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Model Refactoring

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Before I dive into the networking layer, I wanted to do some refactoring on my model system. I'm off to a good start, and I am really excited about the direction I am taking with my 3d model format.

In previous screenshots, you probably have noticed that dude in the white shirt and brown pants. Model is a milkshape3d model that I load directly into Azrial. When transitioning from the Azrial prototype to its current incarnation, I made the executive decision to phase out m2d models in favor of a format that supports skeletal animation; bringing me to the ms3d format.

I am now just starting to really reap [some of] the benefits of skeletal animation. Prior to this post, my model format allowed for 1 child model, a weapon, to be attached to a specific joint, the main hand. Although the mainhand joint was located at loadtime, the whole joint updating for the child model was essentially hardcoded (only 1 child model allowed and only 1 joint was expected to be attached). I have recently generalized this process to allow for attaching multiple submodels, and linking multiple joints. So now, instead of just rendering a character model and a an optional weapon, I can render a base character model, with customized hair, armor, shield, etc.

This still requires more testing, but so far so good. My initial list of submodels I plan on adding are as follows:

  • hair
  • facial hair
  • shoulder armor
  • shield
  • stowed shield
  • main-hand weapon
  • stowed weapon
  • offhand object (second weapon, held charm)

    The next model modification I will be adding is the concept of animation channels, inspired by a reply from xEricx here (definite ++rating). With this, I will be able to render more versatile animations, such as swinging a weapon while running. I am currently designing how this will be done within Azrial, but once I have this working I'll be sure to post more screenshots!
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