Hi there, I'm a 3d designer/modeler/animator etc... I've never built models for games before though. A friend of mine wanted me to build some characters and levels for him and I need some basic help as to what kind of files he needs from me to import into his code. He doesn't know anything about 3d modeling, I don't know anything about code. I prefer to work in max. Here are my questions:
1.) What graphic formats does irrlicht currently accept?
2.) How does irrlicht read models and animations?
3.) What types of animations are supported (ie: keyframe, bones, fk, ik chains, etc)?
4.) What's the best way to export animated models?
5.) What are general polycount trends for single models and for rendered environments.
6.) Anything else I should know because your psychic?
Basically, I need to know any newbiesque information so that I know exactly what to give him, and so I don't have to go back and start over from scratch.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
If you download the SDK it contains a number of precomiled examples including "Mesh Viewer" which lets you view mesh files in the various formats natively supported by the Irrlicht 3D Engine.
1. It will really depend on which formats your friend chooses to support with their game. Their game design decisions will determine the model types they need from you. They may even opt to implement their own file formats.
2. It converts to an internal mesh format which it then passes to the selected 3D driver (Direct3D, OpenGL, or software) for rendering.
3. The examples show use of Quake animated model meshes (MD2) although there is support for skeletal animation.
4. That will depend on the target format.
5. Polygon limits will be dependent on GPU limits (64K triangles per mesh for OpenGL is a hard limit I believe). Future versions of Irrlicht will probably include file loaders which break larger meshes into pieces automatically to get around these types of limits, and of course a game designer can do this themselves in their code. Whether done by a game designer or by the 3D engine this will still impact game performance. Making the GPU do more work is bound to reduce framerate. The game designer needs to evaluate the level of complexity they will need for their game based on the lowest common denominator platform they expect to run on.