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BEEX

Export A Soldier

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tutorial is complete...i hope i havent forgotten anything. :)

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you all hate me for taking so long to release this tutorial... :P ...finally here it is :lol: .

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every week i get asked to make or rig soldiers for bf2 mods so its best for everyone you learn this for yourselves,if your serious about game developement rigging characters is a skill you wont regret learning.

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first up i need to explain a few things so you dont get too far into the process and realise youve made some horible mistakes...i'll do my best to explain.

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tools used...

3dsmax 7 or 8...with 3dsmax bf2 tools,or 3dsmax poe2 tools.

photoshop 7 or cs...with dds tools.

bf2 editor.

shadder wrapper/bf2 materials.exe

and obviously bf2..lol.

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----IMPORTANT NOTES----

1.build the character mesh to fit the vanilla bf2 skeleton and animations...creating new skeletons means you need to make "alot" of animations and can also create a bigger issue due to the engine having strict guidlines on bones used on the ragdoll.

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2.to avoid flipped polygons after export...create a box,set its pivot position at the origin (0/0/0 on the grid),reset transform and scale,convert it to editable poly,then attatch the soldier to the box,then delete the faces of the box.

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3.in the skin modifier each vertex has a max influence of 2 bones per vertex.

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4.maximum of 4 meshes per lod.

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5.maximum of 26 bones used per mesh,this is why we break it down into 3 parts,body,head and hands,in some circumstances you may want to break it down in different ways,body,head and arms+hands.

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6.to avoid floating body parts materials need to be named correctly and applied to coresponding meshes,1p material="tangent",3p body="body||tangent",3p head="head||tangent",3p hands= "hands||tangent"...the naming is mainly for 3dsmax to use,you will need to use the shader wrapper/material.exe to change the material after export so the OS normal maps work correctly...workaround thanx to mischo.

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7.theres 2 ways to generate OS normals maps,1.you can create a tangent normal map with all minor details in photoshop and let the exporter merge the tangent normal with os normal,though this method will generate seems,2.create a highpolygon model and bake the OS normal map,then after export add the baked OS normal to the texture folder...NOTE,if using a baked OS normal map channels may need to be swapped and inverted in photoshop.

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8.naming textures is very important for the OS maps to generate on export.

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9.when testing the weighting on the soldier,set transform and rotate to "local".

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!!!VERY IMPORTANT!!!!

10.when testing weighting,rotate the bone,or a few bones,but always undo the rotations so the skeleton is back to its correct bf2 pose,if you break the skeleton it means you will have to weight the 3p or 1p skeleton all over again and re-import the ske.

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ill add more notes as i think of them.

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----importing a soldier and repair----

to make things easier we will use the bf2 us light soldier for this tutorial...

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1.extract the contents from the soldiers folder to anywhere on your pc,make sure both server and client files are extrated into to the same folder.

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2.open 3dsmax,go to bf2 tools/bf2 utilities/mesh importer...assuming you have the poe2 3dsmax tools installed,if you are using rexmans 3dsmax tools hit f11 (maxscriptlistener)and insert this line...

bf2objectimport forLM:false

and hit enter.

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3.using either method go find where you extracted the soldier folder to,go find the us_light_soldier .con,and hit open.

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4.the mesh will be broken down into incorrect elements so some minor work is required.

select all the meshes for geom0-lod0 and geom1-lod1 and lod2,now hide those meshes,also hide the geom and lod dummies.

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5.select the us_light_soldier__Soldier mesh and convert it to editable poly,in the editable poly tools select the attatch button then in the viewport click on all the other meshes so it becomes just 1 mesh (us_light_soldier__Soldier).

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6.now using editable poly /vertex tools,drag the selection tools so all verts are selected,now hit the settings button next to weld,set the weld threshhold to 0.01,if using a higher number it will weld verts you dont want welded.

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7.create a box,set its pivot position at the origin (0/0/0 on the grid),reset transform and scale,convert it to editable poly,then attatch the soldier to the box,then delete the faces of the box.

