Welcome to the first Mod Report! Our aim is to bring information regarding mods and modding that can be valuable for the modding community. In this article, you can find information regarding improvements for Workbench, Blender upgrades, Arma Reforger Samples and modding resources, GitHub repositories updates, a tutorial for Weapon Animation, and more.
In this section, we want to share some snippets about what's happening with the Enfusion Engine. Keep in mind that not everything that's being showcased in this section is currently available in Arma Reforger, some upgrades will be delivered in future updates, and some might not even appear in Arma Reforger.
One of the interesting things to look at is the improved rain effect. The new rain now accepts light from local light sources such as streetlamps, torches, cars, etc. The movement of the rain has been modified, and the random direction of the drops and the reaction of the rain to the camera speed has been improved.
And now for some quality-of-life improvements in Workbench.
In Resource Browser, you now have the option to mark certain folders as favorites for easier access.
Editor onlyentities are now clearly indicated by means of symbols in the icons.
Reading animation events in synchronized branches - animation graph expressions can now read events sampled in synchronized branches. Example GIF: Switching between two synchronized sources on the right footstep.
Mouse over icons in state machine states
Anim graph warnings - Besides errors, we're now showing warnings next to the anim graph nodes and giving hints on how to fix them.
The main feature of this release is that communication is now via a bridge, meaning that you need to have a running instance of Workbench with net API enabled to use some of the features of Enfusion Blender Tools.
Blender Bridge uses the net API to communicate with Workbench in both ways and below is a small example showing the classic Hello World! printing.
The Bridge brings one major change to the addon configuration itself - you don't need to set addons (gprojs) in the EBT plugin preferences anymore; just make sure you open Workbench with the project you want to work with and have the net API enabled in the Resource Manager options.
Features that require Workbench to run:
Material Preview (Custom fbx import, Update materials, loading textures in Materials Panel)
Object Tools (setting gamemats and layer presets)
Model Quality Assurance (when Conventions->"usage" property is checked)
The first major new thing in the 0.9.7 version of Enfusion Blender Tools is the introduction of a new approach to exporting TXA animations, which requires the now-running version of the Workbench. This solution uses the net API that Workbench provides to grab data from Blender, and then Workbench is able to process it and produce both TXA and binary formats of it - ANM files. This change also brings a necessity to update the configuration of the addon in Blender itself, so head out to the Wiki to find out how to do it.
The new version of Blender offers much faster export speed. Exporting complex animations, which could normally take over half an hour, can now be done in a few minutes.
People creating weapon animations should appreciate the fix to exporting empty objects and how they were handled in TXA exporter. Together with BlendPoses, as previously released on Github, creating weapon IK poses should be a much more pleasant experience.
TXA Exporter UI Improvements
The new version of Enfusion Blender Tools also offers improvements to the TXA exporter UI, which should help you with managing larger animation projects. This new UI no longer hacks into the file selection window, which forced the user to expand the right panel of this window every time it was opened. All parameters and actions should now be more easily accessible. Furthermore, they're stored more persistently and reliably, so you don't have to worry that TXA export settings stored in a blend file would look different on another PC.
Another slight improvement in the updated version of the addon is being able to search through a list of available export profiles and actions. We noted that many users complained that navigating through a large list of export profiles provided with the Enfusion Blender Data package was quite difficult.
Enfusion Blender Data Improvements
Enfusion Blender Data also received small upgrades, and additive animation profiles provided in that package are now fully working with Blender, allowing you to export additive animations. This means weapon reload animations should no longer be a problem.
Arma Reforger Samples and modding resources' Github repositories were updated with a bunch of small fixes: updated sample new weapon animation files and new vanilla weapons animation reference files, blender samples for grenade and gadget animations, a new TestTerrain world for vehicle testing, and small fixes to other Sample Mods. Check it out at https://github.com/BohemiaInteractive/Arma-Reforger-Samples & https://github.com/BohemiaInteractive/Arma-Reforger-Misc.
Tutorials and Documentation
If weapon animation is your area of interest, be sure to check the Weapon Animation Tutorial Wiki page. In the first part, Weapon Animation Setup, you'll become familiar with the Animation Editor, preparing a new animation workspace for the weapon by duplicating some existing files and linking this new workspace to the weapon prefab. Weapon Animation Basic Creation covers the actual creation of animations in Blender and their export to Workbench, the preparation of weapon IK pose, and some basic weapon animation.
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And now, happy modding!