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BEGINNER QUESTIONS: Meshes and anination

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At the moment I'm reading a book about DirectX (Direct3D) and I've got some questions which I hope some of you can help me with. It’s mainly about meshes and related stuff. 1. When you’re writing you game (or designing) you want all your 3-D objects in your world as meshes, right? So you need to convert your models to .X files. Can you export a model from e.g. 3ds max to an .X file? 2. Related issue: IS ALL your objects in your game (chairs, doors, weapons, characters and so on) represented as meshes, i.e. an .X file? 3. When animating, can an .X file hold animation info? Can you also do that from a 3ds max animation or do you need Character Studio for that? 4. Related issue: A character walking in you game is an animated .X file right? Is all your animations like that? For instance, a door opening, is that also an animation done in 3ds max and exported as an .X file or what? Anyway, I hope somebody can answer my questions because I’m confused about the extent to which you use .X file and .X file animations and which programs you can do it with. I mean it’s probably to big a hassle to do it by hand, right? Thanks anyway A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God. [edited by - rohde on May 30, 2002 7:00:49 AM]

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quote:
Original post by rohde
1. When you’re writing you game (or designing) you want all your 3-D objects in your world as meshes, right? So you need to convert your models to .X files. Can you export a model from e.g. 3ds max to an .X file?



The only reason you would keep your world objects as seperate meshes is if you needed to change thier properties relative to the world map (ie. change position, rotation scaling animation etc.)
If not then they are just part of the map.
.X files a re just a Microsoft model format. There are literally dozens of others (and converters) that are more commonly used in the game industry.

quote:
Original post by rohde
2. Related issue: IS ALL your objects in your game (chairs, doors, weapons, characters and so on) represented as meshes, i.e. an .X file?



see above. Do you want the chairs to move?

quote:
Original post by rohde
3. When animating, can an .X file hold animation info? Can you also do that from a 3ds max animation or do you need Character Studio for that?



unless its changed with DX8 (I''ve never used the format), .X files don''t hold animation states. Check out the MD3 format.
Any of these formats just hold ''key frame'' information, not the whole animation. Each frame needs to be interpolated from the key frames. There''s no simple way to animate a mesh (non-procedurally anyway)

quote:
Original post by rohde
4. Related issue: A character walking in you game is an animated .X file right? Is all your animations like that? For instance, a door opening, is that also an animation done in 3ds max and exported as an .X file or what?



No its not an animate .X file. Any model file format just holds the info for creating the meshes. see above.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Hi,

You talk about other then .x in use in game industry, could you explain a bit more about that? Like, I wont do all my door in .x for keep them movable ? And which other formats theres ?


Martin Poirier

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most of the commercial games use theyr own file format.
in my little engine im using my own format, and i wrote an exporter for 3ds max (and trust me it wasnt easy).
i basically store just the vertex data in the model file, and i handle skeletons and animations separately. each entity has assigned a model and a skeleton; i rotate the joints of the skeleton (i use quaternions) according to the current animation, then draw the model using the skeleton (passing the skeleton transforms to the vertex shader, then using my skinning shader to move the vertices)
so animations are just a bunch of rotations and bone IDs, and can basically be applied to any type of skeleton

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Guest Anonymous Poster
A few years ago I wrote a game in DirectX 7 using an animated .x file; So I would have to conclude that the .x format can indeed be animated.

EGS
www.geocities.com/egsoc

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