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What Model Format?

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Ok, I want to use a pre-existing model format and write my own loader for it for use within my soon to be conceived d3d game, now, im really just curious what types you use, and since i plan to use the model type in the futre as well, im curious if it supports skeletal animation... also, WHY do u use it over other model types? what do u like so much about it? (yeah thanks, sounds like some dumb essay question, but im really curious) thanx -Dan

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md2, md3, cd3, mdl, ms3d, etc....

"A soldier is a part of the 1% of the population that keeps the other 99% free" - Lt. Colonel Todd, 1/38th Infantry, Ft. Benning, GA

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I''ve just discovered a free md3 exporter for gmax - md3 looks good because it''s widely supported, easy to use (so I''m told), and the creator is happy for it to be used in other peoples'' commercial products.

Anything that can do keyframed mesh animation will probably be the most versatile for the effort involved. Skeletal animations are (I think) smaller diskspacewise, but require more power at runtime and are more work to load/display, although they can (at the cost of some of their versatility, and a fair bit more effort) be made to do things like keeping all of a model''s feet on the ground even if the ground is bumpy, or letting a model look one way while running the other.

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quote:
the creator is happy for it to be used in other peoples'' commercial products.


As long as you buy a licence off them which will cost you far more than a copy of 3D Max. If you use the MD3 exporter for it you should be fine as long as you give the game away, but if you sell it discreet would probably sue you.

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No, no. If this thread is correct, then id is happy for you to use the file format for whatever you wish, but you need a license if you wish to use the tools they provide for any purpose other than making not-for-profit Quake levels.

The link I posted, unless I''m muchly mistaken, is to a freeware md3 exporter for gmax, not the id software md3 exporter that comes with the tempest game pack. The latter is supplied with a crippled license, so they could quite happily sue you for using it in a commercial game, but the former is AFAIK genuinely free and unmunged.

The EULA for gmax itself contains no clauses regarding commercial use of gmax separately from any game packs, so I can''t see what ammo discreet could throw at you other than ''well, we didn''t mean for it to be used like that''.

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I know keyframe is faster at runtime, but it leaves a HUGE memory footprint if you want to have many animations and the said looking one way and running the other, also... i just keep seeing more and more games "boasting" skeletal animation, i think this trend suggests that the runtime overhead for skeletal animation cant be that huge... or at least doesnt affect modent gpus as much (with t&l and all)thanx
-Dan


PS: any other suggestions? or does everyone prefer md3?

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I''d start with MD3, as it''s simple and proven, and there are loads of models to try out on the net. It''s quake3 stuff, so can''t be bad. you can always use interpolation (quaternion / position) to smooth out anims and reduce the number of keyframes.

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trueSpace 3.2 is free, but hard to use. It''s object file ( *.cob ) and scene file ( *.scn ) are well documented on their website, you can download in a word document.

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The consensus here seems to be md3... where can i find some documentation on the filetype? Yes, i have googled it, most of what i got for "md3 documentation" was documentation for loaders... where would you suggest i look?
-Dan

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Guest Anonymous Poster
FYI - Unfortunately, the trueSpace 3.2 download page is currently broken because they removed the "Where did you hear about this product" entry from the download form but their form validation requires it to be filled in.

Whoops. I''ve emailed their webmaster so hopefully they''ll sort it out soon.

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I don''t think ill be using Truespace, im no modeler, but my freidn IS and he has Maya (PLE)... and there are a few md3 exporters for that... the only thing is hes still learning... where would you guys suggest i get some good 3d models that DONT have dependancies on quake3? (i dont have it :-/)
thanx everyone
-Dan

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Ademan555
I don''t think ill be using Truespace, im no modeler, but my freidn IS and he has Maya (PLE)... and there are a few md3 exporters for that... the only thing is hes still learning... where would you guys suggest i get some good 3d models that DONT have dependancies on quake3? (i dont have it :-/)
thanx everyone
-Dan


What do you mean dependencies to quake 3? It you have a program to view md3 files yuo should be able to load them there, quake 3 or not.

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I mean, im sure if i was to take a md3 from say, polycount, it would have references to something like q3.wad or something similar, because i DO want to load texture coordinates too...
-Dan

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