Jump to content
RockinHarry

Question about infantry animation files

Recommended Posts

Assuming you change an infantry animation by renaming a particular file, say "mp40-reload-c-kneel.ani" to "mp40-reload-c-stand.ani", which will result in the MP40 reloading magazine standing stance, change to reloading MP40 magazine in kneeling stance ingame(tested and works). Now the question: Is the particular soldier still registered as "standing" for LOS/LOF to the OPFOR? Or in other words, ...is standing, kneeling and prone stance "hard coded", no matter, what animation actually is played?

My aim is to get individual soldiers less exposed, when not actually engaging a target, or observing. In the case of weapon (magazine) reload, I want to get soldiers down to next best cover stance. Standing to kneel, kneel to prone. Prone as is.

I also get buddy aiding soldiers down to prone, by renaming a halfway suited file to "unarmed-tend to casualty.ani" and put this into the data/z folder. I currently use "unarmed-reload-m240-d-prone.ani" for this purpose. It´s not perfect, but for now it does the purpose animation wise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you could verify that by putting them in front of an obstacle they could only see over if standing.  My suspicion though is that you'll get a disconnect between the animation and what the game thinks the unit is doing.  In other words your guy will see through walls they shouldn't and take a bullet between the eyes when you think he is behind cover.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you could verify that by putting them in front of an obstacle they could only see over if standing. My suspicion though is that you'll get a disconnect between the animation and what the game thinks the unit is doing. In other words your guy will see through walls they shouldn't and take a bullet between the eyes when you think he is behind cover.

Could do that, but I just want to check & change mentioned non combat animations. While doing buddy aid and reloading magazines (not loading individual rounds, i.e Kar98k, which is also shown as "reloading" in actions tab) I assume soldiers not performing any other actions like shooting, or observation. Here´s what can be greatly improved to avoid the most stupid and unnecessary carnage.

We need some official statement from BFC about this! :)

I´d changed the animation files (file names) in about 10-15 minutes (basic CMBN germans and US only), so it´s not really much work. CW and remaining stuff shouldn´t take any longer.

My assumption about changed animation is, when in the game every bullet and sighting line to actual geometry is tracked, then the method of forcing soldiers to less exposed stances while not combating, or observing, the associated 3D hitbox around geometry shouldn´t be either observable or targetable by the game. Could be that the game AI still has status "observable" and "targetable" registerd, but since it can´t see nor taget the actual geometry, it won´t shoot at it and maybe also looses track. That´s the interesting part.

Only "observable" side effect so far is partly non smooth transitions between changed animations. With regard to reloading animations, it´s hardly observable. The buddy aid animation has an odd transition between kneeling and new buddy aid prone animation (now simply "unarmed-idle-prone.ani"), but personally I can live with that, as long as I can get rid of stupid and unnecessary soldier exposure. The actions with changed animations, still work normally. I now have prone lying soldiers performing buddy aid, as well as soldiers, that go down next stance level, to perform weapon magazine reloading.

If anybody interested would like to help testing, I´ll pack some dropbox file. :)

Edited by RockinHarry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I think this is a bad idea. You are entering territory where the behaviour on one person's machine will be different than another. Plus head to head play will be an issue. The exposure of soldiers will be governed by whose machine generates the turn but the look will not match what one player sees at all.

Regardless of the arguments for or against the idea this confusion is reason enough to me to say: In my opinion you should not do this,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm betting that the animation files have little or nothing to do with the calculations for spotting and shooting. The game knows what posture the trooper is supposed to be in and where its polygons are supposed to be and calculates off that, not the actual graphic being played. Otherwise you could hack the game by making all the animations for your enemy "standing" ones so they never get to hunker down, even if that's what they're supposed to be doing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The game knows what posture the trooper is supposed to be in and where its polygons are supposed to be and calculates off that, not the actual graphic being played.

 

Fixed that for ya :D

 

I am quite certain the game *is* using the model's plolygons for calculating hits and where the trooper's eyeballs are located.  If @RockinHarry can, by using modified animations, re-position the troop models I am certain it *will* change their spotting abilities and their vulnerability.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fixed that for ya :D

 

I am quite certain the game *is* using the model's plolygons for calculating hits and where the trooper's eyeballs are located.  If @RockinHarry can, by using modified animations, re-position the troop models I am certain it *will* change their spotting abilities and their vulnerability.

