Modelling - Getting facts straight and questions

Ardenian

A

Ardenian

Hello,

while working on a more complex model a few questions popped up and I would be glad to receive an answer to them.

1. For animations, I use a bone attaching every other bone to it having all geosets attached to bones. This way, the whole model will be moved upon moving that particular bone. Is this correctly done if I want to move the whole model ? ( spoiler: Aircraft)

2. If adding attachment points, I add a bone for each attachment point and in Magos I add an attachment point as sub to it. Is the bone unnecessary, if only used as reference for the attachment point, not being used in any animation ? Can I directly add an attachment point instead ?

3. I tried to rotate a geoset as global sequence around the Z axis, having linked it to a bone and trying to rotate that very bone. However, for unknown reason using the rotate tool with XY setting does not only rotate the geoset, but also scales it down. Why ? Can I prevent that somehow or how do I rotate a geoset ?

4. If I add a particle emitter to a unit, how do I prevent it being rotated if the whole model is rotated via a bone ( same case as in 1.). Do I simply not link it to the main bone that moves the whole model ? But how can I make sure it keeps the same height of the model then ?
So the model is rotated and I would like an emitter to be always on the same height ( of a particular part of the model), but not being rotated. I assume rotating an emitter will change the emitting direction.
My approach would be to create a separate set of bones, being moved as the main bone of the model, but never rotated. Is this the best way ? Or do I move just the emitter itself ?

5. What are the perfect animation times ?
I already know from tutorials:
Stand 1,2,3 -> ~1000-2500 frames per animation
Attack -> ?
Death -> ?
Decay -> I think 60000 frames ( = 1 minute real-time ?)
Spell -> ?
Birth -> 60000 frames ?
Walk -> ?
Dissipate -> ?

6. How do I consider movement speed in my animation ? I see there is a 'Apply Movement speed', but what does it mean ?
If I set it to 270, does it mean the animation I create will be set to a speed of 100% if the unit has 270 movement speed ?
What about Stand animations ? To what do I have to set it then ? Or will not ticking the box make the animation not being dependent on movement speed ?

7. An animation I created is properly shown in Mdlvis, but not in Magos, in Magos it is not shown properly, but cut, as if only 50% are shown. Which program is right ( not tested in-game yet) and how do I fix it ? Is there a main point causing this ?

8. What is IFI in the sequence editor of Mdlvis ?

I know these are a lot of questions, I would be glad if you could answer them.
 
Some of your question have very imbiguous wording, but I'll try my best.
1. For animations, I use a bone attaching every other bone to it having all geosets attached to bones. This way, the whole model will be moved upon moving that particular bone. Is this correctly done if I want to move the whole model ? ( spoiler: Aircraft)
Yes, all units must (or should) have a bone that all others are attached to. This bone is usually referred to as the root bone.

2. If adding attachment points, I add a bone for each attachment point and in Magos I add an attachment point as sub to it. Is the bone unnecessary, if only used as reference for the attachment point, not being used in any animation ? Can I directly add an attachment point instead ?
An attachment point must be attached to a bone in order to inherit it's translation and rotation values. It is not required for this attachment point to have exactly the same coordinates than the bone. For example, you can offset a "weapon" attachment point slightly forward from the "hand right" bone to make attached SFX not appear inside the hand but around the blade of your sword.

If you want an attachment point with static coordinates, for example, the origin or overhead attachment point, then you can make them a sub of the root bone.
If an attachment is not a sub of any bone, it will be static in it's position and not inherit anything, not even the facing of the unit. I'm pretty sure the game will have some objections against that. ;)

3. I tried to rotate a geoset as global sequence around the Z axis, having linked it to a bone and trying to rotate that very bone. However, for unknown reason using the rotate tool with XY setting does not only rotate the geoset, but also scales it down. Why ? Can I prevent that somehow or how do I rotate a geoset ?
Check it out in magos and see if there is any scaling information on the keyframes and make sure it's set to 1,1,1 on the beginning and end frame with nothing inbetween.

4. If I add a particle emitter to a unit, how do I prevent it being rotated if the whole model is rotated via a bone ( same case as in 1.). Do I simply not link it to the main bone that moves the whole model ? But how can I make sure it keeps the same height of the model then ?
So the model is rotated and I would like an emitter to be always on the same height ( of a particular part of the model), but not being rotated. I assume rotating an emitter will change the emitting direction.
My approach would be to create a separate set of bones, being moved as the main bone of the model, but never rotated. Is this the best way ? Or do I move just the emitter itself ?
You can select "Do not inherit rotation" for the node in Magos.
However, you can also billboard the particle emitter to lock it's rotation relative to the camera.
I'm not sure what effect you want to achieve here. Normally you want emitters to change orientation along with the unit (for example, fire coming out of the mouth should always be orientated in the direction of the face).

5. What are the perfect animation times ?
I already know from tutorials:
Stand 1,2,3 -> ~1000-2500 frames per animation
Attack -> ?
Death -> ?
Decay -> I think 60000 frames ( = 1 minute real-time ?)
Spell -> ?
Birth -> 60000 frames ?
Walk -> ?
Dissipate -> ?
Honestly, there are no real recommendations for this. It depends a lot on object data, especially for the walk animation (the animation speed can be set in the editor).
But you can never go wrong with ~2000 frames for all the basic unit animations. That's pretty much the average that all blizzard models use.
Make sure your attack animation is build in a way that the damage point of the animation is pretty early in it's cycle. Units with a strongly delayed damage point are super annoying. You can have a long backswing animation, but the damage point should be reached in less than 700 frames. If your unit is intended to attack very slow, make sure to add a "stand ready" animation to make it feel natural.

