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nkoranda

Character Creation (UO Like)

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I am curious about one aspect of games such as Ultima Online. How are they drawing the character? Specifically in UO you can add clothes and weapons to the character to personalize it. Do they create separate items (clothes, hats, boots, weapons) and then graphically overlay them based on what they are wearing to make each character? I am trying to learn about game programming and havent seen any material on this. Most of it is sprite based animations where each action requires frames to animate them. All of them are non-dynamic, meaning you could simply put on a robe and change the characters look. Any thoughts would be great to know. Thanks Nick Koranda

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Original post by nkoranda
Do they create separate items (clothes, hats, boots, weapons) and then graphically overlay them based on what they are wearing to make each character?


Yes, thats what they do, the paperdoll is called paperdoll because just like paperdolls, what they do is place different layers of images on top of eachother, each layer has a value to figure out if it should be drawn or not, for example lets say robes have layer value 5, and pants have layer value 4, thus, if you're wearing a robe, you dont need to draw the pants.

In 2D, they had to draw every single frame of animation for each piece of cloth, on 3D, they just use the skeletal animation afecting the clothes points.

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Original post by Kwizatz
Quote:
Original post by nkoranda
Do they create separate items (clothes, hats, boots, weapons) and then graphically overlay them based on what they are wearing to make each character?


Yes, thats what they do, the paperdoll is called paperdoll because just like paperdolls, what they do is place different layers of images on top of eachother, each layer has a value to figure out if it should be drawn or not, for example lets say robes have layer value 5, and pants have layer value 4, thus, if you're wearing a robe, you dont need to draw the pants.

In 2D, they had to draw every single frame of animation for each piece of cloth, on 3D, they just use the skeletal animation afecting the clothes points.


Just to expand on what Kwizatz touched upon with regards to the 3D methods:
the term is referred to as "Segmented Models". When the artists create the models, they have multiple pieces of clothes and armor for each body part that's able to wear different articles of clothing. However, they use the same skeleton for everything, so they don't have to create multiple rigs and animations.

On the programming side, each segmented model would have values of some kind which would allow the code to index to the correct segment of clothing, and the rendering system renders the proper segments. Quite an ingenius idea.

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