Thursday, December 24, 2009

Learning Blender

I spent some time trying to learn Blender. I have no previous experience with 3D modeling tools and Blender looks very complicated and confusing for me. It has many key combinations and buttons, even your actions can lead to something unexpected.

At first I spent some time reading Blender – Noob to Pro and doing the examples. I managed to get the basics – grab, rotate, scale, extrude, etc.

I haven’t made any decent model so I start to read Introduction to Character Animation by Ryan Dale. It is a really great document, if you need to learn Blender, this book can help you a lot.

Here are my first attempts, don’t laugh much:

Shaping the mouth.

The head. It looks creepy.

I made some mistakes.

Yey, almost done!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Irrlicht – my third person camera

Currently I work on my own RPG game and I hope after gaining enough experience with it I’ll try to make my own MMORPG. Am I humble enough?

There are many MMORPG games on the market and all of them can work as an inspiration. My first task was to make a third person camera or more precisely third person camera animator. You don’t need to make an animator to use this logic. Creating an animator leads to some complications that I won’t discuss here.

We will use the right mouse button to orbit around the object and the scroller to zoom in and out. You need to add something like this in your event receiver or in OnEvent function of the animator:

  MouseKeys[2] = true;

  MouseKeys[2] = false;

  MousePos = CursorControl->getRelativePosition();

  Zoom = Zoom + event.MouseInput.Wheel*ZoomSpeed;

  if (Zoom < TargetMinDistance)
   Zoom = TargetMinDistance;

  if (Zoom > TargetMaxDistance)
      Zoom = TargetMaxDistance;

Now, when we have the input data, we must implement the logic. You must add this in animateNode function of your animator, or in some update method if you don’t use an animator.

 core::vector3df target = targetNode->getPosition();

 f32 nRotX = RotX;
 f32 nRotY = RotY;

 if (isMouseKeyDown(2))
  if (!Rotating)

   RotateStart = MousePos;
   Rotating = true;

   nRotX = RotX;
   nRotY = RotY;

   nRotX += (RotateStart.X - MousePos.X) * RotateSpeed;

   nRotY += (RotateStart.Y - MousePos.Y) * RotateSpeed;

 else if(Rotating)

  RotX += (RotateStart.X - MousePos.X) * RotateSpeed;

  RotY += (RotateStart.Y - MousePos.Y) * RotateSpeed;

  nRotX = RotX;
  nRotY = RotY;
  Rotating = false;


 target = targetNode->getPosition();

 Pos.X = Zoom + target.X;
 Pos.Y = Zoom + target.Y;

 Pos.Z = target.Z;

 Pos.rotateXYBy(nRotY, target);

 Pos.rotateXZBy(-nRotX, target);



This is very basic functionality but you will grasp the logic. I’ve used the Maya animator the get the idea. My code have a nasty flip on the top and the bottom, you can fix it if you want with restricting the camera movement or changing the up vector. And don’t make the camera parent or child of the target.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Blender – more than 3D

Blender is quite popular, open-source, graphics software released under the GNU General Public License. It is used in many projects – commercial or other, and can be a good choice for resource creation.

Blender has many nice features for modeling, rendering and animation of 3D characters and scenes.

Blender is relatively complex and difficult for newbies. If you intent to learn blender you need to equip yourself with some patience.

Animation with Blender - Best Character Animation for Suzanne Awards 2009.