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Books and Resources on Computer Animation

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Hi. Im looking for some information about computer animation. I asked myself some questions like,
  • how do I animate an character generally( by algorithm )?
  • If I press a button, how do I play a particular part of the animation?
  • how is animation data structured?
  • what kind of animation exists?
  • How do I access animation data, created by 3d max (or maya,...)
  • How does motion capture work?( could be solved by google)
  • and, why hasn't got gd.net no "Computer Animation" board?
!!!!!!!!!! IMPORTANT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Actually, please dont missunderstand me. The questions are not meant like, "How do I animate an character in 3d max?", but more like, "How do I use animation data, and visualize it?" Lately, I played "Heavenly Sword" on the ps3, and I was amazed how good the animation looks! So I decided to investigate some time in computer animation. I would be gratefull if somebody has any information for me! Thanks Alex

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There's a good article here. It talks about DirectX .X file animation, but it also covers the theory fairly in-depth.

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