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Deathbliss
(Adept)
09/12/02 08:32 AM
Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread:  

OK, I gave all of you animaters a thread where you can compile your knowledge, so PLEASE fill us newbs in!

Among other things I wish to know how to make a light emitting object, how to animate stuff for Morrowind and what rules there are to follow, and more than I can drag up from the depths of my mind at the moment. So if you know how or have a link to a good tutorial PLEASE share it!

Any and ALL help is apprecaited!
- Deathbliss

Be carefull when you make a point or you might stab youself with it...

The Nucleus
Deathbliss's Morrowind Mods

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oscar63
(Layman)
09/11/02 12:41 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Deathbliss]  

Now that's a good idea.

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Lady Eternity
(Curate)
09/11/02 01:13 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Deathbliss]  

Tutorial:

First you must make a model. And before you start, you need to think of the following:

1: How do you want it to look?
2: How do you want it to move?
3: What sort of attacks will it have?
4: How will it move?
5: How will it die?

Now, go research on the web and come up with some photo's, or sit down and draw the creature, front view, side view, back, view, overhead view.

Now you are ready to model.

Animation in Morrowind is hard. Yup very hard. Only primitive animation can be used. Morrowind does not support:
What Morrowind does NOT support
1: Vertex movement
2: Skin (makes bones a loss cause)

So basically all you will be able to do is rotate and move. I'm unsure if scale works, haven't tried it yet. I also haven't gotten modifiers to work, like melt.

Now you need to figure out what parts of your model are going to have "movement". Any part (like a leg part, or a neck, or tail) will have to be segmented into meshes. So lets say you want to make a leg. You'd want to make the thigh. Then the Calf. Both seperate entities. You want to line up the pivot points so that when you rotate the mesh, it moves properly. So for a leg, you'd want the thighs pivot to be located at the top end. It's important to have the meshes overlap inside each other if you are doing a organic model. That way it "appears" to be a whole leg once textured, but will still be moveable and animatable.
Once it's modeled you really should texture it.

Ok so. You model your creature, you place the pivot points properly. Now what? Well you need to LINK everything. Pick the one thing in the mesh that has the least amount of movement (like the body). Name that peice Main. Now you want to link each thing till it all is linked to the MAIN creature piece.

So for a one leg, body and head creature. We'd:

Link the foot to the calf. Link the calf to the thigh, link the thigh to the Main mesh.
Link the hand to the forearm. Link the forearm to the bicep. Link the bicep to the Main mesh.
Link the head to the neck. Link the neck to the Main mesh.
Get the idea?

What does linking do? Well.... it helps the mesh to move in a realistic manner. Once linked, if you move the bicep, the forearm and hand will follow with it. Make sense? Basically the Linking is your bones.

Ok. So now you are all pivoted, and linked. And your model is looking good. You've named the body (or whatever mesh you decided to make as the "Main") Main. Now we need to set a point under the mesh. Just stick it under the mesh, and rename the point Root Bone.

Now click on your "main" mesh. And link it to the Root Bone.

Now when you move the root bone, the entire model should follow with it. If it doesn't you linked it wrong.

Now that we have that done we need a bounding box. So draw a Box primitive around your model. Anything INSIDE the box cannot be "passed through" in Morrowind. Name the Box: Bounding Box. Then you can hide the bounding box in the perspective view port, so it's out of the way.

Alright then. We are almost ready to animate! YAY! Hehe
Do a quick once over on your model. Make dern sure everything is linked and you have all the stuff set up for it. (Bounding box, Root Bone, Main mesh)

Okies. Lets begin. (Do NOT forget to save your work every 15 minutes, and use lots of different slots. Animating is a pain in the perverbial arse)

Open up Track view. On the left hand upper side is a box you can type in. Just type the name of your model.

On the right hand side is a field with all sorts of info in it. Under "objects" we want to find Root Bone. Make sure the name "Root Bone" is highlightd (meaning you have it selected). Then click on the "add note track" button at the top. Now we have a note track ready to go for our model. So what is a "note track" Lady E? Well...a note track is like a race track. It's a field where we can place "notes" that tell Morrowind where a given animation is located.

Now I want you to minimize Max, and open up the TES editor. Load up the main Morrowind thing. Once it's loaded go to the creatures tab and open up the monster that most resembles what youa re trying to make. Click on the animation button at the bottom. Now you should see a list of all the animations that monster has. We are going to need that list. Basically you need to animate each one of those listed aniamtions for your model.

Keep in mind I am not going to walk you though how to animate in Max. There are simply gobs of tutorials and books you can get on that.

Ok so, I've found that aniamting in this sequence is the easiest:

Idle
Idle2
Idle3
Walkforward
Turnleft
Turnright
Attack1
Hit1
Knockdown
Knockout
Deathknockdown
Deathknockout
Death1

What I just typed above is the exact thing you need to place inside the notes as you animate. But ...heh we are getting ahead of ourselves..we haven't animated yet have we? :P

Ok. So. Lets do Idle. Idle is when the monster isn't doing anything. It's not walking, it's not running, it's just basically standing there going "dum de dum dum dum". So make an Idle.

Now you want to open track view back up and go to the note track we made, under the Root Bone. Click on the "add note" button at the top, and click on the track. Right click on the note we just placed. In the number field tell it what keyframe your idle animation starts on, which in this case is probably 0. In the field under that you want to type in this....exactly this: Idle: Start
Notice how I place a SPACE between the : and the S. This is VERY important!!! Never miss that space! Morrowind will not be able to read your animation notes if you leave it out!
Now make another note on the note track. Right click it and place the Idle end keyframe number in the field. Then under it place: Idle: Stop

This is how all the animation notes are set up. You have 2 notes for each "animation track" a start note and an end note.

Ok, so. Go do all the animations and set the notes accordinly. Once you are done, and everything is right, export it with the TES official exporter. Make sure you also have copies of your textures in your Morrowind textures directory.

Well so there you have it. That's how you animate for Morrowind.

Hope this tutorial helps!

Lady Eternity

"Wow that's an awesome looking dragon!"
"Thanks..."
"How many Poly's is it?"
"500,000"
"Geeez, no wonder it looks awesome :O"

Edited by Lady Eternity (09/11/02 01:16 AM)

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oscar63
(Layman)
09/11/02 01:21 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Lady Eternity]  

Lady Eternity: Apparently Bones do work. If you read my thread called "Custom creature animation and stuff", Dangleberry explains that instead of using the Skin modifier, use Physique to assign the bones to the mesh.

p.s. I think steps 2 and 4 in your tute are the same? "How do you want it to move?" and "How will it move?".

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Lady Eternity
(Curate)
09/11/02 01:25 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: oscar63]  

Heh well no they are to different things actually. But thanks for the heads up.

