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Programming with Model and Animation formats?

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I'm programming a 3d RPG, and I'm getting to the point where I need to start creating my own art. The downside is that I have very little experience with various 3D formats. I'm planning on using the same animations with different meshes, but I don't know how to organize this. I did a quick Googling, but I can't seem to find the right words to get to an informative file format comparison. Are there any formats that don't duplicate animation data for each mesh? Can anyone point me to a good resource for someone doing reasonably well with programming, but abysmally badly at modeling? Thanks, Justin

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Quote:
Original post by ScottC
With bones you can use one set of skeletal animations for multiple meshes.

Do you mean the concept of bones in general, or a file format named bones? For the latter, it seems connected to a MeshWork application that I've never heard of. Do the popular 3d art suites (Max / Maya / Blender) export in that format?

Can you use it to export animation data in one file and meshes/skeletal data into other files so that one set of animations can be shared by many different models with similar skeletons?

Keep in mind I'm new to 3d art, so if you have any links to format comparisons or anything, I'd really appreciate it.

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ScottC was referring to if you have multiple humanoids you can use the same bone structure over and over again you do not have to recreate it. just assign the different vertexes to each of the bones and reuse the same bones and animations.

Take a human male and female, they look different on the outside. but when you look at the "animations" for walking, running, etc there are not really that different. In this case you can reuse the same bones structure and animations for both.

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