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Blender 2.6+ Armature Workaround.
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Keeb Offline
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Blender 2.6+ Armature Workaround.

UPDATE: This work around is no longer needed. Blender 2.63 fixed this issue. View my thread here.

NOTE: This tutorial is not for developers and the like who are looking for creating models and putting them in-game. This tutorial is for people who are trying to motion track the models of Amnesia such as the Grunt into their videos using Blender. This does not cover the process of motion tracking.

This is for those of you who are trying to import the .dae's of the character models with their animations. Such as the grunts run.dae_anim file.

First of the all for those who don't already know, to simply make these files importable to Blender, just rename them as such.

"run.dae_anim" <- RENAME TO -> "run.dae"

Now the reason why I am making this thread is because I've been working on a video project for motion tracking and I wanted to insert the grunt or some other Amnesia character within my film. There's a lot of motion tracking software out there such as Syntheyes, Boujou, and Mocha for AE, but they all cost money. However with the NEW updates of Blender they've added motion tracking to their software, and best of all as we all know - Blender is completely free. So for the past week or so I've been messing with Blender's motion tracking which is surprisingly pretty good to say the least. Can't wait for more improvements on it.

However with the new updates with blender and it's other functions they somehow ended up screwing up the way Blender's importing function for interpreting COLLADA (.dae) files when they have animations/armatures from perhaps previous versions. In case you haven't tried, you'll notice that when importing your "run.dae" file to Blender 2.6+ that everything comes in okay, but when it comes to the actual animations - the armature is messed up and of course it deforms the whole model.

I'm hoping this will be fixed soon, as it is a hassle BUT I have found a work around to it.


Alright, first of all - you ARE going to need a previous version of Blender that imports the COLLADA files correctly. I personally used 2.59.

Open Blender 2.59, goto import > COLLADA (.dae) and select your "run.dae" animation/model file. The Grunt or Brute, or whatever model you chose should appear. Hit ALT+A to run the animation, it should be running correctly.

NOW go to export - and chose Motion Capture (.bvh) format. Export it where ever you want.

Next, open your newest version of Blender (currently 2.62 - yes, we're done using Blender 2.59 now) and import the .bvh file you just exported. Now what should appear before is the animated SKELETON/ARMATURE or bones of the model. This IS OKAY for what we're trying to do here. Now press ALT+A to run the animation. The armature should be animating correctly (standing, running, walking, idle, etc.)

Now import the "run.dae" file again (yes this is still in Blender 2.62). It should come up with the model + the skeleton. DO NOT PRESS ALt+A. Simply select the armature of the RUN.DAE model you just imported and DELETE IT.

Now here's the little tricky part. You need to re-align the model to the armature that you imported earlier (the .bvh). We are essentially re-rigging it. This is kind of tricky because the model is in a different pose than the armature. Really though all you have to do is rotate it and scale it until it fits right.

An easy way to align it is by selecting the armature and pressing TAB (edit mode). This will put the armature in a T-POSE which is the same pose the model is in. You will have to go back in forth between edit mode of the armature and object mode when selecting the model to get it aligned right. It doesn't have to be 100% perfect, but get it as CLOSE as you can to the armature and model being proportionate.

Now, once you've got it all aligned, select the model, then select the armature. Press CTRL+P and select the Armature Deform option. Boom. The model should have automatically rigged itself to the armature. Press ALT + A and the model should be animating correctly as well. Congrats you're all done.

Closing Statements

Now I'm just doing this for motion capture for a film project. The way the model works doesn't necessarily matter because I won't see the armature in the film (it simply won't be rendered). All people will see is the grunt or model being animated properly which is just what I want. (With of course proper lighting, tracking, shadows, etc.)

I don't recommend trying this method to try and export it for really any other use that I know of because the armature isn't perfectly set to the model and vise-versa unlike the original COLLADA file.

This was a simply a quick workaround for those trying to do some Motion Tracking so the world of amnesia connects with ours a little easier.

Examples of Amnesia Motion Tracking:

[Image: sigpic81605_31.gif]
When life hands you lemons you make grape juice and then sit back and smile as everyone wonders how the hell you did it.
(This post was last modified: 04-29-2012, 09:07 PM by Keeb.)
04-27-2012, 09:30 PM
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Rapture Offline
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RE: Blender 2.6+ Armature Workaround.

*.* (Fainted from the awesomeness)
04-28-2012, 12:19 AM
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ThoseRandomGuyz Offline

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RE: Blender 2.6+ Armature Workaround.

(04-28-2012, 12:19 AM)Rapture Wrote: *.* (Fainted from the awesomeness)

I will review all of your custom stories (when I find time!)!
04-28-2012, 08:04 AM
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Keeb Offline
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RE: Blender 2.6+ Armature Workaround.

I recently just made a test video of motion tracking using this work around I discovered. There's actually another posted in the Wiki, but I'm not sure how to accomplish it. Either way, I chose what works for me and I just thought I'd share it.

I had a lot of contact with the guy who made those videos as well to help me achieve this. Now all that's left more me to do is to actually film my project and put the grunt in.

[Image: sigpic81605_31.gif]
When life hands you lemons you make grape juice and then sit back and smile as everyone wonders how the hell you did it.
04-28-2012, 05:10 PM
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