As for the bones. I haven't tried Physique. I was under the impression it was used for motion capture. Guess I missunderstood.

Lady E

"Wow that's an awesome looking dragon!"
"Thanks..."
"How many Poly's is it?"
"500,000"
"Geeez, no wonder it looks awesome :O"

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Golbez
(Novice)
09/11/02 03:31 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Deathbliss]  

May I ask something without being called a chovinist pig.. Well... Lady E, R u really a girl?!'!?!?? I live in Italy and it's almost impossibile to think that girls like 3d animation... I hope that I did not offend you!

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Vincent Dragon
(Disciple)
09/11/02 04:36 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Golbez]  

well she is if i can answer and at least i understand you are new one here and dont know the Lady of (the Lake )This PLace....so we dont think you are a chovinist pig ..heh...

Supporting Female Gamers Community
Soul Devoted to Dragon - tattoed on my left arm with 3 chinese signs and dragon on my right leg....so i really like dragons

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Deathbliss
(Adept)
09/11/02 04:46 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Golbez]  

If you read more of her posts it becomes obvious that she is indeed a she. If not than it's time I overhaul everything I've learned about how females talk, think, react, feel, etc. over the last 10 odd years. Of course I'm sure Lady Eternity will answer your question, and then we need to keep on topic.

Now that I've said that I have my next question... First though THANK YOU VERY MUCH LADY ETERNITY!!! I REALLY appreciate your help and willingness to help, and I don't think I'm alone on this!

Next question... Lets say I want to make a creature for Morrowind that isn't bi-pedal (which as I understand it means that it has more than one part?) Anyhow let's say I'm making a rock that flies (for the sake of argument), how would I go about this? I just want a rock that flies around Morrowind, nothing more than that, and I want it to be a creature (NO SCRIPTING!), so what do I do?

Just curious is all, I have a project I'm working on...
- Deathbliss

Be carefull when you make a point or you might stab youself with it...

The Nucleus
Deathbliss's Morrowind Mods

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Golbez
(Novice)
09/11/02 05:03 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Deathbliss]  

Btw the topic is really interesting

[offtopic]
but I really felt the need to ask that question... And Indeed I am new around here and new with 3d grafics, modding and stuff.. I did some cool looking sites like www.finalfantasyloku.it and www.jousui.net... and when my modeling skills increase i'm planing of making a website creating new weapons in Morrowind and armors... not anything else... Well... I suck at modeling so it will take a while

Sorry to bother the topic
[/offtopic]

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MadBeef
(Novice)
09/11/02 10:28 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Golbez]  

Next question... Lets say I want to make a creature for Morrowind that isn't bi-pedal (which as I understand it means that it has more than one part?) Anyhow let's say I'm making a rock that flies (for the sake of argument), how would I go about this? I just want a rock that flies around Morrowind, nothing more than that, and I want it to be a creature (NO SCRIPTING!), so what do I do?
Well, bipedal means two-legged actually, so human-like and it's used in max to create a biped bone structure (makes it that much easier to animate human characters), it can be transformed to suit almost anything on two legs though, like chicken etc..
If I'd want to make a rock fly in morrowind I wouldn't animate the rock in Max since there's not much animating rock movement (it just, well flies), therefore I'd import the rock as a static object into TES and then script the rock to fly with the MoveWorld command, I'll add an example here taken from a thread on Tamriel Rebuilt:

As an example, here's a portion of a floating script that I was writing using a position-bounded function:

set moveTime to 2
set moveSpeed to .5

;to setup the variables if the object is simply placed in the world
if ( init != 1 )
set zLower to ( GetPos z + 50)
set zUpper to ( zLower + (moveTime * moveSpeed *100) )
set init to 1
endif

;to setup the variables if the object is dropped after being picked up
if ( OnPCDrop == 1 )
set OnPCAdd to 0
set OnPCDrop to 0
setAngle x, 90
set zLower to ( ( GetPos z ) + 50 )
set zUpper to ( zLower + (moveTime * moveSpeed * 100) )
endif
; the setAngle is to get this particular object to lay upright when it's put down

;don't try to move the object if it's in the Player's inventory
if ( OnPCAdd == 1 )
return
endif

if ( (GetPos z) <= zLower )
set zUp to 1
elseif ( (GetPos z ) >= zUpper )
set zUp to 0
endif

if ( zUp == 1 )
MoveWorld z, .5
elseif( zUp == 0 )
MoveWorld z, -.5
endif

And the same script using a time-bounded setup:

set moveTime to 2
set moveSpeed to .5

if ( OnPCDrop == 1 )
set OnPCAdd to 0
set OnPCDrop to 0
setAngle x, 90
set timer to -.5
endif

if ( OnPCAdd == 1 )
return
endif

set timer to ( timer + GetSecondsPassed )

if ( timer < moveTime )
MoveWorld z .5
elseif ( timer < (moveTime * 2) )
MoveWorld z -.5
else
set timer to 0
endif

Those numbers can easily be tweaked to change how high and low the object floats, and how high off the ground it floats if it's dropped.

But definitely, if you're going to be moving objects along some sort of path, use the first, position-bounded setup, rather then trying to base it off of the Move and Moveworld function for a certain amount of time.
Edited by Soralis (05/27/02 01:11 AM)

This is how I'd move your rock through Morrowind, hope it helps...

EDIT: I just read that you want to make the rock fly without the use of scripting and want it to be a creature.. I think you'll have to clarify that a bit since if it's a creature in TES I think you can just set it to be a flying creature in the editor and it would fly but you'd have to set the animations like Lady E. said for it to work properly, this has nothing to do with the flying itself though, just with different animations for different states (like idle/ attack etc.) as the flying properties are set within the TES Editor...I hope this helps you a bit..

Edited by MadBeef (09/11/02 10:34 AM)

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Dangleberry

(Curate)
09/11/02 11:18 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Deathbliss]  

Another type of note track is SoundGen

Adding one of the following to create a sound at the appropraite frame:

SoundGen: Roar
SoundGen: Moan
SoundGen: Scream
SoundGen: Land
SoundGen: Left
SoundGen: Right
SoundGen: SwimLeft*
SoundGen: SwimRight
*I can't remember exactly the syntax for these

In TES:CK you will find a SoundGen under one of the menus. Once you've animated your creature and created it using your new art files you now must set up the SoundGen to call those notes you added.

- Open the sound gen tool
- click on New (very important not to change the default blank sounds)
- you will see a new blank with an asterix at the top
- on the right hand side change creature to your creature, soundid to the desired sound, and also select the actual sound that this represents
- click new again for the next sound - this time it will drop down on the list because the list is sorted by creatureID

- if you have two different creatures that use the same set of sounds, set it up for one and then under the creature's screen you can go down to SoundGen and pick the other creature's soundgen. If you leave this blank the editor will use the default sounds- unless you've set up a specific sound gen for that creature (if you are looking at monster01 and have set up sound gen info for monster01 set the soundgen to blank - because you won't actually see monster01's sound info on that list - but monster02 can see monster01's list - hope that makes sense!)

