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Modeling Resource: Customized Vertex Editor

Discussion in 'Modeling & Animation' started by Retera, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Retera

    Retera

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    So after numerous years of working on a homebrew Warcraft mod project of mine, I finally got tired of making models halfway in Notepad++ and halfway in Oinkerwinkle's tools, so I started on a monster programming project designed to replace Oinkerwinkle's Vertex Modifier. However, in so doing, I realized that there was a lot more to the Vertex Modifier than I ever bothered to use, so I've been slower in finishing than I might have hoped.

    That said, I've built a work in progress Java version of the Vertex Modifier and almost tried to upload it as a Modeling Resource until I read through the rules and realized that the Hive doesn't want work-in-progress-type projects. That being the case, I'm hoping this is the right sort of place to post the project and hopefully I'll get some feedback as to how to make it even better. It still lacks some of Oinkerwinkle's Vertex Modifier's features, but its Import function could effectively serve as an advanced replacement for Oinkerwinkle's GeosetMerger and AnimTransfer if I polish it a little bit.

    Here was the program description that I originally wrote for use in my tool submission:

    This tool is essentially a customized version of Oinkerwinkle's Vertex Modifier rewritten in Java to allow for some additional features:
    - fullscreen support
    - Multi-tabbed editing, meaning that you can open many models at the same time
    - white, not black, background on Windows 7
    - Editing multiple geosets at a time with ease
    - Editing PivotPoints
    - Advanced Import feature, which functions similar to Oinkerwinkle's GeosetMerger but a lot more complex, including animation importing, bone importing, some limited particle emitter importing, etc
    - Saving automatically rewrites the model's GeosetAnimIds so that no part of the geometry will ever do the stretch-to-nearby-model glitch

    The tool is a working simple Vertex Editor and Importer, and I intend to add more features as time goes on. However, I still consider it to be in very early stages of development and you may experience errors -- please back up your models, and report any errors that you find.

    The Import tool is really quite handy. As an example, one might create Grunt riding a Dragon by simply importing the Grunt model onto the Dragon and telling it to attach the grunt's legs to the Dragon's chest-type bones rather than importing the Grunt's leg bones. However, due to the complex nature of this sort of importing and the early stage of the tool, you may experience program errors and I hope that you report them for me.

    Written in the newest version of Java, so it should work cross-platform but you may need to update Java:
    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jre7u7-downloads-1836441.html
    If that link doesn't work, go here and push "JRE" download button:
    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html

    Credits:
    - Thanks to Oracle/Sun for the Java language
    - Thanks to Terai Atsuhiro and Jay Warrick for the Drag and Drop Tabbed Pane java class code, which was provided in online Java help forums (http://java-swing-tips.blogspot.com/2008/04/drag-and-drop-tabs-in-jtabbedpane.html)
    - Thanks to the Javadocs for documenting Java in an understandable way for users

    Edit: The program now has the "ImageBin" folder embedded in itself, so in order to run it you will need only the "MatrixEaterV0.08" jar file and Java.

    Latest Version:
    http://www.hiveworkshop.com/forums/...vertex-editor-matrixeater3dv0.16C_windows.zip

    List of Known Issues:
    http://www.hiveworkshop.com/forums/2333774-post60.html

    Significantly Newer Sourcecode (v0.11c thereabouts):
    http://www.hiveworkshop.com/forums/2337282-post66.html
     

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    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  2. PROXY

    PROXY

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    Wait, so with this tool it is possible, to import the bones of one model WITH the animations onto another, letting both play? :O That would be ultimate, though I think it won't be possible and I simply missunderstood it, as it isn't clarified enough.
     
  3. Retera

    Retera

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    Here's an example model, the first made with the Import feature, although the tool is so much a WIP that I was tailoring the program to fit my needs as I was making this.

    Note that you have to know or be able to interpret bone names and the like in the complex import options menu.

    Edit: As a sidenote, this model was a 2-way import. I imported the Grunt into the Dragon along with its attack animation, then when it was finished imported the Dragon's stand animation into the Grunt-Dragon hybrid overlapping the Grunt's attack that was imported into the hybrid, so that the dragon flapped its wings during the Grunt animations in the hybrid model.

    Also added another example attachment, which was an import test between two former extrusion-test models. The "CHIMAERAFIEND" model is obviously useless, but it was a late-night proof of concept a while ago when I was working on the program. Essentially, although I was in such a hurry that I didn't name new animations "alternate," it is a chimaera with alternate anims for being a crypt fiend.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
  4. JesusHipster

    JesusHipster

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    ^badass function:0
    What else interesting can do this tool?
     
