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Author Topic: DMX exporting?  (Read 12121 times)

shatteredwings

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DMX exporting?
« on: October 28, 2013, 10:11:53 AM »
Hello there. I have just recently started using WW, seeing as the older version of SMD import/export from cannon fodder and wonderboy have sadly been outdated for a very long time. Though I am new to using WW I am not new to animations in 3ds max, exporting the SMD and compiling said animation to be used in 'Source Filmmaker'. While this is an easy thing to do it is still rather time consuming to make an animation, compile models, just to see you did something wrong, just to repeat the process all over again. These 10 or more minutes of compiling and testing add up and gets tiring after awhile. Though, Source Filmmaker does allow direct animation importing through the use of DMX files. Other 3d programs such as Blender and Maya have plugins that support such exports for DMX animations. So, I was hoping that perhaps it was possible for WW to implement DMX exporting. While it isn't entirely needed, WW for me has been a one stop plugin that is great for everything I need.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2013, 10:26:35 AM by shatteredwings »

wallworm

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Re: DMX exporting?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2013, 01:16:59 PM »
I have already started building a DMX exporter. I'm not sure when I'll be done.

Why can you not export animations without DMX? You should be able to use SMD. I haven't really messed with SFM much... does it not use animated SMDs?

shatteredwings

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Re: DMX exporting?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2013, 07:21:59 PM »
I have already started building a DMX exporter. I'm not sure when I'll be done.

Why can you not export animations without DMX? You should be able to use SMD. I haven't really messed with SFM much... does it not use animated SMDs?

It can use animated SMD as long as it is compiled into a model as a sequence, then you just load the sequence from the model to get it working. Again, the constant back and forth for adding new animations or fixing older ones starts to add up and having a direct DMX exporter would cut a lot of back and forth time down.. But happy to hear that you're already working on that and hope to see it soon..

Rantis

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Re: DMX exporting?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2015, 11:55:03 PM »
There are MANY good reasons to use DMX over SMD, currently 3ds max is the ONLY modeling toolkit without any SMD support whatsoever. There are MANY VERY good reasons why valve hasn't used SMD themselves since 2007 and use DMX exclusively. To name a few off the top of my head:

- Export stupidly high poly models (All source branches)
- The ability to embed flex data, no jacking around with vtas and other BS, just export the flexes on the mesh and it works. (All source branches)
- The ability to take advantage of valves active tessellation technology. (SFM only)
- The ability to add valve rig constraint data baked into the models skeleton. (Portal 2 and up)
- The ability to export Stereo and GPU HWM flex data with split flexes using balance maps.
These are just the reasons I can think of off the top of my head. (TF2, CS:GO, DOTA2, SFM)

I use Maya and SMD has not been in my pipeline in over 4 years. You would need to threaten to gauge out my eyes to make me switch back to smd. I am writing this because I work with many people who use max and insist on sending me smds and insist I export in smds, which valve has long abandoned and do not import properly in Maya anymore and then I have to go on these long tangents on why dmx is better. Here's the truth, since orangebox 2007 ALL Source games have had FULL DMX support with SMD provided purely for backwards compatibility. Another interesting fact: The Source 2 dota 2 workshop tools alpha have abandoned smd entirely. I guess ignorance is bliss. I'm getting tired of Max users I work with insisting I use their s***ty outdated formats.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 01:14:45 AM by Orvid »

wallworm

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Re: DMX exporting?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2015, 01:04:28 AM »
There are MANY good reasons to use DMX over SMD, currently 3ds max is the ONLY modeling toolkit without any SMD support whatsoever. ... I'm getting tired of Max users I work with insisting I use their shitty outdated formats.

I'll ignore my instinct to respond to this comment with how I feel about such attitudes.

DMX obviously has some extra capabilities over SMDs for some types of projects. But the vast majority of all assets work perfectly fine with SMD/VTA. And in the pending update to WW, the SMD/VTA workflow will actually be absurdly easy. DMX isn't a savior format. It just offers a couple extra features. And it is very likely that DMX will disappear in favor of FBX before long.

That being said, there will probably be DMX in WW in before long. We intend to add it as an update to WW Pro sometime after it is released provided sales go well.

Orvid

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Re: DMX exporting?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2015, 01:55:18 AM »
The one thing you're failing to mention about DMX is that, apart from the plaintext version, it is not documented in it's current form anywhere. The current version of DMX, as used in DOTA 2 is not even supported by any of the DMX libraries I looked at. While I did manage to hack support into it for most of the DMX forms, but the form used by the maps is even more different than the rest. Why is it not supported? Because the DMX format is, and has been pretty much since it was created, in a state of flux, constantly changing. How much in flux is it? Well, dmxconvert, the tool provided in the DOTA SDK for converting between the different DMX formats, does not even support the current version of DMX used in DOTA 2.

What we can, and already do partially support (admittedly it's incomplete and mostly broken), is exporting to the plain-text form of DMX.

Lastly, of the games you listed, only half of them (Dota, and SFM) actually support DMX as a model format, the rest use SMDs exclusively. The DMX format supported by source since orangebox is supported exclusively by the particle engine. These PCF files do use a form of DMX, but are limited to the particle system, they are not used for models.

Edit:
After checking, it appears I was actually mistaken in the last statement I made.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 08:28:02 PM by Orvid »

vehtam

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Re: DMX exporting?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2015, 01:02:34 PM »
Are there any predictions when WWPro will be released with DMX export feature? I would love to buy that right from the bat at the day of release (Bringing wrinkle maps to character models through importing them to blender in the workflow and making shapekeys there is awful solution at the moment)

wallworm

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Re: DMX exporting?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2015, 01:09:26 PM »
We've got partial DMX support done now in WW Pro. At the moment, it is limited to Mesh and Skeletal exports. We are working on the Flex and Animation support now. I wish I could give an exact time, but that's just impossible with programming and small teams with limited resources. My current goal is to have full DMX flexfiles and animations by the end of this week. But that is a target, not a guarantee.

vehtam

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Re: DMX exporting?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2015, 01:22:18 PM »
Holy crap, i was excepting it will take A LOT longer!  ;D

Thanks for the info! Will WWpro page be updated, when alpha version of full DMX export support will be avaible? If so, i'll just start refreshing it from time to time!

wallworm

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Re: DMX exporting?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2015, 02:50:57 PM »
Yes, I'll update that page when it's available.

vehtam

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Re: DMX exporting?
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2015, 04:17:47 PM »
AWESOME, it' added, can't wait to test it!!! (salary can't come soon enough  :D)

Is it capable of adding wrinkle maps to exported models?

wallworm

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Re: DMX exporting?
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2015, 05:02:12 PM »
AWESOME, it' added, can't wait to test it!!! (salary can't come soon enough  :D)

Is it capable of adding wrinkle maps to exported models?
Not today. But that feature will be added. It's the main feature I'm working on this weekend.

vehtam

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Re: DMX exporting?
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2015, 05:30:19 PM »
That's great :)

wallworm

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Re: DMX exporting?
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2015, 09:09:33 AM »
Wrinklemaps are now exported in the WW DMX exporter in WW Pro Alpha. Instructions on how to paint them are here: Wrinklemaps.

wallworm

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Re: DMX exporting?
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2015, 09:38:19 PM »