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Lady Eternity
(Curate)
09/11/02 11:42 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Golbez]  

Yes, I am of the female gender.
As for being a "girl", well that's just a frame of mind. I prefer to be Samantha first, and a girl second. Heh heh heh

Lady E

"Wow that's an awesome looking dragon!"
"Thanks..."
"How many Poly's is it?"
"500,000"
"Geeez, no wonder it looks awesome :O"

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Lady Eternity
(Curate)
09/11/02 11:42 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Golbez]  

Yes, I am of the female gender.
As for being a "girl", well that's just a frame of mind. I prefer to be Samantha first, and a girl second. Heh heh heh

Lady E

"Wow that's an awesome looking dragon!"
"Thanks..."
"How many Poly's is it?"
"500,000"
"Geeez, no wonder it looks awesome :O"

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Vincent Dragon
(Disciple)
09/11/02 12:16 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Lady Eternity]  

lol even moderators make double posts.. HEH

Supporting Female Gamers Community
Soul Devoted to Dragon - tattoed on my left arm with 3 chinese signs and dragon on my right leg....so i really like dragons

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MyK
(Acolyte)
09/11/02 03:05 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Vincent Dragon]  

wooooow. . . . . .
someone should pin this up. very useful.
and one more teeeny advice, if you want to preview your model without going through the creature creation and playing MW, you could goto the view - > then preview, right click on the window the load your model, the red arrows are used to switch notes. Very useful.

Oh and one question, let's say i do a creature walking, how do i make the creature move one feet first, then start the loop of the walkforward after the next step? and lets say i want him to attack like, he digs underground, the spikes appear infront of the creature? does hide object on this keyframe, then show it on the attack keyframe work?

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Golbez
(Novice)
09/11/02 03:12 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Lady Eternity]  

WOW! ! !

That's awesome... I will now found the Cult of Goddess Eternity I declare myself as the Patriarch of the Cult of Goddess Eternity ...

Patriarch of The Cult of Goddess Eternity

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
09/11/02 03:46 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: MyK]  

I think if the spikes were under the zero line they would be under ground - but I'm not sure if the game would automatically move the whole thing up or not.

There is also something to do with visibility tracks, but I've never used them and I don't know if Morrowind supports them.

I do my walk animations by starting the legs at one extreme in the first frame, the second extreme halfway through, and then the final frame is back to the first again (or one frame before) - but it is often more complicated than that.

You could also define a proper walkforward: start, starting from the standard position, then a walkforward: Loop Start to define when the walking actually starts as well.

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MyK
(Acolyte)
09/11/02 04:04 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Dangleberry]  

walkforward: loopstart or walkforward: loop start
. . . the a loop stop? ok i'll try it, does it works with idles too?

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
09/11/02 05:21 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: MyK]  

I think so, I've just always used the plain start stop (and the TES:CK fills in the matching loops automatically)

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Lady Eternity
(Curate)
09/11/02 07:00 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Dangleberry]  

Would ya'll like me to ask permission to make this thread sticky? Seems like it's going to be a great reference for modelers.

Lady E

"Wow that's an awesome looking dragon!"
"Thanks..."
"How many Poly's is it?"
"500,000"
"Geeez, no wonder it looks awesome :O"

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SC_Wolf
(Initiate)
09/11/02 08:24 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Lady Eternity]  

This deserves to be sticky.

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Deathbliss
(Adept)
09/12/02 01:14 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: MadBeef]  

Yeah, sticky be good...

OK, MadBeef... There's a reason I said no scripting :P You see I'm using the rock as an anology to keep my true mission top secret! I don't want this rock to just fly, I want it to follow, to attack, to wander, etc. so baically I want it to have a limited AI. A script won't give ya that, and even if it did it'd probably still be easier to have a non-biped animation. I just need to know what I have to do in this case... Well it probably won't work out anyway but I still wish to acquire the info.

Thanks for your responses everyone! This thread will make it a lot easier for all the animaters here, and the hopefulls like me...
- Deathbliss

Be carefull when you make a point or you might stab youself with it...

The Nucleus
Deathbliss's Morrowind Mods

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MyK
(Acolyte)
09/12/02 07:43 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Deathbliss]  

ok more questions
How do you coppe keyframeS? i'm having trouble with this, coz i'm used with flash animation, and copying keyframes is a critical thing.

And can you use multiple bounding boxes? or canyou shape bounding boxes to match the model???

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
09/12/02 08:20 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: MyK]  

Only one bounding box.

Copy key frames by selecting your object(s) and in the little scrubber frame bar at the bottom click on the frame(s), hold down shift and then drag to the new location. (Frames are denoted with red boxes - a white box means you have that frame selected).

One way to copy frames anyways - just watch out for odd effects because of the way 3dsMAX tweens stuff.

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Deathbliss
(Adept)
09/12/02 08:32 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: MyK]  

For your 3ds Max help and FREE TRAINING VIDEOS (VTMs) go here:

http://www.3dbuzz.com/

I know I've posted this a lot but I have the first two issues sitting here at my desk. This guy is for real, and he's a good teacher too. I'm getting ready to model now, and that's just after the first disc where most of what is covered is introductory.

Keep the info comin'!
- Deathbliss

Be carefull when you make a point or you might stab youself with it...

The Nucleus
Deathbliss's Morrowind Mods

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
09/12/02 03:56 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Deathbliss]  

Just a quick note on positioning.

The easiest way to do it is to go to the Left view in 3ds MAX.

Your creature should be in profile (side view) and the front of the creature should be on the Left side of the screen. If you go to the front view, you would actually be seeing the back side of your creature.

I line the bottom of the creature up on the Y plane - ie the creature shouldn't go below into negative Z territory, because that seems to be under ground.

I generally center the creature right on the Z Axis line.

Root Bone goes right at ground level, on the Z/Y Axis center. The creature should also be centered about the X Axis as well.

The large green square is my Bounding Box - if you note the way I placed it in this case, his head and tail aren't entire inside the box - this was for making giant raptors, so you could still get under the head. Usually the box should just cover the creature in all 3 dimensions. The box also seems to need to rest on the Y Axis or it seems to be culled. The Bounding Box and Root Bone should be hidden before exporting. Root Bone in this picture is the small green box towards the bottom.

Also you will note animation bones in light blue, these I also hide before export. Even though the raptor isn't a deformable mesh it is useful sometimes to use bones as multiple objects can be joined to a single bone, simplifying animation.