  5. Retera

    Retera

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    A word of caution, I've been going from vacation to vacation and have not worked on the program in a few weeks -- so there was another issue with it that I forgot to mention.
    If you do not view the Matrices options for each individual Geoset, then when you import a model it will delete Matrix data from your model and corrupt it so that it will not convert back to MDX correctly (program edits MDLs).

    There are still a few issues like that which I will look in to resolving in the future, but for now if you use the program please just work around them. Also, if you find any others feel free to post them here and make sure that I give them attention!

    (So if you're working on a model in this program and all of your VertexGroups become 0 and the model has one Matrix -- with a value of -1 -- then you'll just need to rerun the import from your backups and be sure to view all Geosets in the Matrices import tab)

    I intend to fix this soon!

    Edit: As for other interesting functions, I have several ideas planned but the Importing is the best of them for the time being. The program loads all portions of the model into Java variables, so if you have any logical sequences of edits that you wish to have automated feel free to post them and see if I can make them happen. Invent and suggest a feature, and I'll see if I can do it!
    I've been thinking of adding WarShape like animation editing as well as the ability to edit and insert objects like particle emitters, as my goal is to roll all of the best free editing software tool ideas into one program that I can use for my MDL editing. That said, that's an ambitious goal and the program doesn't do that stuff yet.

    (I recognize that some tools such as Magos's are in their ways better than my own, but because I never taught myself to use Magos's for much I'm half in this to better my programming skills -- I took my first class in Computer Programming this past year -- while also bettering the tools that I have been using. In addition, I found myself performing the Import function of this program manually time and time again, so it was something that I really wanted to see done.)
     
  6. PROXY

    PROXY

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    That function with the animations is simply badass, that's what I was looking for for a long time!

    Truely a revolution in modelling, as no other program was able to do that before.

    Still, the head bones are messed up, so they strech ugly as well as the wings (in the Chimera Fiend model)

    Other than that, I love you man.
     
  7. Retera

    Retera

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    The cause for the wing/neck issue was me playing with the Extrude feature to make sure it worked like Oinkerwinkles -- (and the Chimaera's neck had holes in it because my extrustion feature needed more work).

    To better illustrate the same import feature, I decided to run a test to create a MalFurion that has alternate animations to be the standard Grizzly Bear creep. Using the program, going through the import options took only 4 -5 minutes, although when I was finished I repeated the process using another 4 - 5 minutes and changed the options I selected so that the Bear would retain MalFurion's hero glow.

    In theory, the program also has the power to import the Druid of the Claw's morphing animations into this model along with the green spell glow and everything, although when I began that process it choked up in reading the DotC's ParticleEmitter data because of an error in my MDL reading code (for an AlphaKey DoC flag, it saw "Alpha" and thought that it was a line of Alpha information). I now have it updated so that the error should be fixed (only accepts "Alpha<space>" on those type flags).
    The other large barrier between the idea of this last function and success is the fact that that sort of import will work if and only if the human spends the time to pick out bone names from such options as "Mesh07" and "Mesh11ArchDruid" and properly associate head bones with head bones, leg bones with leg bones, etc.
    The program auto-associated the Druid of the Claw bear with the Grizzly Bear, because I have name-associating going automatically, but I didn't go through with the import because it seemed to me that it would be a very tedious process to go through the bone names and pick out in the menu which goes with which for the DoC Night Elf and Malfurion.
    I've been thinking that I should add a better method for viewing bones in the program, and I think doing so would greatly ease up the amount of work a human would have to do for an import between dissimilar models.

    Anyhow, attached is the MalFuriBear -- the second one with Bear hero glow -- as a better example of the alternate-animation-type importing.

    Edit: I realize that the portrait model wouldn't work right because it has two identically named cameras and the game won't know how to pick which is the alternate camera, etc, but I imagine it would not be too big of a challenge to have a human tweak that. For the purpose of the test, you can see that the result model has both cameras.
     

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  8. PROXY

    PROXY

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    Nice, and the problem with the bone names isn't a big problem, can be done quickly and is not a big deal.

    Though, one problem exists which can't be solved I guess. What is, if the two models you want to merge, have animations with the same keyframes used, they will be played in the same time.
     
  9. Retera

    Retera

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    Hmm, I'm not quite sure what you mean about the KeyFrames comment -- the program has a built in version of Oinkerwinkle's "RedistributeKeys" that runs behind the scenes, it ought to put newly imported animations in the right place always.

