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external animation files...

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Hello Everyone I was thinking about animation latley and how I would like to handle it in my engine. The older way is to store all animations in a single file and then use keyframes and such to use to correct animation. However, I see that a lot of games nowdays are starting to use a base mesh and then several animation files such as run.anim, jump.anim etc. My question is, can this be done with using any model editor such as ms3d? Also, I can see how this would really make ai easier (controling animation). but can physcis be applied easily to the animations? Thanks.

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I did some thinking about this post and realized that my questions were not what I was wondering about. My questions
were actually: How do you apply a animation to a mesh and
how can you apply physics to the skeleton if its not part of
the mesh its self?


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Guest Anonymous Poster
Search the net for resources on "Skeletal animation" - I believe that''s what you''re looking for. The short version: In skeletal animation your meshes has a skeleton inside them, each vertex in the mesh being assigned (or "attached" to either just one bone (old-school style.. HL1 for example) or multiple bones with weights (most often used these days). The skeleton only has relatively few bones... maybe something like 30 for a humanoid character.

The animation files then stores keyframed animations for the skeleton.. so it''s the skeleton you animate each frame. Once the skeleton is animated you "skin" it with the mesh.. ie. update the mesh according to the animated skeleton and the skinning information (which bones should a vertex orient itself after).

I don''t understand exactly what you''re asking about with regard to physics. Are you asking how to do simple "character-level" collision detection physics.. or are you asking how to combine a rag-doll with a bone system?

- Kasper Fauerby

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