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Old 20th Jun 2016, 9:06 AM DefaultProblem with child poses/child skeleton #1
simmer22
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I have this strange problem when I use the child skeleton to make poses - arms just don't end up where they're supposed to end up, and the first thumb joint doesn't seem to work properly.

I made two almost identical poses, one with the adult female skeleton (which aligned up perfectly with a prop I'd made), and one with the child skeleton (arms and hands were lower than they should be, and the thumbs weren't in the correct position). It's almost as if some of the joints from the clavicle to the fingertips aren't active or don't rotate properly.

I don't think any of the joints were moved over the 180 degree limit, and I've used "origin" and "local" for all rotation in Milkshape, and as far as I know only moved the "root_trans" joint and rotated the "root_rot" joint.

I've had this problem for a while now, and it's frustrating. Have anyone else noticed this problem?

I've wondered if the solution is to make a new skeleton for the child body, in case there's something wrong with the original, but I don't know how to deactivate the hair bones. Does anyone know how to?
Old 8th Jan 2019, 9:53 PM #2
d4RE
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@simmer22

Apologies for the necro, but I'm having a similar problem, and was curious if you ever had any luck with solving this.

About the hair bones - I recall that, in this thread (http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=239172), Dr Pixel and WesHowe mention disabling them by adding comments to get the exporter to ignore them.
Also, that some discrepancies like yours could happen because the math wasn't absolutely perfect in the exporter.

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Old 8th Jan 2019, 10:21 PM #3
simmer22
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I have no idea what was wrong, but I had various issues with them, so I ended up making a full set of new animation resource files (with disabled hair bones), which seem to work fine. I've also made sure to deselect all the bones and fix a few other things that annoyed me with the originals, because I kept accidentally rotating or moving stuff in the files. Here, if you want them: https://simfileshare.net/download/808783/

There's teen and elder there, but they may not work very well for animation purposes (a game problem - elders usually use the adult animations but with some changes that make them stoop a bit. As far as I understand, teens also use the adult animations, but with a height change to make them shorter).

Some of the issues I did have may have come from the bone rotation, so make sure you use "local" and "center of mass" for the rotations, and ONLY rotate the bones except for the "root_trans" which should ONLY be moved. You should probably also stay away from the "Auskel" bone.
Last edited by simmer22 : 11th Jan 2019 at 11:20 PM.
Old 11th Jan 2019, 1:25 AM #4
d4RE
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Thanks for the info and toys to play with. My problem wasn't so much with poses , rather moving the location of an animation and only getting the roots to move with the hands and feet stubbornly staying where they were. Tried moving slots and making new ones to no avail. Since I need to make child animations from scratch, these models and your advice should be quite helpful.

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Old 11th Jan 2019, 1:06 PM #5
simmer22
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Not entirely sure what you mean, but to move the entire skeleton/sim in a regular animation/pose box, you'd need to move the "Root_trans" bone.

If it's for a custom animation linked to an object or an animation moving over some distance or jumping between slots, then I don't know. Probably has to do with BHAVs and slots, as you say. The sim probably has to be linked to a spesific place with some kind of container slot, and I think someone else has to do that explanation. I only know how to move and rotate existing container slots for simple animations (for instance with the baby toys).

----

If you mean getting the body to move while the hands or feet stay in place, that's called Inverted Kinematics (IK) animation, and that's as far as I know not possible (currently, anyway) in Milkshape. The skeleton works with Forward Kinematics (FK), which means you can't get the hands or feet to stick while the rest of the body moves. You need some spesific rigging tools for that, which I don't think Milkshape has. I'm certain the original rigs the game creators had did have IK through whichever program they used to make the game, bu those tools would most likely have been spesific to that program.

It is possible to do IK in Blender, but then someone needs to make a rigged TS2 skeleton with IK tools, and an animation exporter that makes it possible to export the IK animation to ingame. I think someone did this with a TS3 or TS4 skeleton, so it may be possible for TS2 too.

