July 3, 2009

3D Model Loading

Posted in Computer Graphics tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 12:07 am by sagito

Hi all! ๐Ÿ˜€

After a small time without posting anything, due to an exam which happenned today, I’m now proud to say that the Conspiracy Engine is already capable of loading ย three-dimensional objects from the CMF format defined below. It still does not try to load neither textures nor materials, but the geometry is already being properly loaded!

In the past, I have tried to create a mesh from a format other than .X and I failed because I just couldn’t get access do an ID3DXMesh* vertex buffer correctly. Either the data was scrumbled and corrupted or the mesh would just not grant me access to the buffer. This time, I tried to adopt a different system and I created the mesh with different pool and memory flags. Apparently, this did solve the problem! ๐Ÿ˜› However, I’m still looking forward to see if that really stands when I try to put some animations within!

I will be posting some screenshots very soon! The Conspiracy engine is now getting really solid and robust. I could even say, that even in such an early development stage it already is more robust than all of my Enoch engines all together!

So, what is it needing now? From my perspective, mainly two things… A scene file loader, which takes a file and builds a scene from it, and a graphical editor. This graphical editor should be a tool that would let me import new things into the game world, position stuff, create AI routines, etc… Something like all real engines have! And I’m looking forward for the challenge of developping such a thing.

Will be posting news pretty soon, stand by… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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June 30, 2009

X File Format Dying?

Posted in Computer Graphics tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:13 am by sagito

As some of you should know, .X files were the Microsoft “standard” format for three-dimensional model and animation within DirectX. These consisted of binary or ASCII files with some a kind of scene graph describing a specific scene. Although they were not very complete, this format along with the helper functions such as D3DXLoadMeshFromX were always a major help while developing simple games or applications using DirectX.

Of course that almost every major company developed their own formats, and in that perspective, the .X file format was quite useless… But what about the small developers? Or the people who are learning DirectX? Will they have to start learning parsing techniques in order to read some other file format? Or will they have to learn some scripting language like MaxScript to export their own models?

As a matter of fact, as far as I know, Microsoft never said anything official about this matter. However, everyone who uses the DirectX SDK may have noticed that since November 2007, support for writing files in the .x file format has just disappeared. Also, what happened to the DirectX Mesh Tool? It was replaced by the DirectX Viewer which is buggy, slow and to be honest, quite useless…

Without .X file format, what can small developers use? Well, for one side we have the .FBX file format. As the .X file format it has a binary and an ASCII mode, so that could be an option… But there is so many useless code inside that I doubt I couldn’t get a working parser for this format in less than one week… Also, the binary mode is a proprietary (undocumented) format from Autodesk…

If this is really Microsoft’s decision, then I’m terribly sorry… Really… If this is just a matter of giving less importance to the small developers… I’m even more sorry… As I mentioned before, I will try to develop an exporter for 3D Studio Max on my own… If it gets anywhere near good, I will post it here… At least, I hope that can help someone!