So it sounds like you are taking the G3 mesh and then re-shaping it in an editor to your needs I take it? Interesting idea actually.
Since morph targets are gpu rendered, and the tool I want to use, already supports this,I may go this route actually. I really like the combinations of characters I can make with the Manuel’s plugin and it seems I can really do anything with the model according to him, so long as I don’t reverse engineer or try to export everything to my game. Fair enough.
I wan’t you to know that I really appreciate your advice and I am taking it to heart and thinking about it. I know it takes time out of your day and your workflow to come in here and talk to me. I may send you a PM once in a while if you are okay with that, for advice.
Something that may help you understand where I am coming from is to understand my current situation. Basically, I started out at 15, wanting to develop my own game. During my high school years, I started modding different games and began looking into some game engines, but found out that most decent engines that would do what I needed them to do,would cost millions and I wouldn’t have all the tools or skills I needed for the job. I looked into going to college that had a course in game design, but found out that even if you did graduate, competition was very high and only the best would make it, and end up making games that followed the same format over and over again because that was what made money.
Something that may help you understand where I am coming from is to understand my current situation. Long story short, I’m a 34 year old that makes $8/hr and has a three year old to feed/take care of. I can afford $10/night to feed my family and I can afford to fill my gas tank only about half-way. Saving just $20/month is difficult and most of that is used on upkeep of my current rig, fees for programming courses, and may also be going to pay a monthly fee for Substance Painter. I put myself through college so that I could go into IT but after years of working in the field, found that it just wasn’t for me. I also had an accident a few years ago that put me in my present situation. I’ve been struggling to find another field to go into since. Honestly, I’ve wanted to go into game development since I was 15 but I didn’t have access to an affordable game engine. Since we have Unity and Unreal now, it makes this a possabilty. So, I thought I might give it another try.
For now, I’m a solo dev. I’m handling all 3d models, all programming/blueprints, music, sound, and animation. Honestly, I’m a bit of a jack of all trades but a master of none. Animation/programming are my weakest points but I’m putting myself through a course on C++ programming for games. This is why I’m not expecting AAA quality and more focused on good gameplay and fun game mechanics as apposed to superb animations/graphics/visuals. I want to make good visuals, but maybe not top notch AAA quality. The important thing is that visuals look consistent across the board. I’m also going with a sci-fi theme to give myself more free-flow over the art.
To put this into further perspective, lets say I need to make a door. I could make a fantastic door. The best door ever made. I can make the lock turn, I can make all the screws, I can make the knob turn, I can give the door physics, make the hinges, I can detail out each componenet of the door that was used to make a door in real-life. I could spend weeks on just that door. OR, I can make a basic door, and have it open/close. It is just a door after all. Give it enough detail that it has the illusion that it is real. But as a player, I’m not really going to examine the door all that closely when I’m being chased by a monster. I can also just a make it look like a nice enough door and, hey at the end of the project and when everything is put together, I can always add more layers to make it look even better.
My goal right now is to make a greybox representation of all the basic, primary game mechanics that I will need, and have them working fluidly. Basically, these are things that are core mechanics of the game I want to build and I want to make sure I can get over each of these hurdles. If I can put these mechanics in a greybox prototype that I can use as a visual presentation, I may be able to garner the support of my family, so that they feel comfortable backing me, and maybe I can inspire some help within some of the communities that I’m involved in. Then I can think about building a team. Who knows, if I make something solid, maybe I could even get help from an animator with access to Motion Capture. But I just don’t have access to it, so I need to do it the hard way until I know I can trust someone else to take care of that part for me. If things go well enough, and I manage to raise some funding, maybe I can afford better tools. But for now, I need to focus on what I know I CAN do. Most of all, I need to prove to MYSELF that I can handle it.
If I fail, then maybe I can take up software engineering, but at least I tried.
Having npcs that can talk to the player and customizable characters, are two of the most important, core mechanics of my game. As long as I can get a basic talking animation in-game (I don’t need it to be perfect), and I can make them without something like MB, I at least know that I can make that mechanic work for now. Maybe I can get an animator later on to animate the lip files, or maybe I can get some funding for better tools if my concept is good enough. But I want to prove that I can make it work without MB first, just in case. So that I, myself know that I can do it.
If I can take all the base mechanics and the overcome the hurdles that are most important and build a good framework for these mechanics that work, and I can get a greybox proof of concept done, then it will give me the confidence I need to start building top down.
Try and understand from my post here, that I am not trying to make excuses for myself. I’m done with all of that. But I do have budget limitations. So, I’m going to take a different approach and work with what I can do, and with the tools that I have. I can detail it later.
So, the next question, since MB is not affordable to me, is there a recommended software solution I can use to animate morph animations with sound files by hand?