Hero Animation Tools

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==Overview==
 
==Overview==
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[[File:AnimationTools.png|right]]
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The HeroEngine Animation Tool for 3ds Max provides tools to help keep track of and manage any number of animation sequences in a single Max file. There is currently no equivalent tool for Maya.
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'''NOTE'''
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As of the 2012.2 HeroEngine Art Pipeline, the tool has been updated to function in Max 2012.  A change in the way Max utilizes custom file properties in 2012 broke the tool.  Significant changes have been made to fix this issue, requiring old sequences to be updated to the new format.  A new button has been included to attempt to automatically update old sequences to new ones.  It is recommended that you back up your 3ds Max scene file before attempting this.
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Normally, 3ds Max allows for only a single animation in a given Max file.
 
Normally, 3ds Max allows for only a single animation in a given Max file.
This can be very inconvenient, especially as you try and maintain consistency or manage skeletal changes.
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This can be very inconvenient, especially as you try and maintain consistency or manage skeletal changes across a large number of separate scene files.
 
The "'''Animation Tools'''" window, however, lets you keep track of any number of animations in a single Max file.
 
The "'''Animation Tools'''" window, however, lets you keep track of any number of animations in a single Max file.
 
An example of this would be instead of having 30 attack animation files to manage and merge back and forth,
 
An example of this would be instead of having 30 attack animation files to manage and merge back and forth,
 
we now have one file with 30 sequences.
 
we now have one file with 30 sequences.
These Sequences can be batch exported as well, making the tool that much more powerful.
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Sequences are stored in the custom file properties with the scene.
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These Sequences can be batch exported as well, making the tool that much more powerful. Sequence information is stored in the custom file properties with the scene. Animation tags are also used as a secondary convenience for navigating the time line.
Animation tags are also used as a secondary convenience for navigating the time line.
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Internally each sequence is just a range of keys in the animation timeline.
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This tool does not block you from overlapping animations and mixing up your keyframes.
So there is still, really, only one animation in the file.
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But by using this tool, the [[keyframe]] ranges can be managed and exported as separate animations.
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This tool is not blocking you from overlapping animations and mixing up your keyframes.
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So as a user you must stay conscious of where each sequence is it.
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A lot has been done to give you that information, but the tool '''will not''' stop you from poor organization.
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In our pipeline, we use this tool to break down all like animation sets into files.
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For example, all the following sets will have their own max file:
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all normal turns, all combat turns, all normal idles, combat idles, all attacks, all spell cast, all locomotion, and
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any special animations such falls, impact, etc, will typically go together.
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So we are reducing the need to have 60+ animation files down to about 8 on an average character.
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You can organize things however fits your pipeline.  '''Be aware''' that some tools in max, such as certain IK chains,
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start to break down after so many frames.  Please reference MAXScript help for any of max's shortcomings in frame length.
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Animation Tools itself, does not care how many frames your file is however.
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* This tool is a little quirky, and some bugs are still being ironed out.
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So it is recommended that you experiment with it and understand it well before you go full on with it.
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[[Image:AnimationTools v89.png|right]]
 
[[Image:AnimationTools v89.png|right]]
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=====Animation Notes=====
 
=====Animation Notes=====
 
{{seealso|Animation Notes}}
 
{{seealso|Animation Notes}}
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'''Update:''' We strongly recommend using the tools provided in HeroBlade to add animation notes and not the much older tool provided here.
 
This section is used for managing the animation notes on a character in a given scene.  There is no need to create a note track on the character.  The tool will add one automatically if one is not present, or use the current one if one is present.  When a file is loaded the Note List scans the Note track and adds any unique notes to the list to be used later.
 
This section is used for managing the animation notes on a character in a given scene.  There is no need to create a note track on the character.  The tool will add one automatically if one is not present, or use the current one if one is present.  When a file is loaded the Note List scans the Note track and adds any unique notes to the list to be used later.
  
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* "<<" and ">>" Go to buttons move the frame slider to the previous or next frame, respectively.
 
* "<<" and ">>" Go to buttons move the frame slider to the previous or next frame, respectively.
  
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===== Export =====
  
=====Export=====
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[[Image:BatchExport Anims v89.png|BatchExport Anims v89.png]]  
[[Image:BatchExport Anims v89.png|right]]
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* "Export Multiple" Brings up a dialog to select and export multiple animations(seen to the left). Simply choose a directory and press the export button, then each animation will be exported with correct compression and frame length.  The name of the exported .gr2 file will be the same as the sequence name.
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* "Reload Sequences" manually reloads the sequence list
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* "Load from Tags" is used for converting tags to sequences. if you have a tag named "test_butter" then the tool will look for the next tag and ask it of it is named "end", if it is then it will use the "test_butter" as frame start and "end" as frame end. This one is a little quirky and we only used for converting older files to use this tool.  You really don't need tags at all and may potentially be removed in the future depending on how useful people find it.
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*"Export Multiple" Brings up a dialog to select and export multiple animations(seen to the left). Simply choose a directory and press the export button, then each animation will be exported with correct compression and frame length. The name of the exported file will be the same as the sequence name.
  
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*"Reload Sequences" manually reloads the sequence list
  
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*"Load from Tags" is used for converting tags to sequences. if you have a tag named "test_butter" then the tool will look for the next tag and ask it of it is named "end", if it is then it will use the "test_butter" as frame start and "end" as frame end. This one is a little quirky and we only used for converting older files to use this tool. <br>
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==

Latest revision as of 16:35, 16 March 2015

Icon 3dsMax.png

Contents


This Additional Tool for 3ds Max is provided as a bonus to help automate and simplify the operations within 3ds Max as they apply to HeroEngine.

Overview

AnimationTools.png

The HeroEngine Animation Tool for 3ds Max provides tools to help keep track of and manage any number of animation sequences in a single Max file. There is currently no equivalent tool for Maya.

NOTE As of the 2012.2 HeroEngine Art Pipeline, the tool has been updated to function in Max 2012. A change in the way Max utilizes custom file properties in 2012 broke the tool. Significant changes have been made to fix this issue, requiring old sequences to be updated to the new format. A new button has been included to attempt to automatically update old sequences to new ones. It is recommended that you back up your 3ds Max scene file before attempting this.


Normally, 3ds Max allows for only a single animation in a given Max file. This can be very inconvenient, especially as you try and maintain consistency or manage skeletal changes across a large number of separate scene files. The "Animation Tools" window, however, lets you keep track of any number of animations in a single Max file. An example of this would be instead of having 30 attack animation files to manage and merge back and forth, we now have one file with 30 sequences.

These Sequences can be batch exported as well, making the tool that much more powerful. Sequence information is stored in the custom file properties with the scene. Animation tags are also used as a secondary convenience for navigating the time line.

This tool does not block you from overlapping animations and mixing up your keyframes.


AnimationTools v89.png


Sequences


Frame Range


Animation Compression


Animation Notes
See also: Animation Notes
Update: We strongly recommend using the tools provided in HeroBlade to add animation notes and not the much older tool provided here.

This section is used for managing the animation notes on a character in a given scene. There is no need to create a note track on the character. The tool will add one automatically if one is not present, or use the current one if one is present. When a file is loaded the Note List scans the Note track and adds any unique notes to the list to be used later.

Export

BatchExport Anims v89.png

See also

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