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8.now its one mesh we need to break it down into elements,in editable poly mode select the element tool and drag selection so the head,eyes and teeth are selected,then hit detatch button,rename to Mesh_2_3plod0 (remove the _3plod0 part when repair is complete),now select both hands and detatch,rename to Mesh_1_3plod0.

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9.select the hands and head and link them to the body using the select and link tool.

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10.rename the body to 3plod0_tut__soldier,then hide the body,hands and head.

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11.now follow the same steps with the other 2 lods,rename mehses appropriately.

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12.do the same steps for the 1p arms,but break the 1p arms into 2 meshes,name the right arm to 1p_tut__soldier,and name the whole left arm Mesh_1_1p

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your heirachy should look like this...

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root_skinnedmesh_tut_soldier

>geom0

>>lod0

>>>1p_tut__soldier

>>>>Mesh_1_1p

>geom1

>>lod0

>>>3plod0_tut__soldier

>>>>Mesh_1_3plod0

>>>>Mesh_2_3plod0

>>lod1

>>>3plod1_tut__soldier

>>>>Mesh_1_3plod1

>>>>Mesh_2_3plod1

>>lod2

>>>3plod2_tut__soldier

>>>>Mesh_1_3plod2

>>>>Mesh_2_3plod2

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the soldier is now repaired...

Edited by BEEX

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now its time to setup the materials...

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the next step you will need to create a new mod,i sugest you do so for this tutorial to avoid confusion and problems related to other objects...after successful export of the soldier you can shift the files into another mod folder.

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1.after you have created a new mod close the editor then open your mods folder,go to objects/soldiers,create a new folder with the name of your team (i used the name tut,dont use US in the name of a new team cuz of some odd hardcoding issues),then create a new folder called textures in the "tut" folder.

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2.open the folder where you extracted the soldiers from the import step,go to US/textures and copy these textures into the texture folder you just created...

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1p_US_body_B_os

1p_US_body_C

1p_US_body_C_woodland

US_3p_Light_B_os

US_3p_Light_C

US_3p_Light_C_woodland

us_head_2_b_os

us_head_2_c

us_head_2_c_woodland

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any instance of "US" in the above names change to "TUT" or your team name...exapmle:1p_TUT_body_B_os...naming of textures is very important,os maps will not be generated on export if incorrectly named.

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you will also need to copy the _b_os textures and rename those to _b,after export the _b_os is generated,we will delete the _b textures after export is complete...also replace the _b_os maps with the original _b_os maps,because they wont look pretty. :P

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3.open your reapired soldier scene in 3dsmax,then open the material editor.

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4.we need to use 5 materials,1 for each mesh (except for lods),so select material 1,name it Rarm||tangent,to the right of where you just placed the name is a button that says standard,click on it and select the Bf2 BundledBesh shader.

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5.under bundledmesh parameters,click on the "color" button and find the 1p_TUT_body_C,then click on the "normal" button to find the 1p_TUT_body_B..."DO NOT USE _B_os textures"

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6.continue this process for the other 4 materials,name the others...

Larm||tangent , body||tangent , hands||tangent , head||tangent

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7.material 1 apply it to the right 1p arm,material 2 apply it to the left 1p arm,material 3 and apply it the 3 3p bodies,material 4 apply it to the 3 3p hands,material 5 apply it to the 3 3p heads.

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materials are now setup.

your scene should be something like so...

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/8094/bf2solsetup.jpg

Edited by BEEX

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next step is to import the 1p and 3p skeletons and setup the heirachy before rigging can begin.

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1.using the poe2 utilities,hit the "skeleton importer" button,go find the soldiers folder you extracted in the first step and go to soldiers/common/animations and select the 1p_setup.ske.

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2.do the same thing for the 3p_setup.ske.

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3.open the select and name list (heirachy),you will see its starting to get complicated..."never fear,beex is here" :lol:

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4.some name changes need to be made and the heirachy needs to be changed...

