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​Precalculated animation of complex (composite) model

A topic by Luxion created Aug 01, 2016 Views: 459 Replies: 2
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Hi all!

If anyone had the experience... I'd be very grateful for the answer:

Let's consider a character, consisting of separate head, hands, body, legs & feets, weapons, which are replaced for specific X3D model (precalculated animation) depending on the armor the character wears in the slot in sperate files.

What are the «problems» in merging the parts togthere into a single mesh? I.e. I create a 'complete' model, rig it and animate. Then I cut the model into parts and push every part to a separate layer. Then I save every layer as a file and depending on the characters armor slots I create a composite model in-game.

How do I work with seams? Should I duplicate the seam for all the body parts? Or do I need to make the model seamless by code? Will I be able to animate the head separately (the character looking around, speaking).

Castle Game Engine supports only precalculated animations. I don't need the high quality, 'cause my models will be of relatively low quality :) I know it's better to make it by bones, but still?

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Or is it a 'bad' idea actually?


My feeling is that you'll lose a lot of time trying to do that, that you could instead put into getting skeletal animations working - that will let you do swappable parts/wearables more easily. Those are just my two cents of course, it's been a while since I did 3D :)

Quake 3 (and FOSS versions like Open Arena) divide the player models into three pieces: head, torso and legs.

So the idea has been done before and is not bad idea per se, but it does make life more complicated having to transform the pieces to match the correct position.

Quake 3 uses "tags" in the MD3 model format for this, which are vertex with direction information -- you orient the tag similar to a usual vertex and it serves as the origin for the child piece. E.g. torso piece has a standard tag for attaching the head onto.

I'm not a modeler so I can't answer your other questions.