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  Importers: Status, features, future  (Read 5969 times)
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Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #30 - Posted 2004-03-06 22:26:22 »

MD2 only uses chars as interpolation/animation values, so small, subtle animations suffer from this 'trembling' artifact. See also the Kingpin demo/game which suffers from the same problem (built on the Q2 engine).

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Offline Bombadil

Senior Member





« Reply #31 - Posted 2004-03-07 07:38:07 »

Nice to see more experts joining the discussions.
3d file formats and bringing it to an engine is a science on its own...

We Java 3d fans really should join forces to reach some 3d file format standard for all 3d Java APIs. I've started a thread on "Shared Code" with a reference to here.
Offline snaga

Senior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #32 - Posted 2004-03-07 15:37:18 »


I had seen the trembling in a pair of engines...and in deep Exploration. Indeed, it didn't happen with other formats.

Later i read people telling it happened so...

Quote
Both the MD2 loader and MD3 loader support interpolation


really good to know. I would not ever care to make an animation that's not gonna be interpolated. Unless the coder lets me add a mesh per frame, which indeed would specially heavy, don't know in performance, but sure in download...Also would force to refrain in frame number, and that makes animations robotic and a bit dumb...


So, finally seems md3 can do interpolation, and more likely, allows non-segmented models...

Quote
We Java 3d fans really should join forces to reach some 3d file format standard for all 3d Java APIs. I've started a thread on "Shared Code" with a reference to here.



You'll all end up adding *.x format to open the door to max, lw and maya animation. I know. Wink (after all, *.x works also in linux and other oses...I've been told)

Joke...
Wink

No, seriously, for a non hyper-optimized 3d performance, md3 and md2, plus obj for statics models, is quite good enough. At least for now, imho.


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Offline Yuri Vl. Gushchin

Senior Member




Speak Java!


« Reply #33 - Posted 2004-03-07 17:01:41 »

I really agree with snaga that .x support is very good to have, and this opens door for a lot of people (esp. designers) who initially targeted DirectX development.

Yuri

Yuri Vl. Gushchin
JProof Group
Offline Bombadil

Senior Member





« Reply #34 - Posted 2004-03-07 17:41:30 »

Since "X" is just a format and no "Winblows" (tm Jeff) "everywhere" I've no problem with a X loader for Xith3d - as long as it runs on all Java+OpenGL platforms and no worry to get sued for using it on Linux.
If we can use a modern 3d file format (*) with Xith then it's great.

Most important thing would be to have some of the most popular formats working in a solid way with Xith...

Abies replied in the "Shared Code" thread and said it probably would be too difficult to have a loader standard base for all 3d Java APIs, and he's right. Kevin thinks to, too. So let's concentrate on Xith3d loaders. Maybe we could still harmonize the current and future Xith3d loaders so that they're always useable in the same way.
The newst Xith CVS features - amongst other candies - Abie's NormalGenerator if I read the CVS newsletter correctly. That's nice. :-)


(*) Please remember: Obj, 3ds, Ase, ... have been frozen years ago, so no wonder there's no multi-texturing and such.
To be fair: Lightwave is a modern format too, and it's up to date. So a Lightwave format would be nice too - since all the well known converters could transform any format to Lightwave also
Offline snaga

Senior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #35 - Posted 2004-03-07 20:23:10 »

Quote
I really agree with snaga that .x support is very good to have, and this opens door for a lot of people (esp. designers) who initially targeted DirectX development.


There are bunchs of artists that just don't have nothing to do with MS, but the fact is this is the only format that I have found in majority of packages, supporting the complexity of animation, and standard enough (yep, quite weird being MS...)

Did I made a list ? I'll make a longer one now, and still will be leaving some out..is only of what I know...

-Maya (4,4.5, 5(all the latest)) (free plugin)

-Max (same here, 3, 4.x, 5.x, and specially good is 6 )(free)
-Lightwave(free plugin)

-Hash Animation Master (an excellent kind of independent animation software, loved by even many Maya pros)

-Truespace 6.6, (and 4 with a free plugin) with a coemrcial plugin

-Blender, right now static dx7 and dx8 export. Soon, animated one.(everything in Blender is free)

-Character Fx. Being only 15$, it has allowed doing very ready-to play character models. It exports as *.x version8, as well as md2, OBJs and 3DSs(like keyframe meshes), nebula device native code, Blitz3d engine b3d open format, Milkshape ascii format ...

-Ultimate Unwrap 35$...supports lots of game formats, BSPs (of all types), allows opengl multitexturing, reflection, bumpmapping, etc, preview, and adding very complex materials. 2 UV channels, lightmaps...Animation conversions, import export perfectly of dx8.x *.x format, (throughly tested by me) , conection by free plugin (that any Max user can freely download) with 3ds Max, and most of all, is the best UV Mapping software out there.

-3d canvas. 34 or 70 $.native export as directx.

-Softimage XSI 3.5 (the great package for films, very few users out there, but is increasing as Halflife 2 is going to provide modders a version for modding, and the learning edition is less limited than Max and Maya ones)  Again , free x plugin.

-Milkshape, has sveral free plugins to export. Sadly, Milkshape does not support weights.

-deled engine editor (map editor, static x export)

-zanooza modeller. free objects modeller, x export for objects.

-Metasequoia LE (free for non comercial) , excellent modeller, one of the best. *.x export.

Most of softwares do support the dx8 kind of *.x files. The keep quite a lot of compatibility, does not happens with other plugins.  

