How to copy an animation from One Skeleton To Another

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How to copy an animation from One Skeleton To Another // TS6 and Older

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Post by DavidAWinter // Feb 25, 2009, 9:24am

DavidAWinter
Total Posts: 36
I'm sure I've read that this is possible, although, I've never successfully found a way to do it.


I have two, identical skeletons attached to two different meshes.


How do I copy the animation from one skeleton to the other?


I've tried Ctl+C and Ctl+V but that doesn't work. I can't find any right-click menu's for copy/paste, and I don't see any other obvious way to do it.


This isn't something I've had to worry about before, but I've completely rebuilt all the player meshes for my game but would like to rescue all my existing animations and reuse them. I've unfortunately not found a way to get them onto the new mesh.


thanks

David

Post by TomG // Feb 25, 2009, 10:07am

TomG
Total Posts: 3397
Generally, you make the animations on the skeleton, then move the whole skeleton animations and all into the new mesh. You can detach the animated skeleton from the original model and then reattach it to other characters.


Since you've already attached skeletons to the other meshes, you may have weight painting that you want to save, so perhaps the idea of deleting the skeleton and attaching the new animated one is not so appealing.


You can copy animations though. I just did this with a simple skeleton. I made a simple two joint skeleton, copied it. I made an animation for one of those, selected the clip in the Story mode, and chose Copy. I then selected the other skeleton object and created one blank KF in order to make a track for it, and then used Paste to paste in the the animation from the first skeleton. I deleted my blank KF clip. Preso, both skeletons had the same animation.


This all assumes you are using the workspace side, with its better bones and animation system.


HTH!

Tom

Post by DavidAWinter // Feb 25, 2009, 10:35am

DavidAWinter
Total Posts: 36
Generally, you make the animations on the skeleton, then move the whole skeleton animations and all into the new mesh. You can detach the animated skeleton from the original model and then reattach it to other characters.


Since you've already attached skeletons to the other meshes, you may have weight painting that you want to save, so perhaps the idea of deleting the skeleton and attaching the new animated one is not so appealing.


Indeed. I have roughly 200 animations to transfer and it takes about 2 and a half hours to properly weight the mesh after the skeleton has been attached so it bends in the right places (and not in others). Add to that I have 4 different variants of the same mesh (different body builds) and going that route is not practical.



You can copy animations though. I just did this with a simple skeleton. I made a simple two joint skeleton, copied it. I made an animation for one of those, selected the clip in the Story mode, and chose Copy. I then selected the other skeleton object and created one blank KF in order to make a track for it, and then used Paste to paste in the the animation from the first skeleton. I deleted my blank KF clip. Preso, both skeletons had the same animation.


Hmm okay.. then this is where I'm getting lost. How did you copy it?


This all assumes you are using the workspace side, with its better bones and animation system.


Workspace side? I didn't know there was another side?

Post by mrbones // Feb 25, 2009, 11:28am

mrbones
Total Posts: 1280
pic
You can right click the animation clip in the AE or hld cntrl and drag on the clip,
That copys on the same track.

then paste the copied clip on the other skeletons animation track in the AE.

Yes do this in workspace side with 4d animation aspect open, That is AE editor.

Can you provide screenshots?

Post by TomG // Feb 25, 2009, 12:54pm

TomG
Total Posts: 3397
Workspace side is where the new trueSpace7.6 magic happens. The model side is in effect trueSpace6.6 embedded as a giant plugin - good for historical access to old plugins, old scenes etc.


I am assuming your skeletons are workspace side tS7.6 ones since you didn't say otherwise (and I would very much recommend staying away from the old tS6.6 bone system - the new one is much better and easier!)


HTH!

Tom

Post by DavidAWinter // Feb 25, 2009, 5:09pm

DavidAWinter
Total Posts: 36
Workspace side is where the new trueSpace7.6 magic happens. The model side is in effect trueSpace6.6 embedded as a giant plugin - good for historical access to old plugins, old scenes etc.


I am assuming your skeletons are workspace side tS7.6 ones since you didn't say otherwise (and I would very much recommend staying away from the old tS6.6 bone system - the new one is much better and easier!)


HTH!

Tom


Actually I'm using TS6 (hence the forum I put the post in). None of my TS6 created animated character scenes will load properly in any version of TS7. They simply explode so I've never switched. I've reported that before, even shared meshes with caligari, but it was never addressed. Or at least it never seemed to fix anything. See screen shot attached. This is what my player models end up looking like when I attempt to import them into TS7.6. You can see the skeleton and shoes, but the rest of the mesh is simply not there. Other times it seems to load, but when I animate it, the vertex just scatter all over the place.


