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How to use Movie Data Tool to get seamless animations

I haven't seen a lot tutorials on dtk's Movie Data Tool, so I'm going to create this one for future reference. This tutorial will show you how to get perfect animations when swapping movesets/models between characters.

First and foremost, there will be two parts to this tutorial: Basic Usage and Advanced. During the latter half of the tutorial, there will be talk of using Visual Studio and coding. If you are not comfortable with those topics and don't want to mess your files up, PLEASE STICK TO BASIC USAGE ONLY!

Link to the tools found in this tutorial:

PART 1: Movie Data Tool Interface

When you start the Movie Data Tool, you will get this window. What we're mostly focused on in this tutorial is the Bone Motion tab.
[Image: dYBvHWJ.png]

Familiarize yourself with the interface.

[Image: bKgHPl2.png]

PART 2: Blender and Rigging (Body Mesh)

Here we'll get to actual modding part. First download the TMC Importer and the DOA5 Motion Importer-Exporter Blender plugins by dtk and install them. You'll also need to enable both plugins within Blender's User Preferences under Addons to actually use them.

Once that's done, open Blender and import the .TMC file for the character your swapping with. In my case, it's Ayane.
[Image: 6pYM5gM.png]

Now, in Blender, switch your screen to Animation:
[Image: WqytR5H.png]

Your screen should now look somthing like this:
[Image: hNIF4MJ.png]

Now, import the source character's .MPM file or .TDPACK file into Blender.
To import, go to File -> Import -> DOA5PC Motion
In my case, I'm using Eliot's character select .MPM.

Go to your Dope Sheet view and switch it from Dope Sheet to Action Editor:
[Image: zrPLOI1.png]

[Image: dXU64px.png]

[Image: T6w59wr.png]

Now that that's done, you'll need to find the animation you want to export. Click the button next to the Action Editor that currently says "+ New" and select an animation.

From there, you'll likely notice the model switch poses. Since we're dealing with the body mesh, it will stay in a natural looking pose. This is not the case with a face mesh, however, and that will be explained in the Advanced Section of this tutorial.

Now that you've got a good looking pose on the new skeleton, export the Bone Motion using the provided bone motion exporter (it will say it exports as .CSV). Take note that each animation in a .MPM file is a different sequence and has a set number of frames. Now, export ALL of the necessary animations. It should look something like XXX_SELECT_000_*** (the X's represent a character's name, and the asterisks represent the amount of frames for that sequence)

From here, name the .CSV file something you can remember, and make sure all the options are check marked from the export submenu. It should say something along the lines of: Export Body Motion, Export Left Hand Motion, Export Right Hand Motion.

Now comes the tedious part. For every animation you decide to swap to make your desired character function properly, you'll need to continuously export those animations and their different sequences. This is just a matter of rinse and repeat.

After doing all of that, switch back to the Movie Data Tool.

PART 3: Importing Edited Bone Motions (*.CSV files) back into Movie Data Tool

We're finally back in Movie Data Tool, and now that you have your edited .CSV files, import the .CSV file of the Body, Left Hand, Right Hand back into the correct animation sequence. MAKE SURE "Keep Pos." IS UNCHECKED. Do this for all sequences of every .MPM file you edited.

PART 4: Importing the New .MPM files back into the game via Lnk_Reshuffle

Another tedious part, but once you've applied changes to your .MPM files, you'll need to re-import them into the game via Lnk_Reshuffle. This whole process will take awhile, but the results will be absolutely seamless.

That being said, that only works for the body. Now we have to deal with the face.

PART 5: Faces and how to Get the Correctly Aligned Face Motions without Weird Deformations

You basically repeat the whole process in the earlier Step 2, but this time replace the body .TMC with a face .TMC, instead. I suggest using multiple scenes in Blender, but that's entirely optional. Simply re-import the same XXX_SELECT.MPM back into Blender, uncheck Import Camera Motion and Import Face Bone Location and select the face .TMC's armature. You'll now notice that the pose of the face looks frighteningly off.

From here, go back to the Action Editor sub menu, and scroll down on that menu bar. This will move the menu bar slowly to the right. Once you see a magnifying glass icon, click it and type "Location." This is the filter button and it will allow you to filter out all the locations of the face bones.

Now, delete all of the Keyframes in Blender via the "X" key on your keyboard. The face will still look deformed, but we can fix it easily.

Simply go into Pose Mode, and select a bone, then press the "A" key on your keyboard. Go into the properties submenu in Blender and switch to the Bone tab. Now, for the "Transform" header, look at Location and type 0.00 for X, Y and Z. This will move the first bone back to it's regular position. Right click the 0.00 you just typed on your Location subheader and press 'Copy All To Selected' in the Blender popup menu.

Now that that's done, you can finally export the new bone motion as a .CSV file. Repeat steps 3 and 4 and your done with the face portion.

Sounds like a whole lotta work, doesn't it? And it doesn't even account for story cutscenes, which will take up WAY MUCH MORE TIME. Luckily, there is a relatively easy way to lessen the work load. You'll need, however, to get your hands dirty in the source code of Movie Data Tool. If you're uncomfortable with anything coding/scripting related, PULL OUT NOW! This is your LAST WARNING!

Continued in the Advanced Section.

Part 1: Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 and Movie Data Tool

.TDPACK Files: What They Are and How to Edit

"Stereotypical Shounen Protagonist stubbornly doing dense things..."
[+] 5 users Like MicroKnightmare's post

I'd love to see the rest of this tutorial! Smile

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