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3D for games. Creatives to Coders - griffin239 - Jun 7, 2002 10:14 PM

Theoretically you are making a 3D game.

What model formats will your artists provide you with?

What software can they use?

What's involved in this operation of create, convert and play?

Examples of 3D model formats and game engines?


3D for games. Creatives to Coders - rangaroek - Jun 8, 2002 10:04 AM

Quote:Originally posted by griffin239
Theoretically you are making a 3D game.

What model formats will your artists provide you with?

What software can they use?

What's involved in this operation of create, convert and play?

Examples of 3D model formats and game engines?

Hi, I'm currently working on a game in germany,
we've developed exporters for 3DSMax for models and animations.
Our engine is using BMP as image format (it's a windoze game ... sigh :-) )

Sounds are wavs, music mp3.

Personally I would prefer targa, tiff or png for images, aiff for sounds, mp3 are ok for music ...

3D data is more involved, you can use alias/wavefront obj files, very easy to import, almost every 3D package supports it. When your engine supports skeletal animation (it should) use
biovision bvh files or acclaims format.

Take a look at http://www.wotsit.org for file specs.

hope it helps, rangaroek ...


3D for games. Creatives to Coders - griffin239 - Jun 8, 2002 10:15 AM

Thanks..very interesting account!

What an awesome resource link!

Enough info for months of mind expansion!

Thanks again!


3D for games. Creatives to Coders - ibullard - Jun 8, 2002 01:04 PM

We use an in-house plug-in for 3DS MAX that exports all the bones, materials, and polygons (after they are optimized) into an in-house file format that is very similar to PNG (using chunks that we can process individually).

Textures are put into a separate file after they have been converted to a platform friendly format (DXTC for the Xbox/something else for the PS2).

However your resource path ends up running, I highly recommend doing as much processing on export instead of on load. Processing on load can be easy because you can change your mind without re-exporting but load times will go through the roof.


3D for games. Creatives to Coders - griffin239 - Jun 8, 2002 01:27 PM

Right I had a feeling that is the issue with just having any old format get pulled into the engine.

Its often very unepected results when I pull some models into 3D app. Where did the 1 million triangles come from?? Usually in that state they are unusable..my machine churns to work with them.

"In house tool"....i feel homeless and toolless. ha.


Ah if only it were "download the latest OS level converter"....yeah...hmmm.

Anyone had experience with Director 8.5's shockwave 3D? I don't see great announcements about it.
Whats the story?

Oh also curious...your 3DS max models..how is posing done? Keyframed from pose 1 to 2 to 3 or blended..that is head left and head up generate head left/up by combining the data of the first two poses instead of keyframing an actual "left and up". if I explained that right.


3D for games. Creatives to Coders - ibullard - Jun 8, 2002 01:46 PM

Quote:Originally posted by griffin239
Oh also curious...your 3DS max models..how is posing done? Keyframed from pose 1 to 2 to 3 or blended..that is head left and head up generate head left/up by combining the data of the first two poses instead of keyframing an actual "left and up". if I explained that right.
Our current incarnation of the engine uses boned skins, up to four bones per skin and sometimes regular meshes attached to bones (for weapons and hair). Because we work on a lot of fighting games we can't use keyframing for character animation due to the memory requirements. Boned animations take up less memory than keyframes.


3D for games. Creatives to Coders - griffin239 - Jun 8, 2002 02:13 PM

yeah keyframing a game seems strange anyway.

so these bones..how exactly are they told how to behave?

Do they have a "Legup" position and then a 'legdown" position...
and a function like walk forward would be
"repeat legup and leg down and move forward"?

are the bones posed and saved as files and the model skin just "fits" to the bone pose when it loads? Or is it all in one list?

Is it the bones that would affect a models "weight"..that is can I tell the bone "be a fat leg" with a number and thus the render looks bloated without using actual polygon model of a fat character?

Curious stuff.


3D for games. Creatives to Coders - ibullard - Jun 8, 2002 02:28 PM

I know next to nothing about "boning a character" as the animators put it, aside from making childish jokes about it (the funniest was when I was talking to a guy about "boning the minotaur" but it's not appropriate for this forum).

The end result is that I have a bunch of meshes where each vertex gives a weight for each bone that influences it. The bones are in a hierarchy so, for example, if you move the shoulder the rest of the arm moves. The animations are compressed keyframes of just the bone movements.

Keyframed animations for meshes is very useful if you're dealing with low poly and/or a small number of animations because it's much faster then bone-based animations. Our effect meshes are completely keyframed.


3D for games. Creatives to Coders - griffin239 - Jun 8, 2002 03:52 PM

So gunshots, blood, particles, lighting changes...use keyframes...and these are 3DS files that have been optimized in your tools.

Boning is strictly for characters, which would make a lot of sense..I couldn't see every angle of an explosion having a bone..although it would be fun to bone an explosion and make it a character.

Yeah talk of boning seems to lead to laughing. I remember my Hash Animation master tapes bringing me to hilarity through the whole bone tutorial. Too bad the app crashed so much I wanted to cry about my lost $400.


3D for games. Creatives to Coders - ibullard - Jun 8, 2002 05:51 PM

Particles are handled via our particle engine and are tweaked by the designers to get what they want. We've also created generic code to handle beams and wizz lines (trails that follow arms/legs/weapons) so we don't bog down the artists with a bunch of hand-made animations.

Some of the effects require animations with models, though. Those are handled via keyframes.