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About character design !

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Ok so I''m new here and new to 3d game making :D. What I need to know is, If I creat lets say a character that I would like to use in a game with the ability''s of walking running etc. Do I need to make the model 1 object or can it be build out of loose elements like arm, legs ,feet etc ? Thanx

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Guest Anonymous Poster
There are several ways of storing model and animation data. The easiest way by far is to have a character made up of many different segments. However this is not always visually appealing.

The other way is to have a mesh that is "deformed" at runtime. This requires a lot more math to do, but it usually looks better.

There are also two ways to store data. The first is to store many models each representing a different "frame" of the animation. This was the way that quake did it, I believe. This allows very fine control on the model (skin wrinkling, etc.) but it takes a lot of disk space. AND in some games you''ll want to "combine" actions, for example running and shooting. Using this method you''d have to make one animation for running, one animation for shooting and one animation for running and shooting.

The other way is to save the model and then save another file with a description of how the model is supposed to move. This is the basis of skeletal animation. Different vertices of the model are attached to individual "bones" which create a heirarchy. You can find the location of a vertex by performing the same transformations on it you did for the bone (for example, rotating the bone you''d have to rotate the vertex as well). This method is far more flexible, but it does take a lot of math.

Which methods you use really depends on the game and how much time you want to spend on the engine (and the type of game).

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