Monday, 24 March 2014

Flying Buttress Tools

First things first we all started exporting things into Cry and it was clear that scale was going to be an issue, keeping everyone to the correct scale was going to be tough. We ended up solving this issue when I put together a handy toolbox of scripts that we wanted for the project. At the start it contained:
  • Units Setup - Sets the display units to Centimeters and the system unit scale to 1unit = 1cm, also resizes the home grid to match that in CryEngine.
  • Autoback Setup – Changes the Autoback settings to save up to 50 saves, saving every 3 minutes. Also changes the name of the Autoback files to that of the max files name.
  • Dummy Selected - This adds a dummy, which you can name, to the selected objects and connects them in the schematic view.
  • Proportion Guide - Creates a 190x40x60cm box as a guideline person.
  • AssignAnimTCB – This changes the animation controllers of all selected objects to TCB controllers, needed for CryEngine export.
  • Reset XForm - Resets the XForm and collapses the stack
  • Reset Normals - applies an edit normals modifier and resets all of the normals (so that they are again controlled by smoothing groups)
  • Reset Object - creates a new box object and attaches the existing mesh to it, then deletes the temporary box. This essentially wipes all object properties.  Materials, wire colour and pivot are all retained.
  • Attach Selected – Attaches selected objects together
  • Center Pivot - moves the pivot point of selected objects to the center, click again to move the pivot to center X and Y Minimum Z
  • Center World - moves selected objects to 0,0,0
  • New Scene - exports the selected geometry, creates a new scene and imports it again deletes the FBX file when done.

The first five are scripts I had developed myself specifically for this project to make the process of modelling and exporting for CryEngine as easy as possible. I looked at what tasks where key and commonly repeated and created these scripts to do the task in a fraction of the time. I am still looking for scripts to make to speed up the development process and fix any bugs as they arise. A recent one I have added is a button that changes the animation controllers to the TCB controller for all the selected objects. This was something that Kit needed to do as part of making the animation work for CryEngine and as a task would have taken a fair amount of time to change for all the individual objects used. With the script he can now do this in seconds and it will be able to get the animated mesh into engine a lot faster for testing.

I still have some more scripts in mind as well as some additions I am looking to make to the current ones. For example, the Dummy Selected script I would like it to be able to recognise any collision meshes selected and place them under their retrospective meshes in the schematic view when the dummy is applied.

For the most part it is a very ‘work in progress’ toolbar which is ever evolving, as new problems arise. But it has already proved to help increase workflow, which is the main goal after all. If you’d like to get hold of the pieces of script that make up the toolbar you can find the later ones at and the ones I've done personally at


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