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Maya FBX import issue
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dragonfly3 Offline
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Post: #1
Maya FBX import issue
Just wanted to give everyone an update as I know quite a few people are using Maya FBX imports.

We've discovered that there are issues with model distortion when deformers are used. With our MOBs we weren't using deformers so we were able to export FBX, import into Esenthel, and have no problems with animations. Now We're working on our first player character and have been having problems with some slight model distortion. We've been trying for about a week to figure out how to fix it, testing several different things. We've discovered that the deformers (we added these in order to do facial animations in the future) are the cause of the problem. Then we found this on our search for solutions:

http://www.tetchi.ca/autodesk-maya-exporting-to-fbx/

It appears that this is a problem with all FBX exports. It's not something going wrong within Maya itself and it's not something wrong within Esenthel. Unfortunately deformers just aren't an option with an FBX export.

Just wanted to let everyone know so no one else goes through the trial and error trying to figure out why problems arise with deformers.
01-05-2012 02:31 AM
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knocks Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Maya 2012
I remember coming across this issue when was first learning maya, that’s a good walk through you found there. Now if only I could afford to use maya on commercial projects :(
01-05-2012 03:44 AM
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dragonfly3 Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Maya 2012
Just wanted to give another update concerning Maya 2012.

Our success was with models without skin weights.

We have recently been trying to export/import an animated model with skin weights and it appears that it simply does not work with Esenthel. No matter what we do our model is distorted when we import it into Esenthel. We have tried both FBX and DAE via the 2012 built-in plugin (the Collada plugins found in the links in the Esenthel wiki are not compatible with Maya 2012). Neither work while using skin weights.

Our next step is to test without skin weights. I will report what our findings are. Hopefully it works. If not, then we are at a dead end because our modeler knows Maya, not 3D Max. It is simply not feasible for him to learn 3D Max from scratch. It would simply take too much time. We use Maya (as many others do as well) for our models. So here's crossing our fingers that not using skin weights works and gives an appropriate appearance.
01-12-2012 12:12 AM
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Esenthel Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Maya 2012
if you have problems with exporting from maya, please attach original maya file formats and exported fbx files.
01-13-2012 03:44 PM
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dragonfly3 Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Maya 2012
Here are the original maya files my modeler created and the fbx export. I'm not sure if it is a skinning issue or if it is a skeleton issue. It distorts severely at the waist.

Thanks for taking a look Esenthelsmile

[EDIT]
For some reason it is not letting me attach the .rar file

here is a download link:

femalelizard.rar
(This post was last modified: 01-13-2012 10:33 PM by dragonfly3.)
01-13-2012 10:30 PM
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Esenthel Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Maya 2012
Thanks! I'll check this
01-16-2012 09:05 PM
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Esenthel Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Maya FBX import issue
I've checked your file,

Can you specify exactly what's the problem?
The animation from FBX plays for me in EE Model Editor exactly the same as in the Maya from the MB files.
If you mean the problem is that some skeleton bones point in opposite direction - it's not EE issue, it's how your model is designed in Maya.

Also once you import the FBX files EE gives you warning about multiple bones having same names - you need to fix it in Maya.
01-17-2012 02:58 PM
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dragonfly3 Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Maya FBX import issue
Thanks for taking a look Esenthelsmile

The problem seems to be the severe distortion of the model at the hips and waist. Is this due to the skeleton? Do we need to redo the skeleton with fewer bones in the spine or a different bone orientation?

Also, we noticed that the ME doesn't seem to like or recognize bone names beyond a certain length (we haven't figured out the exact length yet). The bones that receive errors have different names in Maya, but once we import them the ME seems to think they have the same name (the first part of the name is the same but the last part is not, such as when doing leg_hip_right and leg_hip_left for example. The ME thinks they are both named leg_hip).

I just wanted to verify if it was the model or an issue with EE and how it handles skin weights.
01-18-2012 08:50 AM
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Esenthel Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Maya FBX import issue
Quote:The problem seems to be the severe distortion of the model at the hips and waist
I see it, I'll try to improve this for next SDK

Quote:such as when doing leg_hip_right and leg_hip_left for example. The ME thinks they are both named leg_hip
no, it must mean that you have at least 2 bones/nodes named leg_hip_left, and 2 bones/nodes named leg_hip_right

the max allowed length for bone names is: 32 characters
01-18-2012 06:36 PM
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dragonfly3 Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Maya FBX import issue
Thanks a bunch! Max length 32 is helpful info. We are working on improving our model, too.

Can anyone tell me what the average max polycount is for a player character that EE can handle? This was a high poly model originally and we tried to reduce then. This might have contributed to the distortion. We are starting from scratch with it & if we are able to increase polycount we'd like to try.

Also watch for a video of our game coming soon. Our prototype is scheduled to be finished by the end of this week.
01-18-2012 08:39 PM
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fatcoder Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Maya FBX import issue
(01-18-2012 08:39 PM)dragonfly3 Wrote:  Can anyone tell me what the average max polycount is for a player character that EE can handle?

No such thing. Instead you need to define a scene polygon budget, i.e. max polys you want on screen at once. You decide this based on the target hardware and experimentation. Then you allocate a percentage of this budget to different aspects of the scene. Some for the player character, some for the terrain, the props, etc... This will give you a target polygon limit for your player character. Through LOD you can then also adjust your poly budget at runtime based on the hardware. All of this varies from project to project, so for your situation it could be a 1000 polys or 10000 polys or anywhere in between.

During testing and building your worlds, you then monitor the scene polygons and draw calls and adjust the world accordingly to fit within your budget as much as possible. Unfortunatly however, EE does not give you any information on scene ploygons and draw calls, so figuring this out for your project is going to be impossible and you'll just have to guess based on the fps alone. Good luck.
01-18-2012 11:01 PM
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dragonfly3 Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Maya FBX import issue
Thanks for the info fatcoder smile

So far we're pretty graphic intensive but use all low poly models (using both tris and quads) with LOD and we're not doing bad with performance or with fps ranging between 24 and 45, depending on whose computer is running it. We have done no optimization at all. As we test and progress I'll try to post our findings to help inform others who may have the same concerns.
01-19-2012 12:22 AM
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Esenthel Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Maya FBX import issue
Hi,

I have finished making the code changes for skinning importing (it will be available in the next SDK once it's released)

The result is better, however it's not perfect - there are still some artifacts, this is caused by the fact the GPU shaders use only up to 2 bone references (for performance reasons).
01-26-2012 07:22 PM
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dragonfly3 Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Maya FBX import issue
Awesome! Will test it out tomorrow smile

Thanks for addressing this so quicklygrin
01-27-2012 04:36 AM
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dragonfly3 Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Maya FBX import issue
The improvements seem to be much better! It looks like we just need to make some adjustments in our skeleton now but everything looks much smoother.

Thanks for implementing these changes so quickly! I know there are quite a few others who are also using Maya for their animations and this will be very helpful for many devs.
02-02-2012 01:48 AM
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