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Nearly alive
Original Poster
#1 Old 5th Aug 2005 at 2:36 PM Last edited by Miche : 5th Aug 2005 at 2:53 PM.
Default Test animation for a sim
Before I can start to add support for making animations to the sims to the editor , I need to make sure I`m not making any mistakes. So here is a simple test animation which just moves one of the sim's arms for 7 seconds (it can be either their left or right arm as animations can be mirrored allowing for the sims to be either left or right handed. )

So if some people can try it out and let me know if there are any problems in their game.

The object which I`m using to test the animations with is a mirror that Cathair2005 made and allowed me to use saving me having to create a object myself. So a big thank you to them.

At the moment this is in two packages, unzip them both to your download folder. One of them is a slightly modified version of their mirror. The other is the package with the new animation in it. At the moment it overwrites a maxis animation (so make sure you delete the "testanim.package" after you have finished with it).

Then place the mirror in your lot and select the animate option
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: zip testsim-animation.zip (31.0 KB, 4498 downloads) - View custom content
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Lab Assistant
#2 Old 5th Aug 2005 at 3:19 PM
I'll test it out for you now and be back in a few minutes
Lab Assistant
#3 Old 5th Aug 2005 at 3:41 PM Last edited by caz100 : 5th Aug 2005 at 3:45 PM.
it works brilliant. Here is a few pics :howdy:


This is amazing :omg: . I can't wait to get started at animations as well. It means anything is possible! Keep up the excellant work Miche!
Test Subject
#4 Old 5th Aug 2005 at 3:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miche
Before I can start to add support for making animations to the sims to the editor , I need to make sure I`m not making any mistakes.


Congratulations on your earnest hacking ! I will test your anim in a couple of minutes.

But I thought I'd offer my .02 cents of advice. Unless you have your own reasons, why "reinvent the wheel", spending time on an editor?

There are already a number of free and commercial 3d programs that will import / export smd files. I happen to have the 30 trial version of 3dsmax which I used to create an animation, using a free smd exporter plugin. I also have Blender which is a *free* 3d animation program, and I've just found an smd exporter for it, I will test it and report back. There is also the Maya/Alias PLE which is a free version of Maya, I'm not sure yet if it's possible to import/export smd from it, but will find out. And then there is Milkshape, which I've also downloaded, and will test.

If you can work on getting the anim->smd, smd-> anim conversion working smoothly, and document how to get anims in and out of simpe, and how to create custom animations, and maybe share your findings on the "internal" workings of everything, that might be more useful to most people.

Mike
Nearly alive
Original Poster
#5 Old 5th Aug 2005 at 3:55 PM Last edited by Miche : 5th Aug 2005 at 4:02 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstram
Congratulations on your earnest hacking ! I will test your anim in a couple of minutes.

But I thought I'd offer my .02 cents of advice. Unless you have your own reasons, why "reinvent the wheel", spending time on an editor?

There are already a number of free and commercial 3d programs that will import / export smd files. I happen to have the 30 trial version of 3dsmax which I used to create an animation, using a free smd exporter plugin. I also have Blender which is a *free* 3d animation program, and I've just found an smd exporter for it, I will test it and report back. There is also the Maya/Alias PLE which is a free version of Maya, I'm not sure yet if it's possible to import/export smd from it, but will find out. And then there is Milkshape, which I've also downloaded, and will test.

If you can work on getting the anim->smd, smd-> anim conversion working smoothly, and document how to get anims in and out of simpe, and how to create custom animations, and maybe share your findings on the "internal" workings of everything, that might be more useful to most people.

Mike


I`m am looking to add smd support but to get that working I need to add the frame work to the editor/convertor and once that frame work is in place (it`s the hardest part) it`s easy to add a simple editor incase anyone wants to use it. I don`t plan to add a full blown editor.

