Bounty for tool chain and how-to articles...

Topics: Developer Forum, Project Management Forum, User Forum
Oct 26, 2007 at 8:56 PM
I am interested in finding someone interested in assisting me reach my goals with XNA & the Animation Component Library. I'm a programmer, most certainly not a 3D artist and have relatively limited time to devote to some of my personal projects. Not being a 3D artist, I am unfamiliar with most of the 3D tools and utilities.

From some experimenting I did a few months, I believe it should be possible to take Daz3D figure and convert it for use in XNA using the ACL. At the time, I walked into it blind and had less then stellar results -- I was able to get a figure to render in XNA, but not animate it with an BVH file. Nor were the figure's textures being rendered.

I'd like to try again, but I've not the time to mess with it blindly again w/o some guidance. But I do have some funds that I can put to the project, if someone has the time and believes they can accomplish it.

Write an article that can be placed in the ACL's documentation wiki that explains how to take the Aiko 3.0 figure (free from Daz3D), render it in XNA using ACL (including textures) and animate it with a BVH file. The article should be a complete walk through, including links to any relevant software tools and information on how to configure them.

I can provide the Aiko 3.0 figure converted using either the "pCharacter2FBX" or "FBX Plug-in" that are available in the Daz3D online store, but I would prefer that the tool chain not require any products that use tools that are not freely available.

Primary Bounty:
A) $25 - Conversion article using Daz Studio FBX plug-in
or
B) $50 - Conversion article using the COLLADA export that's built into the current Daz Studio (free)

Bonus Bounties:
$25 - Show how to change skin / textures using C# code only without loading the model back up in a 3D tool.
$25 - Show how to change character geometry (morph) in C# code, to do things such as: Change character height, weight, waist, etc
Oct 26, 2007 at 9:01 PM
If you have any questions or want to take up the bounty, please contact me at mcortez at gmail.com

Cheers,
--
Michael Cortez
Oct 27, 2007 at 2:26 AM
Edited Oct 28, 2007 at 12:15 AM
I would very much like to work on this issue, regardless of bounty. I've been using Daz|Studio for about a year, to make .bvh animations for Second Life (I produce scripted objects for sale in-world). At this point, I have a very large stock of melee combat and hand to hand animations that I would dearly love to re-use with the Animation Component Library, though I am stumbling a bit at the moment with similar issues and have been trying to resolve them by figuring out a tool chain using Mod Tool :)

I have managed to export .dae files using the latest versions of Daz (currently at 1.8.xxx), but the built-in Daz export is wonky and messes up the vertex weights. I've written a custom .bvh exporter for DAZ that was customized for Second Life (http://www.daikonforge.com/downloads/export_to_secondlife.ds), so I am familiar with that part of the process. I don't believe that Daz Script is provided access to things like vertex weights, but if it's a matter of "tweaking" the export process perhaps I could be of use.

Exporting Aiko and using her is certainly possible, though she's extremely high polycount compared to most in-game characters. I'll see if I can come up with something useful, though.
Oct 27, 2007 at 3:32 AM
Hmm.... I hadn't realized that CodePlex would mange the url to the custom Daz exporter. It's not really useful to this discussion, but if anyone wants to look at it, let me know and I'll just email it to them. I only brought it up as an example because using a custom BVH plugin was required for Second Life to resolve differences in joint names between DAZ and Second Life, so if similar customization is needed for an XNA Animation Component Library tool chain to use .bvh files it should be an easy matter to create a free Daz plugin for that portion of the tool chain.
Oct 27, 2007 at 10:11 PM
Amusingly enough, the original reason why I started looking at XNA and the animation component, was because I was doing quite a bit of development with libsecondlife (an open source library for creating SL clients & bots) and was looking at making a new graphical client for SL. I am still interested in tackling that at some point, because I would love to make a client that could talk to SL but which also supported arbitrary meshes and custom avatars. My idea for the custom meshes, was to "tag" SL objects with a unique ID to mesh data that was kept either outside of SL or stored as a notecard. Custom clients could then pickup those tags, and instead of displaying the SL Prim based object, it would instead (or perhaps in addition to) display the mesh.

I know Aiko is a bit high, but there's a few other figures that aren't quite as high polycount.
Oct 28, 2007 at 12:14 AM
Edited Oct 28, 2007 at 12:15 AM
Oh, now that IS amusing, and now I realize where I recognize the name from, haha. I actually had similar thoughts about using XNA, this library, and an open source parametric prim library (I forget the name of it ATM) to create a visualizer for my Second Life melee combat bots (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgOMpQgVevo) that I made using libsl =)

Eventually I would love to work on an actual client, but the amount of effort and the time required just don't fit into my workload at the moment.
Nov 6, 2007 at 4:58 PM
My first tests, because of the context of this thread, involved exporting animations made using the commonly available Second Life avatar in Poser format imported into DAZ. Unfortunately, no matter the export method (.dae or .fbx with plugin), DAZ|Studio fails to correctly export the vertex weights, resulting in a tremendous amount of work in a tool like XSI Mod Tool to redo/fix all the blend weights.

This problem seems to be very much reduced (possibly eliminated) when using either native DAZ or Poser content, but those models are extremely high polycount models. Since high-poly models are of much less interest to me personally I haven't done much with them yet.

I will continue to look into this as time permits.