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Chris_N

Modeling format

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If you wish to create a new file-format( yes I have used the .X format... So please don't give me that tips :) ), for my Engine( using Directx, and Maya 6.0), but I'm a bit lost on how to do that.. Please if you have written any format, will you share how you did it?

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There are two things you need to think about:

1. You're using Maya - what formats does it output? what can you export/save your data as?
- Do any of these contain the information in a usable form?
- Can you convert any of these formats into something you can use?
- Can you write a plug-in/extension for Maya to write a custom file for you. I know that this is often common-practice with 3DSMax users.

2. Are there any other libraries/commercial formats that fit what you want?
- A simple case of "why re-invent the wheel". If someone has published details on a suitable format, you can save yourself time and effort by using it. Maybe.
- Various game formats are documented on the net - Half Life (.mdl) and Quake (.MD3) seem popular with some people.


You'll have a lot of choices if you only need/want static geometry and simple materials, but as soon as you need animation and/or complex materials things will get tricky [smile]

hth
Jack

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For my graphics engine I designed my model format to reflect as many features of Maya as I felt I could implement in a decent amount of time. I would suggest learning the Maya API and getting a feel for how Maya holds it data, and the relations between each node of the DAG path. In the end my model format turned into a list of nodes for each type of data I had, and then data within a node could either be defined within itself, or request an output from another node. For example a material node could use a color value, or request a color value output from a texture. The engine itself knows how to handle each instance. I then wrote a maya exporter to get my models from Maya to my model format.

Not really sure if that helps you, but that's what I did, got to rush off to work now...

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