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Exclamaton 20 เม.ย. 2013 @ 2:09pm
[SOLVED] Making this model swap harder on myself (DAG Constraints)
This is my first foray into SFM, done some simple Blender and video game modding in the past. Yes, I've watched the tutorials and as you'll see I've been watching many others trying to avoid this exact plea for help... but I wouldn't be surprised if I missed something simple.

Goal: I saw this video of a simple swap out of the engineer in the "Meet the Engineer" video with a quarian model from the Mass Effect games:
Got me excited for a quick edit that I could get to look polished while at the same time learning the ropes of SFM.

Tools and Tutorials: I'm using the ME3 Cerberus Troopers off of Facepunch (also here[]) which have different bone structure than the TF2 guys, so I can't use Jimer Lins's Replacing Models tip
I was looking into puppeteering scripts but considering those all came out well after the Meet the Quarian video, I figured they weren't necessary to acheive the results I wanted. I ended up going back to Pte Jack's Giving a Character another Character's Animation Sequence based off R234's method.

Here it goes: I got my Cerberus Engineer to mime a TF2's reload animation as a test. Worked great, tutorial was super effective. Opened up the Meet the Engineer file and got the Cerberus Engineer to follow the TF2 Engineer using this same method on clip Eng002 (I figured to start on this clip since the amount of Engineer movement in frame was minimal). The trick was having to painstakingly pose the Cerberus Engineer just like the TF2 one before going through the "constraint_orient" process (something I picked up from the puppeteering script instructions), but this is further tricky because the Cerberus guys won't accept rigs for some reason. So to get to my goal, the options I see, well... I'm hoping I'm thinking way too hard on this one.
  • Manually pose the Cerberus Engineer at the beginning of each and every clip of Meet the Engineer, then going through and "constraint_orient" for each bone of each engineer in each clip. The quality of my animation would be entirely dependent on my mirroring of the TF2 Engineer's initial pose for each clip. (Not to forget all those other characters trying to sneak up on the Engineer which I'll have to replace)
  • Somehow extract the Meet the Engineer animations, then import then onto a t-posed TF2 Engineer, which would then be easier to do the whole "constraint_orient" thing with the Cerberus Engineer but then getting that Cerberus Engineer back into the Meet the Engineer file somehow.
  • Some completely obvious cut-and-paste job which makes me look like a fool. But I'll be a happy fool clogging the internet with yet another Meet the Engineer spoof. I'm not just swapping the model, don't worry... but this is the biggest technical hurdle for the concept I have.
ได้รับการแก้ไขครั้งสุดท้ายโดย Exclamaton; 11 พ.ค. 2013 @ 12:31pm
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R234 20 เม.ย. 2013 @ 6:03pm 
M hm, that's why you should usually have a bit of time where both characters are in reference pose somewhere in the shot. That should be doable in Meet the Engineer, even if you want to keep the video's timing intact.

You could lengthen the shot a few frames, say 10 frames, and import the Engi's ref pose for the last 5 frames. You can use these frames to pose and constrain your model to him. Once you're done, shorten the shot by 10 frames to return it to its original length. Logically, that should work.
ได้รับการแก้ไขครั้งสุดท้ายโดย R234; 20 เม.ย. 2013 @ 6:04pm
Exclamaton 21 เม.ย. 2013 @ 8:56pm 
Logically and actually, thanks R234! I did a quick test with a TF2 Engineer with the swimming animation, deleted samples from the last couple frames and imported sequence > ref. With the playhead in those last couple of frames, selected all time then ran through the DAG constraints thing just like before to link the Cerberus Engineer successfully to the whole clip's animation.
This doesn't carry over so easily to the Meet the Engineer file, though. Selecting a chunk of time and deleting samples doesn't freeze the TF2 engineer like in my test, and importing sequence > ref causes the engineer to jump way into the solid black outside of the map. And refuse to be moved...
Might not be a huge issue though since it looks like the engineer bones are in the ref positions, I just have to make sure to locked the constrained bones, deleted constraints, then unlock so I can move the Cerberus Engineer (position-wise) independent of the TF2 guy. Otherwise the Cerb Engineer is shot to the opposite corner of way-off-the-map once the TF2 guy goes from my inserted ref pose back to playing his guitar in the proper place by the truck.
Exclamaton 4 พ.ค. 2013 @ 3:46pm 
Update with an image.
Here's a screenshot of my hangup.[]
If I can get the Engineer not to shoot off to the moon when I apply Sequence>Ref, it will be easier to mirror pose my Cerberus Engineer and then apply the DAG Constraints.
Something's causing that rootTransform to jump, and I don't know what.
Dang it's soooo close!
R234 4 พ.ค. 2013 @ 4:27pm 
Hm... well first off, have you tried unchecking "generate root motion" when importing the ref sequence?

I gess it's worth trying, but I suspect it won't work, because the Engi's root transform is actually at 0,0,0 in MtEngineer as far as I can tell. What you could do then is select the whole of the Engi's anim set, except root transform and the pelvis' pos, like so:

Then import ref. The Engi will probably still move around a bit, but that can be fixed by applying the playhead filter on the pelvis joint.
Exclamaton 4 พ.ค. 2013 @ 4:53pm 
Yeah, already tried with "generate root motion" both checked and unchecked to no effect. I like where you're going with leaving out rootTransform and Pelvis... I'll give that a shot.
Exclamaton 11 พ.ค. 2013 @ 12:55pm 
โพสต์ดั้งเดิมโดย R234:
I gess it's worth trying, but I suspect it won't work, because the Engi's root transform is actually at 0,0,0 in MtEngineer as far as I can tell. What you could do then is select the whole of the Engi's anim set, except root transform and the pelvis' pos, like so:

Then import ref.
That did the trick! It will just take lots of tweaking per clip.
I think the for the Meet the Quarian vid, the quarian model somehow got the same rig as the TF2 engineer. The Mass Effect models don't have the TF2 cartoony proportions, so constraining the hands doesn't quite line it up since TF2 hands are so much bigger (that quarian in the video somehow being an exception). Cerberus Engineer's hands are not lined up on the guitar, which means I'll have to either
  • move the guitar for each clip pretty much pose to post OR
  • just move the entire body around the guitar for each clip (after locking then deleting constraints so I can move the body around while keeping the animation) - I think I'll do this one

So I guess I am making this harder on myself, but that's just how it has to be since the Cerb Engineer won't accept a rig. Dang.
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