Beyond that though, I much prefer the interface of TS6. TS7 is just too cluttered with stuff I have no need for. I find it too unstable. I seem to be able to get it to crash at the slightest touch. See screen shot attached This was simply me trying to cancel the loading of a model that seemed to have hung the application (it got caught in a loop trying to find a texture I told it not to bother to load). When I do get it up and running, the whole thing is painfully slow. This is a machine used for game development. It has a top notch graphics card, and 4 GIG of ram. Nothing should be running slowly on this machine. I can't even minimize it to the task bar without one of the tool bars staying on my desktop (see screen shot).


And finally two of my critical pipeline tools don't work beyond version 6. Puppeteer, my animation tool crashes. And TrueX, my X format exporter generates corrupted meshes.


At any rate, I've tried the approach you suggested in TS6.


1. I opened an older file that contains one animation (a sprint).

2. I saved the animated mesh out to a COB format file.

3. Loaded the scene with the new mesh and skeleton.

4. Load the previous saved COB file (created from step 2).

5. Created a dummy, one frame animation for the new mesh.

6. Opened the scene editor and selected all the animation points for the old file. Rotate - Move - Scale - Kinematics

7. Clicked 'Copy'.

8. Selected the single frame of animation for the new mesh.

9. Clicked 'Paste'.

10. New animation points were added for Rotate - Move - Scale. However only one point was added for Kinematics (there should be 5 for this particular animation)

11. When I run the animation, the model 'bobs up and down' as if it were being animated, but the mesh itself doesn't move or bend. It maintains the same default pose.


We really need to be able to save skeletal animation out as a stand alone file so we can reuse it effectively.


and I would very much recommend staying away from the old tS6.6 bone system - the new one is much better and easier


Unfortunately, that's not an option. I need the skeletal system contained in the exported file to match the existing format exactly (same naming etc...) or the game would need a substantial amount of rework to make things work properly again. The old rig, and the new rig need to be identical.



thanks,

David

Post by TomG // Feb 26, 2009, 6:58am

TomG
Total Posts: 3397
Unfortunately I'm not aware of any way to copy animations from one skeleton to another in tS6.6 - pasting the animated skeleton into a new mesh is the only way I could think of for doing it. The old Animation Editor is not as powerful or flexible as the new one.


Not to say there isn't a way, maybe someone out there knows of one? It isn't something I ever really tried to do, so entirely possible that it can be done and I just don't know about it :)


There won't be any changes or updates to animation in the Model side (tS6.6), so we won't see any way to save the animation out separate from the skeletons there sorry to say.


There would be little benefit in loading old bones to tS7.6 it is true - you can't convert from old bones to new, so you would still be working with just the old bones system. Re-rigging using the new bones would be time consuming. Not sure if you would need TrueX, as there is a new X format exporter in the workspace side of tS7.6 - but of course X format is not really a standard so there is no guarantee it woud give exactly the same result as TrueX.


I never read the forums by category, only do "New posts since last visit" and concentrate on the post rather than its location, so hadn't noticed this was in a tS6 and older thread! Apologies for that.


Tom

Post by mrbones // Feb 26, 2009, 10:53am

mrbones
Total Posts: 1280
pic
Heres how it was done in GameSPace or 6.6


http://www.truebones.com/magicbones/



Unfortunately I'm not aware of any way to copy animations from one skeleton to another in tS6.6 - pasting the animated skeleton into a new mesh is the only way I could think of for doing it. The old Animation Editor is not as powerful or flexible as the new one.


Not to say there isn't a way, maybe someone out there knows of one? It isn't something I ever really tried to do, so entirely possible that it can be done and I just don't know about it :)


There won't be any changes or updates to animation in the Model side (tS6.6), so we won't see any way to save the animation out separate from the skeletons there sorry to say.


There would be little benefit in loading old bones to tS7.6 it is true - you can't convert from old bones to new, so you would still be working with just the old bones system. Re-rigging using the new bones would be time consuming. Not sure if you would need TrueX, as there is a new X format exporter in the workspace side of tS7.6 - but of course X format is not really a standard so there is no guarantee it woud give exactly the same result as TrueX.


