Animated .3ds and .md2 formats

Community Forums/Developer Stations/Animated .3ds and .md2 formats

YellBellzDotCom(Posted 2008) [#1]
Dont suppose anyone has any info on creating animated .3ds or .md2 models that work in blitz. Heres what Ive been doing for the last 2 weeks

Milkshape - Used studio max to model, rig and animate my model. Exported to Ultimateunwrap3d, used UU3d to export to .ms3d, used milkshape to export the .MD2. Loaded in game, animation works, model looks good except the flickering caused by lights

MilkShape2 - Created Model, rigged and animated in Milkshape and exported as MD2, same flickering problem

Fragmotion - Same results as Milkshape.

Qtip plugin for Max - Same results as Milkshape

Charater FX - Built the model in Milkshape, imported in CFX, Animated it, exported to MD2, same results as Milkshape.

Quake Model Editor - Created the model in Milkshape, exported to MD2, imported into Quake2 Model editor, same Flickering problem.

3d Studio Max - Used max to create model, rig it, animate it using a biped system. Exported to .3ds. Loaded into blitz and the model shows up with bones. The bones are barely visible but they are animated, not the mesh.

Ultimate Unwrap 3d - Exported rigged model from max to .uu3d, used ultimate unwrap 3d to export to .3ds, no animation shows up on model.

Milkshape - Exported rigged model from max to .uu3d, used ultimate unwrap 3d to export to .ms3d, used milkshape to export to .3ds, loaded in blitz and no animation shows up.

If anyone has any of the steps they use to create successful .md2 or .3ds animated models, your sharing of the knowledge would be greatly appreciated and you may even get worshipped!

Thank you.

chwaga(Posted 2008) [#2]
i had the same problem, but using the .b3d format fixed that for me.

YellBellzDotCom(Posted 2008) [#3]
I appreciate the reply Chwaga. I wanted to use the .b3d format, very nice format, but very resource intensive too. I ran tests on all my machines and they could only handle a handful of b3ds onscreen at once. With Md2's I could have 200 before my framerate dropped to an unacceptable level. I realize there are some other problems with Md2, nonpickable, no heirarchy for children, etc, but the resouce thing is my big issue right now. I was so upset about it, I went and bought torque, lol. But I have 2 years with Blitz3d and my program so I'll still be toying with it.

If Games like Counterstrike (Original one) can have so many models (mdl's?) on screen at once, why cant we?


chwaga(Posted 2008) [#4]
They aren't using DirectX 7 that's barely supported by most graphics cards :)

Beaker(Posted 2008) [#5]
Is it a skinned, or segmented (seperate meshes per limb) model? I suspect you are using the former (cos you've been using MD2 models) in which case you can't animate them using 3DS format, and must use MD2 or B3D formats.

Ross C(Posted 2008) [#6]
you can animate 3ds format in blitz3d as well as the .x file format. There is an example that comes with blitz that demonstrates it.

Beaker(Posted 2008) [#7]
Not skinned you can't.

Ross C(Posted 2008) [#8]
Ah yeah. Sorry, i thought you were talking about generally, as i've seen a few people saying .3ds doesn't animate at all.

YellBellzDotCom(Posted 2008) [#9]
Thanks for the pointer beaker. Yes my models are single mesh, skinned models. Sooooo, .3ds models must be segmented seperate meshes for each limb, and you must use scale/rotate/move functions in the animation program while taking keyframe snapshots of the model. Once you have this you can export to .3ds? Ill will do some tests and see if I can get this working.

Any ideas on the Md2 flickering faces thing?

They aren't using DirectX 7 that's barely supported by most graphics cards :) -Chwaga

DirectX 7 was released in Feb of 2000
CounterStrike Version 1 was released in Dec of 2000
I'm not sure what version of DX the Original Counterstrike was released with, but either it was 7 or an earlier version of it. Even back then, you could have 16 players on a server without any problems.

My point is, even with boned models and half life physics engine running under DirectX 7 or a previous version they were able show a high number of models on screen at once. Is the Mdl format that much easier for the computer to process?

Thanks for all the help

mtnhome3d(Posted 2008) [#10]
blitz uses the cpu to handle the animations so it processor intensive.

YellBellzDotCom(Posted 2008) [#11]
Yeah, I read that other engines actually have that same issue so it seems it may actually be a card gpu situation, video cards not being capable of processing the bone transformations. Not sure though. Of course find that out after the private forums open after forkin over the dough for that engine. Hehehehe

Thanks beaker for the advice there. I cant believe I didnt try that earlier. I understand the 3ds animation now. Build objects, rotate/scale/move them, set a keyframe, move animation slider, rotate/scale/move them, set a keyframe, etc.. Export the file to 3ds, load in blitz, works perfectly!

Would still like to see if someone had a build routine showing the tools and sequences they use to successfully build a md2 model.


ardee(Posted 2008) [#12]
Perhaps if you were to post a sample model in md2 format in blitz code demo showing the flickering and the file in native 3d format I could help, but you're not giving us anything to go on are you? Does the gargoyle.md2 in your samples folder show the same flickering?

My pipeline for md2 is Blender--.b3d--Fragmotion--.md2 (Blender's .md2 seems to be a strict implementation of the original Quake format which doesn't allow for hundreds of frames, Fragmotion does).

My md2's are all less than 600 tris (human characters) and haven't seen a problem with flickering, but it's early days so I'm not prepared to show anything yet ;-)

If you dont want to post a model publically you can email it to me. But first, check the gargoyle.md2 model in your samples folder.


YellBellzDotCom(Posted 2008) [#13]
Excellent Suggestion Ardee, thanks.
I can load the gargoyle.md2 model just fine, no flickering and it shows up perfectly.

I made a quick model in Milkshape just to see if it was the model program causing it, but I had the same results.

I have uploaded the milkshape file, the milkshape exported md2 version and the .bb blitz3d file.

I appreciate the help, I am still toying with .3ds files to see what kind of model sequence I can come up with to have some successful exports.

Thank you.