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shivanangel 11-19-2010 10:19 PM

Clarification on CAL3D Avatar Animation in Vizard

I am having what I hope to be a simple problem with Cal3D and Avatars.

I am working on a research project to hook up a Brain Computer Interface
with our virtual reality system. In one of the tests, I have created a
hand inside of 3D Studio Max with an animation of it squeezing a ball.

The animation is expected to be played in segments inside of Vizard.
As the user 'thinks' of the correct response, the fist will begin to close
more and more. If they think correctly for every response, the first should end up in a completely closed position.
As we are sampling their responses, the hand is expected to close more and more to indicate to the user they are doing the right thing. I exported out all the model, material,
and skeleton objects properly.

For the animation I've tried exporting:

1) the entire closing animation (all 125 frames in one animation)
2) segments of the animation divided every 5 frames (0-5 is one animation, 5-10 is another, 10-15 is another and so on.)
3) segments of the animation divided every 0-> n frame (0-5 is the first, 0-10 is the second, 0-15 is the third and so on...)

My question comes down to what would be the easiest way to
set up this gradual animation inside of Vizard.

I've tried using the execute, state, setting the speed to zero to freeze
the animation at the end or setting the 'freeze' parameter to True, however
I am never able to get the incremental animations inside of Vizard to work properly.

If I try and increment using the the divided animation, I end up getting small changes that don't quite equal the expected animation.
The hand ends up only half closing. If I try and use the full animation, I don't see a way provided to incrementally move through the animation.

Perhaps I am missing something fundamental about the CAL3D format and exporting? Must the start and end of all animations be the the same positions?
I seem to be having some kind of offset problem when I try and run the individual animation segments one after another.
What should take 25 steps to do instead takes far more. The hand never seems to more in the proper increments as I play animations 0-5, 5-10, 10-15 ... and all the way up to the end.

The Hand In Max completely clenched

If I just run the final animation or the full animation, it moves to the correct location:

However, if I try and run them in increments, I only get part way before
I should have already completely closed the fist.

Thank you for your time, I hope I'm overlooking something simple!
~George Lecakes @ Rowan University VR Lab

sleiN13 11-22-2010 02:41 AM

I don't know for sure if I have the solution for you but from experience with vizard and animation (animation chains) there are a couple of things you need to take into account.

The last frame from the previous animation should be the same as the first frame of the next animation else you get jumps.

The animation has to be completed completly before the next animation starts else they will blend and the and influence each other.

The idlepose will be assumed when your animation ends this can cause jumps if the last frame of the animation differs from the idlepose in my experience. I solved it by changing the idlepose to reflect the end position of the animation.

I hope this gives you some ideas to solve your problems

shivanangel 11-22-2010 07:16 AM


Thanks for the ideas, I'll give it a shot later today and see
if that resolved my issues.


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