I would like to announce the initial release of Cal3D, a free skeletal-based character animation library. Originally designed to be used in a 3d client for WorldForge, it evolved into a stand-alone product which can be used in many different kinds of projects.
This release is significant due to the extreme scarcity of Free Software options for skeletal-based animation, and thus may provide a very important advancement for Free Game development projects. The WorldForge project is especially excited about the potentials this new product provides, and anticipates growing a sizable library of skeletal models for free game developers to use in their games.
The Cal3D character animation library ...
... is written in C++ and uses STL
... is licensed under the GPL (GNU Public License)
... was designed and implemented to be platform-independent (tested on Linux and Win32 systems)
... is not bound to a specific graphic API
... allows blending and weighting of multiple animation tracks
... performs transformation of vertices and normals on skinned models according to one or more weighted bones
... supports materials and multiple mapping channels for texturing
... is prepared for upcoming features like collision detection, LOD (level of detail) and IK (inverse kinematics)
... includes exporter plugins for 3d Studio Max and Milkshape (soon)
'The Cally Demo', a nice little demo based on Cal3D and OpenGl, shows most of the mentioned features in an interactive way. It acts as a first tutorial on using the library as it is released under the GPL too.
My programmer and artist friends at WorldForge have been gleefully playing with this demo and speculating about all the uses they can put it to, and wondering if we can get more 3D models and animation sequences available for it soon.
A community of users and developers is forming within the WorldForge project, so individuals interested in using or developing the library are encouraged to join in there. All kind of feedback is welcome, including improvements, ideas and bug-reports.
Screenshots, downloads, sourcecode, and forums are available at the official website at http://cal3d.sourceforge.net
More information about WorldForge can be found at http://www.worldforge.org
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