552 downloads) - View custom content
Description: Program package, V0.04
File Type: rar AnimTool-04a.rar (62.0 KB, 2757 downloads) - View custom content
Description: Higher buffer count (1200) revision
File Type: rar AnimToolV04L.rar (62.0 KB, 1790 downloads) - View custom content
Description: For the pros... this will burn several hundred megabytes loading even a small file... but it will also handle 7 minute long clips
File Type: rar AnimToolV05.rar (62.0 KB, 10951 downloads) - View custom content
Description: This version has the large buffers for long animations, and it should manage CLIP files with large bone counts.

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
#2 Old 26th Oct 2009 at 10:22 PM
This is... awesome. I have no words.

This space intentionally left blank...
#3 Old 26th Oct 2009 at 10:23 PM
Very good work! I will test these when I return from class
Original Poster
#4 Old 26th Oct 2009 at 10:40 PM
Wow, I never noticed your tutorial before. Very good.

I think you will enjoy this package.

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
#5 Old 26th Oct 2009 at 11:59 PM Last edited by orangemittens : 27th Oct 2009 at 12:11 AM.
Wes...this is super-cute and totally amazing. Is it the "spice in the software shanty" you mentioned?

I just wish it wasn't so obviously above my head to try it.

Sorry for the noncontributory post...I just had to exclaim.

Original Poster
#6 Old 27th Oct 2009 at 12:59 AM
Originally Posted by orangemittens
Is it the "spice in the software shanty" you mentioned?

Yes, it is. I had posted some animated gifs of this in action some days back. Working with and animating meshes is my "cuppa tea". While I lack a good touch for making them myself, I can write programs for those that do.

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
#7 Old 27th Oct 2009 at 1:38 AM
Faster then anyone could have imagined, great job!!
#8 Old 27th Oct 2009 at 2:04 AM
I saw that and thought so but didn't want to interrupt the discussion in the thread by exclaiming there. I feel kinda silly even wading in here...lol.

It is indeed spicy. I can't wait to see what the animator-type people do with it. All of Simland is waiting.

Site Helper
#9 Old 27th Oct 2009 at 3:16 PM
Another "cheerleader" watching from the sidelines. (Saving up for Milkshape, though)

I am Ghost. My husband is sidneydoj. I post, he downloads, and I wanted to keep my post count.
Group for Avatar Makers* Funny Stories *2016 Yearbook
Lab Assistant
#10 Old 1st Nov 2009 at 7:58 PM
As always excellent
#11 Old 2nd Nov 2009 at 6:23 AM
In case anyone is wondering just where in the world are these CLIP animations, you can find them here:

C:/ Program Files/ Electronic Arts/ The Sims 3/ GameData/ Shared/ Packages

You then need to copy FullBuild0 to a safe location and use S3PE to extract your desired CLIP animation. I don't know if FullBuild1 or 2 have anims stored in them, didn't bother to check.....
Ms. Byte
staff: moderator
#12 Old 5th Nov 2009 at 4:43 PM
Wow. Don't know if I'll ever get to the point of messing with animations, but wow. Can't wait to see what gets done with this tool.
Original Poster
#13 Old 7th Nov 2009 at 8:36 AM
Below is a preview and link to an animated gif loop of one of the idle animations from the game. I put a full adult female sim together, textured it with game textures and applied an animation I extracted from the game and converted to .SMD and loaded it on top of the saved mesh file.

I can do this with multiple files, but making the videos and the space they take is going to keep me from showing off everything. And what I really want to do is to publish the how-to on this, and the extra few files I haven't already published. If you stay within a range here, it is not really very hard to do.

If you have the time, click on the image below to see this play:

I expect to publish some more information on making these this weekend.

<* Wes *>

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
#14 Old 9th Nov 2009 at 2:44 AM
Wow, great work Wes!
Lab Assistant
#15 Old 10th Nov 2009 at 4:17 PM
Wow, i love them!
I am desperate for pose boxes back!
I so want to create my own!! :D
Can you make a tutorial for it?
Test Subject
#16 Old 11th Nov 2009 at 4:15 PM
wow, great work Wes, i can't wait to try this out.
Test Subject
#17 Old 17th Jan 2010 at 6:40 PM

This is just awesome.
I lost contact with TS2 before seeing where the custom animations got to, but I see the progress on TS3 is already on a good (better?) way.

PS: I'm worried. Why the last post here is dated noverber 09? Please don't tell me the developent stopped
Original Poster
#18 Old 18th Jan 2010 at 12:57 AM
There seems to have been little interest in animating TS3. No one posted any bug reports, so either no one found any, or no one completed enough work to find them. I am suspecting theory #2 is the applicable one, because surely there is something I missed in there.

