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Blender Custom Character Import, Weighting, Head, Tips

 
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NightSkiesPony
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 PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2022 4:15 pm    Post subject: Blender Custom Character Import, Weighting, Head, Tips Reply with quote Back to top

Import workflow for original character, to blender, and back to editor again
Final process has been worked out thanks to people and MRKane
Requires paid blender plugin better fbx importer/exporter ($28 for one person), unfortunately.

http://www.shootersforever.com/forums_message_boards/viewtopic.php?p=75520#75520

export from model editor as dae -> better fbx import -> some tweaks in the above guide -> better fbx export -> import, and all animations are no longer broken!

For a custom character, start at the FBX export step, and of course make sure you've followed the other character creation guides:

(Blender) http://n64vault.com/ge-guides:ge-model-tutorial
(non-blender, above based on this) http://www.shootersforever.com/forums_message_boards/viewtopic.php?t=7081

MRKane wrote:
To fix the animations and rigging with the Better FBX plugin, please note that I'm writing this from memory so it's probably wrong in one of the steps:
-export as a dae file as this scrubs a lot of the finicky position information
-when importing check "fix bone positions", and uncheck "automatic bone orientation" to get bones as joints
-select each of the imported mesh objects and clear the transform while keeping position, then apply the armature modifier, then clear the object parent while keeping the transformation
-go into pose mode for the armature and apply the pose position as rest position to correct the zeroing of the armature while in edit mode
-reapply the meshes to the armature and don't worry, they'll have kept the vertex assignments

The core issue with the animations is that not many programmes respect the bone offsets field in the FBX format - and there's no 'rest pose' written on import. I don't know if this is a FBX thing.


Instructions:

1. export as a dae file (from model editor)
2. when importing check "fix bone positions", and uncheck "automatic bone orientation" to get bones as joints. Bones should import as a sideways H, not with all bones at the center in object mode (show bone names in armature options to othis in object mode (in edit mode they will still be at 0 at this point before we've fixed it).
X (I would skip this. I found this not necessary and the scale messed things up) select each of the imported mesh objects and clear the rotation and scale transform while keeping position transform
3. Apply the armature modifier to each mesh part by selecting all of the imported mesh objects and choose Object->Convert->Mesh.
4. select all the imported mesh objects clear the object parent while keeping the transformation
5. (this is very key) go into pose mode for the armature and apply the pose position as rest position to correct the zeroing of the armature while in edit mode. The rest pose and pose position will now be the same. Before rest pose was all bones at 0. Now its fixed.
6. Room4B_primary (low res hips) doesnt come attached to the armature and always needs weight painting to a vertex group named 1 (for bone 1, hips), at least in the usual player models.
7. reapply the meshes to the armature and don't worry, they'll have kept the vertex assignments. No need to parent them to the armature.
8. On Better FBX export, all default options, except turn on "Include Armature Deform Modifier"

Would be nice to have a workflow for non-paid blender plugin, but this plugin is only $28.


Last edited by NightSkiesPony on Sun Jul 03, 2022 3:40 am; edited 5 times in total
 
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NightSkiesPony
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 PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2022 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

If youre making entirely new characters with all new animations, this kind of issue is less of a problem as you'll be overwriting all animations.

I recommend this tutorial for character modeling in blender
http://n64vault.com/ge-guides:ge-model-tutorial
Pavarini's more generic guide it was based on: http://www.shootersforever.com/forums_message_boards/viewtopic.php?t=7081

Basically if you weight paint and have the armature in there, it more or less works. You'll have to do all new animations though. The animation tutorial seems to work too.
 
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MRKane
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 PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2022 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I think it's awesome that you've got good clear instructions up for everyone! Hopefully this'll help the community generate more more fantastic content!

It might be worth mentioning that I did a lot of directed development for the Perfect Dark mod I was making, Dark Noon, but have since moved to Goldeneye.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLu2gyqUkCQ
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NightSkiesPony
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 PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 3:28 am    Post subject: Weight Painting difficulties Reply with quote Back to top

Weight Painting incredible pitfall

As so painfully learned here:

http://www.shootersforever.com/forums_message_boards/viewtopic.php?p=75648#75648

When doing weights, do not ever paint with a 0 strength brush, always 1 (full) strength, and use ctrl+z if you mess up. Delete the vertex group for that bone to start over.
If you paint a 0, this will cause the program to set that as full strength (1) on import, and things will be really confusing as to why the weighting isn't what you exported.

So basic rules:
1. Always paint with 1 (full) strength brush.
2. Never paint with 0 ("empty") strength brush.
3. Use Ctrl+Z to undo mistakes in painting.
4. If you must, remove the vertex group named after that bone and start over. This will guarantee there's no 0 weighted points that you cannot see.


Last edited by NightSkiesPony on Sun Jul 03, 2022 3:41 am; edited 2 times in total
 
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NightSkiesPony
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 PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 3:36 am    Post subject: Head positioning Reply with quote Back to top

Head positioning

If your custom model and custom head aren't fitting together correctly, try this.
Assuming the #2 bone (neck) is where the head should meet the neck (or body if the head model includes the neck), modify the head 3d model so that the spot where the head attaches to the rest of the body is at 0,0,0 in that model file.

So for instance if your head model includes the neck, make sure the bottom of the neck, right in the center, is at 0,0,0. In the body model file, put bone #2 at the spot right in the center of the neck hole. Now the head+neck model file will sit right in that spot on the body.
For a head without a neck included, the bottom of the head should be roughly at 0,0,0, where it would attach to the neck. I think you can figure it out from here XD.


That's all!
 
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