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Character Animation

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Hi all, I'd like to animate just a part of my skinned mesh, for example the arm of my character, while he's running. How can I do that? Do I need a mesh.x for each part of the body? Same question for moving the head with the mouse. Thank you for your help

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I've just been learning this topic myself, as to the .x file you only need 1 for the entire skinned mesh. The example tiny.x file only contains 1 mesh.

For the animations, if you want to do it in the code I would suggest altering the orientations on the shoulder bones, this will move the entire arm if the bone hierarchy has been loaded. For the head moving with the mouse you could do it the same way using the mouses position as a base for how much to rotate the bones.

You could also animate the character in an external package (like 3D Max) and load in the animations, then trigger them in the code. There are a few good articles on this site that explain the subject well.

Sorry if this doesn't help you much, but if not i'm sure someone more experienced on the forums will.

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thank you for your answer
the problem is:
How can I "select" the shoulder bones for moving them?
also it's a good idea but I'd like to load the arm's animation from the file.x

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Hmm, you are new to this skeletal animation thing aren't you?

Short answer: Yes, you can animate individual parts of a mesh. You only need 1 file. To modify a specific limb (e.g. arm), you merely apply a transformation to the associated frame, apply whatever animations, and then update the heirarchy. Since this probably means nothing to you, just e-mail me, and I'll send over my skeletal animation tutorial.

Long answer:

e-mail me at baggett.patrick@gmail.com for the full skeletal animation tutorial

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Thank you Figgles, I sent you a mail

I just want to be sure that I explained well my pb:

In fact, I would like to apply "multi-animation" to one mesh:
- a walking animation
- and sometimes an animation for the arm during walking

moving the arm is not like moving the head with the mouse because
- you move the arm with the animation contained in file.x
- but you move the head with a procedural code


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Quote:
Original post by Figgles
e-mail me at baggett.patrick@gmail.com for the full skeletal animation tutorial


Hey :)
If your tutorial is nice, why don't you upload it to some server and share a link here ? I'm interested in getting it too, but I guess you wouldnt like to be spammed by a lot of emails all requesting the same thing.

Regards, Janta

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Wow, a few more people are interested in this than I thought...

First there are a few minor things you need to know.


1st) Code is crossplatform and cross API. This means you Direct3D 9 users have to abandon D3DX in order to use this code. This teachs SOFTWARE SKINNING, not vertex programs (vertex shaders) to do it.
Successfully tested on:
Linux 2.4 OpenGL
Linux 2.6 OpenGL
Win32 OpenGL
Direct3D 8
Direct3D 9
Custom Software Renderer

2nd) Original code written in C, NOT C++. Tutorial mixes the two.

3rd) Does not include X file parser! I have a custom X parser available upon request, also written in C.

4th) Does not include 3D math library. Again, I use a custom math library (sourceforge project): http://simdx86.sourceforge.net


I can try to post a link, but tomorrow is my birthday, and it is time to partay! I actually prefer being contacted via email.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Do any of the inexpensive 3D editing tools now export animation data (preferably to .X)?? To save time I could make use of existing skeletal boned figures, by have yet to see any large numbers of animations (and would need custom ones anyway).
I played with several of the freeware/cheap editors a few years ago and found the interfaces crude/tedious/clumsy (and .X wasnt supported in most).

I really dont want to pay $3000 for a commercial editor (which last I heard were often not to good working with .x files anyway)

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I use MilkShape 3D. It's cheap and good (at least it does everything I need it to) ...and it exports to .X models. It actually has 2 .X exporters.

The only problem is that your exported .X files will only contain one animation. Is it possible to merge multiple .X files (each containing a single animation) into one file? For example, if I make a walking animation, a running animation, and a shooting animation for a character, can I merge these into one file (with freeware)?

I have a working Direct3D .X animation wrapper and it allows animations to be morphed into other animations (like a walking character can begin running in a smooth sequence). But they must all be in the same animation set...

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