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3D horses

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Guys please advise, Ok I am familiar with 2D and Direct X8. But I need to make a 3D application which runs horses in a race based on the data given. Think of it as a simulator if u will. Now this needs to be 3D, how am I going to look into this? Use 3D max to make my horse animations? Use Direct X 9? I really dont know how to do this in 3D!? Any direct /books ideas are more than welcome. Thanks guys

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I can send you a horse model in 3ds or max where you can modify the body parts to animate it. Then just do your animations and export it as an x file or something.

-UltimaX-

"You wished for a white christmas... Now go shovel your wishes!"

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Mate, any help would be great,
I have just emailed you at your address.

As i said i have played with the 3D Max tutorials, and the animation ones. So will have a play with the horse.
Just need to learn how tu use the x files in Direct X !
Ill get there yet!

pete..

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It''s on it''s way.
It''s around 1 meg because there''s the .3ds, .max, and the texture.

Have a good one,

-UltimaX-

"You wished for a white christmas... Now go shovel your wishes!"

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I don''t know whether to support the efforts here, or cry. In a way, this thread plays off of the "Elves are part of the problem" thread nicely, and is sort of an example of bringing to the forefront the qualifications and motivations (and general thinking) of game developers.

I''d really like to see this thread develop into something more substantive.

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So tell me, are the horses in the races quarters or thoroughbreds? Also, are you doing the full gamut of colorations: greys, chestnuts, bays, blacks, sorrels, and so on? How are the markings? Blazes, stars, snips, socks, etc.

Sometimes during races, one of the horses will attempt to nip another along side him. Really great stuff to watch.

What do you think of Stormcat''s stud fee?

Have you read William Nack''s story entitled "Pure Heart"?

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quote:
Original post by BlackEye
Bishop no offence buddy! But what the hell are you on about!?!!
"Elves !?" Your mad ! lol !!!
You really don't want to insult bishop_pass when it comes to horses...

EDIT: <nazi>That should be you're, not your</nazi>

[edited by - Useless Hacker on December 1, 2003 12:42:57 PM]

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quote:
Original post by Salsa
Looks like you showed him, bishop. I''ll bet he thinks twice before ever thinking about trying to model a horse again.


And even that''s still in taxidermied/rocking horse territory - quite frankly getting the animation right is an interactive situation has a number of scary issues - Muybridge will be turning in his grave ...

--
Simon O''Connor
3D Game Programmer &
Microsoft DirectX MVP

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Why so anal? The guy is just trying to simulate horseracing. Give him a break. And while you''re at it, you might think twice about hijacking other peoples'' help-wanted threads to use as your own soap-box.

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I agree with above AP.

From what I gather from the original post:

But I need to make a 3D application which runs horses in a race based on the data given . Think of it as a simulator if u will.

It seems to me, that he is not wanting to race realtime, but rather play back a race in the virtual world. So it doesn''t really matter what kind of horses etc it are, because it''s only the positions of them that is really interesting in such a ''recreation''. And making it 3D is only a choice, albeit one which has the consequence of needing to animate the horse, to make it look even remotely correct.

BlackEye: Depending on the quality of the graphics you''re after, I would use static body parts, and then animate them in the simulator. That way you can be sure that the feet do not ''slide'' over the ground while the horses are running. Else you''ll have to time that just right with the running animation.

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Why so anal? The guy is just trying to simulate horseracing. Give him a break. And while you''re at it, you might think twice about hijacking other peoples'' help-wanted threads to use as your own soap-box.




Who is that aimed at? - me?

hijacking?, soapbox? - eh?

so what''s so wrong about myself & bishop_pass saying that "simulating" a horse race based on race data isn''t a trivial thing? It''s on-topic too so I don''t see where you get the hijacking and soap box come from.

Animating a horse ("3d application which runs horses" in the OP implies animation) based on a pre-defined animation at one speed created in a package such as 3DS Max is easy enough (once you have the animation data).

