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Animator Application: Solis


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I was googling around, to see how the new teaser had been recieved, when I came accross a thread in the Nvnews forums. I contacted Solis and told him to drop by for a chat.

 

Hello there. This is Edge from the Nvnews forum. I got your message, and I have to say I'm very interested. As you can tell by my posts I've been looking forward to The Dark Mod since I first heard about it, and lately I've actually been considering getting back into mod work. Previously I worked on the now-defunct Resident Evil: The Escape (a Half-life 1 mod) as lead animator, and I've been doing 3d animation recreationally for about 6 years now. While I don't have much to show at the moment (I'm trying to find the mdl files of the models I animated for the RE-TE mod), I've attached a zip of a few of the videos I've made along the way. I made all the art assets used in them, but I try to focus on animation as I've found this is where I usually do best in. Sorry that the videos don't show much in the way of character animation, unfortunately organic creatures are not something I can model particularly well so I ended up mostly sticking to mechanical stuff and landscapes.

 

I primarily use Lightwave for prerendered animations, and I used Milkshape extensively when I worked on the Half-life mod. I'm actually not sure what software is used to animate Doom 3 models, unless they use a plugin from 3dsmax or Maya like Source does. In any case, I should be able to learn it pretty quick, so if you can let me know what software is needed for it and show me those tutorials you mentioned, I shouldn't have much trouble.

 

Let me know what you think, and if I find my old RE-TE animations, I'll send them later. Thanks for the invitation, I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Edge (or Solis, I found Edge wasn't very unique...)

 

Animations

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Those are pretty useless for a judging process, only two are character animations, and those are a robot taking a step.

He says he can't do character animation, but that's exactly what's needed here.

Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

character models site

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We're not exactly in a position to be picky about our animators.

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Those are pretty useless for a judging process, only two are character animations, and those are a robot taking a step.

He says he can't do character animation, but that's exactly what's needed here.

 

He said

Sorry that the videos don't show much in the way of character animation, unfortunately organic creatures are not something I can model particularly well so I ended up mostly sticking to mechanical stuff and landscapes.

 

At any rate, we'll hand out an assignment for the application process and see how things turn out.

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Solis. It's looking like we will probably get you to take our Noblewoman model, do some base animations for it and then get it exported to MD5. Domarius is heading up our animation department, so feel free to ask him any questions you might have.

 

We'll get the appropriate files rounded up for you.

 

I know you were saying you had the education edition of Maya, but I'm not sure if that works with the exporter. I have version 7 kicking around, so I don't mind 'loaning' it to you. :) The md5 export dll is supposed to work with Maya 7 now.

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Hello everyone. Well, I'm not really sure what else I need to say, but either way, I look forward to helping with this mod. It's been a while since I've done animations for a game engine, but I think that's one of the quicker things to learn, so with any luck I'll be able to get some stuff done pretty soon as soon as I have the necessary software and models. Oh, and sorry, for some reason I completely forgot to include 2 character animations with my original file. If you still want to see them, you can download them here: http://www.sendspace.com/file/0ddukn

 

I do have a few questions though. Is it possible to use Milkshape for animations in the Doom 3 engine? It's simplistic, but you can get smaller animations done pretty fast with it. Also, would the characters need to be boned and rigged, or have most of the models already had that done (including the Noblewoman model I'll probably be animating to start with)? Oh, and do you have a defined list of what characters and animations will need to be finished?

 

In any case, just let me know what needs to be done and I'll see what I can do.

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You should get set up as a contributor today, so you'll be able to see the animation forums.

 

I'm pretty sure the noblewoman is rigged already, because there have even been some motionbuilder files made for it.

 

What we'd like to start is if you could make our "level 1" animations for that model. That would include:

 

 

[*]Idle (standing casually)

[*]Walking (a leisurely stroll down a mansion hallway)

[*]Running (Something's wrong, I must get help!)

[*]Searching (Did I hear something in the darkness? Peering and walking slowly around, looking for something)

 

Some of these may already exist in .fbx or .mb format.

 

Is there an address I could send the files to?

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I've sent you a PM with my email address, you can send any files I need there (assuming they don't go over the 10mb email attachment limit). I should have Maya by later today, so I'll give the model files a look a bit later and see what I can do with them. I'll check out the animation forum once I have access and post my questions and updates there.

