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    Character questions

    As much as I hate to copy and paste a post that I made somewhere else I'm going to do it. Because now that I looked back and saw how active that forum is... Meh I dunno, I think posting here on Official UT3 forums might bring faster suggestions, if not then more varied suggestions at least. So if this is a pesky move to make, sorry, but here's my post:

    I'm an experienced 3D Artist, and I've been modding Doom 3 for quite some time now. I've been wanting to try and get a custom character and some static assets into UE3 for quite some time now, but I've been looking at some tutorials and I'm a little spooked and confused...

    Now, I've played UT3, and I understand the system of custom configuration of the characters in UT3. With changeable arms, shoulder pads, legs, etc. But it seems that all the tutorials I've found on the Internet cover only how to export models to UT3 in this fashion. The question is, I do not want to design a character with swappable parts, is this possible? Or do I have to create modular pieces for a character no matter what? I wouldn't imagine this would be the case... But I haven't seen anyone do anything different.

    Also, do I have to use the original skeleton that was used for player characters in order to import my own? Would it be possible to create my own rig and export it to UT3 to replace the original player rig? And a question this brings up is rag-dolls. If I create my own rig, I know I'd have to do some kind of custom articulated figure, is this possible, too much work, impossible? I ask this because I use Maya 6.5, and I do not have a copy of 3dsMax so I couldn't get the rig to work in my Maya.

    I know that if I export my own rig into UT3 that I have to create my own animations, but this is what I want to do anyway.

    I hope these questions aren't frustratingly unoriginal.

    #2
    I found a video tutorial by Denny that answers my questions on the custom rig and modular pieces to the character model.

    Here's Denny's awesome video post, which I had to look through something like 10 pages of forum searches daisying off of each other to find it! *GASP*:

    http://utforums.epicgames.com/showthread.php?t=589475

    He doesn't talk about ragdolls, but I didn't expect him to in this type of tutorial. So my ragdoll question is still up in the air .

    Comment


      #3
      pretty much yes to all questions apart from must the mesh be in parts, you can make a single mesh but atm you'll have to use Shakeno's workround to get the textures to work right. if you use a custom rig then yes you'll have to do all the anims, i also suggest that you maintain the bone naming as used by epic (sometimes accessed by code) the physics is done in PhAt, its a part of the unreal editor so you'll have to make your own physics asset for your character, not forgeting that to get that all to work together you'll have to code a custom faction which makes your character more of a mod than just a new character

      edit have a look at the CH_Skeletons/mesh/ physics asset to see what the PhAT setup should look like

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by geodav View Post
        pretty much yes to all questions apart from must the mesh be in parts, you can make a single mesh but atm you'll have to use Shakeno's workround to get the textures to work right. if you use a custom rig then yes you'll have to do all the anims, i also suggest that you maintain the bone naming as used by epic (sometimes accessed by code) the physics is done in PhAt, its a part of the unreal editor so you'll have to make your own physics asset for your character, not forgeting that to get that all to work together you'll have to code a custom faction which makes your character more of a mod than just a new character

        edit have a look at the CH_Skeletons/mesh/ physics asset to see what the PhAT setup should look like
        I'm looking at the Shakeno workaround on your website, and I think I get it. I really appreciate the help and the tut, but it is a little hard to understand.

        What I've been able to figure out so far is this: You have a few hidden polygon surfaces with the mesh as the modular pieces. (arms, legs, torso, etc.) But those are hidden.

        The only single mesh that is shown is the "head". This will be the entire single mesh that all the players will see in the game.


        If I'm right, then fantastic... But I still have two questions:

        1. When the tutorial says "1) Make a 1 hidden (inside the model) triangle mesh for each part. Assign that triangle to the nearest bone." How should you hide it?? Should you hide it with an Alpha texture map? Hide it inside the model's geometry? This isn't specified, so I'm not sure what to do on that part.

        It also mentions "Assign that triangle to the nearest bone." What does it mean by assign, exactly? Just parent the bone to the triangle, or actually skin it to the rig like the rest of the model? I'm assuming that you have to do this with each triangle. (The left and right shoulder triangles, torso triangle, boots triangle, legs triangle, and arms triangle.)

        2. What is Step 4 referring to when it talks about moving the original and rotating things?

        "... then set the -51 Z offset on the origin and -90 degrees yaw rotational offset."

        And is the -90 degrees yaw rotation on the Y orientation, and is this based on Maya's orientation, or 3dsmax's?


        I'm sorry if these questions are overwhelming or annoying. I'm just trying to get an idea for this, and I feel I almost have it figured out.

        I really appreciate the help so far.

        Comment


          #5
          ok lets see if i can clear it up for you
          1a. place a small polygon or pyramid(4 triangles) inside your mesh so that they are not seen from the outside
          1b. skin the polys to the nearest bones (i placed all mine in the chest area and skined them to the spine bones.
          this is purely to con UT3 that it has the extra parts so that it addes the texture regions

          2. this what you have to do for each section "in" the unreal editor so that it lines up with all the anims

          if your using the maya rig found here on these forums then don't tick the assume maya orientation when you import your mesh.

          if your using a custom rig then i'm not sure if 2. is nessesary

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