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Hierarchical Skeletonal Animation

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Does anyone know of any guides about to use hierarchical animated/skeletal models? I''ve written a class which uses frame by frame animation like that in an md2, but my vertex buffers are getting stupidly big. I''m looking for something that covers what file formats to use, and how to display and animate a skeletal model. Preferably D3D but I can understand OGL too. I''m *not* that interested in skinned models with vertex blending at the moment. Thanks...

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I was thinking in that too.

I supose I''ll use a hierarchical skeletonal definition file (the bones), and a transformation/moves files, this last contains rotations of each bone every frame of a move.

Remember that translations don''t exist except for pivot (you can''t translate a hand, only rotate it).

I have no time to prove all this stuff, but I think it works (better or worse, of course).

My plann was make it bvh-compatible (bvh is a extended hierarchical capture-moves files, imported by character studio and others) I have a plugin to load it with Blender also.

Well, I hope some of this will help you.

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I have a couple of articles on my website on skinning techniques as well as handling animation for skeletal systems. Most people use custom format for animation (though some use .X). I have also used Mocap formats directly though they tend to be big due to being ASCII. For the animation stuff, look at the articles on Quaternion blended animation:

Motion capture file formats:

If you get to matrix palette skinning, there are demos in the DXSDK and from NVidia but my own articles may help. From a while back but the techniques are still valid (even the D3D shaders).

You can combine all these techniques into a nice little animation system (in fact I have many times


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