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mesh, animation in skyline

mesh, animation in skyline

Postby cosmo » 04 Feb 2015, 13:09

Hi,
I’m experimenting with Skyline in general and, especially with its mesh import processing .
At present I use this kind of workflow: from Makehuman (an open source 3d character generator), I import the mesh into Blender for animation purpose.
Then I export the character towards Skyline in .fbx format, but the result does not seem to be always good. Infact, sometime there are artifacts that distort the mesh, cause I suppose, some issue in Blender .fbx exporter.
Therefore my question is as follow: it is possible to simplify this workflow?
For example, may I import my character in Skyline and then assign to it in some way one or more animations (.bvh file)?
Could you suggest me some alternative paths?
Thanks for your kind attention, best regards
Last edited by cosmo on 10 Aug 2015, 18:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby SolarPortal » 04 Feb 2015, 13:30

I know from similar workflows using Mixamo, that if you export the animations into seperate .fbx formats, you can then add the animations onto the rig using skylines' mesh editor timeline.
The original FBX should just have a character mesh & skeleton and no animations.
Then animations can be applied through separate files e.g. "MyFBX@walk.FBX" etc..

Blender FBX format has two modes, an ASCII version and a binary version, its worth trying both.

As for .bvh files, currently we do not support this. But we do have plans for these files and also bone retargeting to allow any character to use similar animations.

i will have a play and get back to you on this problem.

Note: I do know that our FBX format seems to flip the normals on the characters if they are animated and exported from blender sometimes, we have had successful tests, but there is still something strange. I put this down to our inexperience with using blender.

Hint: There was something about rooting the bones to a parent bone or root object, this is to ensure the bones worked relative to the parent, rather than exporting loose bones.

For now, if you have a .fbx, i can try editing it in another application and send you a working version back, to keep you rolling until we find a solution.

Hope this helps :D
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby SolarPortal » 04 Feb 2015, 13:40

Tests done using MakeHuman V1.0.2 and Blender V2.71.

First test:
> Create character in makehuman and apply rig.
> Export to .FBX
> Load FBX into skyline
> Success & no normal Errors and Skeleton was also imported. No animations yet

Edit: Second Test:
> Create character in makehuman, select low poly proxy and game rig.
> Export to .dae as blender would not import the FBX, but skyline did in previous test ;)
> Open Blender new scene.
> Start posing, select all bones using the box (B key), apply keyframe (i Key) "locRotScale", to all.
> Animate specific bones, like waving arms etc... Apply "locRotScale" to all bones again for every single motion.
> Exit pose and go into object mode
> Use the B Key to select all parts of character, mesh and rig included.
> Goto Export FBX, Select Armature and mesh from properties.
> I Also had bake animations, NLA Strips and All Actions selected.
> Save the FBX, import into skyline. The animation was slower than expected but that can be remade in blender.
> Made the material up and did not find any problems with normals etc..
> Successful test :)

Edit: Here are the files that i was using, created from Make Human and animated in Blender:
https://www.aurasoft-skyline.co.uk/downloads_common/Users/cosmoCharTest.zip
The FBX without "_" is the the character exported from blender and has a simple basic animation that was made in blender, when imported into skyline it works.
The "_" FBX is the export from makehuman, it has no animation.
The blender file is also in the folder.
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby cosmo » 04 Feb 2015, 20:15

First of all I wish to thank you for your fast and complete feedback! :)
I'm very happy about the support that Skyline Team is able to provide users!
I will come back home in a while and I will try tips and tricks you suggested in the post.
Then I'll let you know my progress.
Thank you so much, see you soon!
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby SolarPortal » 04 Feb 2015, 20:22

np, glad to help :)

Look forward to seeing what you produce!
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby cosmo » 06 Feb 2015, 13:11

Hi,
ok, your tricks work very fine… But, sorry for my insistence (be patient, please), I should define an efficient workflow, as simple as possible. I made several attempts and, if I am not wrong, Skyline is able to import a character using .dae format. In this way we could have a mesh complete with geometry, texture, skeletal and animations, that looks enough well defined, graphically speaking, and without any artifacts.

What do you think about this kind of solution concerning this topic?
I tried with just one animation but I don’t know how much animations could we import in any .dae file.

Thanks, bye!
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby SolarPortal » 06 Feb 2015, 13:38

i am trying the character as a .dae to see how it goes :)
it imports fine, so i am working on a skeletal animation now in blender, then will try to import the animation onto this character.

