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Thread: Choosing a Stationary Character (Mesh vs. BIN w/Examples)

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2014
    Location: Land of two pubs

    Choosing a Stationary Character (Mesh vs. BIN w/Examples)

    This is going to be a long complex post, but I'll try to keep it to the point. Also, it can easily confuse some people, so if anyone doesn't understand something please read it again to make things easier. I will keep this thread updated if needed. Also, I apologise if my photos are too large as I currently don't know how to reduce their sizes.

    Okay, I have a character that plays a lute. I tried the Motion Editor for quite some time, at first trying to clip a short loop out of the motion "femturnh" which looks like somebody holding a lute and moving a bit.

    SAVE/LOAD - Load Name - String Argument - femturnh. We can change Play Options to play the motion once or play it as a loop, tweaking it further if needed. On the left I have my first lute player and beside him another servant mesh. To play the motion, always click "Done" under SAVE/LOAD. From there move your mouse along the track bar to see frames within the motion.



    Frame tab - "Mark Left" of the motion, Set Flag, Start Motion Here. Conversely, mark right of the frame you want and set a flag to end the motion. Click Done under Frame, Save under Save/Load, then Quit MotEditor.
    • When I first tried this I had a gap between marks for the selected motion frames, but the saved clip was showing the full motion in-game. As a result, I brought the left and right marks very close to isolate one frame. This resulted in a successful stationary mesh frozen in place. One thing to note is that the player's awareness state must be set to "asleep" for it to stand still.




    I recently studied the FM "Rebellion of the Builder 2". It has large statues which look like frozen meshes similar to previous effort. So I thought, why not try to bring my mesh into Blender or Anim8or, try to make an object from it, and make my own statue?

    After some effort I extracted malsev02.e from Mesh.crf and loaded it 3ds2bin. Yes or No question: This file appears to be a mesh. Switch to Mesh mode? I click No in order to export the .E file as .BIN. Make sure the Mesh box with the green check is left unchecked.



    When the .BIN has exported from 3ds2bin, I can now import it into the Blender program as a static object. File - Import - Dark Engine Static Object (.bin). All the flat squares touching the figure are joint planes. You can read more about these from the Low Poly Guild at thiefmissions.com - http://thiefmissions.com/lpg/ImportMesh.html .



    I'm not going to get into the specifics of model editing programs, you can read tutorials for yourself. Now I have my .BIN loaded in Blender. File - Export - Wavefront (.obj).

    Now onto Anim8or. Object - Import - malsev02.obj. Remember we need .OBJ files when loading. I assign it the .GIF diffuse texture.



    Next I plan to delete the joint planes, insert bones into the character, and position it just like the mesh I had before so that it will be frozen and look like it's playing a lute. After that I would export it as a .3DS and change it back to .BIN.



    Why am I doing this? To make it a simple object without a .CAL file or an assigned motion.

    I did this for fun, but after I got to the Anim8or stage I wondered is it really worth it to put in the bones and try to position it? Anyway I wanted to test my limits to see how far I'd go.
    Last edited by Derspegn; 6th Jan 2019 at 12:44. Reason: Updated link for LPG at thiefmissions.com, stationary mesh must be asleep

  2. #2
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    No, it's not worth it. And why did you want a statue of a lute player?

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2014
    Location: Land of two pubs
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    No, it's not worth it. And why did you want a statue of a lute player?
    "Why am I doing this? To make it a simple object without a .CAL file or an assigned motion.

    I did this for fun, but after I got to the Anim8or stage I wondered is it really worth it to put in the bones and try to position it? Anyway I wanted to test my limits to see how far I'd go."

    EDIT: Also, after seeing the statues in "TROTB 2", I thought it would be cool to freeze the character mid-motion and export the object to get a statue.
    Last edited by Derspegn; 6th Jan 2019 at 12:00. Reason: Mentioned TROTB 2

  4. #4
    Dóttirin klęšist oft móšur möttli
    Registered: Apr 2015
    Maybe you can get some useful motions from the GMDB Demo
    https://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthre...=1#post2309827

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2014
    Location: Land of two pubs
    Quote Originally Posted by Unna Oertdottir View Post
    Maybe you can get some useful motions from the GMDB Demo
    https://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthre...=1#post2309827
    Oh, that's great, thanks Unna! Today I searched the forum to review the motions as it has been a long time since I changed the lute player motion.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Ireland/Poland
    If you are familiar with 3dsmax, you could use Dark Animation Tools for 3dsmax. It lets you import a rigged AI mesh with ease and pose or animate it to your will.

    https://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145752

    (oh, and a version 2.0 is on the way <--- saying this now to put some extra pressure on me to finally complete it!!! )

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2014
    Location: Land of two pubs
    Quote Originally Posted by PinkDot View Post
    If you are familiar with 3dsmax, you could use Dark Animation Tools for 3dsmax. It lets you import a rigged AI mesh with ease and pose or animate it to your will.

    https://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145752

    (oh, and a version 2.0 is on the way <--- saying this now to put some extra pressure on me to finally complete it!!! )
    Quote Originally Posted by PinkDot View Post
    If you are familiar with 3dsmax, you could use Dark Animation Tools for 3dsmax. It lets you import a rigged AI mesh with ease and pose or animate it to your will.
    Sorry for the delay, I've had other things keeping me from posting. I don't use 3dsmax, but it might be easier to submit a video of the looped motion clip to a beta tester, and they could get the results I want.

    When I go into Game Mode, I can see one clipped loop from where I set left and right marks that were individually flagged as starting or ending points for the motion. Any further attempts to go into Game Mode result in full motion clip in which any "crop" marks are no longer effective. What I'm also noticing is that even though the .mi file is being updated (including start & end points for the motion?), the .mc file is not. I have a "motions" folder in my root Thief 2 folder that I brought over from the Motion Workshop. Usually, if another file is in the root Thief 2 folder, it will be read before any file included in a \RES\name.crf file. I'm still pretty semi-noob with all of this. The 3dsmax route seems easier, but I'll post what I've seen so far for those who want to stay with other programs.

    EDIT: I can achieve a motion loop in Game Mode if it is set to "Frame Based" under "Play Options". "Time Based" always seems to result in a static frozen character.



    The lute player currently has a DetailAttachment link to Schwaa's lute object. When I click 'Update' on the bottom row of commands at the left, I get the following error message:



    When I'm able to have the lute player move in the Motion Editor or in Game Mode, he slowly sidesteps to the right and moves far away from the loot. If I put a stool next to him, this slows it down but the character gradually moves too far right.

    https://i.imgur.com/ZcOso13.png

    Thus far I've spent most of my time with the level's 'building' aspect and only focusing on a few NPCs for motions. By marking frames left and right and bringing them very close I could achieve a frozen position. After looking at Frame-->Set Flag in the Motion Editor, I'm still not sure about Triggers yet or if those have more to do with patrol points related to conversations.

    https://i.imgur.com/ufven92.png

    So if I choose to actually have the lute player move instead of staying still, I will likely send a video of a motion loop to a beta tester whenever I get to that point, and they can modify it with 3dsmax, of course receiveing due credit for their efforts.
    Last edited by Derspegn; 17th Jan 2019 at 09:44.

  8. #8
    Dóttirin klęšist oft móšur möttli
    Registered: Apr 2015
    Create a marker, render it visible and add the shape of the lute. Then attach it to the AI.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2014
    Location: Land of two pubs
    Many thanks, I'll try that next.

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