However if the OP is intending "simulating" the race (i.e. changes in speed, direction, jumps, falls etc), particularly "based on data given" (since the nature of that data wasn''t described, I can only assume that means race data and past performance data), then that animation becomes an extremely difficult problem to solve (a horses gait changes a lot depending on what its doing, and blending between those for animation purposes isn''t an easy thing).
There are a number of university researchers around the world who''ve spent their entire academic careers on the issues and are still trying to solve them effectively - if you think there''s an easy answer to the OPs question - why not try that simulation yourself and post the results...


If all the original poster wants is to move a 3D model of a horse with a pre-canned, single speed animation around a fixed race course, then that''s easy:

- do the animation and horse in a package such as Max and use the exporter in the SDK to export to a .X file.

- modify a DirectX SDK sample to display and playback that animated .X file.

- load the course in the same way.

- store a spline regarding the pefect racing line around the course.

- translate the position of each horse according to the position on the spline plus any AI and/or random variation.

A couple of weeks work at the most (assuming you already have the animated horse model - there might be some available on the internet). Move into "simulation from real world data" and I''d say to do it properly you''re talking a year, maybe a couple at the least!
- It was that which I was commenting on - and I suspect also that bishop_pass was commenting on the same from the visual point of view.


Cowards who hide behind a thin veil of anonymity to do their flaming really do annoy me, congratulations. If you have some problem with me, if I have committed some misdemeanor toward you, come out and say it face to face FFS!

[I really do hope the whole Anonymous Poster thing is rethought for the new boards - People posting under a pseudonym so your employer doesn''t know:fine. People (including cowardly existing board members) using anonymous posting purely to flame or troll:not good at all for the sense of community]

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A: I''d like to have 3d horse in some software. Any pointers?
B:yes try this
C: HA! YOU CANT ACCURATELY SIMULATE A HORSE LIKE THAT! THE UNIVERSE IS FRACTAL AND INFINITE AND YOU MUST SIMULATE TO AT LEAST MY UBER LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE. BUT YOU DON''T KNOW AS MUCH SO YOU MAY AS WELL GIVE UP!
D: Yeah!
E: shut up c
D: Wa? Is that to me? Hmm I''d better put some semi informative shit here so it looks like I was trying to help.

how''s that for simulation? no elves required...

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quote:
Original post by mrbastard
A: I''d like to have 3d horse in some software. Any pointers?
B:yes try this
C: HA! YOU CANT ACCURATELY SIMULATE A HORSE LIKE THAT! THE UNIVERSE IS FRACTAL AND INFINITE AND YOU MUST SIMULATE TO AT LEAST MY UBER LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE. BUT YOU DON''T KNOW AS MUCH SO YOU MAY AS WELL GIVE UP!
D: Yeah!
E: shut up c
D: Wa? Is that to me? Hmm I''d better put some semi informative shit here so it looks like I was trying to help.

how''s that for simulation? no elves required...


Thank you. Finally, someone who can give their honest opinion without hiding behind anonymity!

As much as I disagree, if that''s the way my posts and myself are percieved around here (third flame today - wahoo, mr popular), I''m obviously doing something very wrong so I may as well fuck off then. There''s more productive ways to waste my time (perhaps bettering my less than ûber level of knowledge).


One request I would make is that people starting new topics requesting help be as explicit and careful as they can when specifying what they want. If you ask for "simulation", be sure you mean simulation and all that it implies (precision, accuracy etc). If you mean interaction, say so. If you just want an animated rocking horse on a rail, say so.

Better specified questions get better answers.


l8rz kids - its been smashing. Have fun.

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For some reason, programmers and animators often are of the mistaken belief that they have within their grasp the ability to create quality stuff outside their realm of passion or expertise, whatever that may be.

It''s as if the world can be quantified in simple terms if it isn''t something they are passionate about. What games show off quality material? The answer is exactly those games which the subject matter was something the developers were passionate about - usually something along the lines of elves, orcs, auto racing or military hardware. Is is any coincidence that twenty something individuals involved in the tech/animation industry usually are most interested in that type of subject matter? That''s just the way it is.