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geom0 ...rename to ...geom0_1P ...link it to root_skinnedmesh_tut_soldier

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geom1 ...rename to ...geom1_3P ...link it to root_skinnedmesh_tut_soldier

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root_skeleton_1p_setup ...rename to... ske::root_skeleton_1p_setup ...link it to geom_1P

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root_skeleton_3p_setup ...rename to... ske::root_skeleton_3p_setup ...link it to geom_3P

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clone the root_skinnedmesh_tut_soldier ...rename to ... ske:root_skeleton link it to geom0/lod0

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clone the ske:root_skeleton ...keep same name ...link it to geom0/lod0 ,then link 1p_tut_soldier to ske:root_skeleton.

1p_tut_soldier ...rename to ... tut_soldier__Soldier

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clone the ske:root_skeleton ...keep same name ...link it to geom1/lod0 ,then link 3plod0_tut_soldier to ske:root_skeleton.

3plod0_tut_soldier ...rename to ... tut_soldier__Soldier

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clone the ske:root_skeleton ...keep same name ...link it to geom1/lod1 ,then link 3plod1_tut_soldier to ske:root_skeleton.

3plod1_tut_soldier ...rename to ... tut_soldier__Soldier

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clone the ske:root_skeleton ...keep same name ...link it to geom1/lod2 ,then link 3plod2_tut_soldier to ske:root_skeleton.

3plod2_tut_soldier ...rename to ... tut_soldier__Soldier

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Mesh_1_1p ...to... Mesh_1

Mesh_1_3p ...to... Mesh_1

Mesh_2_3p ...to... Mesh_2

you get the idea,dont change the bones named mesh1,mesh2.

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heres how the heirachy should look...

http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/5984/bf2solsetup2.jpg

Edited by BEEX

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next step is to rig the soldier using the skin modifier.

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using the skin modifier is a big task with alot of messing with numbers in the weight table,so theres no way i can guide you through the entire process of weighting every vertex.

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1.first we will rig the 3p lod0 tut_solider mesh,its a good idea to hide the other meshes,hide the 1p arms and the 3p lods,leaving only 3p lod0 meshes in the viewport,leave the dummies and bones as is...

so select 3p body mesh,convert it to editable mesh,then go to modifiers/animation/skin.

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2.now you add the bones you need for the body...remember 26 bones maximum

under parameters you will see "bones:"and an add button,hit the add button and add the...

root

left_upperleg

left_knee

left_lowerleg

left_foot

left_ball

right_upperleg

right_knee

right_lowerleg

right_foot

right_ball

spine2

spine3

torso

joint20

neck

left_collar

left_shoulder

left_elbow

left_low_arm

joint19

right_collar

right_shoulder

right_elbow

right_low_arm

right_ullna

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3.hit the "Edit Envelopes" button....i need to run you through some skin modifier settings now.

check "vertices"

uncheck "envelopes"

uncheck "cross sections"

scroll down to "display"...

check "colored vertices"

check "colored faces"

check "color all weights"

check "show all envelopes"

check "show all vertices"

check "show all gizmos"

check "show no envelopes"

check "cross sections"

check "envelopes".

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now under "advanced parameters" set the "bone affect limit" to 2

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4.do steps 1 to 3 for the other 2 3p lods

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5.now its time for the weight table...

for some odd reason all verts have been weighted to the root bone,usually after hitting the edit envelopes button the body will be roughly weighted to all bones...nevermind,this could be a good thing,if you weight all verts to the root bone it will mean the export will work and the game wont crash from vertices not being weighted.

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the fun begins here,with many hours of hair pulling goodness...suckers!. :lol:

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6.you will need to turn on "edged faces" in the viewport so you can see the verts,also to make things easier in the material editor turn off the "show map in viewport" button,now you can clearly see the weights being coloured.

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7.just to be sure we dont have any un-weighted verts,drag select all vertices,you will see all verts now have a white box around them,the white box obviously means selected verts.

hit the "weight table" button.

first hit the button where it says "root" this will set which bone is being used to weight the selected vertices,at the bottom left of the weight table change to "selected vertices",for this part we go to edit/select all,the table will turn dark grey.

hold the mouse pointer over where its says 1.000 and drag to the right a few times,to make sure all verts have full influence.

you might have noticed a cross has appeared to the left of the numbers,i am not quite sure what this is,but from what i can tell it shows the verts are fully influenced.

because we checked "coloured verts" you can see all weighted verts are now red.

