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Pipo DeClown

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I''ve been learning Direct3D with Programming Role-Playing GAmes with DirectX by Jim Adams, and I find him not explaining the X file very well, and I find it kinda hard to learn. Should I learn to load other fileformats or keep learning X files?

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I''ve not read that book, but with D3DX in DirectX 8 you can load an X File mesh in one function call, and then render it in about 3 lines of code... I don''t think it gets any easier than that.

Also the file format is well documented in the DirectX documentation that comes with the DX8 SDK.

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Pipo,
How do you like that book?
I went to Borders intending to purchase it, but it didn''t seem to go into too much detail on skinned meshes, which is what I am really interested in right now, so I didn''t buy it.
I''d be interested to hear your feelings on the book.

Shawn

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I don't like the concept of using a premade Core(sorta lib) by himself, it doesn't teach you how to program the smallest bits.
But if you're planning to make an RPG that core is good, I don't know, I think it's not the best D3D book, but it is the best D3D/RPG making book!

[edit] You can always look through the source code, but with all those functions and classes, it gets confusing!

hope ya read it Jimmy!

[edited by - Pipo DeClown on November 1, 2002 5:17:57 PM]

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quote:

I don''t like the concept of using a premade Core(sorta lib) by himself, it doesn''t teach you how to program the smallest bits.



It seems you might have missed the first 1/3 of the book! Everything in the core was covered in the first couple hundred pages, such as initializing D3D (DSound, DInput, etc), and drawing meshes and polygons, setting textures, loading & playing sound effects, playing music, using DLS patches, etc. I hold to all the reviews that says it shows the basics to DX in a quick and easy manner.

quote:

I went to Borders intending to purchase it, but it didn''t seem to go into too much detail on skinned meshes,

I find him not explaining the X file very well



No, the book was really based on making RPGs, not to teach the various stuff about DirectX (skinned meshes and the .X file format). I tried to pack as much basic information about DirectX in there to make a game. Unfortunately, that means I had to not include a lot of things I wish I could have added.

quote:

I''ve not read that book, but with D3DX in DirectX 8 you can load an X File mesh in one function call, and then render it in about 3 lines of code... I don''t think it gets any easier than that



Sure, if you only want a static, non-dynamic mesh (skinned meshes). Also, you can''t read custom or extra data on meshes if you don''t parse the .X file yourself.

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I think the classes should be made by the user, not premade.
YOu could write some non-OOP stuff, then tell the user/reader to write a class out of it.

But well, it's more about hte RPG-ing.
In most source codes, you have to search a long time before you find what you're searching for...

And the one with the frustrum culling, I see that you go into the source code, telling the reader to view it. You should at least explain the functions, I think. Should I know how to handle Matrices like:
m_Plane[0].a = matrix._14 + matrix._13; (cFrustrum::Construct())
I dont know what you're doing, not even a little bit!


[edited by - Pipo DeClown on November 1, 2002 6:53:33 PM]

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quote:

I think the classes should be made by the user, not premade.
YOu could write some non-OOP stuff, then tell the user/reader to write a class out of it.



Not really. Here''s the problem - I need to show code in the book to make things easier to understand. Instead of needlessly showing the same bit of code over and over and over again, I show a class interface that you''ve already read about and used. It doesn''t matter on the class''s underlying code - if you don''t like it, don''t use it. The fact is that with that one class interface I''ve proven what you need to do at that exact point in the text without wasting a bunch of space.

As with anything, you can''t please everybody. Some people like it, some thing it didn''t have enough, etc. All in all, I think the book does a very admiral job of teaching the one thing it states - to make an RPG game. It doesn''t try to teach a bunch of 3-D mathematical calculations and the specifics behind each (the plane equations for instance). I''ll leave that job to a book dedicated to the math - mine was a book on making games.


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Hi,

I have PRPG, and it is a very good book. I think that Jim did a good job in teaching the concepts before creating a core or library, so that the user actually understands what he/she is using. I don''t use Jim''s core, but I used it to model my current engine. I don''t know about Jim, but I think it was intended as an example, or something so that the very impatient people would be able to hammer out a game in a short amount of time.

I find most computer books are very hard to work with, because most people (including some authors) do not know how to "read" a computer book. You need to approch it very dynamically, not in any order (ie, chap 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). What I mean is, you can''t just say your going to sit down and read the whole book and then expect to know everything

You need to use it as a type of reference. When you need more information, you can sit down and read a few chapters. Otherwise, just have it on your desk so you can quickly refer to it when you are stuck. I think Jim did a good job of separating practical from theory. In-between code there is not much writing, so it is easy to find things quickly.

I was also disapointed to see that skinned x-files were not addressed in the book, but now I realize that it would have been very hard to fit them in, as they are a big topic. I think that Microsoft should really devote a large portion of the sdk to skinned x files in the next release.

Until some other resource comes out for loading skinned x files, I guess we''ll either have to use another format (such as MD2) or spend countless hours searching the web or someones code.

Fuzztrek

¬_¬

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I'm not disliking it, its a GREAT book, but I, myself, expected more programming with Direct3D -and maths.

I find Jim a genius, like the cStateManager, I couldnt have come up with anything better then that...

assert( g_bPeace == true );

[edited by - Pipo DeClown on November 2, 2002 8:42:16 AM]

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No problem. I wish it could have been more advanced as well, but as it is now, the spine keeps breaking None of us (my publisher or I) knew the book would end up so big at the printer. After my new book, I think I just want to write a few articles for my web page to help clear those other missed topics up.

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I have read about using x files and stuff, and im currently trying to understand the skinned mesh in SDK, but what I could not figure out is, how to animate these .x files. I tried to create my character in 3ds max and animated it. But I guess the xfile exporter would not export key framed animation... so how can I export or create my animation...
Some guy told me that it was in the animationset {}
So will I change every single element in the mesh?

i hope someone could help.

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