IK animation makes it easier to do things like walk cycles and hands that hold onto a static object, because instead of working forwards (shoulder to elbow to hand), you can grab onto the IK placeholder for the hand, and everything (elbow and shoulder)moves along. You can also stick the hand to an object and move the rest of the body while the hand stays in place. Same with the feet. You grab the foot, place it down, it sticks there, you move the body forward and the foot stays in place.
How IK and FK works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0a9qIj7kwiA

I haven't rigged a character with IK in at least 8 years, so I've pretty much forgotten how to do it, but I'm sure there are others who'd know.

I know I'd love to have IK animation available. It would make things like walk cycles much easier to make, and maybe I'd even venture into animations. As it is now, the animations made by players often isn't good because the FK screws up too much, and makes the animation look unnatural and choppy.
Last edited by simmer22 : 11th Jan 2019 at 11:26 PM.
Old 13th Jan 2019, 6:12 PM #6
d4RE
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Best I can tell is that the existing animation has coordinates that are relative to the slot , but they don't move when I move the slot. Changing the x-coordinates to the root_trans in animation file moved the animation in y-direction and totally opposite of direction I expected. And yes, since the hand and feet animations didn't move with the root, I'm assuming there's some IK going on. That's why I thought using your rig and just making a new child animation from scratch might be easier than chasing down some 80 timecodes and hand-editing each of the joints.

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Last edited by d4RE : 13th Jan 2019 at 6:27 PM.
Old 13th Jan 2019, 6:25 PM #7
simmer22
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The "parent" joint in FK animation is the shoulder or thigh joint. The "parent" joint in an IK animation would be the hand or foot. The "parent" is kind of the master joint, so when this is moved, all the "child" joints move with it. Rigs with IK usually have both types of animation available.

Still not entirely sure what you're trying to do, though.

The child animation file is fixed (as in, extracted from a clothing skeleton, and the hair bones being deactivated).

The rotation between Milkshape and slots in SimPE are slightly different - the Z and Y are switched, and I think the -/+ on the Y are switched (they are so between Wings and SimPE, too). But you don't need to worry about this when you export an animation, only when editing slots in SimPE.

I double-click the bone I want to rotate in the Joints menu, and rotate in the 3 windows. I found that's less buggy than marking the bones in the windows. You also need to mark everything and set a key.

I think the ingame animations are animated in several sequences if they move between slots, or if there are different sequences meant to be switched around in the BHAVs.
Last edited by simmer22 : 13th Jan 2019 at 6:41 PM.
Old 13th Jan 2019, 6:47 PM #8
d4RE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simmer22
Not entirely sure what you're trying to do.

The rotation between Milkshape and slots in SimPE are slightly different - the Z and Y are switched, and I think the -/+ on the Y are switched (they are so between Wings and SimPE, too). But you don't need to worry about this when you export an animation, only when editing slots in SimPE.

I double-click the bone I want to rotate in the Joints menu, and rotate in the 3 windows. I found that's less buggy than marking the bones in the windows. You also need to mark everything and set a key.


Yeah, that's one of the reasons I prefer working in blender - I just make the global coordinates the same as in Sims2. That's not the problem, though. I know how to manually edit the animation to make it work, but I don't want to do all that work. So, my plan is to re-make the animation in Blender, where I have a clue about what I'm doing, then transferring it to Milkshape to export back into the game. Needed a good model to test it in Milkshape, and it sounds like yours is an improvement on Dr Pixel's.

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Old 13th Jan 2019, 9:16 PM #9
simmer22
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Does sound like you're making a lot of work for yourself.

There isn't an animation exporter that works between SimPE and Blender (and Milkshape) yet, so even if you make a rig with IK, I don't think that'll work properly - unless you're planning to make an exporter, of course.

If you start transferring the skeleton/animation between the two programs, you'll get more troubles than if you just learn how to do animations in Milkshape (unless you're planning to make those plugins for Blender, that is).

