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I finally got it to work
Workflow should be simple - select meshes (models can have several surfaces), select armature, export. No need to mess with layers
or have only single mesh
I personally not comfortable with constraints you impose in the exporter on how scene should be made, how animation should be done and how it should be exported.
Why the layersYou generally don't need all of your bones in the MD5. Much of the armature in a moderately complex setup is helper bones, which need to be filtered out. What you suggest results in all of that fluff ending up in the export result. This is not what I would want, but if you're OK with that, just put them all in layer 5. That's one keypress and one click.
The messing bitThere's a script included in the readme to help stuff the MD5 layer.
Tough. But then, how are those constraints more severe than in other exporters?
Leave it up to artist to have a layer active with bones he wants to export. It can be any layer, as long as it's active.
The idea that artist has to put bones into layer 5 is ridiculous
I might want my export bones to be in layer 1 and someone else likes to have them in layer #last.
one for 2.49, where you can pick out what you need to export, where you need to export
If the purpose here is to produce a general MD5 script then these are valid concerns. If not, and you just want to release "Arx MD5", then you can happily ignore what's being said/requested. But, it's important to make sure potential users clearly understand this otherwise topics like this can quickly descend into flame-fests.