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Animation - explanation of the magic behind

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2 hours ago, kot1k said:

Hey, guys. Many thanks to @smookie for his efforts explaining this all.

 

My question is not about scripting animations in, but about producing animations themselve, for Arma specifically. As I know that @smookie did it initially on his own for his addon. Any experience he (or somebody else) could share with us? Specifically, whether it's possible to create some simplistic animations at home, with inexpensive equipment, or perhaps without equipment at all? Let's suppose we don't care much about resulting quality, whether it will look awkward or something; we are fine with some crude, schematic animations, the main criteria is it to be as easy to produce as possible. What needs to be done to receive a final Arma animation file with ".rtm" extension? What is the format of this file, how to produce it? Is it some kind of standard file format to store motion capture data? Is it possible to get motion capture data from some other game, or from some kind of generic motion capture collection library and re-purpose it to use in Arma? How it's done?

 

For example, here are libraries like this http://mocap.cs.cmu.edu/motcat.php or this http://mocapdata.com/

Is it possible to somehow turn those MOCAP files into Arma's animations easily, and how it's done? In particular, none of those files have ".rtm" extension. Will they need to be converted to be compatible with Arma engine? What tool is used for this? How can one make sure those animations will fit Arma's models, and if they don't, how can they be easily modified so they start to fit?

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I think treat is dead cuz Smookie not working in BIS anymore...

Moderators should assign another guy here...

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@kot1k 

For starters im not much familar with mocap but I have done quite a bit of animating for Arma and can tell you there is no quick/easy solutions for what you want.

 

Armas man character uses specific skeleton and any animation made for it need to have the same bone structure and shape for it to work correctly. There are examples of the skeleton in Arma Samples and there is also Macsers Armarig for Blender that many, myself included, use for animation making. Mocap is not really a necessity but if available can be helpful. 

As said I use Blender for my work and there are plentiful of tutorials out there on how animations are done in it and I believe just about any software can be used as long as it can export formats compatible with Armas Object Builder Import. Blender has an addon called FHQ toolbox that can also export directly to .RTM and it has been very useful.

 

Now I dont know if youre familiar how skeletal animation works (sounds a bit like not) and if not, I would start there to understand the technology and what it requires and with that figure out how to transfer mocap data to Arma skeleton. 

 

For simple moves Id say animating them by hand may well be much easier than dealing with mocap data transfer.

 

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@HorribeGoat

 

Thanks a lot for the tips, that indeed looks like a good start. May be you could personally recommend a couple of youtube tutorials on Blender you think are the best for the task? Same thing regarding skeleton animation - any really good articles you could share?

 

I also have more Arma-related question, so may be a bit too far-reaching for a newbie :) Just trying to get some basic evaluation of what I would need to overcome to implement my idea, and whether it's worth it.

 

I need 2 players (in MP) participating in an interaction governed by the new mechanics I'm planning to add to move simultaneously, in sync, otherwise it will look awkward. I.e. their avatars need to start playing some animations at the same time, and other observers happen to be looking at them should also see them doing it in sync. I think there may be significant issues, as I'm not sure you can ensure enough control over such thing with addon scripting in a distributed network setup, with possibly dozens of players around. Do you think it's possible to implement at all? I don't know how such things are handled by Arma's engine. Can you somehow combat network latency in addon scripts? Seems like you need more low-level access to properly control this.

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you don't necessarily need to have mocap data to make animations, these can be done using keyframe setup just as well, using your favorite 3d package (be it max, maya, blender etc)

alwaren's blender's tools pack is able to export rtm directly: http://www.armaholic.com/page.php?id=20519

toadie did some max tutorials for getting anims to work: http://credmo.updatedtuesdays.com/tier1/products/support-products/3ds-max-animation-rig-v2/

 

 

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Dont really have any special tutorials or articles in mind. But they should be easy enough to find. You should probably pick what program you want to use first.

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On 7/3/2017 at 3:37 AM, HorribleGoat said:

...I have done quite a bit of animating for Arma...

