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baking animations?
show user profile  rob@dynamic
Hi all,

As you may or maynot know im working on a project at the moment creating character animations in max for use in XNA. Im doin some research at the moment on getting the animations into XNA, and on numerous occasions i've come accross the term 'baking animtions'. People seem to have been saying that baking animtions in max is required?

Could anyone shed anylight onto this for me please?

What is baking animations? Is it required? What does is do?

Any help would be great


3D Portfolio

read 7259 times
3/2/2009 4:50:35 AM (last edit: 3/2/2009 4:50:35 AM)
show user profile  Westcoast13
I think you might mean texture baking. Have a look in the max help files for that. However, anyone who knows better than that, feel free to correct me!

My Turbosquid Area

read 7240 times
3/2/2009 6:08:06 AM (last edit: 3/2/2009 6:08:06 AM)
show user profile  mrgrotey
baking animation means embedding the movement into the actual verts of the model so when it gets exported the mesh has all the animation info needed rather than being skinned to bones or linked to other things which might not be exportable. So each individual vert has its own trajectory.

For instance, when you make a reactor simulation, all the move ment info gets programmed (baked) into the mesh itself, where as skinning a sphere to a bone means that all the animation info is contained in the bone and not the mesh and the mesh gets updated on the fly.

Saying that I don't know how to do it for animation outside of reactor though :)

read 7236 times
3/2/2009 6:11:38 AM (last edit: 3/2/2009 6:13:29 AM)
show user profile  rob@dynamic
hi westcoast, i did mean baking animations. I've found bits of info about it now. It's done using max Script. See link below for tut vid i found.

3D Portfolio

read 7233 times
3/2/2009 6:13:54 AM (last edit: 3/2/2009 6:13:54 AM)
show user profile  Westcoast13
/walks off whistling....

My Turbosquid Area

read 7230 times
3/2/2009 6:16:25 AM (last edit: 3/2/2009 6:16:25 AM)
show user profile  rob@dynamic
cheers for that explanation grotes, has helped my understanding of it. So if i have a biped animation, i bake it, would the biped then be redundant and be deleted?

3D Portfolio

read 7221 times
3/2/2009 6:39:35 AM (last edit: 3/2/2009 6:39:35 AM)
show user profile  mrgrotey
yup, you wouldnt need it anymore, except for adjusting the animation and re-baking if needed in the future (but that would require a previously saved file with the correct skinning info obviously, id imagine you lose that in the baking operation)

read 7213 times
3/2/2009 6:56:56 AM (last edit: 3/2/2009 6:57:53 AM)
show user profile  advance-software
Rob - vertex based animation will work, but might not ideally be what you want.

Two reasons :

1. Lots more data - the position and perhaps orientation of each vertex at each sample time (frame) needs storing.

2. Harder to morph from one pose to the next - you can only interp. vertex positions from one pose to the next. Will look weird for some transitions.

You'd be better off using skinning if possible.

I'd be surprised if XNA doesn't support skinned meshes.
read 7211 times
3/2/2009 6:59:02 AM (last edit: 3/2/2009 7:09:54 AM)
show user profile  rob@dynamic
cheers for your feedback guys.

Advanced Software: XNA will support skinned meshes, it wont however support 'physique' god knows why???

I was under the impression from reading posts on forums that character animations would run better and are best practice for game environments? Is this not the case then? Would you recomend simply skinning and animating the model then exporting as a .fbx for import to XNA?

3D Portfolio

read 7193 times
3/2/2009 7:38:01 AM (last edit: 3/2/2009 7:38:01 AM)
show user profile  advance-software
Use the skin modifier, not physique.

Many graphics engine exporters (including ours) ignore physique because the skin modifier is better.

No point wasting time supporting something no-one uses any more ...

If by character animations, you mean animated skin/bone hierarchies using the skin modifier - yes, use them !

Don't know about XNA data formats. I don't use it.
read 7191 times
3/2/2009 7:39:57 AM (last edit: 3/2/2009 7:42:01 AM)
show user profile  rob@dynamic
cheers, you're a great help again, this is my first time modeling and animating for a game, so still have a lot to learn

Yea animated skin/bone hieracrhies (using a biped). So there is no need for me to be baking my animations then?

3D Portfolio

read 7184 times
3/2/2009 7:51:26 AM (last edit: 3/2/2009 7:51:26 AM)
show user profile  advance-software
For your application, it's not necessary (unless the engine you are using doesn't support skinning).

Like grotey said, if you wanted to extract mesh animation from a physics simulation, that would be the solution (if your engine didn't support equivalent real-time physics).
read 7166 times
3/2/2009 9:57:46 AM (last edit: 3/2/2009 9:58:28 AM)
show user profile  rob@dynamic
ok brilliant cheers. so as XNA doesnt support physique, in theory i cud have a physique animation , bake it then use in XNA?

3D Portfolio

read 7161 times
3/2/2009 10:03:44 AM (last edit: 3/2/2009 10:03:44 AM)
show user profile  advance-software
Perhaps, but I wouldn't advise going that route because skinning will give you better results.

Regarding this "baking animation" thing - what you are doing is taking a snapshot of the vertex positions at each frame. This capability is available in the MaxSDK, so the exporter can just grab that information if you are wanting to export per-vertex animation - you shouldn't have to 'bake' anything.

There should just be a check box somewhere (tick to export vertex animation).

The skin modifier is your friend ...
read 7157 times
3/2/2009 10:07:30 AM (last edit: 3/2/2009 10:09:39 AM)
show user profile  rob@dynamic
ok cheers, yea i understand now. i wasnt goin to use physique was just using as an example. Thanks again

3D Portfolio

read 7152 times
3/2/2009 10:09:19 AM (last edit: 3/2/2009 10:09:19 AM)
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