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Props from Blender - tutorial


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#1 bongoman

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 07:18 PM

Props For MS From Blender 3D Using the Exporter Script
This tutorial assumes you can use Blender.

In Blender:
Once you have a model you're happy with in Blender*, create an armature by pressing spacebar & select 'armature' in the popup.
Leave it selected and go into 'edit mode', press 'e' to create a child bone.
Now go to 'object mode' and deselect it.
Select the mesh, shift-select the armature & press cntrl-p. Choose 'armature' in the popup, and subsequently the 'named groups' option.
Now the mesh is partially linked. Deselect, then select just the mesh. Enter edit mode, & select the entire mesh.
In the Buttons window(s), choose editing(F9) and look at the 'links & materials' category. Bone.001 will already be showing in the 'vertex groups' section.
Click 'assign' directly below it, and the mesh is now completely linked..
Now return to 'object' mode.
Select the armature & mesh & export them with the Moviestorm exporter. Choose 'Prop with armature weights' in the popup.
*Image UV mapped textures need to be applied to the object in order to work properly.

In Moviestorm:
Create a folder in 'addon' folder, inside it, create a 'Data' folder, then a 'Props' folder, then a folder for your prop, for example, myProp. Inside myProp, create a 'Textures' folder, put your textures there. Put the rest of the Blender produced .C... files into myProps. Run modders workshop, add prop in the usual way.

Hope this helps. It's not new really, just more step by step than other threads I've come across on the subject.
Your comments & suggestions are welcome
cheers

#2 lucindamc123

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 11:17 PM

Oh you make it sound so simple, Maybe I can do this. I sure hope so cause I can't ask you to animate something for me every time I need an animated prop. LOL.

#3 sfdex

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 12:18 AM

Is there no way to do this without modders workshop? I'm in a Mac-only house and Modder's Workshop seems to be PC only.

I'm fine on the Blender side of things.


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#4 lucindamc123

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 03:12 AM

(sfdex)
Is there no way to do this without modders workshop? I'm in a Mac-only house and Modder's Workshop seems to be PC only.

I'm fine on the Blender side of things.


Shoot if you can use Blender, just create your objects and one of us would be happy to convert them as Moviestorm addons. That is really easy to do. Didn't know the workshop didn't work with a Mac. I also have Maya Unlimited and am learning to animate with that. It is easier to use than Blender too.

#5 bongoman

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 04:53 AM

(sfdex)
Is there no way to do this without modders workshop? I'm in a Mac-only house and Modder's Workshop seems to be PC only.

I'm fine on the Blender side of things.


Heh, only a Mac would still work after a trip down the stairs.

They DONT have modders workshop for Mac?!? Argh. What's a used PC with a half decent graphics card cost these days? Can't be much more than a few cases of beer...

#6 sfdex

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 05:18 AM

LOL! I'm not entirely sure there's not a modder's workshop for the mac; I'd been lead to believe that was the case, though.... (And yep, the MBP is a bit bent in places, but he still works just fine.)

And Lucinda, that's great to know that folks will publish via Modder's Workshop, though it would be good to test out stuff all "in house" as it were. If I have something I just HAVE to have, I'll post up here.

We do have an old XP machine in a drawer somewhere, but my other half doesn't allow windows on our network.... Something about viruses and botnets and stuff. Oh my. (Maybe I'll secretly dig the old laptop out; could make for marital difficulties, though....)

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#7 bongoman

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 02:29 PM

(lucindamc123)
Oh you make it sound so simple, Maybe I can do this. I sure hope so cause I can't ask you to animate something for me every time I need an animated prop. LOL.

I bet there will be quite a few modders making custom objects soon, especially when the marketplace opens up. Also, I'm very reasonable - and when one pays for a product, one can be more specific about quality & delivery time, etc. However, I did say I'd help you out on that project you mentioned in your PM. Maya has a great rep, your only obstacle there is that there isn't any documentation on Maya exports to MS, but it's worth checking to see if it will export Cal3D format if you want to use it to build your own auto-animate objects.

sfdex, just keep it unconnected from Macs & internet, with a fresh format & re-install etc. Download MS & authenticate it 1st, then backup the MS folder, SP3, the latest Java, um whatever else MS needs to run, to CD before reformatting it. Then you'll be able to start MS on the new machine without logging it on to the net. MS will run on an unconnected machine, the authentication is contained inside the MS folder, not the system folder.




