The Macintosh Version is several posts down so read through these messages to find it.
We are pleased to announce the release of a FBX to FrameForge converter (for both Mac & Windows), which now allows experienced users of 3DS Max, Maya, XSI , Cinema 4D and other programs which export to Autodesk's FBX format to create rigged actors, animals and creatures and bring them into FrameForge 3D Studio 2, where they will be posable like any Version 2 actor.
What is FBX?
FBX is an interchange format originally created by Kaydara (and you should note that some exporters still list it as "Kaydara FBX") . It was acquired by AutoDesk®, who is the current manufacturer of both Maya and 3DS Max.
According to Autodesk:
The FBX open-standard, platform-independent 3D file format gives you access to content authored in any software package supporting the FBX file format. FBX plug-ins are included with Autodesk® Maya® software, Autodesk® 3ds Max® software, and Autodesk® VIZ software—providing high levels of interoperability between these packages—and with Autodesk® MotionBuilder™ software, which supports FBX natively. These plug-ins, and plug-ins for additional software vendors, are also available at no-charge on Autodesk's website. FBX is the mostly widely used and supported 3D file format on the market today and its rate of adoption continues to skyrocket.
VERY IMPORANT NOTES:
- RIGGING actors, animals or other creatures for Skeletal Deformation is an extremely specialized skill which is aquired through a lot of practice and/or months to years of training. We will not be able to teach you how to model or rig actors, though if there are any problems with the CONVERSION PROCESS we'd like to hear about it.
- FrameForge is a real-time program, and as such, all ASSETS created for it must be low or at most mid-polygon -- anything over 15,000 polygons is going to slow down the program and if you add in an entire herd of even 5,000 polygon animals, it's going to bog it down, so model and import wisely.
- Before you do anything else, the very FIRST thing you should do is go to Autodesk's website and update your FBX plug-in! Failure to do so can cause crashes and other disturbing behavior.
- If you buy (license) a 3D Asset in FBX format from someplace like TurboSquid, it is your responsibility to verify whether it is rigged or not. Just because a file is in FBX format, does NOT mean that it necessarily is rigged with a skeleton and is posable, a lot are not
- If you don't have a clue what we're talking about, then this posting is probably not really for you... :)
CONVERTING AN FBX FILE INTO FRAMEFORGE
Once it is located in your FrameForge 3D Studio 2 folder, simply double-click the FBX to FrameForge Converter.exe and you'll see a splash screen, then the main Converter screen. It will then automatically pop-up an open-file dialog for you to select the FBX file you want to import.
Once you've selected the FBX File to import, you will see the a running status report in the Conversion Status Box (bottom left) -- any warnings you need to be aware of will be displayed in red, so if you see something red flash by then when the conversion is done, simply scroll back up to see what it was and whether it is something you need to deal with.
Once the FBX File has been successfully imported, it will be displayed on the blueprint view on the right hand side of the dialog, as shown in the image above. If this FBX file has a skeleton, it will appear as white lines with blue dots at the bone joints.
NOTE: The blueprint view is a fixed width 10' x 10' square to help you visually scale the object appropriately. Many objects are built far larger than scale and you'll need to set a scaling value to make it the right size. The object's dimensions are shown in bolded red values right under where you set the scaling, and they are adjusted automatically as you scale the object.
Since many different programs use coordinate systems other than that used by FrameForge 3D Studio, it is not unlikely that you'll need to rotate and tilt the object to get it into the desired orientation for FrameForge. To do so, simply enter values in the Tilt and Spin fields under the object dimensions.
To see the object in rotatable 3D and be able to test the skeletal deformation, simply click the ROTATABLE VIEW button above the blueprint view and you'll have the object just as if you'd brought it into the Green Room, though with its skeleton visible.
In this rotatable view, you can click and test each bone as you would in the Green Room. You can also rename bones simply by clicking on the desired bone and typing in a new name in the edit field that appears under the Green Room Display.
If there is a bone which has no noticeable effect or whose effect causes too much distortion in the model, you can hide it from the user in FrameForge simply by selecting the bone and then checking Hide Bone From User.
Once you have the object's scale, orientation and bone names set to your satisfaction, click the Accept Model Conversion as Displayed button and it will prompt you to select the object library into which it will install this new FrameForge object. Note that on the folder selection dialog that appears, you have to actually double-click on the desired folder in order to select it.
And that's it! You now have a new posable FrameForge object installed in your object library!