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hannibal84

MeshView Animation Problems

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I'm new to animating characters, so bear with me here.... In a test run using Microsoft's MeshView, I tried loading up a biped with mesh from 3ds Max's tutorials. The only animation I applied to the biped was simply to move the left hand forward and back from the Da Vinci pose. The animation works perfectly in Max; the mesh properly follows the bones. But, when I exported to a .X file (using PandaSoft) and loaded it into MeshView, the mesh doesn't follow the bones properly. Most of the left arm won't follow the bone movement, while vertices from the whole right side of the body move in the opposite direction. I glanced at the .X file and the only animations it seems to be doing are on the left arm (upper arm down to the fingers). This seems to be a problem on the DirectX end, but I could be wrong. Does anyone have any idea why it might be doing this? I also tried loading the .X file into Jason Jurecka's test application from the "Working with the DirectX .X File Format and Animation in DirectX 9.0" tutorial and the only thing I see is an eight-sided polygon (at a guess, the biped's COM object). P.S.: On second thought, I don't know what the polygon is; I tried animating the biped's COM and the test app looked exactly the same.

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I'm not an artist myself, but my partner on the project I'm working is an artist, and he recently went through quite a bit of trouble also getting skinned meshes to export properly. At the beginning, we also couldn't view them properly in MeshView... Anyways tbh I can't remember exactly what he did to fix the problem, but I think the problem may have been something to do with the 3ds max version...

Sorry I'm not much of a help, don't know exactly how to fix your problem, but at least what I can tell you is that it IS possible to view animated characters in MeshView exported w/ PandaSoft, so keep at it and you'll figure it out I'm sure :)

Good luck!

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Guest Anonymous Poster
the first thing to to is download all of the character animation tutorials for max.
Next search through the samples for the type of file that will export - for example most of the DrX samples won't export but the tut called drXmesh will in fact export into .x format and is viewable in meshview.

all you need to do is carefully cover the tutorial's to see what was done in max to make it export - no probs.

(i noticed that the tubby animation would not export - most of the bipeds do however )

the meshes "will" export from max7.

btw:- if you have any idea of how to create a biped that will walk on the spot then that would be a great help thanks - all the bipeds in the tutorials use footsteps and that's not very useful for games is it?

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Actually, it was the Dr. X mesh that I was trying to work with. It seems like it's almost working right, but not quite - the vertex envelopes seem to be getting miscommunicated during the export; some of the right vertices don't work, and many of the wrong ones do. The bones themselves work properly.

I'm wondering if maybe it's an issue with PandaSoft? Reading the author's site, he seemed to have some trouble converting it to Max 7. I'll send him an email and see what he has to say.

It definitely seems to be exporting more or less correctly, as it does appear in MeshView (although I'm still wondering why it doesn't show up in that tutorial viewer; I'll probably have to spend some time examining the differences between that and MeshView). It simply doesn't animate correctly and I'm not sure exactly how to interpret a .x file (as far as determining what vertices a particular animation will effect).

I noticed that problem with the footsteps, too.... And it makes since, as the Max footsteps don't cross over well into DirectX. Maybe there's some extra coding you could do on the programming side that could properly interpret them. I imagine you could export them as a dummy. Otherwise, you'd probably have to work with normal animation techniques to get running in place to work.

Another thought on the footstep problem: It might be possible to write a Max script to automatically set "walk in place" sort of keyframes (which would probably require manual tweaking). But at least it would be a quick template to work off of. I may write that if I find the time.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
most of the drX examples don't export properly. the result is a kind of crazy mess of polys - therefore it might be something to do with the vertex/index buffers getting confused with the bounding boxes for the bones or some similar error.


as to walking on the spot- perhaps a temporary fix for the animation of a biped would work - such as editing the translation keys for the bipeds root frame?

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The Panda Exporter is a piece of crap.
Also the JT Exporter from MilkShape.
None of them works good enough, I believe the authors don't really test ther usage. They just export one and the same model with an animation sequence and it works for them.

Microsoft directx exporter (in the DX Extras) folder sometimes manages it to export meshes right. The DXMeshViewer application works perfect.

I have written my own Unreal Tournament 2003 to .X converter and it works with any character/animation i want.

For 3ds max: All Character Studio/Physique settings should be set to: RIGID and NOT BLENDED, and max bone influences to 4 or lower (1 for maximum compatibility). Also set the Phsiyique/Render settings to RIGID so you will not be disappointed that your animation might be a little deformed.

There is no way to export BLENDED mode mesh correctly, also no hardware supports it. Rigid with max 4 bones per vertex works for any dx 8/9 capable adapter.

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Ah. The rigid thing seems to have been my problem. I still can't use the tutorial files, but it works fine with some other models I've tried and that was really the whole point of the exercise, so I won't bother fixing that problem for now. Thanks for the help, guys.

I still haven't tested the MS DirectX exporter, as they don't have a version for Max 7, but I suppose I could give it a shot anyway.

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