 

What makes you so certain of that? I'd be positively surprised if it's not just abstracted "hit boxes", basically an invisible box shape for every soldier...

 

Having every soldier react to location of hits like a tank would be a massive amount of calculations for basically no benefit to gameplay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe Ian has better access to the devs that  you or I Bulletpoint. And your second sentence is pointless. We're not talking about changing the reaction to different parts of the trooper being hit, we're talking about whether they're hit (or seen) at all.

 

Ian's comment makes me a-wonderin' though. Can it really be so simple to hack the thing if you're the one running the turns?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not basing what I am saying on any special knowledge. Steve has said many times that the spotting comes from the troops eyes. Which is why prone soldiers in the long grass do not see very well. It has also been discussed many times that soldier casualties are based on bullets intersecting their models. By definition animation changes the location and orientation of troop models.

I do not think that hacking soldiers like this would be a good thing. I highly doubt that one side wound be advantaged over another I think it would just be bad all around and simply cause confusion and strange behaviour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No idea about "hacking" or anything. Just interested in the mentioned reloading and buddy aid animation sequences and mainly for my own enjoyment. I have a dropbox link ready for those liking to test the stuff. Since it´s simply renamed original BFC files from the "Normandy v100A.brz", I do not provide a public link here. Just in case....;)

Animation files changed (renamed) is for both US and german small arms weapons (except HMG) and should work for basic CMBN game and any content that makes use of the original files. The buddy aid ani file (unarmed-tend to casualty.ani) is one for all. It´s simply an unarmed soldier, lying prone (renamed unarmed-idle-prone.ani)

I´ve zipped the BRZ file (6 MB) to my dropbox folder and goes to the usual place after download (data/z). I provide the link/file for limited time via PM if you send a request. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not basing what I am saying on any special knowledge. Steve has said many times that the spotting comes from the troops eyes. Which is why prone soldiers in the long grass do not see very well. It has also been discussed many times that soldier casualties are based on bullets intersecting their models. By definition animation changes the location and orientation of troop models.

I do not think that hacking soldiers like this would be a good thing. I highly doubt that one side wound be advantaged over another I think it would just be bad all around and simply cause confusion and strange behaviour.

Oh, in that case, I'm not so concerned, since it's possible that the game determines the location of the eyes by something other than the animation's figure's eyeball location. I'm assuming that everything is calculated from "known points" which then play the appropriate animations to reflect what the game engine knows to be the state of its pseudo-reality. Similarly for the location of the model for hit intersection.

 

But if the animation does, indeed, determine the location, and the animation for "prone" can be replaced with a standing one for one side on the calculating machine, that's a terrible potential "exploit"... Swapping the other way round isn't so much, since prone stances would be disadvantageous when the AI wants the pTruppe standing (which isn't so much the case for enemy-standing-when-the-AI-thinks-they-should-be-lying-down substitutions).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure about this, but interesting to see what can be done, also if an animation could be made to have leaders wave troops froward with the "Follow me, move out" gesture that would be very cool to see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I´m now fairly sure that no matter what animation is played for a reloading (magazines, not individual rounds for BA rifles) soldier, he looses track of any spotted enemy units and starts the spotting procedure anew, once he´s finished reloading. So during this time he does not contribute anything to his squad/team, except providing a live target and makes the whole unit generally more visible to the enemy. Reloading is a process that only takes few seconds individually, but the net effect for getting soldiers one cover stance down, is greater survivability for the whole unit.

Same for buddy aid in prone stance. Now there´s reasonable chance to survive behind low walls, in buildings, foxholes and trenches, where otherwise the kneel stance would provide a great target to the enemy. A static defence position also benefits if, say ...a unit on hide receives some damage through artillery. Since there´s no control on buddy aid, the one going up to kneel stance for it, again makes himself and his unit visible to the enemy and incoming fire.

Still, only BFC can tell about any (unwanted) side effects if these exist. So far, overall effect is anything but dramatic. There´s still lots of carnage, but noticably less amongst soldiers doing buddy aid and when changing clips, belts and mags. I didn´t change anything else, nor do I intend so. If anybody wants to create an "exploit" mod, that´s not my bizness.

