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Blender character animation

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superpig

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4E5 seems to be going pretty well. People are into it here, and I've also been publicising it a bit around the web (such as here, here, and here). Four new sponsors have signed up, too: Delgine have donated three copies of their DeleD environment modelling suite, IndiePath have donated a couple of copies of web runtime environment igLoader and a slot with their press team to put out a press release, Slitherine Software have donated six (signed!) boxed copies of their game Gates of Troy, and EZPCShop.com have donated GBP100 in cold hard cash.

And to think... I've still not announced the grand prizes [wink]

Other than 4E5, there's not much going on in my life at the moment - my end-of-year exams start on Tuesday, so in theory I'm revising for them, but in practice... eh, not so much. I'm going to do poorly on the datastructures and algorithms half of the first paper - mainly just because I don't know the details of the 30+ algorithms the course has covered - but I only need to answer one question from that half of the paper (provided I answer the whole of the functional programming half, which isn't a problem for me). I'm also going to completely flunk the maths paper - calculus and linear algebra - but if I do well in the others, it will hopefully not matter.

Oh, I'm going street-luging on Sunday though, with the OSF. It looks like I might be taking over their website too.

GDNet development will also be starting to crank up in the near future too. I'm getting development software sorted out (SVN, etc) and will soon be recruiting people for the dev team. One thing people may be surprised to hear is that I'm not looking for ASP experience - I'm not even looking for ASP.NET experience (though it helps). The project that I want to put everyone I recruit onto is building a specification for the existing site - describing how it behaves in a formal way - so that we have a framework in which to make changes or do rewrites. God knows parts of this creaking behemoth need rewrites.

In the surprisingly large amounts of free time I have left over, I'm trying to learn how character animation in Blender works. I'm not really trying to learn to animate - I don't have the artistic skills, really - but I want to learn how the process works so that I can understand how to build a content pipeline from it. I'm contemplating an article - "Building a character animation pipeline with Blender and Direct3D." Before I can write that, I need to understand how to build a character animation pipeline with Blender and Direct3D. At least I've got the Direct3D part sorted [wink]
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I've written an exporter from blender into my own keyframe animated format, but a skeletal format would probably be harder. I didn't look into it too deeply, but blenders skeletal format seemed fairly daunting. One thing to watch out for is that there's no easy way to tell (or specify within blender for that matter) how long actions (blenders name for animations) are. You can, however, find the first and last frame with a bit of effort, which was good enough for me.

If you've got any questions I might be able to help, just bear in mind I don't know python (my exporter is horrible as a result).

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