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heres a pic of where you should be at...

http://img121.imageshack.us/img121/8611/bf2solsetup3.jpg

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8.do the same for the other 2 3p lods.

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9.now we need to weight the 3p hands so first up select the Mesh_1 mesh,convert it to "editable mesh",go to modifiers/animation/skin...(same as we did before) hit the "bones:add button",then add these bones to the list...

joint19

left_wrist1

L_wrist

left_index1

left_index2

left_index3

left_ring1

left_ring2

left_ring3

left_thumb1

left_thumb2

left_thumb3

right_ullna

R_wrist

right_index1

right_index2

right_index3

right_ring1

right_ring2

right_ring3

right_thumb1

right_thumb2

right_thumb3

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10.hit "edit envelopes",now change the settings we did earlier.

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11.this time around the verts have influence from all the bones,but the weighting will be terrible,it will do for now.

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12.do the same for the other 2 3p hand lods,but with lod2 hands dont worry about adding all the bones,just add R_wrist and L_wrist.

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13.hide all other meshes leaving only the 3p lod0 head,convert it to editable mesh,go to modifier/animation/skin.

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14.for this tutorial i wont go into facial animations,well cuz i dont know too much about it...lol...anyways we will rig the head to only the neck and head bones...

so add the neck and head dones to the list.

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15.change the settings same as before.

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16.drag selection so all verts of the head are selected,open the weight table and weight all verts to the head bone.

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17.to make things easier use the left or right viewport and zoom in so all the head and neck is visible,select the verts on the neck area,open the weight table and weight the selected verts to the neck bone.

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heres where you should be at...

http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/8404/bf2solsetup4.jpg

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18.do the same for the other 2 3p head lods.

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19.hide all 3p meshes and unhide both 1p arms

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20.select the right arm and convert it to editable mesh,go to modifiers/animation/skin.

then add these bones to the list...

R_collar

R_arm

R_elbowjoint

R_wrist

R_index_1

R_index_2

R_index_3

R_index_END

R_pink_1

R_pink_2

R_pink_3

R_pink_END

R_point_1

R_point_2

R_point_3

R_point_END

R_ring_1

R_ring_2

R_ring_3

R_ring_END

R_thumb_1

R_thumb_2

R_thumb_3

R_thumb_END

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21.hit edit envelopes,change the settings again.

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22.the mesh should be roughly weighted again,it will do for now.

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23.select the left arm,convert it to editable mesh,go to modifiers/animation/skin.

then add these bones to the list...

L_collar

L_arm

L_elbowMiddlejoint

L_lowerarm

L_ullna

L_wrist

L_index_1

L_index_2

L_index_3

L_index_END

L_pink_1

L_pink_2

L_pink_3

L_pink_END

L_point_1

L_point_2

L_point_3

L_point_END

L_ring_1

L_ring_2

L_ring_3

L_ring_END

L_thumb_1

L_thumb_2

L_thumb_3

L_thumb_END

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24.hit edit envelopes,change the settings again.

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at this stage you can export the soldier and its a good idea to do so,to make sure the heirachy is ok...if you want to export it...

1.select the "root_skinnedmesh_tut_soldier",

2.in 3dsmax go to bf2/bf2 exporter.

3."run setup" make sure your mod name is in both the output files directory and added to the lower section.

4.the objects sub-folder path: should be /Soldiers/tut/ (instead of tut your team name).

5.hit export.

6.now go and check your mods folder to see if it has exported correctly.

7.copy and rename the us_light_soldier.tweak,in the tweak rename all instances of us_light_soldier to the name of your soldier.

to check it in the editor you need to,open the bf2editor folder,go to settings/default/ open the "content" file...change to this...

