LW, bones, shockwave... :(

zardoz

Active member
:help:
This is killing me...I believe that points in Lightwave may have 'memory'...
I'm having this problem. I'm doing this animation of a ribbon of metal 'embrassing' (sorry for my english) a wall (this is a old buildings recovery/restauration method). The thing is that I'm reusing a wall that I modelled for another totally different method...I had to change the geometry of the wall too for this project.

And for this one I modelled a metal ribbon that embrasses the wall at certain places. I animated the metal ribbon in layout (created the bones in layout, added weight maps for each bone and points in modeler) and exported to shockwave just to make sure it was ok...:hey: and it was.

Then in layout I added the wall and everything is crazy in the metal ribbon. Well, not everything but one of the end bones is not 'dragging' the points at one of the ribbon's edges. I'm pretty sure the wall has no weight maps.

So I've been doing some experiences. If I add a simple sphere or box or anything else, everything is ok. If I add this wall that bone doesn't work fine anymore. What I did was convert the wall to Lightwave 5 and then back again to 8.5 (to 'clean it' :screwy: ) and it works...(losing all uvmaps on the way :thumbsdow )

Using the file in 8.5 with no conversions it doesn't work even if I deleted all the weight maps this wall had from the other project...I also noticed that only some surfaces cause this problem...I imported parts of the wall to layout (by surface) and exported to shockwave and it works with some surfaces, but when I import some of the wall's surfaces it doesn't. So...some of the polygons on this wall are messing this up, even with no weight maps and no kind of connection with the metal ribbon. The objects aren't even parented or even related in any way.

What can be wrong??

tx for the help
 

Sam_Horton

New member
Just out of curiosity, When you import the wall, does it share any surface names with other objects in the scene. Sometimes weird things happen when you have duplicate surface names between objects.
 

zardoz

Active member
thanks for posting Sam,

no, not in this one. the metal ribbon has a unique surfuce name, and everything else too. Some time ago I noticed that problems could arise when we have anything duplicate when exporting to shockwave, so I spend a lot of time renaming everything. Every bone, weightmap, surface, layer, etc has a unique name.

Now I 'fixed' the problem by converting the objects to lw5 and then back to 8.5 but this is not a real fix, because I lost all the UV information and now I have to redo it.

But this has happened before and I wish I knew how to avoid this. In some projects I have to 'fake' the bones by braking the object in pieces and rotating all the pieces only because of problems like this.

I'll post here in the forums some pics of the stuff I've been using shockwave for...it's not pretty but hey.
 

mdoyle

New member
I have to agree that sometimes bones seem as though they have "memory" I have noticed in the past that you have to exit completely out of lightwave for a deformation to work when originally exported it doesn't work. I assume the models are completely seperate and are not even the same lwo or even layer?

If its bothering you please post the file and I will have a look to see if there is anything, the amount of times I have tried to get a scene working when its the smallest thing in the world you just keep missing because you have been looking at it too long. WIll be will to have a look and see if there is anything or maybe just another bug,
u can even mail it to me at [email protected] if you want

Cheers

M
 

zardoz

Active member
First of all thanks everyone for the help in this.

I leave here a render of this project, so that you can understand better what I'm doing.
This is a segment of a wall in an old building and this is a method to reinforce the wall. So, in the top view (the cut on the left) the grey is the wall and the red is the ribbon. I tried to animate it with bones and it is really hard, because the ribbon has to go thru two holes, and it is really hard for me to rotate the bones in a way to make it go thru the holes. And after the problems I had with the export to shockwave I decided to go another way.
So what I'm doing now is: create in modeler the path of the ribbon and a small piece with the same profile of the ribbon, and then in layout add the curve constraint modifier to the piece of ribbon and assign the curve with the path. Then I edited the scene with excel to create 30 or 40 pieces and I calculated in excel the delay each piece must have to follow the next one...like a train. This works fine...but takes so long to export with 40 pieces...and I need maybe 3 times more. Shockwave seems to handle it well. While LW exports it, seems that it is baking the motion, because I see the slider playing in the timeline...40 times...:thumbsdow arrggh!

So...I'm still open to suggestions (tx in advance)

Later I'll leave here the scene so that you can look at it.

