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Interstellar Traveler
Original Poster
#1 Old 14th Jun 2011 at 4:46 AM Last edited by SIMul8rReviews : 27th Jun 2012 at 5:39 PM. Reason: Updated
Default Tutorial: Making an Animation Sequence "Custom Animation" For Cmo's Animation/Pose Player
This Tutorial Will Cover The Following...
  • How to make custom animations
  • How to use the animator and keyframes in milkshape

This Tutorial Will NOT Cover The Following...
  • How to mesh? wtf?
  • How to use milkshape
  • How to use S3PE

If you are wondering, because of my computer's UI. It is not a MAC, it's Windows.. I just have a custom MAC OS X theme installed on there

What you need: S3PE http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=362412
Milkshape (Recommended) or any other 3D editor like Blender
Anim-Tool: http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=375945
An Animation Rig: http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=390523 or female animation rig: http://www.modthesims.info/showthre...22&goto=newpost
Pose Player: http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=438706 (Animation Player also works!) http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=441682

REMINDER:
This is similar to making poses, only this is extended in the animation depth. Having to use more than one frame, and the basics of how to use it.

So...Lets Begin!

Step 1: Exporting!
Okay first, to make this REALLY simple. I've upload the two package files you can choose from to start your animation.
  • a_xevt_701_clip
    this is the, what I like to call "Canvas" skeleton. All of the bones and joints are perfectly straight and stiff.
  • a_idle_JazzUtility
    This is the natural stance that sims will stand in while..well.. standing! I recommend this unless you like your animation to be extremely stiff..

Update, June 21st
Thank you OM for pointing this out. If you plan on using the a_idle_JazzUtility CLIP, there is no need to delete the IK Chains..well.. because they have already been deleted.
If you are taking it out of FullBuild0, you will have to delete the IK Chains in order to have the animation function properly.

-----

Now that you have picked which skeleton you would like, open up the package in S3PE. Right click it and select "Export and Rename".
After that, this window should come up:



Enter a name for your animation similar to this "a_ilovebacon_2"
(Reminder, when renaming this clip.. make sure it always has "a_" at the beginning.)
and then click save.

Step 2: Conversion!
Open Anim-Tool. You should see this:



Click "CLIP -> SMD" and select your exported animation.
A message should then appear wanting a "rigfile"
It should be included with the rig you downloaded. So locate that



and it should be converted

Step 3: Animation Time!
Okay, now open milkshape.
Open the rig you downloaded. Female or Male, it doesn't really matter.
Now, go to Import>Halflife SMD. Located your converted SMD file, and click "Open"

Now that your SMD is imported. Click "Anim" on the lower right corner of milkshape. If you have the canvas skeleton, no changes should really happen to the body. If you have the normal skeleton, the body should now be in the normal pose.

Now, beside the "Anim" button, there are four boxes.. three have numbers in them. We are only having to deal with two though.
These two:

(which of course are the ones highlighted)

These are the Max Frames and the Total Frames
As you can see.. they both say "1".. well.. that needs to change. For an animation, the frames must be more than 1. It can be 2.. but the game would never pick that up.
So first, we must change them.
For a simple animaiton, like scratching or laughing.. I would recommend 100 frames.
For a medium animation, like jumping, talking, running, falling.. I would recommend 300-400 frames.
For a large animation, like a conversation or long dramatic sequences.. I would recommend 700-800 frames.. but this is NOT recommended.

So, once you have decided on how many frames you need. Just simply replace that number with your desired number. REMEMBER! You have to fill in both of the boxes with the same number!

You should now notice a change in the animation time line. WOAHZ!?! SO MANY FRAMES!?
Yeah.. may seem like a lot.. but really it isn't much. Maybe like.. a minute, if you have 800 frames.. well..

BEFORE YOU START THIS, READ ORANGEMITTENS POSE TUTORIAL, TO KNOW HOW JOINTS WORK: http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=438716

Okay. Now, It's not recommended to have your first frame start out in full action.
maybe like.. a half way there? Meaning, you want to start off (if you were to do a falling animation) by someone walking, then tripping, then falling. NOT, Trip.. then fall. That would probably startle some people.