Death and Birth can be longer, but I wouldn't overdo it. Keep your animations simple and to the point.

Decay is mostly 60000 frames.
Dissipate is usually like 5000 frames.

6. How do I consider movement speed in my animation ? I see there is a 'Apply Movement speed', but what does it mean ?
If I set it to 270, does it mean the animation I create will be set to a speed of 100% if the unit has 270 movement speed ?
What about Stand animations ? To what do I have to set it then ? Or will not ticking the box make the animation not being dependent on movement speed ?
To be honest, the animation speed thing in the WC3 object editor was always a bit counter-intuitive. There is no definitive answer to this; I'd just go with 2000 frame animations and then adjust the animation speed number until it looks right.
But yes, the checkbox means that your animation gets scaled depending on the OE setting. Why is this important? Because some units should not be animated faster if they change their movespeed. Mostly hovering or flying units.

7. An animation I created is properly shown in Mdlvis, but not in Magos, in Magos it is not shown properly, but cut, as if only 50% are shown. Which program is right ( not tested in-game yet) and how do I fix it ? Is there a main point causing this ?
You probably have some missing keyframes.
MDLVis will loop animations based on global keyframes, Magos will only consider those directly in the viewed frame interval.
Which means Magos is your reference here. Animations that miss frames can easily be fixed by just going into the specific sequence in MDLVis, selecting all bones and then just add a key on the first and last frame of that sequence. You shoulld *always* have a key on start and end frame or your animations might jerk around ingame depending on what played before.
Btw: it is a good idea to copy and paste the keyframes from the first frame to the last in looping animations. This will make the animation loop smoothly without sudden "jumps".

8. What is IFI in the sequence editor of Mdlvis ?

I know these are a lot of questions, I would be glad if you could answer them.
To be honest, I have no clue about that. It is not important for making functional unit models, so I never cared either. ;)
 

Ardenian

A

Ardenian

Thank you, I learned a lot now!

This 'damage point', how do I create it ? Is it an imaginary object to keep in mind or does it actually has to be created ?

Also, what makes a model selectable ? A collision sphere ? I saw that somewhere, but how do I know what size I have to choose ?
 
This 'damage point', how do I create it ? Is it an imaginary object to keep in mind or does it actually has to be created ?
It's imaginary, not something you can actually edit or create.
Basicly, the damage point is the point in your animation at which you should apply the damage to make it look clean.
You can actually modify the damage point in the object editor. This is basicly the delay between the start of the animation and the point at which you hear the hit sound and the damage is applied.

Not understanding this concept is basicly the reason why some units feel "slower" and less "responsive" than others. For example, the Blademaster has a very early damage point. The tauren chieftain on the other hand has a very dragging attack animation with a very late damage point in it's animation cycle. This makes the tauren feel much "slower" than the Blademaster, even if they would have the same attack speed.

Since the damage point should usually coincide with the frame where the weapon is the farthest out, you should consider that in your animations or your model will look or play like crap.
Here is a video that explains this issue into detail, even though it's not related to WC3, the concept still applies:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coCsLWqT3v0

Also, what makes a model selectable ? A collision sphere ? I saw that somewhere, but how do I know what size I have to choose ?
The collision sphere has a different purpose. I'm not quite sure what it does; but I think it has something to do with where missiles will hit the target.

For selection, what matters are the model extents and the actual geosets. Magos has an extremely convenient feature that lets you auto-calculate extents. Use it once your model is finished!

If you have a special effect model that you want to use as a unit that has no actual geometry, you can simply create a box and give it an invisible material to make it clickable.
 

Ardenian

A

Ardenian

Alright, thanks once again!

Since my aircraft model's animations are heavily inspired by the gyrocopter I can peek on him, I guess.

Once again back to this, please, about the rotation-sclaing issue:
Check it out in magos and see if there is any scaling information on the keyframes and make sure it's set to 1,1,1 on the beginning and end frame with nothing inbetween.
How do I view a keyframe in Magos ? I understand the second part in theory, but I don't know how to do it in Magos.

Another thing, attachment points, I saw there is a Edit and a Edit Node option. Is it sufficient to only re-name the name of the attachment point, like 'chest', or does it need a path, too ?
 

Hayate

Multimedia Team
Level 39
Joined
Oct 20, 2010
Messages
2,930
I think the IFI is to temporary change the animation speed for editing purpose, and if im not wrong, it doesnt affect the actual model (I might be wrong)

About the Rotation Scale, I think If you use Linear animation (and not use Berzier and Hermite) the problem won't occur, they are more fancy, but if you don't understand it (Me) it will cause buggy stuff like that, (BTW, Linear animation has lower filesize)

you could Fix that by setting the bone to Linear (After you click a bone with keyframe, and click the type of transformation (Rotation in this case), see the Controller, It should be below tools and object properties , (Or Use Linearize Animation in optimize to make all bones Linear) and remove the scale for that bone. (Use Highlight KF and click the bone, click scale, and and remove the keyframe)

About the Magos stuff, I not really sure, but it should be bunch o number related to keyframe and coordinates.

I not sure if the "Ref" (Chest Ref Example) is needed, but it somewhat work anyway
Just Make sure the Spelling are right, and it should work, but it only have limited names available i think, I don't think an attachment with random names will work.
(The list Are here, but i think you probably know it)
http://world-editor-tutorials.thehelper.net/attachments.php


not sure if that fixes the question but :V hehe

If non of the above make sense, I will need to do screenshot tutorial i guess, Gotta have a messy desktop if thats the case :p
 
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