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Question about FBX/DAE Exporter


Danial Guisse
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So, I've been reading and I know there's some versions that don't like to work with SL and some that work really well. And I updated mine today, and to check it out I uploaded it inworld and none of the clothing was rigged, and then I opened it up in Blender, and it was blown up all over the place. 

So I was wondering, What's the best version that WORKS fine? Even if it's older, cos I do believe Autodesk have they're older versions for download.

 

Thanks so much.

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3ds Max 2010 with the 2011.3 FBX plugin works best in my experience.  If you use Max 2012, you need save to 2011 FBX format, then use the standalone FBX 2011.3 converter to get to DAE.  The SL uploader seems to not understand the 2012 DAE file format.  If you use Maya or a different year of 3ds Max than 2010 or 2012, I don't have those, so I cannot give a definite answer from experience, but I would expect Max 2011 should work with the 2011.3 plugin also.

Please take a look at the SL Wiki page for 3ds Max.  If anything in there does not work as written, please post here, let me know directly, or correct it yourself.  Both Autodesk products and the SL Mesh code evolve, so things can get out of date.

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What program are you using?  You mentioned it's an Autodesk product, but you didn't say which one.

DanielRavenNest gave an answer applicable to Max.  Now let me give you one applicable to Maya.  I use Maya 2009, myself, and I can atest that both the stock FBX/DAE exporter, and OpenCOLLADA work perfectly.  It's my understanding that the stock DAE/FBX exporter with Maya 2012 works just fine as well, so I would assume all versions in between also work, but I can't say for certain. I haven't heard anything one way or the other on OpenCOLLADA for Maya 2010 or 2011.  There is currently no OpenCOLLADA version for Maya 2012.

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I got a corrpted data error, upon trying to open your scene file.  I'm guessing it's a version issue.  You're probably using a newer version of Maya than I am.  If you send it as a .ma instead of .mb, I might have better luck.

 

In the mean time, you might want to check your export settings.  Make sure skin weights and bindings are included.

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OK, I took a look at your scene.  You've got two problems going on that are preventing you from successfully uploading the rig:

1.  You renamed the bones.  You put the word "tardy" in front of each, for some reason.  Don't do that.  SL requires the specific names that were already there (mPelvis, mTorso, etc.)  The skeleton itself needs to be named simply AVskeleton, not tardy:skeleton:AVskeleton.

2.  When you bind the skin to the model, make sure "Remove unused influences" is unchecked in the smooth bind options.  SL requires the full set of bone names to be in the influence list, even if not all of them are being used.

After detaching the skin, renaming the bones, and properly rebinding the skin, I was able to get the uploader to see the rig without any further trouble.

So, no need to continue scouring the Internet for different exporters.  This was a simple case of human error. :)

 

 

With that taken care of, here are a few other things you should know:

1.  As I'd suspected, the reason I couldn't open the .mb file was because of version discrepency.  To get the .ma to work, I simply opened it in a text editor, and changed all the 2010 references to 2009.  

When sharing scene files, .ma is always the best way to go.  Only use .mb if you're sure everybody else involved is using the same version of Maya, and then only if you've got reason not to want them to go poking around into the guts of how your scene is built.  The main reason .mb exists is keep people from doing exactly that.

Also, it's a good idea to turn off all plugins, and save out a clean version of the file.  You're lucky I've got Turtle.  If I didn't, I might not have been able to open the scene (unless I were willing to go in and manually remove ever Turtle reference in the file).

2.  Your poly count for such a simple dress is absurdly high.  7149 is just 35 shy of the count for the entire avatar body!  There's no way to justify that many.  You could (and should) create the exact same shape from just a couple hundred polys.

3.  You converted the dress to polys after first creating it with Maya cloth.  The conversion from cloth to polys is a "dumb conversion", meaning it just spits out uniform poly distribution, with no regard for the intelligent structural decisions a human would make.  In its present state, your model has no discernible edge loops, and no performance optimizations whatsoever.  I'd recommend recreating the dress from scratch, using polygons from start to finish.  If it helps, use the existing one as a template, and build right on top of it.

4.  The twisted fabric at the shoulders is a nice design touch, but it's creating normals problems.  I would suggest leaving that out of your rebuild.  You can fake it easily enough, simply by including a small ridge in the geometry, running diagonally across each shoulder, and then scaling a few edge loops inward, hourglass-like.

5.  The dress has no interior surface, so the insides will be invisible in SL.  As is the case in nearly all realtime platforms, backfaces do not exist in SL.  If you want a surface to appear double-sided, you have to manually create both sides.  The easiest way to do that is to duplicate the surface, reverse the normals on the new copy, and then combine the two meshes into one.  Needless to say, this will double your poly count, so do it sparingly.  Only double the parts of the garment that will actually be seen from both sides (inside of the skirt, insides of the loose fitting areas around neck line, etc.) 

6.  Your existing UV layout wastes about 2/3 of the texture canvas.

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