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Character movement in 3d games

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Hi. I am trying to create a 3d third person game. I can model ,place bones, do movement ,add keyframes and texture the characters in 3DS MAX4. I just have a few questions about their movement. 1. What should I export to do those movements in the game using max script? 2. How to do the movements in the game. Thanks Mavric Edited by - Mavric on January 14, 2002 11:30:25 PM

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Whoa! Hang on there... Its one thing to make skeletal objects with joints and such in a modeler- BUT if you don''t know how to use DirectX you better start at a slightly easier level, like tetris or pong!

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There is not a real simple answer for your question and I think you need to clarify a bit more.

Let me take first what I think you are asking for is to export a model to a game format for a design program. Following are some aspects and resources for you to follow.

An excellant site to check out for 3D game models is:
www.polycount.com
roque13 has a great site and present a section for tools to use for a number of games that allow exporting models from major 3D design packages (3DS, MAX, Lightwave, Maya, etc)

Look for NPherno''s NST it''s a good program, support UV mapping, etc. Also a program called MilkShape3D allows importing and exporting to a wide range of formats. He does support skeletal animation. - http://www.swissquake.ch/chumbalum-soft/

If you use Lightwave, I am working on upgrading my UnrealSaver Plug-in (worked with LW 5.0 to output Animated Unreal Objects) - I am working to output to the MilkShape format since doing that provides the ability to load and output to many games - Half Life, Quake2, 3, Unreal, Max Payne, the list goes on

Now to create a format and use it in a 3D engine of your own that''s fun, currently working on that now. . Let me describe some techniques for animations.

1) the object is really static (no moving parts within the object) and simply translates/rotates within the world coordinates.

2) The object has moving parts let''s say a sub with props on the back. You can use vertex based animation - interpolation. The Unreal Game utilized this. You have a vertex list per frame and a polygon (triangle) with a vertices indices list. So for whatever frame your on, the polygon is drawn with the vertices location for that point int time Frame 2 of 30, etc. I used LW bones and displacement for the animation aspect on a single mesh.

3) Skeletal is more hierachial, and as you''ve probably dealt with in the 3D program you can tie IK to it, but when a parent object is rotated, etc the child objects are affected in the same manner. Or in the aspect of IK, the rules of the joints can allow a child to move and force the appropriate settings down through the IK chain to the parent objects. Your going to find multiple meshes.

Hope this helps, I am looking for any feedback on techniques, articles etc, particulary on data structures for the objects and techniques around skeletal animation for things I am working on now.

Chuck Durham
"panthrd"
chuck@teampanther.com

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