Tentacles: Bones

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Tentacles: Bones

Postby MandeRek » Wed Dec 26, 2007 11:14 am

Code: Select all
Well, “tentacles” is a misnomer.  Technically, what these are is bones that are animated by the game engine (not the animator) according to physics and the model’s movement.  They can be used for hair (as on the Wookiee Warrior) or pouches that move (as on Chewbacca) or anything else you like…they can even be used to animate weapons.
Unfortunately, Luke is a plain old human, and he isn’t too fond of hippie hairdos or long belts, so there are no tentacles in this example.  But I will explain how they work, and encourage a look at the Wookiee Warrior or Ms. Secura as an edifying example.  Actual implementation is left as an exercise for the reader.
Tentacles are pretty simple, really.  The artist needs to include bones named bone_string1 through bone_string# (maximum is 45) and make sure they are in the base pose and properly parented to each other. 


This is the Jedi Creation Guide... It's quite clear to me, though i do have a question about it... How do you create a bone? (sorry if this is noobish XSI question :oops: )
Also i guess these bones need to be in the bones layer, and need to be enveloped. That's not a problem... Thanks in advance though

Edit: We've solved it, and HERE you can download my tut on adding Tentacles! Hope everyone tries!
Last edited by MandeRek on Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby AceMastermind » Wed Dec 26, 2007 4:16 pm

If you open the Wookiee dread addon in Unwrap3d for example you can see the bone hierarchy, and according to that hierarchy there are no roots or effectors which tells me you can get away with using nulls for the bones (Get>Primitive>Null).
Hidden/Spoiler:
Image


There are guidelines that you must follow when making the tentacles though.
As you already stated, the bones must be named bone_string_1 through bone_string_# (maximum is 45 on Xbox)
Note that the max number of tentacles is 4 on PC, and the max number of bones per tentacle is 5 which gives you a total of 20 tentacles that can be used on PC.
However if you have one long tentacle, as long as the bone number ends up correct, that’s okay too. So a 12-bone tentacle can be done as four 3-bone tentacles and it will work fine.

See this post for a template to use.

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby MandeRek » Wed Dec 26, 2007 4:40 pm

Ok, so i only have to create bones, no nulls or whatever? How would i do that?

Edit; Re-read, and understand that you can use nulls for bones... Ok. Do these nulls(bones) need some sort of parent? If you make it an addon, i guess you envelope it to the mesh, make them all children of dummyroot and export right?

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby AceMastermind » Wed Dec 26, 2007 5:00 pm

Look in the example pic I posted earlier, in that example bone_root is the parent to everything in the scene, the actual mesh is a child of bone_root, then your 4 tentacle bone strings are children of bone_root, and each bone in a tentacle's bone string is a child to the previous one.

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby MandeRek » Wed Dec 26, 2007 5:03 pm

your 4 tentacles like the 4 cylinders before merging them into one polymesh? :?

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby Gogie » Wed Dec 26, 2007 7:54 pm

manderek, add my xfire, ill send you my kit fisto XSI assets, from there you can inspect my model and learn how to add tentacles from there...

if you dont have xfire add my msn

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby AceMastermind » Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:16 pm

You should post some screenshots of your scene in XSI to show everyone how it's setup,
then we'll add it to the tutorial thread and move on to the next great mystery of BF2.

Edit
To me the one thing that sounds really cool in that tidbit of tentacle info is this:
"…they can even be used to animate weapons."
This could come in handy for something like a morning star, nun chucks, or a whip.

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby MandeRek » Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:36 am

I was actually thinking of a light-wipe, as an addonmesh, or just as weapon... Still, i don't exactly understand what you mean with the 4 tentacles ace :?

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby Gogie » Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:31 am

from what i found, you can only use nulls... bone's don't work, and there is an error with the doc. you don't name it bone_string# you name them bone_string_#, also if you use nulls for bones, before you envelope you need to make sure you set the null nuetral pose to where ever it is, otherwise when you munge it ingame, your tenticles will end up touching the ground, you also need to delete all mesh object after you munge the character and re export a basepose (basepose should be anywhere between 0-18 kb), everything should be gone but your bones.

your tenticle's mesh object should be named after the tenticles odf file, usually a name matching your mesh file with a _tenticle after wards, so for example if your mesh's name is rep_inf_kit_fisto.msh, your tenticle odf's would be rep_inf_kit_fisto_tenticle1, rep_inf_kit_fisto_tenticle2, etc, thus the tenticles mesh's name would be rep_inf_kit_fisto_tenticle... not sure if this is neccessary.

if you merge your bones from another scene, you need to make sure you put your nuetral position 1 metre above where your nuetral pose is, otherwise your nulls will be attached to the hip. which is horrible because your tenticles collide with your collision mesh and end up being really square.

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby MandeRek » Thu Dec 27, 2007 4:59 pm

Ok..That's clear.. Only one thing, just for sure; these nulls, which are meant as bones for the tents, need to be in the bones layer, and just as all bones enveloped. I guess you should also weight the mesh to the bones. Also, the tentacles meshes, should they become a part of polymesh? So in steps, please correct me if I'm wrong:


