A total conversion mod for Crysis, based on the movies 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later.

Report RSS CryEngine2 Creating Full Body Animations: Written

This tutorial follows the steps needed to export a full body animation into Cryteks CryEngine2 from 3ds Max 2008.

Posted by on - Basic Animation

<!-- Please enter the information about your article for each section
after the equal sign. The information will be translated into a
formatted page upon being saved.
-->To set up a full body animation you will already need a Mods folder that contains the necessary folders and files for exporting. This would be the Bin32 folder and Tools/Maxscript folder. This is critical in getting animations to export at all.

The rest of the documentation assumes you have the correct needed files and folder structure and crytools working in 3DS Max when loaded.

=Exporting Full Body Animation=
==Setting Up The Basics==

*First you need to add the necessary object and animation folders and add any needed files. This would be:




This is the same file used in the Example/Example Assets Mod from the SDK. Its needed in the same Mod folder that your exporting your animations CAF file to.

This will be the folder we export our new replacement animations to. The folder structure follows the original game since were just replacing original full body animations.

This file needs to be added and modified to export correctly. Grab the original from the Animation.pak file and put it in your mods Animation folder. Your going to need a "Animation Definition" for the character.chr file so the animations export correctly. You can get the required code for it by opening the Animations.cba file with notepad/wordpad and grabbing from AnimationDefinition toSpecialAnimsList for the nanosuit.

Make a break after /AnimationDefinition for the Nanosuit info and paste the new character info under it, that should be just fine. You do not need /SpecialAnimsList and/AnimationDefinition at the end of the pasted Character info like the Nanosuit info. By doing so will cause an exporting error.

*One more thing you have to do in the Animations.cba file is to get rid of this in the Nanosuit and Character info:

RotatePosRoot value="L180"
RotateQuatRoot value="L90"
RotatePosChild value="L90"
RotateQuatChild value="L90"

If this is in your Mods Animation.cba file your full body animations will export 90 degrees to the left. If you change 180 to 90 you'll still get the same result. Just delete it, no harm is done.

==Inside 3DS Max==

*Open up the character.max file given in the Example/Example Assets mod (\Mods\Examples\Example Assets\Objects\Characters\human_male).

*When we first open the file all you'll see is the character mesh. All we want is the biped so were going to unhide and hide some things.

By default max doesn't have any shortcuts for hide/unhide. You can change that though by going to Customize/Customize User Interface and entering in a hotkey for it.

*All you need is the biped, so first select the Display tab in the command panel(1). Next select the mesh and click on [Hide Selected](2). Finally, click on [Unhide by Name] and you will get a new menu(3).

*Collapse the second line Bip01 Pelvis Phys(1). You can then select Bip 01 and click Unhide(2). The next box will ask you if you would like to Unhide the layers of the objects, click ok.

*You can toggle off the rest you don't need. In Category click off Geometry and Helpers.

==Setting Up The Biped==

*First select the Motion tab in the command panel(1). Select both feet (hold control to mutli select) and right click in the viewport. Select Set Planted Key(2), this will allow you to animate from the pelvis realistically. Finally click the Time Configuration button to set the amount of frames were going to be using(3).

*In the Time Configuration window change End Time to 20 for this animation.

*Select the Bip01 Pelvis and expand the Key Info section (1), we will be using the little red Set Key button(2). In the track selection section select Body Vertical(3). For demonstrations sake the animation will start and end with the same pose. In the timeline you will see at frame zero a multi colored key frame(4). Shift select the key and drag it across to frame 20. Click the timeline to deselect the copied key and grab the timeline scroll bar and drag it to frame 10(5).

The only way to move the pelvis is by using the Track Selections. If you click off the pelvis and try to use it again later it will not budge till you select a Track Selection. Alternatively you could right-click and select one of the three options in "Tools 2" of the quad menu.

*Select the z axis and transform the pelvis down(1). Next set a new key with the Set Key button (little red dot). Finally select Utilities in the command panel(2).

When animating if you are not in the Motion tab when doing so you could witness a slow down. If you would like to view your animation you can either click-drag the scroll bar in the timeline or hit the Play Animation button.


*Remove everything in the Object Export section except "character"(1). Scroll down and check "Add whole skeleton"(2). Finally click on "Export Bones" and click ok to the "Biped lower arm twist bones reparented" prompt.

Two things that can mess up exporting your animation at this phase is the selected amount of time frames your exporting and where the Root Path in the CryEngine2 Settings is pointing. If your Timing Export Range isn't exporting manually you should be fine. The Cryengine 2 Settings root path should be pointing to the mod folder your exporting to (C:\Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\Crytek\Crysis\Mods\Mymods).

*You will then be asked to save the CAF file somewhere and to name it. Put the CAF file in the combat folder made in the beginning (\Mods\Mymods\Game\Animations\human\male\combat) and name it combat_idle_nw_01. This animation is the idle stance while not equipped with a weapon.

After that is done you can save the 3DS Max file out to whatever name you like and to the 3DS Max scenes folder. You don't always need to start out from the original character.max file. For example, to blend a run animation you need 3 animations that deal with starting, running, and stopping, instead of having a file for each animation you can have it in one and break up the created CAF files for the animations in the export bones by Sub-Ranges section of the exporter utility. Basically, say you have 4 types of characters, male, female, adult, and adolescent. All the animations for each type of character could be in a seperate file and then exported in ranges instead of having hundreds of Max files that deal just with one part of a animation. If you ever need to go back to a animation you can now find the type it was and see where it s i the timeframe by checking the Sub-Ranges.


*Open the Editor with the mod running where your new animation was saved into. Click the little green guy in the top right corner for the Character Editor.

*The animation was saved in the combat folder so open that. Look for combat_idle_nw_01 in the list. A successful full body animation export will be showing your character bending down and up. Now if I need any custom full body animations for a cutscene I can create them, name them something custom and call them correctly in my CAL file, and then use them in a Trackview scene in the Editor instead of relying on defualt animations.

*If your looking to create custom animatons, with custom names for a custom character you would need to deal with Locomotion Groups which blend certain animations together for seemless movement.


[DBD]Mephisto03 - Tutorial Creator



Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote


Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

Pictures are dead. You have to upload them again. :(

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote


Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.

Follow Report Profile
Death By Design
Send Message
Release date
Mod watch
Related Mods
Related Games
Crysis First Person Shooter
Related Groups
Death By Design
Death By Design Developer & Publisher