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Tenshi_rdk

3d model beginner help

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Can someone please help explain to me how to go about making a 3d game char ? At the moment i`m using maya and exporting the model as a .x file. But here is what i am SO LOST about ..how do i make my char ? lots of body parts and stick it together ( and how ? ) or one block i just extrude until i have a complete body ? And then how on earth do i make like cloths for the model ? as in say i wanted to add shoes or armor ..do i just make another shape and put it over it ? I tried using maya cloth to make clothes like a cape but when i export it as an x file the cloth parts is transparent..is this normal ? or how can i convert the cloth to a polygon ? PLEASE I`M DEPERATELY ASKING FOR HELP !! THANKS !

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Guest Anonymous Poster
This is a pretty dumb question. You need to research this for yourself. It's a very specialized and rich topic; not something to ask graphics programmers on a forum.

It's akin to asking how to fix medical patients.

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You know , a question is never dumb.To you it may seem obvious , not to me.
And i have researched it , the thing is people is SOOO Vague when it comes to this topic. They assume you can make models and never show the inbetween stuff.

so the topic range from creating a sphere and then BOOM showing how to animate a character..but no inbetween of actually creating that character.

So i just need some basic idea of HOW it is done ?
Please !

Or if anyone can point me in a tutorial that DOES actually show this.

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Well it depends on the application you are using.
A lot of base models are constructed piece by piece. For example, the hands, then the arms, then the legs, etc.
Clothes though however are usually given dimensions and characteristics.
Say I want a cloth 2 ft by 2 ft and I want it to have the characteristics of silk.
Those options are usually done through plug ins.

There are plenty of tutorials out there, but you have to find ones specific to the app you are using.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for replying !

Well I used maya before , but i`m moving to 3ds max.

So say ..for example i wanted to create a sweater for my char , would i create the torso + sweater or just sweater ?

I dont quite understand the cloths thing you talk of..
is it like a grid of squares that has collision ?
And say for example I create a cape for my char and want to animate the cape , would i have to like animate vertex by vertex ?

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I'm assuming you want a low polygon character when you say "3d game char." For that you want make the character and anything that won't be swaped out as a single piece of geometry. Animation is controled by bones and weighting (the rig). For an in-game character you'd never use plugins like maya cloth (or cloth simulation of any kind) because that won't export and even if it did the player would need a super computer to play the game in real time due to the processing involved in cloth simulation. You'd need to either control cloth follow through via code or by directly animating preset animations.

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As it's already been told: this topic is quite broad. Here are some thing you want to consider:
- Do you need character animation?
- What do you want to be animateable?
- Do you need generic cloth (changable cloth)?
- Does your charecter need to be playable or just act?

So first of all you will want to choose a model format. If you like to keep it simple you probably are interessted in the old quake model formats like MD2 and MD3, there are lots of articles found via google, that will help you about this (even code). They also contain most of the animations one would need. And there are lots of models online you can test your code with.
If you like to work as generic as possible, you perhaps are interessted in collada. This is a very new model format that is heavely pushed by the gaming industry.(eg. this thread has more about it http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=417816).

Generic cloth simulation is very tough stuff, since you need to make very accurate collision detection (vertex based) and need to know some stuff about physics mass-point systems.

I hope you can start with this key words I picked out.

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I like comparing this subject to a game like Second Life, where you can where all kinds of different clothing. there clothes are just blocks you wear that have transparency associated to the material.

Cloth that is flowing, say for a super hero and a cape, is very difficult to animate let alone make it so that you can have it move with your character, but it can be done.

Of course, you don't want you cloth to be so low in polys that it looks like they are wearing a bunch of cigar boxes taped together.

Just my opinion

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haha well , what i want to do exactly is create a 3d model , and it should have like 8+ different clothes ..but COMPLETELY different as in samurai vs. monk.
and the char will be about 100X100 pixels on the screen , seen from the side.

basically , like the new super mario bros . a model from the side with various animations.

and i dont want dynamic cloth , as in similuating it real time , it should be precalculated but it should look REALLY SMooth ...like it was drawn frame by frame...

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Well just remember, since you are doing a side scroller 2d, the cloth can be animated with predefine movements, the human eye can fill in gaps. So you don't need to prgram in every movement. just like video film. The film doesn't really catch every single piece of movement. our eyes and mind fill in the missing stuff.
So that should keep down on the frame rates and animation calculations.

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