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-   -   What are you using to create objects? (http://www.alice.org/community/showthread.php?t=24)

DrJim 10-26-2007 06:39 PM

Biturm
 
You can use a program called Biturn to convert from .3ds to .ase. It is available at [url]http://mirex.mypage.sk/index.php?selected=1[/url] .

You may have to experiment with different downloads to get one that runs on your configuration - I didn't have trouble with my first downloads but others have reported problems with specific versions. Keep trying until you find a version that works for you.

You can also use 4D Blue, [url]http://www.4dblue.com/[/url] but it is a bit more complicated. In all cases, you need to have your scale factors and origins set correctly.

Finally, you will have to import skin/texture bitmaps into Alice separately.

nyquist 12-05-2007 09:26 PM

Blender ASE Exporter
 
I'm new to Alice, but I hope to figure out how to create characters. If anyone knows of a good tutorial, please post it.

I use [URL="http://blender.org/"]Blender [/URL]and found this ASE Exporter for it:
[url]http://www.katsbits.com/htm/tools_utilities.htm#ase[/url]

Just put the exporter script in your Blender scripts folder. I tested it and it works as long as you make sure none of the objects you make sure your object names don't have a "." in them.

Blender is very powerful and free. It has a very active and helpful user community.

Regards,
John

DrJim 12-08-2007 11:08 AM

Personally I find Blender's learning curve a bit steep and it's user interface very outdated - but that's personal taste. It [B][I]does[/I][/B] have the most reliable import/export capabilities of any program I know - good to hear that there is a good .ase export script now. Some of the earlier ones had problems.

How much have you tested it - particularly with objects with openings? One problem that Biturn has is keeping surface nomals correct when you have openings for doors, windows, etc.

nyquist 12-24-2007 09:55 PM

[QUOTE=DrJim;4255]Personally I find Blender's learning curve a bit steep and it's user interface very outdated - but that's personal taste. It [B][I]does[/I][/B] have the most reliable import/export capabilities of any program I know - good to hear that there is a good .ase export script now. Some of the earlier ones had problems.[/QUOTE]

You're right, Blender's learning curve is steep! I wouldn't say the interface is outdated as I've never seen anything like it in my 20 years as a computer user ;) , that said it's interface is very fast, very flexible, and useful.

The best (and easiest) way to learn the basics is with James Chronister's "Blender Basics".
[url]http://www.cdschools.org/54223045235521/blank/browse.asp?A=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&C=55205[/url]


[QUOTE=DrJim;4255]How much have you tested it - particularly with objects with openings? One problem that Biturn has is keeping surface nomals correct when you have openings for doors, windows, etc.[/QUOTE]

I'm not sure what you mean by objects with openings. It seems to export objects quite well with the script I referenced, but the Alice engine does have limitations as to what it supports. I was crashing it today with a texture map that was too large :)

I'm not familiar with Biturn, but Blender does allow you to make normals face out as well as make faces two-sided.

Regards and Merry Christmas!
John

DrJim 12-28-2007 04:55 PM

[QUOTE=nyquist;4374] ....never seen anything like it in my 20 years as a computer user.

John[/QUOTE]

Ouch - maybe I really am as old as I feel. The interface reminds me very much of an old graphics pad interface for Data General machines - which would be early 80's and which generally went out of style as the mouse became popular. You needed the same "one hand on the keyboard" approach for that system.

By "openings" I meant any break in a surface that allowed you to see the back side of a surface as well as the front (though obviously in different views). Depending on the input format, Biturn does not always get the normals correct with two sided textures. Sounds like the current export from Blender may not have this problem, which would be very nice.

Also you obviously do not have to become a Blender expert to use it for format converstions. I certainly use it as a fallback when I get stumped with tools I find easier to use but less capable.

nyquist 12-28-2007 05:16 PM

[QUOTE=DrJim;4380]Ouch - maybe I really am as old as I feel. The interface reminds me very much of an old graphics pad interface for Data General machines - which would be early 80's and which generally went out of style as the mouse became popular. You needed the same "one hand on the keyboard" approach for that system.[/QUOTE]

And I thought I was an old timer ;)
You're right, Blender is a two-handed program!


[QUOTE=DrJim;4380]Also you obviously do not have to become a Blender expert to use it for format converstions. I certainly use it as a fallback when I get stumped with tools I find easier to use but less capable.[/QUOTE]

Let us know when you find something. It seems the development community for Alice is on the small side, so any info is appreciated.

Do you know of any way to get animations into Alice? Or do you animate everything in Alice?

John

DrJim 01-02-2008 08:59 PM

[QUOTE=nyquist;4382] Do you know of any way to get animations into Alice? Or do you animate everything in Alice?

John[/QUOTE]

Alice 2.0 does not support bones, so any rigging from Blender,etc. is lost on import. Alice 3.0 models at one time were going to support bones - but I don't know if this is still in the plan. Given the current staffing on the project, I doubt whether much more than very basic features will be supported, if any at all are.

There is some Java scripting capability left over from the original Alice, but it isn't really supported in the current version (see several forum postings on this).

I nearly always just use the drag and drop interface and save any animation methods with a character. There are the obvious boundry problems where the submeshes join - don't know any way around that without going to a skin/rigging approach and it's not really easy even then. When I want to do even a moderately complicated animation (like lip sync), I'll pose the character in Alice - take a screen shot - and then use a 2D program. (I use Anime Studio, which is not free but has good support. Creatoon is similar and free - but relatively unsupported.)

nyquist 01-07-2008 10:09 PM

[QUOTE=DrJim;4398]When I want to do even a moderately complicated animation (like lip sync), I'll pose the character in Alice - take a screen shot - and then use a 2D program. (I use Anime Studio, which is not free but has good support. Creatoon is similar and free - but relatively unsupported.)[/QUOTE]

Do you then apply the 2d animation as a map on the object? Does Alice support that?

John

DrJim 01-19-2008 04:55 PM

[QUOTE=nyquist;4411]Do you then apply the 2d animation as a map on the object? Does Alice support that?

John[/QUOTE]

Sorry for the delay in answering - was away from a good Internet connection for several days.

Every time I've gone to a 2D version of a project, I've pretty much stayed there. You can switch between textures on an object or a billboard for an animated 3D effect - using a list you can even get a fairly good frame-based animation and even use transparency to make it look like an object has moving parts - but that's a pretty tedious process.

Possibly a better artist than me (which has to include most of the world's population) could make it work, but I haven't found the result very convincing.

Levi 04-01-2008 07:48 PM

[QUOTE=Azerilli1;293]There are free software programs that you can download. Go [URL="http://www-ui.is.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~takeo/index.html"]Here[/URL].
These programs all run under Windows, so they can't be used on a Mac. Check them out. I like "Chateau" the best. There are about six programs to download. they don't model directly [I]in [/I]Alice, but they export in a format Alice can understand. They're pretty simple to use.[/QUOTE]

which ones are the 6 you are refering to


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