Game Development Reference
Figure 3.5. A custom toolbar in Softimage with three commands for applying vertex
colors for each damage area, in addition to other commands for visualizing the damage
artist can either apply the color using the “Paint All” button on the selected
polygons, or he can use the brush tool to paint the colors on vertices directly.
To avoid applying incorrect colors and to minimize painting time, a custom
tool can be developed to store the color codes for each damage area. The artist
can use this tool to apply the correct colors without needing to memorize their
values or mappings. (See Figure 3.5.)
Once the polygons are marked, the artist can then hide them in the 3D author-
ing tool and build the replacement damage geometry to fit their place accurately.
The main 3D object is then exported along with its per-vertex color channel
and the accompanying damage meshes for processing in the pipeline step.
3.4.2 Pipeline Step
The goal of the pipeline step is to transform the marked damage areas into data
that can be easily and effectively used at runtime. Table 3.1 shows the color
coding scheme used for an object. The last column assigns a single integer value
( color ID ) to each color code entry. This is the value that will be used at runtime
to identify each damage area. We use the data-processing pipeline to detect the
color coding of each polygon and assign it its matching ID instead. Later, we will
see how this ID is used in the runtime step.
The data-processing pipeline usually performs tasks such as reading mesh
data from source files, cleaning the mesh and optimizing it, compressing its data,
and checking it for validity. We add one more step that does the following: