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Old 5th June 2008, 04:13 PM   #1
bdkhoops
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Default Animating with Frames

We have an old fashion way of modeling animation in our software which is to use frames. (It works like a cartoon flip book would if you have ever made one of those) Basically, I need all the possible frames that a person would go through during a walk cycle. Each frame is an individual 3D shape but if you were to keep cycling through them really quickly it would look like the guy is walking. Does anyone have ideas on how to do this. Very hard to make this look good just by dragging vertices around.
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Old 5th June 2008, 04:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Animating with Frames

are you looking for something like this? this imaqge animates so i can send you if its what your after! Click image for larger version

Name:	walkcycle-animated.jpg
Views:	529
Size:	5.0 KB
ID:	1004
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Old 5th June 2008, 04:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: Animating with Frames

I'm looking for a series of 3D shapes that look something like this if they were all together (but it needs to be more realistic)
http://www.idleworm.com/how/pic/a0002/wlk08.gif
If someone wanted to make some money doing it for our company that is an option too.
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Old 5th June 2008, 07:32 PM   #4
lisa
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Default Re: Animating with Frames

Are you looking for help with the walk sequence itself, or just how to position the parts without resorting to moving points?

To position the parts, I'd recommend splitting each mesh into submeshes for each body part the same way you would if you were building an animation rig. i.e. Make a mesh for the shoulder, forearm, hand, etc.

Adjust your object centers to the pivot point for each mesh. For example, for the forearm the object center should be at the top where the forearm meets the elbow.

In the AC3D settings, turn on "Rotate about object centre".

It should now be fairly straight-forward to keyframe your animation. Grab each mesh and rotate it, and it will now rotate around the pivot you set earlier. If you grab multiple meshes--for example, the thigh, shin, foot and toes--the first object you select will serve as the pivot point so you can rotate the chain and still maintain the correct relation between the parts.

When you're done, you can re-weld the parts into a single mesh if need be. I don't know what kind of character you are animating, but if you're character is "skinned" (i.e. all the vertices are connected smoothly versus independent pieces like a suit of armor) you will need to do some fix-up to re-connect the vertices. You can snap them back together with control-T and then adjust. Making sure you have enough geometry around areas like knees and shoulders should help minimize the amount of adjustment you need to do, the same as it would if you were using regular animation software.

Incidentally, that's another question... why not animate with some kind of animation software, then bring the individual frames back into AC3D to build your solid meshes for your project?
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Old 5th June 2008, 08:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Animating with Frames

Thanks for the help. Yes, my character is skinned. I can't really get it to look good just rotating a chunk of points. Your idea for changing the object centers though is great, I had never thought of that before. You are correct about using the animation package. That would be great if I knew how to use one. I am pretty skilled in AC3D as far as the basics go but outside of that I have no idea. I even have 3DMax and it scares me off every time I try and use it. It is just so much more than I usually need. This is the first time I have had to make a person, usually I make machines. I was hoping that it would be easy to buy a good person with a walk cycle of like 10 frames or so but I haven't had any luck.
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Old 5th June 2008, 08:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Animating with Frames

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSteve View Post
are you looking for something like this? this imaqge animates so i can send you if its what your after! Attachment 1004
MrSteve, that is exactly the walk I am looking for but I would need to break it down into frames and save each frame as
Frame1.wrl
Frame2.wrl
Frame3.wrl...

Thanks for the help
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Old 5th June 2008, 09:12 PM   #7
lisa
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Default Re: Animating with Frames

You can usually find that kind of thing pretty readily on TurboSquid or Content Paradise.

There's also quite a few resources for free mocap data if you're looking for some general animations just to play around with. Try one of these:
http://mocap.cs.cmu.edu/
http://www.mocapdata.com/
http://www.animazoo.com/Free_downloads.aspx

Most of these motions are usable by human characters of average proportions.

I don't think there's a BVH importer for AC3D but since a BVH is a text format and you're only looking for 10 frames or so, you can probably import it by hand. Open the file in notepad or your favorite text editor. Each "channel" line in the file represents a rotation on the X, Y, or Z as specified. If you start at the end of the chain, i.e. such as the hand, and then apply the rotations it says in the file working upward to the pelvis, you should be able to re-create the motion in AC3D. It would be a bit of a pain, but do-able if the animation is short enough.
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Old 6th June 2008, 10:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Animating with Frames

Thank you so much Lisa, you have been very helpful.
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