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leidegren

Animation seriously! (what's a preferable choice)

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I’ve been trying to get this through my head lately, and I feel as it’s one of the more difficult things, as it’s rather poorly documented. Anyhow I’m currently looking into a productive solution for doing 3D animation in real-time. Abstract first; as far as the game engine (or real-time animation) goes the only thing I expect to be able to do is animation blending (and skinning obviously). I’ve been using Maya for some time now and I’ve grown to like it. Most 3D packages offer great programmability and can do all kinds of complex animation through different rigs. There are 3 (to me viable) choices here: 1) Key frame animation 2) IK solvers and curves 3) Rigid body physics All of the above exist in Maya and the only thing you can’t really pre-compute is the rigid body physics (simulation yeah!?). I heard the term point cache once and I think that is what led me to this. How would I go about exporting a data set which can be used with to blend and interpolate animation? I do know for a fact that quaternions and SLERP been successfully used to create smooth animations (Half-Life 2?). I’m trying to find a good mix here between, productivity, performance and the time it takes to implement. So who’s experienced with the above and what’s your take on all this? (And what the heck is a point cache…)

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I think this is pretty much the point I'm trying to make. It's a difficult complex thing, and it's not that widely covered. I feel as if GD is more of a traditional programming community, in the sense that there is little to none information about real-time 3D animation and skining but tones of experience C++ programmers.

Overall it's difficult to get start with animation, but I think it's a very intresting topic. If no one else has anything to add, I'll do all the leg work myself and summarize my findings here...

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