Mod soltut (<or your mods name)

folder default Objects\Common

folder default Objects\Effects

folder default Objects\Water

folder default Objects\Kits

folder default Objects\MiscObjects

folder default Objects\Roads

folder default Objects\Soldiers

folder default Objects\StaticObjects

folder default Objects\Vehicles

folder default Objects\Weapons

folder default Objects\Vegitation

folder default Objects\DynamicObjects

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load the editor,load your mod,then load the animation editor.

in the "editor" tool bar (right hand side),scroll down to soldier,set the soldier to your soldiers name and pick one of the us kits.

at this stage the soldier will be stiff,hands on weapon and head kinda floating,the 1p model should be weighted ok.

.

and there ya go!.

Edited by BEEX

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next step will be explaining the weight table a little better so the soldier will deform correctly,theres plenty of tutorials on the interwebs that will explain the weight table,if you do look at other weight table tuts remember bf2 has a max bone affect limit of 2.

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now we will do another phase of the rigging,this step is to get the 3p soldier into a not so perfect level of weighting,the aim is to make the legs,body and arms move as they should,we can fine tune the weighting after that.

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1.hide all other meshes besides the 3p lod0 body.

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2.select the body mesh,the skin modifier will still be active,just hit edit envelopes to continue the weighting...so hit the weight table button,we will work our way up the body from left ball to left upper leg,then move to the right ball and up to the right upper leg.

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heres a pic of what verts you need to select for each bone on the legs...

http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/2964/bf2solsetup5.jpg

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3.in the weight table select the "left_ball" bone,then in the viewport select the verts shown in the above picture,make sure in the weight table you have selected vertices checked,then go to file/select all.

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4.in the W.T under left ball theres all those nasty numbers...lol,drag and left click to shift the numbers from 0.000 to 1.000...0.000 is no affect on verts,1.000 is full affect on verts,0.5 is half affect on verts with 2 bone influence.

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5.in the W.T select the left foot bone and do the same as steps 3 and 4.

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6.by now you should be getting a better understanding of the skin modifier and the W.T.

so continue the above steps till you get a similar result as shown in the above pic.

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once youve done that you can unhide all other meshes,select the root skinnedmesh dummy and do another export,open the editor,load your mod,animation editor,select your soldier and make him move around.

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this is how it should look at this stage...

http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4404/bf2solsetup7.jpg

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hopefully you have an understanding of what to do to rig the whole body,because i feel you can do the rest of this phase on your own...so continue weighting the rest of the body. B)

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heres a helpful pic of the body when its roughly weighted...

http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/4039/bf2solsetup8.jpg

and in the editor,as you can see its nearly done...

http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/5029/bf2solsetup9.jpg

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----fine tune the weights----

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heres a pic of how the knee joint should weight to the upperleg and lowerleg,this is very close to how the us_light_soldiers knee area is weighted...

http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/1916/bf2solsetup10.jpg

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the above pic best describes the process so i think i dont need to go into anymore detail,except for mentioning its a good idea to export the soldier on a regular basis so you can see how everything is working in the animation editor,compare your soldier with a bf2 soldier.

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continue fine tuning weights on the rest of the body,fine tune weighting on hands,head and 1p arms,this will take many hours,then export.

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exporting the soldier is complete....woooooooooot!...if you got this far give your self a pat on the back. :D .

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theres 2 more step you will need to do when your sure the weighting is 100% complete.

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1.add your baked _B_os maps to the textures folder,or for this tutorial move the original _B_os maps from the soldier/us/textures folder.

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2.using the shader wrapper/bf2materials.exe you need to change some settings in your soldiers skinnedmesh file.

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in the shaderwrapper/bf2materials.exe the contents will look like so...

