Ca3DE Bones Structure

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Thrawn
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Ca3DE Bones Structure

Post by Thrawn » 2004-12-15, 19:15

While trying to get new weapons into the game, I noticed that I dont understand the system how Ca3DE uses what completely.

First I want to start with an ingame screenshot. You can see tht the weapon isn't being hold correctly. There are 2 reasons why it is like that: 1. Player model is very, very low poly and second, no bones for the player model part. (Ca3DE uses HL system, a weapon for players, a first person view model and one thats lying on he ground)

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Ok, now theres a problem and I cant do anything against it... Look at the bones for the player model...

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So theres no possibility for changing the way the weapon is being grabbed. next big problem: No good animations possible.... And if there were real bones for hands, you would have to do every animation 2 times because the player model uses another bone structure than the first person model.

OK, now to the first person view model... This one looks ok, only thing that could be easier is are the names of the bones of the weapons. It seems to me like their functions are hard-coded... Maybe global same names like "tag_weapon","tag_flash" and "tag_magazine" would make it easier. (but thats not really important, just a question of making everything easier).

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And here the names of the weapon bones

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Another rather funny thing is the bones structure of player models, have a look at the hands! I cant understand the functions of this bone structure while shooting etc... If it is just for animations like hand signs etc then its quite *****

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And what does this tell us?
Ca3DE uses outdated bone structures for the player models (weapons) and the player models (the figures).

My personal suggestions/comment:
1. Implent a new bone structure for player models, like
Image

(Problem: I think all player anims would have to be redone :oops:)

2. Get rid of this ancient model system. Its complicated and not quite useful. You dont really save much fps with it, its not worth the effort. 3 different views with 3 different types of collections of aniamtions...

Personally, I worked with the system that Quake 3 uses... 1 model thats lying on the ground and is displayed at the player and another model, the first person view model. Both models have got the same core bones and the first person view aniamtions are automatically seen in 3rd person view too. Thats much less work and makes everything as simple as possible.

Modern player model...
Image

3. Ca3DE needs new player models so the new bone system makes sense... New hands are on the way (thx Kai)

But... That's just my personal opinion. I believe that there will be a lot of people who dont like my suggestions.... Maybe I just didnt understand the Ca3DE bones system and this thread it worthless... Let's talk about it!
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Post by Advis » 2004-12-15, 23:43

There are limitations in the bone structure, but don't forget that the next release of Ca3DE is mainly the MatSys and CaWE. There shuld be a new model format on the way and as for redoing all the anims, we will have to redo them at some point.
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Post by scott » 2004-12-16, 01:13

Your just going to have to create your own skeleton for your model and its own animations, you can do that however you like. You dont need to use the skeleton that comes with ca3d to get stuff in game
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Post by Carsten » 2004-12-16, 12:56

Stormtrooper, many thanks for your thorough posting. :)

Well, you're right, the current bone system etc. is complicated.
With regards to combining the player model with the _p model of a new weapon, I'd suggest to look at the existing player skeletons and _p weapon skeletons for learning how they "overlap" each other to get the desired effect:
Both the player and _p models have the same "root" skeleton (the names of the bones must match!), and the _p weapon model can then extend its duplicated/overlapping skeleton to account for bones that are specific to the weapon.

Personally, I'd be happy to introduce another or new model system to Ca3DE (one that can also deal with animations like the current) rather sooner than later.

However, I've not yet found an adequate replacement for animated mdls so far.
Any suggestions and insights are highly welcome.
Best regards,
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Post by scott » 2004-12-16, 14:16

Your probably going to have to create your own format, or there was that open source skeletal format thet I posted about in the old forums
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Post by Thrawn » 2004-12-16, 16:36

Well the problem then with an own format is that it wont be supported by many programs... I think that would be the wrong way...

I dont really know any normal format that saves model&animation, just one but its a normal format for a specific modelling prog... The prob really is the file containing the animations...

@ Weapons system...
The whole structure isnt that good because of the reason that all the animations have to be created 3 times...

Call of Duty (Quake 3) uses just 2 files.

First, like I already explained earlier,a world model that lies on the ground and is seen in 3rd person view etc

Image

Then the 2. file is the first person model and all the animations created there can be seen in 1rst person AND 3rd Person view!

Image

The would be the solution for weapons I like.

@Player Models... I think we should try to get a high poly (< 1000 ) model and then we should use the ca3de structure but combined with good bones for hands... Hm...
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Post by TheMatrix » 2004-12-16, 17:06

hmm stormtropper, what mod are you coding for

The weapons seems like bar, m1garand and m1carbine, so a WW2 Mod??

That would be very nice, because i also want to mod a ww2 mod :D
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Post by Thrawn » 2004-12-16, 18:20

No, those are weapons out of the PC Game Call of Duty. I started a mod for Ca3DE but it's not WW2. More infos to come soon ;)
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Post by Shadow » 2004-12-16, 23:26

high poly is less than 1000? wow... most of my guns are double that...
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Post by Thrawn » 2004-12-16, 23:36

< 1000 is at least 1000 polygones for me :wink:

Those who are ingame atm have something around 550
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Post by Shadow » 2004-12-17, 05:39

>1000 would be at least... at least in 99% of the world (no pun intended)
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Post by Shadow » 2004-12-17, 05:41

that post made me 100 over you... kinda a sad thought :roll:
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Post by Thrawn » 2004-12-20, 15:10

I know that we want to get rid of MDL. Ca3DE will support ASE File format with the next release. But this format can not be used for animated models... Why not using the smd files as they are? Is it possible?
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Post by Carsten » 2004-12-20, 21:32

Stormtrooper wrote:Why not using the smd files as they are? Is it possible?
Very good question indeed.
I was wondering for a while about that too, and have not yet found an answer. Maybe it's just for "convenience stuff", like having the bones matched when a player and a _p weapon model are combined. (Note that this is an example for a very powerful concept that is not covered by bare smd files alone.) If however that was all that mdl files have over smds, it would be reasonably easy and straightforward to either use smd directly, or develop an own format from it.
My intention is to look closely at the new HL2 models as soon as I find some time, and if they can be used directly in their "source" form (xsi, smd, etc.). That would be a great step.
As always, any input and suggestions are welcome. :)
Best regards,
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Post by scott » 2004-12-21, 11:31

hmmm well if you want to integrate the XSI format directly into Ca3D, thats fine by me :) (I hope you dont have to pay some licensing crap) I'm really starting to love softimage. A fringe benefit of this is that there are plugins for Maya and 3ds max that let them import and export the .xsi format

https://sourceforge.net/projects/dotxsi4max/ in fact heres the link to an open source version for max

http://www.xsibase.com/tools/plugins.php?detail=418 heres a maya5 one
and I just read on a lightwave forum that someone is working on a plugin.

Oh yeah one tip I have is to make it so we dont have compile the model and then the animation files into one file. Its more convenient if you change your anims to not have to recompile every time, just delete the old anim file and drop in the new one. :D
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