#8 lucindamc123

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 05:33 PM

Well I am not that concerned right now with being able to import the characters into Moviestorm for my own movies. I am really learning a lot about chromakeying. In fact I have a demo with a new animated horse I did, just slight movement, showing how to make a puppet look like he is riding and make the horse look like it is moving by using camera and chromakeying. This horse is a Moviestorm prop I made. However, I don't mind using Maya and making animated characters and chromakeying against the Moviestorm sets for myself.

Evenutally I would like to be able to import them into Moviestorm but I am not in a rush right now, especially for Wonder Boy since with Wonder Boy we have so many crowd scenes and fighting scenes, plus water scenes that you could only do with another animation program, it isn't practical to try to make all the characters work in Moviestorm.


So as far as what you do for Wonder Boy, don't worry if it won't import into Moviestorm. I will be happy with animated characters I can use in any way I can.

And I can also use Crazy Talk to lip synch. Right now I am spending the weekend doing all the Maya tutorials so I may be behind on some of the other projects I am doing with other people's scripts, like Urban Dream for David Pickett. But in the end it will be worth the delay because if I can learn Maya, I can do a much more professional job.

And I will be making animated characters with Maya available for use outside of Moviestorm using chromakey for everyone to use.

#9 AngriBuddhist

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 06:09 AM

@sfdex

I just came across this at the wiki- http://wiki.moviesto...dders_Workshop/

I'm not a Mac user so have no idea if it works or not. Like to be a guinea pig and tell me what happens?

#10 primaveranz

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 08:25 AM

QUOTE (AngriBuddhist @ Jun 28 2009, 06:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm not a Mac user so have no idea if it works or not. Like to be a guinea pig and tell me what happens?

I just tried this and can confirm that Modders workshop starts up and appears to be OK. Can't test publishing an object though as I have forgotten my password rolleyes.gif

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#11 AngriBuddhist

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 10:11 AM

Sweet. Thanks primaveranz.

#12 rocuro

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 03:01 PM

QUOTE (bongoman @ Apr 27 2009, 07:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Props For MS From Blender 3D Using the Exporter Script
This tutorial assumes you can use Blender.

In Blender:
Once you have a model you're happy with in Blender*, create an armature by pressing spacebar & select 'armature' in the popup.
Leave it selected and go into 'edit mode', press 'e' to create a child bone.
Now go to 'object mode' and deselect it.
Select the mesh, shift-select the armature & press cntrl-p. Choose 'armature' in the popup, and subsequently the 'named groups' option.
Now the mesh is partially linked. Deselect, then select just the mesh. Enter edit mode, & select the entire mesh.
In the Buttons window(s), choose editing(F9) and look at the 'links & materials' category. Bone.001 will already be showing in the 'vertex groups' section.
Click 'assign' directly below it, and the mesh is now completely linked..


OK here's where things go wrong for me. I installed the latest Blender (2.49b) and installed the recommended Python (2.61). I followed every step above, but Bone.001 was not showing in the Vertex Groups section.

You can see from the picture that bone 001 shows up in the main screen at the bottom left, but under vertex groups there is only reset position. I can't find the next step: " Assign".

Has anyone stepped through this? Were the recommended steps from a previous version of blender?
Any help out there?

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#13 johnnyquest

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 08:56 PM

QUOTE (rocuro @ Sep 24 2009, 03:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OK here's where things go wrong for me. I installed the latest Blender (2.49b) and installed the recommended Python (2.61). I followed every step above, but Bone.001 was not showing in the Vertex Groups section.

You can see from the picture that bone 001 shows up in the main screen at the bottom left, but under vertex groups there is only reset position. I can't find the next step: " Assign".

Has anyone stepped through this? Were the recommended steps from a previous version of blender?
Any help out there?



Went through the same thing just yesterday in fact. What happens is when you go into edit mode notice that the setting next to where it says "Edit Mode" now says "Armature" when you want it to say "Mesh"

Go back to Object Mode and deselect everything (A Key) Under the "Select" Menu, choose "Select All by Type" and choose Mesh. This should select your Mesh only, leaving the Armature unselected.

Now switch back to Edit mode and it should now say Mesh next to the Edit Mode. There you will be able to assign.

JQ


#14 rocuro

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 01:21 AM

QUOTE (johnnyquest @ Sep 24 2009, 08:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Went through the same thing just yesterday in fact. What happens is when you go into edit mode notice that the setting next to where it says "Edit Mode" now says "Armature" when you want it to say "Mesh"

Go back to Object Mode and deselect everything (A Key) Under the "Select" Menu, choose "Select All by Type" and choose Mesh. This should select your Mesh only, leaving the Armature unselected.

