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About Animation Techniques!

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Hello and nice to meet you all! Well, I am interesting into knowing what kind of Animation techniques are out there! Actually,What's the differents between "Morph-Target Animation" and "Key-Frame Animation"?? Is it the same? The MD2 format uses Morph-Target or Key-Frame? Thank you!

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Well i think what you really want to know is what the difference is between morph animation and skeletal animation because morph animation can be key framed as well!

in morph animation, you might have a key frame of a monster standing there, and another key frame of the monster with it's mouth open, and lastly another key frame of the monster with it's mouth closed.

How morph animation works in that case is if it knows the key frames are supposed to each be 1 second apart, it will interpolate the vertex positions based on time.

Like if you were 1.5 seconds into the animation, it would interpolate each vertex 50% between keyframe 2 and 3 so the monster would have its mouth half closed. If next you were 1.6 seconds into the animation, it would interpolate 60% from keyframe 2 to 3 and have its mouth slightly more closed. 1.7 it would be even more closed, etc and then at 2.0 it would be completely closed.

Morph animation is an older technique, I think it was used in quake 1, and is not as versatile as skeletal animation (but can be cheaper to animate!)

Skeletal animation however has all the vertices in a model hooked up to a bone in a skeleton (or multiple bones, but you can ignore that for now!)

The key frames are just positions of the bones and the vertices just stay attached to the bones.

That makes it so as an arm rotates at the shoulder, everything below the shoulder rotates as well and the polygons "stretch" where needed to make sure and keep the model looking right.

You can also blend skeletal animations like for instance, combine a regular walking animation with a waving animation so that you have a walking while waving animation without your animators actually having to make a new animation.

skeletal animation is the modern technique and is used in lots of games.

skeletal animation also lets you do ragdoll and inverse kinematics and other cool stuff like that (:


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