iOS Loader for Native Cheetah3D file...

Posts: 5
Joined: 2013.05
Post: #1
Hi All,

I welcome your input on a project I'm working on...I'm writing a loader that I hope can import model/animation data from the native file format for Cheetah 3D. I eventually want to share my loader with the iOS game dev community.

Why? For MacOS designers/animators/modelers, Cheetah3D is a rather capable 3D app that has many of the features found in apps like Maya, but for an ethical price (unlike everything from Autodesk). Even better... it's easy to use, way easier to use than Blender or Maya. Interestingly, the native file, .jas, is a plist and can be saved either as XML text or binary. Any of you iOS developers know that Xcode can preview plists and iOS/MacOS core foundation provides for easily working with plists.

Any input regarding the capability my loader should have is welcome. There's a lot of data in a Cheetah3D file that isn't terribly important for game development. For example, the camera data is great for Cheetah3D to save for itself, but typically a game engine will have it's own camera controlled by the user. I'm guessing I can disregard all the camera data, unless someone can make a case for why it should be included.

So, if you have a moment, please give me a wish list of features you think are important in a loader. And hey, any coders out there who want to contribute, I'd love your help. I'm a designer/animator by profession so coding is not my area of expertise.
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Posts: 5
Joined: 2013.05
Post: #2
UPDATE: My Cheetah 3D loader for iOS is working well. No animation support yet (soon), but I can read the model data, build the normals (Cheetah 3D doesn't save normals in its native file), get the UVs, and send it all to the GPU. Typical OpenGL shaders are used for texturing.

This means I work in Cheetah 3D and save normally, no exporting to some other file format. I add Cheetah 3D files directly into my Xcode project and my loader code will read the necessary data from the file. I can continue to make changes to my models in Cheetah 3D, save, then return to Xcode and run.

See my blog for a demo Xcode project:

[Image: Screen%20Shot%202013-05-27%20at%2012.01.14%20AM.png]
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⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,247
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #3
Cool. Smile
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Posts: 7
Joined: 2013.06
Post: #4

Nice designing and waiting for new animation, i will send you my wish list of features.
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