B3d or MD2 for characters?

Community Forums/Developer Stations/B3d or MD2 for characters?

IPete2(Posted 2007) [#1]

Im working on a project which is going to need nice animated characters, which artwork path do you guys prefer and why?

3DS Max - B3d Pipeline - B3d prog.

3DS Max - MD2 (QTip export) - B3d prog.

Which is best for features such as vertex weighting, maintaining quality and detail of animation when importing into b3d.

Any examples of models which look fab done in the way you prefer?


Beaker(Posted 2007) [#2]
Both methods are valid (you forgot to include "3DS Max - Unwrap3D - B3d prog"), both have pros/cons.

Use small amount of memory.
Supports non boned animation (warps and morphs).

Can't remember exactly but there is some issue with lighting not working or looking bad.
No bones to hang things off (for guns, swords etc).
Can have jittery vertices.
Might not support multiple objects, textures, texture layers.

Look great.
Can be manipulated at runtime using code.
Bones can potentially give you more accurate collisions.
Can be edited (after export) in lots of programs (fragmotion, pacemaker, unwrap3d etc).
Animation can be recycled for other characters in same game.
Generally more flexible.

Having lots on screen can be slow.

The main reason not to use B3D (at least not all the time) is that they can be quite slow in medium to large numbers. You can of course switch to MD2s for far away characters etc. I would tend to use B3Ds until you find a reason not to.

IPete2(Posted 2007) [#3]
Beaker - thanks for your thoughts...

Naughty Alien(Posted 2007) [#4]
..my experiance telling me that B3D is excellent to be used for main character whats all time on screen..rest of it or far distance characters can be MD2 and its working just fine..

John Blackledge(Posted 2007) [#5]
Pete, it's about 3 yrs since I played with md2s but as far as I remember lighting virtually doesn't work, so characters look 2D (like a overlay), and collisions/picks were weird/non-functional.

IPete2(Posted 2007) [#6]
@John Cool thanks for the info John :)

I was pretty much set on b3d from the start, but it is always useful and interesting to get others opinions.

This lets light into the darker recesses of programming on your own.


Loktar(Posted 2007) [#7]
I was attempting a zombie RTS, when using b3d I could have roughly 30 characters on the screen at once in order to have a playable framrate, with MD2's however I was able to have over 200 before the framerate dropped.

I like what was suggested earlier though about making faraway characters MD2's that would probably be the best thing.

IPete2(Posted 2007) [#8]

The project I am involved in will need some pretty complex animated characters and I shall use b3d for all (at this time). If I get any serious issue I shall report back, but from what's been said I should have no problem.

I am expecting to use no more than 20 characters at any one time.