As for a dae with all seperate animations, i don't know how to do this, so experimentation will be needed.
But if you have a single timeline of animations, then you can use the mesh editor to split them apart like in this thread:
http://www.chi-ad.com/Skyline/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=830

Note: .dae is a good format, but we have had problems in the past with it. We use the open source Assimp library to help with the conversions of multiple formats apart from FBX and the Proprietary format of .mesh, .skeleton.
So just be aware that dae may not always work, but if it works for you, then great :)

Edit: Just tried this workflow:
> Import dae into skyline from MakeHuman
> Animate in blender
> Export animation as dae.
> Import loaded character into mesh editor
> Try to add .dae to timelin.
> Failed... As the mesh editor will only add animations from FBX files.

New attempt needed.
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby SolarPortal » 06 Feb 2015, 15:12

if you get weird animations, like the arms starting from the center of the chest. This is due to the bones not being connected, they are just parented. This could be a problem of our importer not reading parents as connections. But at least you can get around this issue, using this technique.

> In Blender, select the bone that goes wrong and where it says parent, click connected. This fixed my problems.
> Then export as .FBX and import into skyline, voila. animated correctly.

Note: I have only had success using the FBX export from blender.

Best Workflow for Blender:
> Export from MakeHuman as .dae.
> import .dae into Blender.
> Animate, connect bones etc...
> Export as FBX. Blender also has a way of exporting seperate animations in the .fbx file.

Maybes check out some tutorial videos :D

Even the speed is matched on the FBX file. :D

Edit: I am recording a video tutorial on makehuman to skyline with animations through blender.
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby SolarPortal » 06 Feb 2015, 21:16

Check out this link for a workflow: http://www.chi-ad.com/Skyline/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=832&p=3468#p3468

I recorded a voice over tutorial showing MakeHuman, animate in Blender and export to skyline.
First one ever lol, it may help you or entertain you :P
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby lordalmighty1 » 06 Feb 2015, 21:25

a voiced tut from you :D ground breaking days wot..lol jk but I will watch it even though im not a modelling type :D
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https://www.twitch.tv/lordalmighty1
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby SolarPortal » 06 Feb 2015, 21:30

lol haha, thought i would give it a try though before saying i can't do it. Now i can say it :P :)
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby StarFire » 06 Feb 2015, 22:09

After watch @SP do the video I want even less to do a video tutorial lol :lol:

as quietly as a whisper SF slopes off back into the safety of the visual mechanics system :roll:
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby AuShadow » 12 Mar 2015, 12:42

+1 StarFire does next voiced tut :P

cant pick on SolarPortal and then back away

edit: p.s you could always try my trick, just check my channel for my Medusa to FPSCR tutorial and I have a few drinks first and then DO NOT listen to myself back, :D, works a treat



EDIT: just broke my own rule and watched that video,,,,,,,,, man, far far from Tatties work :lol:
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby SolarPortal » 12 Mar 2015, 15:15

lol, nice approach to doing video tutorials :P
We'll have to see a Medusa to skyline video.

tattie certainly has the skills, i take about 8 hours to make a <20 min video lol and it ends up patched and edited together hehe...
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby TattieBoJangle » 12 Mar 2015, 15:35

im sure i did do a tut on this i will need to have a look ;)

I have a few drinks first and then DO NOT listen to myself back


i can only imagine if i did this i would wake up with the mic in my mouth and be like Nailed It! lol
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby AuShadow » 12 Mar 2015, 22:18

If not my missus is going out tonight so I should be able to quickly **Edit** make a video tutorial **End Edit** and **Edit** Upload it **End Edit**.


There that reads a bit better
Last edited by AuShadow on 13 Mar 2015, 11:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby SolarPortal » 12 Mar 2015, 22:34

haha very funny reading that, lmao :P
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby StarFire » 12 Mar 2015, 22:35

Lol AuShadow: if you just read your post out of context it sounds very strange lol :lol:
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby AuShadow » 13 Mar 2015, 11:22

You know I didn't even realize until r
Re reading it just then, edited for cleaner reading so those with dirty minds don't read it all wrong anymore lol ;)
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby SolarPortal » 13 Mar 2015, 12:18

lol, reads much better ;)
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby AuShadow » 13 Mar 2015, 13:54

This will be my last post on this thread as I think I kind of hijacked the thread with shenanigans, anyway I didnt get the chance to as due to a major breakdown at work I didn't get home till after 8 so will do one when I find that rare and precious thing that is time, oh and p.s can attribute most of my spelling and grammatical errors to most of my posts seem to be done from my phone :D
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Re: MESH, ANIMATION IN SKYLINE

Postby SolarPortal » 13 Mar 2015, 14:42

no probs, it was some funny shenanigans(copies word from other post).
We are bad at spelling with a PC lol, so with a phone; then its pretty good.

No rush on the video, we understand the time problem ourselves.
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