Questions About 3D Characters

  • #10, by bonesSunday, 02. April 2017, 07:22 4 years ago
    @Kevin

    Aside from 3d and 2d characters, one additional option that is supported in Visionaire are Spine characters and objects. I've tested these, and it works quite well, with some caveats (character parts cannot be controlled with Lua scripting, and no animation blending). I am not 100% sure whether mesh deformation is also supported - the one character I tried that had mesh deformed animated parts did not load those parts correctly.

    Since Spine is quite expensive ($300), a good alternative is DragonBones, which is free, and exports to Spine format (but the app needs to be online to do so). Also an option: CoaTools for Blender-->export to Dragonbones-->export Spine-->Visionaire. Blender (as you are probably aware) offers excellent animation tools.

    Build a character in Gimp or Photoshop, import directly into CoaTools, and start animating. Or animate directly in DragonBones.
    http://dragonbones.com/en
    https://github.com/ndee85/coa_tools

    Here my post (top and middle of the page) explaining how it works, and a small demo file with the fire demon. It's fun to work with.
    http://www.visionaire-studio.net/forum/thread/animating/9/

    I wrote a post a while ago that I decided to use Unity for a game idea, but to be honest I am not so sure anymore. I tested Adventure Creator for Unity, and Unity feels a bit awkward for 2d adventure games. So now I am testing Visionaire once more to see if it can do what I need. Version 5 looks quite promising as well.

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  • #11, by Kevin ArnoldSunday, 02. April 2017, 16:48 4 years ago
    Thanks for the info. I know all about Spine and rigging 2D with bones for animation, but in the end, what good is it if you can't blend between animations in Visionaire? I guess 3D won't help much because if the character can't blend between a standing animation and a walking animation seamlessly, what's the point? You can just render to sprites and see the same effect without using resource-heavy 3D models. 

    If you can use version 5's turn animations and have them bridge the standing and walking or any additional character animations, that would be nice. But there doesn't seem to be that much info on it. Is this engine designed for Daedalic? I see them posted everywhere on the site.

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  • #12, by afrlmeSunday, 02. April 2017, 17:54 4 years ago
    If you can use version 5's turn animations and have them bridge the standing and walking or any additional character animations, that would be nice. But there doesn't seem to be that much info on it. Is this engine designed for Daedalic? I see them posted everywhere on the site.
    No, but they are probably the biggest return clients that use Visionaire Studio; as such they often get to discuss ideas for new features & make requests for certain features to get added into future updates.

    The blending thing you are both talking about would be something along the lines of taking stock of the characters current animation & which frame they are on then using that to decide which frame should be used as first frame of the next animation or at least waiting until current animation ends before playing the next one? If that's the case then theoretically it would be possible with Visionaire Studio & a loop / event listener, but I've no idea how much work would be involved in making it work seamlessly.

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  • #13, by Kevin ArnoldSunday, 02. April 2017, 18:49 4 years ago
    If you can use version 5's turn animations and have them bridge the standing and walking or any additional character animations, that would be nice. But there doesn't seem to be that much info on it. Is this engine designed for Daedalic? I see them posted everywhere on the site.
    No, but they are probably the biggest return clients that use Visionaire Studio; as such they often get to discuss ideas for new features & make requests for certain features to get added into future updates.

    The blending thing you are both talking about would be something along the lines of taking stock of the characters current animation & which frame they are on then using that to decide which frame should be used as first frame of the next animation or at least waiting until current animation ends before playing the next one? If that's the case then theoretically it would be possible with Visionaire Studio & a loop / event listener, but I've no idea how much work would be involved in making it work seamlessly.

    Yeah something like that. For example, when you import a 3D animated character into Unity, it normally has actions attached to it, like idle and walking. Then you set it up in a way that when the player presses the key, the character moves from idle to walking in one fluid motion, not a jerky instance where it just goes from one animation to the other without any in-betweens. That's something you can do in Visionaire?

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  • #14, by bonesSunday, 02. April 2017, 19:21 4 years ago
    Yeah something like that. For example, when you import a 3D animated character into Unity, it normally has actions attached to it, like idle and walking. Then you set it up in a way that when the player presses the key, the character moves from idle to walking in one fluid motion, not a jerky instance where it just goes from one animation to the other without any in-betweens. That's something you can do in Visionaire?
    I asked the same question to Simon (lead developer of Visionaire, I believe?), and his answer was that it was not supported, and to support animation blending he would have to rewrite the entire animation code.

    Currently the Spine functionality that is supported in Lua is obscure and undocumented - perhaps not supported at all? Unsure - there is just no documentation at present. Simon did say he or others would expand the documentation for V5 to include it.

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  • #15, by Kevin ArnoldSunday, 02. April 2017, 19:26 4 years ago
    Yeah something like that. For example, when you import a 3D animated character into Unity, it normally has actions attached to it, like idle and walking. Then you set it up in a way that when the player presses the key, the character moves from idle to walking in one fluid motion, not a jerky instance where it just goes from one animation to the other without any in-betweens. That's something you can do in Visionaire?
    I asked the same question to Simon (lead developer of Visionaire, I believe?), and his answer was that it was not supported, and to support animation blending he would have to rewrite the entire animation code.

