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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

May 03, 2005, 03:47 PM


I'm currently stuggling to find some way on exporting a skinned character from 3d studio max 5.1 in some way that preserves skinning information and will allow me to import it into my code.

I tried various .x file exporters but non work with a skinned 3ds file...

I tried the ASCII scene exporter in max but this loses skinning information and just creates a series of meshes in sample poses.

Right now I'm trying to avoid the task of writing a 3ds importer as this will take a lot of work, I think. All I want is some quick and dirty way of getting hold of the skinning and mesh data for a Max character.

I was just hoping that someone here would be able to give me some advice about the best way of doing this???




May 03, 2005, 10:48 PM

You should try Panda directX exporter. It exports skinned mesh and animations very nicely. It also does a lot of other nice things.



May 04, 2005, 07:00 AM

Yeah, I've tried this already (Panda Directx Exporter but when I view the output with the DirectX Mesh Viewer, all I get is a mess. It's an animated mess but all the mesh appears to be collapsed into a heap of triangles. I'm trying to convert a Max character "CreatureSkinned.max" and this uses a Skin modifier. I'm not sure if Panda exporter can handle this. Maybe it only uses the Physique modifier like XSkinExp.dle...(I've tried using XSkinExp.dle for a character animated with Physique and it crashes).

I'm still struggling to get hold of the skinning information for this character....

If anyone has any ideas, they would be much appreciated as I've struggled with this for two weeks now....



May 04, 2005, 06:47 PM

I already exported some Skinned mesh with the skin modifier with panda. They worked pretty well. Though I sometimes faced the problem you describe.
In the reference position, it seems that your bones must have an identity transform. You could fix that by doing a reset Xform on all your bones and dummies. You will also probably have to reassign the vertices weights and you'll certainly lose the animation.
You should apply a reset Xform to your bones and progressively test it as you reskin it (move each joint in a test animation) to spot the rigging problems efficiently. In some rare cases the problem still persist in some parts for some reasons. A solution is to destroy the bones and its childs and start rebuilding the skeleton from the "sane" bones.
I know it is a painfull way to go as I often had to ask an artist to redo a skinning because of that.

I hope this helps.



May 06, 2005, 01:20 PM

Thanks for the help...

I've exported the CreatureSkinned model with both the RTX exporter plugin and the Cal3D exporter and I get exactly the same result e.g. a distorted mess. However, I've managed to export the Dragon_Character_Rig.max model with the RTX exporter and it works just fine.

I've read that the 3ds file format doesn't support skinning so I suppose I'd better give up on conv3ds.exe.

So now I think I need to get hold of some other skinned character max models to try as some seem to work and others don't.

So what I need is some fairly high polygon count skinned models (one or two would be okay). Does anyone know where I can get hold of some good farily high ploy count (e.g. 10,000 tris) skinned models?

Any ideas???



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