My Team at the ETC, Carnegie Mellon University is currently working on fixing the egging problems that exist. Since we don't have a comprehensive list of issues we would like ask a few questions that some of you might have better answers for. Please limit your responses to the Maya and Max egging.
In general, what works well with the egging process?
For example, Do they operate as expected? Are they well documented? Are they easy enough to use?
Please list the steps that you take to egg the following types of 3D models
– A Static Model with Textures
– An Animated Model with Textures
– One model with different animations(either in separate files or same file)
What changes to this process will make it better? Do you know the full specifications that Panda supports in it’s egg file format?
– If so, Where did you find this information out? forums? manual?
What specific issues have you encountered in either Maya or Max egging?
– Please be as specific as possible(like Textures, rig , animations etc)
Did you find a workaround? If so what was it?
For the record, I plan on adding native support for COLLADA models to Panda3D, alongside Egg, and perhaps transitioning to that. As COLLADA is a widely supported exchange format, I think that should make the pipeline to Panda a lot easier.
Isn’t Collada support mentioned for 1.6.2 in the frontpage?
I use Blender, I don’t know if it is the same as in max/maya exporters, but i don’t like the idea to merge all the animations into 1 and play specific frames for each one.
Anon: That doesn’t sound like your describing how the Chicken exporter works - you do set it up to have all the animations playing back one after another on the timeline, and then give Chicken the relevant ranges, but that is an interface issue to support all the possible production pipelines (And with the Blender 2.60 version I intend to have some helpers to automatically set that up from a set of actions.). Once exported each individual animation will be as such in Panda, so I’m not sure what you mean by ‘play specific frames’ - in Panda you can play each entire animation by name, exactly the same as with the other exporters.
Anon: No, I mean timeline. NLA is optional for animation in Blender - you can just key up an object ignoring NLA entirely. In fact, you can mix actions with arbitrary IPO’s if you so choose, and effectively mix the two animation systems together. By simply exporting whatever is on the timeline you support both systems, as its easy to setup NLA to play the animations one after the other on the timeline. You also make blending NLA actions easy, as you can blend two actions together on the timeline and then export the resulting animation - you couldn’t do this, at least not as elegantly, if you exported actions directly.
I’m only writing this response because I don’t want anyone reading this thread and getting confused - Chicken supports all animation techniques that involve bones, and all of the various mixing possibilities, plus shape keys. Constraints on bones, even those involving support bones, will work fine as well.