Hey there. No post for yesterday, I was relaxing and trying to catch up on a few things. A few questions were posed in the forums, one about animation which is a big part of The Sims, new objects and whatnot. I thought I’d just post the reply here for those that might be a little in the dark. There are two types of animations that Maxis creates.
The first is object animations. These are the sprite frames that make up animating an object (just the object). For example when a fridge door opens. There are separate sprite frames for each frame of animation. A drawgroup tells The Sims how to play the animation (what frames to use, speed, etc.). Maxis creates these by animating them in 3D Studio MAX and exporting the frames using a custom utility.
The second type of animation is character animation. This is how the Sim characters (both your character, neighbors and NPCs) move around the world. This also includes how they interact with objects (i.e. how they reach out to open a fridge door or move around to sit in a chair). These animations are created again with 3D Studio and an add-on called Character Studio. The animations are created and then exported as ascii/binary files that are read by The Sims to perform the animation.
Also, I’m going to put together an Edith page and add it here. This will contain some screenshots and information on using the program and how it works. Just a pre-cursor to the Sims book I’m working on. Watch for this shortly.