Game Development Reference
If you have followed the text from the beginning then your real-time engine
has developed considerably. The engine has moved on from displaying a
single polygon so that now we are able to display a complex mesh with
textures. In this chapter we learned how to deform this mesh using control
objects defined in a hierarchical object list. The control can be created
using a list of point indices from the mesh object or using section objects
cut from the mesh. We learnt how important it is to have a logical
hierarchy of objects in a scene. When displaying characters it is essential
that moving the body has an effect on the head and arms. Moving the hips
should have an effect on every part of the body. Hierarchies are the way
that you can inform your transformation engine of the connection between
the motion of one object and that of objects that are connected to it.
We also considered how to display your characters on different displays
using subdivision surfaces so that a super deluxe computer has a
smoother, higher resolution display than a less capable machine, without
the requirement for the artists on a real-time project having to create
totally unique geometry for each level of computer.
We are beginning to consider how the structure of our code must be
formed to allow for object lists. Later, this will be extended to include lists
for lights, cameras, morph objects, images and surface attributes. With
this level of control and sophistication, we are at last ready to put some
motion into the characters. In the next chapter we will finally begin to
animate the characters we have so carefully created.