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3D File Formats

The bits and bytes...


DirectX X 3D File Format


Simple facts to generating a complete x-file set of loader's and container classes for use in all your gaming needs.  As the DirectX .x file format can accomodate all your 3D gaming needs, from simple mesh's to complete bone animation characters.


Understanding the DirectX X File Format Layout


Well its always best to see how it ticks inside before writing code....well take a few seconds to go through how the .x file format lives and breaths.....as its a complex beast beneath its thin outer shell.



Just for references purposes, I've included the .doc version of a .x file format spec that I found on the net... which is great to look at while your writing your .x file format parser/loader. Official File Spec Document.


Using DirectX API's to Load/Parse our .x File


Lets grab a compiler and code this baby!... and lets read this information into our code...so we can actually make it work for us.


Prt-1- Loading the Mesh's

Prt-2- Applying Frame Hierarchy (Bone Structure)

Prt-3- Animation




Writing a Custom .x Loader/Parser


Who needs the DirectX API's?  Well we can write a parser/loader that will read in our X file format 3D data just as good!  And it gives us a greater understanding of how things work - and for those new to things like skinning...bone animation...mesh hierarchy.... well its a great way to learn and apply your knowledge.  You have to be patient with these tutorials - as they start of simple...and get harder and harder and harder - but believe me, the end result is well worth it.


Prt-1- Starting that 1000 mile journey

Prt-2- Picking out the data

Prt-3- Adding extra's


Prt-4- Binary .X File Format Parser

Prt-5- .X Binary Parser GUI Dialog Dump

Prt-6- 3D Max MaxScript Exporter (.ms) Binary



Demo Programs - Rendering/Loading of X Data/Files/Characters


Well I thought I'd write some demo's which will implement a loading and rendering of various .x files - some of the demo's include full character animation, others are plain loading of a mesh and rendering.  But hopefully they will be of some benefit.



  Full Skinned Character Animation Source Code Executable Demo
  DirectX 9.1 .x Loader 2008 Version.  I sat down and totally re-wrote the parser/loader so it can cope with more cases and is well more structured and simpler.  Demo here lets you drag and drop .x files into the app. Source Code Executable Demo

DirectX X Direct X Direct-X- X File Format X DirectX X File File File X .x x parser x loader DirectX API X File Skinning X Animation X File Mesh X API

Simple Models - 3D Max to .X


I know how hard it is to find some simple .x character animation models on the net, so I did some simple mesh animated models in 3D Studio Max 6, and produced the corresponding .X 3D file - which includes a basic run animation.  You can use these models to test your .x loader code as you go along, or see just how easy it is to generate mesh characters with 3d max.


Description 3DMaxFile  .XFile  ScreenShots
A simple...I mean very simple example of character creation, using a block man and character physique tools. BoxMan.max BoxMan.x
Homer...our lovable friend from the Simpsons.  I've not done homer justice in this small 3d model - but its a fun example.. Homer.max Homer.x  
I took the simple rabbit mesh from one of the .max demo's, and added bones and some animation.  Still needs a bit of work with the texture mapping etc - but its a cool 'Alice in wonderland' rabbit ;) Rabbit.max Rabbit.x  
Fantastic professional level model - low poly and is very eye catching.  I've only put basic bone linking and the run animation, but is a great example of character animation. WispModel.max WispModel.x  


I used the PandaX Exporter which you can download free on the net.  I've only done a simple run animation for the models, but you should be able to easily add other animations....as all you need is the run and stand animations for you to do a simple test level of a game :)  And believe me, with homer running around your own little level is sweet....but I'm sure you could do loads of other cool models.














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