Part II: Repurposing Your Animation Content for the Web with Pulse 3D
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Dateline: 12/20/00

Welcome to Part II of Dan Meblin's tutorial about Pulse3D, reprinted here with the kind permission of Pulse, Dan Meblin and Electronic Arts.

Dan Meblin is the Senior Technology Evangelist at Pulse Entertainment and has been with the company since its founding in 1994. Dan teaches weekly Pulse-sponsored Pulse technology workshops in and around San Francisco. He is also a 3D modeling instructor at The Center For Electronic Art, and the San Francisco State Multimedia Studies Program.

Now on to Part II:

Creating Animation

Animation can be exported from 3D Studio Max using Pulse Producer, or imported into Pulse Creator as a BioVision motion capture file (.bvh), or keyframe animated directly in Pulse Creator. Alice's animations were created in Pulse Creator.

Pulse Creator allows for an unlimited number of animations or "Behaviors" to be created for each object in the scene. On the website, Alice will act as the guide, explaining the various sections of the website as you roll your mouse over buttons. A separate behavior needed to be created for each button in the website.

Animation is created by selecting the object on which the animation will be executed, (in this case the dummy parent object) and then bringing up Pulse Creator's Behavior Editor. Next, a new behavior is created by clicking on the "New Behavior" button. Each new behavior's name will appear in the right column of the behavior editor. Finally, Alice's joints were re-positioned and new keyframes were created by clicking on the "Create Keyframe" button. Audio was added to the animation by clicking on the "Add Sound Track" button and then choosing an AIFF or WAV file. A visual representation of the waveform appears in the behavior editor so the animation can be easily synchronized to the audio.

Idle behaviors were also created that will play at runtime when Alice isn't playing any other behavior. These idle behaviors make Alice look as if she has a mind of her own, making her randomly breathe and fidget while no other actions are taking place. Several different idle behaviors were created for Alice and will play randomly while no other behaviors are being triggered. This is set up by using the "Random Task" script created in Pulse's powerful scripting language "Joe Script".

Alice behaviors

Setting Alice's Properties

The next step is to define Alice's level of interactivity. Alice needed to be able to do two things; play behaviors, and have the ability to be rotated on the Y axis at runtime when clicked and dragged. This is done by setting the "Class" pull-down menu in the Properties window. There is a library of generic classes available in Pulse Creator's Properties window. In addition, new classes can be written in JoeScript allowing a limitless possibility of interaction and behaviors.

Here's a list of a few of the generic classes available in Pulse Creator:

By selecting the dummy parent object and choosing the Properties window, Alice's class was set to "MouseYChar".

Alice properties

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