Now switch back to Edit mode and it should now say Mesh next to the Edit Mode. There you will be able to assign.

JQ


So sorry to be a nuisance, but hours later and no success. Even after deselecting everything from the object mode, it still says Armature and not Mesh. I have tried with an object imported from Sketchup. When that didn't work, I modelled in Blender. When that failed I just tried to use the starting block in blender. The bone appears to work, but after creating an armature, I can't deselect and choose only the Mesh. Any more ideas?

#15 bongoman

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 12:14 PM

'Select the mesh, shift-select the armature & press cntrl-p. Choose 'armature' in the popup, and subsequently the 'named groups' option.
Now the mesh is partially linked. Deselect, then select just the mesh. Enter edit mode, & select the entire mesh.
In the Buttons window(s), choose editing(F9) and look at the 'links & materials' category. Bone.001 will already be showing in the 'vertex groups' section.
Click 'assign' directly below it, and the mesh is now completely linked..'

Theres no bugs in Blender that ive ever found, you're missing something from this section of the tut i think. Theres also info on the MS wiki.

#16 rocuro

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 05:47 PM

QUOTE (bongoman @ Sep 26 2009, 12:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
'Select the mesh, shift-select the armature & press cntrl-p. Choose 'armature' in the popup, and subsequently the 'named groups' option.
Now the mesh is partially linked. Deselect, then select just the mesh. Enter edit mode, & select the entire mesh.
In the Buttons window(s), choose editing(F9) and look at the 'links & materials' category. Bone.001 will already be showing in the 'vertex groups' section.
Click 'assign' directly below it, and the mesh is now completely linked..'


Well, I have no problems getting through the 'name groups' section. I then deselect all, select Mesh. Then I enter edit mode (it continues to say armature on the bar next to Edit Mode no matter what I try). The options don't allow for selecting by type (mesh) only select child or select parent, inverse and a few others. Pretty weird.

I'm just making a weapon, is it possible the bone is already sufficiently skiinned at this point to export to MS?

#17 bongoman

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 01:19 AM

If it says you got an armature selected, then you havent selected the mesh properly. go to object mode & select only the mesh before entering edit mode, and after you've made the armature the parent of the mesh in object mode.

#18 rocuro

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 03:00 PM

Thanks to Bongoman for starting this thread. For those of us strong with Sketchup who want to get a novel weapon into MS, this is apparently the only path (see * for import to Blender).

For anyone playing along at home (and I doubt there are many of you), permit me to add a clarification step, for those of us less nimble with blender.

Original Instruction: "Now the mesh is partially linked. Deselect, then select just the mesh. Enter edit mode, & select the entire mesh."

At this stage in the game if you have been using the Select button or the A button to select or deselect items, it will fail you. Even if everything turns black, indicating you've deselected all, you haven't. If you go to edit mode, a tip of the armature is still selected, even though it is not clearly highlighted in "magnetic pink". The only way I have found out of this is to Right Click on a vertex of the outer object. That switches the focus from the bone to the mesh. Then proceed to edit mode and complete the assignment.



Footnote
* Export from Sketchup in Google Earth Mode; Change suffix to zip, unzip the file and use blender to import the collada 1.4 model file you unzipped that ends with ".dae".

#19 bongoman

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 03:27 AM

QUOTE (rocuro @ Sep 28 2009, 03:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks to Bongoman for starting this thread. For those of us strong with Sketchup who want to get a novel weapon into MS, this is apparently the only path (see * for import to Blender).

For anyone playing along at home (and I doubt there are many of you), permit me to add a clarification step, for those of us less nimble with blender.

Original Instruction: "Now the mesh is partially linked. Deselect, then select just the mesh. Enter edit mode, & select the entire mesh."

At this stage in the game if you have been using the Select button or the A button to select or deselect items, it will fail you. Even if everything turns black, indicating you've deselected all, you haven't. If you go to edit mode, a tip of the armature is still selected, even though it is not clearly highlighted in "magnetic pink". The only way I have found out of this is to Right Click on a vertex of the outer object. That switches the focus from the bone to the mesh. Then proceed to edit mode and complete the assignment.


I have no problem clicking or pressing A to select/deselect. I would suggest that Rocuro look at what's wrong with his system, or head, before spouting off about stuff he don't fully understand.

#20 AngriBuddhist

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 11:13 AM

....? blink.gif


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