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suliman

include animated meshes in my project?

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Hi I need animated meshes to be drawn in my game, I tried irrlicht, but it requires me to run in a "irrlicht-window" forcing me to scrap pretty much everything I got so far (or at least redo tremendous amount of stuff) I tried it for many weeks but with bad results. What I look for: <> Draw animated meshes of any useable sort (node or draw directly to screen but i guess some sort of "node-class" is generally what you use) <> Able to incooperate that feature in my existing app. Thanks for any tips that might lead me in a good direction! Does ogre work? Suliman

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You probably want to take a look at Cal3D. It requires you to write your own rendering functions, but the work you have to do is very minimal. The only downside as far as I'm aware is that you have to export every material/object individually (from 3ds Max or Milkshape). I couldn't tell you exactly how difficult it is to export to as I've not gotten that far yet as I'm busy working on other things, but the results look to be really nice and you could get the code setup to render it within an hour or two including time to read the documents.

IIRC it has support for changing body parts/items/etc and allows you to apply new skins to pieces as well.

I should also mention that it will work seamlessly with your own project as all you have to do is build the library from their source. Then include the lib in your project and use as you wish... no special windows required or anything.

Anyhoo, hope it helps.

Steve

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Ah but I don't know enough about 3d-theory to draw a 3d-render function. Maybe someone has done it already?

But cal3d only handles skeletal-meshes, isn't that a major flaw?

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As far as I know skeletal animation is the animation technique most often used in games. The only other method I can think of is blended morph targets, as was used for the facial expressions of the character in NVidia's Dawn demo. I don't know if blended morph targets are very standard.

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Ok seems good (that skeleton-thing)

1. Is there users on the library so you can get some functions?
2. It says it can handle at least 20-30 meshes at the same time. Seems a bit little if you do a RTS. Any ideas here?

Thanks for your info.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I think you are trying to learn to run before you can even crawl. Learn a language like C++, C#, VB, etc to an advanced degree. Read a ton of books (library cards rule) or find online papers. Learn a lot of math and then finally start off with something simple, like a 2D game. Don't try to start off with a 3D RTS off the bat. You'll just get frusterated and quit, what happened to my brother. Now at 30 he's going back to school for programming, wasted a good 15 years because he tried to bite off more then he could chew.

Amazingly parents DO know more then they seem, as what my father said happened exactly to my brother.

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Hmm a simple answer would be more constructive. Ive done a couple of 2d-games already and my rts is running fine in 2d, and most of the functionality needs not to be changed at all in the port to 3d, but I need meshes.

I learn by trying, and you?

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I can't speak for them, but I'm pretty sure that you could render more than 20-30 models at a time with ease. All the libraries require you to do is receive some information about polygons/materials, if you make your models low-poly, with no simulated cloth, smallish textures and few animations, then I['m sure you could quite easily render enough models for an RTS. I think the 20-30 meshes number sounds more like it would be a target for rendering complex models with a high enough number of animations for a first person shooter, possibly with cloth simulation.

So basically put, I think you'll be fine so long as you're up to the standard of implementing the library, which by the sounds of your previous projects, you will be.

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Sound good Mephs. Does the lenght of the animation put weight on CPU or graphicscard? Seems strange, if it still draws the mesh and changes the frame each tick, why is longer anims thougher? Or did I misunderstand you? The other weights on 3d im familiar with (just simplified the bullet-node for my machineguns in another game, making it 20 times quicker...).

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Ignore the anonymous poster. That post is entirely inappropriate.

I think the limiting factors might be the amount of bones in your meshes. The more bones, the more calculations the Cal3D library has to perform. That and the complexity of the mesh itself. I don't think that the length of the animation should affect performance. It might take up more memory, but that's all. Maybe by "a high number of animations" Mephs meant several animations blended together, or something like that.
If you find that you're limited by cal3d itself, you could always look at the source code for the library, and try to optimize it.

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