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Christopher Harris

3D Modeling Engine? [How?]

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Blender is an open source 3d content creation package.

For writing tools for games, it really depends what you mean.

If you are talking about plugins for content creation packages (i.e. Maya) the best documentation you can find it in the SDK and the support forums. There are also a couple of programming books relevant only to Maya, but I have found the docs more useful.

For standalone tools (i.e. level editors) you need to aquire lots of knowledge:
1. Graphics (For rendering the level)
2. UI (C#, MFC, Wx, etc)
3. Knowledge of your assets (i.e. using .x, .obj, or a propietary format)

Some people make in-game level editors avoiding the cost of having to create a new toolset but increasing the cost of maintaining the game.

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I wouldn't exactly call myself a novice at Graphics (DirectX) or at programming in general. More like an avid (and way to eager) hobbiest. What I'm looking to do is create a level editing tool for a 2d paralax[?] scrolling game. Theres not a whole lot of advanced math involve with that, but I would like too see some tutorials / source code in how people are storing their vertex, material, and texturing information. That, and how they go about modifying the information. I could figure it all out myself (sopossibly), but why re-invent the wheel?

As for blender? I tried it a while back, and I don't think its exactly what I'm looking for. By "open-source" I kind of ment being able to take a look at the source code.

UI on the other hand is something I need to get more acquianted with. MFC is the way to go? Anyone know any good tutorials on that?

Any help is greatly appreciated

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That clarifies a lot (I should have asked first, sorry)

You can take a look at Blender, and you can probably learn a thing or two from their source code (I have not taken a look at it but I know it has a very active development community). It has also grown dramatically in the past few months and it is actually being tested on real production houses. I am not aware of another 3d modeler package that ships with source, but you might be able to find one on sourceforge.

As far as tools go, I would higly suggest C#. Others have suggested Wx, but I use C# for work and home, and think is the right tool for tools :-)

There are several sources for C# tutorials, you can start at:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/csref/html/vcoricsharptutorials.asp

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well, there's also wings3D as a basic subdiv modeller. For game tools, you might as well start with either FBX, collada, dotXSI SDK's and glean what you can from the viewer source code.

For tools programming, there are not a great deal of resources about it. For maya stuff, there's the david gould books (only get the 2nd one, it's basically a re-write of the first), and there's also my website

I'm a fan of wx myself, C# is pretty good, but for cross platform tools, i'd still go with wx. Either way, you will want a scripting language available to automate things a bit (wxLua and other equivalents exist).

As far as commercial packages go, i find max a bit limiting (interface based design in arts tools is bad!!), xsi is fairly nice to work with, houdini is nuts, and maya's not too bad (though very quirky). All of them have learning editions, though you may not be able to export the data (well, it's possible from Maya PLE in a very long winded around the houses way, but you'd need to know maya inside out before you'll be able to get data from it). 3DS max does have a 30 day trial for the full version (that's enough time to hack apart the Max SDK examples and get a working exporter). Unfortunately other than Max, no other package will give you the ability to play with their SDK's unless you have the full versions :(

Of course, the learning editions will allow you to learn something about the scripting side of tings, which is generally very useful in the long term....

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3d game engine programming has a chapter about programming editor of that nature. It evens take u down the road to creating one!

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