Personally, I know enough to get around in Milkshape, and I'm slowly getting past the noob stage in Blender. I've played around with the skeletons in Milkshape a bit, so I know in which windows to rotate what for the basics (I can give you a quick list if you need that), and for the rest I just use the trial and failure method. So far it's working great. Just finished the first posebox I've not had to do any changes to except adding more poses (usually I have to make adjustments to several of the poses, and there's often a pose that doesn't work or some such), which is great
Old 14th Jan 2019, 1:48 AM #10
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Yeah the toddler body isn't quite right either. I have to make movements more exaggerated to get them to show up properly. I would love to have the original animation making tool!
Old 15th Jan 2019, 1:28 AM #11
simmer22
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The original toddler and child animation files had a lot of weirdness going on (the toddler one has a joint or vertex already selected - I have no idea how many times I had to start over because I accidentally moved something). For mine, I've made sure to hide and deselect everything (just remember to turn on ANIM mode - now I keep forgetting that :P).

I made an entire posebox with the new skeletons recently, and they work like a charm. The kids' hands are where they're supposed to be, and no issues with the toddlers either. May still be some issues for the fingers not having quite the right rotation, but there's a chance that's an inbuilt issue with the skeletons. I've had fewer problems with the new files.
Old 16th Jan 2019, 8:22 PM #12
d4RE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simmer22
Does sound like you're making a lot of work for yourself.

There isn't an animation exporter that works between SimPE and Blender (and Milkshape) yet, so even if you make a rig with IK, I don't think that'll work properly - unless you're planning to make an exporter, of course.

If you start transferring the skeleton/animation between the two programs, you'll get more troubles than if you just learn how to do animations in Milkshape (unless you're planning to make those plugins for Blender, that is).


Yeah, you're right. That is a lot of extra work for no real benefit. I was planning on making the anims on the Blender model, then transferring & translating the values into the Milkshape model so they could be exported to the game. (there are already options in Blender for converting mesh to and from MS3D format, and joints can come from CRES, animation values added manually from Blender values) BUT:

At some point, I would still have to manually enter the animation values in Milkshape, to compensate for the exporting from program to program. I think for this project, I'm gonna just opt for manually editing the text files I got using AniMax to decompile the Maxis animations. Then test them in Milkshape with your child models to make sure placement is correct.

I guess I'll use your other skeletons to go through some more Milkshape tutorials until I can figure out how to get animations accurately in and out of Blender. (ugh- I really, really hate working in MS)

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Old 16th Jan 2019, 10:55 PM #13
simmer22
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Getting FK to work like IK isn't too easy, and you may have to set keys for each frame for them to work properly for certain poses (and not even that may help).

Animation in Milkshape is awful, which is why I've stuck to poses. You simply don't get good arm and leg movements without having IK available. The motions are choppy, don't have a good flow, are often either too fast or too slow, and go through other body parts, objects, or the floor/wall

For instance, this running animation. For FK it's alright, but if you have a close look at the shots you see the feet constantly go through the ground, and there's a choppy, "jumpy" bit in the middle, plus the feet that hit the ground glide (all of this is most likely the fault of the FK, not the pose creator). There isn't much to be done with that when FK is the only available method.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKsya3-hjok

Another set of animations where you can see the problems FK makes for the creator. The arms keep following the upper body while the hands really should be stuck to the ground (particularly around the 0:50 mark) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34FyXjkJumc.

It's difficult to get a good flow in the animation without the proper tools, like for instance getting a "slow in/slow out" arc, which makes certain motions look more realistic, plus tools to control the animation so it looks less robotic. In your daily life you mostly use your hands and feet to control most of your arm and leg motions, not your thighs/knees and shoulders/elbows. It looks more natural when it seems like the animated character does so, too.

I honestly don't know how you'll be able to fix this issue in a finished animation, but please let us know if you do
Last edited by simmer22 : 16th Jan 2019 at 11:07 PM.
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