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# Animation system docs

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I''m going to start experimenting with character animation this weekend, and I noticed the document (PR4\chars\doc\chars.doc) is dated November 1999. Is this document up to date and still accurate?

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Ok, the documentation is apparently not up to date. I don''t see the CSBUILD executable anywhere (did a search).

I tried using the ChrEdit utility to build a CHR. I followed the "Skinned Mesh from Character Studio" tutorial in the chredit.chm file, using the "Hero" model supplied with PR4 (the "blade.tga" file is missing, btw, so I replaced it with "hero.jpg").

I exported two animation files from BIP sources ("Bow.prb" and "Kick.prb"). I put the model in its default position, removed the physique modifier, deleted all but the mesh, and exported to "Hero.pro".

Then I fired up ChrEdit, typed "Hero" as the name, pointed to the directory, and selected "Skinned...".

Finally, I ran "Edit/Build Character", and ChrEdit locks up. It appears to create the "Hero.chr" file, then stops responding. I let it sit for 5 minutes to make sure it wasn''t just busy, but nothing.

Well, I tried the Hero.chr file in my application (extension of SimpleLand), and it just grinds at the harddrive and I have to kill the app.

What am I doing wrong? How do you create CHR files??

System specs:
P3-900, 256MB, Win2000, DirectX 8.0a, 3DSMax 3.1, CS 2.2

Thanks,
Dave

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here is roughly what I do:

1) export the skinned mesh as a .3ds from MAX

2) open that .3ds file up in PROEDIT and create a .PRO file from it. If you can''t see the .pro file in proedit dont go on until you get that worked out.

3) Go back to max and IMPORT the .3ds file I exported earlier.

4) create a biped, add a physiqe modifer to the mesh.

5) create a folder to export all my animations to.

6) I load the .bip file for the animation I want, and use the .PRB export utility in max to save out the animation data to the directory I created. I repeat this process for each animation I want for the character.

7) exit Max and copy the .PRO file I created in pro edit to the folder containing all my animations.

8) in chracter edit I create a new character, selecting skinned mesh from character studio, and I point CHREDIT at the folder I created, which now contains the animation data and .pro file.

9) under the EDIT menu, I select build character, and a few seconds later my character appears.

hope this helps

Jason

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Thanks Jason. I think I found the problem. It appears that the data directory HAS to be located under the PR4\utility\chredit\bin directory. I took my data files and moved them there and it worked.

Things that make you go hmmmmm.....

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Hmmm. that is interesting.

I have my data directory on my desktop and it works fine too.

Oh well, whatever works I guess.

glad ya got it goin''

Jason

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Ok, this is getting really frustrating. I got the Hero model working (only if it''s in the chredit/bin directory), but I can''t get any other model to work.

They all crash when doing the "Build Character" command in ChrEdit. The stack shows:

From the disassembly it looks like it''s crashing right after a PRLIB_fread() command, 203 bytes into CHR_LoadWeights().

I''ve posted the data files I''m working with at:
http://www.thoughtwaves.com/FSoldier.zip

If someone could take a look at them and tell me what the heck I''m doing wrong, I''d be eternally grateful.

Dave

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Chris, now that you''re back from vacation and all rested up, I was hoping you could tell me what I''m doing wrong. For the life of me I still can''t create new CHR files. ChrEdit either crashes as explained above, or it thrashes my hard drive forever (well, 5 minutes before I killed the thread).

Thanks,
Dave

P.S. Thanks for all your help, Jason, here and via email.

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I have to agree.. the documentation does not match the product.. It needs to be upgraded!!!

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I have tried everything to get the character system to work, including the step by step instructions listed above. No luck. After everything is gathered in the directory, and I run CHREdit, create the new character, crash. Using a really simple model, 5 boxes for arms/legs/body and one sphere for the head, with the default bipend and one of the tutorial .bip files (walk).

On the flip side, I have gotten several segmented 3DS animations to work no problem. The issue happens when it''s a char studio based animation. Has anyone gotten something to work with this? Please email!

Thanks.

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If you have a solution, don''t email, post it here for all to see!!! (Please!)

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Chris,
This issue seems to be of great concern to not just a few of us. If I were to rely solely on the documentation and had no access to this forum, I doubt if I or anyone here could get anything created. Even with the tips and tricks that people here seem to have developed, there seems to be misunderstandings on procedures. Please address this issue with all your documentation. You seem to have an awesome engine/API, but its just about useless if we''re always getting ''stuck'' only because the documentation is outdated. The more we can do (with little frustration), the better your engine/product will sell and all that translates into  for you.. hint hint.. ) Thank you..

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