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Game Editing => General Content Creation => Topic started by: ACDmvmkr on February 04, 2018, 09:07:26 PM

Title: Best way to open old *.blend files into new versions of Blender?
Post by: ACDmvmkr on February 04, 2018, 09:07:26 PM
Best Way to bring Older version files into Newer versions of Blender?....

Okay....Here's my problem;

I've been working with Blender 249b for years and years, ever since it was touted as the last stable version of Blender back in 2010. Since then I have used it to build my extensive library of files, models, characters, sets/landscapes, and "actions" or "armature animations" (not sure what they are called). I don't want to have to rebuild all those things from scratch.

Recently I've been trying to move into and learn the newer versions of Blender, the post 2.5 era versions because of some new features which I really need to use now, like using audio files to animate characters, not available in the earlier version I am most comfortable with.

I only need that ONE feature now - using audio files to animate armatures. I'd rather use something that would generate Keyframes to do it, (then I could continue using B249) but the only thing I can find for that is the "bake sound files to f-curves" function.....and that seems to be available only in much newer versions.

I've got a B272 version running on my one new laptop, but problem is, all my armatures I import into it from my B249 version exhibit very tempermental behavior. These armatures are extremely sophistcated, developed over many years so I don't want to have to start over and rebuild them all from Scratch. I also have an extensive library of "armature animation actions" (or whatever they are called) to bring along with them.

Is there a way I can import/append, or otherwise bring them into later versions of Blender so they will work with their original quality and reliability? Is there a best version of "post 2.5 Blender" where I can start introducing my old 249 materials, that will allow me to then pass them up through into the more later versions of Blender so that they will still operate properly/keeping all their functionality in these newer versions?

- Also I've found that version 272 won't run on my bigger older computer. Which version is the last version that you would recommend will run well on 32 bit Windows XP ? (I've downloaded several earlier versions of 2.5x Blender installers, but am wondering which ones to try out first....)

I know that's long, but I'm stuck here, thanks.

[EDIT] changed the topic title slightly to make better sense, kat
Title: Re: Best way to open old *.blend files into new versions of Blender?
Post by: kat on February 04, 2018, 11:50:38 PM
Try opening the files incrementally, say 2.50 first as that was the next major version up from 2.49 so carries a number of its features. Once you're happy with that up the anti to 2.60, check the conversion then step up to 2.70... Doing it this way means you're slowly converting the files in a way that should compensate for core changes that have occurred between versions (post 2.64 especially). With that said depending on exactly what you've done and how the older files are set up you may encounter some problems regardless - this kind of data update is never going to yield 100% conversion rates unfortunately.

With regards to Blender support for Windows XP, the Blender Foundation said not too long ago they were calling it a day on overtly support the platform but I don't recall what version that ended, sometime post 2.70 IIRC.

As for being "stuck here", you're not if this is the only place you can get the kind of detailed answers you actually need ;D
Title: Re: Best way to open old *.blend files into new versions of Blender?
Post by: ACDmvmkr on February 05, 2018, 06:54:37 PM
Thanks for your support.

I've actually just got 272b running on another laptop of mine, a Dell Latitude running 32bit Win XP Pro. It runs much better than on the newer Toshiba I have. Oddly, It is ironic because other than having lesser power, the Latitude is very similar to my big Dell Desktop (which I can't get it running on) but is also running 32bit Win XP, but the Home edition.

Also oddly, on my Latitude, I haven't yet installed the Python 27x.....it's still only has 262 installed, yet it is running best on this machine so far. I can't use it extensively though for heavy Blender, because it tends to run very hot and I'm afraid of baking it and killing it eventually.

I tried downloading and installing another version of the .dll file on the big Dell, but still got the same behavior.... failure to launch with the same error message.

On the Dell laptop, meanwhile, armature appends are going much better, and bvh file imports have been going well.
One problem is, whenever I append an armature action from a 249 file into 272, it combines both the "object" part of the action with what used to be the separate "armature action" (in 249 there were actions that moved the individual bones, etc, and separate ones that moved the armature itself as an object around, example as if it were a cube). The "object action" was set in the IPO window, while the "armature action" was set in the Action Editor. In 272, there doesn't seem to be a way to distinguish between the two and I can't control which is applied to the target....there is just one window and one entry field that seems to do both and without distinction in Action Editor.

I have also noticed, that under certain circumstances in 272, if I use that window to remove an action from an armature (click the X box), that armature continues to react to the action despite the window showing it is has been stripped off and now shows blank. This continues until I apply a new action, upon which it follows that new action and abandons the old one.

On some 249 files loaded into 272, none of the contents show up in the outliner.

If I install all those different incremental versions of Blender on my machines, will they interfere with each other (because of altering system files etc)? What is the best way to insure that doesn't happen?

Again, Thanks.....
Title: Re: Best way to open old *.blend files into new versions of Blender?
Post by: kat on February 05, 2018, 09:43:31 PM
Last question first: you can install as many versions of Blender as you need... just make sure each is installed to a version specific folder, e.g. install Blender 2.50 to a folder called "2.50" (or similar), Blender 2.60 to a different folder called "2.60" and so on. Blender is pretty flexible when doing this.

Most of the issues you're describing seem related to changes/differences in the way data is organised and handled in Blender, so I'm not entirely sure you'd be able to import/Append without it being necessary to manually update your projects to some degree.

With that in mind if you're loading "Object" data using "File > Append" it might then be worth reloading the "Actions" data after-the-fact... the behaviour exhibited might be due to the animation data being pulled in at the same time as the 'Objects' themselves so Blender merges them (possibly ready old data in a way that it can only merge rather than separate perhaps).

To tackle the assignment issues it might be worth creating a 'null' Action sequence, an Action that doesn't have any Pose or keyframe data, that can be temporarily assigned to something whilst you sort out other assignment issues.

As for the hardware issues, Blender should run up to a point, how well is largely down to the graphics card and driver support... it makes heavy use of OpenGL which isn't well support amongst embedded chips (Intel graphics family) so that might be why you're seeing such big differences.