So, once you have decided what the animation should start off like, go to EDIT>SELECT ALL then ANIMATION>SET KEYFRAME. To make sure it was set, click anim.. then click it again. If not, simply undo to get your animation back.

Now, skip about 10-20 keyframes.. depending on how fast or how slow you want the animaiton to be. DO NOT SKIP ONLY 3.. thats like.. unnatural fast.
So, once you found your next keyframe.. make the next stance.
But! not like this. If you were to make a falling animation, you would not want to make the first stance falling, then the second stance, moving the skeleton only 2inches. If you know what I mean.
So, the correct way would be to make the second pose about 5-6 inches from the first stance!
So, after doing the second stance. Do the exact same thing by EDIT>SELECT ALL and ANIMATION>SET KEYFRAME.

Now! here's the awesome part! Go back to the first frame, and click this button:

This is obviosly the play button, and the rest are navigations like "Fast Forward" "Rewind"
But to play your animation, click the highlighted button.
As you can see, the frame identifier.. thing. ( i don't know what to call it x] ) moves very fast. Yep! That's the reason you don't need to make the animation fast.. if you make it too fast, the game will not pick it up.. and your animation will be VERY LAGGY.

So, YAY! You made your first animation......sorta? One movement?
No! You can make as many movements as you want! I think you should know how to make more stances.. its the same procedure we used to make stance 2. So, just repeat it.

After your animation is finished. Go out of animation mode, Go to EXPORT>Halflife SMD. and save over the old SMD file. Save it as a SEQUENCE!!!!!!! OMG! PLEASE DO!!!
TADA! Now you are done animating!

Step 4: RE-Converting!
Okay, more fun stuff!
Open Anim-Tool AGAIN, and this time select SMD -> CLIP and select the SMD you exported from Milkshape.
No close it!

Step 5: The Final Step!
Open a new S3PE project.
Go to Resource>Import>From File.. and select the animation file. NOT THE BACK00 FILES! Those are backup files for if anything goes wrong!
You can use the resource name if you want to, it doesn't effect anything.
Save the package, give it a name.. and now you have made your first custom animation!

So, go into game mode. Buy Pose Player or Animation Player (See Cmo's Animation Player Overview Instructions on how to use it!)

Select "Pose By Name" and type in the animation name you made in Step 1. Now, instantly after you press the check mark.. the animation will play. It will not repeat!

If you use Animation Player, which is recommended if you dont want it to play instantly.
Select "Add to Playlist" and enter the animation name. Nothing will happen. (dont fret!)
So, this will work if you have multiple animations!
Then, of course, select "Play" and the animation will play. You can also select "Play Looped" which will play the playlist looped.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, if you have any questions.. just ask me here
Tutorial by SIMul8rReviews
Screenshots
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: rar a_xevt_701_clip.rar (391 Bytes, 345 downloads) - View custom content
File Type: rar a_idle_JazzUtility.rar (2.5 KB, 479 downloads) - View custom content

Formally SeeMyu | Retired Mod
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Lab Assistant
#2 Old 17th Jun 2011 at 7:00 PM Last edited by alfiemoon : 17th Jun 2011 at 7:05 PM. Reason: fixed
This is just what i've been waiting for! Thank you so much!!!!
Test Subject
#3 Old 21st Jun 2011 at 6:40 PM
I have a little problem with the current animation I'm working on.

Here's the problem :
My sim always "falls halfway down" and then pops into the "casting pose" , instead of "walking" into the casting pose

Here's some screenshots to show you what I mean :
This is when my sim "falls halfway down"


And then , my sim suddenly pops into the "casting pose"


I've made the "walking" animation between the standing pose and casting pose in milkshape, but still, the problem persists.
It seems like all the joints work correctly, except for the arms and legs part.
The arms and legs keep stiff ingame until it pops into the casting pose.