Hope this helps!

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MyK
(Acolyte)
09/12/02 07:51 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Dangleberry]  

One more thing to add on ARMOR biping, i checked it, you don't have to hide any of the bipe parts, just export without hiding anything.

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Blackspirit
(Layman)
09/13/02 07:49 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: MyK]  

Howdy,
Just wondering if its possible to animate static objects, such as weapons. The crossbow has somesort of anim, yes? So could a sword or axe be animatable?

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Golbez
(Novice)
09/13/02 10:40 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Blackspirit]  

Well... You can animate a weapon... there is a predator spear in the Morrowind Mod section... They said that is animated (I did not used yet) but I don't know how... (blablabla.. I still suck at modelling... so I don't even know how to animate anything yet.... )

Patriarch of The Cult of Goddess Eternity
My Guitar Mod

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Lady Eternity
(Curate)
09/15/02 12:50 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Dangleberry]  

But how do you add in the references to the sounds in the note track in track view? I've been trying to add sounds in for my elephant, without any success.

Lady E

"Wow that's an awesome looking dragon!"
"Thanks..."
"How many Poly's is it?"
"500,000"
"Geeez, no wonder it looks awesome :O"

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
09/15/02 01:02 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Lady Eternity]  

Same place as your animation notes LadyE like you could have:

Idle: Start
SoundGen: Moan

In the same note. Then if you made your elephant it would moan (default moan unless you have sounds set up for it specifically in TES:CK) whenever it started it's idle (which would be very annoying lol).

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Lady Eternity
(Curate)
09/15/02 02:21 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Dangleberry]  

Hrm. So the soundgen's can only be placed on the same note as the listed animation note? Meaning: I cannot add in notes for the sounds. I mean...I might not want the elephant to scream through the entire Idle 2 animation. :P

Lady E

"Wow that's an awesome looking dragon!"
"Thanks..."
"How many Poly's is it?"
"500,000"
"Geeez, no wonder it looks awesome :O"

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
09/16/02 10:05 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Lady Eternity]  

No LadyE, you can add a SoundGen note anywhere. It doesn't have to line up with another note. The SoundGen notes go on the same note track as the animation notes.

The SoundGen just says start playing the Moan sound at frame x. Then the sound will finish up depending on how long the sound effect is. So if you have a nice long idle2 and add a SoundGen: Moan note in the middle of the Idle2 frames when the animation reaches that frame in game it will begin the moan sound (you tell TES:CK what actual game sound to use when it sees the elephant is trying to moan, so you can have two different elephants with different soundgens that would make different moan sounds, but using the same animation file), the moan sound plays until it is done. Not sure what happens if your sound is longer than the animation (like if it's a 5 second idle2: and a 6 second sound), but I think it just ignores the sound the second time around and would probably start again the third time around, etc.

My boneraptor source has soundgen notes, maybe that will help, and the Blight in Time mod has several different soundgen creatures set up in TES:CK.

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Lady Eternity
(Curate)
09/16/02 12:32 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Dangleberry]  

Well heck. I did something wrong somewhere.... :P

I set up the sound in TES
I added the note to the track, told it the proper frame to play on. :/

When I exported and went in-game it didn't work :O

Hrm.
Mmmmmmmm.

*mummbles something not to nice in the general direction of the Morrowind CD*

;P

I'll keep trying.

I have to get it working before I release my Unicorn

Lady E

"Wow that's an awesome looking dragon!"
"Thanks..."
"How many Poly's is it?"
"500,000"
"Geeez, no wonder it looks awesome :O"

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
09/16/02 12:55 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Lady Eternity]  

If you're adding a note track just for sounds then you're on the wrong track! Sounds go on the same note track as animation!

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Lady Eternity
(Curate)
09/16/02 01:00 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Dangleberry]  

Heh no, I added it to the exsisting note track, place I put the animation notes on.

Well I'm baffled :P

Lady E

"Wow that's an awesome looking dragon!"
"Thanks..."
"How many Poly's is it?"
"500,000"
"Geeez, no wonder it looks awesome :O"

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Maboroshi Daikon
(Initiate)
09/16/02 11:52 PM
Replacing NPC Animation [re: Deathbliss]  

I've been doing some research lately and I'm finding all sorts of interesting stuff. I've started down the long, terrible road of re-creating character animation. I figured I'd start small and attempt to make new animations (or in this case, *non-animations*) for the Armour Stands so we can do some more interesting things with them.

Here's what I've found so far:

1) Adding an Animation file to an NPC seems to override only the existing animation notes that you have in your Animation file. If you make an Idle: Start/Stop sequence, but no others, that will be the only animation overridden. This allows for partial recreations of the animation file. I *think* this also means you could create *new* keys and call them from scripts.

2) When exporting, I'm pretty sure you should include animation in the .NIF and *not* create a separate animation file.

3) Animation (for non beasts) is based on a Biped object with 3 spine links, 3 fingers and 2 finger links. All Toes should be hidden.

4) The body parts in the game replace body meshes in the animation file and *NOT* the biped bones! This took me a while to figure out... each body part has a specific name listed below:

Head, Neck, Left Clavicle, Right Clavicle, Left Upper Arm, Right Upper Arm, Left Forearm, Right Forearm, Left Wrist, Right Wrist, Left Hand, Right Hand, Chest, Groin, Left Upper Leg, Right Upper Leg, Left Knee, Right Knee, Left Ankle, Right Ankle, Left Foot, Right Foot.

So, basically, when creating an animation file, you're going to need a full NPC mesh. Any kind of mesh will do... even plain boxes.

5) Each body part should pobably be linked to the corresponding Biped Part. It does work to simply link them to Bip01, but they wouldn't move with the Biped bones if you did it that way.

6) I *think* the Biped and NPC mesh should be linked in a default DaVinci pose (Arms akimbo and legs straight down).

7) Positioning is going to be tricky. At this time, I'm having trouble getting the parts to line up properly. Some are upside down in game... Others are *way* off the mark.

8) I don't think Physique is necessary. I tried with and without and in a variety of ways, but it didn't seem to affect anything one way or the other.

9) Most of the rules for creature animation apply to NPC animation as well. You need a Root Bone object and a Bounding Box. The Bip01 Biped object is linked to the Root Bone. All Biped names should be left as their defaults. You also will need Weapon Bone and Shield Bone objects though I haven't gotten far enough to deal with these, yet.

Well, that's about all I've figured out for now. Perhaps this will help others if they've been trying to figure this out.

-MD

Edited by Maboroshi Daikon (09/17/02 01:22 AM)

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MyK
(Acolyte)
09/17/02 04:05 AM
Re: Replacing NPC Animation [re: Maboroshi Daikon]  

ey mabo ok here's the thing, what are the note tracks? coz i check on the predator animation thing he used an idle2w as a note track to replace the 2 handed weapon equip animation. so this is what i swas thinking, if we change the attack1h ( ?? maybe for unarmed? ) animation we could change how they attack? or does the idle2w apply on the weapon, not the character?

