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Manually manipulating animation in D3D?

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I have a question. I'm making a chess game where a human model moves his hand over a piece, picks it up and places it on it's destination square. Now if i wanted to create an animation of every moving possibility that would be 2016 animations. Which is both stupid and insane I was thinking that maybe i should create a single animation of a model picking and placing a piece, and then just multiply bone's/joint's combined matrix with a translation matrix, placing the hand wherever i please. Is this the way it's done? Or is there a simpler way? Thanks!

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Depends on whether the model is like a disembodied hand or like an arm reaching over to move it. If it's the former then IK might be a bit overkill.

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it's a full human model.

Inverse kinematics sounds exactly like what i need. It's a bit complicated though. Time for some math then!

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