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Overview

The Character Tool makes it possible to create a character definition through UI without manual XML editing.

Prerequisites 

Before proceeding, make sure that you have following content:

  • Ready to use character skeleton (CHR file)
  • Some skinned geometry (SKIN file)
  • Animations

These are usually created in a DCC tool and are exported from there.

Character Definition Structure

We are going to create a character definition.

Each character definition (CDF) consists of a reference to the skeleton (CHR) and a set of attachments. 

Each skeleton has associated skeleton parameters (CHRPARAMS). It is used to define the animation list of the character.

Attachments can be of different types; the most important ones are:

  • Skin attachments - allows to add skinned geometry to the skeleton.
  • Joint attachments - used to attach rigid geometry or other characters (e.g. weapons) to one of the joints.

Steps

  1. Create CDF
    • Go to menu File -> New Character... 
    • Select a location for the newly created CDF file.
  2. Select skeleton
    • In the Properties panel - click on the Folder icon next to the parameter Skeleton.
    • Locate skeleton file (CHR).
    • To make sure that the skeleton is properly loaded enable Skeleton in Display Options (above top right corner of the viewport).
  3. Make sure that skeleton is added into SkeletonList.xml
    • Locate Skeleton List in the Compression section of the Assets panel.
    • Check if the skeleton is in the list, and if not...
    • Add a new skeleton by clicking on the number button next to the Aliases list in Properties panel and choose Add.
    • Specify a name of the skeleton alias on the left (this name will be used to refer to skeletons).
    • Click on the folder icon to locate skeleton file.
  4. Define animation list
    • Now click on the button next to the Skeleton parameter. This will select the Skeleton and show its parameters (content of CHRPARAMS file).
    • Click on the number button next to Animation Set Filter and choose Add.
    • Click on the folder icon, next to the newly added filter line, select a folder that contains animations for this character.
    • Click the Save button in the Properties panel (or choose Save in the asset context menu).
    • If you haven't imported your animations yet follow these steps: Animation Import.
  5. Add SKIN attachment
    1. Now go back to the CDF. You can either use the Back button in the location toolbar, or press on the button next to the Character parameter in Scene Parameters.
    2. Use the number button next to the Attachments list to add a new attachment.
    3. Within the attachment make sure that the type of the attachment is Skin and click on the folder icon next to the Geometry parameter to locate the SKIN file. You can read more on attachments here: Character Attachments.
    4. From now on you should see the character geometry in the viewport.
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