The problem with converting smd files, is different programs rearrange the order of the bones, plus there are problems in making sure the skeleton is correct in the first place. So yes I want to support smd conversion plus other files, but it`s most likely easier at least at first to just do a editor.

edit: the other big problem with smd files is they are frame based rather than time based keyframes. This could lead to some very large files. As a keyframe has to be created for every frame in the smd file (unless I start trying to cut out ones which aren`t needed and I have no plans to do that , at least not for a while)
Lab Assistant
#6 Old 5th Aug 2005 at 4:02 PM Last edited by caz100 : 5th Aug 2005 at 4:06 PM.
If we can get a simple editor first then I think that is the best option as anybody can use it. Then it can be worked on with things added to it to make it better and easier. As for programs like Blender and 3dmax I have used myself but some people might not be able to make animations as easy with tools like them. when an editor is done a tutorial could be made so that everybody within the community can try making animations for themselves.
Then after this support of other types would be a good idea.
Test Subject
#7 Old 5th Aug 2005 at 4:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miche
I`m am looking to add smd support but to get that working I need to add the frame work to the editor/convertor and once that frame work is in place (it`s the hardest part) it`s easy to add a simple editor incase anyone wants to use it. I don`t plan to add a full blown editor.

The problem with converting smd files, is different programs rearrange the order of the bones, plus there are problems in making sure the skeleton is correct in the first place. So yes I want to support smd conversion plus other files, but it`s most likely easier at least at first to just do a editor.

edit: the other big problem with smd files is they are frame based rather than time based keyframes. This could lead to some very large files. As a keyframe has to be created for every frame in the smd file (unless I start trying to cut out ones which aren`t needed and I have no plans to do that , at least not for a while)


Ok, like I said, it was just my .02 .. I can see that you've thought this through and have a good plan based on what you've discovered. Any chance you could post the format of the anim files ?

Also, do you know where the pie functions / strings are for the sims?

Mike
Test Subject
#8 Old 5th Aug 2005 at 5:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by caz100
If we can get a simple editor first then I think that is the best option as anybody can use it. Then it can be worked on with things added to it to make it better and easier. As for programs like Blender and 3dmax I have used myself but some people might not be able to make animations as easy with tools like them. when an editor is done a tutorial could be made so that everybody within the community can try making animations for themselves.
Then after this support of other types would be a good idea.


I guess it depends on what you think a "simple editor" is

Let's say for sake of argument that a sim has 20 bones. (It probably has more). You want to animate a sim picking up something. Let's say that takes 3 seconds. At 10fps you'll need 30 frames. We'll keep it simple and say you only need to animate the right bicep, forearm and hand, i.e. 3 bones.

Even if you used Blender /3dsmax, etc, it would be extremely tedious to try to animate that by typing in rotation / translation numbers. So although the interface might seem "simple" at first, most people are going to give up in frustration.

Some sort of graphical / mouse interface, is really a must. Then you're probably going to want have to different views (side /front/top etc). That is quite a lot of programming, and it's already been done, which was all I was trying to say

There of course will be a learning curve for anyone new to animation, but I think it's better to spend a few hours to learn the basics of a 3d program and then be able to produce simple animations within a few minutes, then to be able to instantly understand a "simple" editor that then takes you hours to produce even a simple animation

Mike
Nearly alive
Original Poster
#9 Old 5th Aug 2005 at 5:08 PM Last edited by Miche : 6th Aug 2005 at 1:15 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstram
Ok, like I said, it was just my .02 .. I can see that you've thought this through and have a good plan based on what you've discovered. Any chance you could post the format of the anim files ?

Also, do you know where the pie functions / strings are for the sims?

Mike


My idea of a simple editor isn`t a text one which you enter the rotations with, I mean a graphical one, and I`ve wrote basic graphical ones before so it`s not going to be much harder as I have a lot of code I can reuse.

There are a number of problems still to work out to support smd files, but it is one of the top things I`m going to do. It is just not a ideal format. (some of the problems are in the way smd files store rotations compared to the way the game stores them in animation files, especailly when it comes to the first frame and the starting rotations. )

Also the whole point of the animations in the game being keyframe based means that you wouldn`t be editing all those frames, you would just edit a few keyframes so it knows what the position and rotation is at that time and it animates between those keyframes. This is one if the main reasons smd files really aren`t right for this purpose as they don`t seem to support time based keyframes, with them you do get every frame and the only way (without getting too complex ) is to then create a keyframe for each of those frames.) So with the true keyframe approach a 2 second animation might have say 7 keyframes but with converting smd files it might have 40 frames.