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
#19 Old 18th Jan 2010 at 1:09 AM Last edited by orangemittens : 18th Jan 2010 at 1:20 PM. Reason: add picture
Feet and head...but I figure you know that.

eta: That was relatively incoherent so here's a picture of what I mean:

These are in-game (using the original CM painting animation sequence as-is) and MS pics of the sequence you show in the OP. In MS & in the unchanged CM painting-triggered sequence her feet are separated to about shoulder distance and the sequence includes a slight knee/heel bounce. In MS her head looks forward throughout. In the sequence shown in the OP her feet and legs don't move but her head does.

If you try to overwrite one of the dance sequences with a clip from the game where the Sim doesn't move at all, in the game the Sim's head moves. I haven't found an EA sequence to overwrite one of the dance sequences that will make the Sim's feet and head move properly even if put into the game as-is. The same is true of animations I've made myself. This is using the tool version currently posted and following the tutorial.
Lab Assistant
#20 Old 18th Jan 2010 at 4:25 AM
Default changing animation speed
Can this program be used to speed up animations? The reason I ask is because some modders have been trying to slow down the clock speed in the game, without slowing the sims as well. So, let's say a sim takes one sim minute to take one step. Slowing the clock to 1/20 speed makes the sim appear to walk in slow motion. If the animation could be made to take 1/20th of a sim minute, they would appear to move at the same speed they do now, allowing you to make much longer days without ridiculous looking slow motion sims.

Is it possible to keep the animation exactly the way it is, except for the time it takes relative to the ingame clock?
Test Subject
#21 Old 18th Jan 2010 at 12:49 PM
Originally Posted by WesHowe
There seems to have been little interest in animating TS3. No one posted any bug reports, so either no one found any, or no one completed enough work to find them. I am suspecting theory #2 is the applicable one, because surely there is something I missed in there.

Mah...tbh I don't understand why such a topic would raise little interest.
Be able to control\improve\create sims body animations is as important as to be able to modify meshes, IMO.
I'd have at least stiked this topic, if not created a new separate forum.

If it needs visibility please give it visibility.
Or I'll bump this thread until TS4.
And yes, that was a threat.
˙uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN
#22 Old 18th Jan 2010 at 2:38 PM Last edited by cmomoney : 23rd Jan 2010 at 4:47 AM.
I wanted to try this tool, but my hopes were dashed by the line "...the Blender plugin does not support animations". But there is a plugin that does support animations. I haven't tried it yet, but if I can get it get an animation from Blender to MS, shouldn't I be able to get it in game?

"Part of being a mesher is being persistent through your own confusedness" - HystericalParoxysm
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Original Poster
#23 Old 18th Jan 2010 at 9:24 PM
The Blender references for 2.49 claimed the SMD plugin did not support animation. If this guy's plugin works properly, the converter should not care what program the SMD file came from. I couldn't verify the status of the official plugin because the Blender wiki appears to be undergoing major surgery in preparation for the new 2.5 series, and I got frustrated at all the inoperative and broken links. Although I am going to try 2.5 when it is stable, because it may cure at least some of my previous complaints about Blender.

Animations are built upon a skeleton... the movements are changes in bone positions and rotations, mostly rotations. So you have to start with a properly rigged TS3 skeleton in whatever program so that the rotations are correct. If the starting positions don't match, then any of the incremental movements will not be right.

You can animate as little as a skeleton and make SMD files with it, provided the skeleton is rigged the same way the game does it, which should work if you import an SMD animation from the game. The importance of the mesh is that with just a skeleton, you can't tell whether a hand is on the hip or stuck within the model.

The MilkShape rig I made is just a compilation of game meshes and textures, with a small amount of tweaking to make the face match the neck and scalp... it appears that CAS does this because the raw face does not fit together exactly the same way the top, bottom, feet and hair do (hairdo?).

SMD files have two subtypes, reference and sequence. Reference has a skeleton and can contain triangles to support a mesh transfer, newer versions will include multiple skin weights. A sequence type is the skeleton plus multiple animation frames, with no triangles, which are repeated skeletons that have been moved. If the new Blender plugin supports this properly, you should be able to, or find someone that has MilkShape that can help convert the starting mesh I made into an SMD version to use in Blender. That should solve that problem.

The significance is that the mesh and rigging file need to be the same - using the standard pose you always see on imported meshes. It is possible to animate from any pose, but the game will always try to play the animations referenced to the standard pose and skeleton. Nothing will break, but it won't work correctly, either.

If you like to say what you think, be sure you know which to do first.
#24 Old 19th Jan 2010 at 1:05 AM
I'm guessing by what you posted then that what I wrote in my first paragraph under the picture is a misunderstanding on my part? And that the problems I'm having that I wrote about in the second paragraph are caused by a mistake (or mistakes) I'm making?

I apologize for not catching on but if you have time would it be possible for you to give me a hint as to where I'm going wrong? If I haven't posted enough of an explanation about what I tried in order for you to diagnose the problem I can give more information. Any help would be appreciated.
˙uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN
#25 Old 20th Jan 2010 at 2:54 PM
What is the name of the MS smd plugin? I think I might have removed it

"Part of being a mesher is being persistent through your own confusedness" - HystericalParoxysm
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