May. 29, 2008 @ 23:36
Dem bones, dem bones…

I’ve not had a lot of free time this week but I’ve managed to make a bit more progress with my Max SMD importer. Mesh import seems to work fine and it now imports the materials and UV mapping too which is nice.

I did have one colossal panic when suddenly Max would start crashing when you tried to add a modifier to the mesh or when you actually exited. Lots of error messages about corrupt heap which is never good for your heart pressure. After much debugging it was down to an out of range index which wasn’t my fault. A rather vague description in the SDK docs had me putting the wrong value somewhere. Doh!

So Sunday afternoon I decided it was time to tackle the part I’d been dreading – importing the bones and animation into Max. There’s very little decent information on making bones in the Max SDK and I don’t know many people who’ve found it easy.

My first task was just to template out some code to actually just create a bone in 3DS Max. I think having my teeth pulled is less painful. To illustrate, lets imagine a conversation between MaxScript and I…

Me: Hello. I’d like to make a bone please.
MaxScript: Sure, here you go.
Me: Great! Can I move it over there?
MaxScript: No problem. *moves*
Me: And rotate it a little to the left?
MaxScript: Anything you want! *turns*
Me: Fantastic!

Now, lets re-enact that little scene as it went for most of Sunday afternoon between myself and the MaxSDK:

Me: Hello. I’d like to make a bone please.
MaxSDK: What sort of bone? *shifty eyes*
Me: Well you know. Regular bone in Max that you make skeletons with.
MaxSDK: Like a helper?
Me: Err I guess, if that’s what it is.
MaxSDK: Ok. *creates*
Me: That’s not a bone! It’s just an object!
MaxSDK: That’s what you asked for a helper object bone!
Me: No, I meant a blue normal bone in Max.
MaxSDK: Oh you want a geometric object derived bone.
Me: Err yeah, whatever. Just make one please.
MaxSDK: Well you’ll have to tell me it’s class and super class.
Me: What? How the hell do I know that? Don’t you?
MaxSDK: Oh yes, but I just like to hear it. *sniggers*
Me: Oh FFS. *looks in SDK docs* I can’t find anything about that class!
MaxSDK: Well try harder!
Me: A clue? Nothing’s coming up when I search for “bone” or “bones”.
MaxSDK: Maybe I put it somewhere else…

Later that same afternoon…

Me: Ha! Found it! Make me a bone please.
MaxSDK: Oh very well….
Me: Can you move it over there?
MaxSDK: If you wish.
Me: And turn it a bit?
MaxSDK: Ok.
Me: What the hell? Why did you move it again?
MaxSDK: I didn’t!
Me: Yes you did it’s over there now!
MaxSDK: Oh yeah. Well I decided to reset the translation component of the matrix.
Me: Why you do that?
Me: I f***ing hate you MaxSDK…
MaxSDK: What? Oh sorry I wasn’t listening, I was just over there eating some more memory.
Me: Sod this, I’m going to the pub…
MaxSDK: Can you get me some chips on the way back?

The above was then followed by two more hours of wondering why I wasn’t allowed to alter the appearance of the bone. Oh I’m sorry MaxSDK, you said when I made the bone you would make it as an Object. You didn’t tell me that you wanted to make ita SimpleObject2. See I thought a SimpleObject would be somewhat LESS than a normal Object but no, in fact it’s more. Well bugger me. You are a tease!

I think you understand my frustrations thus far.

Responses to “Dem bones, dem bones…”

You’re like the Beatrix Potter of programming languages… 🙂

Posted by J.Webb
Fri, June 6th, 2008 @ 07:28

muahah nice dialog

Posted by ianmcmill
Sat, June 7th, 2008 @ 13:03

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