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Dragon

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Unit Graphics' started by Civitar, May 20, 2014.

  1. Civitar

    Civitar Adventurer

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    Dragon converted from Civilization IV with 39 custom animations!!! Original model by Chalid.


    This dragon is grounded, and the slowness of his animations makes me think he should tower over every other model on the map. The fxsxml is not even my favorite configuration, every fantasy modder should build their own after viewing the different possible combinations in Granny Viewer. Also, I haven't yet tried to give him firebreathing effects yet - if someone can get that before me it would be appreciated. I will add ingame screenshots just as soon as I can, but for now follow the download link for Nexus Viewer screenshots.
    Thanks to Nomad or What for the Civ4 download (and for not leaping in to do it first;)) and to Deliverator for figuring out the issue with large meshes.

    An aquatic version with fins instead of spikes is coming soon!
     
  2. whoward69

    whoward69 DLL Minion

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    Now you can have :trophy:
     
  3. Nomad or What

    Nomad or What Wayfarer Supporter

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    HA! I am still wrestling with this stinkin' sandworm! I am glad you got to it - saves me the trouble! :lol:

    Congrats on your initial version - but you are just getting started! :goodjob:

    To do the effects requires the modder to view the name of the bones which are best suited for a particular action. This can only be done in Blender (or 3DSMAX). Many modders are not graphics import specialists and either do not have the capability or do not understand how to do it. Either way, they would have to export your .gr2 in Granny to .nb2 and then import the .nb2 in Blender to view the vertex groups assigned to each bone. It would be better if you created one, or at least name the relevant bones (e.g., BIP Head for the head I am guessing) so that they can assign their desired effects. My thoughts are mouth (fire), tail (blocking/attacking), claws (blocking/attacking), and wings (wing buffet).

    This dragon is an enormous piece of work and will be a work in progress for quite a while. Who said you were done yet??? :nono:

    EDIT: I may be able to build a basic .ftsxml so that you can focus on detailing the unit :END EDIT

    Re-skins will be easy; I would recommend you finesse the finer details with this baby before you jump into the next one. Otherwise, you may find yourself duplicating or even triplicating your efforts.

    When you need the remaining skins (there are 9 in all, I believe) just let me know. :D
     
  4. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    Good work! It would be nice to see some screenshots of the dragon in game...
     
  5. Civitar

    Civitar Adventurer

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    I haven't actually put him ingame yet, but he has no issues in Nexus so I'm assuming (hoping) that it will work ingame:mischief:. I know this thing isn't finished yet - but you must admit it's closer than before!
    @Nomad: I think I can put together an ftsxml from inspecting the vanilla ones. The problem is that the bone names of the Dragon, for the most part, are in German - which I can only barely decipher.
     
  6. Nutty

    Nutty Deity

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  7. Nomad or What

    Nomad or What Wayfarer Supporter

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    Yeah, I'm just busting your chops :)

    I remember them being in German; Chalid is from Germany. Use Google translate - that's what I did :D. I think Oberkiefer is the upper jaw (nose in the dragon's case).

    I'm experimenting with the .ftsxml file; trying to use the spaceship launch effect as his fire attack - looks somewhat promising, but kinda clunky. It needs some work. Any ideas on fire attacks used in game by existing units? Galleas or Dromon maybe?

    He does have a couple of issues in-game with a few of the animations; he tends to sink into the ground sometimes. Easily correctable I suppose; you may just need to re-do an animation or three.

    All that is just tweaking, though. The important thing is that we have another DRAGON! :thumbsup:
     
  8. Civitar

    Civitar Adventurer

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    OK... this is definitely not a finished version... but it displays ingame with no mesh corruption at least. The idle animations all have his legs underground, could you please see what you can do about that Nomad? It's only the idle animations, none of the others do this as far as I can tell (so far).
    I gave him byzantine dromon effects, which actually appear, yay! But... they all appear at the exact center of the map, as in the third and fourth screenshots. In the third screenshot I stacked the dragons to make the smoke more visible.
    Spoiler :

    Idling:

    Defending against bombardment:

    Idling, with the smoke shown in the exact center of the map:

    One dragon attacking, I like the size of the flames though, properly scary:


    I know I assigned the effects to come from the dragon's mouth, head, feet (when he runs a dust cloud arises in the middle of the map), upper jaw, lower jaw... I've attached the ftsxml too if Nutty wants to take a look.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Nomad or What

    Nomad or What Wayfarer Supporter

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    I don't have the .fxsxml file handy, but make sure the boneusage is listed underneath the triggers file goto line for the bones you intend to use.

    Also, make sure in the line for the effects that the "ec" code in the .ftsxml matches the particular attack you are using for the fire effect from your .fxsxml file (e.g., idle is 1000).

    I'm not sure what to do about it; I would have to look at your source files. I can tell you that in Granny when you drag and drop all of the animations into the viewer, if an animation "shifts" its location from where the others appear, I can guarantee you that it will happen like that in game.
     
