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Modding a Movies Game ANM File

modding the movies blender

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#1 lefty2000

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 02:39 PM

For about a year I have been working on a set of scripts to make it easier to modify animations within the movies game.   Several versions of these tools have been released and more capability has been added.  The early versions could only handle bone animations but the latest version, version 5.0, can import and and export prop animations as well as bone animations.  A typical anm file could have one or more actors and one or more props  An actor could be "normal" which means a human, or it could be a horse, a cow, or a dog, or even a baby.  A prop can be a tool, a gun, a bunch of flowers, a book, a cigarette, a glass, a bottle among other numerous possibilities.

 

The reason for this topic is to invite readers to view a tutorial which illustrates a simple modification to an animation which takes the viewer through the process from beginning to end.  Using Camtasia, I recorded a session in which I started with a movies game scene (Horse Wait), made a small change, exported the animation to a new ANM file and injected it into a modified version of the scene.  I am hopeful that this will be useful to anyone who is interested in learning how to modify animations in The Movies Game.

 

This tutorial does not illustrate all of the features of these tools, but it does illustrate the basic process from beginning to end.

 

The beginning is not scratch, however.  A certain degree of a priori knowledge is required and some special tools are needed, all of which can be acquired at the Sexymaria's University of Movies Game Magic at http://tmsexymaria.angelfire.com/

 

The tutorial begins at the point where we have extracted the entire data folder from the Movies Game pak file, we have installed Gleem's import msh scripts, as well as Blender 2.49, python 2.7, FlmReaderZero, and the ANM import export scripts for version 5.0.  The video is high res and to follow the action you need to view in full screen.

 

Here is the link to the video:

http://lefty2000.com...nTheMovies.html

 

In the original scene, an actor sits quietly on horseback.  In the modified scene, he raises his left arm and waves.

 

 


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#2 Dibujantetm

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 07:33 PM

Hey Lefty,

 

I tried the scripts you made and found a few discoverings. The last version of your script allows to move the actors anywhere from set through the .anm. I've tried this as a new scene in FLM and it also works. Now I'm pretending to try this over the 2 or more armatures scenes/animations. 

 

I want to ask about the 2009 .msh script which can just export a single armature. My goal is to make an autoanimated prop with 2 armatures. So I open my Blender, load 2 armatures and the .anm, and Blender reads it perfectly. After I finish to edit my .anm, I export both: the animation and both armatures in a single .msh. If I try this .anm in the .flm file for 2 actors scene, it works. But when I open that .msh as an autoanimated prop to run the .anm, both characters may reproduce a single half of the animation. In other words, for a double armature .anm we have armature "A" and armature "B" (2 actors). If I try to export both armatures in a single .msh file, it looks the 2009 script just fuse both armatures, therefore there's armature A .anm to be reproduced in both meshes.

 

I'm asking about the possibility to edit the 2009 .msh script to let it export more than 1 Armature. I also tried your 'resize_armature' script to create a new one, and to my surprise, when I get both armatures (1 editted with the script, and 1 normal), the final .msh just recognises 1 Armature (the newest). In any case, .msh script will only export 1 Armature whenever I try to export 2.

 

At the same point, considering that a new script could be edited, I'm asking the possibility to allow more than 32 characters in textures export, because some models just contains very long titles in textures and the script loads an error message specifying this. 

 

What do you think?

 

Thanks in advantage.

 

 



#3 lefty2000

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 08:53 PM

I tried loading two copies of "woody" to create a scene with two armatures, then tried exporting the scene as a msh.  It did create a msh file, but when I reimported it, it contained only a single armature.  The mesh objects themselves were not exported.

 

I went back to the scene with two woodys and ran the tm_preflight.py script.  Every single test failed, but one of particular interest was "scene contains only one armature." 

 

I went through the dozen or so existing AA props and did not find one with more than a single armature.  The game probably does not support that.

 

It might be possible to create a single armature that looks like two armatures.  We know that the game engine will accept a user defined armature, if it has a unique ID.   To do this, you could take a character with one armature, make a copy of all the bones and give them new names (like root2,  lowgut2, etc), then attach them to the same armature object.   Woody has 30 bones, but if you did this, you now would have 60 bones.   Also, copy the mesh objects and rename all of the vertex weight groups so they match the new bones.  That way when you move the new bones they only affect the new mesh object.

 

If you got all that done, the next step would be to see if you can animate the two sets of bones in blender.  If that works, run the tmp_preflight.py to make sure the scene is exportable to msh.  If you succeed, you are halfway done.

 

The next part is really messy.  The anm export scripts require a "target" anm file that matches the structure of the animation you want to export.  Right now, the only way to create one would be to hex edit an existing anm file to have the right number of bones and boneframe animations slots.

 

It's a project worthy of a master's degree in computer science, I suppose.

 

Perhaps there is another way to accomplish what you want to do more easily.  Why not just use two AA props?



#4 Dibujantetm

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 11:48 PM

Hey Lefty,

 

The process sounds too hard for a try, but it makes sense. Yeah, another idea is to use 2 AA props, but would they reproduce the same .anm? How is this to be?



#5 lefty2000

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 02:24 AM

I have not yet succeeded in making an autoanimated prop.  I have read a little about it at sexymaria's angelfire site.







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