I never read the forums by category, only do "New posts since last visit" and concentrate on the post rather than its location, so hadn't noticed this was in a tS6 and older thread! Apologies for that.


Tom

Post by mrbones // Feb 26, 2009, 10:58am

mrbones
Total Posts: 1280
pic
If you attach some geometry to the skeleton then export out of GameSpace in milkshape or direct -X format, You should be then be able to open the skeletons with motion in FragMotion, THen you could export those files as BVH to be imported into TS7.6. Dont worry about the meshs, THats what 7.6 is good at, Rigging meshes and weightpainting, which you should have to do only once, once you get the BVH bones in.



Actually I'm using TS6 (hence the forum I put the post in). None of my TS6 created animated character scenes will load properly in any version of TS7. They simply explode so I've never switched. I've reported that before, even shared meshes with caligari, but it was never addressed. Or at least it never seemed to fix anything. See screen shot attached. This is what my player models end up looking like when I attempt to import them into TS7.6. You can see the skeleton and shoes, but the rest of the mesh is simply not there. Other times it seems to load, but when I animate it, the vertex just scatter all over the place.

Beyond that though, I much prefer the interface of TS6. TS7 is just too cluttered with stuff I have no need for. I find it too unstable. I seem to be able to get it to crash at the slightest touch. See screen shot attached This was simply me trying to cancel the loading of a model that seemed to have hung the application (it got caught in a loop trying to find a texture I told it not to bother to load). When I do get it up and running, the whole thing is painfully slow. This is a machine used for game development. It has a top notch graphics card, and 4 GIG of ram. Nothing should be running slowly on this machine. I can't even minimize it to the task bar without one of the tool bars staying on my desktop (see screen shot).

And finally two of my critical pipeline tools don't work beyond version 6. Puppeteer, my animation tool crashes. And TrueX, my X format exporter generates corrupted meshes.

At any rate, I've tried the approach you suggested in TS6.

1. I opened an older file that contains one animation (a sprint).
2. I saved the animated mesh out to a COB format file.
3. Loaded the scene with the new mesh and skeleton.
4. Load the previous saved COB file (created from step 2).
5. Created a dummy, one frame animation for the new mesh.
6. Opened the scene editor and selected all the animation points for the old file. Rotate - Move - Scale - Kinematics
7. Clicked 'Copy'.
8. Selected the single frame of animation for the new mesh.
9. Clicked 'Paste'.
10. New animation points were added for Rotate - Move - Scale. However only one point was added for Kinematics (there should be 5 for this particular animation)
11. When I run the animation, the model 'bobs up and down' as if it were being animated, but the mesh itself doesn't move or bend. It maintains the same default pose.

We really need to be able to save skeletal animation out as a stand alone file so we can reuse it effectively.



Unfortunately, that's not an option. I need the skeletal system contained in the exported file to match the existing format exactly (same naming etc...) or the game would need a substantial amount of rework to make things work properly again. The old rig, and the new rig need to be identical.


thanks,
David

Post by TomG // Feb 26, 2009, 11:00am

TomG
Total Posts: 3397
EDIT - in reference to firs post of http://www.truebones.com/magicbones/ END EDIT I thought this was what David had already tried, perhaps not though! Let's see if he can give this a go and see if it copies the motion - sounds like he shouldn't be copying individual points or tracks (he mentions selecting Rotate, Move, etc separately), but just right clicking on the skeleton track at the highest level?


Thanks!

Tom


EDIT 2 - in refence to second post, on using FragMotion to BVH, that is pretty cool. Any naming conventions you need to follow or rules, when building the tS7.6 skeleton that the BVH will be applied to?

Post by mrbones // Feb 26, 2009, 11:45am

mrbones
Total Posts: 1280
pic
Yes, I would rename the joints in fragmotion to this structure and name convention. THen export as bvh.

THis is not a rule just more programs use this way of naming joints.


EDIT - in reference to firs post of http://www.truebones.com/magicbones/ END EDIT I thought this was what David had already tried, perhaps not though! Let's see if he can give this a go and see if it copies the motion - sounds like he shouldn't be copying individual points or tracks (he mentions selecting Rotate, Move, etc separately), but just right clicking on the skeleton track at the highest level?

Thanks!
Tom

EDIT 2 - in refence to second post, on using FragMotion to BVH, that is pretty cool. Any naming conventions you need to follow or rules, when building the tS7.6 skeleton that the BVH will be applied to?
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