skeletal animation

honkFactory
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Post: #1
Howdy,
I took a closer look at the game Black Shades and I realized how cool skeletal animation is. (At first I did not try it because it is OS 9 native.) I was wondering if anyone could tell me about it.
1) Are there 3d model formats that store bone or joint data for each triangle?
2) If you have something with many appendages (say a humanoid with a head, two arms and two legs) what do you draw first? How do you determine the primary parent joint in the joint tree.
3) Anyone know of any good articles? (has David written anything)
A.W.
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ghettotek
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Post: #2
i dont knowmuch about skeletal animation itself except for, like you said...its cool. right now im using Meshwork for all my modeling and animation. it supports bones (although im not sure exactly whether the bone data is stored for each vertex, i think it is. i havent implemented the loading of bones in my engine yet) and poses (for keyframe animation). if you never heard of or used Meshwork, go to http://codenautics.com/meshwork/.
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Member
Posts: 164
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #3
My skeletal animation system is similar to the system used in 'hitman' described here except without the verlet integration because of its limitations.

Right now my skeletal animation system is somewhat improved (carbonized, faster, no more seams, etc.) Smile But uses the same basic concepts.
[Image: FAAAAST.jpg]
[Image: Skid2.jpg]

I can't answer 1, but I know I haven't written anything for 3, and for 2 I just have an array of joints, and for each joint I store a pointer to a parent joint.
3
1-2<
4

So for a -< structure I would set
1's parent is null
2's parent is 1
3's parent is 2
4's parent is 2

I'm not sure how to do this if I just used the traditional method of storing a rotation for each joint per frame. I like this way better because it allows for implementing ragdoll physics, inverse kinematics, etc. VERY easily.

Edit: Strange that the fps in the motion blur pic is 3x in the normal one Blink I guess it must be different versions... I now get 70-100
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ghettotek
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Post: #4
just wanted to say that whatever youre making David looks neato. i wish i could do sh*t like that.
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Member
Posts: 177
Joined: 2002.08
Post: #5
Quote:Originally posted by honkFactory
Howdy,
I took a closer look at the game Black Shades and I realized how cool skeletal animation is. (At first I did not try it because it is OS 9 native.) I was wondering if anyone could tell me about it.
1) Are there 3d model formats that store bone or joint data for each triangle?
The Meshwork format is very simple and easy to write a quick loader for.
Quote:
2) If you have something with many appendages (say a humanoid with a head, two arms and two legs) what do you draw first? How do you determine the primary parent joint in the joint tree.

Usually the root bone is chosen in the modeler and specified by the model file you are loading.
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honkFactory
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Post: #6
Quote: Right now my skeletal animation system is somewhat improved (carbonized, faster, no more seams, etc.)

Does that mean that an OSX version of black shades is in the future?
Quote:The Meshwork format is very simple and easy to write a quick loader for.

This is very important from a programmers point of view, however as a programmer and not an artist I doubt that I could make attractive models using Meshwork. The very best i could hope for would be characters with the level of detail of Black Shades. (This is not meant to be a knock on BS. I doubt that I could even make models that look that good.) Does Poser 4 support exporting bones or can Meshworks import Poser formats so that i could add bones manually in MW? I'll look into it.
A.W.
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Member
Posts: 49
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #7
Quote:Originally posted by honkFactory
This is not meant to be a knock on BS.

Hehe
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Sta7ic
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Post: #8
The skeletal systems are the least of what would need to be Carbonized for an OS X version. There are the models, levels, files containing such, and the engine -- which ties into the OS 9 windowing system.
Nothing a Carbon book and time couldn't fix, though.

-Sta7ic
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Member
Posts: 351
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #9
In my skeletal animation system used in Slope Rider I do it the other way around to David. For each joint I store an array of child joints, and when a transformation is applied to a joint the function moves through all of its children and applies the same transformation. Perhaps this isn't as efficient, but it works.

But I've never tried doing any cool rag-doll type animation stuff like David has, mine uses all pre-defined key frames.

Oh, and if you have the time I would recommend writing your own skeletal animation editor which stores all the joint/animation data in reference to a 3D object file. It will probably allow you to learn a lot more about how the animation is working and give you more scope for playing around with new tricks.
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Member
Posts: 164
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #10
Quote:Does that mean that an OSX version of black shades is in the future?

Sometime maybe Smile The program in the screenshots runs on 9 and X though.

The Black Shades level of detail was intentional Smile 30 civilians on screen with high-poly models would be a bit slow. GLFighters models were kinda alright, but the skeletons were hard-coded into the program.
[Image: glfight04.jpg]

I would agree with MonteBoyd that writing your own skeleton/animation editor is a good idea.
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honkFactory
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Post: #11
Quote:writing your own skeleton/animation editor is a good idea.

Just to make sure I know what you are talking about, by skeleton/anim editor do y'all mean a utility that will let me key frame frame types of motion like walking or crouching or etc. ?

Quote:The Black Shades level of detail was intentional.

I realize that both stylistically and practically the models in blackshades were a fit. I was trying not to sound like I was looking down my nose at them but I guess I failed.

A.W.
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Post: #12
Quote:I realize that both stylistically and practically the models in blackshades were a fit. I was trying not to sound like I was looking down my nose at them but I guess I failed

You succeeded Cool I just felt like explaining some more because I like talking about my stuff Smile

Quote:Just to make sure I know what you are talking about, by skeleton/anim editor do y'all mean a utility that will let me key frame frame types of motion like walking or crouching or etc. ?

Pretty much. Because then you can set up things specific to your program, like you could set a flag for if a footstep sound should be played etc.
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ghettotek
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Post: #13
just wondering where i can get a download of Black Shades. it looks hot.
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Feanor
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Post: #14
I am too lazy to check, but it should still be in the uDevGames area -- check the links on the left of the main iDevGames page. Lots and lots of stuff to look at.
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Nibbie
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Joined: 2011.01
Post: #15
Here. It compiles on OSX, OS9, and others I believe.
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