3D models: animation support

Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:22 pm

Magic supports already a ton of 3d model formats. Some of those also incapsulate animations. It would be cool if magic was able to support this. Afaik .x and collada already support animations and/or even armatures/ bones. There may be more formats of the ones magic supports. It could be handeled similarly like in the video module: set begin and end second/keyframe, goto start, speed/fps and so on.

another way to do this would be to support mesh cache files like mdd or pc2 that come with an obj for example and show the change of vertices over time in comparison that has the info just for one point in time. That way we could pre"bake" animations and use them like that.

I realize i may have already posted sth like this, im hoping to make a more specific request with this and also see what the community vibe would be specifically for this.
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Re: 3D models: animation support

Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:50 am

Yeah there's a bit of earlier discussion about it here: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=75&p=148#p146

It would definitely be easier to start with only supporting "pre-baked" animations, as you noted. The animation paths could be read from the file and the meshes would move appropriately over time. They wouldn't respond to audio or MIDI input directly, but parameters from the Video module like start/end time and speed would probably be possible. It could allow for things like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHUTof9S8mM. Is this something people would be interested in?

More difficult than that would be getting the individual joints or bones or vertices to respond to audio/MIDI in real-time. As we discussed in this post (viewtopic.php?f=4&t=307), the main issue is how to select the various sub-components of the model. A new interface would be needed. Much harder :). I don't know if it's possible in Magic's current design, but I'll certainly think about it.

For now, if you bring in pieces of a model separately, you can do what I did in my Dancing Robot tutorial: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=174. You might be able to get some interesting results if you use models that are more complicated than the simple cube I used in that one. And you could use oscillator modifiers to "pre-bake" some movement with rotations or translations.
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Re: 3D models: animation support

Sun May 09, 2021 12:23 pm

6 years later!

Yes, having more formats that allow pre baked animation would be a good improvement.
In this regard, when I try to import a Blender file Magic crashes. Afaik Blender is a supported format.
Am I missing something?

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Re: 3D models: animation support

Sun May 09, 2021 4:18 pm

Not sure. If you post a link so I can download your Blender file, I can test it.
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Re: 3D models: animation support

Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:29 am

What about Alembic / glTF?

While there might be some issues with changing the duration of playback (since the point transformation data etc are often stored in frame format and tweening is more intensive than just per-frame playback), it might also make for some unique effects...especially with more pythagorean/euclidean geometry types (meaning models that have a very recognizable shape so that any glitching or jumping will be more sensible to the eye).
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Re: 3D models: animation support

Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:05 am

Checking the docs for the Open Asset Import Library shows the following file formats are currently supported:
  • collada
  • x
  • stp
  • obj
  • objnomtl
  • stl
  • stlb
  • ply
  • plyb
  • 3ds
  • gltf2
  • glb2
  • gltf
  • glb
  • assbin
  • assxml
  • x3d
  • fbx
  • fbxa
  • m3d
  • m3da
  • 3mf
  • pbrt
  • assjson

In there I see model formats glb/glb2 which is the binary 3d model format used in glTF/glTF2, as well as other full scene with animation formats FBX (Autodesk's interchange format), X3D, PBRT (physically based render file format, which can also a full scene format), there are possibly more (m3d can also technically contain quite a bit of scene data) but these are the ones I recognize and am familiar with. Note: by 'full scene format' I mean the inclusion of not just geometry, but camera(s), light(s), animation data and so on...

Alembic (which is not present in this library right now) & glTF seem the most sensible formats to bring in animation, they're very common when working with something like Unity or other game engines. FBX might work as well, but it's much more inclusive and would need some trial & error to figure out how to bake the FBX file so that the scene & model/texture/animation/etc attributes wanted come in to MMV. The .pbrt format...off the top of my head I would wonder how well that translates to MMV as it's intended for physically based rendering engine. Might be interesting to try.

In any case, this thread has my interest, it it's probably worth documenting things well enough that a few workflows can be catered to. If animation/scene based files are added to MMV, I'd be willing to help make some tests. Blender users will have to help alongside, for while I know the program somewhat my experience with it goes back to long before their UI overhaul and I'm not fully up to date (efficient) with its current menu system and workflow(s).
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