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Old 03-01-2007, 07:54 AM   #1
Goldfox
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Question Preserve deformations

[MAIN QUESTION: HOW TO: Keep mesh from returning to bind pose when detaching skin from skeleton?]

Hello, I am working on a mod for the free game "Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory," which uses .MD3 format for the 3D files (this is from the Quake 3 engine, which the game uses) and I am using the "Muskoka" Maya plug-in to export my new models. Also note: .MD3's use old vertex animation.

I am trying to create new hand models for the game, but I want the hands to have deformations in the animations. So, I found a nice 3D model of a hand and set it up with a skeleton and smooth bound the hand mesh to the skeleton, however, when I exported it and reimported it, only some other object (the sleeve) that had no skeleton (its mesh was not bound to anything) was the only thing that was in the file. --So, apparently I cannot export skin objects as geometry. So, I decided that I would just have to deattach the skin from the skeleton for every frame that I am going to set a key for (Although, In this test I was doing, I was not creating any animations).

OK, but here is where I ran into the problem: Upon detaching the skin, the mesh went back to the bind-pose, therefore defeating the entire purpose of me creating a skeleton for it.

Does anyone know how to help do what I am trying to do, either this way or some other completely different way? Or am I doomed to having to manually manipulate the vertices for every frame that I want deformations on and then manually put them back into place when I need them to be?
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:32 PM   #2
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Gday Goldfox and welcome..

Not too sure if this will be of any use to you, but here's a way you may find usefull..

I've just read your post and had a try at seperating the skin from the rig. It's a bit of a cheat, but what you can do is duplicate the skin when it's in the desired pose, before unlocking its Translate, Rotate and Scale channels. After the channels are unlocked, you can move this new geometry around as you see fit.

The problem I can forsee is that all the models will have different names, and may need a bit more work to put all theses 'different' models together into one animation. I guess you could just export the pose concerned at each phase before then going back in and renaming them.

So, to sum it all up, here's what I did.

1) Set the pose wanted
2) Select the skin and hit Shift-D (duplicate)
3) Highlight the Names of the greyed out attributes in the channel box (all the rotates, scales and translates)
4) Hold right mouse button and select Unlock Selected
5) Move object off to the side and return to step 1 untill all poses are complete.

I know nothing of exporting ready for game engines, so I'm sorry, but I can offer no further advice.

Anyway, here's a pic of what I was able to achieve. It took about 2 minutes btw. Note only the hand on the right has a rig and that the other 3 are copies made using the method outlined above.
Simon.
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:45 PM   #3
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Thank you for the suggestion, although I am not sure if it would be practical to have a seperate mesh for every single frame that I need a deformation for, since that might make the file too large having all those models in there and slow it down in game. On the other hand, deformations with vertex animation with deformation's to the individual vertices of a mesh makes the file much bigger, so it could be that you have come up with an alternative method wich is actually better than what I am trying to do, and would result in something that would run faster. However, on this, I am not sure, but I will still try to do it with just one mesh for each hand.

Does anyone else have any input on this?
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Old 15-01-2007, 06:53 PM   #4
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Lightbulb

Well I received an answer to this question by asking someone who had already done it before, so I thought I would put their response on here:

"I took the ET hand and made it better, more polys. Then triangulate and delete history. Then I rigged it with a skeleton I made. Then animate the joints to the way you want your animation. To export a skinned mesh from Muskoka, go into component mode, select all the verts in your skinned mesh, then go to:

Edit > Keys > Bake Simulation [options]

Have everything set as below. Then Maya will bake all the locations per vert, per frame. Then you export that mesh and all should be good. Make sure 'process animation' is selected in the export options."

______________________________
Bake Simulation Options:

Hierarchy: Selected
Channels: All Keyable
Driven Channels: [un-checked]
Control Points: [checked]
Shapes [un-checked]

Time Range: Time Slider

Sample by: 1.0000

Keep Unbaked Keys: [checked]
Sparse Curve Bake: [un-checked]
Disable Implicit Control: [checked]
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