@HorribleGoat: Maybe you can help me. I created a pose, saved, and exited - but no export to RTM. It took me three hours to make it, and when I reopened it I realized I had forgotten to start a new keyframe, so the T-pose was gone. Now, I'm racking my brain trying to figure out how to integrate the new pose with a T-pose, or vice versa. The hard solution is to start from scratch and do it all over in a new frame this time, but is there a way to copy/import?

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Exporting from what though? Could you provide a little more information on what it is you're doing?

 

The T-pose, or rest pose, is never gone. It's the base pose present in the model. If all animations are removed the model will always return to the rest pose. Unless something went wrong with the mesh, or bones.

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What Macser there said. If youre using Blender (as that is what Im familiar with) you can reset all pose transformations from pose - clear transforms. Or you can clear all frames, copy the pose to clipboard and undo the keyframe clear and paste the pose back. or perhaps make a new action for and copy the pose from there to the one you have now.

 

Familiarizing yourself with whatever program you use is the key to success. For Blender there are huge amount of info on basic and advanced animating all over the web.

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Hey folks, I'm trying to make the animations in arma feel less clunky. I managed to reduce the "stiffness of the movement controls by reducing the minPlayTime to 0 and allowing for steps blending. Now you don't feel like steering a robot when you want to change directions.

However, one of the things I'm unable to get rid of the very noticeable jerk when switching from left to right (and back) movement. In this case arma goes like this: left> stopped > right. The Stopped animations causes very sudden jerk with dosen't feel good to control, I want to get rid of it.

 

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On 9/28/2017 at 12:37 AM, Macser said:

Exporting from what though? Could you provide a little more information on what it is you're doing?

 

The T-pose, or rest pose, is never gone. It's the base pose present in the model. If all animations are removed the model will always return to the rest pose. Unless something went wrong with the mesh, or bones.

 

On 9/28/2017 at 12:51 AM, HorribleGoat said:

What Macser there said. If youre using Blender (as that is what Im familiar with) you can reset all pose transformations from pose - clear transforms. Or you can clear all frames, copy the pose to clipboard and undo the keyframe clear and paste the pose back. or perhaps make a new action for and copy the pose from there to the one you have now.

 

Familiarizing yourself with whatever program you use is the key to success. For Blender there are huge amount of info on basic and advanced animating all over the web.

I didn't get notifications for your replies, guys, so forgive me for the delayed response.  I'm creating crew animations with 3DS Max 2010 for my custom vehicles, using the BIS sample models. I never figured it out, so I have been doing all static crew animations through OB. In OB I can just make a pose in a new frame (to preserve T-pose in original frame), duplicate that into another new frame, and then export as RTM. In 3Ds Max, adjusting the biped is way easier, but the details of exporting from Max and properly importing into OB elude me.

Also, I'm now experiencing a setback after switching from Addon Builder to pboProject. I cannot include RTMs in my vehicle PBOs anymore. Mikero says it's because binarize cannot handle more than one type of skeleton per pbo, and the vehicle skeleton is the primary. Trying to find solutions to this is what led me back to this thread.

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I was wondering if you could answer me and shed some light for me, is there any place for me to find a complete tutorial on how to do animations? Do I have to set it up somewhere first? Like a tool? And create a file, or is all done trough scripting? I'm completely new to this and would like to learn, but have no clue where or how to search, already searched a lot and only found things to use in 3den

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2 minutes ago, Eduardo Argimon said:

I was wondering if you could answer me and shed some light for me, is there any place for me to find a complete tutorial on how to do animations? Do I have to set it up somewhere first? Like a tool? And create a file, or is all done trough scripting? I'm completely new to this and would like to learn, but have no clue where or how to search, already searched a lot and only found things to use in 3den


Unfortunately there is no such full step by step turorial.  

It is little unclear what kind of animations you mean to do as there are multiple different ways to animate stuff in Arma

 

You can have character movement animations (which are mostly the topic of this thread) These are in .RTM format (armas animation format) and are basically your default skeletal animations you see in all games

Branching off the above there are static poses, gestures and weapon animations that to put it simple overlay the character movement animations 

 

All of the above need the character animation file made with appropriate skeleton model and also configs for the animations to run in game.