And since your posting, i got one more question, in armor modeling, should i name my pauldrons R/L clavicles( or arms) and bipe/phisique them ?

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Maboroshi Daikon
(Initiate)
09/17/02 08:35 AM
Re: Replacing NPC Animation [re: MyK]  

Myk-

A Note track is really just a place where you can place text notes. MW uses these notes as a guide to tell it where animations begin and end. Is the Predator Animation done by Bethesda or by one of us? Without seeing the MAX file, it'll be hard to tell what was done. Animations only really apply to the character, not the weapon. There is a Weapon Bone in the NPC animations that you can move around that will animate any weapon that the NPC has in their hand.

I believe that you would name your pauldrons R/L Clavicles, but unless you plan on bending/twisting them, you won't need to add a Biped or Physique. The only armour part that really requires it is the chest and gauntlets and possibly the knees.

After a bit more research last night, I found that the rotation of the meshes affects the rotation of the armour/body pieces. I'm going to try a more complex object (with spheres) and see if I can get better results.

-MD

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
09/19/02 10:34 AM
Re: Replacing NPC Animation [re: Maboroshi Daikon]  

For a good (but intimidating) list of animation notes check the animation for the default character in TES:CK. You can also check under pre-existing creatures on the animation tab to see what animations there are.

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Horatio
(Curate)
09/19/02 01:34 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Deathbliss]  

i just love how helpful bethesda has been in this issue. aside from some good samaritan sending DangleBerry the email about the 'RootBone' we've gotten absolutely nothing from them. they've been really helpful on a lot of other matters, but their total silence on this issue has been really bizarre. maybe there's some kind of legal weirdness w/r/t this stuff.

remember 'wired' and his endless promises of a animation tutorial the was going to be released by bethsoft 'any time now'.

what was that...2 months ago? 3? i guess 'wired' wasn't in the loop after all.

anyway, keep on hacking away at this guys. i don't have 3dsmax so i can't really contribute. but what you've accomplished thus far is very impressive.

cheers

h

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
09/19/02 02:07 PM
Re: Replacing NPC Animation [re: Maboroshi Daikon]  

Any luck on positioning Biped parts? I had the same problem on an initial run - head *may* have been correct but the chest was sideways and way off center. Perhaps it's a linking issue?

Anyways I'm working on some more parts so I can get a better handle on where stuff is going wrong.

I'm making a creature the same as a skeleton btw, in that it's exported as a full biped, not individual parts.

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dannward
(Novice)
09/20/02 10:15 AM
Re: Replacing NPC Animation [re: Dangleberry]  

Like others, I've successfully exported a biped one-mesh creature and had it use the default animations. Trying to take that to the next level of separate body parts is not so easy....

I had thought all I would have to do is:
(1) connect full-body mesh to proper biped bones
(2) hide/delete unnessary parts of the mesh
(3) export as "my_head.nif" or whatever

What I get is pieces that look ok when previewed in the editor (even with respect to position). But when an NPC is assembled from the various bits, all my new bits are invisible. :-(

When I tried exporting body parts unconnected to the biped, I started by placing each body part at 0, 0, 0. Perhaps each body part needs to be translated before exporting?

dano

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
09/20/02 11:28 AM
Re: Replacing NPC Animation [re: dannward]  

Okay here's a little modelling hit for 3ds Max 4.x users - instead of using an editable mesh, use an editable poly. Polys are far superior for mesh modelling for gaming objects - indeed that's part of the reason they were added. Polys have a *very* handy border subobject level - a border is a group of edges encircling an open space - you can cleanly chamfer the border and then grab the new open border and move it around for nice, clean chamfering. Once you are done with the border you can just select 'cap' and it'll seal it off (as opposed to going and creating a new polygon in a edit mesh that hits all of the vertices, then welding everything together)

Polys will prevent a lot of the problems in edit meshes where you have vertices floating around that are hard to pin down - ie you have a polygon that cuts across the inside of your object.

There are just in general, easier to work with. There is no 'edit poly' modifier, start off with a box, other primitive, or a mesh (but make sure it's a nice clean mesh) and right click and select 'convert to editable poly'. If if the game has a fit over editable polys (which it shouldn't) when you're done modelling and ready to export just convert back to a mesh.

Give it a try!

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hoverboy
(Novice)
09/23/02 02:35 AM
Somewhat on topic... [re: Dangleberry]  

Ok, this thread seems like it would be a good place to ask for this strange request:

Iím in need of three animation files for my mod. I need a quill, an anvil, and a loom (all currently in the game) that do nothing. I donít want them to change at all, I want them to look exactly the same at all times. I want to make a ďcreatureĒ, use one of these new animations (because animations are required to make new creatures), turn off itís persuasion, and turn off wander. It will just sit there so the player can interact with it while it looks like theyíre just activating one of those items. This way I can use the dialogue menu to create a more dynamic set of options.

So, I dunno, is this a huge request? I know nothing about working with 3D Studio Max so I really have no idea if what Iím asking here is totally out of the question or even possible.

Thanks!

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CatDragon
(Acolyte)
09/23/02 05:11 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Lady Eternity]  

Lady E, one question...on the Creature Animation tutorial, wouldn't each animation have...

[for example]

RunForward: Start
RunForwart: Loop Start
RunForward: Loop Stop
RunForwart: Stop

You didn't put Loop Start and Loop Stop, but shouldn't you use those?

---------------
"You must have misunderstood your question"- Dogbert

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
09/23/02 08:50 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: CatDragon]  

Loop Start and Loop Stop will be filled in automatically (with the start and stop) if you don't include them.

It's not entirely necessary, but you can make the transitions smoother if you include them.

eg:

RunForward: Start - at this frame the creature begins winding up
RunForward: Loop Start - now the creature begins the 'actual' run animation
RunForward: Loop Stop - the end of the run animation will loop back to Loop Start
RunForward: Stop - the creature finishes here - for example it could skid to a stop from it's dead run, ideally it returns to the base idle pose here.

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CatDragon
(Acolyte)
09/24/02 05:14 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Dangleberry]  

Thanks.

---------------
"You must have misunderstood your question"- Dogbert

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
09/25/02 10:33 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Dangleberry]  

One thing I've discovered is that multiple physiques can be used in the same project - not sure why they wouldn't but I was worried about it lol. So this should make things easier in some cases - trying to break apart vertices on a single mesh can sometimes be a PITA if the sepearate is more efficiently done using multiple meshes and physiques.

