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DarkBASIC Professional Discussion / Animations and appending animation data

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Fallout
17
Years of Service
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Joined: 1st Sep 2002
Location: Basingstoke, England
Posted: 6th Sep 2002 19:48
I'm still working on my media here in preperation for darkbasic pro to get here. I've run into a bit of a barrier though and I'm wondering if there will be a shortcut or whether I'll have to do it the hard way ...

Basically, I'm making a 3D RTS based on small squad combat. Individual men can be made to lie down, crawl, kneel, shoot etc etc. Think of operation flashpoint, but not quite as complex and looking from above RTS style. The units you get to control are machine gunners, shotgun soldiers, rocket soldiers, snipers, minigunners, pistol soldiers (what units default to when they exhaust the ammo of their main weapon) and mortar soldiers (actual proper mortar launchers where you drop the bomb down the tube and it fires). Take all those units and each one has around 12 animations.

Most of these animations are the same. Shotgun, machine gun and sniper soldiers all fire in the same way. Everyone throws grenades in the same way. Everyone crawls in the same way. All units pretty much animate in the same way, but with exceptions relating to their different guns. The actual unit models are exactly the same, except for their actual weapon.

I've completed all animations for the machine gun soldier (including the extravigant "flying through the air arms flailing frantically after being blown up" animation). My plan was to import the model of each new gun into the animations of the machine gun soldier, attach it to the heirachy, and make slight alterations. This way I might not have to totally redo all the animations (which would take maybe 10 - 20 hours in total).

Things I CANT do:
I can't animate the unit without weapons then glue the weapon to the model from within darkbasic. I can't do this because the weapon animates as well (rotates in the hand, and flys out of the hand when the unit gets killed etc.). That'd be too fiddly.

Thing I thought MIGHT be possible:
I thought maybe if I loaded in each unit model into db and then attached the animations of the machine gun soldier to each different unit, it might animate the unit correctly. E.g. I load in the shotgun soldier, then append the machine gun animations to the shotgun soldier, and hopefully the movements in those animations will translate properly to the shotgun soldier. If was to do this, does anyone think it'd animate properly?

My second option is to import the guns into the animations in my modelling package, and swap the machine gun for the shotgun (for example) and adjust each animation slightly then save it. My only problem here is that the gun won't be placed exactly in each animation, and seeing as I have to reset the guns rotation point each time I import it into a new animation, these rotation points will be different. Will that cause problems?

My final option is to totally remodel every animation for each unit. This will be a huge time drain (especially when I then do the same for enemy units, although these will be different monster/alien models, so that might be ok). This will also allow me to reskin models and make slight changes for more interest, but it'll take A LOT of work.

Anyway, I'm not sure if any of you can help here or want to help .. hehe .. but any ideas, thoughts or suggestions would be great.

Cheers.
Machine: P4 2200, 512MB, GeForce4 64MB, Audigy Platinum

There's a junglist inside every coder. http://www.kontact-kru.com for my own personal breakbeat terrorism.
randi
17
Years of Service
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Joined: 27th Aug 2002
Location: United States
Posted: 6th Sep 2002 21:31
Could you just have the soldier model holding all the weapons; then just hide all the ones you don't need for that particular soldier?

Just a thought.

Fallout
17
Years of Service
User Offline
Joined: 1st Sep 2002
Location: Basingstoke, England
Posted: 6th Sep 2002 23:53
Can you hide individual limbs on objects? And would that have any impact on speed?

Machine: P4 2200, 512MB, GeForce4 64MB, Audigy Platinum

There's a junglist inside every coder. http://www.kontact-kru.com for my own personal breakbeat terrorism.
randi
17
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Joined: 27th Aug 2002
Location: United States
Posted: 7th Sep 2002 00:06
"Can you hide individual limbs on objects?"

You can on DB classic.
And I don't think it affects the speed, since it's not on the screen. But, honestly I don't know.
Fallout
17
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Joined: 1st Sep 2002
Location: Basingstoke, England
Posted: 7th Sep 2002 03:26
It's actually not a bad idea mate. I'll think about it, because that means for most animations I'd only need 1 single model. I could load the same model for every unit and then simply hide the guns it wasn't using. Might be a bit fiddly and messy, but could be worth a try.

cheers mate.

Machine: P4 2200, 512MB, GeForce4 64MB, Audigy Platinum

There's a junglist inside every coder. http://www.kontact-kru.com for my own personal breakbeat terrorism.
Steverino
17
Years of Service
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Joined: 27th Aug 2002
Location: United States
Posted: 7th Sep 2002 16:16
randi's idea should work well. That's how I do lip sync -- the model has 7 face-limbs but only one shows at a time. It looks a little funny in your modeling software, but it works and it's fast.

Writing toy for surrealists -- http://www.iconpoet.com

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