View Full Version : directX export or animation file format

11-17-2003, 12:30 AM
Hi all,
i have about reached the end of the line here. i am trying to export my animated character model to directX and am having no luck with getting some features to work. and i would really like to avoid having to swap everything to 3dMax.
i am using the dStorm directX exporter which works providing you:
set all bones to have their "multiply by rest length" off
do regular exports to monitor just how the weight maps are working
it would be nice if there was somewhere that explained how to properly export or design models and animations so they would actually work.
i have most things looking as i want in the directX file now except the enodomorphs don't work for the knees and elbows!!! i have baked the motions, tried keyframing it manually, used expressions and nothing works. it just won't deform. can anyone help with this? i have search everywhere to find out just what you need to do to do this process successfully, but i can't find it anywhere.
alternatively, can someone point me to where i might find the definitions of the .lws file format so i can write my own export.

11-17-2003, 08:53 AM
I was not even able to do that... Do you mind giving a tutorial? I thought that all morphs/deforms were impossible to export and that you had to hand animate all layers in layout... if you got bones to work, you have given me a light at the end of the tunnel..... fyi if you are trying to get in to 3dsmax, there's an old plugin that I saw somewhere that is called lw2max... not sure it's still available though. http://www.nextlimit.com/productslw2max.htm http://www.nextlimit.com/downloadlw2max.htm but I don't see the acutal product in the price lists... just the demo... ?

11-17-2003, 02:16 PM

11-17-2003, 04:28 PM
There was quite a bit of trial and error involved with getting it to work. Even in the state i have it in now, what i see happening in Layout isn't necessarily what i can expect in the .X export. Here is what I have done so far:
1. I used skelegons for the boning which proved quite tempremental. Make sure you follow the creation of your skelegons as per the tutorial at thefollowing link. (http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/contests/dec-02/winners/tutorials/layout/Chris_Olsen/index.html)
2. Always make sure that before setting up the model in Layout that you save the object with the bones and mesh in the same layer!!!!! Otherwise i just won't work.
3. After converting the bones and you are starting to play with the weight maps to get the right deform ensure that you have the "Multiply by rest lenght" unchecked. I can't stress this enough as the exporter doesn't take the rest length in to account at all and after the export you will end up with completely different results to what you had in layout. With this unchecked you get a pretty close representation in Layout.
4. Ensure that the all points within the model are covered by 100% weight mapping. That is, for the elbow points have 50% bicept map and 50% forearm map. Or 60%-40%. Whatever, it just has to add up to 100%.

And that is pretty much all i know about it. I have been playing with it for some time and get nothing but frustration as there just is no guide (at least an english one) on how to model and animate to have the exporter work. I don't mind animating to strict guidlines as long as i know what they are!!!!
I still don't know how to get the endomorphs to work. Let me know if you get it working :)
Let me know if you are still having trouble with it and i will try to give a complete explanation.


11-25-2003, 07:13 PM
I tried it messing around with the boned 3d dave skeleton that is used for motion builder import/export and it just was not working right... It says that it's exporting a .x but then when you go to open it nothing is there...

edit - ok, it did work... opening the .x file with Direct X 9's meshview opens it! :)

I originally opened it with trueSpace and that did not work...

Thanks!!!! It's a mess now because I wasn't really worried what it looked like, just threw it together to see if it works - it did! This gives me some great hope for working my models in to games in the future since I am currently enrolled in that C++ class over at http://www.gameprogramming.org. I'll keep tinkering with what I have and see if I can get morphs to work... You may have to bone the mouth, etc instead of using morphs?

11-25-2003, 09:19 PM
the LWSDK outlines the object and scene file formats.

11-25-2003, 10:00 PM
i found out from D-Storm themselves that the exporter doesn't support endomorphs at all. bugger huh?
however, my brother and i are looking at the source code for the exporter as we speak and are looking at the possibility to add the endomorph functionality to the plugin. if we get it to work i will let you know.

12-09-2003, 01:31 PM
merged fbx with the lws and then did the Direct X output with the Dstorm plug - seemed to not work too well and messed up the .x file... Not sure if it's something in the fbx import or too much info for the Dstorm or something else... will keep experimenting.... if I can get fbx imports to export to .x it will be awesome since I'll soon be learning to program with Direct X! :)