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ash72 (Offline)
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Default Understanding 3D animation variants - 10.07.2018, 01:27

I'm currently having issues exporting & importing animations across different file formats so I can use in different editors.

Take for example the Alien walking example in Cheetah 3d. I can export that animation as either dae or fbx..... in order to use in other packages like Modo, Maya or Blender.

These animations will run in those other 3D editors, but when I then export that same animation to an Alembic file format from with in those editors.. these animations may not work in some cases.

What is going on here? Is it to do with the animations being on different layers in respect to bone animations?

I'm still a newbie to 3d animation and trying to get my head around the different animations variants.

I have also heard of baking animations, as far as i know it means to merge several mixed animations into one layer or clip (stores keyframe based animations).

Is anyone able to enlighten me a bit?

... or at least point to a good online resource which explains the differences well.
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podperson (Offline)
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Default 15.07.2018, 21:44

It's hard to know for sure. I think it's a bit of a dark art. If you find a workflow that works, take note and keep to it.

Exactly how animation data is (a) represented and (b) bound to meshes in different programs is highly variable and the older and more richly functional a 3d program is the more different ways it likely supports in parallel. E.g. Unity 3d which hasn't been around as long as ANY high end 3d program or Cheetah 3d supports at least two major and several minor ways of attaching animation data to meshes.

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ash72 (Offline)
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Default 15.07.2018, 23:33

I guess its has to do with the way 3D technologies evolved over time... 3D assets seems to suffer from a lack of universal standard format, which is probably why tech giants like Apple are trying to push a new open source/universal file format like usdz for its new AR platform.

On the pixar website it says... "A usdz file can contain only file types whose data can be consumed by the USD runtime via mmap or (eventually) pointer to memory. This excludes, for example, Alembic files, currently. Initially this will include only the native USD file formats and a small number of image formats, but may grow over time."

At the WWDC Apple stated... "usdz supported single-frame Alembic files"... but they also said usdz supported skeletal animations... but didn't specifically show the steps.

What I have found by experimentation... Alembic files are working with usdz, but only a basic transformative type of animation, uv coordinates are not being applying like the other supported file format obj... so textures come out fragmented using the same process as obj to apply the PBR materials.

These usdz hiccups will probably resolve after the beta period I guess.

Anyway, thank you for your input!
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