First of all: HI I stumbled across this forum again and again when I tried to dig deeper into the structure of Silent Hill 2. A few clever guys in the community managed to get many files of different types out of this game. The 3D Environments and even the 3D Characters with usable UV maps were ripped. So for me there is the question would it be possible to get the animation files working outside of SH2? In a 3D editor maybe? I am studying cumputer science but I am not an expert in 3D animation Datastructures. So here is what I think by just investigating the SH2 Folderstructure and Naming: I bet that *.anm are all the Animationfiles... the files are named and divided in a way that maybe only the really required data is loaded into the RAM. Maybe a legacy thing from the PS2 version? We got some Animationfiles with special names for special stuff like cutscenes and on the other hand literally "basic" animationfiles (I think mostly walking-loops, idle- and combatanimations). I can not estimate how costly all this numbercrunshing is, but I do not think that the animations are stored based on bonemovement. I think that would be a touch too much for good old Emotion Engine. That means that the animations have to be realized by just changes of vertexcoordinates. I think they worked keyframebased too, because by using keyframe based animation, it is a lot easier to maintain smooth animations while having no stable or locked Framerate. And I think that the frameratetarget for SH2 was 30fps on the PS2, even if the framerate was lower sometimes on that system.
So lets sum up the assumptions: 1. There is more than one animation or one loop in an *.anm file, so its more like a container of animations, not a single animation. 2. Cutsceneanimations and ingameanimations are stored in seperate files. But every character in a cutscene has a seperate animationfile. -> There are no animations for two different characters stored in the same file. 3. Vague Guess: The animations are stored based on Vertexmovement rather than bonemovement (considering there are not THAT many animations in the game combined with the not soo tiny animation filesizes. 4. The animations are keyframebased (to save a little bit of memory and to avoid getting problems with lower or higher framerates than the original target) 5. All the information is right there, which means that SH2 does not use dynamic animations or inverse kinematics in any way. All the animations are static and the discrete information is there... somewhere.
The problem is that I do not have all the in-depth knowledge of 3D filestructures and stuff and I don't really know where and how I should start reverse-engineering the filesystem. And I do not really know if it is possible to reverse engineer these filestructures at all. So maybe there is someone here who has the knowledge do this.
I remember running ePSXe in my mac and I tuck some time to find a PEOPS plug-in... Sometimes it just does not work for a mysterious reason. One alternative is to use virtualization (as Virtual Box), than you can fully customize your OS. But you're need a good machine as virtualization decreases the speed a lot. If I were you, I will work with Xubuntu and Virtual Box.