Game Development Reference
alarming amount of polygons are devoted to the upper body! The other a
very cartoony character. As an animator of some 20 years' experience, I
think it is at least disappointing that so much computer animation attempts
to create a realistic interpretation of the real world, some more
successfully than others. Animation allows the creators to develop fantasy
lands that no one will ever experience any other way. As a developer I
encourage you to develop content that provides a personal view of the
world rather than a faithful recreation of reality. But, with a view to sales,
I have chosen to take the well-trodden route of the sexy girl.
Modelling the head
When creating our model we are aiming at around 1000 polygons for the
central character. The supplied software gets 30 frames per second from
5000 poly scenes on a 800 MHz machine with a Nvidia GeForce 2 graphics
card. In no time at all that spec will seem ludicrously low, but you will learn in
later chapters how to scale your models for higher end platforms using
subdivision surfaces. Lightwave 3D has an option to use subdivision
surfaces, but the algorithm used is different from the interpolating one
discussed later in this topic. If you do work through the tutorial in the
Lightwave package, then by all means use the Tab key to get a smoother
subdivided mesh, but bear in mind that this smoother mesh is inside the
cage rather than sitting on the cage. This has the effect of making the limbs
of the character particularly appear slimmer than they will appear if you
choose to display either the actual geometry modelled or a subdivided
mesh based on this geometry, but using an interpolating algorithm.
The principal tools we will use to create the mesh are:
Point Creation Tool
Using the point creation tool and the three standard views, Top, Front
and Side, you can create a single vertex in 3D space.
Polygon Creation Tool
By selecting points and then choosing this tool a polygon is created with
the selected vertices.
Any vertex can be welded to any other vertex. An extension of this for
Lightwave 3D modeller is Multiweld, which is provided on the CD.
Multiweld is an LScript plug-in for Lightwave that welds points based on
their selection order. The first point selected is welded to the second
point selected, the third to the fourth, and in general point 2 n - 1 is welded
to the point 2 n . The result is, for 2 n points, n welded points. This