In case you're wondering, I'm using the a_idle_JazzUtility clip, removed the IKChains in S3PE before the exporting progress.
The problem only occurs at the beginning of the animation though.

Any idea ?

PS : Sorry, but I'm not really good at describing things
Interstellar Traveler
Original Poster
#4 Old 21st Jun 2011 at 7:04 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by overlordorochi
I have a little problem with the current animation I'm working on.

Here's the problem :
My sim always "falls halfway down" and then pops into the "casting pose" , instead of "walking" into the casting pose

Here's some screenshots to show you what I mean :
This is when my sim "falls halfway down"


And then , my sim suddenly pops into the "casting pose"


I've made the "walking" animation between the standing pose and casting pose in milkshape, but still, the problem persists.
It seems like all the joints work correctly, except for the arms and legs part.
The arms and legs keep stiff ingame until it pops into the casting pose.

In case you're wondering, I'm using the a_idle_JazzUtility clip, removed the IKChains in S3PE before the exporting progress.
The problem only occurs at the beginning of the animation though.

Any idea ?

PS : Sorry, but I'm not really good at describing things


Hmm, Well I'm not too sure because there are multiple things going on here.
Did you modify an existing animation? did you remember to "Set Keyframe" for each frame you modified?
Did you press "append at end of animation" when importing the SMD file?
I'm not sure what the "falling down" and "casting" poses are supposed to be, so I'm not sure how to help. It would be helpful if you recorded it in game and uploaded it on Image Shack or something so I can know what is really going on

Formally SeeMyu | Retired Mod
Forum Resident
#5 Old 21st Jun 2011 at 7:34 PM
Hi,
I have a couple of questions:

I am making custom animations for an object, where the Sim kneels on a pillow instead of sitting in the chair. I almost have the animation part done, but I want to add the animation to the pillow and not to the animation player. To do this, I was told to follow this tutorial: http://www.modthesims.info/wiki.php..._Object_Modding.
I've never done modding before, so I'm wondering when I do finish all the animations, if I should go ahead and use the tutorial above or wait until the Sims 3 Animator is out. (Sorry if this is beyond the animation tutorial you've provided).

The second question is that I plan to add a custom animation to the mixology bar, and I am wondering if I am able to change the objects that spawn out (like the glasses and blender). If so, would it be part of the animation process in Milkshape, or would it be part of the modding section?


If these questions are in the wrong area, I apologize. I am not really sure if these are considered animation based questions or modding questions.
Interstellar Traveler
Original Poster
#6 Old 21st Jun 2011 at 8:06 PM
Hmm.. im not sure. I think you may want to follow this tutorial to add an animation to it.. but, yet.. the tutorial is outdated so I'm not 100% sure it will work.

And, I'm not too sure if default animation replacements are possible yet.

Formally SeeMyu | Retired Mod
Alchemist
#7 Old 21st Jun 2011 at 9:00 PM
S8R, you may want to consider making the title of your tutorial more specific to what it's actually about...something along the lines of "Making a Sequence Animation for Cmomoney's Animation Player". Otherwise you're going to keep getting questions about how to make custom animated objects/interactions which you're clearly not able to help people with

Also, you have uploaded a copy of the a_idle_JazzUtility that has the IK chains removed but you have not explained that this version is different than the one which comes straight out of the FullBuild, why you altered it in this way, nor how you did so. People aren't going to thank you for this if they decide to branch out to a different CLIP and end up with feet that won't move in the game (or worse) because they don't know that animations made with Milkshape the way you're telling them to make them won't work unless the IK chains are stripped off. Just imo, tutorials should teach people how to do things for themselves...not hand them a file to use that they don't understand.

When telling people to export and rename you should make it clear that if they want to use s3pe's rename function, as you are showing them to, that the name must start with a_ or else it will not be hashed correctly and will not work right in-game.

Lastly, BirdyFly isn't trying to make a default animation replacement, she's trying to make a custom object that has its own custom animation...and this *is* possible at this time.

