Do you have some experience and a reasonable knowledge of C++ and want to write your own computer games? Have you ever looked at a PC or Playstation (R) game with characters running and leaping through an exciting landscape and wondered how it was done? If so then this book will give you all the information you need to achieve this goal, whether you are a hobby programmer, student or even a professional wanting to add that third dimension to your website.

Nik Lever takes you through the journey from the basics of 3D manipulation all the way to morph objects and sub-division surfaces. On the way you get Visual C++ project files to study and software that runs on the Windows desktop. The downloadable resources give you a full-featured development environment for 3D character animation, so even if you find some of the maths and the code hard to follow straight away you can still create your own games. The game engine (Toon3DCreator) provided free and fully functional on the downloadable resources, even has an ActiveX control that allows you to distribute your work on the Internet. All source code for Toon3D is included on the downloadable resources. You will also get an insight into the artist's problems; learn how to keep the characters interesting while not exhausting the game engine.

Understand the complete picture and make the most of your skills to help you succeed in, or break into the computer gaming industry with this comprehensive guide to programming for real-time 3D character animation.

chapter 1|13 pages

3D basics

chapter 2|25 pages

Drawing points and polygons the hard way

chapter 4|20 pages

OpenGL lighting and textures

chapter 5|19 pages

Creating low polygon characters

chapter 6|27 pages

Texture mapping

chapter 7|21 pages

Setting up a single mesh character

chapter 8|23 pages

Keyframe animation

chapter 9|16 pages

Inverse kinematics

chapter 12|28 pages

Motion capture techniques

chapter 13|17 pages

Collision detection

chapter 14|16 pages

Using morph objects

chapter 15|26 pages

Using subdivision surfaces

chapter 16|18 pages

Using multi-resolution meshes

chapter 17|22 pages

The scene graph

chapter 18|19 pages

Web 3D, compression and streaming