Blender Animating: Test Runs & Other Stuff

To think that one version ago, Blender was a ugly, un-comprehensible, and complicated 3D Modelling Program, it was a real shock when I laid hands on Blender 2.5… I strongly urge you to get it here, as for people who can’t afford to get 3DS Max/Maya/etc (or will not take the way of piracy), it’s a really great alternative. It’s just like The GIMP and Photoshop: GIMP wasn’t that great (let’s be honest), but as soon as it became more friendly and with more options, it’s easily the best alternative to Photoshop.

I’ve started doing, up till now, two projects: a Team Fortress 2 Hat, and a “Story Mode” for Team Fortress 2.

Let’s go to the hat. Here’s a quick screenshot of the hat needing better textures ASAP:

It’s a graduation hat for the Engineer. The base is supposed to be more mechanical to represent the fact that the Engineer is so good that he had the time to mod his hat on graduation day.

Another thing I’d like to add would be the Tassel of the graduation hat with some bones, so that it would be affected by physics. According to Wikipedia, there is no Tassel color that corresponds to Engineering, so I guess that it would be either Red or Blue based on the team. Funny enough, Red would be Theology and Blue would be¬†Philosophy. Odd.

Next comes my two test animations, featuring the Engineer and the Spy. It would be extremely helpful if someone knew how to export theses animations into a pre-existing Character model in Source. Really.

The engineer one was my very first one. Did not know much about the timeline so the action is a bit too fast.

The second video, with the Spy this time, offers a slower animation. Seems a bit more subtle, a bit too subtle, actually.

Again, if someone knows how to export animations into an already existing source engine model, please let me know. Oh, and I’m planning on using more Blender and less SFM. I might even abandon SFM if Blender provides better end results. Time will only tell.

Dustbowl is not so dusty as you’d think.

Excuse me for yet another month of pure emptiness. I just had a lot of stuff going on, mostly on the negative aspect, but whatever. Here: I’m not dead. Now that I got rid of that, here’s a few things I was waiting to say about one project.

Team Fortress 2 RPG Story Mode

Screw the RPG, the story that was written for it is PERFECT for a TF2 Story Mode (cinematics and such). Stuff will be animated in Blender if possible, then rendered in GMod. If I have too, I’ll go the extra step of taking out my Creative Suite 3 disc and installing the After Effects. Yes, this is really the “MaxofS2D”‘style of animation, but it’s a pretty badass one, you have to agree.

I’m also trying to make this the most professional possible. The lines of work might require me to hire some voices actors. For characters like the nine classes, a similar voice would be awesome. The original voice works would be for NPCs (such as the announcer or the Scout’s Mama).

Another thing is that I’m going to try to make a common soldier model. This Soldier is like the common worker of BLU Team, because having two teams of clones in a Story just dosn’t do it.

Assuming the high reception of the TF2 RPG…

…the serie will continue in a episodic release!

"Youve done me proud, boys!" -Soldier

As you can notice with the image nicely shot in Garry’s Mod, you can tell already that the first two playable characters are the Soldier (Main Character) and the Scout. The first location is Well, because the Soldier & the Scout have finished their search for BLU’s Intelligence, but failed to locate it in this empty Well. They need to jump on a Train to arrive to Fastlane, one of RED’s Base. Obviously, BLUs start appearing as they head to the train.

In other words, not going to spoil the rest of the story. But I can explain some other things.

Camera angles are going to be improved in the battle scenes. This means a moving camera for the entrance in Battle, the switch from ally to enemy, a rough camera switch for attacks, special attacks, etc… Then come animations. I’m planning on animating when an Item is used. But I would only be able to animate that in SFM, and not embbed into the model. If someone could animate the nine classes to lift an arm, open their hand, and then place their hand back, that would be awesome.

I’m also experimenting with some Special Effects in Source Filmmaker, as well as prop_dynamic animating (as well as binding keys to play the sequences). I can also animate external models to Tf2, but they require some animations embed (such as Alyx, or a TF2 Model Hack).

The GMan is a Spy!

So I have not published much in terms of videos. Fixed. Also, a tutorial is coming up on how to animate models (in my way). Gman might not look animated, but he is fully animated. Hand-made, too!

Coming up next would also be a test of Half-Life 2 through Source Filmmaker. I’m curious to see it’s behaviour.

Small Update Post on Random Subjects

Quick little update to the reader who is actually willing to read this blog:
* The TF2 RPG is soon going to have a test video! This includes UI, Movement in Map, one battle, Gaben Help and more.
* I have plans for making a tutorial in SFM for adding extra characters, such as Sam & Max in the last video. This is an alternative to the animation through prop_dynamic and allows animation for models without an animation embed.
* Would someone care if I started doing reviews? Movies, Music, Games…