As reminder, the mentioned content is original and unchanged BFC and everybody has it on his computer already. It´s just renaming of about 64 files for the mentioned purposes and throwing these into the data/z folder in order to get used by the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just changed another animation that I found to be overly dramatic. Cowering!

Files exchanged (renamed), "kar98k-idle-prone 3.ani" to "kar98k-cower.ani". Looks like this:

New_Cower_zpsodd69vbh.jpg

Btw, majority of CM soldier animations, draw from the K98k animations folder by default.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am quite certain the game *is* using the model's plolygons for calculating hits and where the trooper's eyeballs are located.  If @RockinHarry can, by using modified animations, re-position the troop models I am certain it *will* change their spotting abilities and their vulnerability.

 

I do remember Steve saying hits are detected and calculated when the round being fired intersects the actual 3d model of the unit in question. Don't ask me to look it up, it was like 3 years ago.

 

Now, it would be nice to have a prone animation for Buddy Aid, but whatever.

Edited by SLIM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do remember Steve saying hits are detected and calculated when the round being fired intersects the actual 3d model of the unit in question. Don't ask me to look it up, it was like 3 years ago.

 

Now, it would be nice to have a prone animation for Buddy Aid, but whatever.

From all my latest testing I would confirm. The AI isn´t aware of an enemy unit, or single soldiers status. It sees mainly a target to shoot at (or to get shot from) and not if a unit is prone, cause it´s either on "hide", cowering or simply waiting with weapons at ready. Changing the cowering animation to something less suspicious, also adds to FOW, since you can´t see at a glance whether a unit/soldier is heavily suppressed or not. A human player has other indications about his units status and the AI does not really care. This is alll IMHO and my personal preferences as said. Unless BFC clears that up in some detail, I´ll take this as a base for my assumptions on game mechanics.

Buddy Aid animation is actually composed of two sequences. The first is the soldier going down (or up from prone) to kneeling with weapon at ready. The second is the actual buddy aid animation sequence. The latter I have replaced. Now this looks like the soldier is crawling toward the KIA/WIA, then pops up shortly to kneel and down again to start the actual buddy aid action (a now motionless sequence, with weapon put aside). Actual animation does not matter for performing buddy aid. The soldier simply is far less visible to the enemy and either is less shot as directly visible target, or at least less interupted in his buddy aiding attempts.

Note: I at least I noticed twice that buddy aid action within a trench does not cut LOS/LOF to a particular enemy unit (200m away on level ground), while the remaining unit was on hide. Once buddy aid was completed successfully, the LOS/LOF contact marker was greyed out immediately. This was with the medic in changed prone stance and scenario author test mode.

Same for reloading animation. The soldier breaks with his last action (shooting, observing), is completely focused on reloading, but this time at slightly better cover, dependent upon where the soldier is now located. Behind walls or in trenches he can completely drop out of sight, when going from kneel to prone to reload. In a building and if a soldier is standing, while engaging the enemy through a window, he receives slightly better cover, when going down to kneel stance. With reloading finished, he goes up to last stance, unless receiving suppression in the meantime and restarts his spotting and shooting cycle.

The effects are all not dramatic. Reloading takes between 6 - 15 seconds (regular troops) for most rifles and some variations for lMG and Zooks.

Some data:

BAR - 8 sec

M1 Garand - 6/7 sec

K98k - 8-10 sec

G43 - 8 sec

lMG 34 - 15 sec (it´s actually a two part process)

lMG 42 - 14 sec (again a two part process)

MP 40 - 8 sec

Assuming there´s an intense firefight going on at range of 2-300m, most light weapons will be reloaded individually once a minute. Those with large mags or belt fed will last longer and reloading might happen after c.a 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Shorter range engagements will consume ammo noticably quicker and thus complete reloading will happen also more oftenly (up to 2 times/minute). This is theoretical value only, when also considering times spent in cowering mode, respotting of enemy units, once LOS contact is temporarily lost, individual shifts in positions and such.

