Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Learning fragMOTION part 1

fragMOTION is a 3D modelling and animating program. [link]

It is not freeware but you can use the fully featured trial indefinitely by obtaining a seven day license every seven days.

The seven day license is obtained by typing a version of the Christian Lord’s prayer into the program when prompted.

Note I had to use a compatibility mode for the program not to give me a “trial has expired” warning and making the program close to unusable even though I had typed in the prayer. I don’t know if I did something wrong or if the program has a problem with Windows 8.1.

(Since I installed it in Program Files I needed to run it as administrator to have the trial work properly.)

FragMotion screenshot

Note that in fragMOTION the Y axis is red, the X axis is blue and the Z axis is green unlike most 3D modelling programs which have X red, Y green and Z blue.

fragMOTION can open MilkShape 3D *.ms3d files so we can use Fexanim [link] or Daro Anim Maker [link] to export an animation from a TR level or TRLE *.wad file respectively.

I used Daro Anim Maker to export the last animation for Lara from tut1.wad.

Animation 444 exported from Anim Maker open in FragMotion

To texture the model click the Model pane, right click Textures, click New and click Texture.

Add a new texture to the Model

A new texture named “Texture” is created for the model and grouped under the Textures heading.

Right click on the created texture

Right click on this texture, click Open Texture and open the image that was exported with the *.ms3d file.

Open a texture

The texture shows up in the Texture pane.

Texture loaded

In the Model pane, right click on Materials, click New and then click Material to create a new material named “Material” grouped under the Materials heading.

Create a new material

Right click on this material and create a new ColorMap TextureLayer for this material.

Create a new texture layer for the material

Right click the ColorMap texture layer and click Select Texture and select the texture we loaded earlier.

Select texture loaded earlier

Texture is our material's ColorMap

Now we have to assign the material to our model.

Click Edit>Select All>All in the main menu to select our mesh and then click Texture>Assign Material To Selection in the main menu and select the material in the dialog.

Click Edit>Deselect All>All to deselect the mesh.

Model textured

The texturing needs to be fixed.

Click Texture>UV Mapper to display the UV map for the mesh and select the texture from the drop down box.

Select the texture in UV mapper

With the texture loaded you can see that the UV coordinates don’t match the image properly. They need to be stretched to the right.

The UVs don't fit the image correctly

For models exported from Fexanim the UVs need fixing a different way. Some of the small UV faces need to be moved individually so they sit over the correct part of the image and some small UV triangles stretch across the entire image so their individual UV coordinates have to be moved to the correct positions.

Click Select>All to select all the UV points and then use the handles to stretch the UV coordinates until they fit the image.

Stretch the UVs

UVs look OK now

The texturing looks OK now but their seems to be a problem with the lighting.

Model textured OK

This lighting problem occurs with models exported from Daro Anim Maker because there aren’t any faces assigned to a smoothing group. If you click on the daro smoothing group in the Model pane, in the Properties pane you will see a FaceCount of zero.

Must not have smoothing group FaceCount of 0

Click Edit>Select All>All in the main menu to select the entire mesh, right click on the “daro” smoothing group and click Add Selection To Smoothing Group.

Assign all faces to daro smoothing group

The lighting on our model is fixed.

Lighting fixed

Finally click File>Save As and save the model in fragMOTION’s native *.ugh format.


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