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CrimsonGT

Game 3D Model Questions

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I am getting into 3D Modeling, and these questions are more for knowledge and future implementation than anything else at the moment. I am just curious about a few specifics. My questions relate specifically to a MMORPG like World of Warcraft. 1) What is the difference between NURBS and Polygons? I am aware of the obvious differences, but are NURBS ever used in games or is Polygons the model type used for games? 2) I keep hearing people mention they want a low poly count, or have a set polygon limit on models. I am assuming low poly count means the models will load faster and wont be such a burden on systems. I am using Maya to learn 3D Modeling on and have seen nothing telling me how many polygons are used. How does one find this out? What determines what the limit of polygons are? 3) The different model extentions has me extremely confused. I have seen .x and .md3 and so on. First off what decides which one of these to use. I believe WoW uses .md2 or .md3 and I think Counter Strike uses .x but I really have no clue. Are these just made up extentions or does each one do something different? 4) For a game such as WoW where a player can equip different items and have them show up on the actual character, are seperate models, or is there a model for each different combination. For example, would it be setup where theres a naked human male model, and a naked dwarf male model, and then a model for lets say the shoulder plates (and the shoulder plate model just displays at a different place on the different base models)?

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Original post by CrimsonGT
I am getting into 3D Modeling, and these questions are more for knowledge and future implementation than anything else at the moment. I am just curious about a few specifics. My questions relate specifically to a MMORPG like World of Warcraft.

1) What is the difference between NURBS and Polygons? I am aware of the obvious differences, but are NURBS ever used in games or is Polygons the model type used for games?

2) I keep hearing people mention they want a low poly count, or have a set polygon limit on models. I am assuming low poly count means the models will load faster and wont be such a burden on systems. I am using Maya to learn 3D Modeling on and have seen nothing telling me how many polygons are used. How does one find this out? What determines what the limit of polygons are?

3) The different model extentions has me extremely confused. I have seen .x and .md3 and so on. First off what decides which one of these to use. I believe WoW uses .md2 or .md3 and I think Counter Strike uses .x but I really have no clue. Are these just made up extentions or does each one do something different?

4) For a game such as WoW where a player can equip different items and have them show up on the actual character, are seperate models, or is there a model for each different combination. For example, would it be setup where theres a naked human male model, and a naked dwarf male model, and then a model for lets say the shoulder plates (and the shoulder plate model just displays at a different place on the different base models)?

1.)nurbs are similar to spline modeling, not really useful nor supported in any common realtime 3d engine.
2.)low polygon coutn is needed because a graphics card will take any polgons and strip them down to triangles wherre the card then renders these. however cards can only do this so fast. if you create too many polygons you'll get a slideshow where the graphics card can not render the whole scene fast enough. as for how many polygons? a question that cna not be answered, read:
How many polygons in a piece of string?

3.)models with different extensions are infact different model formats. .x and .md3 are two completly different model formats, carry the same basic data in different ways. there are also minut differences in what features each model format supports, does this fornmat support animation? does this format support multitexturing?...etc
4.)there are many different ways to handle what you're talking about. but the most common method is to make the skeleton of the character that is used for animation and create a couple of extra bones in places where you want to attach objects. these are called attach points. so say you have an extra bone sprouting from the characters hand, this can be used as an attach point for a sword. though liek i said there are many different emthods to do this, that is just one and the most common one (that i am aware of).

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