Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Bitmap images are memory hungry. It
is essential that these resources be
used economically. Just as surface ID
can point to global, scene level and
mesh level surfaces, we can have
image lists that are global, scene level
and mesh level. The images that are
used for the central character are
likely to be used across scenes and
so would be a good choice for a
global library of images, while the
bitmaps used to texture a character
that appears in a single scene are
more suited to a scene level list. If
your project has characters that may
appear in a scene and yet could very
well not appear, then some type of
dynamic loading would be more suit-
able. The problem with dynamically
loading a character mesh and tex-
tures is that the user is likely to
experience a brief delay. For some
games this can easily be hidden by a
short tension-building animation.
Dynamic loading has the distinct benefit that it is the best use of
Figure 17.1 Image list.
Motion files
Most animated characters have libraries of movements. For a biped
character, all parts of the body are connected to the hips in most cases.
The movement of these characters is created from a combination of the
transformation, scaling and orientation of the hips and the orientation of all
the other parts. In most cases the animation will be created using
rotations only; no transformation or scaling is used other than for the hips.
This means that a character with the same hierarchy could share the
same animation for all parts other than the hips. This makes the creation
of the animation quicker and the file sizes are going to be smaller as a
result. In common with surface and image lists, we can define a motion
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