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CatDragon
(Acolyte)
09/25/02 05:42 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Dangleberry]  

Physique?

Sorry, I'm a n00b to 3DS Max...I can edit meshes, materials, and such...but I don't know much about all the little things...

---------------
"You must have misunderstood your question"- Dogbert

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
09/26/02 07:29 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: CatDragon]  

Physique uses animation bones to deform a mesh and is part of character studio. It's the last modifier on the list.

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elrihn
(Layman)
09/26/02 01:30 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Dangleberry]  

Hum , hi ! I am french and i read the marvellous tutorial made by Lady Eternity (ps :my favorite animals are unicorns ...i am waiting for your tesc unicorn impatiently)
But well i still have a question : i would like to create a small object flying around , in fact a little glowing faerie i could use arround trees and so on...i think i don't need bones.i tried the most simple way to animate a trajectory in 3dsmax but it doesn't seems to work.As my object is much like as the propylons plateforms than a creature i can't figure how to make it.
As for the glowsiness that's an other problem ....
thks

"There are two infinite things :universe and human stupidity....but for the universe i am not sure yet !"

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Titoune
(Novice)
09/27/02 01:55 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Deathbliss]  

Ok here is my problem. I have created a creature in 3d max, I animated it, added the note tracks but I still got the mess error in tescs " stuff has no animation group". Somehow I put the note track correctly (well I think), because the animation box in tescs becomes clickable, and I can see the animations lloop for my creature there.

I tried with puting the predator-spear .nif as base mesh for a creature and got the same error. And when I ignore this error it tescs and play MW my creature is moving, but I think it is unstable. Could this come from the fact I didn't make a root bone ? Is a root bone, just a point object linked with my mesh?

Titoune.

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Titoune
(Novice)
09/27/02 08:10 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Titoune]  

I have done more testing to know what's wrong. The animation works fine in the game. If a working creature is already placed in a cell, then I change its .nif file, I got no error message. BUT if I remove a working creature from a cell THEN change .nif file, I got the error message when I put the creature back to its place. Once I got this message error once, whatever .nif I attach to this creature I'll always get the error message (even with original bethesda creature's meshes !).

I have tried creating an object called root bone, link everything to it and put the note tracks on the root bone, without any effect. Appart from the fact that I have a ugly little bone below my creature in the game.

Has this ever happened to you ? If no one has an answer I'll ignore this error ...

Titoune.

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
09/27/02 09:42 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Titoune]  

Check the warnings.txt in the same directory as the mesh after previewing and getting an error. It should tell you exactly what animation note it's choking on.

The note track seems to work best when attached to root bone. Also, I hide root bone before exporting.

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fallacy
(Layman)
10/01/02 01:01 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: oscar63]  

Can anyone shed a little light on why when ever I make an animation in 3d studio max of something rotating, and try to export it to an .NIF, I get an error and 3d max crashes on me.

If i were to just make an animation of the object moving and try to export it to an .NIF it works fine.

even if i just make a box, rotate it in one direction and try to export it into a .NIF it crashes.

Any one know what i am missing?

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Lady Eternity
(Curate)
10/10/02 12:34 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: fallacy]  

I got this email from the animator at Bethesda. I asked her if I could share some of it, so ya'll could benefit from her vast experience, and she said ok.

So here it is:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Well, let's put one myth to rest. Physiquing IS skinning and this is done to a BONE structure or a BIPED structure. The easiest method of creating a walking sort of creature is to use BIPED. All of the IK limits are set up for you and all you have to do is grab the parts and move them the way you want them. If you have a 2 legged creature, you can test all of this by importing some animation files that MAX ships with. One word of caution. We do not use FOOTSTEPS when using BIPED. We use what is called FREEFORM animation. How do we get the feet not to slide around? you may ask. We use a dummy box. In the BIPED pull down there is a section where you can bind a limb to an object that you pick in the scene. When you do not want this limb to move and it is on the ground, you set the IK limit to 1.0. When it is in the air, you set it to 0.0. I know all of this sounds complicated, but familiarize yourself with BIPED first, and I can answer questions as you have them.
I will give you the list of animation groups you need to make a creature.
The basic thing to remember is that each animation MUST return to IDLE pose. So the beginning frame and ending frame must be the exact same pose (they do NOT need to be in the same exact place in the world however). Pick an idle pose that is somewhat dynamic as each attack will come and end from there.
Your creature must face in a certain direction. If you are looking at the TOP view your creatures' nose will face the top of your monitor. If you choose the BACK view, he will be facing you. He must also walk on the 0 z plane. Meaning, if you have a side view, his feet do not go below the zero horizon line on the grid.

And she incuded a txt file that had this is it:

Creature Animation Notes

"Idle: Start, Idle: Stop",
"Idle2",
"Idle3",

"Hit1: Start, Hit: Stop",
"Hit2",
"Hit3",

"Death1: Start, Death1: Stop",
"Death2",
"Death3",

"DeathKnockDown: Start, Deathknockdown: Stop",(these start at the knockdown/knockout loop frame)
"DeathKnockOut",
"KnockDown: Start, Knockdown: Stop",(no loop in this)
"KnockOut: Start, Knockout: Loop Start, Knockout: Loop Stop, Knockout: Stop",

"WalkForward: Start, Walkforward: Loop Start, Walkforward: Loop Stop, Walkforward: Stop",(these all have loops)

"TurnLeft",
"TurnRight",
"RunForward",

"Attack1: Start, Attack1: Hit, Attack1: Stop",
"Attack2",
"Attack3",

Soundgen: Left (footsteps)
Soundgen: right
Soundgen: land (falling sound - good for knockouts, deaths, etc.)
Soundgen: roar (hits)
Soundgen: moan (general, knockouts)
soundgen: scream (deaths)

Mav

I hope sharing this knowledge helps everyone!