    Currently the Spine functionality that is supported in Lua is obscure and undocumented - perhaps not supported at all? Unsure - there is just no documentation at present. Simon did say he or others would expand the documentation for V5 to include it.

    Ah okay, thanks. That's a shame. You'd think with a major version update that they'd at least work on blending animations especially if they support (semi-support?) 3d models. I know Daedalic uses this engine, but I'm still not seeing the ultimate reason to use it besides ease of use? I'll just need to get my hands dirty and test it out for myself!

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  • #16, by afrlmeSunday, 02. April 2017, 22:35 4 years ago
    I don't know about blending Spine or 3D model animations but the regular 2D animations would be possible - in theory. I'm not sure it would be worth the effort though unless your willing to get dirty with loops, tables, Lua script & adding scripts directly into animation frames with the execute a script action part.

    Character rotation should be enough. If it's just begin & end walk animations you are bothered about then you could probably sort those out with what I mentioned above.

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  • #17, by Kevin ArnoldSunday, 02. April 2017, 23:13 4 years ago
    Character rotation should be enough. If it's just begin & end walk animations you are bothered about then you could probably sort those out with what I mentioned above.
    When you say rotate, do you mean actually rotating the character so it looks like its spinning around to face the other direction, or do you mean something like mirroring? Do you have an example file or a sequence showing it? Are you talking about 3D or 2D still? Can I ask any more questions in one paragraph?

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  • #18, by AkcayKaraazmakMonday, 03. April 2017, 00:21 4 years ago
    I've tested my 3d characters on Vs5 beta and its much better then 4.25. I found some bugs related with 3d stuff and reported to Simon and later he has fixed them. For the character rotation you can check my game The Dark Inside Me, its not perfect but its looks fine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynKTw4JCxh0 ... Below there is a link for the demo, you can download and see how a 3d character can look like in VS.

    I think Vs5 will be good enough for 3d characters, there wont be dynamic realtime shadows and 3d shader support but it can give you good results if you bake shaders to texture.

    By the way .x format worked best for me. Collade game me some errors, liked messed up textures and bugy character animations.

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  • #19, by Kevin ArnoldMonday, 03. April 2017, 01:22 4 years ago
    I've tested my 3d characters on Vs5 beta and its much better then 4.25. I found some bugs related with 3d stuff and reported to Simon and later he has fixed them. For the character rotation you can check my game The Dark Inside Me, its not perfect but its looks fine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynKTw4JCxh0 ... Below there is a link for the demo, you can download and see how a 3d character can look like in VS.

    I think Vs5 will be good enough for 3d characters, there wont be dynamic realtime shadows and 3d shader support but it can give you good results if you bake shaders to texture.

    By the way .x format worked best for me. Collade game me some errors, liked messed up textures and bugy character animations.
    Thanks for the reply. I watched the video, and it seemed pretty okay. I downloaded the demo and played it. I can say this: I would never import 3d into Visionaire after seeing that. It's not that your work isn't cool. Rotating the character is fine enough, but the lack of blending between walking and idling is way too jarring. Maybe you've found away around this and haven't showed it? I'd like to see it if so.

    No blend; no nothing. Just an idle to an instant walk to an instant idle. That totally breaks the immersion. I wouldn't say VS has 3d support. I would say it's more like 3d semi-friendly, as in you can import 3d, but you probably shouldn't.

    I'll render my 3d to sprites for sure and do tests like that instead. Outside of that, it's 2d only in VS, or I'll suck it up and buy Adventure Creator and Playmaker for Unity and go that route.

    Thanks a lot for showing me that. That's exactly what I wanted to see. Good luck with your game! It has a good atmosphere.

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  • #20, by afrlmeMonday, 03. April 2017, 02:02 4 years ago
    Character rotation should be enough. If it's just begin & end walk animations you are bothered about then you could probably sort those out with what I mentioned above.
    When you say rotate, do you mean actually rotating the character so it looks like its spinning around to face the other direction, or do you mean something like mirroring? Do you have an example file or a sequence showing it? Are you talking about 3D or 2D still? Can I ask any more questions in one paragraph?
    Character rotation (animating the character turning from one direction to another).

    P.S: one of main issues with 2D animation & switching between idle & walk animations is that often people don't think about which walk frame to start with. A lot of people for some reason start with the character with their legs stretched out to the widest point which looks really stupid to me. For the protagonist of A Little Less Desperation game I'm helping develop Marian exported about 30+ frames per walk direction from Cinema 4D for me & I carefully selected the frames that worked best - I think we used 14 frames for the demo, might be using more for final game - & from those I then organized them so that the first walk frame started more or less from the idle position. It at least made it look like we had a begin walk animation, but unfortunately sorting out a end walk animation is a lot more complicated.

    https://i.gyazo.com/c22278f9cfd79e2f654ed5d03ed955e7.png

    As you can see... not perfect, but it did the trick. wink

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