Somewhere along the way - I don''t know when - there will be others entering the game industry with different interests to stir things up. Or those twenty somethings will become thirty somethings or forty somethings, gain new interests, yet remain in the game development field to energize the industry.

As it stands right now, we have in this industry, individuals willing to put in hard work and research and passion into the subjects related to elves and orcs, military hardware and warfare, and auto racing. We don''t appear to yet have many individuals willing to put in hard work and research and passion into the realm of the equestrian world.

If you think about it, look at the Spanish Conquistadors - they attribute their victories to the horse. Until WWI, most wars were won where the victor''s side was due to their advantage with regard to their horse resources. The medieval period in time had a lot to do with horses - knights, messengers, the Crusades and so on. There is in fact a great deal of equestrian material that can be incorporated into the genres that are already overweight in the game industry, but that opportunity has largely been overlooked, in part because they don''t see it - aren''t even aware of it really, they being more mesmerized by the mighty sword.

Thankfully, the people who made the Seabiscuit movie actually gave a damn - Lauren Hillenbrand, the author wrote a wondeful book, and is a major racing fan. She, like the director of the movie, both have their own Secretariat video, and absolutely love it. It''s perfectly understandable, and necessary, that quality entertainment is produced by those who are passionate about the period/pursuit they strive to recreate.

It doesn''t just take a good movie director or a good movie writer to make a good product. They have to be passionate about the specifics of what they''re recreating, and research it. Their research has to be driven by their own fascination. Game developers, programmers and animators would do well to take a hint. Until then, please - just stick with elves, orcs, guns and auto racing.

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S1CA:

Sorry if I put you off. My intention was to wake you up a bit, not insult you into going away. I've seen numerous posts where you've been helpful and informative too. Stay. Ignore me. Maybe chill a bit.

In my 'humourous' simulation of the thread, you are D, bishop_pass is C. My implication was that C was being a bit antisocial and that D was just over defensive. (probably due to getting flamed all day yeah? )

I agree that better questions get better answers, but it's fairly obvious that the OP was only asking for a simple push in the right direction. It would have been nice if as you say, he'd have specified ultra realistic simulation or simple rocking horse on a wire - but I think we can agree the OP didn't know enough about game development (and related stuff) to ask the question that eloqently. And in order to work out how to ask the real questions, he'd obviously have to ask the really dumb ones first. At least he isn't convinced he's going to code Doom4 by spending all his time arguing in forums, unlike other people we've given advice to....

It's a shame that bishop_pass decided to use it as an example of how all these horrible newbies don't think things through to a deep enough level and ask all the wrong questions and god how pointless they are. I can empathise with his viewpoint, it's just not very nice to use a newbies "help me" thread to illustrate a point, especially when it's a point the newbie won't get (only people with a vague idea of the elves thread would get it) and it's done in a way that could be construed as insulting.

Anyway, sorry if I insulted you - my intention was just to gently take the piss.



[edited by - mrbastard on December 3, 2003 10:32:47 AM]

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bishop_pass: I agree with most of what you just said. But I have no idea what it has to do with the OP. Your implication is that he shouldn't look into doing ANYTHING with horses because he hasn't got a passion for them. But how do you know that?

You also assume that the poster will have a passion for orcs elves and guns.... But he never mentioned them. Thats just the point YOU wanted to make in HIS thread.

It's worth pointing out that many many games about orcs and guns are made by people with no passion at all for those things... But the majority of computer game buyers are 14 year old boys who are REALLY passionate about orcs and guns, so that's where the market lies.

edited to avoid triple post, sorry. small addendum.

[edited by - mrbastard on December 3, 2003 10:38:22 AM]

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quote:
Original post by mrbastard
It''s a shame that bishop_pass decided to use it as an example of how all these horrible newbies don''t think things through to a deep enough level and ask all the wrong questions and god how pointless they are.
I was absolutely not talking about newbies, but was talking about professionals in the game industry. I have no idea whether the OP is a newbie or a professional, but that does not change the fact that everything I said is really about the professionals.