Tx for reading.
 

zardoz

Active member
offtopic:

I was reading my last post and I noticed that I wrote this:

"So, in the top view (the cut on the left) the grey is the wall and the red is the ribbon."

Of course I'm talking about the "the cut on the right" and not "on the left".
But I wanted to edit the post to correct it, but I can't anymore...no "edit" button...there used to be an "edit" button right?
 

mdoyle

New member
YEah there used to be

----- just edited there looks like its only for a while its there
 
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zardoz

Active member
ok, I've managed a way to do this with bones...

Before, I was using a chain of bones, but now I use separate bones or chains to control the ribbon, so now I can move the bones and the ribbon will follow. Sometimes I have some stretching, that I could fix with some parented nulls to keep the distances ok, but I'm not going to do that.

Later today I'll have here an example of what I did. It's not final, it needs lots of tweaking, but that's going to be the way to do it.

Thanks for all the help, everyone.
 

zardoz

Active member
ok, I'm leaving here the scene ready to export to shockwave. Everything is there except that the main object is cutted because it is quite large and it has no maps.

The final scene has the wall (in the pictures attached) with only one map produced from a bake of all the surfaces into one single map.

I also triangulated the final object to try and reduce the errors that arise when Shockwave's LOD enters in action (strange triangles it makes, Luke).

It has a null called 'ALL' so that when I import into Director I don't have to edit the code. I try to organize everything with nulls because it seems better than using onley the objects pivot point.

Some posts above I said that I had to export to LW5 to 'clean' the object. Well after doing that and after rebuilding all the uvmaps the same problems came up when exporting to shockwave. The ribbon was acting crazy again. It looks like the creation of UVmaps and MorphMpas (that I used to make the UVs) messed things up. I don't know why or how...:screwy: So I had to convert it again from Lightwave to ...erhm...Lightwave but with accutrans to keep the uvs. And it worked.

So, with some minor adjustments this is what will be the final result.

In shockwave, you have a button to pause and start the animation and another button to reset the camera view. And a slider to play thru the animation.
Once again, thanks everyone for all the help and tips.
 

mdoyle

New member
A quick question for you in regards to your morphs etc I had a look at your scene and it seems fine but you said you still had to re save the object to LW5 and loose your maps etc. Did u delete the morphs after creating the maps and merging the points again?
 

zardoz

Active member
yep. I always do that. To create uvmaps I like to use morphs always because I can use all the tools, like the snap tools from pictrix. But after, I always delete all the morph maps. But even then everything was messed up. So, this time I used Accutrans to 'convert' from Lightwave to Lightwave...this way I kept the UVmaps (mainly for the baking, because in Shockwave I don't use any lights) and everything was ok.
 

mdoyle

New member
Am still not understanding why it won't work. THere must be something. I have created morph maps, baking, chains of bones like u have all desvribed and they have always worked.
 

zardoz

Active member
tx

I still remember a game against scotland 10 years ago or so here in lisbon (I guess it was 3-0 for us)...I was in college and me and my friends had lots of fun with some scotish fans in lisbon's downtown. One of the scotish fans was so drunk that while he was dancing in the street he was showing what he had under is kilt...fortunately this is portugal/europe and not the states or it could be bad for him. Instead everybody was really happy. Even after loosing the scotish fans were partying all night long. We enjoy having scotish and irish fans here. It's always great.
 

Chrusion

gold plated 3D
Where's Sam?

Seems he's pretty knowlegdable re. LW exporting to W3D.

I, too, have followed every freakin' piece of setup info in this forum and cannot get any bone scaling to export their keyframed motion to Director.

No, there's NO IK, goals, or other unsupported nonsense. Just a few plain-jane keyframes and some Repeat post-behavior.

Yes, there are NO overlapping weight maps on any parts of my object (layer 21 of my model). Each separate piece of connected geometry has its own uniquely named weight map.

Yes, there are skelegons in the object. After converting to bones in Layout,they did NOT scale the pieces on the same axis in Director as they do in LW, so I deleted them all and created layout bones instead. Could this be the reason none of the layout bones work? Nope. Just deleted all skels from the object, reloaded the scene and exported and still no bone deforming joy.