Lady E

"Wow that's an awesome looking dragon!"
"Thanks..."
"How many Poly's is it?"
"500,000"
"Geeez, no wonder it looks awesome :O"

Edited by Lady Eternity (10/10/02 12:38 PM)

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
10/11/02 12:10 PM
Particle Systems [re: Deathbliss]  

Okay I posted this under the particle thread, but thought it'd be useful here too:

How I do particles (to make the max renders a bit closer to what is in game)

1. Creating the Material

- use the Blinn Shader
- add a bitmap to the diffuse map
- the bitmap should be:
- 32bit TGA, probably not bigger than 32x32 (even 16x16 is good for particles)
- TGA should have a pregenerated alpha channel
- the alpha channel set up in whatever art program should be black for transparent parts and white for solid parts or grays for translucent parts
- go to the opacity map and click on the button to add a map- but on the side bar switch from 'new' to 'editor' - find your diffuse map and select that. Tell MAX that this is an instance when asked
- if desired click on the checkered cube to tell MAX that you wish to see the texture in the viewport (note that transparencies don't usually show up in your viewport)

2. Creating a particle model

- create a plane, length and width of 1, 1 length and 1 width segments
- check generate mapping coordinates
- convert to a edit poly or edit mesh
- go to polygon subobject selection mod, select the poly, hold shift and rotate 180 degrees, say you are cloning to an element, exit poly mode
- apply the particle texture to your new object

3. Creating the Particle System

- create either a Blizzard or a Superspray particle
- Blizzard creates its particles from a 2 dimensional square
- the particles for Blizzard will 'fall' from a square
- Superspray creates its particles from a 1 dimensional point
- the particles for superspray will originate from your point creating either a 1D stream or by changing options it will spread out from this point in space
- apply the particle texture you made to your new particle system
- under particle type pick 'use instanced geometery', then find the pick object button, then select the particle you made
- under viewport settings (basic settings) for your particle change particles displayed to 100% and change it so it shows meshes in the viewport (this is a good way of keeping your particles toned down - if it really chokes your system then you're probably using too many particles for in-game purposes
- note that many options in MAX particle systems are ignored by the game including spin and rotate settings - particles seem to always face you in MAX and are always squares (the alpha channel transparency is what gives your particle a non square shape)
- settings you probably want to pay attention to:
- particle size. Now that your particle is a copy of that 1x1 plane you made you will have a good idea of how big it will be in Morrowind. A particle of size 1 is a tiny drop, a particle of size 128 would cover a person
- use rate - this determines how many particles are created - avoid numbers higher than 5 or so (but expirement) The amount of particles on screen at once results from this plus how long particles last
- Emit Start/Stop - what frame the particles start and stop at. Morrowind seems to like to play the particles in an infinite loop though, so in MAX you will see particles created for the space of time then disappear. Morrowind will do this over and over
- life - how long a particle lasts for - a value of 1 will cause particles to be huddle around the point of origin, disappearing quickly larger values allow the particles to expand out
- speed - how fast these particles spread out - very slow particles with very long lives create a dense particle field. Higher speeds will spread the particles out faster
- many places have a 'variation' variable - if you set this to like 50% then the values will vary by that much - adds to randomness and realism when used correctly and appropriately

4. Adding MAXProperties to your particle system

- select your particle system
- go to the utilities tab
- click on 'more' find the MAXProperties in the list and select that
- click on 'add' and select 'Zmode10='
- click on 'add' and select 'animated', check the BOOL box
- click on 'add' and select 'follow' check the BOOL box if you want the particles to use 'follow' or leave it unchecked
- particles that follow always stay with the particle system - so if you have a flaming sword it stays clustered around the sword
- particles that don't follow are 'on their own' once they are generated. A sword generating non-following smoke particles would leave a trail of smoke

5. Exporting

- hide your particle model (the little square you made)
- using the latest offical TES Exporter, export will default options...
- add your particle object art file in TES:CK, go into Morrowind and view your creation

6. Misc
- you can have more than one particle system at a time
- don't go too crazy with particles, try and keep the numbers of particles down
- much off the 'special' effect comes from how you design your .TGA
- under your particle material, in material editor - try setting the 'self illumination' value to something other than zero - at 100 the particle will glow at full intensity, at 10 the particle will glow dimly
- expirement a lot!
- using this method you will get a rough idea when you render in MAX how your particle system will look - however it will not be exactly the same in Morrowind!
- TES:CK can show the particles in some cases in the preview window, but they won't animate unless they are part of an animated object

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Vilkacis
(Novice)
10/11/02 04:37 PM
Re: Particle Systems [re: Dangleberry]  

Ok here's what I do to make particle effects, including a nice fading effect instead of the particle just blinking out of existence when it's time is up (figured this out with the help from Lady Eternity).

First of all you'll have to use the TES shader to do the fade effect and I recommend you use the viewer included with the Max-Immerse plugin from NDL to preview your model. To do this you have to switch between the TES and NetImmerse Shader, your material settings will stay the same, but make sure to export with the TES Shader in the end.

Material

Use the TES Shader
You can use *.dds files as well
Apply your particle bitmap as Base map
For the fade effect apply a Particle Age map for Particle Color and Opacity in the maps rollout
Check Standard under Transparency Modes
Choose pure white as emmitance color

Particle System

No instanced geometry is needed
Pick Facing under particle type

The rest like Dangleberry said.

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
10/17/02 11:08 AM
Animation Groups [re: Vilkacis]  

I've put up a summary an animation groups, it doesn't quite have every group but is a good start:

http://morrowind.preik.net/animationgroups.html

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Raknok
(Layman)
10/18/02 07:10 PM
Re: Animation Groups [re: Dangleberry]  

First off I have to say that this thread was a very good idea, so a big thank you to Deathbliss for starting and all the people who added anything especially Dangleberry, Lady Eternia and others. I only came to the Forum three days ago for this exact thing, asking questions about animation, so I was pretty busy the last few days catching up, but I still have some questions.

Firstly, from what I understand everything here about animation is about creatures or NPC's but is there a way to create a new Playable Character.

Secondly how does one crerate some new and different magic effects, it is one of the only problems that I have a problem with Morrowind is that there is not much Offensive Magic Effects, just basically fireballs, shockballs, freezeballs, and some poison attack, but I would like something like a Fire Storm effect, Lightning Storm, Tornado, or even something as simple as a ring of fire or a beam attack

Thirdly and lastly can you add any special effects from Max such as glows, smoke, ripple effects and all that stuff.

So, anyways, any help will be greatly appreciated.

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Vilkacis
(Novice)
10/21/02 04:57 AM
Re: Animation Groups [re: Raknok]  

Well you can change the appearence of the magic effects, but you cannot create new ones.

No, you can't use any Environment/ Video-post Effects from max ingame.

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Narsil
(Layman)
10/22/02 01:59 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: fallacy]  

I am also experiencing the problem of crashes whenever I attempt to export to a .nif when I have used rotation.

I attempted to assure that the begin and end frames were identical in the following way:

1)Design the first frame (Idle frame)
2)Toggle AutoKey to "ON"
3)set the first frame as a key frame
4)slide the time slider to the last frame for the animation
5)set the last frame as a key frame
6)slide the time slider to the middle of the sequence
7)rotate the object
8)set the middle frame as a key frame

I then set up the notes in the usual way (I used Idle: Start and Stop)

When I attempted to export the file 3dsMax crashed =(

Has anyone else seen this? Am I doing something wrong?

Thanks

P.S. I get the same behavior with bones, and I got the impression that they should work from Lady E's response to fallacy.

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
10/24/02 08:44 AM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Narsil]  

I believe some of these crashes are caused when using MAX 4.0, upgrading to MAX 4.2 should fix them.

