Baking Pflow with animated mesh instance

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Old 10 October 2013   #1
Baking Pflow with animated mesh instance

Hello good people

So, I am doing a pflow with some butterfly flying random.
I am using shape instance with animation on (butterfly wings animated).

I need to somehow bake particles, not only butterfly position, orientation, scale, but also mesh instance animation (wings).

- I've tried with script Pflow baker, and worked great, but the wings are not animated.
- I've also tried mesher, and then point cache... same thing as Pflow baker (butterflies are moving, but wings don't).
- I got one more try: I cloned mesher, collapsed to editable poly, then skinwrap on top of that (with selected first mesher), and then Point cache... but all I got is screwed mesh.

If it's important, I need this to be imported in Unity.
That's why I am doing it.
If enyone knows better workaround, please let me know.

Thanks to all in advance.
Bobi
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Old 10 October 2013   #2
You could use xmesh (http://www.thinkboxsoftware.com/xmesh/) to cache the shape instances and the animation. But how are you planning to take this to unity? As far I as I know to export deformations to unity they have to be animated via bones? or you can use that crazy script which adds a bone object to each vert.

Last edited by zoubein : 10 October 2013 at 11:33 AM. Reason: link
 
Old 10 October 2013   #3
Thanks mate, I'll take a look at Xmesh.

Meanwhile, I've researched this field, and I find out that there is no (default) way to export 3DS Max point cache (or fbx point cache) into Unity.
I'll share my finds so maybe someone will find it useful:
- There is that script you mentioned (bone helper on every vertex), and I agree with you that it's a too crazy, memory consuming solution.
- This guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXyH...d74AUAAAAAAACAA claims that his script makes everything transformed from 3DS Max to Unity, and he wants a $50 for it. I am not sure how this will work in terms of speed, stability, compatibility... etc.
Anyone tried this?
-The third solution is the best (and most expensive). It is a plugin for Unity that reads 3DS Max point cache animation, and also adds a tons of useful modifiers. It's $150, but I think it's worth it.
Here is their web-site: http://www.west-racing.com/mf/?page_id=1335
And here is how is work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCsjGyx68os

If anyone have any other solutions, please write.

Cheers to all.
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Old 10 October 2013   #4
Post

The third solution is the best (and most expensive). It is a plugin for Unity that reads 3DS Max point cache animation, and also adds a tons of useful modifiers. It's $150, but I think it's worth it.
Here is their web-site: http://www.west-racing.com/mf/?page_id=1335
And here is how is work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCsjGyx68os


This seems like the most robust solution, I have been looking at this as well maybe we will buy it next month. Let me know how it goes.
 
Old 11 November 2013   #5
Hey, there's the in2unity plugin that creates good point cache from modifiers.

http://u3d.as/content/artyom-abgary...-for-3dsmax/2am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdwvnFhZ1pU
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Old 11 November 2013   #6
I have used this one , it puts a point helper on every vert and uses that as a bone. It works but then you end up with way too many bone objects , which can affect loading times in unity.
 
Old 11 November 2013   #7
Cool, thank's for the advice.
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Old 11 November 2013   #8
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this kind of thing known as vertex animation(as in sub-object animation, because in this case your meshed particles are considered one object )? and as far as I know if you can bake it down to vert animation in your package then you can export that and most engines know how to handle it?
 
Old 11 November 2013   #9
Yep! But the problem is: How can we bake the vert animation? Max don't have such a cool tool, unfortunatelly..
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Old 11 November 2013   #10
The dataset for a point cache can get very large very fast, and not typically suitable for "game environments". Although technically possible, the usual solution is for bones based animation, or morph targets, or classic in game particle systems.

There are pflow baker scripts for just baking each object to a keyframed standard max object.
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Old 11 November 2013   #11
Originally Posted by jdrouse: There are pflow baker scripts for just baking each object to a keyframed standard max object.


I've already told in the first post that Pflow baker don't bake "shape instance" animated objects. In my case, butterflies are animated, but their wings are not.

Any solution for that?
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Old 11 November 2013   #12
It is not better to bake only particles (as boxes) and replace meshes with animated butterflies?

If butterflies wings animation isn't evaluated in pflow, it will be easier to have mesh animation outside particles.
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Old 11 November 2013   #13
You mean inside Unity?
I really have no idea what is possible in Unity, because I never had it.. but yes.. those could be helpers, and I could ask programmer to attach butterflies on them.

Definitely great idea, and I never even had a thought on it.
But it's definitely makes sense.
Thank you so much for the great idea.
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Old 11 November 2013   #14
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