I will be adding the info on the format to the wiki, just need to clean up my notes first so they are in a readable state. Just haven`t had the time as my spare time I`ve been working on the editor/convert and getting the animations for the sims to work. It will be next week now before I can do them as I`m away for the weekend, I will be online sometime over the weekend, just not at my computer.

I`m not sure where the pie strings are, most likely in one of the packages in sim3d or in the objects.package (which is in a different subfolder in the sims directory, just can`t remember what one off the top of my head. )
Lab Assistant
#10 Old 5th Aug 2005 at 5:16 PM
Default Test Report
Great work Miche!

I have test the new sim animation, it work perfect!!!, here is the information:

Game Version: University
Lot: Custom university lot
Sims: femal, no custom item weard

I start the animation several times, it seems the sims will do it in different arm

1st and 2nd left arm, 3rd and 4th time, right arm. If the sequence repeated, the same result I got.

Welcome to SunairSims

Recommended browser for the sims2 section of my site: IE (came with Windows XP), AOL 9.0 Optimized SE, last version of FireFox vs Flash and SunJava plugin.
Lab Assistant
#11 Old 5th Aug 2005 at 5:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstram
I guess it depends on what you think a "simple editor" is

Let's say for sake of argument that a sim has 20 bones. (It probably has more). You want to animate a sim picking up something. Let's say that takes 3 seconds. At 10fps you'll need 30 frames. We'll keep it simple and say you only need to animate the right bicep, forearm and hand, i.e. 3 bones.

Even if you used Blender /3dsmax, etc, it would be extremely tedious to try to animate that by typing in rotation / translation numbers. So although the interface might seem "simple" at first, most people are going to give up in frustration.

Some sort of graphical / mouse interface, is really a must. Then you're probably going to want have to different views (side /front/top etc). That is quite a lot of programming, and it's already been done, which was all I was trying to say

There of course will be a learning curve for anyone new to animation, but I think it's better to spend a few hours to learn the basics of a 3d program and then be able to produce simple animations within a few minutes, then to be able to instantly understand a "simple" editor that then takes you hours to produce even a simple animation

Mike


Yes I know exactly what you are saying but just as SimPE has progressed so much, I think this tool will as well. I am hoping
Lab Assistant
#12 Old 5th Aug 2005 at 7:46 PM
Have it testet works fine. Testobjects two sims same Family several clicks had sometimes left or right arm liftet, no probs there. Cant belive it a new anim for a sim. Let not see that modders of nude meshes. :bump:

:bow2:
Scholar
#13 Old 6th Aug 2005 at 1:28 AM
I tried it with male adult, female adult, female teen - all worked fine.

I also tried with the Sims wearing user-created meshes, one made by .obj method, one made with Wes H's BodyChop plugins - no problems.

Children did not get the Animate option - I assume you simply chose not to include it for them, but just in case I wanted to let you know.

Great work! I look foward to seeing this develop.
Lab Assistant
#14 Old 6th Aug 2005 at 1:56 AM
woah this is too hot to handle does this finally mean sims will be able to do ehem "certian things"and they said it couldnt be done
great work well done
Field Researcher
#15 Old 6th Aug 2005 at 8:40 AM
One thing I've come to learn is that the sounds and i think maybe the props are included in the animation file. How will this work in? Is there an option to clone an animation and remove the sound of have the two been permanently merged?
Lab Assistant
#16 Old 6th Aug 2005 at 9:11 AM
Omg! This worked for me! This is like gonna make history amongst the Sims Community!
Nearly alive
Original Poster
#17 Old 6th Aug 2005 at 11:49 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathair2005
One thing I've come to learn is that the sounds and i think maybe the props are included in the animation file. How will this work in? Is there an option to clone an animation and remove the sound of have the two been permanently merged?


