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robertsconcepts
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John/Tall Studios Crew:

As I'm working through the tutorials and user guides, I've come across a few questions that I have been unable to answer.

Scope: 3D, Top-Down, Vertical Shooter with no Physics enabled.

Animations:

Question 1:

John outlined in a previous forum thread the steps necessary to create a rotating child mesh for a parent model so as to get a "wheel" or "propeller" effect. Could a similar methodology be utilized to create something like a flapping wing 3D mesh parented to a primary model? Specifically something like this, where the geometry of the 'wing' is affixed to a single rotation axis and is moving between two specified angles in an arc:

Wing

Question 2:

In the clip below, the treads on the tank are animated using an animated texture in the form of a .gif. Does SEUK support animated texture maps? If not, is there a reasonable way to achieve a tank-tread animation effect within the SEUK?

Tank

Materials:

Question 1:

Is it possible to achieve a "holdout texture" effect like the windows in the car pictured below using an additional holdout mask and texture within SEUK, or would a separate shader have to be written?

Windows

I realize this is a lot of questions at once, but I am very excited so far with what this kit can do. Thank you!

Tall John
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Entity Animation & Materials for 3D models

Hi robertsconcepts, thanks for the questions.

Reply to Question 1:
You should be able to create a flapping effect by using a similar method to the propeller effect you mentioned.

I created a flapping effect by adding an NPC and rotating it into the required position for a flapping wing effect.

I then used the Swing AI Type to make it rotate back-and-forth in a flapping effect. This requires the NPC Definition to use one of the rotation definitions.

The parameters for the Swing AI Type aren't as clear as they should be. The Direction X, Y, Z specifies which direction on the local axis the NPC will rotate on. No matter which way the NPC is facing setting the X value to 1 will cause the NPC to pivot around its side-direction. The X direction is like a player in a foosball table with a bar through his middle. The Y direction is from top to bottom. The Z direction is front to back.

The range for the direction is 0.0 to 1.0. To make the NPC flap I set his X to 1.0. You can blend the rotation direction, which is why we have supplied all 3 parameters, but I've made a note to review this method as it is -way- more complex than it should be.

The final parameter is Angle Range and this specifies how far in each direction the NPC will rotate. The angle is in degrees. Specifying 45 degrees will rotate 45 degrees in each angle and so will flap 90 degrees in total.

Reply to Question 2:
Animated textures will be coming soon. I realise they can be very useful. We support animated sprites and so we need to make this available to the models.

Reply to Question 3:
You can achieve a holdout texture using reflection maps. You can set these up in the Entity Editor. On the Material tab set the Use Reflection map checkbox. Then scroll down a little and select a Cubemap Texture by clicking on the empty box and choosing one of the cubemap textures. These all have names beginning with 'skybox_'.

For the best results I would suggest having a model which contained multiple materials (For example, one material for the car body and another material for the windows) and applying this effect to the window material.

I hope this is helpful.

Thanks again,
John

_Flap1.PNG _Flap2.PNG _Reflection.png
robertsconcepts
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Thank you for the very quick

Thank you for the very quick and comprehensive reply, John. I had a hunch about the Swing AI type, I'm glad I was on the right track.