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Quick question: How many frames do the merc animations have?[message #350545] Fri, 11 August 2017 12:11 Go to next message
Xubor

 
Messages:25
Registered:March 2008
Hi Bears,

I would like to now how many single pictures were drawn to animate the mercs (big body, normal body, woman). Must be thousands, right? Does anybody know?

Thanks in Advance!

Xubor
Re: Quick question: How many frames do the merc animations have?[message #350547 is a reply to message #350545] Fri, 11 August 2017 18:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
smeagol

 
Messages:2713
Registered:June 2008
Location: Bremen, Germany
Each animation has ~ 160 - 180 single frame pics for one body type (20 - 25 pics, depending on animation for each of the 8 directions a merc can face).

This easily adds up, as there are quite a couple body types (at least 3 for mercs: big body, male and female... possibly a couple more if you want to include civilians and stocky males as well).

So yeah, lack of animations is mainly because of tedious work which includes up to 600 pics (so no more different melee animations for the time being, unless someone comes up with a clever way to auto generate from 1 direction the other 7 directions... which would probably be a cool coding project for a capable coder (TM)).


Re: Quick question: How many frames do the merc animations have?[message #350548 is a reply to message #350547] Fri, 11 August 2017 18:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Xubor

 
Messages:25
Registered:March 2008
Okay thank you! Must have been an enormous amount of work for the Sirtech team back then. Nobody would create a new game this way nowadays, I guess happy
Re: Quick question: How many frames do the merc animations have?[message #350551 is a reply to message #350548] Fri, 11 August 2017 19:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3536
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
They had some sort of a script that generated the isometric camera angles from 3Ds Max, if I remember well what Chris Camfield once said. But still each pose had to be arranged by hand.


Re: Quick question: How many frames do the merc animations have?[message #350553 is a reply to message #350551] Fri, 11 August 2017 22:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3165
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
There are about 362 different total animations at the moment, though not nearly all of them are used for the same bodytype, and some might be copies of others. For the relevant bodytpes, I'd say you are looking at ~200-250 different animations (this includes dying animations etc.). As smeagol said, each animation has to be done for 8 directions and can range from 8 to 25 or more pictures. So even if you are extremely conservative, you'd end up at 200 * 8 * 8 = 12.8k pictures for just one bodytype.

This likely makes it easier to understand why have to fall back to crude hacks in order to get any new visual stuff.



Saren threw his head back and screamed in impotent fury, before falling to his throne, head in his claws, trembling in horrified disbelief.

Then he heard a faint chime as Sovereign subscribed to her ECHO channel.

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: Quick question: How many frames do the merc animations have?[message #350564 is a reply to message #350553] Sat, 12 August 2017 12:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3536
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
The sheer volume of the animations isn't the issue, we have (had) dedicated people who could've generated them, at least partially. It's the fact that game only uses 3-4 body types for all NPCs and any changes were replicated through the entire set.
Did we come up with a way to add new animations to a specific character in the meantime? Generating animations for a normal body type male, riding a horse, it's not very hard (just a wild example). But do we have the proper code to trigger it properly on specific event/action?

[Updated on: Sat, 12 August 2017 12:32]



Re: Quick question: How many frames do the merc animations have?[message #350565 is a reply to message #350564] Sat, 12 August 2017 14:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3165
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
Eh. What? The volume of animations IS the issue. At least since I've been active here we haven't exactly had volunteers to do new animations.

Shanga
It's the fact that game only uses 3-4 body types for all NPCs and any changes were replicated through the entire set.
???

Animations to specific characters? You mean for individual mercs? Could be done. Mind you, we have 2 versions of the big merc because Sirtech thought it prudent to create a new bodytype even though they only differ in one animation or so (which could have been done much easier, but here we are).

I'm not exactly sure what you are referring to - perhaps I misunderstand you - but from my point of view, the issue blocking new animations is purely that nobody is willing to create them as they require so many pictures. Adding new animations also requires quite a bit of code (animations basically have bits of code that 'accompany them', so that, for example, a moving merc switches their tile on the correct animation). New animations always require accompanying code, but I, and I assume other coders as well, would gladly handle that part.



