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xaeroxx

file format suggestion for skeletal animation (opengl)

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xaeroxx    138
Any file format suggestion for bone animation please? It seems I have some problems with each fo them. md3 - Hard to model, (It seems) not usable for one piece models md2 - low polygon support mdl - low polygon support (half-life 1 mdl) 3ds - (it seems) no bone, biped support psk/psa - I couldn't find laoder for opengl, and any documentation mdl - (source) It seems good but it needs source sdk (for studiomdl) and I don't have. So I'm stuck and can't find any (easy-to-use) file format to use... Also one more thing, is it leagal to share studiomdl.exe? If it is, does anyone know a link or is anyone able to share it please? Sorry if I have written something wrong, I am just new :) And thanks... [Edited by - xaeroxx on October 10, 2007 1:07:10 PM]

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mrbastard    1577
There are various mdl decompilers on the net, and the smd and qc text files produced are pretty simple to parse and are reasonably well documented on valve's site.

That said, is there any reason not to use your own file format? You may find it easier and less restrictive than using somebody else's.

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xaeroxx    138
Thanks, I didn't know that they are called "decompilers" I will start searching now :) And I don't use my own format since I only know modeling and adding bones and animating for now, so I want to use these models easily in opengl.

I don't know any math or physics for bone system (I think one needs them to create his own format) so it seems its the next step for me to create character animation...
Thanks again

Edit: I think I don't need any decompiler because I can convert my models to .qc, .smd but then I can not convert them into mdl. (which needs qc compiler i.e studiomdl it seems) and I have mdl loader for opengl. I can not use .qc and .smd as they are. :(

[Edited by - xaeroxx on October 10, 2007 2:28:47 PM]

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mrbastard    1577
smd and qc really are nice and simple file formats.

Open an smd file in a text editor and read this

Edit: OK sorry, you say you want to use an 'off-the-shelf' solution. You could try Cal3d, it's quite well documented, and has exporters for several art apps.

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xaeroxx    138
Thanks but still Cal3d seems very heavy for me. I just don't need blending etc. and can not adjust Cal3D into my opengl project (easily).

What I need is only to convert my 3ds file (with biped animation) into a simple .X format and a simple .X Loader for opengl.

Isn't there any such format? Is the easiest way of doing what I want to write my own format? Or do you think that I still should use Cal3d for some reason?

Thanks again...

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venzon    256
I've use cal3d in my opengl game engine without much trouble at all. By the way, mdl, md2, and md3 don't support skeletal animation.

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mrbastard    1577
mdl (both the hl1 and hl2 varieties ) does 'support' skeletal animation.

Cal3d should be relatively simple to integrate - though I've never done it myself, so I'm speaking only from what I've read in it's src and docs.

I've heard of several .x readers that don't totally rely on d3dx, but cqan;t remember any names, sorry.

Milkshape can import .x if that's any help. Milkshape files are pretty easy to read too.

At the end of the day, if you don't want to write your own skinning code Cal3d is probably the easiest solution for you - I haven't heard of anything comparable.

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xaeroxx    138
sorry, with .X I meant .Anything ( X was a variable :)) and I have managed to use Cal3D in my project (only textures is a problem for now, I can not convert them) Thanks for replies...

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juglar    148
cal3d no doubt... easy to integrate and solve a lot of problems, it came with a 3dsexporter and the source, so if you need, you want to do same mod, try it!

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leidegren    139
Many game studios create their own format and it's not even that difficult.

What you need is the vertecies and thier positions, an adjacent matrix which connects edges and texture information. A bone structure if you're going to do skinning with skinning information such as influence. If you wanna do normal mapping include normals as well.

Other than the above mentioned, there not much to it, you can compute anything you might need from that, and as you go on you'll add what you'll need. I think it's a good way to start also, in terms of learning to manage arbitrary geometry, and getting into skinning/animation.

Best of luck,

Oh, and on the note of actually do this, both 3dsmax and Maya has a rich scripting language, which can be used to create a exporter for your format.

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