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// FILE: C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\Battlefield 2\mods\soltut\Objects\Soldiers\tut\Meshes\tut_soldier.skinnedmesh

//

geom0

lod0

Shader: SkinnedMesh.fx

Technique: tangent

Type: 0

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/1p_tut_body_c.dds

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/1p_tut_body_b_os.dds

Texture: Common\Textures\SpecularLUT_pow36.dds

Shader: SkinnedMesh.fx

Technique: tangent

Type: 0

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/1p_tut_body_c.dds

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/1p_tut_body_b_os.dds

Texture: Common\Textures\SpecularLUT_pow36.dds

geom1

lod0

Shader: SkinnedMesh.fx

Technique: tangent

Type: 0

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_3p_light_c.dds

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_3p_light_b_os.dds

Texture: Common\Textures\SpecularLUT_pow36.dds

Shader: SkinnedMesh.fx

Technique: tangent

Type: 0

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_3p_light_c.dds

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_3p_light_b_os.dds

Texture: Common\Textures\SpecularLUT_pow36.dds

Shader: SkinnedMesh.fx

Technique: tangent

Type: 0

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_head_2_c.dds

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_head_2_b_os.dds

Texture: Common\Textures\SpecularLUT_pow36.dds

lod1

Shader: SkinnedMesh.fx

Technique: tangent

Type: 0

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_3p_light_c.dds

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_3p_light_b_os.dds

Texture: Common\Textures\SpecularLUT_pow36.dds

Shader: SkinnedMesh.fx

Technique: tangent

Type: 0

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_3p_light_c.dds

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_3p_light_b_os.dds

Texture: Common\Textures\SpecularLUT_pow36.dds

Shader: SkinnedMesh.fx

Technique: tangent

Type: 0

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_head_2_c.dds

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_head_2_b_os.dds

Texture: Common\Textures\SpecularLUT_pow36.dds

lod2

Shader: SkinnedMesh.fx

Technique: tangent

Type: 0

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_3p_light_c.dds

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_3p_light_b_os.dds

Texture: Common\Textures\SpecularLUT_pow36.dds

Shader: SkinnedMesh.fx

Technique: tangent

Type: 0

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_3p_light_c.dds

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_3p_light_b_os.dds

Texture: Common\Textures\SpecularLUT_pow36.dds

Shader: SkinnedMesh.fx

Technique: tangent

Type: 0

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_head_2_c.dds

Texture: objects/soldiers/tut/textures/tut_head_2_b_os.dds

Texture: Common\Textures\SpecularLUT_pow36.dds

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3.delete all instances of "tangent" and leave blank,hit set mesh...info thanx to misho.

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4.now go to one of your levels/init.con to add your soldier to a level.

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5.package the mod.

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6.go play!

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DONE!...ENJOY! B)

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special thanx to (xww2)mischo,rexman,(eod)vic,(bfa)hitpawz,jacob nl,prof dred...and all the other freindly folkes who shared knowlage on this subject...thanx guys :)

Edited by BEEX

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Cool stuff Beex ;), cant belive an aussie sobered up long enought to write that though... i suspect foul play :P

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Very nice, but could you show a (roughly) wheighted pic of the 1P arms?

Also exporting, reloading the geometry in the editor, testing the animation is very annoying.

Would it be possible to import the animations into MAX for finetuning without messing the skin modifier and skeleton up?

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@bensta...thanx :) ,and who said i was sober?...lol.

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@cassio...it may seem like a pain to export then load the editor to check the anims,its actually very helpful cuz you can leave the editor open while you fine tune the weights,move the soldier around in the editor you can see which verts need more or less influence,rigging is all about being patient.

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as for importing an animation while rigging,you can always try it :),if so you would need to have the animation start and end in the default skeleton pose and delete the animation before export...i dunno,i kinda remember being told not to do that,no ones stopping you from trying it :lol: .

i usually rotate bones to check the weighting,then undo the rotations so i dont break the default skeleton pose.

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i'll post a pic of the roughly weighted 1p arms later on today,the reason i didnt add it was the envelopes should have done some rough weighting automaticly.

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i usually rotate bones to check the weighting,then undo the rotations so i dont break the default skeleton pose.

Well you can first set the default pose, "animation/set as skin pose", then you can then just pick "animation/assume skin pose" to set it back after moveing and setting the weights.

Edited by Bensta

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Nice one, BEEX ! Finally this tutorial seems to be (nearly) complete, hehe.

