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DragControls with GLTF Animations

GLTF models exported with animations, often don't work with the DragControls, so one approach to solve the problem, is to create a secondary object, such as a cube, and bind the DragControls to that instead. Then adjust the position of your model group to the new position of the cube being dragged.

In this example, you can drag the animated GLTF model using the DragControls.

Resources

For this example, I have downloaded the Eve By J.Gonzales model with the Punching animation included. In Mixamo, i've selected the Eve character, then selected the animation tab and selected the Punching animation. I then downloaded using the FBX Binary(.fbx) and With Skin options. I've then imported the downloaded FBX into Blender and exported it as a GLB as described in previous lessons. I saved the model to my ./dist/client/models/ folder and named it as eve@punching.glb. You can choose a different model and animation if you prefer. Ensure to match the file name you saved with the file name that you load in the source code. Note that models created by different people were created for different purposes, so you may need to adjust some of the properties of the models either in Blender or traverse them after they are loaded as I have demonstrated in the previous videos.

Lesson Script

./src/client/client.ts

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import * as THREE from 'three'
import { OrbitControls } from 'three/examples/jsm/controls/OrbitControls'
import { GLTFLoader } from 'three/examples/jsm/loaders/GLTFLoader'
import Stats from 'three/examples/jsm/libs/stats.module'
import { DragControls } from 'three/examples/jsm/controls/DragControls'

const scene = new THREE.Scene()
scene.add(new THREE.AxesHelper(5))

const light1 = new THREE.PointLight()
light1.position.set(2.5, 2.5, 2.5)
light1.castShadow = true
scene.add(light1)

const light2 = new THREE.PointLight()
light2.position.set(-2.5, 2.5, 2.5)
light2.castShadow = true
scene.add(light2)

const camera = new THREE.PerspectiveCamera(
    75,
    window.innerWidth / window.innerHeight,
    0.01,
    1000
)
camera.position.set(0.8, 1.4, 1.0)

const renderer = new THREE.WebGLRenderer()
renderer.setSize(window.innerWidth, window.innerHeight)
renderer.shadowMap.enabled = true
document.body.appendChild(renderer.domElement)

const orbitControls = new OrbitControls(camera, renderer.domElement)
orbitControls.enableDamping = true
orbitControls.target.set(0, 1, 0)

const sceneMeshes: THREE.Mesh[] = []
let boxHelper: THREE.BoxHelper

const dragControls = new DragControls(sceneMeshes, camera, renderer.domElement)
dragControls.addEventListener('hoveron', function () {
    boxHelper.visible = true
    orbitControls.enabled = false
})
dragControls.addEventListener('hoveroff', function () {
    boxHelper.visible = false
    orbitControls.enabled = true
})
dragControls.addEventListener('drag', function (event) {
    event.object.position.y = 0
})
dragControls.addEventListener('dragstart', function () {
    boxHelper.visible = true
    orbitControls.enabled = false
})
dragControls.addEventListener('dragend', function () {
    boxHelper.visible = false
    orbitControls.enabled = true
})

const planeGeometry = new THREE.PlaneGeometry(25, 25)
const texture = new THREE.TextureLoader().load('img/grid.png')
const plane: THREE.Mesh = new THREE.Mesh(
    planeGeometry,
    new THREE.MeshPhongMaterial({ map: texture })
)
plane.rotateX(-Math.PI / 2)
plane.receiveShadow = true
scene.add(plane)

let mixer: THREE.AnimationMixer
let modelReady = false
const gltfLoader: GLTFLoader = new GLTFLoader()
let modelGroup: THREE.Group
let modelDragBox: THREE.Mesh

gltfLoader.load(
    'models/eve@punching.glb',
    (gltf) => {
        gltf.scene.traverse(function (child) {
            if (child instanceof THREE.Group) {
                modelGroup = child
            }
            if ((child as THREE.Mesh).isMesh) {
                child.castShadow = true
                child.frustumCulled = false
                ;(child as THREE.Mesh).geometry.computeVertexNormals()
            }
        })

        mixer = new THREE.AnimationMixer(gltf.scene)
        mixer.clipAction((gltf as any).animations[0]).play()

        modelDragBox = new THREE.Mesh(
            new THREE.BoxGeometry(0.5, 1.3, 0.5),
            new THREE.MeshBasicMaterial({ transparent: true, opacity: 0 })
        )
        modelDragBox.geometry.translate(0, 0.65, 0)
        scene.add(modelDragBox)
        sceneMeshes.push(modelDragBox)

        boxHelper = new THREE.BoxHelper(modelDragBox, 0xffff00)
        boxHelper.visible = false
        scene.add(boxHelper)

        scene.add(gltf.scene)

        modelReady = true
    },
    (xhr) => {
        console.log((xhr.loaded / xhr.total) * 100 + '% loaded')
    },
    (error) => {
        console.log(error)
    }
)

window.addEventListener('resize', onWindowResize, false)
function onWindowResize() {
    camera.aspect = window.innerWidth / window.innerHeight
    camera.updateProjectionMatrix()
    renderer.setSize(window.innerWidth, window.innerHeight)
    render()
}

const stats = Stats()
document.body.appendChild(stats.dom)

const clock = new THREE.Clock()

function animate() {
    requestAnimationFrame(animate)

    orbitControls.update()

    if (modelReady) {
        mixer.update(clock.getDelta())
        modelGroup.position.copy(modelDragBox.position)
        boxHelper.update()
    }

    render()

    stats.update()
}

function render() {
    renderer.render(scene, camera)
}

animate()