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Positioning Static Geometry

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I am working on creating my first (real) 3d game and I am trying to figure out how to position a bunch of 3d geometry. Everything needs to be positioned. How do you go about doing this? I have heard that an octree is good for static geometry but isn't that more for culling and collision detection than actual positioning? The main thing I wonder is how do I set up several cars, rocks, models, buildings and things of this nature in the correct position. Do most people create an editor that gives this positional data? or is there something I'm missing? Thanks in advance!!

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Yep, editor is the name here.

Though in this case, you may as well use a modeling package and some custom scripting or trickery to handle this. For a 3D adventure game I once worked on during a school project, our artists simply placed blocks with specific names in their levels (= model files). My code took care of replacing these boxes by other models, which they could specify in an external text file.

It's not as smooth as having a specialized level-editor, but it's certainly a lot easier to set up than building your own editor. Then again, if you're building a lot of levels and stuff, it might pay off to build a specific editor (or to use/modify an existing one).

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