Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
immediately required. A final method within the development environment
is to have a global resources library that is available only at development
time. Such resources are only added to the runtime if they are actually
used in the execution of the program. If you are concerned at all with the
development environment, then you will realize that giving the user the
options to retrace their steps is often one of the hardest parts of providing
development software.
Defining animation action libraries
If you followed the chapter on motion capture then you will realize just how
much data can be involved in a mocap character. A standard hierarchy
using nine channels for the top level bone and three for all the others
leads to 59 motion channels, each using 4 bytes. That is a minimum of
236 bytes per time step. If the time step is based on film rates of 24 per
second, then 2 minutes of animation stored in this way will use
59 (Channels)
×
4 (bytes per channel)
×
24 (keys per second)
×
60 (seconds per minute)
×
2 (minutes) = 679 680 bytes (664K)
Motion capture is very popular in real-time applications because the
motion is very realistic and production costs tend to be lower, but internal
memory storage is huge. For this reason, if an action such as a walk can
be shared across several characters, then the resource implications are
minimized. Motion is very distinctive, however, and the viewer is likely to
see the similarities. One effective way to hide the similarities is to add a
secondary motion on top of the motion capture motion, perhaps a more
exaggerated swing to the hips or maybe a higher jump. Since this
secondary animation is keyframed it will be much smaller in memory use.
The chapter on motion capture gives advice on using secondary motion
channels.
Cloning surface attributes
With a real-time game the biggest consumer of hardware resources is the
display of bitmapped textures. If these scarce resources can be shared by
cloning then this is highly desirable. By using UV texturing methods it is
possible for the same rectangular bitmap to provide the texture for several
surfaces. This technique provides the most economical use of texture
memory. If all textures can be stored on the graphics card within the
memory resident there the frame rates are going to be significantly higher
than if main memory has to be used for such storage.
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