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What? No code?

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Yes, No code.

Yep, I haven't been doing much in the way of coding over the last few days. I've been sinking my head into some other tools-related stuff for game engines. Took a look at Ogre and Irrlicht. Its been tempting to port everything I have over to Ogre. Its got lots of nice features already implemented like mesh classes, GUI, scene management, paged terrain, etc. However, as things stand I think I'll continue to use my own engine.

Besides engine stuff, I've been looking at doing some mesh modelling (and investigating file specs involved). I had pretty much planned to use Milkshape up until now. However, I just found out that the file format doesn't store more than one animation! That's a pretty big flaw if you ask me. I'd really like to be able to model the character once and store all the animations for it in one file. Maybe I was looking at the wrong spec or something? I'm not keen on loading another copy of the mesh for every animation it uses. So instead I've been looking at Blender and I'm glad I did! Its a very feature-full program and while it's interface can look a bit daunting the first time you open it, tutorials like the Noob-to-Pro Wikibook make it relatively simple to get acclimatized. So instead I'm thinking of just exporting my objects from Blender to .x format and extracting everything from there.

So what does everyone else use? I'm looking for a relatively cheap modelling program, with a file format that can store the usual primitive data, smoothing/material groups, texturing info and animation sets. Preferably it shouldn't require an enigma device to load the mesh file either. Free Trunk Monkey to the person who can convince me that their modeller/file format combo is the best!
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I'm using MilkShape. It's not great, but it's clean and fast to learn, and the developer responds to your inquiries in minutes (even big complicated ones).

It also exports to damn near every format in the known universe.

Oh, and it's cheap.

Only problem is that it doesn't run on the Mac [grin]

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COLLADA is the future of all model/animation/effects related file formats. There are free exporters available for 3ds max.

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