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I've sent you a PM with my email address, you can send any files I need there (assuming they don't go over the 10mb email attachment limit). I should have Maya by later today, so I'll give the model files a look a bit later and see what I can do with them. I'll check out the animation forum once I have access and post my questions and updates there.

 

I've been told that Maya 6 or 7 should work fine with the md5 exported. I'll see if BlackThief can post a link to the new exporter for version 7.

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NH, can you handle changing his status? I don't want to mess up the permissions. :)

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Email sent. As I explained in the email, I'm not 100% sure which files you need, so if what I've sent isn't enough let me know.

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Thanks, I got it. I was able to take a look at it in Maya, although for some reason the animation files were giving errors when they were imported (the animations themselves worked though). However it looks like I have what I need to make animations. It might take me a while to digest all this though, Maya looks a bit more complicated now than when I first used it a few years ago. But I'll take a look at some tutorials and see what I can do.

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@Modeling Team:

Btw, we should probably decide for sure if we're going to cut the noblewoman's head off to allow for interchangable heads. If we don't do it now and decide to do it later, that could mean all the animations would have to be redone, right? Also, what about the missing legs under the dress? These will almost certainly look bad when she goes into ragdoll mode. Just trying to think of things we should settle early on so our animators don't have to redo their work.

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Bah. Sorry, Solis. I don't know if you can see the modeling and animations forums yet, but we're hashing the above issues out right now. It looks like the noblewoman isn't quite ready to go after all. I hope you haven't done too much with her yet. :blush:

 

I just have to get confirmation about something and then I'll send you an alternate task.

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Btw, we should probably decide for sure if we're going to cut the noblewoman's head off to allow for interchangable heads.

 

We don't actually have to cut them off. We can add several heads to the one model all bound to the same bones. Then we have skins where all but one head are set as nodraw. Though it might be easier to have interchangeable heads, but that means more entity spots being used.

 

This is how ID did it though, they have several heads in the one mesh.

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Bah. Sorry, Solis. I don't know if you can see the modeling and animations forums yet, but we're hashing the above issues out right now. It looks like the noblewoman isn't quite ready to go after all. I hope you haven't done too much with her yet. :blush:

 

I just have to get confirmation about something and then I'll send you an alternate task.

 

Oh OK, I was wondering why the other forums weren't showing up before. No big deal though, I get them now, thanks New Horizon.

 

And that's no problem, I haven't done much with the Noblewoman yet, just testing things right now as I learn how the animation system works. The walk cycle that was included with the noblewoman was quite good though, it's a pretty nice example to look at. Although if the Noblewoman can be animated without having to worry about the animations being scrapped later, I can just continue working on that. As long as the rig stays the same, the animations should still work even if the model itself is changed.

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We're going to be adding feet to her, so I don't know how that will affect the rigging.

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This is how ID did it though, they have several heads in the one mesh.

 

Are you sure about that? When I import most of the ai models, they don't have a head attached, and there's no "no draw" command anywhere in the def file. Rather, the def command seems to select a particular head.

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Ok, while we sort things out with the noblewoman, here's a different task for you. :)

 

I don't know if you're familiar with Thief, but it's common for the player to escape to areas that the AI can't reach (climbing up a rope, mantling onto a ledge, etc). In those games, unless there was an archer handy, the AI were out of luck and just shook their fists. In TDM, they will be able to throw generic objects at the player, doing small amounts of damage and encouraging them to move.

 

The AI won't actually be picking these objects up from the map--the objects will spawn as they throw them, and will be generic things the AI might have been carrying (a bottle, an apple, etc.). What we need is a generic throwing animation that could be used for these objects.

 

It would have to be something that looks believable for throwing a wide variety of small objects.

 

If you can apply this to the Builder Guard, that would be great. We should be able to apply the same animation to the rest of our guard types rather easily.

 

I'll send you the md5mesh.

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OK, sounds simple enough. Would they be grabbing from an illusionary bag to "retrieve" the objects they throw? Also, is there a place I can get Motion Builder from (even learning edition if it will work for this)? I think that will be easier to use than directly in Maya from what I've seen, not to mention the video tutorial helps.

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