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jjason82
(Layman)
10/24/02 07:31 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Dangleberry]  

Can anyone tell me how to make it rain more and get rid of the fog?

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Narsil
(Layman)
10/24/02 07:37 PM
Re: Comprehensive animation for Morrowind - The "How-To" Thread: [re: Dangleberry]  

That may have something to do with the crashes. I am using 3d Max version 5. Has anyone else had similar problems with this version?

Does anyone know whether or not a new version of the exporter will be released?

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Lady Eternity
(Curate)
10/25/02 04:42 PM
How to texture your mesh, the right way. [re: Narsil]  

"Who do I texture my model?"

1: Open Max and load your model up.
2: Go over your model and delete any faces that you don't need. (IE: faces that are inside the mesh, and never seen.)
3: Now make a new save file. Call it (my mesh)-breaking it all up-.
4: Attach ALL the meshes together.
5: Now click on editable mesh, push the button for polygonal selection. Now....you want to break your mesh up by selecting regions of polygon faces. For example: We have a human head. You would want to select all the poly's on the front.

Now you want to detach to element all the polygons you have selected. Then hide the mesh. Keep doing this, until you have the entire model divided up. (For example, for a head: You would want the Front detached, the back detached, and each side detached. All would be detached to element.)

Now once your model is all detached to element, and hidden. Unhide all. You should be able to see your whole mesh now. Now, without editable mesh selected (meaning no vertex editing mode or anything) select your mesh. Hold down shift, and move your cursor, it should produce and exact replica of your model A pop up box will display. Tell it you want it to copy. Now place that clone of your model off a small distance, so it's not in the way. Now select your original mesh, and add the modifier of morpher to it. Scroll down the morpher options until you see a big old button that says pick object from scene. Click it, and select your CLONE .

Good deal.

Now, save your file in a new slot: name it (mesh name)-making it all flat)

Okies. So far so good.

Now click off of all selections (so nothing is selected) and then click on your original mesh.

Go to edit mesh mode, and put it in select element mode.

Ok. Now. In front mode (Front view port) you want to select each piece of the mesh and rotate them until they are all facing you. You also want to arrange them in a square formation, or as close to one as possible. Once you get all your element pieces situated and in the spots you want, then go into Select Vertex mode. Select ALL the vertex's on your entire ORIGINAL mesh. Double check. Make sure ALL of them are selected. Make double possitively SURE.

Ok now go up to the scale tool. Select the tool "select and non-uniformly scale". Make sure you have the tool button pushed in. Now with ALL those vertex's selected, right click on the scale button and a pop comes up. Make sure you are in front view!!On the right side you should see 3 fields you can type in.
X
Y
Z

You want to set Z to 0.0

That should flatten ALL your elements into planes. And thier flat faces should be pointed at you in the front view port screen.

YAY!

Ok. Go out of vertex mode, after you have click off your selections.(meaning...unselect).
Now, apply a uvw map to your flattened mesh. Make it planar.
Coolies!
Now, you will see fields that have numbers in them for length, width, and hieght. You want length and width to be the same number, and you want it to be a bit more then the number that's already there. Meaning: The UWV needs to be square, and slightly larger then the default. SO if default is: 500x500, we want to make it 550x550
It's VERY IMPORTANT to keep the numbers the same.

Now we have texture map!

Okies. Now you need to assign your flattened mesh a UVW Unwrap Modifier. This will be used later, but we have to put it in right now. Click the edit button on the Unwrap options, just to make sure you see the wire frame of your meshes. Close it

Okies. Now click the morpher modifier on your mesh, and scroll down the options until you see a little green light. Next to it should be the clone ojects name, and a 0 with 2 little arrows. Push the up arrow until the 0 turns into 100. You should visually be seeing your flattened mesh going back to it it's original state.....IT's MAGIC!!!.

IMPORTANT: Right click on the morpher modifier and click collapse ALL.
You collapsed right? Right?! RIGHT!? ok.

NOW you can delete your CLONE mesh. Yup, just delete it, we don't need it anymore.

Now. You should have your original mesh, it should be in it's original shape, but it should be still "elements". Add the UVW unwrap back onto your original mesh. DO NOT ADD THE UVW MAP TO IT!

SAVE your file. (your mesh name)-wielding together-.

Now. select your mesh, and go into edit vertex mode, and select all the vertex's. ALL of them. And under the options, click the button weild. That will wield your mesh back together.

Now. Go make a pure black texture.

Apply to your mesh.

Now click on the unwrap UVW and select edit.

You will see a white wire frame with a pitch black background.

Make the screen as big as possible, within the view screen...you can use the zoom feature for this. Basically you want to see it as close up as you can, but keep it all on the screen. Now move yer mouse to the side corner of your view, and hit "Print Screen" on your keyboard.

Load up Photoshop, and make a new pic. Paste the Screen Capture into it.

With the crop tool, crop the picture so that only the black square with the wire frame of your flattened mesh is visable. It HAS to be exact, and perfectly square. Use the Image Resize to see if you have it perfectly square. DO NOT RESIZE IT. You MUST crop it to the correct size.

Once it's perfectly square set the layer containing the SS to screen, and set the transparency to about 57
FIll your background layer with solid black.

Basically you should get a perfect wire frame overlay of your mesh, broken down, and flattened.

Now all you have to do is create a layer ontop of background, undernieth the SS layer, and draw what you want your mesh to look like

Make sure you duplicate the image when you are done, and resize it to the power of 2. Save it as a .tga.

When you load this texture in-place of the black texture, on your mesh, it will line up perfectly.

Use Physiqueand Biped or Bones and Physique to animate your mesh!

Have fun!

Lady E

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MyK
(Adept)
10/27/02 01:30 PM
Re: How to texture your mesh, the right way. [re: Lady Eternity]  

Does ik's work? coz i tried it ... HI HL HM whatever all of it and it doesnt work.. it says sumthin like animate in place in 3dsmax thing. anyway so if no one knows... then IK's doesnt work on MW and i juct noticed hat bethesda does not want to help us on the animation side of 3dsmax no dev posts in this thread well maybe mav

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Dangleberry
(Curate)
10/28/02 02:31 PM
Re: How to texture your mesh, the right way. [re: MyK]  

Well you just use (or I just used) Interactive IK to set up an animation frame - you can say that a hand has to stay aligned the same way, then activate IK and move everything else around (it'll go spazzy sometimes) and it will try and do your movements while keeping the hand steady. Then turn it off once that frame is set up.

You'll have to reset all of the bindings before you do the next frame (unless of course you're freezing the same object(s).

So 'real-time' IK doesn't work, but you can still use it to set up your animations.

----------------------------------------------------------
My Morrowind Page:
http://morrowind.preik.net

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