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Tutorial: Exporting a Maya Simulation to UT3

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    Tutorial: Exporting a Maya Simulation to UT3

    This is a tutorial describing how to export a simulation or vertex animation to UT3. In the video I show how to export a simulation, but in fact it doesn’t have to be a rigid body simulation. It could be a vertex animation with animated translation, scale and rotation.

    In the tutorial I simulate 3 dices beign tossed on a casino table. But the technique could be used to create custom explosions, collapsing buildings, falling trees and so on. With some clever use of triggers you could even create destructible objects.

    This is my first tutorial so any critique and comments are welcome, but please don't bash on my terrible english.
    If you have any questions or problems with the tutorial, please let me know.


    Tutorial

    #2
    Are you showing how to set up the "animation" inside of Maya in the tutorial as well?

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      #3
      Originally posted by g0th View Post
      Are you showing how to set up the "animation" inside of Maya in the tutorial as well?
      Yep.
      From start to end. The only thing I have when I start are a table mesh, and three cubes.

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        #4
        I didn't think the English was any problem at all, I was as rather glad to hear a video with good sounds as many of them are lacking that. I also Thought that the speed and skill level were good, I had no problem understanding what you did and how. So in total a great tutorial. Thanks man

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          #5
          Tackar! Always good to hear that it helped.

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            #6
            Wow, that's one hell of a coincidence here, because I wrote a similar script like a week ago myself. Haven't looked at your code yet, so I'll just ask here- can this also convert other simulations, like for example particles, to skeletal anims?
            Very good tutorial, by the way, I guess many Maya beginners will appreciate it.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Farseer View Post
              Wow, that's one hell of a coincidence here, because I wrote a similar script like a week ago myself. Haven't looked at your code yet, so I'll just ask here- can this also convert other simulations, like for example particles, to skeletal anims?
              Very good tutorial, by the way, I guess many Maya beginners will appreciate it.
              Nope it can't convert particles to a skeletal animations. I thought about adding it while I was writing the script but I figured that cascade is good enough for particle effects. I have been thinking of doing it later aswell, if i would like to make something with instanced geometry, but so far I haven't any good ideas on how to do that. Just for particles isn't that hard, the trouble for me begins with the instanced geometry since it has only one shapeNode.

              Thanks for checking it out!

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                #8
                Particles were just an example, honestly I don't see the point of converting particles when we have Cascade, either, just wanted to know what about some other simulations.
                Looked up the code and, even more surprisingly, the way you scripted it is almost identical to mine Only one thing that needs to be pointed out - if you're using the script and you already have some bones (joints) in the scene, be sure to check their names. You can't have a joint named by default "joint1", because, from what I've seen in the code, the script uses that default name as a root bone. Having "joint1" already in the scene is gonna mess things up. Other than that - works perfectly. I'm curious what are you planning to do with this? Use in maps? Cinematics, maybe? Or is it just a proof of concept?

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Farseer View Post
                  Particles were just an example, honestly I don't see the point of converting particles when we have Cascade, either, just wanted to know what about some other simulations.
                  Looked up the code and, even more surprisingly, the way you scripted it is almost identical to mine Only one thing that needs to be pointed out - if you're using the script and you already have some bones (joints) in the scene, be sure to check their names. You can't have a joint named by default "joint1", because, from what I've seen in the code, the script uses that default name as a root bone. Having "joint1" already in the scene is gonna mess things up. Other than that - works perfectly. I'm curious what are you planning to do with this? Use in maps? Cinematics, maybe? Or is it just a proof of concept?
                  Haha, awesome. I don't have much plans with it. It was just and idea that came to me when playing around with blastcode, sadly I can't get the script to convert blastcode simulations since they are particle driven in some odd way. It was my first real script that actually did something. The joint1 issue is "kinda" solved in another version that I have on my work computer by setting it to a variable that the user has to define. In the instructions to that one it says: "If you have joints in the scene already, take the joint tool, click one out. Take note of the name, and delete the joint again. Enter the name at $initialJointName."

                  I have been playing with the idea of making a destructible house in UT3 but my workload is increasing and I'm running out of ideas on how to make it work on a userfriendly way. (Meaning, I can make a house explode into bits using maya Shatter, and projected textures, but then I would have hell in Unrealed trying to put all the materials on the right place.) So I'm not sure if it will ever happen.

                  You don't happen to have any ideas on how to accomplish anything like that would you?

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                    #10
                    Ah, Blastcode, I haven't worked with that for quite a while. Do they still have a trial version available? I should take another look at the thing some day.

                    That joint1 issue is not really a problem, just pointing out that it should be mentioned somewhere in a readme file or something like that. I'm sure many users will simply load the script without really looking at the code and they may get a nasty surprise if joint1 is already present. Anyway, they should be aware of that now, after looking at this thread. And it's still a great tool for all those who want to simply get Maya's physics into UE and don't want to touch all that baking and rigging stuff.

                    Well, actually I've been experimenting with that kind of destructible constructions recently. I need those animations mainly for simple-shaped background objects (collapsing scyscrapers outside the playable area) and concrete structures, so in my case Maya's Solid Shatter effect is the most suitable one. I create a model that's supposed to be used as a static mesh later on, then use the shatter effect (or cut the mesh manually if I need more precision), which automagically adds another material inside the broken geometry. Then I select all those inner faces (by HyperShade's Select Objects With Material) and auto-UVmap them. After importing the thing into the engine I simply assign the material (texture) of the original static mesh to the main material slot and some simple generic "destroyed" texture (with cracks, scorch marks and so) to the inner material. That basically does the trick. Then I'm gonna switch the static mesh for the skeletal one when a specific event happens and voila! I guess my technique wouldn't work for anything more complicated than a concrete wall, but I'm pretty sure that, with a little bit of effort, you could actually make that destructible house in a similar way

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                      #11
                      hey the links were two years old and dead now but do you still have those programs? i wanted to experiment with the rigid body emitter.

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