Let's suppose I was parsing the hierarchy of an X-File...
Let's assume furthermore that I detected one or more Mesh objects.
How could I determine whether they were Skinned meshes or not?
LoadSkinMeshFromXof works for meshes not created as such !!
Posted on 2003-05-09 11:12:34 by Homer
Afternoon, EvilHomer2k.

You may have noticed that there are stuffall Xfile importing plugins for various 3d Modellers.
And the ones that are out there, do not import *all* types of Xfile correctly.

This is because an X file is defined as a Working file format, and not a transitional one like many other 3d file formats. In other words, you only ever export to X file when the model is complete, and only load it from within the game.

Only your game knows the actual way data is stored within your own Xfile.

There are about three different ways inwhich you can decide to have the animation of meshes done.

Unless you include in the Xfile information telling your loader what type of data is within the file, a loader cannot know exactly how to display such data. This is why the X File Viewer doesn't display some X files correctly.

So in the end, even though you can have multiple meshes included inside the same file, it's still better/ easier to have separate files for different animations unless you code a loader which knows exactly how the hierarchy and separate meshes are to be built.

At this stage, most developers leave the Xfile format alone and go with their own, and only use xfiles for static meshes.

This is the problem I had when working on WonderWorld. Since there was no design for the models structure, I couldn't build the loader since it could load meshes from one Modeller, but not from another. And the Modeller which was to be used for the final Xfile had not been used to create a model in the format/structure we would use.


Cheers,
Scronty
Posted on 2003-05-09 20:35:13 by Scronty
Brutally honest, and for that I thank you, but ouch all the same !!
I had a feeling that was coming :(
I'm working on a game level editor, it already supports voxel heightmapping and referenced meshes, and has a custom file format to save the database, but I had to try and slip in a scenefile importer, didn't I?
I had the bright idea that I could use Maya to create (as xfiles) partial terrains which had animated objects in the scenes (whose frames are animated), and then import them into my level editor (think 3d platform arcade stuff).
What a biznitch. So I can aim at supporting mayaX.X xfiles, but there's still no way to determine whether an object is skinned or not - it may be skinned without having bones or being animated !!
I can't really mess with the parenting structure of the hierarchy to group skinned and non-skinned objects, but I'll see what I can come up with regarding a known and parsable hierarchy, maybe I can tag meshes somehow - if I can't find a cheap way to group, tag or otherwise identify them, I'll use a Naming convention.
Any comments on my direction?

I began using tabbed controls in the editor a while back, and atm the d3d window uses dialog units (yuk) which i must address.. How's yours coming along?
Posted on 2003-05-10 02:10:38 by Homer
I decided to add an input parameter to my xfile parser which determines what the hell we are trying to load. Problem solved, the lazy way.
Now I have several editor buttons which call the same parser but with a different action parameter.
Bleargh xfiles.
So far I've implemented objects I'll call Static Meshes and Animated Meshes.
Neither of these is skinned, but skinning support is there.
Animated meshes are encapsulated in Frames, to which the animation is applied.
Static meshes currently don't require a Frame, and I probably won't reconcile them because there's simply no need.
Static meshes and textures are reference-managed.
Animated meshes will be modified to accomodate this.

Hierarchy loading problems have been resolved.
Loader is being written to handle files created by Maya4 and/or the DX MeshViewer.

Please someone feign some interest !!
I'm suprised at the lack of popularity of this forum.
Could it be that many of us are closet HLL coders with a LLL fetish?
I'd love some supportive comments, or better yet, some support !!!
Anyone interested in becoming involved in this ongoing project please contact me !!! The project is a DX8 based world editor, it allows for referenced instancing of various types of objects, and will hopefully form a level editor for a parallel game engine project (the editor is a testbed for the game engine as well).
Posted on 2003-05-11 02:41:14 by Homer
EvilHomer2k

I'm very interested, as are many others I suspect, in the work your doing as it's something I want to get into also. Unfortunately I'm not much help since I have no DirectX experience.

Keep up the good work :alright:

Maelstrom
Posted on 2003-05-12 15:13:06 by Maelstrom
Thanks .. its hard to get into it some days, when its been weeks or more since you had a working application... presses onwards..
I'll post something soon to try to stir the flames around here.
It's going to have to be split because its the entire source for the editor.
Posted on 2003-05-13 11:07:40 by Homer