Animation Basics (under construction)
NOTE: this document is obsolete. Please consult the Unreal
Developer Network site for the latest documentation including
detailed tutorials and plugins.
Animating mesh content can be created in several ways:
Vertex animation: 3ds2Unr documentation.
Skeletal animation: Maya / 3DSMax exporter instructions.
Rebuilding a package
A package's source art resides in its own folder in the UT folder hierarchy, just under the main folder (UnrealTournament\)
To have the 'UCC MAKE' command (run on the command line from the UnrealTournament\ folder) be aware of the need to (re-)build this package, it needs to be included in the [editpackages] section of your UnrealTournament.ini file (in the UnrealTournamen\System folder.)
The 'Test' folder including its folder hierarchy can be copied into the UnrealTournament\ folder. The 'UCC make' contend building process loads all the script files, which in turn refer to image ( .pcx files) and mesh/animation content (.psa/.psk files) in the appropriate subfolders. Once everything is in place, the 'UCC make' command looks over all package folders as specified in [editpackages], loads existing ones in memory to resolve and check dependencies (so the order in which they're listed in UnrealTournament.ini is important) and rebuilds those that are absent.
See http://unreal.epicgames.com/Packages.htm for more in-depth information on packages.
Viewing Content in the Engine
Typically meshes are designed with a certain function in mind (player models, decorations, machines, monsters) and placed in levels at appropriate places using the level editor (or rather, in the case of players that can move around, assigned special 'spawn points' where they appear or re-appear during gameplay.)
However there's a quicker way to preview our test meshes (assuming you've set up your meshes like the example content provided in the Skeletal animation documentation) now that they're available to the engine in a native .u package. When the UT engine is up and running ( say, inside a practice botmatch or wherever ), simply typing "summon Test.Thing" or "summon Test.WarBoss" will spawn a mesh in the level as you're running in it, in front of you, the player - where, because it is derived from the decoration class, it will have no influence on actual gameplay. The position and orientation of the object will depend on your player's position at the time of spawning. You can summon as many objects as you want at any position - they're temporary and vanish once a level gets reloaded.
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Erik de Neve | email@example.com