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Codejoy

Need a 3d file format guru

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Okay, so I am entering new territory on several fronts: Making my first 3d game Making it on a embeded PalmOS based mobile platform(www.tapwave.com)(using a engine known as XForge, which is very similar to Direct3d) I have a friend who wrote a pretty slick 3d engine (that he used as a 2d game engine) and I have ported the bulk of that engine over and got a camera working, and some other nuances (main class working, object list etc..) The thing i am on now is file formats for: Our game has rooms that are just a box with most likely materials painted on the inside for details (we are trying to stay away from doing textured trinalges since the game is running in software no hardware3d accel). So the objects in the game will be: The rooms (again just basically a box with no ceileing) Objects in the room (things like tables, etc..) ANd the characters in the game itself (your character, and then the other bad guys). I have a 3d artist (thank god) who has 3d studio and does some kickbutt work. The problems arose though when he used character studio to add bones to the meshes he created to do quick good looking animations. So the problem is, the XForge engine (what our mobile platform comes with as part of the sdk for it) has no way to handle bones and skinned meshes. I have to write my own (arf). I am thinking about using www.cal3d.com for the basis of the code that I wrote my own (adapting it to xforge of course). Anyone else have any other recomendations? I have tried to get a md2 file loader up and running in the game engine (that uses the xforge api) but that didnt work as well as I hoped cause most the code i found was C (blah) or used stl (which xforge doesnt seem to like, stuff like #include <vector> it pukes on during compiliation something in the xforge libraries themselves) A bit of background: Xforge is a cross platform 3d api, very similar in calls to direct3d but built to run on pocketPC, palmOS, special palmoS devices (like the zodiac: www.tapwave.com) and even on the PC. It scales well from what I gather and is pretty easy to get the basics up and running. They have their file format with it and a exporter for 3ds max but that fileformat is pretty hard to figure out and write a loader for that works well in a game engine sense: as in class model : public XFFLoader or at least I cant figure it out (Admitingly 3d graphics and animation are not my strong point, other areas are) so that is why im here, any recomendations what i should use as a file format for: rooms, and objects and also for the characters (Which are animated using character studio bones). Md2 format I was going to use for the rooms and objects, but since the whole game doesnt use any textures just uses flat shaded material painted polygons for details (the view of the game will allow this to look good and should allow us to push quite a few mroe polys) then I am not sure if the md2 handles painted on materials? Any info there? Anyone have any other good file formats that are super easy to parse, can be exported from 3d stuido (since thats what my 3d artist uses), C++ code snipits using direct3d as a rendered are preferred if anyone has some code in their bag of tricks. Thanks for any help anyone can provide me (Even if moral support *Grin* ) _Shane

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The md2 would be fine, your just trying to cram it into your engine. First you must understand the code, then you can rewrite it to run on your engine. Also another place to start for simple animation would be the milkshape file (.ms3d).

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I didn''t think about a milkshape file, thats a good idea probably thanks. ya i found a lot of stuff after this post on descriptions of the md2 file format (I have openGL game programming book, good stuff is there even if in OpenGL, and then my Tricks of the 3d game programming gurus has a good blurb on md2 file format as well).

I assume, the keyframe animation is a PRS based animation not bones and skin (thus making life harder on my 3d artist if we wanted to use md2 for the characters in the game that animate)

It just feels bones and skin is overkill for the game from every standpoint minus the ease of animation on my 3d artist.

What to do what to do, any suggestions what route to follow?

_Shane

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Depends on the system specs, and model specs, how many verticies, how many bones. How will you export to md2 from 3dstudio? Most likely you will not be able to export animation data out of 3d studio. You''ll probably just want to export to .3ds, import in milkshape, and use that or a more simpler version and write your own exporter. Or you could write your own exporter for 3dstudio.

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Wellt hese are low poly models, and from a gamers perspective, i would be hard pressed to see theyd notice a difference btween keyframe, PRS and bones on the screen of the zodiac (for a mobile device its a big screen, but still nonetheless its a mobile device)

Writing a 3dsmax exporter would be difficult, since i dont have 3dsmax and im the only coder on the team.

All the game models themselves are low poly flat shaded (no textures) for the Frame count sake.

Shane

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