MirceaKitsune Posted July 13, 2020 Report Share Posted July 13, 2020 (edited) Several days ago I was thrilled to hear that TDM 2.08 contains several new characters along with other fantastic improvements. Seeing how much work had been done on this release gave me a motivational boost to try contributing something myself, especially having worked on porting human(oid) characters to TDM in the past... this time I wanted to submit something that can hopefully be included in vanilla TDM perhaps with 2.09. As I was testing the new release I remembered an old submission on Blendswap called BGE Dragon, featuring a polished quality dragon for the now defunct Blender Game Engine, notable for the fact that it comes with animations for walking / running which makes working with it easier as you don't have to make those yourself. I always felt dragons would fit the theme of TDM wonderfully and allow for some amazing missions, to be fair suggesting them had long been on my mind... remembering how easy it was to work with this one, I figured I'd do the groundwork and instead submit a blend that contains everything needed to port it to The Dark Mod. I'm happy to announce I now have such a blend available! The first thing was the polygon count; The original mesh is pretty high poly, clocking at about 30,000 polys which may be too much for TDM on most people's devices. I played with mesh decimation then did some manual corrections, managing to retain acceptable quality while generating models with okay polygon counts: lod0 = 9.306, lod1 = 6.009, lod2 = 3.218, shadow = 2.265. The original quality mesh is still included in the blend file, so if we need to re-generate any LOD version this can be easily done at any time. Next I worked on separating the armature into two objects, based on the example for the human model I built my previous characters upon: The real armature that deforms the model and is used to export animations, with a control armature driving its bones that's only used to design said animations inside Blender. As the control armature uses a complex IK setup for bones this took some toying with, but in the end I could generate a simple armature which will hopefully work in exporting the md5anim set. Speaking of animations I made sure those are also covered. For the endlessly looping walk and run animations I added markers that identify the frames between which they must be exported to get a seamless loop. I next turned the idle animation into a randomly occurring gesture, then proceeded to animate everything else from scratch to obtain: Walk Run Idle (with two random gestures, stretching / pacing and looking around) Sit (with "lay down", "stand up", "idle" animations) (seamlessly connects to "idle") Sleep (with "lay down", "stand up", "idle" animations) (seamlessly connects to "idle") Attack (two types, bite and slash) (seamlessly connects to "idle") Die (brief animation at the end of which the ragdoll system is supposed to take over) An example gif of the idle gesture from the Blendswap submission, converted to and intended as a random occurrence in-game: From here on I need your help and am calling on the artists who helped create the new monsters (eg: Manbeast) to aid in making this come true as well! I've done most of the work as far as the model goes, putting aside any tweaks that might be needed (eg: model scale and animation length). I'm also going to work on the texture next to produce the proper maps... my target is to have 4 different skins / colors in total. I also believe I can produce the sounds having already found promising submissions to start from on OpenGameArt. But before putting more work into this, I wish to be sure someone can help with the remaining steps so we can get the model in the game. What I need from fellow developers should be: A new AI type for the dragon. Note that it's not intended to fly, especially not in its initial implementation; Later on we may add a fly animation and data to the AI for knowing how to use it... for now I only care to have it work like the spider, wandering around and attacking if it sees a hostile entity. This should thus be easy if we can copy another monster's code. Exporting the assets from Blender to TDM, particularly the model and animations. As I don't have an AI nor a test case handy nor ever worked with exporting TDM animations or models for non-human characters, I need someone else to generate and test the mesh files. First the md5 mesh for each LOD, everything is included in the blend even the low-poly shadow mesh... afterward the armature actions for it need to be exported to md5anim files. Lastly the defs need to be written, along with any other step I may have missed to make the character actually work. I should be able to do the material based on my previous examples once I finish the textures, so don't worry about that part... please just make sure the materials in the exported md5mesh have the same name as the material names in Blender. Download blend version 0.5 I look forward to hearing your thoughts! If any developers or experienced contributors confirm they can take care of the integration, I can get started on the remaining assets soon Edited July 18, 2020 by MirceaKitsune Updated blend to 0.5 4 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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