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Shon

Importing skinned game models with Maya

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I'm hoping that someone with more experience with the Maya API will be able to answer a question for me that I've been trying to pour over documentation to figure out without much luck... I've been helping out with an effort to create a Maya importer for 3D models from a game, and I'm having trouble figuring out how to translate from the game's idea of the way skinning should work to Maya's. Basically, for each polygon mesh, the game stores a list of bone influences, and each influence has not only a list of weights as you would expect, but also transform information. This is the transform from the given bone to the place where the mesh would be if it were attached to that bone. This is because the files do not necessarily store the original modeling pose of the character within the skeletal hierarchy, but the meshes are all still shaped as if they were created in the standard pose. Therefore, I'm having a real hard time figuring out how to translate this into something that Maya can work with. Is the only option to write a custom deformer that takes this list of matrices and uses them to deform the mesh as the game engine must? Thanks in advance to anyone who can help...

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Never mind, I solved it =)

Basically I figured out how to straiten up the skeleton to get it back to the "bind" pose by using all those offset matrices.

I went through each list of bone influences for each piece of skin and, for each one, if it had a child within the same list, I multiplied the inverse of that object's offset matrix by the offset matrix of it's parent... and behold, the correct orientation of the child bone to it's parent. Do that for everything and the skeleton straightens out =)

Now to figure out how to string together all those nodes to load the weights and create the skin... fun fun x_x

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