In the process of testing another mod I noticed that Lounge Chairs tend to get ignored as suitable chairs for reading a book or newspaper, or eating (when no dining table to sit at) - and probably other actions that haven't occurred to me just now.
I dug into this and noticed that Maxis had deliberately coded something that always returned FALSE in the Guardian BHAV for the OBJf Function for sit, so anything that runs the check tree for Run Functional Tree will be told the chair is not suitable. I changed this to use the usual TEST function that all other chair types used and fixed (it was nearly correct) that Chair Globals function so that Lounge Chairs are now used for the afore-mentioned sitting tasks.
Having done that and seen the animations in the game, I now believe that Maxis deliberately disabled this because the animations were not perfect, cheaper than fixing the animations I suspect!
You can see for yourself what the animations look like by clicking on the picture below. The mini-movie contains four different situations:
Watching the TV (this is exposed in the game without my changes)
Reading a book (exposed by my changes)
Reading a newpaper (exposed by my changes)
Eating a sandwich (exposed by my changes)
Now I have done a little playing with animations - have run through the tutorial to make my first animation from Echo and then have gone on to animate a Sim making instant coffee (!!! - my meshing is bad though so never got around to uploading it). What I don't know how to do though is fix pre-existing animations. I had a read of some (quite old) threads and they seemed to suggest that you couldn't, but they may be out-of-date?
So my question is, are there any pointers you can give me to fix these odd looking animations that Maxis decided not to use.
Or indeed, if there is anyone out there who is a whizz with animations who thinks this would be real easy to fix, I'd be happy to collaborate to get this out for all to use.
You can get the original animations and modify them by hand in SimPE. That involves manually tweaking coordinates, which is a whole lot harder than animating in an actual editor though. Wes also put together a tool which exported anim files into an intermediate text-based file format, which would be a little bit easier to edit, but you're still pretty much dependent on hand-manipulating numbers.
There are tools which can load an anim file into milkshape, but they only work on certain types of animations. If they're overlays, or otherwise intended to play at the same time as secondary animations, they're pretty likely to either glitch or refuse to import at all.
I have something in mind to do to animations in the future and that is to flip them left-to-right. Is that sort of tweak possible with this hand editing in SimPE and can you point me at any details that anyone has written down about that?
I know nothing about sim2 animations, but it looks like the animations for loungers are from the bed, or copy/edits of the bed animations (reading, daydream, talking etc).
Did you notice in the last section of your movie that the female sims animations for watching tv did not have the back-of-chair bleedthrough that your male sim had when performing that action?
Could you check whether female/male sims have separate animation and compare them if so?
Flipping an animation would be better suited to an export-to-text transform, but there's a *much* easier option. Have a look at the "Animate Sim" page on the wiki: http://www.simswiki.info/wiki.php?title=0x006A
Specifically, Operand 3, "Flipped" option. If that's true, it'll flip left-to-right whatever animation you pass in.