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Faulty Rotation in .x Skinned Mesh

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I am making a simple model of a gas station. I want it to have a rotating sign on top. I have made a basic model in MilkShape, and the sign rotates. I export it to .x using the JT exporter. The problem is that when I view the .x file in the SkinnedMesh utility (the DirectX SkinnedMesh sample) or in JTEdit, the whole model rotates, not the sign. Does anyone know what I am doing wrong? I can email the .x file if anyone wants it.

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Yes, I could just make a simple mesh, display it at the proper coordinates relative to the main gas station model, and rotate it using matrices.

But that''s not the point. The problem is that animated skin meshes I make in MilkShape do not seem to animate correctly in other tools - SkinMesh sample, JTEdit.

I''ve tried an animated tube with some stationary boxes as a base, too, and SkinMesh animates the boxes as well, not just the tubes.

I have read the 3 GameDev.net articles on skin meshes, but they were not really any help. Jim''s two articles are all theory, and the other one (by Sarnam?) doesn''t compile. The SDK example is very bare bones - no comments or anything, and so very difficult to understand.

What I need is:

- Does anyone have solid experience with animated .x files? I could use a few good, simple examples.

- Does anyone know what I need to alter in the .x file, even in a text editor, to get a stationary model with a few animated pieces?

- Has anyone created animated .x skin mesh files with MilkShape 1.6.5, and knows how to get a proper .x file?

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Update: I found what may be the problem. In MilkShape, I''d left the base box vertices unasigned to a joint. MilkShape didn''t animate them, but I guess the .x file exporter hooked them up to the first joint, which in my model is never supposed to move. But, that first joint had a couple of stray rotations attached, which MilkShape wasn''t showing me from it''s MS3D file but SkinMesh was from the exported .X file. I hooked the unassigned box points to the first joint in MilkShape and saw the same effect I was in SkinMesh - the boxes moving.

So - to all points in a mesh have to be hooked up to a joint in a .x file, or is this just an artifact of the .x file exporter. Jim, you wrote the exporter - any insights?

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