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-   -   3DSM 5 Animation for Dummies (http://www.wc3c.net/showthread.php?t=67285)

Aznwhore 10-24-2004 07:01 PM

3DSM 5 Animation for Dummies
 
Animation in the Wc3 Engine for Dummies
by ZhongMasta'89 <a.k.a. Aznwhore>


Special Thanks to:
ChickenSlave, Lacrosetitans, Blizzard, Rightfield's, Tyraxor, Oinkerwinkle

This tut was brought to you to basically sum up the basics of animating. Please feel free to post questions here so I may answer them.

Some assembly required:
- Warcraft III: TFT
- Warcraft III Art Tools
- 3dsmax 4/5
- Some food if you get bored

I. Rigging up the Mesh
_A. Setting up your bones/pivot points
II. Dope Sheet Usage
_A. Animation Keys for Warcraft III
_B. Visibility Keys
_C. Key basics and your "Need To Knows"
III. Animating
V. Adding Particles and finalizing your model



_____________________________________________________________
Let's get started shall we?

In this Tutorial, i will be animating an average, useful model for Warcraft III: TFT.

I. Rigging up the Mesh

First, open up your finalized mesh preferably with its textures so you have an idea what it would look like while animating.



Now, we want to decide whether we would want to use bones or pivot points. What's the difference? Not much. In fact, both require the same amount of time to set up but just different functions. I prefer pivot points because they don't act as mesh and aren't quite as annoying when animating.

First, you'd have to seperate the mesh apart to independent meshes with the corresponding names to them:

Mesh_Head
Mesh_Torso
Mesh_Pelvis
Mesh_Arm1_R
Mesh_Arm1_L
Mesh_Arm2_R
Mesh_Arm2_L
Mesh_Hand_R
Mesh_Hand_L
Mesh_Weapon
Mesh_Turret (For defensive structures only)
Mesh_Leg1_R
Mesh_Leg1_L
Mesh_Leg2_R
Mesh_Leg2_L
Mesh_Foot_R
Mesh_Foot_L
Using all of these mesh names are not neccessarily required. In fact, you do not even have to use these exact names.
Quote:

Note: By naming them "Mesh", you can simply press H when animating to open up a menu, type M to select all Meshes quickly so you can add a key.

Bones
Bones are basically created by making a box. Simply click and drag to create a box. You will ask, "Will this add to the poly count?" The answer is no.
These are the steps to creating a bone and linking it to a corresponding Mesh
Quote:

Note: The bone should have a corresponding name to a mesh
i.e./ Mesh_Head links with Bone_Head. Bones link with meshes so that they "host" the mesh. In other words, when animating, you will be using the "bone" in replacement to the Mesh when you want to rotate, scale, or move.
1) Create a box and name it according to what you want it to "host"
2) Bring the box up to the area on the mesh where it should rotate from (Imagine the bone as the center of the mesh and when you attach it, the mesh should "lock on to the bone")
3) Click on the "Select and Link button as shown. Click and drag from the MESH to the BONE

4) Repeat 1-3 for the rest of the meshes.
5) When you're complete with the linking, select all the bones (You may want to start getting used to pressing "H" to open the selection menu now), go to Utilities->User Property Editor->Geometry Properties->Bone

6) In the Utilities tab, click on more, download Republicola's MDX Exporter, click on MAXScript, Run Script, find the exporter, click the rolldownlist and select the exporter. Go all the way down and click Configure Controllers. That should rig up the model for animation.

Pivot Points
A much easier version of animating, pivot points allow you to set up an "Origin" of the mesh so that you can select the mesh and animate as if a bone were there.
1) Click on a mesh, go to the motion tab, roll up the assign controller list. Follow the instructions as shown so that Position, Rotate, and Scale end up to be TCB. Basically, this rigs up the pivot points. Yes, you have to do this individually for all meshes.

2) Click on a mesh, go to the Hierarchy Tab. Select Affect Pivot Only. Now, you will see that a green, blue, and red symbol will appear on your mesh. Simply move it around like a bone so that wherever it stays, your mesh will correspond to that as its center. Do this for all other meshes


II. Dope Sheet Usage

1)Click on Graphic Editors-> Track View-Dope Sheet. Up comes a graph looking thing, ouch. Not really ouch, its quite simple. Make sure all your meshes for pivot points or bones for bone users are selected. Click on "Objects", then go to Tracks->Note Track->Add. Click on the + on Objects now and you'll have something called Notes. This will be where you will "record" your animations.
2) Click on the add keys button and add two keys to the Note Track row. Right click somewhere on the graph and select the keys. Right click on one of them and make sure they are white. Type in "Stand - 1" in the opening window for a basic stand animation. The first "Stand - 1" key that you will be classified as the Opening Key. The second will be the Closed Key.