    On a sidenote, I decided to see how close to importing the morph animation my program could reasonably come without stupid amounts of work, so I gave it a shot.
    I spent about 15 - 17 minutes optimizing the settings in the import menu for what I wanted (making sure that I got all of the morph spell effect bones, etc) and when I finished I had forgotten to click the Matrices tab, and so as I mentioned earlier in this thread the program deleted all of the model's animation.
    Another 17ish minutes later I had redone it all, and when test-viewing the morph in which Furion was completely motionless I realized that I could import Furion's "Spell" animation into the "Morph" (and "Morph Alternate") -- so that he looked like he was doing something. It looks a bit silly because the program sped up the animation to make it fit, but overall I rather like the way it worked out. I'll attach the morphing furion test model.

    As a note, the program can limitlessly import junk into other junk. It is my belief that I could give this furion model "Alternate Second" animations into the Beastmaster's Thunder Hawks, etc., and "Alternate Third" into a Treant.
    The only foreseeable issue is how the game would use multiple base "Morph" animations -- I think it wouldn't use them properly.

    Edit: I looked at it a little bit more, and I see that the green spell effect glow from the Druid of the Claw did not fully import onto Furion correctly. Although the bones, ribbons, and particles are all there, the error appears to be with how the program imports Global Sequences, I'll look into that.
    My guess is that the program deleted the Global Sequence's keys because they fell in time with Druid of the Claw animations that it was deleting.
    I also noted some fairly major Bear visibility issues that I didn't see when looking at the model from the front. I'll look into that too.

    - Visibility was program user error
    - GlobalSequence animation keyframe deleting was fixed
    - Attached is a fixed version of morphing malfurion
     

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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  10. PROXY

    PROXY

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    Ah I guess, with that Oinkerwinkle Key Redistributor, the problem is cleared :)

    Well, keep going, I really like how many functions this program has!
     
  11. Retera

    Retera

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    I just edited my last post with a fixed up morphing Furion.

    I suppose one of the next things that I'll need to figure out with the program is how to optimize it so that the most number of people can use it. At least on my computer, I have to use command prompt to get the .jar file to start for some reason.

    Also, the Import function of the program is great but the rest is a little lacking, and it would be nice if I could make the program do similar operations to what it does as a part of Import outside of the Import menu -- For example, I remade that entire morphing Furion model just to fix whether the Bear had hero glow, because the rest of the program doesn't provide good editing for that stuff yet.
     
  12. HappyTauren

    HappyTauren

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    This has now set a milestone in wc3 modeling, it's too bad it's sort of late. But nevertheless, this is amazing!
     
  13. Retera

    Retera

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    I'm glad to hear you like it!

    I did some more work on it, and I believe the "program deleted all of your Matrices while importing" glitch should be entirely fixed. I also made the Clone button work, getting things one step closer to a full replacement for the Vertex Modifier. However, Clone does not yet have an undo function assigned to it so use it at your own risk.

    I've been using the program for some things so I've probably touched it up in a couple of other ways that I forget as well. However, the version I've got to attach wasn't optimized for file size, but it should still work just fine.
     

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  14. infrenus

    infrenus

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    If this artifact of power come like a month ago... but still, when I see how to use it properly (and its done) Im so going to be crazily animation blending... Going to test the thing now. ^^
     
  15. eubz

    eubz

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    Aw, this is great, but I still find mdlvis and magos model editor superior when it comes to modeling for warcraft 3. (No offense. Just my opinion, and anyone has his opinion.) I guess this (Customized Vertex Editor) is also good for everyone and I find its usefulness at the time this WIP is done.
     
  16. HappyTauren

    HappyTauren

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    I don't think this tool is really competing with anything. Retera, we have enough of all kinds of tools, you should make this one focus on what others can't do! I think everyone will agree with me on this one. Focus it on animation blending/other features that no other wc3 tools can do.
     
  17. infrenus

    infrenus

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    That.
     
  18. Retera

    Retera

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    I'd totally agree, currently the one feature that makes this program any more worth using than others is the Import. That said, I haven't seen anything else that works quite like its import and I find the import incredibly handy in some cases (I'm about to attempt to try to plunk a PotM on an owl and make the owl-rider type hero that was supposedly in the beta/alpha of the original game.)

    In the meantime, I just updated a program malfunction which would cause it to break when it saved models that had no geoset animations in some cases.
     

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  19. eubz

    eubz

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    How about create a program that can export model for both SC2 and WC3? That would be very powerful and would be much better than mdlvis and magos. Also, it is much better that the program will not only support good import capabilities but can also create mesh from scratch inside the program, and you can do rigging, creating bones, animating, using materials for the model so it can compete to modeling programs that we know. Or even much better than z modeler.
     
  20. HappyTauren

    HappyTauren

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    Creating a program that can do "everything" for wc3 and/or scII will take too much time, that's why it hasn't really been done yet. Focusing it on things other wc3 tools can't do is way, way better.