Animation Woes - 3dMax

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pepperman
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Animation Woes - 3dMax

Post by pepperman » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:15 am

I am trying to setup a couple of objects to emulated automated welders within a shipyard. The diagram below represents a top view of the respective setup. Now keep in mind, I am green as grass when it comes to 3dMax but I am slowly learning.

<img src='http://localhost-textreplaced/a/img26/6 ... iagram.png' border='0'>

The procedure I used to set this up follows:
  • 1. Assigned an animated texture to Object 2 (emulate the welding beam).
    2. Assign an animated texture to Object 4 (emulate the welding beam).
    3. Select Object 1 and Object 2 and group together (GROUP A).
    4. Select GROUP A and establish its pivot point.
    5. Select GROUP A and setup its rotation
    • a. Assign controller (Rotation: Euler XYZ; TCB Rotation)
      b. Assign keys to rotate approximately 45 degrees to the right, return to home, 45 degrees to the left, and return to home.
Note: At this point I exported the test subject using Mr. Vulcan’s superb exporter script in order to see how it would look in Storm 3D and it behaved perfectly.
  • 6. Select Object 3 and Object 4 and group together (GROUP B).
    7. Select GROUP B and establish its pivot point.
    8. Select Group B and setup its rotation.
    • a. Assign controller (Rotation: Euler XYZ; TCB Rotation)
      b. Assign keys to rotate approximately 45 degrees to the right, return to home, 45 degrees to the left, and return to home.
I exported it again thinking I was actually beginning to learn 3dMax (lol). This time the results were not what I expected as both objects were now rotating but they seemed to be rotating from a completely different pivot point. In other words, the position of GROUP A and GROUP B had changed completed and they were off the base.

What am I doing wrong? Any help would be appreciated.

<img src='http://localhost-textreplaced/a/img585/ ... pturec.jpg' border='0'>

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Post by fuller » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:17 pm

Sorry i cant help, but that looks fantastic even if it isnt working.

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Post by Tommygun_BoG » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:41 am

Which version of Max are you using?
I used Mr. V's exporter as well and encountered some problems on the animations. Have you ever tried to export it using the official export plugin?

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Post by MrVulcan » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:41 pm

Looking awesome pepperman, great idea :)

I think what's going on with the pivot points is that upon moving/scaling/editing etc, the object pivot point can be transformed in unexpected ways.

Whenever possible, I try to use helper points instead of the object's pivot point to control animations. In your example, the hierarchy would look as follows:

Code: Select all

-root
  -geometry
    -StationaryMesh
    -Pivot1
      -Obj1
      -Obj2
    -Pivot2
      -Obj3
      -Obj4
Here, pivots are animated point helpers (same type as root and geometry), and objects are the mesh objects. You do not have to group or "attach" the two objects together.

The neat thing about this setup is that now you can scale/move/rotate the pivots and the animation will still work correctly. You can even clone the pivots and their children, and the animations will still work correctly.

Did you by any chance change the hierarchy setup between your exports on groups A and B? Or attach something to the groups? This almost always screws up the location of the pivots.

Cheers, hoping to see this in action :)
Mr. V

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Post by pepperman » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:01 pm

Thanks Mr. V. I saw a reference to using point helpers in my research but wasn't quite sure how to hook it up in the hierarchy. I will certainly give this a go and report back the results.

Tommygun_BoG: I am using version 5 of Max and I tried both versions (i.e., Mr V's script and the exporter). Both produced different results but neither produced what I was hoping for. :( But no amount of good programming can fix operator error.

As far as what might have gotten changed between or or the other I have no idea as I tried so many things I lost count and I neglext to keep good book on this or that. Back to the drawing board. :)

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Post by pepperman » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:24 pm

These dummy pivot nodes are indeed the way to go. Just did two of the welders and it worked perfectly in Storm. Now I need to figure out how to make the welding beams only come on when the rotational animation starts. I am thinking this has to be done via the animated sprites somehow.

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Post by pepperman » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:03 pm

If anyone is interested in the final result, you canm download it here:

http://armada2.filefront.com/file/Romua ... ity;121345

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