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[.net] MDX skeletal mesh system is useless

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After reading Chapter 13 of Managed DX 9 Kickstart ("rendering skeletal animation"), I have come to this conclusion. Managed DirectX's skeletal mesh system does nothing for you at all, other than the loading of a mesh/animation from a file. It doesn't set up matrices, render your mesh, nothing, all of that you have to do yourself. So why use it? Why not just create your own classes that have a nice little matrix for each joint, and interpolate it yourself without adhering to their useless abstract classes? Am I missing something?

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Well, I would not exactly call it useless. In my opinion there are two important functionallities that is very valuable. The first is the D3DXLoadMeshHierarchyFromX function which parses the xfile for you and let's you do whatever you want with it. The second is the AnimationController which makes the interpolation (which isn't that easy because of the rotation factor) of all the bones.

I agree with you that they could have made a more "full automatic" subversion for developers who do not need complete control of the loading.

Also, I must say that Tom Miller does not give the most thorough explaination of skeletal animation in this book. It is a shame though, because it otherwise is a great book on the topic.

If you would like a more in-depht explanation of skeletal animation I can strongly recommend read this tutorial I found a couple of days ago:

Hope this helps!

Best regards,
Per Rasmussen.

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