Pipeline Development with Maya and XNA

Learn the fundamental workflow for next-gen game development and innovative techniques for seamlessly integrating Maya and XNA for game creation. Contains nearly 5 hours of project-based training for technical artists learning the methods of creating game content using XNA and Maya. Software required: XNA, Game Studio 2.0, Maya 2008.
Course info
Level
Advanced
Updated
May 1, 2008
Duration
4h 54m
Table of contents
Introduction and Project Overview
Pipeline Development with Maya and XNA
Description
Course info
Level
Advanced
Updated
May 1, 2008
Duration
4h 54m
Description

Learn the fundamental workflow for next-gen game development and innovative techniques for seamlessly integrating Maya and XNA for game creation. Contains nearly 5 hours of project-based training for technical artists learning the methods of creating game content using XNA and Maya. Popular highlights include: XNA Development Overview; Interfacing with Keyboard and Gamepad; Building Controller Systems; Controller Vibration; Exporting and Loading Static Meshes from Maya; Exporting Animated Characters from Maya; Moving and Turning a Character; Object-oriented Programming with Bullets and Targets; Baking Textures in Maya; Deriving Bounding Boxes from Maya; Collision Detection with Bounding boxes; Collision Detection with Rays; Building a Custom Animation Player; Switching and Blending Between Animations; Chase Cameras; Camera Shakes and Drawing Text. Software required: XNA Game Studio 2.0, Maya 2008.

About the author
About the author

Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, Sunder has made great headway in both the interactive game design and 3D animation worlds.

Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Introduction and Project Overview
Hello, and welcome to XNA Pipeline Development with Maya presented by Digital-Tutors. My name is Sunder and I'll be your tutor in this course, guiding you through the process of exporting your animated characters out of Maya into an XNA game complete with controls and object behavior. We will be progressing from the ends of both the animated NexGen characters in Maya and the real time shaders with XNA training courses. It's highly recommended to have gone to the aforementioned training courses. Now during this course we're going to learn how to build a virtual controller that can accept keyboard and Xbox 360 joystick commands. We will learn how to move our character in a free 360 degree range of motion in a world complete with chase cameras and collision detection. We're also going to learn how to properly export our characters from Autodesk Maya into our game and how to add implement blending animations based on the user input. Finally, we're going to implement some simple shooting behaviors so that our player can hit some targets. There's a lot of fundamental game programming concepts to be covered and many cool how-tos to get you closer to building your dream game in XNA. Without any further ado, let's get started. We're going to start off from the project created at the end of the real time shading with XNA training kit. If you haven't done this course or for the sake of consistency, you want to use a project that I'll be working with then copy the project files folder from the training material and place it at an accessible location like the root of your C drive, for example. Once you have your files copied over go to the ShaderProject folder and in here open up the ShaderProject solution. This is where we ended off with at the end of the real time shading with XNA kit. If you want to open it one way of doing it is to drag the. sln file over an empty Gamestudio instance. Drag and drop it over the workspace. It'll open up. If you're a brand new user and you don't have Gamestudio installed you'll need to go online to creators. xna. com/Education/newtoxna. aspx you'll need to go to this link and follow these instructions to install Gamestudio onto your system. Once you're done there you're basically ready to get started and you should be able to open up your shader project. There are a few changes we'll need to make to this specific project. Right now the references, we have had references set up so that they can pull in models that are animated. What we need to do is we once again need to go back to the Creator's Club website and we need to download the skinning sample so we can get our program to how we had it at the end of the previous training kit. Go to the education section and pull up the samples page. In here we'll need to scroll down and find the skinned model sample. It's a little bit towards the lower end of the page and there it is skinned model sample and it has an animated character right here. Let's left click this to enter the corresponding page. What we need to do is we need to download the Skinning. Sample. Zip file for XNA Gamestudio 2. 0. Let's left click. I'll go ahead and open this up. I already have it stored in my cache, so that's why it pulled up so quickly. We'll need to take the skinning sample folder and copy it not to the shader project, but to the project files folder in here. Just drag SkinningSample folder and drop it right there. It's not enough to do just that we need to make sure that this SkinningSample folder is compiled and it has the necessary library files created. To do this enter the skinning sample folder and open up SkinningSampleWindows. sln. We'll open up this solution, we're going to be working exclusively with Windows by the way so that it's easy to run and test the game out. Let's open a new instance that'll load up the skinning sample Windows program. Then hit the play button here it will start building and it will create the necessary files. This step might take a couple of moments, rather than have you wait I'll pause the video and return in a second. There we go. Basically we have our skin model sample working and the necessary files should be generated. Let's close this out and let's jump back to our shader project instance here. If you left click the name you'll see that it'll automatically find the necessary dll files that are needed to get this project working successfully. If this doesn't happen to you what you'll need to do is you'll need to remove these references and add them in manually based on where your files or based on where you copied the different folders. I'll go ahead and demonstrate this step as well, and I'll do it with a skinned model. The Pipeline file goes into the References folder of the content while the skinned model only goes into the references of the project or the solution itself. If you want to make sure this has updated properly one way of doing it is you go to the path and you change the file location that it's being referenced to, the other method is right click, remove skinned model go to references, add reference. In here go to Browse, go to the location of your SkinningSample folder, open up the SkinnedModel Pipeline, go into bin, x86, Debug and here are the dll files that we need to use. We'll need to load up SkinnedModel. dll for references and the model Pipeline for the content references. There we go, so that's what we need to do to get that reference set up, it's the same procedure for the other side. Now we are ready to run our shader project, so select it and hit play. It will take a few moments and build everything. If you went through the real time shading with XNA training kit you shouldn't have to do any of these steps. You should be able to work off your previous project. There we go. If you didn't go to the training kit, if you can get your demo running to this point where we have a camera turntable around our character we're all basically on the same page at this point. What we'll do is we'll use this as the basis and we'll start working with our game and start building it off of this very project. If you did go through the previous XNA training course the project is more or less exactly where we left off at the end of it. The only difference is, our. cs file has been commented and some of the code has been put into regions so that we can consolidate those variables and avoid confusion with stuff that we're going to be using in this training course. At this point all of us should be on the same page, we're ready to start programming controls for our game. We'll start taking care of that in the following lessons.