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quote:
Original post by bishop_pass
I was absolutely not talking about newbies, but was talking about professionals in the game industry. I have no idea whether the OP is a newbie or a professional, but that does not change the fact that everything I said is really about the professionals.



OK, sorry. So not about newbies, but posted in a thread requesting a vague idea of how to put a 3d horse on the screen...

Maybe we''re talking at crossed purposes here - you and S1CA have some good points, I just don''t think this guys "help me" thread was the place to make them. Maybe I should join your elves thread for a good discussion, or start a new one about how it''s a bit rude to rant on about your philosophy of the game industry in an unrelated thread..(especially with me inadvertantly making S1CA cry... no offense dude, only joking)..I''m just making it worse by continuing aren''t I...

So basicly, you guys wanted to have an indepth "how to animate and render realistic horses" thread. Cool. You came across as just being dismissive of the OP though. I''d say it''s my fault misunderstanding you, but it came across to several other people in the same way. It''s down to replies in a forum looking like replies to the OP, but really you were just talking to yourselves.

How about starting that "how to animate and render a realistic horse" thread then?

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quote:
Original post by mrbastard
How about starting that "how to animate and render a realistic horse" thread then?
And just what kind of responses would one get? Virtually nobody believes it is worth pursuing, precisely because of the reasons I have suggested. Sure, some people might think it would be worth pursuing, but they'd approach it from the perspective I have accused most in the industry of - that is to say, they believe the level of depth necessary for such a subject is about equal to their level of knowledge with regard to the subject, which is minimal.

Please, prove me wrong, and show me that there are individuals who are talented and passionate about the subject, and believe that many genres could benefit from in depth passionate study and animation of the horse.



[edited by - bishop_pass on December 3, 2003 11:36:08 AM]

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sorry, I''m not that interested in the subject. I can see how some musculature simulation would be cool, some shell/fin fur for a mane maybe (or cloth simulation / particle system crossover), and that you could spend years trying to accurately model the physics of a horses movement (yeah, I''m limited by my knowledge of both horses and graphics). I can also see that theres no more to it than simulating a human, and that in fact you could simulate ANYTHING to any depth you chose to. It''s a matter of choice depending on application.

My only reason for posting in this thread was to ''defend'' a newbie (or someone I perceived as one) from two elder members of the community, who were doing a good job of disuading him from trying. I''m (now) fairly sure that wasn''t your intention. It seems you just wanted to start a more in depth discussion about something you feel passionate about. Fair enough.

As I''ve said though, it came across as just an attempt to belittle the OP for not waning to investigate to the same depth you do. I don''t think that''s acceptable.

It may be that I was wrong, and that neither you or S1CA had any intention of being deliberately nasty to the OP. In that case I appologise.

The reason I suggested starting a new thread was that then anyone interested could just read the simulation discussion and not the argument over whether you were over harsh on the noob (and all the bits where I insult people over misunderstandng their intentions, obviously )

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Here's a recent photograph I took of my friend's thoroughbred. The horse's name is Jimmy, and he's a retired race horse. I took the photo about a month ago with a Nikon N90s SLR. Since then, I'm using a Nikon D100 6 megapixel digital SLR.

Jimmy's hooves are in full suspension - he is in a sedate gallop, turning circles (clockwise circles), with what appeas to ba a right lead, which would be optimal. A gallop, canter or lope are non symmetrical gaits, having both left and right leads. When a horse is turning while performing a non symmetrical gait, it is desirable for the horse to have the proper lead, otherwise the rider will feel a somewhat sideways motion with the horse.

When doing figure eights, it should become clear that a change in leads is necessary for optimal performance. If the change in leads is done with no slowdown, you what is called a flying lead change, which is really quite something.



[edited by - bishop_pass on December 3, 2003 11:55:47 AM]

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