Creating Moving Tentacles in XSI or your unit
1. Create the tentacles meshes. Note the maximum is 4
2. Create nulls 'into' the tentacle meshes and call them bone_string_1 up untill bone_string_#, note that the maximum number of bones in a tentacle is 5.
However if you have one long tentacle, as long as the bone number ends up correct, that’s okay too. So a 12-bone tentacle can be done as 4 3-bone tentacles and it will work fine.
3. Put all these nulls (which are used as bones) into the REP_CloneTrooper_Bones layer, for explanation; Vyse's tut. Make sure the tentacle meshes and the polymesh which is the whole unit, so My_Mesh in Vyse's tut under the DummyRoot in the explorer-scene.
4. Now, envelope the mesh and tentacle meshes (dunno if this can go together) to Psyco's bones, and the bones you just created for the tentacles..
5. Select the tentacles meshes and weight them correctly to the bones you made (can't find the tut exactly)
6. After you think everything is correct, export, and don't forget to save the scene, you'll need it!
7. After your model is showing up ingame, the tentacles are messed up or not working, that's because there isn't a correct basepose! In the scene, delete ALL MESHES etc so there're ONLY psyco's bones, and the ones you made for the tentacles. Export these as basepose.msh, an animation (ANIMATING TUT)
8. In data_***\Animations\SoldierAnimationBank make a new folder, and in there place the basepose.msh, and other anims if you want to, and a munge.bat from the human_sabre assets. Munge these anims correct, so there's the basepose in the munged anims. Select these anims as the anims of the soldier which uses the mesh, make sure the weapon is correct etc., munge, and it should work! (for anims, with the munging part: Link!! , or use the Jedi Creation doc from the documentation!)


Note: This is what i''ve got in mind now! Ace, Gogie, please correct this if this is wrong, which is probably so!

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby AceMastermind » Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:18 pm

It looks good Manderek, but for further reference of tentacles such as Aayla's here is a screenshot from Unwrap3d showing the hierarchy:
Hidden/Spoiler:
Image


In the screenshot, Aayla and her tentacles are all 1 mesh, they have been merged, I circled the part of the hierarchy corresponding to the bones that make up the tentacles and their parent bone which is bone_head, you can also see that cloth collision that was added, c_head which is a child to bone_head and c_ribcage which is a child to bone_ribcage (not shown).

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby MandeRek » Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:24 pm

So the only things wrong on my tut, as far as you can see, is that all tentacle bones should be children of bone_head, and that the tentacles meshes should be one polymesh with the unit's... Also, all bones of one tentacles should be parented to each other. Nice example in your pic: 2 tentacles with 3 bones, where you can see 4 has 5 as child, and 5 6. This is the same with 1,2 and 3.


Still, in XSI, you just have to drag those bones(nulls) (in)to the bone_head? If that's just it, i can maybe edit that 'tut', test it and it can be added to the Tutorial Thread...

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby Teancum » Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:26 am

You can actually do tentacles as a bolton. That's how they did Kit Fisto's tentacles on the Xbox. Just make sure you don't go over 20 bones total. They used 45 bones for Xbox Kit Fisto, which sucks, cuz otherwise we could have probably made him work on PC. Speaking of which, if anyone wants to rig tentacle bones for the PC Kit Fisto (which is a very early version of the Xbox one from what I understand) I'd be willing to share those assets with that person.

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby Gogie » Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:02 pm

i could rig you some tentacle bones, assuming that im allowed o keep the asset and use it freely once finished (my kitfisto's face is low detailed anyways :p)

[edit] : here's a pic of my tenticle in game, since this pic i have edited my model
Hidden/Spoiler:
Image
Last edited by Gogie on Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby MandeRek » Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:03 pm

Rig tentacles? So like animate them? I would like to do that... Is that the Kit from convo pack? Also, what means bolton? :oops:

Edit: It's okay if Gogie does it... I've got a remark though! I started on an Agen Kolar which I'm going to give animated hair, and 2 animated dreads, so 3 tentacles.. I'm trying the tut i created, included the things you remarked, and I'll post the results, hopefully with screenies. I'll make a complete tut of it when it is properly working!

Edit:

I'm almost done with tut and agen, also included the collision part, and Gogie will include a sweet faster way, which has ofcourse some ups and downs when compared to what we discusted here...

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby AceMastermind » Fri Dec 28, 2007 7:01 pm

MandeRek wrote:Rig tentacles? So like animate them? I would like to do that... Is that the Kit from convo pack? Also, what means bolton?


No need to rig them, just place the nulls and name them accordingly and set up the hierarchy following the BF2 guidelines then envelope (in the Animate toolbar>Deform>Envelope>Set Envelope) the tentacles to the bones and export.
The game engine knows what to do with the bone strings if the right code is inserted into the unit ODF, no animating required.
When he said "bolton" he means the same as "addon".

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby MandeRek » Sat Dec 29, 2007 4:46 am

Oh like that! I think a great advantage of addon's is, even with this tentacle setup, that you don't need a new basepose! Still, i must say, that this whole tut we developed here is not that difficult, and if you have mesh done, and had Vyse's tut correctly, you can do this in 10 minutes or so, depends how fast your computer is... In human words, this is actually just placing nulls, naming them correct, and make them correct in the explorertree. Than envelope, export, delete all meshes and export bones as basepose.msh! That is my summarised tut ;)

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby AceMastermind » Sat Dec 29, 2007 6:15 am

Yeah, I think addons would be the quickest way to go about making a character like Kit Fisto or someone similar, you could just reskin say Mace Windu for example to make the face, hands, and neck the color of Kit's skin and maybe change the outfit color and just apply the tentacle addon through the ODF and there ya go, Kit Fisto with animated tentacles.

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby MandeRek » Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:04 am

I know... That's what I'm going to do with Agen Kolar as well, i just imported the jed_inf_sith so i could use it for my example... Ace, could you maybe make for me, and for the rest of the community, an head, as obj, so we can import it, make the addon mesh on that so it will correct show up ingame? That would help me a lot! Also, if you're making a total new mesh, this is also a way to do it. You can also follow Vyse's tut actually, and just make an addon on your new model... Still, I'll finish this tut, I'm almost done :|

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Re: Tentacles: Bones

Postby Gogie » Sat Dec 29, 2007 2:05 pm

you can get alot more crashes with addons if they are not added correctly

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