BirdyFly, Sims 3 Animator isn't going to help you connect your animation to your object. It is a converter to get CLIPS out of the game not a script or JAZZ editor. Regardless of what tool you use to convert CLIPs to an editable format you're still gonna have to code to get the animation to be triggered by the object in game. The tutorial you've linked is a good one to get started learning that process (at least the script part).
Forum Resident
#8 Old 21st Jun 2011 at 9:45 PM
Thanks, OM. I wasn't sure what the Animator was supposed to do. Thank you for clearing that up for me.

What thread should I go to in order to ask questions about changing the object the Sim is holding (referring to the second question with the mixology bar)? Would that also be in the Object Modding tutorial thread by Buzzler, or will I need to make a separate thread for it?
Interstellar Traveler
Original Poster
#9 Old 21st Jun 2011 at 10:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangemittens
S8R, you may want to consider making the title of your tutorial more specific to what it's actually about...something along the lines of "Making a Sequence Animation for Cmomoney's Animation Player". Otherwise you're going to keep getting questions about how to make custom animated objects/interactions which you're clearly not able to help people with

Also, you have uploaded a copy of the a_idle_JazzUtility that has the IK chains removed but you have not explained that this version is different than the one which comes straight out of the FullBuild, why you altered it in this way, nor how you did so. People aren't going to thank you for this if they decide to branch out to a different CLIP and end up with feet that won't move in the game (or worse) because they don't know that animations made with Milkshape the way you're telling them to make them won't work unless the IK chains are stripped off. Just imo, tutorials should teach people how to do things for themselves...not hand them a file to use that they don't understand.

When telling people to export and rename you should make it clear that if they want to use s3pe's rename function, as you are showing them to, that the name must start with a_ or else it will not be hashed correctly and will not work right in-game.

Lastly, BirdyFly isn't trying to make a default animation replacement, she's trying to make a custom object that has its own custom animation...and this *is* possible at this time.


I had no idea that the file didn't have the IK chains.. :/ neither did I know that you have to remove them.
But, I will add that to the tutorial.
Oops, I thought she was wanting to replace the animation for the bar. My bad lol

Formally SeeMyu | Retired Mod
Alchemist
#10 Old 21st Jun 2011 at 10:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simul8rReviews
I had no idea that the file didn't have the IK chains.. :/ neither did I know that you have to remove them.
But, I will add that to the tutorial.
Oops, I thought she was wanting to replace the animation for the bar. My bad lol
It doesn't have them...I just double checked...the original one has 5 so someone removed them from this version.

The IK issue is discussed in my tutorial thread. You should, at the very least, familiarize yourself with what is known about animation before you write a tutorial. People are gonna be looking to you for answers and it appears you have very little understanding of it. Alternatively, you could name the tutorial to more clearly state what you are able to discuss should there be questions...in this case that would be making a sequence animation in Milkshape. Then you could direct questions that were off-topic of what you can answer to other threads where help could be found.

Birdy, for information about a specific mod you would like to make it's prolly best to just start your own thread so you can get focused information on the issue of interest to you without interruption.
Test Subject
#11 Old 23rd Jun 2011 at 6:05 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simul8rReviews
Hmm, Well I'm not too sure because there are multiple things going on here.
Did you modify an existing animation? did you remember to "Set Keyframe" for each frame you modified?
Did you press "append at end of animation" when importing the SMD file?
I'm not sure what the "falling down" and "casting" poses are supposed to be, so I'm not sure how to help. It would be helpful if you recorded it in game and uploaded it on Image Shack or something so I can know what is really going on


Well, I did modify it from an existing animation, but the same problem occurs on an animation I made from scratch.
And yes, I'm pretty sure I did click "Set Keyframe" for every frame I modified in Milkshape.
I clicked "No" for the "Append at end of animation" thingy.

This is what the animation looks like in Milkshape, and also how it's supposed to be ingame.

