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Blender Skeletons for MovieStorm Bodyparts

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#1 Reacher


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Posted 06 March 2011 - 01:08 AM

Skeleton Files
Two skeletons for each puppet type:
  • M_Skel_Export_Rest.blend/F_Skel_Export_Rest.blend – Male/Female Skeleton with armature rest position set to the standard MovieStorm export pose. Use for costumes you can weight without getting interference from nearby bones, or for working with imports from Misfit or Milkshape that are already in the MovieStorm export pose.
  • M_Skel_Skin_Rest.blend/F_Skel_Skin_Rest.blend – Male/Female Skeleton with armature rest position set to a pose more suited to easy weighting of a bodypart mesh. Use for new original costumes, especially full body ones. Before exporting you will need to transform the mesh to the export pose (see details later).
These skeletons are suitable for weighting bodyparts, they are not suitable for creating puppet animations.

Download the skeletons here: http://www.reacherst...t_Skeletons.zip

General Information
There is currently only an export pipeline in Blender 2.49, so these files are saved in that format. They can be opened in 2.5x for those that just want to experiment with no export option. Once a Cal3D export script is available for 2.5x I will make a 2.5x version of the skeletons available as well.
For exporting from Blender 2.49, I highly recommend installing the export script that I updated and customized for MovieStorm.
Get it here: http://www.reacherst..._moviestorm.zip
Place it in your .blender\scripts directory.

This is not a Blender Tutorial, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of videos and guides for Blender on the web. Google is your friend.

Quick Weighting Tutorial
After your mesh is created and you are ready to weight it to the armature:
In Object mode, select your mesh.
Shift select your skeleton.
Press Ctrl-P, from the “Make Parent to” menu that appears select “Armature”, in the secondary “Create Vertex Groups?” menu that appears select “Create from Bone Heat” (or experiment with the other options).
Select your skeleton, go into Pose Mode.
Rotate some of the bones, see how the mesh deforms in various positions.
If you see something you don't like, leave the pose as it is, but switch back to Object mode and select the mesh.
Now switch to Weight Paint mode.
Select the Bone/Vertex Group you wish to modify from the “Links and Materials” panel, under “Vertex Groups”
Back in the 3D window, press 'N' to bring up your weight paint properties.
You will be painting the weight of the selected Vertex Group/Bone to your vertices, and will see them deform in real time to match the new weights.

Select your vertex groups in the 'Link and Materials' panel, or create an Outliner window and select from the hierarchical view.

Exporting your bodypart
If you are using the '...Export_Rest' skeleton, skip the preparation step and just do the export.

In Object mode, select your Skeleton/Armature
Switch to Pose mode.
Select all bones in your skeleton
In the Link and Materials panel, under Pose Library, set the pose to ExportPose. You should see your mesh change to have its legs closer together and its arms by its sides.
Switch back to Object Mode
Select your bodypart mesh.
In the Modifiers panel, find the Armature modifier and click the Apply button (Note: You may need to 'Make Real' your Armature modification before the Apply step).
Your mesh is now ready to export.

From the main File menu select Export → 0:MovieStorm – Cal3d Binary...
Enter the file name of your mesh file (ends in '.cmf').
Click the Cal3D Export button, and on the menu that appears, select “Bodypart (Vertex Group Weights)”
Copy the mesh, material and texture files to your MovieStorm addon for installation through Modder's Workshop.

-- Reacher

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