How to use bones to load static models

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NOTES: Bones is an animation library, the team does not have any intentions at the moment to make it a scene loader. The description below is a trick works for this wiki author. Use it with cautions.


Bones is a library which targets to load animated models with skinning and bones. In this case, even a static model such as obj can be converted into COLLADA format, it will fail the conversion to bones format when you use the script.

In certain case, you may want to use the same bones library to handle both static object and animated character. However, when you convert a static model to collada format and try to use the Bones script to convert the mesh, it throws exception complaining that there is no skins : "ColladaStorage contains no skins". It is not that difficult to update your static model in Maya to create a new dae file which can be accepted by the script and bones engine.

Pre: If you are not familiar with Maya rigging, just have a look of lesson 3 and 4 from this youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vgs9uiCC3eA.

The idea is to add a very simple skeleton to the whole meshes in your original format meshes and do certain minimum steps so that the Bones script is happy. All the description is in Maya 2016. 1. Make sure your menu is in Rigging, choose skeleton menu -> create joint.

2. Create one joint at the root of your meshes (the base joint), and another one at the top (joint 2)(similar like what is shown in the youtube video).

3. Select one of the meshes in your scene, and Shift + select the base joint of the skeleton. Then click key 'p', to bind them. Do Step 3 for all the meshes in the scene with the base joint.

4. Now in the tree list view (normally on the left panel), you should see that Joint 2 and all the meshes are branches at the same level to Joint 1 (the base joint).

5. Select joint 1 and all the meshes, and go to Skin menu, choose binding skin.

6. Finally, choose the joint 1 (which will select everything since joint 1 is the root). Then export the selection through OpenCOLLADA plugin for Maya.

This dae file now can be convert by the Bones script ardorCollada2Bones.bat / ardorCollada2Bones.sh with some warning and you should have a bones that can be loaded in the engine. However, since there is no animation inside, do not try to animate it.