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Naming clips in fbx

May 27, 2008 at 9:27 PM
Edited May 28, 2008 at 12:37 AM
I found out about your XNAnimation project through the XNA forums and was wondering if you could point me to some information about using it. The documentation seems good, but I've been using XSI for all of my animations and am considering switching to Maya and fbx with the introduction of XNAnimation, but had a question regarding naming clips in maya. How did you do it in your example animations? Last I read on the forums, there wasn't a good way to break out and name animation clips for fbx files. Any help would be really appreciated. Thanks!
May 28, 2008 at 12:44 AM
Edited May 28, 2008 at 12:47 AM
I never used XSI, so I don't know for which formats you can export using it, maybe you can find an .X export for it.

About naming the animation clips, it is really an issue. To handle this on the XNAnimation sample, I first exported all the model's animations separately to different FBX files, then I merged all them in a single FBX file. Although it is a long/boring process it works.

In the next XNAnimation release I'm planning to extend the SkinnedModelProcessor, allowing the default model's animation clip to be splited in many new animation clips.
May 28, 2008 at 1:34 AM
Thank you for the response. I tried this manually and was able to do the same. Any estimate on when the next XNAnimation release with this feature will be?
May 28, 2008 at 1:39 AM
Another thing I'd love to see is a step by step tutorial for getting your characters with IK and all out of Maya and into XNA. I've been able to do this but there always seems to be glitches in the bone rotations or keyframes, or other errors that may be the result of just the fbx exporter needing things done in a very specific order. Thanks again!
May 28, 2008 at 6:26 PM
I'm planning to add keyframe animation splitter and resampling on the next release. It should take about 3 weeks from now to it comes out because I'm a little bit busy right now.

About the IKs, I'm not sure if you are meaning the use os IKs inside the game, or when you are modelling. The Marine model, for example, was modelled on Maya using IKs but when it is exported everything is baked on the skeleton and works ok. Did it answer your question?   And about glitches in the animation, maybe this could be fixed using interpolations. On the XNAnimation, translations, orientations and scales are interpolated separately, and orientations are interpolated using quaternions. It should provides a better and smooth interpolation.
Jun 17, 2008 at 6:19 AM
Edited Jun 17, 2008 at 6:19 AM
Can you provide more information on a good way to merge multiple FBX files into a single FBX file (such that it will contain multiple well-named animation clips)?

I'm using Maya 8.5 to create my FBX files.  I save one FBX file for each animation clip.


Jun 17, 2008 at 6:26 AM
I think I found the answer.  It looks like FBX files can be exported as ASCII and then the various takes can be extracted and merged into a single ASCII FBX file.  The clip/take names can be easily changed in the process.

Is this how you created PlayerMarine.fbx?
Jun 17, 2008 at 7:22 PM
Yes that was exactly how I did it. As I remember I exported the marine model with the idle animation, and each other animation separated (all in ASCII). Then I edited the ASCII files and changed the animations names and merged everything.

I will try to make it easier in the next release.
Jun 18, 2008 at 2:09 AM
I wrote a simple c# utility called MergeFBX.  It takes a list of FBX files and combines them into one conglomerate FBX file.

It's a simple no-frills program, but if you'd like the source as a starting point, I'd be happy to share it.
Jun 18, 2008 at 5:43 PM
Edited Jun 18, 2008 at 5:44 PM
It would be very good to have a tool to merge the fbx animations since the current content processor does not support splitting the main animation track. I think I will add a "User Tools" section in the main project page where I can link for user content. Can you send me the binary of this tool and a small description text? You can send it to my e-mail. Thanks!!!