Automating Character Creation with Character Tools
- This page explains how artists using 3D Studio Max can run the automated process, Character Tools, to export all the necessary components of a character, as well as setting up the necessary files in the Repository.
Hero Character Tools
Hero Character Tools is a script that automates the steps that are normally done by hand with the initial set up of a character. Please refer to the creating static characters and dynamic characters tutorials for reference on how to do these steps manually.
If you would like to work with the same files for 3ds Max as in this tutorial, you can download them from account.heroengine.com.
- NOTE This tool only supports a single Hero Material on the initial set up, a Multi/Sub-Object material will error out.
Max/Maya file set up
You only need one Max/Maya file to get a character into the HeroEngine. Once your character is set up, you can manually add more animations and parts if it's a dynamic character.
- the file needs to have a skeleton and 1 skinned geometry
- 1 - Open up Hero Character Tools from Utilities panel for 3ds Max or from the HeroTools Shelf in Maya.
- 2 - Create an SRB if your character does not have one yet.
- 3 - Create any animation channels with the Tracks Mask Editor if your character will need them
- 4 - Type a name into the Enter Character Name field to name your character. Note: This will also be the name of the directory into which your character will be placed. Character Tools will create this for you.
- 5 - Press "Set HE Root Path..." button to locate the Hero Engine root Directory. This is generally "HE" or "HJ".
- 6 - Press "Set Character Path..." button to locate the directory where you want your character folder to go. This must be in the Character subfolder after the Hero root folder.
- 7 - Choose Static or Dynamic Character in the Set Character Type. If you choose to create a dynamic character, select the skinned geometry in the scene that you would like to use as a temporary part and press the "Get Selected Mesh Part" button.
- 8 - Press "Create Character Files" to set up your new character.
Your character has been blocked out with all the necessary files for it to display properly in HeroEngine. This includes:
- All the proper directories
- moving your textures to the maps directory and re-aiming them in Material texture paths.
- Writing out the characters specification files which include .dat, .dyc, .par
- Exports the character skeleton
- Exports a temp part if a dynamic character
- Exports a temp idle animation (whatever was in the current time line get exported as a stand in idle animation.)
- Write out a basic animation agent, animationset.dat, and sequence file to go with the idle animation
- A Set_Up_Read_Me.txt with instructions on how to see the character in HeroEngine.
The file directory image shows an example of everything that was created by the scripts.
After running Character Tools:
- Open up the repository browser and upload all of the files
- Open the *Set_Up_Read_Me.txt for instructions or following the rest of these steps here on the Wiki page.
- Using the /henpc commands, add a character spec to the engine
- from the chat panel, type
/henpc add spec "name" "path"
/henpc add spec Goldman /demo/goldman/
- Create an instance of the character by typing the create command into the chat panel.
/henpc create Goldman
- There will only be a basic place holder idle animation, you will not be able to walk around with the character until more animations are done and added to the animation pipeline and animation agent.