Yes, each bone is uniquely named and has "Use Weightmap" enabled and "Normalize" unchecked.

Any other niggles I've overlooked in this forum?

I do have to say I got far better "results" by using skelegons. At least they deformed the pieces, again, just on the wrong axis. And the question there is, why? Just had an idea... instead of scaling the length (self Z-axis) of the bone pointing up on the part's Y axis, I going to try resetting all the bones so they point down the Z-axis and scale their Y-axis.

HA! That worked! Kinda. At least the major Y-axis deform is working spot on. It's the minor X-axis that's swapped for Z now. Not too much of a problem in this case since no one is going to be able to see the X-axis not squishing every so slightly. <Heavy sigh of relief>.

I think Adobe needs to rewrite the lousy code called 3D in Director that Macromedia slopped together. That, or someone needs to get the LW shockwave exporter fleshed out and working in all w3d supported functions.

Z = Up in W3D land? Why? That's so retarded. Don't those programmers and standards committees know by NOW that Z-buffer and Z-depth in 3D means just that... DEPTH, not Height??? Sheesh.

So, I suppose we animator are dealt the hand of animating normally with all bones pointing down the Z-axis, then before exporting, copy our X-axis scale deforms over to the Z-axis for every bone that has such. But, then what happens is you have Z-axis scale deformations? How do you SWAP Z for X then?
 

mdoyle

New member
If you want to post your scene I will have a look at it. I really don't get any problems exporting to shockwave with either bones or skelegons.

Is your post behviour baked? Cos it wouldnt' export if it wasn't. Also what are you meaning by scaling? Are you meaning change the size of the skelegon using the "h" key and keyframe values?. If that is what you mean with scaling by changing the physical size not the rest size, well it just can't be done for exporting to shockwave from lightwave.

The exporter won't get rewritten because shockwave 3D is dying. Its old, and very limited. If adobe do anything with director and 3d I reckon they would rewrite it to be honest.
 
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Chrusion

gold plated 3D
mdoyle said:
Is your post behviour baked? Cos it wouldnt' export if it wasn't.

No, it is not, but it IS exporting and working, with random "hiccup" pops in the loop every now and then... nothing too objectionable.

{quote]Also what are you meaning by scaling? Are you meaning change the size of the skelegon using the "h" key and keyframe values?. If that is what you mean with scaling by changing the physical size not the rest size, well it just can't be done for exporting to shockwave from lightwave.[/quote]

Yes, this is what I mean. I thing rest size is irrelevant when it comes to weight map only usage. So is bone orientation it seems. But, you are slightly wrong in saying bone scale doesn't export. I does, just the X and Z axis are flipped/swapped.

My idea of rotating the bones so they point down the X-axis in Layout would answer my previous question about how to get scale animations transposed, but that didn't work.

With only 12 bones (not converted skelegons), I'll try the copy/paste thing in the Graph Editor. Don't see why that won't work. Just animate scale normally to get the correct visual result, copy the Z scale over to the X axis, delete the Z axis graph, and export. Of course the Layout results will be screwed up, but hopefully it'll look perfect in Dir. Here goes...


The exporter won't get rewritten because shockwave 3D is dying. Its old, and very limited. If adobe do anything with director and 3d I reckon they would rewrite it to be honest.[/QUOTE]
 

Chrusion

gold plated 3D
Well, how about that! It don't work :mad:

Director is totally ignoring Z scale bone animation. How nice.

So the question becomes... is my client screwed because his project can't be correctly animated in Dir.?

Or is there another way to animate an object's Layout Y and X scale?

Guess I'll have yet another go at scaling the objects themselves, parented to nulls. It's working for some other object this way, but it didn't for these pieces. Maybe I did it wrong the last few times. Oh well, here goes again...
 

mdoyle

New member
The reason why I don't use looping behaviours is exactly that. Not consistent. Most of the things are. after creating morphs, shadows and usable shockwave character rigs in director then I found that most things are best not done actually in lightwave.

If its a seperate object then you can always code it in director to change scale, if its part of one mesh then it can be a problem. THe only other way would be to use a morph which is quite a lot of work.

If the null thing works then great!

If you want I can re upload my bones preveiwer so u can just select different bone animations for the same file without having to view in export or director.
 
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