Well, I have been browsing here a bit, and saw already md2, md3, OBJ are made. So...imho, a clever next step would be dx8. As far as i have seen , is readable by dx9 engines. Only see that for example, dx9 specification allows multitexturing of more texture layers, while dx8 is only two. But more than enough for human animated characters.You still can use, as often happens, a more empowered format for terrains and objects, like OBJ, or whatever (don't know if OBJ allows that much multitexturing layers).

Dx8 *.x , I mean, with animation, spline or at least linear interpolation (spline interpolation supported by max and character fx, and surely for the others) , bones, weights (at least 3 bones that could affect a vertex at same time, but seing several engines adding support to 4. This would be seen in terms of java performance.) and animation.

Is not simple, but as mentioned, why not make a common effort for the several projects here?

I maintain that...you could use ase, obj, or x for objects or terrain, but there would quite less formats so much package (free or not) supported formats like this, with such a support for animation features like x has.

Formats that are common between packages are old ones, which even did not support bones... being *.x an exception. (indeed, the bones thing is from v8. v7 only supported hierarchies between linked body parts. Really worse...)

But the 8 version has been a while, and keeps being supported Smiley


Quote
Since "X" is just a format and no "Winblows" (tm Jeff) "everywhere" I've no problem with a X loader for


I've read in several parts that *.x file is open. Smiley
They also give away the dx SDK, after all. Smiley
Not to defend MS here. Just  that the *.x format offers no problem. Smiley


Quote
Xith3d - as long as it runs on all Java+OpenGL platforms and no worry to get sued for using it on Linux.


At least know of a pair of several platforms (linux included) c++ engines using *.x files to load the character animations.. Smiley


Quote
If we can use a modern 3d file format (*) with Xith then it's great.


That I think, too. And seen so much advanced demos like reflections, shaders, bumps, etc...I think is more basic much more, the bones and weights type of animation.


Quote
Most important thing would be to have some of the most popular formats working in a solid way with Xith...  


OBJ is way standard. It opens already to a load of artist modellers. 3ds picks the rest of them, if there were left any Wink ASE will allow (if really preserving Max standards) the export of lights, etc, as ASE is a scene description format. But still will be closed to Max only, I suppose.
md2 and md3 will come very helpful for may situations, and still are good for animation, the trembling in md2 is not a nice thing to see, but...I prefer *.x, to be true.
Anyway, those could do.

You have more than enough formats. Indeed, OBJ and *.x maybe enough to cover almost everything imagined.


Quote
Abies replied in the "Shared Code" thread and said it probably would be too difficult to have a loader standard base for all 3d Java APIs, and he's right. Kevin thinks to,


oh, I see.

Quote
too. So let's concentrate on Xith3d loaders. Maybe we could still harmonize the current and future Xith3d loaders so that they're always useable in the same way.
The newst Xith CVS features - amongst other candies - Abie's NormalGenerator if I read the CVS newsletter correctly. That's nice. :-)
 
(*) Please remember: Obj, 3ds, Ase, ... have been frozen years ago, so no wonder there's no multi-texturing and such.


I haven't actually look at this feature...
But most probably. Is a very usefull feature for terrains.
Not so much for characters. I only do a texture per characters. More realism I can get with simple bumps, speculars (supported both by *.x ) than with multitexturing, in a huma character.
That's why I said *.x of dx8 may not be the best for terrains. Maybe dx9 yes, but again, I'd advice to keep to the most comaptible possible with packages... They are quite conservative also... (8 version is in all of them)


Quote
To be fair: Lightwave is a modern format too, and it's up to date. So a Lightwave format would be nice too -


yep...though I so an statistics of user base of LW, and is way smaller compared with Max and Maya... An x export will give export of character  bones and animations,  for those 3 packages.

Most surely for scenery, I'd do other thing. Exporting multitexturing, lighting, cameras...often is ahuge problem...OBJ, etc, does not support them.  Usually game companies make inhouse editors...maxscripts, etc....

Anyway, a very basic java editor, maybe better, to adjust lighting and cameras...or just do that by code.

I have to consult it, but maybe OBJ support multitexturing..it'd be perfect them...only lacking then vertex colors (*.cob supports them)
If *.x   2 levels of multitexturing is ok for you , go for them...

or well, maybe adding dx9 *.x (If I understood well, they read more layers of textures) support...in case *.x v8 files can be read ok , as that version is what packages are exporting...

Offline snaga

Senior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #36 - Posted 2004-03-07 20:50:05 »

An *.x to opengl traslator? Maybe of some help?

http://e.domaindlx.com/svenkatesh/gaming/x2glx/


hey!

for scene...terrain...have you thought on vrml 2.0 ??

"Hierarchical description of a scene. Bodies, materials, camera, transformations, lights. Newer versions have fog, animation, multimedia, sensors (triggers), grouped objects. "

I don't know about multitexturing...

obj specs, dont  know if up-to-date...
http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/~pbourke/geomformats/obj/


another..
http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/home/mxr/gfx/3d/OBJ.spec


3ds specs..
http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/home/mxr/gfx/3d/3DS.spec


Anyway, this can be useful to load skinned meshes (animations with bones and weights) in directx *.x format

http://www.neverengine.com/news/download/SkinMeshClass.zip




Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 120
Projects: 23
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #37 - Posted 2004-03-08 05:48:27 »

I wonder if the Xj3D guys could be persuaded to port a version of their loader to Xith?

Justin/Alan, are you out there? Wink

Kev

Offline aNt

Senior Member




AFK


« Reply #38 - Posted 2004-03-08 07:35:51 »

well xj3d would be cool- wonder if there reading this  Grin

but *.x would be tip top also
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