And , this is what it looks like ingame. Notice how my sim bends his spine as if he is going to fall to the ground but keeping his arms and legs stiff until he gets into the "casting pose" ?
It seems like his back bends too fast, or his arms and legs move too slow.
Interstellar Traveler
Original Poster
#12 Old 23rd Jun 2011 at 2:01 PM
Well, as orangemittens pointed out, you aren't supposed to remove any of the IK Chains in the JazzUtility package because the necessary IK Chains have already been removed.

Formally SeeMyu | Retired Mod
Test Subject
#13 Old 23rd Jun 2011 at 2:45 PM Last edited by overlordorochi : 23rd Jun 2011 at 4:12 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simul8rReviews
Well, as orangemittens pointed out, you aren't supposed to remove any of the IK Chains in the JazzUtility package because the necessary IK Chains have already been removed.


Actually, the a_idle_JazzUtility I used is the one I exported myself from FullBuild0.package, so therefore, I guess I've to remove the IK Chains before exporting , no ?
I've tried it without removing the IK Chains, but it got worse instead. The whole body except the spine won't even move during the whole animation progress.

I'll try using the a_idle_JazzUtility you uploaded.

Edit : Tried , still no luck
Interstellar Traveler
Original Poster
#14 Old 24th Jun 2011 at 1:16 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by overlordorochi
Actually, the a_idle_JazzUtility I used is the one I exported myself from FullBuild0.package, so therefore, I guess I've to remove the IK Chains before exporting , no ?
I've tried it without removing the IK Chains, but it got worse instead. The whole body except the spine won't even move during the whole animation progress.

I'll try using the a_idle_JazzUtility you uploaded.

Edit : Tried , still no luck


What exactly are you trying to do in this animation?
Also, could you upload your animation so I can see what is going on here

Formally SeeMyu | Retired Mod
Test Subject
#15 Old 1st Jul 2011 at 7:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simul8rReviews
What exactly are you trying to do in this animation?
Also, could you upload your animation so I can see what is going on here


I'm trying to make the "caster" gets into a position, moves his wand up and down twice, then flicks, and bam !

I included .ms3d and .package files in the rar.
Notice how the "caster" bends his spine first before really getting into the animation itself ingame.
Oh, and the animation itself is not quite done yet , not even half done.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: rar testcast.rar (187.8 KB, 17 downloads) - View custom content
Interstellar Traveler
Original Poster
#16 Old 1st Jul 2011 at 8:00 PM
I see the problem. In your animation, you made the sim suddenly start off in the animation.. this causes the sims to suddenly snap into the animation in game mode.
Notice this from my tutorial

Quote:
Originally Posted by SIMul8rReviews
Okay. Now, It's not recommended to have your first frame start out in full action.
maybe like.. a half way there? Meaning, you want to start off (if you were to do a falling animation) by someone walking, then tripping, then falling. NOT, Trip.. then fall. That would probably startle some people


This means you don't want to make the first frame already in the first keyframe. I will update the tutorial explaining more into what I meant by this.. So, if you want your sim to get into this pose, you may want to set it on keyframe 10 or further depending on how fast you want the sim to get into that position. I hope I am making sense. If not, please tell me

Formally SeeMyu | Retired Mod
Test Subject
#17 Old 2nd Jul 2011 at 9:02 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simul8rReviews
This means you don't want to make the first frame already in the first keyframe. I will update the tutorial explaining more into what I meant by this.. So, if you want your sim to get into this pose, you may want to set it on keyframe 10 or further depending on how fast you want the sim to get into that position. I hope I am making sense. If not, please tell me


Trust me, I've done that before.
That's actually what I mean by "walking into the casting pose" in my previous posts.
I ended up deleting the file though, as I don't see any differences.
I made it 11 keyframes between the idle pose and casting pose.
Interstellar Traveler
Original Poster
#18 Old 2nd Jul 2011 at 5:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by overlordorochi
Trust me, I've done that before.
That's actually what I mean by "walking into the casting pose" in my previous posts.
I ended up deleting the file though, as I don't see any differences.
I made it 11 keyframes between the idle pose and casting pose.