Very nice, but could you show a (roughly) wheighted pic of the 1P arms?
I'd like that ,too ( if only to have a look at the d***ed right hand... which always drove me mad , lol ) But admittedly its nearly impossible to show a meaningful picture of the weigthing ...

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thanx misho :) ,took a while huh,better late than never :lol: .

i know what you mean about the right hand,i have no idea why they would make the skeleton like it is,its insane!...i think the trick is to weight more to the other bone and not the bone you expect.

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@cassio,just doing that rigging on the 1p now,will post a pic as soon as im done.

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Yeah, to work around the 'right_ullna' and 'right_wrist' problem i have skinned more to the wrist - i think in some soldiers i even left the ullna out completely. Still some unnecessary obstacle introduced by DICE :angry:

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Aint read the tut fully but got a quick question, dose player models exported by this tut have there eys, mouth, teeth, etc moving, ie, there facial expressions etc are working? If you look at the vBF2 player models they have facial expressions but I've yet to see any custom player models have them?

Cheers :)

PS. Some pics in the tutorial would be nice to show clearly what you do in each step :)

Edited by Rhino

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Following this tutorial there wont be facial animations.

There are is only the neck and head bones assigned.

It is however possible.

My soldier (exported 1 1/2 years ago) has working facial animations. They just dont look 100% correct due to inaccurate weighting :)

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@rhino,i wrote this tutorial based on the people doing the tutorial would have a good understanding of 3dsmax and bf2 files,so i didnt add many pics,i kinda felt it would have made it more confusing,but i do see your point,modellers have different names for different tools,i did my best to use correct names.

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as for the facial anims,i should have made a note about how you can use a 4th mesh part for the mouth and eyes,so the soldier is divided into 4 parts...1.body,2.hands,3.head,4.eyes and mouth...remember max of 4 mesh parts per lod on a skinned mesh.

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all in all this tutorial is about setting up a soldier for export,not all the finer elements of weighting,its just way too complicated to make a note of every tiny step involved.

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Normally you should get away with only three meshes even if you include the bones around the 'cabbage' ( head ) into the head mesh.

Lets see - we have neck, head, chin, right and left cheek, left and right upper lip , left and right eye, left and right eyebrow and the chin 'tip' ( can't remember its exact name atm :P ) making 11 bones. There's some more auxiliary bones left but this should give you basic facial anims. Use gradual weighting with the 'head' bone to soften the animations as e.g. the eyes tend to roll too much when used with the resp. eye bone as single weighting. Gradually adding the head bone weighting reduces the movement to natural eye-rolling , hehehe.

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@rhino,i wrote this tutorial based on the people doing the tutorial would have a good understanding of 3dsmax and bf2 files,so i didnt add many pics,i kinda felt it would have made it more confusing,but i do see your point,modellers have different names for different tools,i did my best to use correct names.

I'm just more of a picture guy, text tuts on there own just look boring and harder to understand I find.

as for the facial anims,i should have made a note about how you can use a 4th mesh part for the mouth and eyes,so the soldier is divided into 4 parts...1.body,2.hands,3.head,4.eyes and mouth...remember max of 4 mesh parts per lod on a skinned mesh.

Would be good if you can go into detail on that area in this tut if you can :)

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Showing screens for weigthing meshes to bones is always hard as its so complex. Here i try to show the weigthing of a head mesh to the 'head' bone:

headweightA.jpg

Red areas are fully weigthed ( 1.0 ) and orange areas are only partially weigthed to this bone.

Here's the weigthing for the right eyebrow:

headweightB.jpg

and the right upperlip:

headweightC.jpg

Edited by mschoeldgen[Xww2]

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Made a quick head weighting guide image using GC's new Russian soldier (which was incidentally my first head model).

weightingguide.th.jpg

I should post a picture of what it looks like with that weighting configuration in a few facial expressions.

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@UWS: Looks nice - you used stronger weigthings than i do. I'd love to see that russian ingame and compare it with my models. Is there a chance we can see it one time ( in a mod or so ) ? When using a 1.0 weigthing of the eyeball to the eyebone they always tend to roll out of the head in my models :P

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