Exit out of that window and Dope Sheet.
Quote:

Note: There is another thing called a Visibility Track under Tracks. By adding that track to a MESH, you will be able to trigger it to be visible or not during animations. Simply add keys in front of the opening key, right click it and change the value to either 0 for invisible or 1 for visible.

Key Basics
Here are some tips to making and using keys
-Keys will appear on the dope sheet and the timeline on the bottom of the viewports.
-Imagine keys as "a point of change" where the model moved, rotated, or scaled.
-You will always need a key for every change you make to the model. Don't worry about creating a key for each part, max will automatically do it for you. If you want to create your own key, click on the big key button on the timeline called Set Key when you highlight over it.
-Keys may be moved by selecting on one, and dragging it. You can also select the keys you want to copy, hold shift and drag them over to another area. That way, you can create an exact loop of the original pose the model had.

III. Animating
Now, when you have created a "Stand - 1" open and closed key in the dope sheet editor, exit out and select all the meshes for pivot points or bones for bones. Drag the timeline to 0 for the opening key or whatever you set it to be and click on the big key. Drag the timeline to whatever you set for the closing key and click the big key. Now you have a stand animation! (nothing much...)

Basically, what you do now is drag to whatever part of the timeline between your opening key and your closing key and edit your meshes by either rotating, moving, scaling your way through. Adding keys in between each "Change" will make the animation (when you use the Wc3Previewer included in the art tools) less choppy.
Here's a sample of a basic stand animation:

Basically, that's all I can explain for animation. The rest is common sense and exploring. Good luck, have fun. (those of you who have 3dsmax...)

Once again, another tut by your friendly stoned asian

Kelna2 10-24-2004 08:01 PM

Azn...... YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!

:emote_thumbup2: :emote_thumbup2: :emote_thumbup2:

BlinkBoy 10-29-2004 06:41 PM

well i recomend bezier position, tcb rotation and linear scale is the best way if you are starting to animate

flamesforzuljin 11-29-2004 02:08 AM

mmm this is good.

[MOVED] to modeling section

vicky2004 12-05-2004 01:04 PM

Hmm,do we have to use Warcraft III art tools cause it is only for #ds max 4 but i have 6!

BlinkBoy 12-05-2004 01:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vicky2004
Hmm,do we have to use Warcraft III art tools cause it is only for #ds max 4 but i have 6!


with 6 is a bit more different, but is properlly the same, you just don't use the art tool plug ins to set bones.

12-07-2004 03:23 AM

Putting Bones on is so annoying!
I have a model (Its a first) its like a little hinge dude, you know something basic for a start, I made it in 3ds Max 6, but I can't seem to get the bones in the right place, any modlers out there got any hints?

BlinkBoy 12-08-2004 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oxide2007
Putting Bones on is so annoying!
I have a model (Its a first) its like a little hinge dude, you know something basic for a start, I made it in 3ds Max 6, but I can't seem to get the bones in the right place, any modlers out there got any hints?


yeah sure, make 1 bone separated from others, means that he have no parents or mothers, them move it near the part you want to be skinned or attached to that bone; now copy that bone and start moving it to another mesh, keep making that till you get every bone setted correctly, now you just need to link each bone.

vicky2004 12-22-2004 10:12 AM

well there are very good ways to rig!I'll use controlers and solvers.Then the moving of the bones are much easy to do!(I'm doing 3ds max's ready tutarials)

divine_peon 01-20-2005 10:29 AM

can i use gmax for this?

ZhadowAzzazzin 01-23-2005 05:58 PM

To answer you question peon yes you can but the art tools wont work for gmax so i suggest you read the tutorials in it for characer development and character rigging they are quite helpful.

SDMaze 01-31-2005 02:15 PM

Hi.. I semi new to the boards <yes yes newbie.> anyway I got 3Dmax5 here is my prob... I can't seem to get any of the keys or notes to take.. I have the model created. its the test one in the tut the circle scary pac-man thing. Ok.. the next step says go to 'Note tracks' I can.. and can add it I add it just under the 'objects' then.. that is where I am stuck.. I can't seem to get anything to take or stick. I could really use soem help..this seems to be my only problem and it's really anoying.. I hope to god I posted this in the right area. if wanted I can take screens shots..hell even make a tiny video so you can see what I am talking about.

any and all help is very welcome from anyone.
thank you for your time.
Maze

02-01-2005 11:10 PM

wat other programs could i use other then 3dsmax that is free

Agnor 02-09-2005 09:45 PM

u could use gmax

luckyownz92 02-27-2005 04:18 PM

I am confused with these steps.

Quote:

1) Create a box and name it according to what you want it to "host"
2) Bring the box up to the area on the mesh where it should rotate from (Imagine the bone as the center of the mesh and when you attach it, the mesh should "lock on to the bone")
3) Click on the "Select and Link button as shown. Click and drag from the MESH to the BONE

Do I have to create an actual box or something ?


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