Converting object animations into bones

Hi, bit of a lengthy explanation but its kinda needed if i expect anyone to have a clue what im talking about haha :). Lastnight i spent an hour makeing a little cube guy just to test out how it would show up as a player model in an engine. Each part of the man is a seperate object, so 2xarms, 2xlegs and a head/body (No joints or anything, just a ‘floating’ cube arm/leg style thing)
So i went and animated a jump, wave, yawn and walking cycle for it. The character also has a face made of 3 objects(eyes mouth) so they are shape key animated matching up to the jumping etc.
The animations show up in the NLA editor all in one, no seperate actions or anything, and the facial expressions are animated in one Action.
Now you know where I’m up to, What i would like to do is somehow replace the object animations with bones/armature animations, then i could join all the seperate objects together and use them in the game engine i want to use.

I dont know is this is possible, or if i’ll have to end up reanimating the whole thing again (Which i wouldnt be too pleased about, because i like the effect i’ve got at the moment) but any thought/ solutions and I’d be VERY greatful :slight_smile:

Also, Hi to the forum, Just joined today, but i regularily vist the site because its such a great resorce for help etc. :slight_smile: Cheers, Mike

Does your game engine support vertex animations? This is a very old-skool way of animating (think of the original Unreal), but can be used to provide animations other than those using a skeletal/armature system. It’s the only way I’m aware of to get shape key style animations into a game.

Skeletal (armature-based) animations are usually a lot more efficient in a game environment and lend themselves to a lot of cool techniques like motion-blending, so that’s why they mostly replaced vertex animations, but there are still types of animation (like waving flags) where it can be a better technique.

Blender can export animations (even those using armatures in Blender, or cloth simulations) as vertex-based animations in the .mdd file format, so you might look into whether your game engine can use that format.

Otherwise, I think transferring object animation to bones would prove problematic, not only because of issues like Euler (Object) vs Quaternion (Bone) rotations. Simply transferring IPO curves won’t work, as they are different definitions of rotation. The shape keys would likely have to be scrapped and re-animated.

Thanks for the reply mate. The game engine is realmcrafter, which is based on blitz .b3d format for playable characters - they also use bone based gubbins to align swords etc. up. Anyway, I think I’m going to reanimate the model useing an armature based on what you said :slight_smile: I have modelled+rigged/animated a few models in the past, and it still confuses me why i chose to do ‘vertex animations’ (couldnt think of the phrase to save my life haha).
Ahwell, whos gonna complain about a bit more practise eh? :stuck_out_tongue:
Thanks again, great+fast responce! Mike