Saren threw his head back and screamed in impotent fury, before falling to his throne, head in his claws, trembling in horrified disbelief.

Then he heard a faint chime as Sovereign subscribed to her ECHO channel.

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: Quick question: How many frames do the merc animations have?[message #350571 is a reply to message #350565] Sat, 12 August 2017 23:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3536
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
You think in terms of creating a whole new set or bodytype. I am thinking in terms of adding new animations to the current bodytypes (which is way more time efficient). I did that back in the days before source code and v1.13 only to end up with the above described deadlock. But then of course we didn't have a clue how animations were coded in JA2. We haven't discovered us a Flugente either big grin


Re: Quick question: How many frames do the merc animations have?[message #350579 is a reply to message #350571] Sun, 13 August 2017 15:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3165
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
I am not talking about new bodytypes. I am talking about adding new animations for existing bodytypes, like new melee attacks (maces, swords, martial attack animation for females, new death animations, going from standing to prone while still aiming). The only issue is that nobody is willing to create the required ton of pictures.



Saren threw his head back and screamed in impotent fury, before falling to his throne, head in his claws, trembling in horrified disbelief.

Then he heard a faint chime as Sovereign subscribed to her ECHO channel.

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: Quick question: How many frames do the merc animations have?[message #350586 is a reply to message #350579] Sun, 13 August 2017 20:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3536
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
I will look into it when i get a bit of spare time. A decade ago there weren't so many cheap 3D tools, maybe nowdays we can find a solution that doesn't involve selling one's house. Once you got the scene properly done, the 8 directions aren't so hard to render, it's just change camera, export, rinse and repeat. Then ofc assemble and import into a STI file, equally tedious. Unless someone figured how to use unpacked anims.


Re: Quick question: How many frames do the merc animations have?[message #350591 is a reply to message #350586] Mon, 14 August 2017 12:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Hawkeye

 
Messages:1673
Registered:October 2005
Location: Australia
It's still a lot of work either way and has been discussed many times before. As Shanga says once animations are done it is just a case of rendering frames at different camera angles, (if you don't count sourcing a good jointed model to begin with) or rather rotating the bodytype so shadows and lighting cast correctly. It is the animation itself that will take the most effort, I don't have a definite list but just start to think about them, shoot pistol, shoot rifle, run with rifle, run with pistol, walk, idle, talk into radio, death, hit, on and on. Pretty much standard anims for any action game. I suspect Sir Tech also would have needed to retouch a number of frames back in the day too, as rendering at such a small resolution would have come out very rough and ready back then for any 3D program.

I've worked on games for over 20 years and know how much work is involved including the old days of pixel pushing, which is why I haven't offered to start from scratch either, or been surprised so many have offered but then given up when reality of the task is realised.



Re: Quick question: How many frames do the merc animations have?[message #350592 is a reply to message #350591] Mon, 14 August 2017 16:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3536
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Yea, you actually hit the nail on the head here. The bloody reduction to a few pixels is much harder than actually rendering the camera angles. Usually 3D tools are setup to render properly huge detailed images, not 10 pixel high dolls.

Another solution is to pick a very short sequence and "hack" it in Photoshop. A simple sword chop is doable by hacking the knife anims, for example. Then it's all about a STI editor that knows animations (Tox's latest thing?) and repacking the thing.


Re: Quick question: How many frames do the merc animations have?[message #350593 is a reply to message #350592] Mon, 14 August 2017 20:57 Go to previous message
sevenfm

 
Messages:1378
Registered:December 2012
Location: Under the Mountain
For manual animation changing, batch conversion with sticom.exe is possible - you just run a script that converts sti to a set of bmp pictures, edit them in paint or photoshop and then batch convert back to sti, if you don't change the picture sizes, they will have correct offsets again.
At least one example of nearly full new bodytype is known - bigmale for RR mod, painted by hand by a very patient person. Also many new animations where added to 1.13, like double ready pistols, LAW crouched shooting or prone cowering, so it's definitely possible.
Also there is unfinished male with sleeves project, so if someone wants to check his painting madskillz in photoshop and has some free time for meditative work he can take that project and make some missing animations. Technically it's extremely easy, just tedious.



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