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Scouting Ninja

How to make a Animation manager?

2 posts in this topic

Recently the 3D game I am working on made a dramatic change from a active turn based game to a real time fighting game.

The real time combat now needs more skinned meshes to run animations at the same time, this is causing a large drop in the frame rate.


I already have a graphics manager that handles the LOD, zoning, batching etc.

What I need is a manager aimed only at animation, so far I am restricting animation updates for objects in back but this isn't working as well as I had hoped.


If there is any one who has done something like this or have any ideas I will be very grateful for your help.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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Hello! You will get better feedback by moving this question to the technical forum, likely either Graphics Programming and Theory or DirectX forum


Traditionally what I've seen engines do for supporting rendering many skinned characters is the following:


1. Bone LOD and keyframe/animation LOD - An up-close biped with 50 bones and 30 keyframes per animation might have discrete or continuous LOD setup so that it has gradually less bones and/or keyframes as it gets further from the camera. If your rendering engine uses matrix palette skinning on the GPU, less bones means less work for the vertex shader in the GPU.


2. Batching and Instancing - in order to batch skinned meshes you need to create some similarities. For instance, all characters could share the same skeletons and keyframes, with only the mesh skin partitions and textures being different. Since a GPU register based implementation of matrix palette skinning will run out of registers for multiple actors on VS less than 4, you might consider a vertex texture lookup and encode animation data in texture(s). Also pick the vertex shader model with the best support for instancing (drawing many variations of an object in a single call).


3. Weapons and attachments - you can lose a lot of time here depending on how you render meshes attached to an actor. Some rendering engines will promote attached meshes to skinned meshes with one bone, which can eat up lots of time.


4. If variable textures and mesh skin partition geometry exist, this can break batching/instancing possibilities, stay aware of this and decide if you will create a texture atlas or use some other technique here.


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1. Bone LOD and keyframe/animation LOD

Thanks for this, even the quick test one I made works great.

2. Batching and Instancing

This works when I use cubes with a single bone, yet for the characters it causes animation problems.(I will work on this one a bit more.)

3. Weapons and attachments

Not a problem, the weapons are parented to the palm, batching them with the characters caused frame drop.

4. If variable textures and mesh skin partition geometry exist, this can break batching/instancing possibilities

This could be the problem with 2.


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