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How does 3D game development process work?

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I've been in the field of software development for 3yrs now, and so have some understandings on general software development process. However when it comes to game development my knowledge somewhat lacks, especially for the 3D graphic part.

I've looked up some tutorials on opengl and directx, and they seem pretty straightforward, but pretty much the same; create a GL window, draw lines and shapes...
But the thing is they don't talk much about 3D graphic/animation tools like Maya, 3D Max and Blender...
I heard about the *.obj file format. People say that you import the model by obj file and use that in your application, but I also heard that *.obj file only contains model work, not animation.

To sum up all these vague words, what I want to know are,

1. How can 3D graphical resources be used in applications that use opengl or directx?

2. How does this linkage work in the real field? (Division of labor)

3. If one can import animating objects from Maya or Blender, can I consider this object similar to animated GIF image on the web?

4. If importing an animating object is not preferred in the industry, do they import the sprite sheets of the movement like old 2D games?


I admit all these questions may sound funny or immature.

Thank you in advance!

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