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brcolow

Model Formats that "Bind"

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Hey, I am going to be making a third-person game, and it will involve weapons (what game doesn't :)). Therefore, I need to be able to display the character model but then also be able to bind a weapon to his hand and make it actually look realistic. I could, theoretically, create a new character model for each weapon, making him hold it but that is just not going to happen! What model formats can do this, which is the easiest to do this with, and how can it be done with that model format (for example, how would you tell it to bind to the "hand", how does it know what the hand is?). Thanks for any info, Mike

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MD2 and MD3 support this, and I'm sure alot of other formats do too.

In MD2 and MD3 it's done through what are called "tags" which are "hotspots" on the model specified for each frame (each "tag" has a name, like "tag_weapon" represents where the weapon model should be drawn, usually in the hand) and all you have to do is draw your main model, transform into the tag, and draw the weapon model...

It actually makes hierarchial things very easy to render, and even though it was designed for character models I'm currently using MD3s for a shootemup and planning on using tags for the always enjoyable giant articulated bosses.

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in Blitz3D you can set up your engine to work any which way you please. simplest is much like tags. Simply export a object or character rig with a child named node/pivot and create a seperate wepon with its local axis at the point where you want it to load and overlap the node.

create a simple array of weapon types referencing the weapon models, and you can toggle through them with whichever keys you define.

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MD2 has tags? is that for vweap or something? last i knew it didnt have tags, only md3... meh.. ive been wrong before.. lol
-Dan

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Guest Anonymous Poster
for md2, basically each weapon needs to be animated for the player model. you simply display both models and volia visual weapons on the model that are connected so to speak. In reality this is more of a hack since the earlier versions of the quake2 engine did not support visual weapons (ie other players could see the weapon you were using). It works quite well, and creating the content is not super difficult. however for each player model that has a different animation you will need a new set of animations for the weapons.

md3 supports a special tag that allows for weapon placing and transformation. Halflife and unreal tournament models have a special bone that is used for weapons. Though theoretically you could use the bones for a myrid of acessories like hats, boots, backbacks, etc.

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yeah that was my understanding (ive done md2 before) like for my die hard model (best movie evar!) i have mclain.tris (wasnt that the extension? i renamed it to md2 anyways) and weap.tris (ah maybe it was tris.md2 and weap.md2, im using my own naming scheme anyways) but yeah the weap.tris was just a weapon that followed the movement of the character (it escapes me why they didnt just have them include the weapon in the original model, except you could probably get more detail with the separate weapon file since you would be able to use different frame data (translation and scale and such) and of course, more polys since i believe the q2 format was limited on triangles iirc)

not that there was any point to that post... but yeah...
-Dan

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some people consider if bone animation (skeletal) but some dont, basically, md3's use the tags to simulate skeletal animation, by moving the tags around each frame (theres a tag_torso tag_leg ? tag_head) and they just move around as part of animations

hope that helps
-Dan

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MD3 Doesn't use skeletal animation.

You should decide whenever you use it or not.
If you will use skeletal animation you can just bind your weapon to any joint desired.

If your characters have lower polycount than 2000 faces per model, you don't need to bother with skeletal animation, since it will take you more time to implement as to create some small demo with MD3 files.

Take MilkShape .MS3D, it is very very easy, it suports skeletal animation and is able to import almost any popular game format to the editor and export as MS3D. You could reuse Unreal Tournament 2003 models.

1. You can not convert NON SKINED to SKINED animation
2. If you do not understand algebra, you will face big trouble!
3. With algebra i mean: matrices, vectors, determinants, quaternions

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