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Skeleton choice...

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We talked about this some I believe @@DT85 but are you still wanting to use the JK2 skeleton? If we did in game cut-scenes we could have WAY better facials and even in game having the toes and fingers all present would make things even better looking.


We aren't worried about breaking compatibility since it's a SP mod and we don't have a high amount of characters so we could do it. Using something like GATOR in Softimage would greatly speed up reweighing the characters we need.

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If we do cinematics, I'll add new facial bones while keeping the old ones for compatibility (no need to re-rig every model that isn't in a cutscene talking :P ). JK2's GLA doesn't have anything more than what JKA's GLA has in terms of facial bones anyway.


What I want to do is:


- set up new facial bones capable of a full range of expressions

- use a plugin or manually animate each of the lines in Max

- create a "cinematic GLA" which would have each levels cutscene talking animations, so we don't have to keep recompiling the main GLA(s)

- load the talking animations via ICARUS, while at the same time loading the lines



The result will be what you'd see in today's games IF the animation itself is done right.

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JO has 32 facial bones.

JA has 8 facial bones.


It's a pretty big difference, those 24 extra bones if constrained to proper controls could make for some nice facial movements. It could even be put through FACE ROBOT. The reason JO didn't look particularly amazing in the cut-scenes is because of the lack of detail in the face mesh's and coding the lip sync.

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Well it seems I'm actually wrong in some ways. The skeleton file that I have that has been passed around online as the JK2 skeleton is the JK2 skeleton but it's the one used for cinematics. most of the character models seem to be weighed to one that has the same facial bones as the JA skeleton but JK2 still has all the finger joints, the first metacarpal, fifth metacarpal and toe bones.


I mainly would like to see the fingers and toes reimplemented, the toes because if you play a lot of the animations the toes clip through the ground due to a lot of the animations being ported from JK2 and the toe bones were animated to bend during a lot of movements.

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There isn't a cinematic GLA for JK2 though. The JK2 skeleton is based on the SoFII skeleton, which has all those facial bones. Any official Max or Softimage source files and even the root.xsi for JK2/JKA include unused bones, which confused the shit out of modders back in the day.

If a bone isn't weighted to a mesh then it's discarded by carcass. Raven omitted what they didn't want in JK2 & JKA at compile time, via what's weighted in the root.xsi. It's extremely easy to add these bones back, just use a modified root.xsi.

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  • 3 weeks later...

@@DT85 - Maybe I could use your Kyle head (only the head...) to get started on the new facial gla rig? I think there should be a male/female version... and possibly each unique alien would have its own as well.


Or maybe it should be based on a male head that conforms to the Golden Ratio Rule using the distance between the eyes from the JK skeleton. The problem with the legacy SoF2 facial bones is that they are skewed off in the X axis and are not symmetrical about the ZY plane.


I wonder how it would affect legacy meshes if the bones on left side of face were moved to be symmetrical? Because based on my research, their placement is pretty good and could be used if made symmetrical.

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