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Raeldor

Multi-Part Skeletal Meshes

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Hi all, I have been reading a little about 3d model formats such as obj, md2 and md3 and milkshape 3d. I want to implement adding 3d models to my game engine (has terrain only so far). It seems that skeletal animation is the way to go because it means I can later implement such things as rag doll into my engine, but then I also like the multi-part mesh with tagging that md3 has, though md3 doesn't seem to have a skeletal based animation system it just seems to have the vertices for each frame. I would like to have the ability for characters to wear armor that changes the mesh, so I am guessing the multi-part attach format is going to be good for this. My question is, should it be possible to have the best of both worlds? Ie, a skeletal animation format that also has the ability to use multi-part meshes and tagging. For example, if all the models could share the same skeleton (a labelled bone hierarchy) then why not have the base model with it's weighted vertices and then also have the ability to attach another mesh (say shoulder pads or helmet) to tagged points which are also weighted using the same skeleton (via the labels). As an additional question, if I have an animation for the skeleton of running but it only affects the legs, and then I have say two seperate animations for the top half of the torso for moving the arms in a running motion, and shooting, should I be able to blend the animations together to give a running animation and a running and shooting animation? Ie, should I be able to choose which parts of the bone hierarchy are affected by each animation and mix-and-match? I understand that I will probably need to write my own file format to do all this, but that's cool. I think I understand enough of how it works to do this. Just looking for some indication as to how feasible it is, or if anyone has seen these features done before. Thanks all! Rael

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In fact all your ideas are good ones and are very commonly used!

As far as attachment points, make sure that it has an orientation too, so that you essentially just have another bone that no verts are weighted to... it's just a place to attach something. This is useful not only for animating attachments but also for communicating the position of some body part to the game logic.

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Quote:
Original post by ajas95
In fact all your ideas are good ones and are very commonly used!

As far as attachment points, make sure that it has an orientation too, so that you essentially just have another bone that no verts are weighted to... it's just a place to attach something. This is useful not only for animating attachments but also for communicating the position of some body part to the game logic.


Thanks for your response. I guess I'll start on learning max-script ready to write my own format, unless anyone knows a format that will already support this functionality?

Thanks again.

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cal3d does pretty much everything you mention. the exporter for 3dsmax creates submeshes for each material and you can optionally attach/detach these submeshes at any point, simulating the removing of armor and such.

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