at the moment I haven`t got to the point of working on events and sounds. SO at first it will nto be possible to include either of them in a animation. (with maxis animations a sound can be played at a point in the animation, also events can be triggered...which could do something else like add a prop into the sims hand or such things. )
Test Subject
#18 Old 6th Aug 2005 at 8:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Havelock
Have it testet works fine. Testobjects two sims same Family several clicks had sometimes left or right arm liftet, no probs there. Cant belive it a new anim for a sim. Let not see that modders of nude meshes. :bump:

:bow2:


Now that is worth a big giggle.
Lab Assistant
#19 Old 9th Aug 2005 at 4:39 AM
I tried it in my game. Like others have mentioned, sometimes my sims lift their right arm, sometimes their left. I don't know if that's considered a glitch or not.

One of my sims took it upon himself to empty the compactor soon after I ran the anim on him (see pic). I'm pretty sure the result would be considered a glitch. But, I'm not an expert tester (I've already removed the anim and mirror from my game), I thought maybe a more methodical gamer would be willing to take it from here (and maybe my game is just buggy - but I've never seen that bit happen before or since).

Good Luck!
Screenshots

Avatar by Boys Kissing...
Forum Resident
#20 Old 9th Aug 2005 at 6:15 AM
I can't wait until a better animation editor comes out.
Nearly alive
Original Poster
#21 Old 9th Aug 2005 at 9:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by venusinchains
I tried it in my game. Like others have mentioned, sometimes my sims lift their right arm, sometimes their left. I don't know if that's considered a glitch or not.

One of my sims took it upon himself to empty the compactor soon after I ran the anim on him (see pic). I'm pretty sure the result would be considered a glitch. But, I'm not an expert tester (I've already removed the anim and mirror from my game), I thought maybe a more methodical gamer would be willing to take it from here (and maybe my game is just buggy - but I've never seen that bit happen before or since).

Good Luck!


The part about a sim using either their left or right arm is normal in this case as when playing the animation from the BHAV you can select which arm it is played back on (by mirroring the animation) and as in this case I don`t make a selection it can be played back on either arm.

The part about the animation being used when emptying the trash, as I said in the first post, this animation (for now) overwrites a maxis one (one of the ones used when emptying the trash) and to restore the original animation you need to delete the "testanim.package".
Nearly alive
Original Poster
#22 Old 9th Aug 2005 at 9:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwirsing
I can't wait until a better animation editor comes out.


you can use whatever animation editor/creator you want to use as long as it can save to smd files, which my editor and converter will then be able to convert into the format the game uses.
Lab Assistant
#23 Old 9th Aug 2005 at 10:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miche
The part about a sim using either their left or right arm is normal in this case as when playing the animation from the BHAV you can select which arm it is played back on (by mirroring the animation) and as in this case I don`t make a selection it can be played back on either arm.

Ah, I glossed right over that bit when I read your first post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miche
The part about the animation being used when emptying the trash, as I said in the first post, this animation (for now) overwrites a maxis one (one of the ones used when emptying the trash) and to restore the original animation you need to delete the "testanim.package".


I did see the bit about 'overwrites,' but didn't put it together with my glitch. :dunce: And I've already removed the test package - though it is fun to watch my sims act silly - to make room for the next one.

TY

Avatar by Boys Kissing...
Field Researcher
#24 Old 9th Aug 2005 at 10:39 AM Last edited by Max3D : 9th Aug 2005 at 10:44 AM.
What i wish to do atm is to change the animation for the Flush Down Toilet

on the origianl animation the sim go down to push the button but i want to simulate a more high positioned button..

For me animate 20 bones isn't a problem, and isn't a problem to export in in smd... (the hard part for me is to import it in game :umm: )
Test Subject
#25 Old 9th Aug 2005 at 11:53 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwirsing
I can't wait until a better animation editor comes out.


3dsMax good enough ?

There is a free SMD plugin that I was using, it had minor problems in the way that it formatted the data.

Max :$$$$ ... but there is a 30 day trial version that you can download from their site ~ 100 meg including all the docs etc.

MilkShape isn't bad either.

But since Miche says he likes to program in 3d, I'm sure his editor will be at least as good as MilkShape, if not far better

Mike
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