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MayaCE3: A poll

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seith
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MayaCE3: A poll

Postby seith » 14.07.2012, 14:34

Hello guys,

Since I'm getting a bit tired of having to dance my way around the artificial limitations imposed by the Crytek Maya plugin (which MayaCE3 uses) I've coded a new exporter that does away with it entirely (by using the official Autodesk FBX/Collada exporter that comes with Maya). It's almost fully functional but so far I can see a couple of workflow drawbacks in regard to animated characters:

1) You have to combine meshes before binding the resulting mesh to the joints, because the CryEngine only supports one skin-cluster (right now you can have separated skinned meshes lying in the "..._group" node).

2) When binding your mesh to the skeleton you would have to make sure all of the skeleton's joints are selected (right now you can bind only to some of them, leaving the rest out).


The advantage of doing away completely with the Crytek Maya plugin is that I can quickly implement any structural change/improvement I see fit, or features I'm being asked to add. And of course, it would mean that support for Maya 2013 -or any other future version- would be implicit (no need to wait anymore for Crytek to give us a plugin).

Anyway, the two points above are the main drawbacks I identified so far. There's still some work left to do before a release, but I wanted to put it out there: As Maya users, do you guys think those are acceptable drawbacks in your workflow? Or not? Please explain why...

Cheers,
Seith
Der_Herm
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Re: MayaCE3: A poll

Postby Der_Herm » 14.07.2012, 14:41

Isn't ruan working on something similar?

Why don't you team up and make the ultimate fbx exporter :D
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seith
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Re: MayaCE3: A poll

Postby seith » 14.07.2012, 15:47

Well I'm very far from possessing Ruan's coding talents, so I don't think I could be of much help to him there... :)

If I'm not mistaken, he's working on an application to convert an exported FBX file into a DAE (Collada) file which can then be compiled by the Crytek compiler. On the other hand, I'm just exporting a Collada file.

But what's true is our goal is the same; getting rid of our dependency on Crytek for providing support for the latest applications in a timely fashion.
afrolloveur
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Re: MayaCE3: A poll

Postby afrolloveur » 14.07.2012, 19:49

Thank you for answer,
Here are contained in characters.chr params file:
Code: Select all
<?xml version="1.0" ?><Params><AnimationList>
      <Animation name="#filepath" path="Animations/my_objects/"/>
      <Animation name="chemar" path="chemar.caf"/>
   </AnimationList></Params>


You see some this?
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seith
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Re: MayaCE3: A poll

Postby seith » 14.07.2012, 21:42

(ahem, afrolloveur I think you posted this to the wrong thread)
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faith113
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Re: MayaCE3: A poll

Postby faith113 » 16.07.2012, 00:26

I think the benefits out weight those minor inconvieneces by far. I would totally use it! :D
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Anubis
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Re: MayaCE3: A poll

Postby Anubis » 16.07.2012, 19:37

I just wanted to chime in to alleviate any surprise future frustration. Are you attempting to do all the renaming needed prior to COLLADA file export, a vanilla COLLADA exporter won't work without doing all that renaming. We invisibly encode a lot of data into COLLADA node names at export time that the regular export won't have.
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seith
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Re: MayaCE3: A poll

Postby seith » 17.07.2012, 00:08

@Anubis: Indeed, I am painfully aware of that... :) Basically what I'm doing is "filtering" the default Collada file exported by Maya/FBX to make it acceptable by the compiler. And in some cases completely rebuilding sections from the ground up. It's tedious work, basically reverse-engineering the naming conventions/specific requirements, but in the end it works.

But you obviously know a lot about that (do you work on the official Crytek exporter?). Please feel free to let me know specifics related to that process (like technical documentation about what kind of things the compiler looks for in the Collada files).

Again, your help would be greatly appreciated.


 
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