Point Level Animation and OBJ Sequence

In game development character rigs are used to create character animation. This is the default solution for humanoid type characters. The character that i want to use (in mobile game development) has odd proportions and using a character rig didn’t seem to be the right.

So i wanted to achieve the following:

  • bake (track frame by frame) vertex or point level animation
  • export to OBJ sequence and use the sequence in Unity game engine


Baking Point Level Animation (PLA)

The animation needed to become a “vertex animation” also referred to as “Point Level Animation”, a 3D sequence animated on the vertex or point level.
Baking (tracking) the animation frame by frame is a pretty straight forward action if you are using a polygonal object. I’m using Cinema4D and in Cinema4D it is not possible to bake deformers like Sub Division (C4D R18 also supports OpenSubDiv, Pixar has a lot of in-depth info on OpenSubDiv).

This is where the Xpresso node based editor comes in the picture.


Basically i used the correction deformer to get the index of the vertex information, and then passed this on to a polygonal object with the same amount of points. This is a polygonal object, so from here the point level animation could be tracked and baked.

OBJ Sequence

Another challenge is export to a OBJ sequence, you can export to OBJ in C4D but there is no build in option for exporting a sequence of OBJ files. After some Google searches i found bits and pieces of Python scripts and after a bit of tweaking the following Python script worked for me on OS-X:

import c4d
import os
import subprocess
from c4d import gui
#Welcome to the world of Python

def main():
 # get active document
 doc = c4d.documents.GetActiveDocument()

 # retrieve an instance of render data
 renderSettings = doc.GetActiveRenderData()

 # retrieve fps
 docFps = 30
 # Get Animation Length
 fromTime = 0
 toTime = 82 
 animLength = toTime - fromTime + 1
 # prompt user for directory
 filePath = c4d.storage.SaveDialog()
 filePath, objName = os.path.split(filePath)
 objName = objName + "_"
 filePath = filePath + "/"
 # Check for confirmation
 questionDialogText = "Obj Sequence will be saved as:n"\
 "" + filePath + objName + "####.obj"\
 "From frame " + str(fromTime) + " to " + str(toTime) + " for " + str(animLength) + " frames.\n"
 proceedBool = c4d.gui.QuestionDialog(questionDialogText)
 if proceedBool == True:
 # Loop through animation and export frames
 for x in range(0,animLength):
 # change frame, redraw view
 moveTime = c4d.BaseTime(fromTime,docFps) + c4d.BaseTime(x,docFps)
 # progress bar
 c4d.StatusSetText("Exporting " + str(x) + " of " + str(animLength))
 # add buffer 0001
 bufferedNumber = str(doc.GetTime().GetFrame(docFps))
 if len(bufferedNumber)<4:
 for x in range(len(bufferedNumber),4):
 bufferedNumber = "0" + bufferedNumber
 # save file 
 fileName = filePath+objName+bufferedNumber+".obj"
 print fileName
 else: print "User directed cancel"
if __name__=='__main__':