  10. Nutty

    Nutty Deity

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    As far as the ftsxml, I think you probably just have a typo in a bone name or something, but you didn't provide a .blend file in the download. Besides, I'm not the 3D expert; I had just remembered hugojackson18's description.

    EDIT: Oh, yeah, Nomad's right, you haven't included the BoneUsage section in the .fxsxml.

    Something like:
    Code:
    	<BoneUsage>
    		<Bone name="BIP Oberkiefer"/>
    		<Bone name="BIP Ferse L"/>
    		<Bone name="BIP Ferse R"/>
    		<Bone name="World"/>
    		<Bone name="BIP Head"/>
    		<Bone name="FX_Flame_Center01"/>
    	</BoneUsage>
    
    ...assuming you got all the bone names right in the first place. ;)
     
  11. Civitar

    Civitar Adventurer

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    @Nutty: If you want to see the bone names in Blender, just use Nexus Buddy to export the GR2 to NB2, then import to Blender the usual way.
    @Nomad: Do you know a way to shift the animations a bit forward, maybe by editing the .kf before exporting to .fbx? All the animations look OK except the idles and one fortify so far.
    I'll try the BoneUsage thing tonight when I get back online:). Thanks for the help, both of you.
     
  12. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    More simply, you can see bone names in Granny Viewer. Either plotted on the skeleton or in a list using the detailed data views.
     
  13. Nomad or What

    Nomad or What Wayfarer Supporter

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    I am not sure what is causing the shift with certain animations, unless the bones have been moved somehow. Perhaps there is a problem with the animation.

    All I can say is: you've got 39 animations! If 4 are bad, then don't use them :) You can use a fortify_idle for an idle and you have multiple fortify animations; just drop the one that doesn't work. Not the solution you may have been looking for, but it'll get 'er done. ;)
     
  14. Civitar

    Civitar Adventurer

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    OK, the effects problem is partly fixed thanks to Nutty and Nomad, as you can see in the screenshots. I think he will not get a dust trail in the end. Has anyone ever tried doing custom effects? Maybe I could put together a custom flame using the dromon for the base files and rescaling the basic dromon flame to be 5x bigger (so as to be 2x smaller on the dragon), because the flame as it is completely engulfs the dragon's head. I'm happy with the smoke effect though.
    Spoiler :
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Nomad or What

    Nomad or What Wayfarer Supporter

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    I believe that effect scale is one of the parameters; I am pretty sure you can adjust them. Not 100% sure about that tho, maybe hugojackson18 knows. I am begging for him to do a tutorial but haven't gotten a response yet.
     
  16. Civitar

    Civitar Adventurer

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    Cool, hopefully that will allow me to get rid of the extra spurt of flame that goes in a random direction when he attacks. Maybe even let me make the flame not curve, but go in a straight line. Also, here's an idea for fantasy modders: One of his fidget animations ("c", I think) has him curling up, going to sleep, then lifting one wing, looking around, and jumping to his feet. Maybe putting him over a gold resource with 0 moves with that as his idle would work for a dragon guarding a hoard. It wouldn't work for me, as WH dragons are participants in wars and often carry princes or mages to battle, but some mods (like Faerun) would work with that.
     
  17. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    It is quite simple to adjust the overall position of the animation in Blender after importing the .nif and .kf before exporting to .fbx.

    1. Switch into Pose Mode.

    2. Locate the root bone either using the Outline or the 3D View.

    3. Move the bone (using G key) to the new position you want it to be in at the current point in time. The current time defaults to the beginning of the animation so you shouldn't have to change it. I assume if you want to move the whole idle animation so it is higher you simply move the bone up the vertical axis. In Blender, if you key G followed by X, Y or Z you will move the selected object along the axis in question.

    4. After you have adjusted the pose you can press I to insert a new animation keyframe for that bone. You can see the animation keyframes for all the bones as little yellow triangles on a timegrid if you open the Action Editor. If there are other keyframes in the animation that adjust the position of the root bone you may need to remove or adjust them.

    5. Export your edited animation to .fbx.

    There are loads of YouTube tutorial videos around introducing aspects of Blender animation - for example here is one introducing the Action Editor.

    Like most things in Blender it takes a bit of getting used to, but once you understand it it is pretty straight-forward to make small tweaks to animations.
     
  18. Civitar

    Civitar Adventurer

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    Thanks Deliverator! I'll try that, hopefully this beast is now only 2-3 steps away from completion! I really hope I can give him some custom sounds for some of his fidget animations, such as one where he throws back his head and roars
     
  19. Nomad or What

    Nomad or What Wayfarer Supporter

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    That is awesome information to know; I haven't gotten into actual animation yet and am still a little intimidated by it quite frankly. Sounds like that is what I should delve into next, since I am dissatisfied with a lot of the available animations that come with Civ IV custom units. Thanks! :thumbsup:
     
  20. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    Also there are some tutorials in the Civ IV forums covering Blender animation that are still useful, for example this and this.

    The super3boy YouTube tutorial on animation is also a good starter:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAZFfLmbD2k
     

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