I hate to learn to use a new specific modelling programm to bring models into Ca3DE...
The only question is, if you are allowed to licence your engine if you use a specific format like SMD that was developed? for a game (Half Life).
I have read that people have wanted to use quake 3 .bsp format in their commercial engines but cant because of ownership. I'm betting the situation is the same here.
Really I think Carsten ought to invent his own format especially for the engine. Trouble is he has so much work stacked up
Thus, you are of course right: smd is no good use for Ca3DE. Either an own easy-to-use exporter is required, or the native file formats of the most common programs (3DS Max, XSI, ...) should be supported.
ASE is probably a good start in that direction, but for anims we'll clearly need something in addition to that.
For learning from others, I think a good start for investigation was to learn what software and what steps exactly do Doom3 and HL2 take for their models. Prepared with that knowledge, it should be feasible to outline an own format...
Alias FBX is another format that might be worth looking at. http://www.alias.com/eng/products-servi ... ndex.shtml. I don't however know if it is royalty free and if it would be suited to a 3d/game engine environment, or if it's used mainly to move 3d data between different software. There is exporters for most 3d packages and tools to convert from .3ds and .obj.
For character models and animation, it might be worth investing in our own model format. The md5 format looks pretty "simple", and easily understandable. One can get an idea of how the format works simply by looking at the file in a text editor. We would probably aim for something similiar to this, and release the specs of the format with the engine.
Therefore, if your software doesn't support the format, you can simply write your own export script/plugin. We could also write a converter that converts from a common format (.3ds, .obj, .fbx) to our own format.
Yes. I still have to familiarize with all these formats in greater depth, but it seems that md5 is well understandable, well "accessible", and that something similar can be created from scratch without too much trouble.John wrote:[...] The md5 format looks pretty "simple", and easily understandable. One can get an idea of how the format works simply by looking at the file in a text editor. We would probably aim for something similiar to this, and release the specs of the format with the engine.
For static (non-animated) models, maybe the best way is (besides .ase) to add importers for .3ds, .obj and .lwo, and stay with them, i.e. no mandatory transformation into the future own format that will be used for animated models.
Well, we will probably not be able to identify a single file format that is supported by all major modelling programs. Thus, wouldn't you agree that it was the easiest if Ca3DE simply imported several formats, namely those of the major programs (like ase, 3ds, lwo, obj, xsi)? For non-animated models, no additional intermediate steps should and would be required.Stormtrooper wrote:Personally I would like to have an external program exporting to a ca3de format from a source format that every model editor supports like 3ds, smd? etc
Then Ca3De will be better supported by all modelling programs
Only for animated models would we need something intermediate (similar to the concept of md5s).
Yes, you are right Shadow, but: As I know, 3DMax has different 3DS exporter for their different versions so this only would cause problems. I think the easiest way and best way would be an external Windows API program where you have to select an ASE (or others ?too?) and that gives you as output an Ca3DE file. Then theres no problem with licensing,only the sound system, but thats bot thaaaaat bad
Well, LoD for terrains is already implemented, as it is inherent to the technique. LoD for patches is also straightforward.scott wrote:Have you guys discussed how your going to handle LOD's for characters etc?
LoD for characters and models is an entirely different matter. The simplest approach is to have the artist create several versions of a character that represent discrete LoD levels. The engine would then select the appropriate LoD level for each frame. HL2 uses this technique, too, but it has of course the disadvantage of visible "popping" between two subsequent LoD levels.
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