What I'm really confused about what you're asking here, is the "walking into the casting pose", as you are not giving enough information. The sims will not automatically walk into the set keyframe. You actually have to make the sims walk in the animation.
And in the animation you attached in your post, it has the skeleton already in the full pose on keyframe one. Causing the sim to suddenly snap into the animation.
Also, 11 keyframe is not enough for the game to play the animation cleanly. That is extremely fast! For a short animation like that, you might want to make it 50-100 frames and adjust the keyframe from there

Formally SeeMyu | Retired Mod
Test Subject
#19 Old 2nd Jul 2011 at 6:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simul8rReviews
What I'm really confused about what you're asking here, is the "walking into the casting pose", as you are not giving enough information. The sims will not automatically walk into the set keyframe. You actually have to make the sims walk in the animation.
And in the animation you attached in your post, it has the skeleton already in the full pose on keyframe one. Causing the sim to suddenly snap into the animation.
Also, 11 keyframe is not enough for the game to play the animation cleanly. That is extremely fast! For a short animation like that, you might want to make it 50-100 frames and adjust the keyframe from there


I guess I made things complicated to understand.
Well, here is another one, I made it like what you suggested.

In this case ,
Keyframe 1 is what I call "Idle Pose"
Keyframe 2-11 is what I call "Walk into the casting pose"
Keyframe 12 is what I call "Casting pose"
As for the whole keyframes , I would prefer to call them "Casting animation". (After all, a "pose" is a single keyframe version of an animation, isn't it ?)

Sorry if I'm being a moron who ask too much.

PS : The command for the animation is a_overlord_cast, I forgot to tell you that.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: rar CastingProject.rar (194.4 KB, 30 downloads) - View custom content
Interstellar Traveler
Original Poster
#20 Old 2nd Jul 2011 at 8:48 PM
Okay, well I tested your animation in my game.
The sim starts off like this:



and then goes into the "casting pose"



It also plays the animation again correctly.

There are only two problems I can think of to cause this.
Are you using animation player? Or pose player?
and did you make any changed to the packages I uploaded?

Formally SeeMyu | Retired Mod
Test Subject
#21 Old 3rd Jul 2011 at 7:08 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simul8rReviews
Okay, well I tested your animation in my game.
The sim starts off like this:



and then goes into the "casting pose"



It also plays the animation again correctly.

There are only two problems I can think of to cause this.
Are you using animation player? Or pose player?
and did you make any changed to the packages I uploaded?


Most of the time I use animation player.
But I've tried using pose player, and even make the animation a default replacement, but they're just the same.

I don't think it has got anything to do with cmomoney's animation player though.

The packages you uploaded ? The a_idle_JazzUtility ? Nope.
Interstellar Traveler
Original Poster
#22 Old 4th Jul 2011 at 5:07 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by overlordorochi
Most of the time I use animation player.
But I've tried using pose player, and even make the animation a default replacement, but they're just the same.

I don't think it has got anything to do with cmomoney's animation player though.

The packages you uploaded ? The a_idle_JazzUtility ? Nope.


Well this is just really really odd. I've never had this happen to me before. You may just have to redo this animation.. something might have happened in the process of making it that you didnt realize or it just felt like screwing up.. it's best to start from scratch.
If this happens again, then I know we must have a problem

Formally SeeMyu | Retired Mod
Test Subject
#23 Old 4th Jul 2011 at 7:53 AM
Im still trying to download it
Test Subject
#24 Old 4th Jul 2011 at 7:54 AM
Default he he
Im still trying to download it
Test Subject
#25 Old 21st Aug 2011 at 9:05 PM
Default Thank You Thank You Thank You
Simul8rReviews you are so awesome! I can't thank you enough. After reading and watching tutorials from orangemittens and SSMusicProductions I kinda of understood the steps but it just wasn't clicking until I read this tutorial. The pieces just fell into place wonderfully. I'm not sure if it is okay to post links to videos on the forums. So, I'll refrain but I did post a video on my youtube channel in case you want to see the second animation I made.

I also read your tutorial on setting up your game to film as well. Keep the awesome tutorials coming.
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