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Latest WME version: WME 1.9.1 (January 1st, 2010) - download

Author Topic: Exporting 3D characters to DirectX format using XSI / Maya / ?  (Read 4073 times)

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[originally written by hanser]

Hello everyone ;D

You're often asking how to export to DirectX .X format from other 3D packages than 3ds Max (where there's our favourite Panda Exporter available). For our team, export from XSI has been a big problem for a long time. Until now!

Here's the workflow:

1) First, visit the Autodesk website and download the FBX format export-import plugin for your 3D package (you'll find plugins for XSI and Maya here, you'll have to look elsewhere for other programs plugins) and for 3ds Max (latest version).

2) Install those plugins. In XSI it will be neseccary to install "by hand", in the running program.

3) The plugins contain generic skeletons, which need to be used when rigging your characters. Also, all!! the extended options of a given program need to be turned off. The skeletons can be modified, they contain everything you'll need to make a fully-featured animations.

4) After rigging and animating the characters it's necessary to create keyframes for every joint that moves (independently on kinetics of the skeleton - it needs to be set for all moving joints). We will achieve this by so called animation plotting.

5) Now, export the character in FBX format. In the exporter settings leave all the default values except: don't export cameras and lights, and don't enable extended options (e.g. XSI).

6) Then import the FBX file into 3ds Max with the following importer settings:
  • Geometries -> Skin -> More -> Skin modifier (I wasn't able to use Physique)
  • Don't import cameras and lights
  • Turn on Markers
  • ...leave all the other values to default

7) If everything went ok, you can now export to X using Panda.

This workflow is 100% working for Softimage XSI 5.0 Advanced and 3ds Max 8 SP3. But there shouldn't by any big problem for other software. In addition, the FBX files can be easily edited directly in Motion Builder - probably the best application for animation creation.

We've been finetuning this process for more than 4 months, but we always hit some problems. Now we finally made it work - hopefully this information will be useful to you!

When importing FBX format the Rescale function sometimes turns itself off for some reason (I don't know why). It HAS TO be active!
« Last Edit: August 14, 2006, 05:45:49 PM by Mnemonic »
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