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Dark GDK / Pipeline for animated meshes?

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vapulus
17
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Joined: 10th Aug 2005
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Posted: 11th Aug 2005 01:05
I have quite a bit of game experience (my recent experience being one of the most ambitious game mods ever, about to be released). I've checked out a rather large pile of game engines, lately, because I want to develop a small game with a friend or two of mine after I'm done with this recent mod. I'm primarily an artist, and a very important thing to me is how I get my materials from my 3d app into a game engine. I don't use junk like milkshape. Being a professional artist poisons me on free (or very cheap), underdeveloped tools. Are there any RELIABLE methods of getting a .x actor from xsi, maya, max, etc. into DGSDK without using a load of external converters or other nonsense? If it's not going to be a giant pain in the arse to get stuff into the engine, I'll probably buy it in the next couple days and start playing with it. Otherwise, it'll get ignored like the rest of the indie engines and we'll start building our own, or I'll start consolidating wrappers and crap for Ogre (since it's xsi exporter is pretty darn good). Ogre just has a lot of overhead because it's a graphics engine and not a game engine, so I'd like to avoid that if the possiblity presents itself. Thanks for your time, guys.
zao420
19
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Joined: 5th Aug 2003
Location: Canada
Posted: 11th Aug 2005 04:36
hey vapulus

not sure about xsi or maya but for max you can use panda's X exporter. i used it with max 4.x and it worked pretty good i see now they have one for 6 and 7 but haven't had the chance to try it out since i don't have max 6 or 7.

http://www.andytather.co.uk/Panda/directxmax.aspx

http://cavesoft.no-ip.com
WIP Version of my site. Usally it is offline.
http://dev-cavesoft.no-ip.com
shiny
19
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Joined: 17th Jan 2004
Location: Santa Monica
Posted: 11th Aug 2005 07:12
Well arn't we high and mighty!

Exporting from max to dark game sdk in .x format is fairly painless with pandasofts exporter - a little tweeking is needed for bone animations, but its not too hard.

Now though, what I'd be conserned about is dark sdk's lack of a good graphics engine. It sucks, a fair bit (slow, buggy graphics functions, bad to no shader support). Normal maps, for instance, are easyer to implement in ogre than they are in dark sdk! Me, I'm headed for ogre as soon as I have finnished my first (and most likely only) dark sdk project.

MiR
19
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Joined: 13th Jul 2003
Location: Spain
Posted: 11th Aug 2005 14:22 Edited at: 11th Aug 2005 17:45
Quote: "I don't use junk like milkshape."

mmm. No "pro" would say that milkshape it junk. I does it`s job well. They would say "I need something more powerful and featured than milkshape".
In answer to your question. An exporter plugin for maya comes with the Directx SDK. I don`t know about the rest as I`ve never used them.


Gimme teh votez!!!!
Sephnroth
20
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Joined: 10th Oct 2002
Location: United Kingdom
Posted: 11th Aug 2005 16:02
Quote: "t sucks, a fair bit (slow, buggy graphics functions, bad to no shader support)."


Well its just rendering polygons and its not particulary slow at it, I would suggest looking to your own code for speed and not streight to the engine. Most of the graphics functions are fine except for those even remotly shader related - yes they are broken right now. Not sucky, just broken. They'll be fixed soon enough we hope.

If you are going to run to a different engine every time you encounter some bugs then you will be constantly porting code for the rest of your days im afraid.

vapulus
17
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Joined: 10th Aug 2005
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Posted: 11th Aug 2005 17:34
Sure, Milkshape does it's job, but to me it's not even an option. I've tried it several times along it's development. It's fine for a casual user and beginning mod work, but to me it can't even be considered. I'm not looking down on milkshape, but I also get tired of indie engines relying on tools like this when I have a 500 dollar license of XSI laying around, etc. I'd rather use all the power that is included in there. Most of the times I research these engines, people go "just use blender" or "just use milkshape, it's 15 dollars" or whatever. Frankly, it doesn't matter how much it costs, if it's a tool vastly inferior to what I'm currently using. I guess that's just my point of view. I have no problem with other people using blender or milkshape. All the more power to you. I just can't do it, anymore. It has nothing to do with being "high and mighty".

I have .x exporters for xsi and maya, but I have no idea of their quality or what they can actually export correctly into the engine. I guess that is my biggest question. Since I have no way of demoing dark sdk, I'm not sure what I can use to test it. Has anybody built a .x reader in Dark sdk? I have the demo of truevision3d installed and compiling on my system right now, so I'll be testing out my .x exporters with that, but I'd really like to know about dark sdk, since the coding itself is quite a bit easier, and has the interface tools that are needed. Thanks a lot, for any info, guys.
vapulus
17
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Joined: 10th Aug 2005
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Posted: 11th Aug 2005 17:49
Also, I apologize if I came across as arrogant, it's the frustration talking. Being primarily an animator, I'm very fussy about what I spend all of my time animating with. If I could get the results I wanted out of free or cheap programs, I'd be ecstatic. Or if any of them imported a .fbx file, I'd be set, too. It's just difficult for me to WANT to work on a project if I have to use a tool that won't give me the motion I want. Believe me, I've used my share of shoddy programs. The big mod I'm working on right now requires gmax, and goodness can that be a bear. I've lost countless files to it's file-corrupting, crashing antics. I will say gmax has "decent" rigging and animation tools for being free, though. I considered using gmax for my project, since Dark SDK supports md3's, but md3's are a little...shoddy...in most gaming engines. If my .x exports don't go the way I want, I may try that.

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