 

Then there are the vehicle/static object animations that are driven by the model.cfg and the skeleton and animation classes that are defined within it.

And here we probably are already way over your head. I'll take a leap of faith and assume you are talking about character animations so to begin with you should learn about generic character animating to understand the technique and how different tools work and what suits you and what you want to learn to use. Then when you understand how skeletal animations work you can start digging into what special quirks Arma has for those.

Blender for example offers quite nice animation suite along the 3D modeling tools and its free and there are some nice Arma related community made plugins for it. IMO it is easiest to start with if you dont really know anything.
 

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6 hours ago, HorribleGoat said:


Unfortunately there is no such full step by step turorial.  

It is little unclear what kind of animations you mean to do as there are multiple different ways to animate stuff in Arma

 

You can have character movement animations (which are mostly the topic of this thread) These are in .RTM format (armas animation format) and are basically your default skeletal animations you see in all games

Branching off the above there are static poses, gestures and weapon animations that to put it simple overlay the character movement animations 

 

All of the above need the character animation file made with appropriate skeleton model and also configs for the animations to run in game.

 

Then there are the vehicle/static object animations that are driven by the model.cfg and the skeleton and animation classes that are defined within it.

And here we probably are already way over your head. I'll take a leap of faith and assume you are talking about character animations so to begin with you should learn about generic character animating to understand the technique and how different tools work and what suits you and what you want to learn to use. Then when you understand how skeletal animations work you can start digging into what special quirks Arma has for those.

Blender for example offers quite nice animation suite along the 3D modeling tools and its free and there are some nice Arma related community made plugins for it. IMO it is easiest to start with if you dont really know anything.
 

Thank you

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So I was wondering if someone in thi

On 7/20/2018 at 10:04 PM, HorribleGoat said:

Then there are the vehicle/static object animations that are driven by the model.cfg and the skeleton and animation classes that are defined within it.

I was wondering if you could help me with animation issues related to porting the F-35B from Arma 2...

as you can see on this thread:

I have the basic port working... with a vehicle that has VTOL capabilities, a targetting camera, sensors (although they're a bit screwed up for now), and a targetting camera... none of the animations of note work except the artificial horizon in the cockpit. (also since that post, I've added a physX LOD in the model file, and mostly fixed the landing gear issues)

How does one get the already made animations from Arma 2 files to work in Arma 3?

 

It seems just including the old model.cfg from Arma2/Arma 2 samples doesn't work.

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10 hours ago, Ex3B said:

So I was wondering if someone in thi

I was wondering if you could help me with animation issues related to porting the F-35B from Arma 2...

as you can see on this thread:

I have the basic port working... with a vehicle that has VTOL capabilities, a targetting camera, sensors (although they're a bit screwed up for now), and a targetting camera... none of the animations of note work except the artificial horizon in the cockpit. (also since that post, I've added a physX LOD in the model file, and mostly fixed the landing gear issues)

How does one get the already made animations from Arma 2 files to work in Arma 3?

 

It seems just including the old model.cfg from Arma2/Arma 2 samples doesn't work.


Well you can jump into the Arma discord channel and drop question there. 

Also you should compare your set up with the Arma 3 samples plane.

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I'll try the discord later after work... but I basically started directly using the Arma 3 samples plane, just changing the faction to Blu_F and the crew to B_Fighter_Pilot_F (also changed the weapons to just CMFlareLauncher, gatling_25mm, and Laserdesignator_pilotCamera ... pylons to be added later)

Then I added points to the model and stuff to the config to allow a targeting camera to work, and tweaked the geometry a little (added a physX LOD)

I put in the file paths for the textures and rvmats (and pathed to some Arma 3 equivalents that I couldn't find in the Arma 2 samples)

I even kept the same folder structure in the addon (CA\Air2\F35B etc).

I initially didn't touch the animations, and only some stuff in the cockpit worked. So far every attempt to modify the model file has just not worked, or broken the cokcpit displays that were working... so it seems there's something not quite right about the samples...

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