This theoretically results in maybe 10 - 15% per game minute less unnessecary exposure and beeing hit chance, when a reloading soldier goes one stance level down. Maybe not much, but at least it "looks" better, when a soldier fire fighting in open terrain and standing stance, goes down for reloading, thus "showing" a minimum of self preservance. :)

If my assumptions are all BS and don´t coincide with what really happens in the game, then at least it was fun experimenting and figuring out a couple of things. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 You Rock...Harry :-)

 

Anything to make the game function more realistically works for me...Now, we need for you to continue and find other ways to change animations in order to reduce casualties to a more realistic level.

 

Joe

Edited by JoMc67

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Status so far:

I believe spotting info is maintained to the AIP, despite animation change to a lower profile (kneel or prone). Yet the smaller profile makes them way harder to be hit. So generally it does its purpose for increasing suvivabilty for soldiers doing certain actions (reloading, buddy aid).

Beside that, animations are tightly coupled to the TAC AI actions and personally I don´t see more opportunities to increase survivability by changing animations. Some more basic SOP and TAC AI changes would be required instead. Most animations are reused either for idle or transition actions and changing one animation, could break multiple animation sequences. In example the buddy aid animation is 2 part. One is the soldier transitioning to kneel stance and then to actual buddy aid. The same kneel stance animation is used for many other sequences, thus if beeing changed to prone also, would break a number of other sequences in game. So this is already the end of the rope, tinkering with infantry animations IMO.

I got reloading, buddy aid and cower now adapted to my personal liking and it doesn´t break anything, at least I can´t observe something of the like. :)

I´ll make a list of file name changes, so everybody can repeat the mentioned edits for himself. Think redistributing the ani files with changed file names, is a no go, due to content copyright.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So here´s the procedures for everybody to try yourself:

Buddy Aid:

Rezexplode the "Normandy v100A.brz" file from Data folder, look in animations/unarmed, rename the "unarmed-idle-prone.ani" file to "unarmed-tend to casualty.ani" and drop that into data/z folder = prone lying medic. He won´t that die that often anymore.

Cower:

Same as above, but rename "kar98k-idle-prone.ani" to "kar98k-cower.ani" (both in k98k folder) and drop into data/z.

Reloading, one stance lower:

Folders (in animation):

bar, bazooka, kar98k, m240, mg42, mp40, mp44, panzerschreck, piat, pistol, sten and thompson.

Ani files are distributed amongst "Normandy v110.brz" (base), "Normandy v111.brz", "Normandy v200.brz" (contains major animation file update), "normandy v210.brz" and "Normandy v211.brz".

Rezexplode them all subsequentially (assuming you have ALL game updates, as well as CW and MG modules installed) and copy the animations folder to a seperate place. Copy any animation file updates (from BRZ file list above) over older animation folder, until you have just the latest files available and ready for the renaming procedure.

Now go to the individual weapons animation folders (list above) and look for the files with "reload" in file name. I.E there´s 9 times a "reload" file in k98k folder (reload prone, reload kneel, reload stand, a-b-c). Copy the reload prone files to a seperate folder. Rename the prone files to corresponding kneel file names (i.e "kar98k-reload-a-prone.ani" to "kar98k-reload-a-kneel.ani"). Now put the original kneel files into a temp folder and rename them to corresponding stand files (i.e "kar98k-reload-a-kneel.ani" to "kar98k-reload-a-stand.ani").

This leaves up to 6 renamed files from every suitable weapons animations folder (rifles, lMG, SMG and zooks), to be copied or rezpacked into the data/z folder. If all done right, reloading soldiers in stand stance, will play the reloading in kneel stance animation, reloading in kneel stance will use reloading in prone stance animation. Reloading prone is unchanged and unaffected.

I did not tinker with any of the HMG (heavy) animation, nor other files, not related to reload. The reload animation files contain the full clip/magazine reload actions, not to be confused with single round reload (bolt action). Reloading rifle grenades is affected as well, as is Zooks/Schrecks, when files are renamed from the appropiate folders.

I haven´t had any game crashes or "broken" animation sequences, although some transitions could be a bit "dirty". Do at your own risk.

Hope the instructions are clear enough for everyone to experiment with and have fun with results. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I d/l the mods and they look terrific.  However, COWER looks like a normal stance and it is easily confusing with regular.  Also, does the computer take into account the medic is lying down, or is his exposure still calculated as if he was kneeling.  If the latter, it looks more realistic, but the poor sod will still die as easily as he does now.

 

Also, where do we place these .ani files??

Edited by Erwin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...